Thursday, April 29, 2010


May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month.

As Florida natives who have been in the sun all our lives, almost every member of my family and my husband's family are dealing with SKIN CANCER. Like most of us born in the 60s and before, we LOVED that golden bronzed look and spent countless hours soaking in the rays. We used iodine and baby oil, mirrors, and aluminum foil-covered cardboard in efforts to increase our tans. And now...

WE ARE PAYING THE PRICE for our foolishness and ignorance. And so are millions of people all over the world.

Did you know...
1. Over 2 million people in the U.S. were diagnosed with some form of skin cancer last year?
2. 1 in 5 Americans will get some form of skin cancer in their lifetime?
3. Melanoma kills more young women under the age of 35 than any other form of cancer?
4. 90% of skin cancers are caused by sun exposure, yet fewer than 33% of adults and children use sun protection regularly?
5. Each blistering sunburn doubles your chance of getting skin cancer?
6. While melanoma is uncommon in Latinos, Asians, and African Americans, it is most deadly for these people (Bob Marley died of melanoma.)?
7. UV Rays can pass through clouds...Yes, you can burn on a cloudy day.
8. One American DIES of melanoma almost every hour (every 61 minutes)?
(info from, , skin cancer foundation)

What can you do to help prevent skin cancer?


There is much confusion about sun care products...what is SPF? what does "Complete" and "Broad Spectrum" mean? do these products REALLY last 8 hours? do we reapply? do we use sun care only when we are outside for a long time? what about tanning beds...are they safe?

SPF - means SUN PROTECTION FACTOR - Factor is a math term....IF you burn in 10 minutes without using sunscreen, then using an SPF 30 (10 minutes x 30) will allow you to be in the sun for 300 minutes (5 hours) before you burn. Of course, there are other factors which many affect the time a sun product works (water, sweat, rubbing off, medicines). Be sure to use a "shot glass" of sunscreen for each application.

Do some products really last 8 hours?
Again, your skin type determines how long you can be in the sun. Also some products are not waterproof or sweat-proof. They wash off and must be reapplied. If you are just going in and out...not sweating, swimming, etc., you should be fine with most products. However, if you are swimming, golfing, etc., look for a product that addresses this. FOR MOST PRODUCTS, REAPPLY EVERY 2 hours. (I use a product that truly works long term...up to 8 hours. It completely penetrates and works from the inside out. I have not burned since I began using this product 6 years ago...and I still lightly tan.)

suncare shields the skin from UVA I and II and UVB. UVA I rays are the most damaging rays...leading to skin damage, skin cancer and premature aging. .

protects the skin from UVA II and UVB.

You CAN get a sunburn through the windows of your car! (My sister has had 30+ suspicious spots and squamous cells removed from her "driving" arm and her left cheek.)

Should we use tanning beds?


Australia has the strictest guidelines for sun protection. They are much stronger than those in the U.S. For the 4th year, the Australian government has a campaign ( to promote skin protection and skin cancer awareness.
The five basic rules of protection are:

Wear a hat.
Wear a shirt.
ALWAYS wear sunscreen
Wear sunglasses.
Stay in the shade.

(check for free skin cancer screenings near you. (American Academy of Dermatology)

Take care of your skin...and protect your family!!!


ps: Check out Maya's fabulous giveaway! It's a "completely coastal" print by one of my favorite coastal artists...from Outer Banks Trading Co. Go to to see for yourself...

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

This is what happens...

Here I sit in a hotel room in Orlando...using my husband's computer when he's not needing it. That means LATE AT NIGHT...and a touch pad instead of a mouse...and a small keyboard...and I cannot see the screen with or without my glasses/contacts. (It takes some getting used to!) So I made last night's post...and this morning, I realized that I spelled Janey's (jmac @ incorrectly. I do apologize, Janey. I typed MY spelling instead of yours, That's what we get for having such similar names.

I am so happy that you won...and that you are excited about having one of my paintings.
Your painting will be mailed on Friday.....

Thanks to all of you who participated in my giveaway...and THANK YOU for all your support and encouragement.

Many big hugs to all of you.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

And the Winner is...

The name has been drawn...

Here I sit in my hotel room...MacDaddy trying to carry on a conversation, but he's clearly too tired to even lift his hand (loooooong day at the conference!) answer to my random number question, he chose.... JMAC at Constant Chatter of a Cruisin' Chick.

Congrats to Janie!!!
Please let me know which painting you would like...and email your address to me ( I will get this in the mail as soon as I return home at the end of the week...

Thursday, April 22, 2010

It's Been a Year! and a Give-Away

It's here...the anniversary of Artfully Graced, and the beginning of my new blog adventure. This has been a most enjoyable adventure filled with new ideas, new recipes, new crafts, and mini vacations to new places. But, best of all... this past year has been filled with new friendships.

Meeting all of you has been such a joy! I have learned so much from all of you...and shared laughter, prayers, and tears. I even had help with my Christmas shopping (thanks to JMac!)! The encouragement I have received for my new artsy endeavor has been overwhelming. All of you have kept me going... even when the imagination has been sluggish. And so many of the photos you have shared have been inspiring! (Becky (Beachsnaps)...the "wheelbarrow with coconut postcards" is now gracing the wall in my breakfast room! And the coconuts at Sharkey's is sketched, waiting for paint.) This blogging thing has been so much more that I ever dreamed it would be!

So, to celebrate...I am giving away one of my original coastal (hey, summer is almost here!) paintings. Since I cannot decide which painting to use...I will give the winner a choice between "Creeping Crabs" and "Beach Huts". Each of these painting have been done on gallery wrapped canvasses and can be hung as is.

There are two chances to win:
1. Leave me a comment on my blog.
2. Tell others about this give-away by posting it on your blog.

Just be sure to tell me about it...
I will draw the name of the lucky winner Monday, April 26.

Thanks for following me in this crazy adventure....


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Artie is having a giveaway...

Hey everyone... Check out Artie's blog: . He's got a new fabulous lighting source...tons of lighting solutions at FABULOUS prices. And he has a giveaway from this lighting company: .
Who might be a winner. Oh WAIT! I want to win!!!


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Dandelions by Five Iron Frenzy

Simone at Beach Vintage has just posted some beautiful photos of her daughter, picking bright yellow dandelions to present to her mom. These images brought to mind a song by Five Iron Frenzy... a fabulous band my sons used to listen to all through high school and well into college. Whenever I hear this song, I have a visual image of all three of my tow-headed boys bringing me tiny yellow dandelions. "Music Guy" (MG), my middle son, is friends with many of the members of the now retired group. During one of their farewell concerts, MG called me so I could listen to this song over his cell phone. It was dedicated to me! For Christmas, that same year, he printed and framed the words to this song (my favorite) as my Christmas gift. It is one of my most treasured possessions.

In a field of yellow flowers, underneath the sun,
bluest eyes that spark with lightning, boy with shoes undone.
He is young, so full of hope, reveling in tiny dreams,
filling up, his arms with flowers,

right for giving any queen.

Running to her beaming bright,
while cradling his prize.
A flickering of yellow light,
within his mother's eyes.
She holds them to her heart,
keeping them where they'll be safe,
clasped within her very marrow,

dandelions in a vase.

She sees love, where anyone else would see weeds.
all hope is found.

Here is everything he needs.

Fathomless your endless mercy,

weight I could not lift.

Where do I fit in this puzzle,
what good are these gifts?
Not a martyr, or a saint,

scarcely can I struggle through.

All that I have ever wanted,
was to give my best to you.

Lord, search my heart,
create in me something clean.

you see flowers in these weeds.

Gently lifting hands to heaven,
softened by the sweetest hush,

a Father sings over his children,

loving them so very much.

More than words could warrant,

deeper than the darkest blue,
more than sacrifice could merit,
Lord, I give my heart to you.

Lord, search my heart,

create in me something clean.


you see flowers in these weeds.


Sunday, April 11, 2010


Don't you love when puppies discover something new?

Hannah discovered her reflection...

For a week, she continued to go to the mirrors in the living room...and the hall...and the bedrooms...and stared at her reflection. Occasionally, she barked, but soon seemed to realize that the doggy in the mirror wasn't going to play.

Do you remember when your children did this? Not the barking...when they discovered their reflections...

REFLECT on will bring a smile to your face!

Happy Sunday!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Edible Centerpiece

While looking for flowers at my local Fresh Market, I decided to use veggies for our Easter centerpiece...

1 LARGE basket...found at a garage sale for $1.00
1 head of romaine lettuce
1 bunch of spinach
1 bunch of radishes
1 bunch of carrots with green tops
2 bunches of green onions
1 yellow pepper
1 orange pepper
1 dozen hard-boiled eggs, dyed with onion skins and blueberries
1 sweet onion
Total cost..........$12.00

(Flowers - $21 minimum!)

1 BEAUTIFUL Centerpiece...and salad for the rest of the week! Add some bunnies, candles, candies, and dishes, and the setting is complete!

Dishes: Crate and Barrel (coral)
Placemats: Home Goods...actually dishtowels
Napkins: Dillards (about 10 years ago)
Egg cups: Crate and Barrel (turned upside down to hold Cadbury eggs)
Bunnies: Home Goods and TJ Maxx
Candlesticks: Steinmart
Candles: Home Goods
Candies: Cadbury Eggs and Reese's Peanut Butter bunnies
Veggies: The Fresh Market (cost less than half of buying flowers...and it's edible!)

Company... My sons, their ladies and the dogs.....PRICELESS!