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  • A weed is no more than a flower in disguise.
  • Life, Love, and Critters – of course!

    Lee National Denim Day


    For the most part here in my world, I enjoy giving things away. From custom portraits, desktop wallpapers to Lee Jeans, I enjoy giving away free stuff. I know, I’m an odd duck – I can live with that.

    Now, though, is a time where I am going to ask for something from you. It’s not much, just a little something, because it’s a special cause, because it’s a personal cause for so many of us, because every little bit, every single person who reaches out – it means something to so many.

    Lee National Denim Day takes place tomorrow, Friday October 2nd. It is a day to wear jeans, to wear pink and – if you could spare $5, to donate – just a little bit – toward the fight against breast cancer. Your $5 donation will go to the Women’s Cancer Programs of EIF to support the fight against breast cancer. I invite you to join my team and make a donation!

    Lee National Denim Day
    Donate $5 today to my team, and
    help me reach 100 people!
    Thank you!
    Thanks to everyone for participating!

    Some Words from Your Sponsor


    Question mark cucumber Well, hello there!

    It’s been quite some time since I’ve updated my blog with a “regular”, non-giving-something-away, real honest to goodness words from my own mouth kind’a post. So here it is!

    This summer has flown right by. Once I put my garden in the ground, things picked up. I’ve signed back on with EWebscapes as a freelance designer so I’ve got a few projects going on there, a few on my own – and then toss in a weekly giveaway, children at home and bored, a husband who is on active duty with guys overseas, a complete gutting & revamping of my studio space, a couple of road trips, tons and tons of PICKLES, planting an insane amount of daylilies at our Church and OH YEAH, I can’t forget about Facebook!!

    And that about sums it up.

    You’d think that with all of this, I’d have lost a few pounds this summer right? Wrong. Add that to my pile of “things that frustrate me to no end.” I wait, for school to start – and I hope that things become “normal” again. What, pray tell, is normal to me?? Will I even recognize it? I wonder.

    Today, I decided to stop for a few minutes. To give you a glimmer of hope that some day, I will write again, I will write more often. As my time over the summer is so short, I am finding that the little space that Facebook provides for status updates is just enough to keep my creative spark alive, and it makes me anticipate the time I will be able to sit down and craft a fun and creative story to share.

    My weekly custom portrait giveaways are also giving me exactly what I need each week to stay creative as well. It is not a large investment of time, and I still feel very committed to it – 34 weeks in and I still enjoy it, giving that piece of time to someone each week is extremely fulfilling to me, and so I shall push on through the end of the year!

    I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your support through the years and especially during “dry” spells, where stories are sparse and my weekly drawing is your only eye candy until the next week. I cherish your comments and e-mails and, well, thank you. So much. Because I know you’re busy too, and that you understand but don’t forget. I love you for that.

    On with the day now – and don’t forget, it IS Friday, and this week’s custom portrait giveaway will close at around 5pm tonight!

    p.s. Like my veggies? They are so sarcastic this year.

    Lee Slender Secret Jean Winners…


    I’ve just drawn ten random numbers from all entries using this random number generator.

    Here are the numbers/winners of these awesome Lee Jeans!!

    68 : Oz-Girl
    93 : Tawnya
    10 : MJ
    97 : Andi
    67 : CC in WI
    2 : Megan
    43 : Lisa’s Chaos
    113 : Grace @ Sandier Pastures
    50 : Carline Jones
    30 : Joanna Smith

    Congratulations!!!! I’ll be dropping you an e-mail to get your size, color preference and mailing address!!

    Don’t forget that Lee National Denim Day is just a month away, On October 2nd – if you could spare $5 for my team, I would appreciate it!! Your $5 donation will go to the Women’s Cancer Programs of EIF to support the fight against breast cancer. I invite you to join my team or make a donation!

    Lee National Denim Day
    Donate $5 today to my team, and
    help me reach 100 people!
    Thank you!
    Thanks to everyone for participating!

    Lee Slender Secret Jeans Giveaway – 10 Winners! **CONTEST CLOSED**


    Leanne in Lee Slender Secret JeansHave I told you lately that I love Lee? I do. Selected by Lee as a “Fit Ambassador”, I get to try out BRAND NEW product, tell you all about it, and SHARE IT WITH YOU. Wee! Fun stuff!

    This time, Lee sent me a pair of their new Slender Secret Stretch jeans. They sit a little low on the waist, but not too low, they’re bootcut (and a wee long, which I love) – and I WORE THEM TO THE ROLLER RINK. Yes, I did. I went roller skating in my new jeans. And they were wonderful, and stretchy, and light!

    This is not your normal thick denim. This looks like denim, feels like denim, but is so light, like khakis! The best way I can explain the thickness of these jeans is comparing papers: card stock (regular denim) to copy paper (these Slender Secret Jeans by Lee). Yes, there is that much of a difference! I was truly surprised by that, they do not have a spandex kind of feel, it’s definitely denim. Just uber AWESOME denim.

    Okay so on to the good stuff, which I know you’re waiting for. You want a pair now, don’t you? Oh, yes you do. So let me help you out with that.

    From August 4th through August 14th (by 8pm) you can enter to win one of 10 pair. I’ll draw 10 winners on August 15th. Winners need to get back to me by Monday, August 17th or a new winner will be chosen.

    These Slender Secret Stretch are available in the following sizes:

    Misses: 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18 (short/med/long)
    Petites: 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16
    Plus: 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28 (petite/med/long)

    The color I’m wearing is Mystic Blue Handsand, but they are available in basic blue and black as well.


    Want a pair of your own? Just leave a comment (valid e-mail addy and at least your first name, please). Want to increase your chances? Here are a few ways to do that – please leave additional comments for each additional entry:

    1. Subscribe to my blog via e-mail or via RSS. (if you’re already subscribed, THANK YOU! Let me know that you are already a subscriber for an extra entry!)
    2. If you commented on this post, you get an extra entry. Leave another comment that indicates you replied to that post (and, if you’re html savvy, grab the link to your comment as well).
    3. Tweet it (1 entry per day, link to the tweet)
    4. Mention it in your FaceBook status w/link (1 entry per day)
    5. Mention it on your blog and link back here. (1 entry per day)
    6. Become my fan on Facebook! (1 entry)
    7. Become a fan of Lee Jeans on Facebook! (1 entry)
    8. Click here and send this to up to 5 friends at a time! (one entry per e-mail sent, must use this link – independent e-mails can’t be verified, sorry.)

    Open to Ladies only who reside in the US and Canada – (International entries are welcome but will incur shipping charges.)

    Please be sure to leave a separate comment for each extra entry, as I’ll draw using random numbers from comments.

    Comments will close on August 14th (by 8pm) and I’ll draw 10 winners on August 15th. Winners need to get back to me by Monday, August 17th or a new winner will be chosen.

    Good luck!!

    My Amusing Cucumbers


    lol cucumbers funny vegetable photo by Leanne Wildermuth
    Mary Mary quite contrary,
    How does your garden grow?
    With LOL’s and giggly green bells,
    And flowering broccoli all in a row.
    Like my photography? Buy a print! Secure check out using Paypal.

    If It’s Not About You, It’s Gossip.


    Leanne and her peoniesI’ve recently had the (cough) privilege (cough) of being informed that “it’s not all about me, despite what I may think.” And quite honestly (that was another trigger phrase used in the information packet I received) I have a few things to say about that.

    Imagine that.

    I’m sure I’m not the only one who has ever heard this delicious little tidbit of news. But you know something? Those words are meant to puncture, they are meant to hurt – and above all else, they are WRONG.

    If it isn’t about me, it’s gossip. It’s hearsay; conjecture. It’s not accurate information.

    Think about it. If you have a blog, it’s all about you. It’s your blog – your space. Your opinion, your writing. We say things people can relate to, we say things others can benefit from. Some of us even use it as a means to DO things for other people. If people read it, if people come, then we assume they are interested. And we develop friendships.

    If you have a Twitter account or a Facebook page, it’s all about you. If it’s not – what the heck is it? If you’re putting a bunch of stuff out there that isn’t about you, then all it is is your opinion, and you’d be am informant, or news reporter or somethin’.

    If we’re having a chat and you’re talking, if you’re not helping me or offering me advice (YOUR opinion), you’re talking about you. If you’re talking about other people, excluding the people in the conversation, that is called GOSSIP. If you’re sharing information or news about your family, that’s you, with a touch of gossip (depending on the topic and/or person).

    Why do we do this? Because we’re human, that’s why. We share. Well, okay, most of us share. And we share with the (obviously, in this case, idiotic) assumption that the other person is actually interested. And then we pause, and we wait for the other person to have their turn. And then, typically, we share our feelings, thoughts and ideas of what the other person has shared. THAT, people, is called friendship aka communication.

    Insane, isn’t it?

    The information you have about yourself is the only information you really have that is factual. The rest is perception, interpretation. So when you’re in the middle of sharing your feelings with someone, those words are as true as true gets. To imply to someone that what they’re sharing with you is arrogant and self-centered is just … wrong. On so many levels.

    So the next time you share your feelings with someone and they turn around and tell you “it’s not all about you”, you just buck up and explain how “yes, indeed it IS about me.” And be okay with that. And also? Be okay with never sharing yourself with that person again, because they obviously don’t appreciate you as a person, or respect your feelings.

    Bubba : Drawing on Video


    I caught a bit of Bubba’s portrait drawing session on camera and put together a video for you if you’d like to watch me (in high speed) applying fur with my sock-covered hand!

    This video captures me working through the forehead, left eye, and his nose & muzzle area.


    Don’t forget to enter to win a custom portrait in my weekly giveaway!

    Lee National Denim Day : Breast Cancer Fundraiser


    Lee National Denim DayLee National Denim Day is one of the country’s largest single-day fundraisers for breast cancer, benefiting the Women’s Cancer Programs of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF).

    Since its inception in 1996, Lee National Denim Day® has adhered to a simple philosophy: One day, One cause, One cure®. In 13 years, that philosophy has become a mantra for millions and has made an impact Lee Jeans never dreamed possible. It all started when several Lee Jeans employees realized that each of them, in one form or another, had been touched by breast cancer. An everyday conversation sparked an idea and led to the creation of Lee National Denim Day, which has become one of the largest single-day fundraisers nationwide for breast cancer. In its first year, Lee Jeans set a goal of raising $1 million on Lee National Denim Day. To do this, Lee Jeans invited companies to go casual for a cause, inviting employees to wear their jeans to work on Denim Day in exchange for a $5 contribution to the fight against breast cancer. The underlying concept behind the program was simple—by convincing enough people to take one small step, together they could reach an incredible goal.

    The response to the inaugural Lee National Denim Day program was astounding. That year, more than 3,000 companies signed up to participate, raising $1.4 million dollars for the fight against breast cancer, setting the stage for what would become one of the most captivating social action campaigns in the country. Lee National Denim Day has raised more than $75 million in the last 13 years in the fight against breast cancer and unites nearly one million supporters nationwide each year.

    You may have already seen the latest People Magazine’s ‘Most Beautiful’ issue, but if not – Christina Applegate will be returning as the 2009 Lee National Denim Day Ambassador! Christina was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer in 2008, and is appearing in a new public service campaign that encourages people to wear their jeans on Friday, October 2, in exchange for a $5 donation to support crucial breast cancer research being funded by the Women’s Cancer Programs.

    Visit to learn more.

    If you would like to be a part of my team, please let me know. If you would like to make an individual $5 donation, you can do that here: Leanne’s Team : Every Day is Denim Day. I’ve set a reasonable participation of 100 people donating just $5 each – so please help me reach that goal and share this with your friends!

    Click here to e-mail this to up to 5 friends at a time:

    If you haven’t already, join the cause on Facebook:

    I don’t know of anyone who hasn’t been affected by cancer in one way or another. If this touches you in a personal way, please consider participating.

    Lee National Denim Day
    Put this button on your blog to help me reach my goal!
    Link it to:
    Or just copy and paste this code:

    White Irises, She said.


    White iris flower photo desktop wallpaper by Leanne WildermuthOn Mother’s Day, I offered my readers a free desktop wallpaper that I’d created from a photograph I took in my studio of a beautiful White Iris. (You can still download the 1024×768 if you haven’t already.)

    Pete (of Shakey Pete) commented and said that his mother raised Iris, so my wallpaper triggered a fond memory of his mom, appropriate on Mother’s Day, I think. His comment made me think. I love comments like that, so thanks, Pete. You brought my daughter and I a little closer on Mother’s Day. I appreciate that.

    There’s a story behind this White Iris, which I’ll get to here in a second, but Pete’s comment left me curious. What kind of flowers would my own children grow after I’m gone that will remind them of me, and why? I thought for sure that Catybug would say “Gerbera Daisies!” or even “Stargazer Lilies!” But no. That was not the case.

    Now let me tell you a little story.

    Last Wednesday, my children attended youth group – at two different churches. Catybug went with her girlfriend after school to attend youth at her church, and I dropped off my little Chickeymonkey at our church.

    On the way home, I had to run an errand to pick up food for our guinea pig and bunny. I find the best food for them at Teske’s, our local pet and garden center. I also really, really enjoy visiting the parrots! So, as you could probably guess, I visited the parrots first.

    Right. Why carry around loads of food if you just have to put it down to play with the critters? Common sense.

    Without any regard to how much time had passed (Because apparently, I have an eternity to shop while I’m at a pet store. Time stands still while you’re making cooey and clicky noises to birds, don’tchyaknow.), I visited with the animals. Then there was an uncomfortable moment where I was forced to either pet the Eclectus or buy him, so I ran and hid in the corner of the store and sucked the thumb he nearly bit off.

    I digress.

    I picked up 10 pounds of food for the critters that DON’T bite me, and ohhhh my gosh – —- a new truckload of flowers? Did someone say they got more flowers? Ooooh I had to check out the garden center.

    Now, rewind to earlier in the day. I’m talking to my dear, sweet friend Taba, and she’s telling me how she’s swooning over White Irises, and she really wants some. We’re talking about flowers, and I remind her of my Monkey Butt (aka Baboon Bottom) Batik Iris that I’ll actually get to see this year, and blabbity blab blab green thumb girl talk.

    Okay, got all that? She wants the White Iris. She wants ALL Irises, really, all of them. All in her yard. Right now. Yea, yea, so do I.

    Fast forward to me in the garden center, carrying around 10 pounds of smashed condensed timothy hay and corn flake chips. And then, then I spotted the Irises. The WHITE Irises.

    I chose the one that was on the verge of blooming. I thought, I’m going to name her Taba (which I did) and next year, I’ll split it and send her some for her garden! Irises, for those unfamiliar, have a bulk of the root at ground level, so one big giant stem teeter tottered above the root in a 4″ square pot. They had braced it up with little green stakes, so I carefully pulled it out from behind a half dozen other random colored Irises, and with one hand wrapped around 10 pounds of critter food, I carefully balanced a teeter-tottering White Iris in my right hand.

    And continued on in my search for anything else I might want to add to my garden.

    20 minutes later, I found more stuff. Crud, I found more stuff. I’m looking around for a cart, for anything I can put stuff down on – but found nothing. My left bicep was beginning to throb from the weight of the critter food and obviously, if I wasn’t careful with my right hand, my Iris would topple.

    I gently set it down, set the critter food down, and went on a search for a tray to put all of my finds in.

    Of course, the critter food and the new (mexican heather) went into the tray, but the Iris, the Iris was special. I held everything else in my left hand, and the Iris in the right.

    Careful…. carreeeeful….. I asked the checkout clerk if he had a tall brown bag to put the iris in, so it wouldn’t break. Together, we slid it down to the bottom of the bag. Aaaah. Safe. Wait – no – he didn’t know what color the pot was, so we had to reach down in there and pull it back out. Crap. We got it out – put it back in. Phew. Okay. Safe again.

    I paid for everything and loaded everything carefully into the back seat of the car. I put the Iris against the back seat, and braced it in with the critter food.

    Are you getting all of this carefulness? I could not and probably wasn’t EVER this careful with my own kids as newborns. But this Iris? I could. not. break.

    On the drive home, I called Taba. I was so excited to share my fortune! WoohOOOO and I’m going to split it and mail it to you and wheee! We’ll have the same White Irises! YAYYYY what are friends for!! Splitting perennials, that’s what!

    She asks what the official name of the Iris is, and I’m just about in my driveway, so I pull into my driveway, park in the garage, get out of the car, open the back door, grab ahold of the Very Special SUPER CAREFULLY HANDLED White Iris and pull it out of my car…..

    And busted the stalk.

    Yep. I did.

    So, when my eldest daughter returned from youth group, I told her this story. She laughed, and laughed, and laughed s’more. She even cried. She almost spit her ice cream out her nose.

    It makes sense to me, then, when I asked her what flower she’d plant to remember me by, she replied “White Irises.”

    Glad to know I’ll be giving that girl chuckles from beyond the grave!

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