Its all about the heart

Queen of Hearts Tea Party for Valentine’s Day

Recently I became a big fan of Tim Burton’s Alice Through the Looking Glass movie. For Valentine’s Day, Lewis Carroll’s Queen of Hearts came to mind and I started doing research to find out whether the Queen of Heart’s obsessive painting of white roses had any connection with Britain’s Lancaster/York War of the Roses in the 15th Century. The Lancaster branch of the Plantagenet dynasty was represented by a red rose while the Yorks had a white rose. The not-so-civil war went on between the factions for 35 years until Henry Tudor of Lancaster claimed the throne and married Elizabeth of York, effectively turning the white roses red.


Stained glass images of Henry VII & Elizabeth of York at Cardiff Castle, Cardiff, Wales.:

On a genealogical website, I once saw that I was a 14th great-granddaughter of Henry Tudor and so my research became more personal.  According to tradition, Henry and Elizabeth had a great love. She also loved the recently introduced French trend of playing cards (a little too much according to historians) and when she died following childbirth at the age of 37, according to legend, Henry had the image of the Queens of Hearts on all of playing cards in England made to look like her. 

Portrait of Elizabeth of York (1466-1503), amongst English Royalty was a daughter to a king, niece to a king, wife to a king, mother to a king and grandmother to a queen.:

It was not Elizabeth but her mother-in-law Margaret who had a penchant for eliminating enemies by removing their heads. Enough said.



Valentine’s Day is an enigmatic holiday. With pagan origins of fertility rituals at Lupercalia on February 15th, anything resembling the root words of Lu, Lugh or Lucifer always makes me uneasy. The pagan rituals included the sacrifice of dogs and goats; the goatskins were stripped and dipped in goat blood then used to flog hopeful young women wishing for love and fertility in the coming year. The names of eligible young women were gathered and drawn by bachelors with whom they would cohabit during the next season, the women probably hoping it would become a permanent arrangement. 

During the early part of the 5thcentury, Pope Gelasius I combined Lupercalia and the day memorializing 3 Christian martyrs named Valentine who had been executed by Roman emperor Claudius II. Claudius had decided unmarried male soldiers made the best warriors and outlawed the performing of marriage for his troops. 

Image result for st valentine

During the 2nd and 3rd centuries at least three Christian priests named Valentine secretly performed marriages and as a result were caught and executed. After being sainted by the Catholic Church, the name St. Valentine became synonymous with the celebration of love and the result, like Halloween, was a hybrid holiday with both charming and unfortunate sinister roots. 

For centuries Valentine’s Day has been associated with love; it was thought that even birds paired off at Valentine’s Day. In medieval times, feasts included the lottery of love, like the pagans except guests were paired for the duration of the party. Promoted by Chaucer and Shakespeare, the holiday’s dark past was mostly forgotten and now moderns woo one another with chocolate, flowers, candles and poetry (and occasional bling). Wishing to view the holiday from the glass half-full perspective, it may be appropriate to present a holiday tea party to celebrate love with the unfortunately dark roots hidden away from modern gaze.
Let’s return to the warm and wonderful realm of love. While I adore the idea of romance, apparently the romantic love needed to narrow our ardor and launch us into exclusive pairs expands and evolves into a less-dramatic, more stable variety of love a few years after marriage. Factor in a few delightful children and love becomes a more inclusive emotion with community-building ability. 

Apparently only a small percentage of the population is involved in the explosive youthful pairing love at any given time and more of us live in the world of brotherly, familial affection so I choose to focus on that stage of love; with that in mind, A Queen of Heart’s Valentine’s Day tea party complete with warm red hearts seems like just the thing for a cold winter afternoon.

Here is a fun little crown you can make for your own Liddells or guests on Valentine’s Day. The author of the Alice in Wonderland stories, Charles Dodson or Lewis Carroll as we know him, was inspired by the Liddell girls, especially Alice. One day as he and a friend were taking the girls in a boat down the Thames, he made up the stories to entertain them. Encouraged to write them down, he eventually had them published and they became a huge hit. 



Queen of Hearts Crowns
Of course a Queen of Hearts tea requires crowns for each guest; these are inexpensive and easy to create.
For each crown you will need 
One  4” glittery red paper heart (buy or make from cardstock)
7 silver pipe cleaners 
Several heart rhinestones

For a large crown, twist together 2 pipe cleaners, leaving 3” tails at the twist. Bend each tail into a heart half and twist together. Repeat with a third and fourth pipe cleaner adjusting to fit the head of the wearer. Use a 5th pipe cleaner to make an arch and attach to the front of the crown. Attach the heart to the front arch using a hot glue gun then add two smaller arches that are glued to the front of the heart and the crown side . Curl the ends of the pipe cleaners and add sparkly rhinestones.   


The British are known for their iconic afternoon teas even though tea parties may have originating in France. A formal tea consists of 3 courses which may be creatively arranged on a 3-tier serving piece. On the lowest plate is the first course: finger sandwiches, and savory appetizers. The second tier contains warm scones, clotted cream (a decadent cross between butter and whipped cream) and preserves.  On the top tier are a variety of pastries, cakes, shortbread and fruit. For American tastes, try adding chocolate-dipped strawberries and clever little footed dishes filled with Valentine’s candy, truffles and nuts.


Of course a Valentine’s tea needs tea, but many of us don’t drink that beverage. A cup of tea minus the tea equals lemon and sugar or lemonade. Add pureed strawberries and strawberry hearts for a delicious pink drink to serve in porcelain tea cups with labels that read “drink me.”

P.S. Happy anniversary Arizona! 105 years today. And Happy Galentine’s, Palentine’s and Single Awareness Day! Plus a little eye candy for you:

I was surprised to find that my article for the Deseret News in Utah was published the week following Valentine’s Day, but here it is; it was also picked up by newspaper websites in Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Iowa, Kentucky, Indiana and a newsfeed.

xoxoxoxoxoxoxox Happy Valentine’s Day xoxoxoxoxoxox




Garden Corn Chowder

This chowder is one delicious way to keep your resolution to eat more vegetables this year.

Image result for corn chowder

Corn Chowder             
(Serves 12)
            In a large saucepan, brown 

1 lb. bacon or turkey bacon
            Remove, drain, cool and crumble. In small amount of bacon grease saute 

1 small onion, minced
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped 
            Remove vegetables, drain and set aside. place in the pot

10 russet potatoes, scrubbed and cut into a 3/4″ dice 
14 baby carrots, shredded
            Add water until barely covered, bring to boil, cook about 10                          minutes until the potatoes are tender but not mushy. During the last 3 minutes add 

1 C zucchini, shredded
1 1/2 C spinach or power greens, chopped

             Drain water,  add sauteed vegetables and 

1 can corn, drained
1 can cream-style corn
2 cans mushroom soup
3 cans milk
1 tsp. salt
1 / 2 tsp. pepper

            Simmer covered, 5 minutes or until hot, add crumbled bacon and additional salt and pepper, if desired.


Human Rights Day

Human Rights Day

The Term “holiday” comes from “Holy Day;” how appropriate to begin the year with recognition of intrinsic gifts from our Creator and a celebration of human rights. One of the first and oldest documents referencing human rights came to mankind in the form of the 10 Commandments in the Bible; also known as the Aseret ha-D’varim in the Torah. Instead of the usual worldly governing model of a monarchy granting subjects limited rights, God gave instructions for building a culture where each individual could enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
The struggle for human rights has been long and arduous and championed by many distinguished individuals throughout the history of the world. Some of names that come to mind are Moses, who petitioned Pharaoh for the release of Israel from bondage, Joan of Arc who led French forces against British occupiers, Martin Luther and the Reformers, the Founding Fathers of the United States of America, Harriet Tubman, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Abraham Lincoln. United States soldiers and other nations who liberated captives in the World Wars. Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi and many others also led the fight. Jesus Christ taught and modeled ideal behavior for peaceful, respectful living and human rights; His teachings need to be studied by all people.
Another effectual document outlining and guaranteeing rights and blessing our world is the Heaven-inspired Constitution of the United States of America. Both it and the scriptures describe God-given obligations and protections for human behavior and organizing community living in idealistic and practical ways. The Bible instructs us to love God first, then to love our neighbors as ourselves. We are commanded to observe God’s laws, honor our parents, not to kill, commit adultery, steal, lie and covet. These are the baseline behaviors to minimize troubles and provide for more peace and happiness. Some of the brightest minds ever known to mankind, the Founding Fathers of the United States, labored to craft the document guaranteeing an entire nation “… life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Our country was sanctified by the very sacrifice of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness by early patriots who fought and laid down their lives that we might enjoy these blessings. The United States of America has become the greatest nation in the history of the world with advancements and prosperity once only imagined by the most brilliant intellectuals of the past. We along with our fathers, sons, brothers, wives, mothers and sisters have fed, policed and liberated the world. What better way can we thank our Creator than helping our brothers and sisters in need.
While Human Rights Day was set by the United Nations on December 10, In the U.S. it is mostly celebrated on the 3rd Monday in January, near the birthday of Civil Rights Activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. whose birthday is also remembered in January. When we hear “Civil Rights” we may think about the so-named struggle for racial equality in America in the 1960s; but the fight for civil rights has been going on as long as history has been recorded. The United States of America itself is one of the world’s greatest experiments in civil rights. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and Benjamin Franklin called for an end to slavery as well as the end of monarchy overreach. These men were some of America’s first human rights activists. My ancestors Elizabeth Duncan Porter, her husband Samuel Porter and Hezekiah Tracy among others were actively engaged in the fight for freedom that was the American Revolutionary War. Abraham Lincoln, Harriet Tubman and Harriet Beecher Stowe, also worked for civil rights in the 1860s. Even the prophet Joseph Smith had a solution for ending slavery which could have prevented much misery and heartache if our country would have listened to him. He said the U.S. should sell off lands in the west and use the money to purchase the freedom of the slaves. They could then choose whether to return to Africa or stay in America.
Fine-tuning and broadening of the concept of freedom has gone on since America was founded. In the 1800’s President Abraham Lincoln and abolitionists helped to end slavery. Suffragettes worked to get women the right to vote for their leaders. 100 years later Dr. Martin Luther King and others finished the fight for equal rights for the diverse people in the United States. Across the world other people were engaged in human rights conflicts like Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and numerous religious leaders. During the 20th Century American soldiers fought to liberate captives in Europe.
Rights were granted to all Americans by The Civil Rights Act of 1964. This legislation outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. I find it odd that many activists and educators have not moved on from past civil rights issues, although the U.S. has and they continue to decry the abuses that were addressed and outlawed over 50 years ago. Also as the tragedy of slavery of peoples of African origin which ended over 100 years ago with the Emancipation Proclamation. Today the struggle for human rights can be found in areas such as the fight for religious freedom, the right to defend ones’ home and family, income equality, the rights of pre-born humans and the fight to end human trafficking.
It is sad to report that the rights granted by these laws and the sacrifice of lives and resources of civil rights activists have not all been accepted and enjoyed by those for whom they were intended. Fast-forward 50 years to Selma, Alabama. An unfortunately high incidence of addiction and welfare-dependence among the residents, rampant poverty, fatherlessness, high crime rates and other socio-economic woes remain among a population freed from legal and social exclusion. Government intervention was necessary but it did not solve all of the problems. As politically incorrect as it is, there is a moral dimension that needs to be addressed; Dr. King addressed societal problems and he was a Christian minister. I imagine that he would acknowledge that people in dire straits need charity, but even more they need mentors and opportunities to work to improve their situations for to a better way to life.
There are many ways we can assist others who are struggling or suffering. We can help in our community by contributing to food banks, organizations that promote literacy or help refugees. We can donate clothes, toys and household items to charity and help in the schools. For global suffering we can give time or donations to humanitarian causes, efforts to provide clean water, money to start businesses and send sanitary products to girls in poor countries. Our brothers and sisters in the military, our law enforcement officers and others continue to provide the freedoms we are promised by our Constitution and help the cause of freedom as they serve here and around the world. Brave men and women work to end human trafficking and save the lives of children here and abroad.
There are orphanages that need help, dental and medical care, clean water, clothing and food for the children; not all countries provide for orphans and the need is great especially in Africa where so many adults die from diseases. 
 I don’t think we should forget the men and women who take up the torch to teach and remind us to be good neighbors and generous and kind to humanity. Also those who promote cybersecurity and pass laws to protect human rights.
To help children understand that all people have basic “rights” and that as humans it is our responsibility to help provide for those in need; here are a few items to consider. Perhaps your family can come up with additional rights/needs that can be met to help people to be healthy and happy.

Clean water and air
Adequate nutritious food to eat
A safe and clean place to sleep, live and work
Clothing to keep one modest and warm
Basic quality education, literacy and the freedom, opportunity and ability to be self-sustaining and self-reliant
Basic medical care
Stewardship over one’s family and resources
Freedom from prejudice, injury and loss based on ones’ religious beliefs, gender, race, age, disabilities and other personal factors.
What would you add to this list?
On a small and personal note, I’d like to share a story about the hearts of little children. When my oldest son Bill was in kindergarten I volunteered one afternoon a week at his school. One day he came home and told me there was a new girl named Kim in his class. The next time I worked at his school I had a chance to meet Kim. She had made lots of friends and was engaged in her new school. She was also the only African-American student in our little country elementary school. None of the students seemed to notice that she looked a bit different, they saw and accepted her with eyes of love. If only the rest of us could remember to do the same.
To help our families become passionate about human rights we can learn about some of the great stories of courage and leadership by reading stories and watching movies about the people and struggles for independence here and internationally.

BOOKS AND MOVIES (Try biographies from the children’s section at the library)
Biographies about George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Benjamin Franklin, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Joan of Arc, Susan B. Anthony, Harriet Tubman
A few movies and television shows I recommend are listed, most are appropriate for older children, you may want to preview them before showing your family
The Founding Brothers: 2002 documentary tv movie
Selma: motion picture released in 2014 (the violence portrayed may be too intense for small children)
Joan of Arc: BYUtv 2015
Founding Fathers: 2000: tv documentary
American Ride episodes: tv documentaries
Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a dream” speech on Youtube
·         With the new gifts of Christmas received just a few weeks ago, you and your children may have excess items. Have each child collect clothes, toys and belongings that can be donated to charity or sold with the proceeds going to help the needy.
·         Call a food bank, women’s or homeless shelter and find out what kind of donations they need. Collect or purchase the items and deliver them to the organization.
·         Children are no longer kept from education to work as cheap labor in the U.S. but as of the writing of this manuscript, human rights abuses in the U.S. include the trafficking and exploitation of humans, especially women and children in sex trades and the curtailment of rights and persecution of Christians. Pre-born children have no rights or protection under current laws, millions are killed and aborted each year. Let your elected officials know that action needs to be taken.
·         This is a big commitment but if you are able you may consider taking a foster child or helping a family that is caring for a relative’s child or foster child.
·         If you know of a family that has had a recent death, send them some money to help cover burial costs.
·         Because it is January and people in colder areas may be indoors and have a little extra time, knit or crochet caps and mittens for the less-fortunate.
·         Contribute to causes that promote humanitarian practices and have the majority of the assets actually going to the intended recipients not program administrators.
·         Education and business start-up funds and counseling
·         Organizations that help orphans and young women, especially in Africa where the governments often do not feed or provide for the large number of children who are in orphanages because their parents succumbed to AIDS and other diseases and addictions.
·         Organizations that donate and set up supplies of clean water equipment and wells.
·         People that build and modernize schools and shelters.
·         Days For Girls provides sanitary supplies to poor girls in Africa to enable them to stay in school during their monthly periods.
·         Join Rotary International or one of the groups that provide immunizations, medical and dental care for underserved populations.
·         Shop at stores that sell handmade goods from developing countries
·         Because Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday of January 15thwas the impetus for Human Rights Day in January we might honor his contribution by celebrating with a dinner featuring some of his favorite foods: fried chicken, collard greens, corn bread and pecan pie.
·         Watch his sincere and moving “I have a dream” speech.
In Utah Human Rights Day is celebrated on the 3rd Monday in January, near the birthday of civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. King was concerned about the abuses of the rights and safety of racial minorities and led peaceful awareness campaigns and protests seeking the granting of protection and equal rights to all individuals regardless of race. Like so many human rights activists he was martyred by an assassin. To honor his memory, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Human Rights Day and other celebrations are held throughout the U.S.
·         Serve a simple meal and donate the cost of dining out or fancier fare to humanitarian causes.
·         Watch for Eagle Scout projects; especially donating backpacks, shoes and school supplies to less-fortunate students.
·         Make heart in hand cookies to inspire generosity

Dr. King grew up in the South and enjoyed these classic regional favorites: fried chicken, corn bread and pecan pie. These oven-baked comfort foods are so tasty and satisfying in the mid-winter chill. They were also similar to those served by Chick-fil-A to the blood donors of the Orlando mass-shooting.
Oven-baked Fried Chicken
Preheat oven to 400°. In a large plastic food storage bag mix together
½ C all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
½ tsp paprika
In a 9” x 13” baking dish, add
½ C butter
½ C oil
Place in the preheated oven until butter melts. Remove from oven. With a pair of tongs, dip in the butter/oil mixture, then place in bag to coat with flour
6-8 pieces of raw chicken (breast halves, drumsticks, thighs, etc.)
            Place in pan and return to oven. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes, turn and put the cornbread in the oven to bake. Cook chicken another 40 minutes or until it tests done at least 165° and the juices are clear.
Collard Greens
            Fry until crisp in an uncovered in a pan with a lid
6 slices of bacon
Remove and drain on paper towels. Crumble when cool, reserve. Chop and add to bacon grease, cooking until tender
1 medium onion
Chop and add to onion, cooking until light golden then remove from heat
3 garlic cloves
Cut along the stems to remove leaves. Cut into 1” slices
1 bunch collard green leaves
            Add leaves to onions. Toss in
3 C chicken broth
Cover and cook until tender, about 45 minutes. Remove lid, add crumbled bacon. Sprinkle over red pepper flakes.
Corn bread
Preheat oven to 400°. Lightly grease a 9” square pan and set aside. In a large mixing
bowl sift together
1 C all-purpose flour
4 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1/3 C sugar
1 C cornmeal
            Set aside. In a microwavable bowl melt in the microwave oven
¼ C butter
1 C milk
2 eggs
Stir into dry ingredients. Spoon into greased baking dish and bake at 400° for about 40 minutes or until golden and toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Serve hot with butter and honey or jam.
Southern Pecan Pie
            Use a purchased frozen deep dish piecrust, thawed, or this simple crust.
Add to the bowl of a food processor 
1/2 C butter, chilled and cut into 8 chunks,
1 C all-purpose flour
1/2 C cake flour
Pulse butter and flour, until consistency of coarse crumbs. Drip down feed tube
 1/4 C cold water
 Add more water for dough to form a large ball, if needed. Process as little as possible, overworking the dough causes it to become tough. Wrap and chill for 1/2 hour. Roll out between 2 sheets of plastic wrap, to 1/8″ inch thickness. Carefully place in 9″ pie pan, crimping edges.
Preheat oven to 350°. Melt then cool
2 Tbsp butter
In a mixing bowl, combine melted butter with
1 C sugar
1 C dark corn syrup
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
3 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
Carefully pour filling into crust. Add
2 C pecans
arrange in an attractive pattern. Bake pie at 350° for 55 minutes to an hour, or until knife inserted off-center comes out clean.

The Art of Living

Life, as well as art, has its beautiful experiences. Whether one is fashioning a celebration or altering an environment to heal or bless, excite, mourn, envision, remember or entertain, we are constantly creating. To honor the traditions and aesthetic embraced by our grand culture, to understand the past and to participate well, one should have an understanding of the principles and elements of art as design and color provide the structure upon which so much is built.

As a young design student, I was thrilled to learn about color harmonies and to know that a knowledge of the elements of art simplifies the choices and decision-making of creativity. One of my professors taught us that art is about problem-solving. With all of the options out there, it is nice to know there are more-correct choices when choosing color. For students anticipating their futures; dressing for dates, creating, planning business and homes, art principles are part of the formula for success When Sir Isaac Newton first envisioned the color wheel as a scientific tool, I’m sure he had no idea how his creation would guide artists and lovers for centuries to come.

I’ve been focusing on my writing career while creating art, broadcasting at BYU and teaching art at a middle and elementary school.The following photographs include ones from articles I’ve published in the Deseret News and other media sources and original art: a list follows.

The smooth texture of the wood, grainy bread, shiny berries and organic lettuce and sunflowers, plus 2 complementary color harmonies illustrate this recipe for a hearty vegetarian deli sandwich

Getting your wee ones to eat their greens on St. Patrick’s Day is easier when they are presented as a leprechaun cottage garden. The textures and triadic color harmony of green, orange and purple keep this otherwise monochromatic composition lively.

Repetition in the elongated shapes of the vegetables contrast the mass of the triangular beef in the St. Patrick’s Day meal. The green of the asparagus cools the warm composition and the addition of orange carrots make a scene reminiscent of the flag of Ireland. European holidays are important in my contemporary homage to my ancestors and appear frequently in my writing and art.

It has been fun to observe the evolution of color schemes in wedding planning and decorating. The currently popular navy and blush palette has graced the pages of wedding magazines and provided a lovely complementary color harmony for many bridal parties and receptions. I find equally fascinating the evolution of the iconic color schemes of holidays celebrated in America. From the ever-popular contrast of red and green at Christmas, featuring elements of geometric repetition in the tartan plaids, the roundness of  ornaments, wreaths and snowmen to the spires of evergreen tree tips, candles and the cathedral spires that thrilled our European ancestors.  

In 2013, in response to a call for artists, I designed a 42″ diameter Christmas ornament covered with 100+ pounds of candy that was selected and commissioned by Macy’s corporate office in New York to hang in the window of Macy’s City Creek, Salt Lake City. When Macy’s moved into the building formerly owned by ZCMI, the community asked that they continue the tradition of the candy windows started by ZCMI in the 1970’s. Color, texture and scale were important elements in the design.

Merry represents Santa with his sack of vintage childrens’ toys and stockings on his back. This piece of temporary public art was our family’s gift to Salt Lake City.

This Christmas we created another holiday window. Selfie relied heavily on the texture and color of the candy to create interest in an outdoor scene featuring a family of snowmen (one is taking a selfie in front of the Delicate Arch) and a gingerbread village beneath the smiling Man in the Moon.

Photo by Spencer Heaps, Deseret News

This monochromatic dry point etching is entirely reliant on line, scale and texture to tell a story; only one etching tool was used in its creation. Entitled Light of the World, it is a vignette that is reminiscent of my favorite elements of a childhood Christmas, the Nativity, holly, a tartan plaid bow and a candle. 

One does not have to be selective at Christmas when a full palette of hues are available for creative fun. Repetition in round shapes provide a contrast to the geometric lines of the plaid background in this illustration for a New York magazine.

make a gingerbread house

Because of my love of history and cultural traditions, I’ve written books that are under consideration at several publishers. A good deal of my work focuses on holidays, those special days where the traditions of the past, family history and contemporary life intersect.

While Halloween is commonly known for its traditional triadic color scheme of orange, green and purple, occasionally a burst of analogous colors appear! 

Many have enjoyed a glance into the far-distant past when Israel was given the harvest celebration of the Feast of the Tabernacles or Sukkot long before the pagan practices appeared. Contemporary practitioners build beautiful sukkahs or booths in which to celebrate the blessings of autumn.

The monochromatic power hue that graces Valentine’s Day, the tetradic soft pastels of Easter, the triadic schemes of Halloween and the analgous beauty of fall; nature and culture breathe beauty into our celebrations all around the year. 

New for today, Pantone’s 2017 color of the year greenery provides a welcome healing backdrop for a country torn politically and culturally. The addition of a rosy pink creates a complementary color scheme; buttery yellows, coppers and golds create an analogous palette that I think will be a hit for weddings. When greenery graces the popular neutral decorating palettes; by changing the value and saturation, one can create a vibrant monochromatic color scheme.

In this watercolor inspired by Bouguereau’s Sheperdess, the warm earth background surrounds a cooler figure dressed in colors that mirror the sea horizon and boulders.

Tulips painted in watercolor on Yupo polyester paper, employs a triadic harmony of red, yellow and blue with green accents. Texture in the quilt background contrasts the smoothness of the tulip and daffodil petals. 

 You never know who you will run into on the plains. I discovered that my grandmother’s Webb family whose blacksmith shop has been recreated in Nauvoo, were relatives of William Shakespeare and some of the royalty of Europe. Putting that aside for the sake of the gospel, they were not too proud to race out and help rescue the Martin Willey handcart company stranded in the snow in Wyoming.

With that in mind, I created this invitation graphic for a Prairie Princess and Pioneer activity that I was in charge of that featured heirloom pioneer activities and refreshments.  The fonts are a vintage
 style and are both linear and organic.


Growing up in Carlsbad, California inspired me to love all things nautical. When presented with an assignment in a book arts class to create an altered environment (and access to an old dictionary in the recycling bin in class) I knew exactly where this would lead. After carving out the centers of the dictionary pages, I created an altered book diorama featuring 2 little mermaids, best friends named Shell and Pearl. I wrote a “nautobiography” about their lives in the village of Coralsbed. Although they considered boys to be urchins just showing off their mussels, they grew to appreciate their classmates as they learned to navigate the currents of life. I published this as a serial story on my website.

This drawing page from my Halloween book is popular among my little mermaid friends. Because coloring books are so in right now, here are 2 pages: 

This is my publishing and broadcast history from the past few years, I have contributed to articles in US News and World Report, Fortune, Parents, Good Housekeeping and other media sites:

10/25/16              Celebrate German Heritage with Oktoberfest

Deseret News, NewsOK, Google News, Bloomington Herald Times, The Reporter Times, Bedford Times-Mail, Daily American, Hagerstown Herald Mail Media, Petowski News, Aberdeen News, DNS English channel 2, Herald Mail Media

10/19/16              How to plan a successful tween Halloween                               

Deseret News,, NewsOK, Bloomington Herald Times online, Reporter Times, Bedford Times Mail, Daily American, Hagerstown Herald Mail, Petowski News, Aberdeen News, Las Vegas Review Journal, DNS English Channel 2, WRAL, CBC New Media Group, Prime Time Reporters, Connect Statesboro,, Brunch News, Santa Clarita Valley Signal, Bryan County News, Utah State World of Family and Parenting, Effingham Herald, Real Madrid News, News Report Center,

10/4/2016         2 Recipes to celebrate the natural sweetness of honey


Deseret News


3/16/2016          A St. Patrick’s Day dinner with a leprechaun garden, tiny vegetables and Irish soda bread


Deseret News, BYU SiriusXM Radio 143,,


2/23/16              These 2 simple things help ensure your relationship will last


FamilyShare, Bedford Times-Mail, NewsOK, Herald Times online, Statesboro Herald, Petoskey 

News, Daily American, Herald-Mail Media ((Maryland, Pennsylvania and West Virginia), Aberdeen 

News, OurTown Johnstown, Central Kentucky News, Statesboro Herald, Santa Clarita Valley Signal,

Indonesia Post, The Washington Times, Bryan County News, Family How, Coastal Courier, assorted

blogs, BYU SiriusXM Radio 143


1/28/2016           Brighten winter mornings – and your family’s mood – with a tasty blueberry smoothie

Deseret News,

12/22/2015        Shortbread cookies are delectable treat; presentation is key to great gifts

Deseret News Web (Utah), Santa Clarita Valley Signal (California), NewsOK (Oklahoma), Statesboro Herald (Georgia), Our Town Johnstown (Pennsylvania), Coastal Courier (Georgia), Bryan County News (Georgia), Central Kentucky News, Great Bend Tribune (Kansas), Daily American – Schurz (Pennsylvania), Herald Times online (Indiana), Reporter Times (Indiana), Petoskey News (Michigan), Aberdeen News (South Dakota), Bedford Times Mail (Indiana)

12/22/2015         The History of Four Christmas Food Traditions

Desert News, News OK, Reporter Times,,,,,,, (?) (South Carolina),

12/15/2015         5 ideas for creative, economical homemade Christmas gifts

Deseret News Web,The Signal (Spanish Channel),,,, NewsOK,, heraldtimesonline, centralkynews,,, 

12/8/2015            Spice up your holiday gift-giving with Krisp Kringle

Deseret News Web,,,,,,,,,,,,,, HighBeam Research 

11/4/2015            8 ways to help your kids like each other

Family Share

11/3/2015          Using fall flavors of caramel, apples and cranberry 

Deseret News Web, NewsOK,,, The News Journal Search – Nigeria edition,,,, Imperial Valley Press online (California),,

10/27/2015        Upcycle Halloween candy into mouth-watering desserts

NewsOK (syndication), Bloomington Herald Times Online, Our Town Johnstown, Deseret News, SCVS, Imperial Valley Press  online,, Chronicle Independent, Coastal   Courier, GB Tribune, Bryan County News, Central Kentucky News, Aberdeen,,,,,, Upcycling Gazette (Italian)

10/20/2015        Felice Halloween: Handmade pizza and Italian treats for your Halloween festivities

Deseret News Web,DNS (English channel www),DNS (Spanish Channel),NewsOK (syndication),The Signal (Spanish Channel), DNS (Portuguese Channel), IVPress online, Herald Times online, TMnews, World News EIN, Our Town

8/26/2015            Ideas for a delightful late summer picnic

Deseret News

3/31/2015            Butterscotch nests with personalized eggs are delightful Easter treats

Deseret News, NewsOK

3/10/2015 A Greek-style pizza pie for Pi Day

Deseret News

3/10/2015            Festive foods for St. Patrick’s Day

Deseret News, News OK

2/18/2015            A dish to help celebrate Chinese New Year

Deseret News, News Ok, Bedford Times-Mail

1/26/2015            8 Lifestyle changes to expect after weight-loss surgery

Victoria Advocate

12/5/2014            Is your marketing degree enough for today’s online world?
10/30/2014         Show your creativity with costumes made at home, BYU Sirius Radio 143
10/21/2014         2 ideas for harvest, Halloween party refreshments
Deseret News, Highbeam Research
10/9/2014            A Halloween party for young children
5/29/2014            Healthy and happy snacks and diversions for your summer road trips
5/18/2014            Prepare to be prepared: The wisdom of a nursery rhyme with 5 little piggies
3/20/2014            How to help kids who are afraid of Halloween
01/04/2014         A little gratitude every day goes a long way
 10/28/2013        Frightfully fun tips for celebrating Halloween (Arizona)
10/15 – 16/2013  Tips, tricks for celebrating Halloween with a party
Deseret News Web and print (Utah) (Arizona)
08/23/2013         Smart ‘n healthy lunches for back to school

07/28/2103         The most important items for back-to-school: Tolerance and respect and (Arizona – archived link not available)

06/07/2013         Old-fashioned ideas for summer fun 

06/11/2013         How to create fond summertime memories (Arizona)

06/06/2013         Fun ways to get out and about during the summer

05/19/2013         Why Save Sex for Marriage?

03/16/2013         Renamed – We owe St. Patrick’s Day to pirates. Yes, pirates

BYU Radio Broadcasts (This is a partial list. The host, Kim Power Stilson, has been ill  so there are no new broadcasts)

2/12/2016                            Valentine’s Day
3/17/2016                            St. Patrick’s Day
11/19/2015                         Thanksgiving Help, Creating a Business
10/30/2015                         Halloween
4/3/2015                              Sweet Heat and Easter
2/13/2015                            Valentine’s Day, Chicken Soup for the Soul, Manners
12/22/2014                         Facing Grief During the Holidays/ Christmas Desserts
12/3/2014                            Christmas Angels
10/29/2014                         Fun Ways to Celebrate Halloween
6/25/2014                            Upsee and the 4th
3/17/2014                            St. Patrick’s Day
2/14/2014                            Hearts, Flowers and Sweet Heart Stories
10/31/2013                         Sweet Halloween

Also an assortment of articles including:

The Guardian (UK)


Articles Contributed To:

The Chicago Tribune

Natural Awakenings

San Diego Family  

Decorating on a Dime; Get Ready for Halloween Early

US News and World Report

Fun Alternatives for Trick-or-Treating by Kerri Zane

The Daily Meal
Mint Life (Indonesia)

Good Housekeeping
Northeast Ohio Parent
Rasmussen College
The Ultimate Catering Guide by The Majestic Vision: 20 newspapers
The Penny Hoarder

Thank you!