Tag Archives: Mary

Our Lady of Everyone


Hello, Hello!  …it’s been a while since my last post. Lots going on here, my dad had back surgery on April 11 and then I had two back to back weekend art shows. And in between all of this my father has been sick. Mysteriously sick. Fever, chills, sweats, weakness, faint, and at one point being hospitalized for a few days. I have been hearing of several people who are mysteriously sick these days.  What is going on???  They never found out what was wrong with my father. Test after test after test. It was pretty scary at one point. They had to use a cooling blanket to get his temp down from 103.   On Sunday, Deacon Joe brought him Communion and Fr. Jack gave him sacrament of the sick.  It was beautiful and both times there was someone in the room observing – they wouldn’t leave.  It was like they had to see what we were doing…One was a doctor who said “We don’t get much religion in here.  That was nice.”  The other was an aid who was changing the bed very quietly as dad was being prayed over and anointed.  She did not say a word.

He had 3 rounds of strong antibiotics, got bad on Friday night and then he started to get better.  Everything was doubly distressing because we were at “THAT HOSPITAL.”  That hospital where my mom was.  I really do not like that place. Way too much history there.  There are only two good things I can say about that hospital…#1 They have a great gift shop and #2 their chicken salad sandwich is AWESOME!  Dad is home now.  Thank you Lord!  And hopefully will be regaining his strength and getting back to his normal self.  I am sick of that pit in my stomach feeling  that I always had with my mom.  Go away already!

My two art shows went very well. I just love doing them!!!  Even though they are very stressful before hand with preparations and set up, I truly get pure joy from being a part of these festivals.  I enjoy talking to the people that come into my booth, telling my story, seeing their eyes light up when they connect with one of my pieces or with the words. People just stand there and read the words.  Some tear up, some smile.  Some no reaction….but I know they are touched in some way.  One of the best things about the whole experience is hearing their stories.  One amazing woman stopped by Suwanee Art in the Park and bought my very first creation in print.  She told me her story.  She’s sick.  They don’t know what is wrong with her.  She’s disabled.  Her body is failing her. She reminded me of my mom.  She bought my “PEACE” print so she could look at it to calm her and take her fear away.  I cried.  I don’t think I will ever get used to people buying my artwork, giving them as gifts and displaying my creations in their homes.  This is such a surreal time in my life.  I am so humbled.

Suwanee Arts In Park 2

I have donated a giclee of my “I love you to the moon and back” piece.  Its to help the people in Moore, OK after this horrific tornado.  Check out the auction…lots of amazing stuff from some very talented artists!  So proud to be a part of it! Hurry!  Auction over Friday!  https://www.facebook.com/hopeforok

I have also finished my very first piece with a “face” on it!  A very simple face, but a face none the less.  I am pretty proud of her!  I stepped way out of my box for this one.  I think she looks very peaceful.  I call her “Our Lady of Everyone.”  She’s going to live at “Dynamic Catholic”, Matthew Kelly’s organization!  What a privilege and blessing to do a piece for Matthew.  He was the high bidder on my “I Love You To The Moon and Back” piece and instead of me giving money to his charity, he asked me to create a painting of Our Lady to hang at his Dynamic Catholic offices.  Pinch ME!!!

Our Lady of EveryoneUntil next time…Blessings,


TeaBags And Gardenias Sale


TeaBags And Gardenias Black Friday through Monday Sale:


Use coupon code “hohoho” for free shipping!


use “santa” for 25% off!

Happy shopping!

P.S. Please like us on Facebook!  CLICK ME!

A few things to chat about today…


FIRST and foremost..Catholic Peeps:  Happy Feast of the Assumption of Our Lady!!  Mary, mother of Mercy and Love, pray for us.  Hail Beautiful Mother Mary, assumed into heaven, pray for us!

SECONDWe have a winner!  I drew the name out of my Pink Braves hat this morning.  Here are some pictures of the very technical and serious process.  Jackson was standing guard to protect the drawing from any hanky panky or fixing!

Calling Sarah Blake!!!  You won Girl!  Please contact me with your shipping information!  This is what she did:  “added to etsy faves as oliveyou11”, “facebook fan”, “Following you with my google reader :) !”

Congratulations Sarah!  Thank you to all who entered, shared my facebook page, tweeted, instagrammed, followed, etc!  Means a lot to me!

Be on the lookout for my next giveaway!  Details coming soon!

THIRD…I have some very exciting news!  On a whim, I sent some pictures of my artwork to a wonderful lady named Frances who owns Splash Festivals.  And low and behold…I have been invited to display and sell my artwork at the Johns Creek Art Festival October 27th and 28th!  WOOOT!  Yep, you read it correctly!   I listened to that soft quiet voice and look what happened!  My first Art Show!  Happy 46th Birthday Weekend to me!  I am just stunned and so grateful!  PINCH ME!  Is this a dream???  Wish me luck and if you are in the area, please stop by my booth!

My prayer for you today is that you listen to that soft, quiet voice and take a step out of your box.  Do something crazy.  Do something you have always wanted to do.  Make it BIG.  Make it scary, make it exhilarating!  Make it something you are absolutely sure you will fail at, I BET YOU DON’T FAIL!  I bet you win!

Blessings, Michelle

Here’s the press release:

Contact: Frances Schube
Phone: 770-452-1727
Email: Rdemetrius72@aol.com

(Johns Creek, Georgia) June 27, 2012 – Ready, set and shop at the all-new Johns Creek Arts
Festival on the luscious and green Atlanta Athletic Club Fields directly across from the
prestigious club. The celebration of the arts will take place on October 27 and 28 on the
beautiful grounds that overlook Medlock Bridge Road. The City of Johns Creek is thrilled to
present this incredible event to their spirited citizens, neighbors and friends. The Johns Creek
Convention and Visitors Bureau is also a proud host of the new Festival, and they welcome
everyone to share in the fun festivities.

Splash Festivals, the producers of the award-winning Dunwoody Art Festival and Norcross Art
Fest, have been tapped to create the magical festival for the north-Fulton city. Splash is known
for its whimsical and colorful shows; and owners, Frances Schube and Cindy Flynn, look
forward to showcasing an incredible line-up of imaginative and creative artisans from around the
country. Shoppers can expect to find clay, folk art, glass, jewelry, fiber, metal, mixed media,
paintings, photography, woodwork and lots more. “We are so excited to be working with the
City of Johns Creek,” explains Flynn. “This wonderful area is the perfect venue for a great
festival, and the artisans that are invited can’t wait to show off their talents to the festival-goers.”

Arts on the Creek Inc. has agreed to co-host the event, and this non-profit group is happy to meet
and greet the artists, performers and community to this all-new festival.

In addition to the visual arts, Johns Creek Arts Festival will have continuous live entertainment
from local groups and organizations as well as a fantastic Saturday-night concert which will be
followed by fireworks that will light up the skies and make Johns Creek sparkle.

Of course, no great festival would be complete without an energizing Kidz Zone, yummy eats
and a few surprises. For Georgia/Florida fans, large screen televisions will be available at the
Food Pavilion for avid watchers to view the Big Game.

For more information on this exciting new festival, please visit
http://www.JohnsCreekArtsFestival.com. Also, stay tuned for more Arts Festival updates.

Weekend Sale at TeaBags And Gardenias – TWENTYFIVE


Because I’m super excited to announce that I’ve added some new prints to the shop, I’m having a 25% off sale!  Either click on the picture of the teacup and gardenia under “My Shop” to the right or CLICK HERE!

“All Are Welcome”

“Hail Holy Queen”

Enter TWENTYFIVE in the coupon code field upon check out and receive 25% off your entire order! Many, many thanks! Have a wonderful weekend!  P.S. Don’t forget about my giveaway!  See last two previous posts.

“The deepest secret is that life is not a process of discoveries, but a process of creation.  You are not discovering yourself, but creating yourself anew.  Seek, therefore, not to find out Who You Are, seek to determine Who You Want to Be.” – Neale Donald Walsch

Gratitude And Grace


Have you ever have one of those days where you feel like you just might bust?  I have been having several recently.  That feeling of extreme gratitude and happiness?  Where you can’t stop grinning and your adrenaline is making your heart leap with joy?  Its been such a long, long time since I’ve had that amazing feeling.  Long time.  I have felt like I was just existing, getting by and sorta zombie-ish for almost a year now.  Losing a parent can do that to you.  Losing anyone you love can throw you into a pit that you don’t feel you’ll ever escape from.  But, looking back, I can say it has been an journey that has been COVERED in God’s love and GRACE.

People have been asking me, “Have you always been an artist?”  (ha ha…artist.  Really?  LOL)  “How long have you been doing this?”  Well the answers are NO, absolutely not! And…only 2 months.  I have always been extremely jealous of anyone crafty and artsy.  My brothers can draw really well, my uncle Dale is an artist, my uncle Paul is an excellent photographer, my Gram is one of the most creative and crafty people I know.  My Aunt Mary Ann is crafty and does excellent needle work.  As a matter of fact, I think all the males on the Saxon side have the artsy gift. I did not get those genes.  I have tried to draw.  I even took a class in High School. I think it was “Drawing on the Right side of the brain” or was it LEFT side?  Anyhow…I sucked.  Bad.  I have always considered myself as a person with a “good eye” for things.  (decorating, buying clothes)  I read, I can write a bit and I can cook.  Oh and I can put on makeup well!  LOL!  But other than those things, that’s about it.  I don’t knit, crochet, draw, paint, make things out of nothing.  I just don’t have the gift. As a matter of fact, I didn’t have the patience for any of it.

BUT what I do have is the ability to learn.  To research.  To dream and to listen to what I’m supposed to do.  This journey began quite honestly on Pinterest.  I saw a pin of a “SMASH*book.”  I really loved the idea of not having to be precise, neat and artistic to do a SMASH*book.  So, like all things, once I decided to try it, I went full force, diving into the world of SMASHING.  I loved it!  I started a remembrance book for my mom.  It was healing.  I started a book for myself, I started collecting postcards for another book.  I decided to join a facebook group called “SMASH*aholics.”  I learned so much!  Then one day, a girl posted that video of an artist named Gabby teaching how to create a “She Art” canvas.  I watched.  I said OMG!  I can do this.  See my blog about it here!  And the rest is history.

While I don’t really consider myself an “artist” (that sounds so strange and a title that is hard for me to accept. Also it is a tad bit presumptuous.) I am really having some wonderful things happen in that world.  My work is consigned in our church’s bookstore and people have really given great response and support!  I also have at least 10 commissioned pieces to create and I am on the verge of having some wonderful support and promotion by someone who’s pretty “big” in the Catholic World.  Once it is a “done deal” I will fill you in!!

My friend Cheri recently “reinvented” herself.  She went to school and now has a totally and completely new career that she worked hard for.  I was jealous of her.  I wanted to re-invent myself too.  Not that I’m unhappy with my career.  I am not.  I love what I do.  I just wanted to do something at 45 that was totally out of character for me, something that I have always wanted to do.  This is it!

Some may think I’m being overly spiritual.  But you know me.   I could care less.  I know my mom has made this happen for me up in heaven.  I know she is my intercessor and has really looked out for me – God has made me a new person.  The Holy Spirit is definitely involved and so is my Mother Mary and my Saints!  Its too surreal to be anything less.

Remember my giveaway happening now.  (previous post)  Join in if you haven’t already!  Someone’s gotta win!  Why not you?

With Gratitude and Grace,


They say that out of pain and heartache come growth and grace. I am living proof of that. I lost my precious mother on August 29, 2011. Out of that tremendous loss I have found an unmatched amount of grace and a brand new artistic me. 
The name “TeaBags And Gardenias” is in tribute to my precious mother Kathleen Saxon.  
My mom loved hot tea. She took sugar and milk. She also would say “tough teabags!” instead of a curse word! The gardenia is a special flower to us. We loved the smell and the perfection of it. I took a gardenia from one of our bushes to the hospital to try and “smell” her back to us. Needless to say, it didn’t work.
“She missed her mother. She mourned her mother with every fiber of her being. She took the pain and turned it into beauty. She tapped into a new love to dull that pain. She paints from her heart in tribute to her mom. She knows her mother guides her hands.  Her mom would be so very proud.”

Our Lady of Lourdes Novena Starts Today!


Today we will begin our Novena to Our Lady of Lourdes. (9 Days of petitioning prayer) Mom and I have great devotion to her and to St. Bernadette. My friend Lynn sent me some holy water from Lourdes that we use every night to bless ourselves with.  The intentions for this novena are for continued healing and good health for my mom, dad, brothers and some special friends I’ve met online at  The Road Back message boards.  I invite you to join us!

Our Lady of Lourdes is the name used to refer to the Marian apparition that appeared before various individuals in separate occasions around Lourdes, France. The apparitions of Our Lady of Lourdes began on 11 February 1858, when Saint Bernadette Soubirous, a 14-year-old peasant girl from Lourdes admitted, when questioned by her mother, that she had seen a “lady” in the cave of Massabielle, about a mile from the town, while she was gathering firewood with her sister and a friend. Similar appearances of the “lady” took place on seventeen further occasions that year. Bernadette Soubirous was canonized as a saint, and many Christians believe her apparitions to have been of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Pope Pius IX authorized the local bishop to permit the veneration of the Virgin Mary in Lourdes in 1862.

Here is some information on Lourdes, St. Bernadette and Our Lady.

Our Lady of Lourdes
Novena Dates February 2-10, Feast Day February 11

O ever Immaculate Virgin, Mother of Mercy, Health of the Sick, Refuge of Sinners, Comfort to the Afflicted, you know my wants, my troubles, my sufferings. Deign to cast upon me a look of mercy. By appearing in the Grotto of Lourdes, you were pleased to make it a privileged sanctuary, whence you dispense your favors; and already many sufferers have obtained the cure of their infirmities, both spiritual and corporal.

I come, therefore, with the most unbounded confidence to implore your maternal intercession. Obtain, O loving Mother, the granting of my requests.

Through gratitude for favors, I will endeavor to imitate your virtues that I may one day share your glory.

Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us. Amen.
(Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be.)

“Go Fish” Friday: My 4-Way and St. Michael Medals


It seems as if everywhere I go, people always compliment me on my necklace. Some know what it is and others don’t. Its always a topic of conversation at the grocery store checkout, at a restaurant, at the hair salon, anywhere I am face to face with someone, they always notice my Medals and either say they are pretty or ask what they are. Maybe its because they’re big (I don’t do dainty! LOL!) and maybe because people are just drawn to them. I wear a 4-Way medal and then a separate Saint Michael Medal on the same chain. Saint Michael is my patron saint. I can’t tell you how long I’ve worn them, but it’s been many, many years. Anytime you see a picture of me, I have them on. I do not take them off. Do I think they are lucky charms? NO. Do I think that if I take them off something bad will happen? NO. You know me better than that by now.

The Four Way Medal is also known as a Cruciform, and also a Scapular Medal.  It takes the latter name from the medal at the top. Traditionally, the Scapular Medal features the Sacred Heart of Jesus on one side and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel on the other side.

A 4-Way Medal is a combination of 4 popular Catholic medals – it includes The Scared Heart medal (top), Saint Joseph medal (right), a Miraculous Medal (bottom) and a Saint Christopher medal (left). Mine also includes a dove in the middle signifying the Holy Spirit.

SACRED HEART MEDAL: Also known as “Sacred Heart of Jesus” this medal signifies one of the most popular Catholic devotions to Jesus’ physical heart. His undying love for you and for me, and the suffering heart of Christ. Many people have a devotion to the Sacred Heart. You see a lot of artwork depicting Jesus’ Sacred Heart. You can read more about it here.

Below is a picture of the Sacred Heart of Jesus that I have hanging in my home.  “Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in YOU!”

SAINT JOSEPH MEDAL: Of course, everyone knows who Saint Joseph is…he was Our Lady’s husband. He was Jesus’ “foster” father or His “earthly” father. Saint Joseph is the patron saint of workers. Many in my family have been named after Saint Joseph and we have great devotion to him. My paternal Grandfather, Father and one of my brothers were all named after Saint Joseph. I have cousins named after him and also many have Joseph as their middle names in my family. My Grandmother started to paint, cast and teach ceramics after my 50 year old Grandpa died. One of my memories was always seeing a ceramic caroler figurine that she brought out at Christmas time.  She painted this figurine. In the little bitty songbook that the woman was holding, my Gram wrote “Oh Joseph Dear, Oh Joseph Mine” – at that time she was mourning her Joseph, just as Mary mourned for her Joseph way back when.  “Joseph Dear, Oh Joseph Mine” is also called “Song of the Crib” by Josef Lieber. Mannheim Steamroller has popularized this song. Saint Joseph is very special to our family.

You can read more about Saint Joseph here.

THE MIRACULOUS MEDAL: The Miraculous medal is also known as the “Medal of the Immaculate Conception.” It was designed by Our Lady herself.

TAKEN FROM: The Association of the Miraculous Medal

The Meaning of the Front Side of the Miraculous Medal:
Mary is standing upon a globe, crushing the head of a serpent beneath her foot. She stands upon the globe, as the Queen of Heaven and Earth. Her feet crush the serpent to proclaim Satan and all his followers are helpless before her (Gn 3:15). The year of 1830 on the Miraculous Medal is the year the Blessed Mother gave the design of the Miraculous Medal to Saint Catherine Labouré. The reference to Mary conceived without sin supports the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of Mary—not to be confused with the virgin birth of Jesus, and referring to Mary’s sinlessness, “full of grace” and “blessed among women” (Luke 1:28)—that was proclaimed 24 years later in 1854.

The Meaning of the Back Side of the Miraculous Medal
The twelve stars can refer to the Apostles, who represent the entire Church as it surrounds Mary. They also recall the vision of Saint John, writer of the Book of Revelation (12:1), in which “a great sign appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of 12 stars.” The cross can symbolize Christ and our redemption, with the bar under the cross a sign of the earth. The “M” stands for Mary, and the interleaving of her initial and the cross shows Mary’s close involvement with Jesus and our world. In this we see Mary’s part in our salvation and her role as mother of the Church. The two hearts represent the love of Jesus and Mary for us. (See also Lk 2:35).

SAINT CHRISTOPHER MEDAL: St. Christopher is the patron saint of travelers. Not much is known about him. Christopher means “Christ-bearer” – his original name was Offero. He was martyred in c251.
More on St. Christopher can be found here.

One day he carried a small child across the stream; the child’s weight nearly crushed him. When they arrived on the other side, the child revealed himself as Christ, and he was so heavy because he bore the weight of the world on himself. He then baptized Offero with water from the stream. Christopher’s service at the stream led to his patronage of things related to travel and travelers, people who carry things, etc. One of the Fourteen Holy Helpers.

What is on the back of the 4-Way medal?

The back top has the rest of the Sacred Heart Medal which is Our Lady of Mount Carmel – Creating the Scapular part of the medal. Our Lady of Mount Carmel also has huge significance in our family. That was our family’s parish…the parish my father and his brothers and sister were raised in. My Grandpa sang the “Ave Maria” in that church. He was buried from that church. Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Niles, Ohio is also where I was baptized. We have fond memories of the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel – The “festival” at that church was a weekend of rides, games, sausage and pepper sandwiches, smelts, cheese puffs and french fries with vinegar. It was something we looked forward to every summer. The feast day is the 16th of July. I have an “Infant of Prague” statue in my bedroom that my maternal Grandmother won at that festival. I took that Infant when she passed away. It is one of my most cherished possessions. Look for a blog on “The Infant of Prague” coming soon!

Also on the back of the 4-Way is the back of the Miraculous Medal which I explained above.

In the middle are the words: “I am a Catholic, in case of an accident, please call a priest.” Obviously in case of emergency or accident a Catholic would want their priest. They would administer the Sacrament of the Sick or in case of possible death, Last Rites.

Now on to Saint Michael…Saint Michael is an Archangel.  In Hebrew the name Michael means “He who is like God.” Michael is described as the prince of light, leading forces of God against the darkness of evil. He is described as the “viceroy of heaven”.

Prayer of St. Michael: St. Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle.  Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the Devil.  My God rebuke him we humbly pray; and do Thou O Prince of the Heavenly Hosts, by the power of GOD cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits that prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.  AMEN!

Until next time, as always…”Go Fish!”