Just a little bit about my art and life in general....

Monday, September 19, 2011

Winters in the air...

Or at least thats what the neighborhood squirrels are implying. The drive down to Boston on Saturday with the girls was a regular squirrel graveyard. Yuck.

Here are a few cute penguins ...

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

September blues

Peach and Grey

Another fall and summer over again. The girls are back at school and we are reluctantly dragging ourselves through the motions of the back to school activities. This means more driving for me though my oldest will be driving soon.

The girls will be back at NEC and I will be making the trip into Boston twice on Saturdays now. It should be crazy. It will be. I'm dreading it. But I love the music.

I just got through the torture of a sleep study. Yes it was torture for me with my claustraphobic feelings. Of course it looks like I do have sleep apnea so I will be having the added torture of drowning in that air face mask. Its so difficult calming that absolute panic of sufficating with it even though that seems odd because its blowing air. But I feel like I'm diving into a tiny pool of water when I put that mask on. I suppose I will enjoy more sleep though so I am determined to give it a try.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

May around the corner ...

I'm usually so excited as the spring continues to unfold. The flowers start adding color to the drab left-overs of winter and the brown grass turns miraculously greener. The trees promising buds of green are suddenly leaves and the world is transformed. But I find this all a little bittersweet without Mark here to share them with. I'm not immune to it though. Those perky daffodils and tiny blue flowers are a little too pretty not to make me smile just a little.

Like every year at this time I've been trying to find a day I can have a bonfire and burn some of the brush. I have the burn permit from the town which expires at the end of April. But the days and weather don't cooperate much. Either too much wind, too much rain, or I'm just busy. We had a lot of prickly brush piled up from all the help from friends last fall when Mark was sick. I managed a small fire yesterday but had to get it out rather quickly so I could leave the house on an errand.

Life has been pretty busy with the girls activities. Both the high school and middle school bands won gold in the MICCA competitions which was exciting. May and the beginning of June promise to be more than busy with all the concerts and recital dates. NEC auditions are coming up too at the beginning of May.

I attended a stone carving class with Adam Paul Heller the second weekend in April down in RI. My idea was that I might learn enough to carve my husband's grave stone. We both have always loved the old slate stones in the graveyard up over the bridge and on a hill above our river. That is where Mark is buried now. The kids have memories of playing hide and seek up there and it was always our first stop on our walks along the old railway tracks.

The class was wonderful. We learned about stone and the carving tools and much about lettering as well. We each had our own work area and a piece of slate secured to an easel-like stand.

I admit it was frustrating at first but over time I was more satisfied with my work. Still it hardly compares with the skill of the masters of this art but it is a joy to be able to carve into something so permanent as stone.

My first practice stone. Letters chosen to practice straight lines, connecting lines, and then curves. Towards the end of the first day I got a little frustrated with the lettering and wanted to try a leaf.

The second day I worked a little more on my leaf and then started on a second stone. I decided to chose letters that meant something to me, hoping I might be a little more meticulous in my carving of them. I laid out the lettering for Mark's name on the slate tile half.

Adam was a wonderful teacher, very encouraging and patient. The other people attending the class were very interesting as well and made the weekend very enjoyable.

The girls were so impressed with my carving of Mark's name that we decided to put it up at the grave until I have his grave stone carved. So far I think I am going to order two matching stones in slate. Eventually one will be mine but if I order it now I can get it to match best. I'm busy trying to get some practice slate to practice my carving on. I don't expect that I'll be able to match the skill of a stone carving artist but I think the process of carving this is important to me.

A few photos from the class ...

Anyway we made a little garden shaped like a heart up on Mark's grave. Back in February and March we had collected loose stones around the grave site and made a heart shape around his photo marker. At the beginning of April the cemetery workers had regraded the area and added topsoil. Our stone heart was gone sadly. In April my mother had put a small planter of pansies in the ground there. Last week when I was picking off the old flowers I decided to toss them over the stone wall. Oddly enough I could see that all our stones we had collected had been tossed there. This was strangely disturbing so I got the kids to help collect the stones in a bucket and we arranged them again as a heart. On Friday I picked up a bunch of pretty plants (blue forget-me-nots, blue violas, wild bleeding heart, thyme, and jacobs ladder) to arrange within the heart. The carved stone we placed in the center. We brought the pansies of my moms back home. With all these rainy drizzly days the plants should fill in nicely. I love the moss that grows around the graveyard here.

The girls really enjoyed making the garden and planting the sweet plants. The youngest was really happy with the result and I was glad that we had done this. I'm not sure what the cemetery commission will say about this but certainly it should be ok for the year it will take me to carve the stone. Besides we are up there so often that we will keep it looking nice and well watered.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Happy Birthday darling, we miss you xoxoxoxo

Yes, today is the day that Mark would have turned 48. We all have had a melancholy week particularly me though. But it all comes down to simply just missing him terribly every second of my day. My youngest (just turned 10) wrote this song as a tribute to her daddy's birthday.

In My Sorrow

In my sorrow I will find that there's happiness inside of me.
In my sorrow I will find that love's always there.
In my sorrow I will find that love shall not keep me from my family, and
In my sorrow I will find that there's love to share.

In my grief I will find that happiness is like a flower,
Always blooming in depths of my heart.
In my grief I will find that love will embrace me,
When you're here and when you're gone, forever.

In death I will find that there's happiness in heaven.
In death I will find that your love is still here,
Always with me, never gone, our love still lives on.
In death I will learn not to shed a single tear.

In my love I will find that death can not part us,
Even though when you're not here I feel torn apart.
Torn to shreds, and broken down, my pieces never found.
In my dreams you will come and piece together my heart.

In happiness I will find that nothing can stop me,
From loving you for all of my life.
In happiness I will find that you still remember,
All the great times we have spent together.

In my life I will find that you're still watching over me,
Making sure that I take the right steps.
In my life I will find that you're still here beside me,
Guiding me through my life 'til the end.

Monday, February 21, 2011

A few things ...

I'm keeping busy getting through things day by day but feeling a bit lost. The girls are home on vacation this week. We enjoyed snow tubing on Monday and the MFA on Tuesday. The snow on Monday had me thinking back to the day of Mark's burial. I had fun while tubing but the rest of the day was tough. I can't say this is going to be easy in any way. Still trudging through paper work and probably will for a while yet.

I've got a several custom orders filling up my schedule for the spring. This should keep me busy a bit.

These lovely treasuries made on Etsy include some of my work.

'nature and birds!!' by hobilium

nature and birds!!

white iron love bir...

3 magnets with wild...

Bird Nest Pendant N...

Colored girl's ...

Vintage Harry M Pat...

Butterfly necklace

Ring bearer lily pa...

Migrating swallow s...

Little house living...

Personalized Chocol...

Peace Birdie Love I...

Amigurumi happy lit...

Blossfedia - Color ...

Linen 4 Sandwich Ba...

Chillin - Fine Art ...

Circuit Board Tie T...

Treasury tool is sponsored by Lazzia.com A/B image testing.


'flowers in spring and!' by hobilium


Leg Warmers Angel&#...

Romantic Country st...

SPRING SALE floweri...

Fuchsia Flower Dre...

linen and lace -sto...

Ring bearer dish an...

Pair of vintage glo...

Fairy Shoes Wall Ar...

Pale Pink Chrysanth...


4 pcs- Crocheted C...


Hand knitted, Braid...

Lucinda Bloom And B...


In A Dream - Fine A...

Treasury tool is sponsored by Lazzia.com A/B image testing.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


This is the winter of snow. Piling up on the roof top ... burying my backyard in a think blanket of white. Six foot berms of snow flank the driveway and front of the house making this more like a wintry fortress. Icicles like daggers turn to swords and lances as the day progresses guarding the house with icy teeth. Walkways are like skating rinks instead of safe paths.

Its been a difficult few days with all the busy-ness of the burial and service preparations finished and guests departed. I miss Mark so much and it seems to catch me off guard so much of the day and night. As his caretaker for the last year I am currently missing the simple things like holding his hand or just the smell of him when I rested my cheek near his. And I've realized that I'm not at all prepared emotionally for his physical departure from our home. As much as I knew what the outcome might be it still feels unreal. The memories and photos seem like pale imitations to having the real thing by your side and will never be enough. Even in his poor health and limited mobility he was such a joy to me. Yes there were difficult times but he was always generous in his love. Always giving me a sweet smile or sending me a text message when he could no longer talk.

We have been enjoying the sympathy cards and in particular the stories that friends and family have shared with us about their time with Mark. Thank you for sharing your memories with us.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

My best friend, husband, and love

Mark Kane Culotta, 47, of Townsend Massachusetts died at home, surrounded by his family, on Saturday, January 29, 2010.

Mark was born on March 12, 1963 in Detroit Michigan, the son of John and Lynn Culotta. He grew up in Plymouth, Michigan and graduated from Plymouth-Canton High School in 1981. He studied Electrical Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and was a member of Chi Phi Fraternity.

Mark moved to Townsend with his wife in 1989 and worked as a software engineer. Most recently, he worked for Acme Packet of Bedford, Massachusetts.

Mark was a member of the Townsend Congregational Church. He often played piano during worship service and led the children’s choir. Mark was a member of the music committee and was a past leader of the church’s stewardship campaign.

Mark loved music and played the violin in the Nashua Chamber Music Orchestra. He had many hobbies and interests, including art, beekeeping, maple sugaring, woodworking, gardening, reading and playing music with his children.

Mark leaves his father John Culotta, a Consulting Architect, and his mother, Lynn Rundell Culotta, who worked for many years as a bookkeeper in the payroll department of the Plymouth-Canton Community Schools.

Mark also leaves his wife of 23 years, Carrin (Passaro) Culotta and three daughters, Cailley A. Culotta, Emma X. Culotta and Isabelle R. Culotta, all of Townsend. Mark also leaves his brother Kent S. Culotta of Glendale, California and his maternal grandmother, Margaret S. Rundell who is 102 years old and lives in Chelsea, Michigan.

A graveside service will be held on Tuesday, February 1st at 11AM at the Riverside Cemetery in West Townsend. A memorial service will be held in celebration of Mark’s life on Thursday February 3rd at 5:30 PM at the Townsend Congregational Church, 3 Brookline Street, Townsend, Massachusetts. There will be a reception immediately following the memorial service in Fellowship Hall of the Townsend Congregational Church.

In lieu of flowers, a donation can be made to the Culotta children’s education fund. Checks should be made out to the Townsend Congregational Church with “in memory of Mark Culotta” written on the memo line.