Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Count your Blessings

How many times a day do you say thank you?

Do you wake up in the morning and thank God for being gifted another day to be your best?

Do you say thank you for the roof over your head, the hot water, the ice cubes in the freezer?

Now, how often do you tell your husband, child, parent, friend...thank you for your love, your presence, your willingness to listen...?

Call someone right now and tell them "thank you" for being such a wonderful blessing in your life. Let them hear your voice. That is what I am doing right now.

Thank you, all my readers, for listening and being there...


Wednesday, March 9, 2011


from - Courage to Change-

Today's Reminder
   Today I will remember that uncertainty was not a fault, but an opportunity.  Everthing I did and everything that crossed my path - people, situations, ideas-all had the potential to contribute to my growth and understanding.  Just for today, I didn't have to know what that contribution would be.
   "There lives more faith in honest doubt,
    Believe me, than in half the creed."
                                                   - Alfred, Lord Tennyson

We all have days we doubt all that we do, or what we are about, or any other doubts you can think of.

Today was one of those days for me.  After several wonderful days of progress, both personal & artistic, I second guessed everything I was doing....boy, am I glad it is the end of the day!

Tomorrow will bring us all new gifts, new opportunities, new friends....and many wonderful surprises.

Thanks to all of you....and wishing you a day filled with sunshine and happiness.

Cook Islands sunrise (Our 25th Anniversary)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Here or There

Good Morning-

What shall my blog be?   Blogspot here or the blog on my website, http://www.eksldesigns.com/?  Which is easier for you?  I will start by doing all my new posts at http://www.eksldesigns.com/.  Please let me know what you think!


Friday, January 7, 2011



Help!  I need help!  I can't do it all by myself!!!  These are the most difficult words for me to say. 

How many of us try to do it all?  By controlling it all, we think we can keep a handle on it.  Well I am here to say, I can't do it all anymore.  Are you with me?!
So where do you need help?  I invite you to share so we can find some answers together!
Here are some of my realizations.  I am going to try to stay very positive with these.  Most of them have to do with my EKSL Designs business.
  • I want to continue to maintain a web presence but at a much lower cost.  I am setting up a new website that is for browsing. 
    The new site will be much more interactive.  The up side - I have already made a dent in the learning curve and learned lots about setups while building my ecommerce site.  I also have most of the JPG files set up and many of my descriptions done already.
  • I am looking to create an income from my artwork.  This means I must to bring in more than I spend. The RV is filled with lots of materials, tools and resource books. I did do a lot of downsizing on internet costs this past year.  I have learned how to create line sheets for my product lines, thanks to http://www.themogulmom.com/ .  I have started hoofing it and promoting my products to smaller specialty shops.  I had some success with my Winter Line at the shops in MN.  Now to get out there and promote my Spring 211 Line sheets - CT here I come!
  • Learn to meet industry trends.  I have joined a site that tracks trends
  • Find out exactly what my client base is looking for.  Not quite sure how to do this.  I know there are questionaires etc out there.  Your ideas & suggestions would be very helpful.
  • Become a better marketer of myself and my product.  Now I did find a package that is offered by The Mogul Mom that I will purchase as soon as I bring in some additional income.  In the meantime I will continue to explore the different avenues available to me.
  • Make better use of my time.  That also means taking care of my health, exercising, eating right, getting enough sleep and taking time to "smell the roses"!!!
  • Create more time for my hubby and I to do things together.
  • Spsend more time with my family & friends.
  • Enter my artwork in shows, write articles about papercutting, put myself & my artwork out into the community, write a press release.
  • Find a business mentor to expand my knowledge and get & keep me on track for success.
Ok, so here it goes.  I am ready to grab the bull by the horns, reach to greater heights, find my pie in the sky,  and make my mark in 2011!

You can too!!!

Pikes Peak - Photo by ellen kS lengel

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A New Year filled with Hope & Opportunity!

Happy New Year!!!

Wishing each and every one of you a year filled with-
  • health & happiness,
  • few financial worries,
  • abundance in your life & ventures,
  • new friends & more time with best friends,
  • new opportunities,
  • a lack of fear in all you do,
  • and throw that give-a-shit factor out the window and go for it!!!
Life has been good this past year.  Tho there were only less than 5 months of work for my hubby, we were able to accomplish many things that have been on the back burner. 
Our daughter became engaged to a wonderful young man.
Our son & his wife brought a beautiful baby girl into our lives making us first time grandparents...what a wonderful word.

Me and Gemma
We made new friends in MN.  I found outlets for my artwork.
Saw old friends in CT & made new friends.

Now it is time for a new adventure.  I wonder where Jim's job will take us this time...only time will tell!

I am making some more changes in my life.  My ecommerce website has not paid for itself since I set it up, so I am downsizing to a "large" regular website.  This is very exciting!  It is much less expensive & less time consuming,  which will leave me more time for designing, cutting & marketing...yayay!

My new website also offers a blog, so I am going to check it out and either link it with this one, or make it my one and only.  Promise to keep you posted.

So the next 10 days I will be very busy building my new website, marketing my spring line, and making life work ....

Wishing you happy days ahead!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Have a very Merry Christmas!!!

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas.
Wishing you:
      safe travel
      health & happiness
      a lovely time with family & friends.

Will catch up with you after the holiday.

Sweet dreams and sunshiny days!!!


Monday, December 20, 2010

And the Winner is.....

Lynne Robinson from MA Congratulations!!!

You have won the card & a snowflake frame print.

Thank you everyone who entered.

The original mystery cutting is a white papercut snowflake frame mounted on textured blue paper. It is cut from white Japanese text paper with scissors and a craft knite.  It fits in an 8" x 10" frame.

Lynne, your print of the original will fit into an 8" x 10" frame and holds a 5"x 7" photo. 

The puppies in the frame are the 3 Lengel Border Terriers in 2007 - Tobey, Hudson & Harper.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Snowflake Teaser! Win a Christmas Snowflake Card!

Just a teaser....can you guess what this will be?
Post your guesses by Sunday night midnight EST & I will post the winner Monday morning & send out the card as soon as I have your address.

OK, OK...I will up the ante....you will also get an 8" x 10" print of the mystery piece...it is something you will absolutely love and bring out every year when you decorate for Christmas.

So........sign up as a Follower and post your Comment as to what this piece might be when it is finished. 

If you guess it you will win a snowflake wreath Holiday card!

Win this card today!

Friday, December 17, 2010

This Morning

Good Morning!

Good Morning Sunshine and blue skies...staring at me while I write this and chasing the sleepies away.

When Jim got home in the wee hours of the morning after work, the house was 45 degrees...the furnace had gone out...good thing he was able to get it started and warmed up pretty quickly.

Yesterday was a nesting day for me.  Made a pot of chicken & dumplings, worked on some cuttings, and did laundry...it was a good day.  What are your plans for the day?

My Snowflake Ornament

One of my FB friends is a cutter also and she was listing all the things she was busy doing for the next few days....tho she inspired me to newer heights, I realized that I have slowed down.  Slowing down really is an enjoyable thing. 
  • I enjoy the ablility to just be in the moment. 
  • Talking with family & friends on the cell phone and enjoying their company is treasured.
  • Thanking God for all the gifts and blessings of the moment & day.
  • Taking my time with projects and not rushing, rushing, rushing.
  • Simplifying!!!

I also got a phone call from one of my distributors....she needed more of my Kitties in the Hollyhocks prints....yayayay!   Am packaging and mailing them this morning to the Apropos shop in Red Wing, MN.  Thank you Cecily & her customer.  If you are in Red Wing please check out her lovely shop...she is a sweetheart, tell her I sent you, she has beautiful antiques reasonably priced and she supports women artists by carrying their work! 

Kitties Hiding in the Hollyhocks

Do you want to learn how to be a papercutter?
Are you a papercutter?
How can I help you and what suggestions do you have for me for my work and blog?

Have a Happy Sunshiny day!!!


Just a reminder....all artwork on this site is copyrighted by me.  If you are interested in anything, please let me know and I am sure we can work something out.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Traditions

Traditions transcend all the gobbledygook and insanity of the holidays.
Traditions create memories and set the mood for what Christmas is all about.
Family!!!  Friends!!!  Christ's birth!!!
Who will you be spending the holidays with? 
Share a tradition.  Maybe it is a new one that you want to create.  Or maybe it is something that has been passed down through your family.  What will you be doing?....baking special cookies, stringing popcorn, listening to Christmas music, working at the local shelter, donating food or gifts to others, spending time with family, decorating your home, cocooning & spending time with loved ones....please share.

This is our tree several years ago.  It is 4.5', has 700 white lights, and ornaments
 too numerous to count that have been collected over the years. 
Popcorn, angels, handmade ornaments by my children & parents adorn our tree.
If you have seen my Curly Q Christmas cards, the ornaments are drawn from the ones on our tree.

This year our new grandaughter Gemma will become the newest "Lengel/Johnson/Shimwell" to be initiated into our family traditions.  Her mom and dad will be creating their new traditions and continuing traditions that they have grown up with.  It will be fun to watch.

Have a day filled with sunshines & share a smile with a stranger!


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Counting Our Blessings

This has been a very interesting year for me.  We have moved 6 times.  There were 7 months of no work.  I had a major breakthru with my artwork in Colorado,  met 5 wonderful new friends in MN this spring.  We spent 4 months cleaning, purging, doing yard work, fixing the RV; cleaning the RV and had great times with family and friends in between.
We went back to MN this fall, caught back up with friends from the spring and made some new friends.  My artwork was accepted at 5 stores MN.  Started 2 new projects for the Le Duc Mansion in Hastings, http://www.dakotahistory.org/LeDuc/home.asp .

Blessings count - I think that is at least 59 so far and I know there were plenty more that I haven't listed...good health, sunshine, love & hugs, hot water, a roof over my head, good food to eat...

So I guess I am reminding you all & myself....to count our blessings every day.  Find a few moments or more during your day to remember and give thanks for all the wonderful things around you, within you, going out from you, and coming to you...they far outnumber the "bad things".

Ok....so what kind of projects are you working on for the holiday?  Tell me tell me, I would love for you to share your special gifts of creativity...sorry no pics from you, just speak from your heart about your artistic passion....ie baking, writing, sewing, decorating, music, caregiving...

Oh my...I promised I would show you some things I have been working on....
We had a very sad day before Thanksgiving when my son's dog of 4 years had to be put to sleep....many tears later I channeled my sadness into a special cutting in memory of "Hudson".
Enjoy the pic.  I know you will honor that this is a copyright piece of EKSL Designs and not to be used without consent.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Better Today

Good Morning All!

Yesterday was a grand funk day that ended well.  Hahahaha...my poor hubby didn't know what to do with me.

Discovered a Jr HS friend was still living up this way.  Found him on LinkedIn and low & behold he called me last night...made my day...we are going to catch up after the first of the year.

Today I have been working on my head and remembering I am in control of my life...yes me, not anyone else is responsible for my happiness....so today I will revamp my Christmas present ideas and put them more into perspective and doableness (love making up my own words).

Laying out one project and setting up another one.  Will let you know how they turn out...yes it is cutting of course.

Had fun checking online for a good art supply store.  Am going to try to go to Hull's Art Supply this week in New Haven.  http://www.hullsnewhaven.com/index.htm

There is an awesome art group in Guilford - The Guilford Art Center http://www.guilfordartcenter.org/...I am going to join and submit for a show there. (Oh my...I am really getting brave)  There is a papercutter here too, Martha Link Walsh & she has a gallery in Branford, CT.  http://www.marthalinkwalsh.com/index.html  can't wait to check out her shop.  Her work is greatly varied and wonderful.

Well time to get back to the dishes, and finish laying out my projects so I can get started cutting.

Wishing everyone a day filled with Blessings.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Where I Am in Life Right Now

Hello Out there!

I am going to try again to blog the Cutting Times!

This past year has been a crazy one.  We have been on a journey of discovery.

We left our hearts in Colorado this spring.  The truck broke down in Denver, we had an RV flat before Fort Morgan, and ended up in a spring snowstorm.  Someone upstairs was slowing us down and we decided that we, the truck & the RV did not want to leave...hahahaha.  Well God works in mysterious ways.

Spent a couple of months in MN & met some wonderful new friends...Gisel, Pat, Wanda...etc
Tobey had lots of fun with some new doggie friends.
Then off to home for a very long 4 months.  Jim did lots of work on the RV, we both purged in the house, and tended the jungle outside, and painted the fence & deck.  It was a very busy time & much needed.  The best part was we got to see family & friends!

Then back to MN for a short stint & visited some of our new friends from the spring.

I finally got my line sheets together and placed prints & cards in 5 stores in MN. 
Artist's Mercantile  St. Paul, MN  http://www.artistmerc.com/
Hobgoblin in Red Wing & Blaine, MN  http://www.stoneyend.com/
Apropos Home in Red Wing, MN   311 Bush Street
Jewelry & More  in Apple Valley, MN

To top everything off, our daughter got engaged in June and we are looking forward to a wedding in 2011  and our son & his wife had a baby girl this fall!

We are grandparents for the first time and is is wonderful!

So Merry Christmas to everyone and a Spectactular New Year!