Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Family Traditions

We have lots of family traditions that surround this time of the year. Some are silly and some are more serious but we all love them. I continued things my mom started in an effort to make Christmas special for us when we were young. She was raised on a cotton farm in Alabama with 14 brothers and sisters. Their family was very poor and they didn't have much. It was so important to her to do special things during the holidays that would make them extra special and she always made all our dreams come true. I have added my own things to her list and one of the things I added was a Gingerbread House party. I started it when the girls were young, maybe 11-12. Although it has evolved throughout the years it basically was, I supplied the houses and invited moms and kids to come and decorate a house to take home. They have to bring 2 bags of candy to the party that will be shared by everyone. At the end I hand out ballots to vote for the most original, best candy etc and there are prizes plus they get to take home their decorated house. I loved this party, I always let the girls invite their friends and I invited some of my friends and it was a house full of kids, candy and the wonderful smell of gingerbread. This year, my oldest daughter, Kim had the party at her home. I handed it off to her this year as it seemed more appropriate for her to throw it for her friends who now have their own children old enough to enjoy it. She carefully asked if she could do it this year and I knew it was time. For myself, it was a bittersweet moment. I was so thrilled to see her love it so much she wanted to keep it going yet sad that I would not be hosting it anymore. I passed the baton and she did such a great job. I got to help decorate and make the royal frosting and she got to get all the oooohhh and awes over her home and the party etc. It felt so good to see her shine, its her turn, its her time. I guess that is part of growing older, learning when its time to take a step back and watch as the reflection of ourselves continues. She will make it her own special yearly event and it will evolve her way and I am so excited to watch! Here are some pictures of that day, I was the photographer and I love the faces of the younger kids as they are still full of wonder and amazement in anticipation of Christmas.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

The Party

I have been so busy trying to get everything just right for our annual Christmas quilt group party. I have been sewing, cleaning, painting gifts, shopping, and cooking. Then in an effort to not look completely haggard and frantic I had to get my hair colored and cut! Phewwww, made it! We had a great time, well I did for sure, it was so much fun to see everyone again. We haven't met for sometime and the group really missed each other. Unfortunately a few of the women got sice at the last minute and couldn't come, we missed not having them. But for the ones that came it was a great reunion and chance to catch up. We had tons of wonderful food, I love potlucks, a chance to sample everyones recipes! We played games, well some of them did. Others, who's name I won't mention, tried to sabotage the efforts of others! So some listened to M____A and found her much more entertaining than my party games, but they didn't get the gift either! We did our gift exchange and everyone got some lovely things. Dawn brought me a beautiful ornament that I will treasure every year as I pull it out to decorate my tree. Shelly gave me a wonderful angel candle holder, oh I love the decorations, I could never have too many! And just think, those were just my hostess gifts! What a great night, visiting with friends and eating!! How much better can life get?

Saturday, December 01, 2007

I've been under the weather

I have been a bit sick, not the flu but more of a cold, sore throat, headache sickness. Then it seems like the medicine I take for it makes me even more sleepy! I think that might be how it works, it just keeps you sedated through the worst of it. I haven't had time to draw, I have been just resting with my drawing pad, doodling. Lots of nothingness but helped to pass the time. Maybe the apple signifies and apple a day. Santa's north pole, my longing for the wonder of Christmas. I miss my art so much now I am taking it to bed with me. It bad when your husband comes home to find you curled up with a sketch pad, a box of kleenex and the remote! Can you tell I have an exciting life? I wonder if their is a profession that analyzes the real meaning behind our artwork doodles?

Marta, Dawn and I are scheduled for some spa time on the 13th, I am so excited. It will be wonderful to have a little pampering during this stressful and busy time. I have been busy decorating since I have a party on the 7th. Lots of preparation and things to get done. The pool will just be a big hole still but hopefully it will get done before summer!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

My last Card for the year

With my house full of boxes of decorations waiting to be put in their place I realized that this would have to be my last Christmas Card painting. Its just to close to Christmas to do anymore cards! I am doing an original watercolor painting Christmas card exchange. No prints or photocopies, just originals. So instead of sending one of the ones I had already painted I decided to do another. I like it and I am mounting it onto a metalic wine colored card stock. I need to send it by the first of December so I am glad its done. The other cards that I had printed arrived today so I can begin the yearly project of addressing cards. But I love it, there isn't much about the holidays I don't just love!!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Our New Family for Thankgiving Dinner

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My last ATC, Yippee

Well I think I have finished all the ATC's I needed to do. I have to go over my list now and double check to make sure I covered everyone. I saved this last person til the last since I wanted to do a few things for her since she was so kind to Jennifer during our exchange. I want to paint her a few things. This is her ATC, it is of her dog. Graphite

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

My family ditched us this year, I started out with a house full and ended up with no one. My kids decided to go to Glamis early and beat the rush. They want to celebrate on Sunday instead. My mom and sister and brother spend it together up north so it left us a day to tile. We were getting ready to start our day when my girlfriend called and invited us to go to brunch with them at the Mission Inn and celebrate with their family! We had such a great time and the food was just wonderful, things like Salmon wellington, pumpkin pasta with a sage cream sauce. They had both breakfast items as well as the traditional turkey dinner. We ate outside in the courtyard and it was a glorious day, the weather was perfect. Thank you for including us!! I will post pictures later.
I did want to post my second to last ATC for an exchange I was involved in most of the year. I am so glad it is ending by Christmas. I found I started well but ended up getting bored and stopped working on them and now I just need to finish. This is a graphite and colored pencil cat, the scans never do graphite justice.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

More Christmas card ideas

These are quick watercolor paintings without a prelim sketch, very loose, fun, and fast. Jean Haines did a wonderful video demo at the Watercolor Haven on loose Santa's and I just had to play! Her work is very loose and fluid. This style is meant to leave some areas for us to figure out. I love this style and since I am working on loosening up this is a wonderful exercise. I love the fact that by creating disappearing edges and leaving out most of the details we allow our minds to explore the picture and fill in the blanks. I think it makes for a much more interesting picture sometimes than spelling everything out. But, after I have said that, I also think there is a fine line between too loose and to much detail so I am trying to find that place where I feel it looks like a finished piece. I think these turned out well, it was hard trying to for see where the beard would actually be so I didn't paint there. I want to try and capture the feeling of Santa, happy,warm, inviting, I think the third does that the best. Number one looks a bit grumpy! I can't wait to do some more.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Life Drawing

Marta and I went to life drawing last night at the museum. It was the first time I have seen her since her trip. She showed up with olive oil and some oil pastels from her European vacation!!! These oil pastels are the same formula made for Picasso, so I am in good company but the pressure to create a masterpiece looms over these little crayons. I realized how much I missed her and our visits. We went to the mexican resuarant at the Mission Inn and had a lite dinner then walked to the museum. Since our model had not shown up someone there stepped in and posed for us! Wow, talk about throwing yourself into your job! Marta and I both agreed that she had to be pretty brave to pose for life drawing and then work there too. Then we left, I had to get home for my survivor night and she wanted to see CSI. I don't watch much tv at night but I love Survivor and I have a friend that comes over to watch it with us. This has been going on for years and the tradition continues. Here are my sketches from last night, not great but I haven't been in months and I am a bit rusty. She was quite lovely and I think she looks scarey here! My apologies to the model!!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Another pict of the worker!

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Pictures of the tilers!

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The Pool

We are landscaping our backyard and we have put in a pool. This has been a long project since we began it back in March/April. We basically designed it and then we subcontracted most everything out and did a lot of the work ourselves. In an effort to save another 5-7,000$ we decided to tile the pool ourselves. We have done a lot of tile in our previous houses and felt we could handle this. Well this has really been a challenge, I appreciate the price quoted by the tile layers now much more. I don't think I would have laid it for that! The fact that the surface we are laying the tile on is vertical and you start at the bottom row of the water line, so basically the tile is floating and you have to create the bottom edge with bender board or something similar to support your tile. Then to make it harder we are using a patterned tile at the waterline so if it isn't laid just perfect all the way around it will show when the water, which is self leveling, is at different areas on the patterned tile. This introduced us to a new tool for us called a water level. This is basically a piece of clear tubing that you fill with water. You put the water line in the tube at the level you want and where the water line is in the other side of the tube is means its level. Its hard to explain but it works great, I love it. Then we have all these curves, and square flat tiles don't round corners well! Add to that the fact that half of the pool is above our heads so its out of our reach and so we have had to have ladders and boards, home made scaffolding, for working in the deep end. We also raised our pool out of the ground to prevent Jennifer from accidentally falling in with her wheelchair. This created another outside surface for us to tile. My mom just doesn't understand why when she calls we are still tiling! I mean you only had to lay tile at the water line after all! Thank you God for my husbands endless patience and the fact that he loves doing tile!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The reception

The reception was just wonderful and they had a really good turn out too. For me personally, I had the best turn out, all my kids came and most of their spouses and my DH family came to help me celebrate the opening. Marta also came with us and Dawn and her husband met us down at the museum. We all were really dressed up and most everyone else showed up under dressed. So we all looked great! There was champagne and hors d'oeuver for everyone. It was such a great night. I had an opportunity to meet some art quilt collectors and some of the other artists that were represented there last night. After a few hours there we decided to go into ole town San Diego and have dinner. There was lots of normal family memory talk, remember when you did this, etc etc. The kids haven't seen Randy's family in awhile so its always fun to reminisce about old times. Marta fit right into the family and was a fun part of the group. We didn't get out of the restaurant until after 10 and didn't get home until 11:30. I called to make sure everyone made it home safely before I went to bed. Thanks everyone for sharing this special day with me, having everyone there made it more even more special.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Today is the big day!!!

Well today is the reception gallery opening for the Visions Art quilt show. I am so excited, I have all my kids going and my husbands family and some friends. It should be a wonderful time. It is a two hour drive so it will be a long, late night for all of us. I will share photos and events tomorrow.

We had friends over last night for dinner and played Wii, we will probably all be sore for the reception! If some of you haven't played it, it can be very strenuous and doctors are now seeing patients with Wii injuries. LOL

I have also added my journal entry for the day. As I sat having my coffee in my pink breast cancer awareness mug it reminded me to pray for Ronna. She is a dear friend and was a wonderful support for us when we were going through Jenn's accident. The week my GF gave me the mug was the week she told me that she was diagnosed with Breast cancer. Every morning as I drink my coffee I will be praying for her fight for life!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Another Christmas Card Idea

This one is a sketch I started one night while I was laying in bed and my husband was watching the news. I was thinking about how everyone sends out Christmas pictures of their families at the holidays. I like receiving pictures and actually keep them in a special photo album. Its great seeing how their families grow over the years. That was what I was thinking about as I was sketching this, what would my family picture look like this year....... if we were snow people! LOL, a fun twist on a traditional theme. As many of you know our daughter lives with us and is handicapped, we are also down to one, one eyed dog. We make quite the card I think.

I might redo it in ink and some watercolor, I mean we have to have color in our Christmas cards!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Another Christmas Card

I am working on some Christmas Cards for this year. I haven't yet decided what I want to send out to represent us this season. I have done a serious one, the baby's feet, I have done a fun one, the snowmen and now this one. I don't know if I posted the snowmen, its fun and cute, I did it in pencil and would like to redo it in ink and watercolor. Anyway, this one is done in soft pastels, it looks better in person than I think it does in the photo. If I decide to use it I will just print cards from it, maybe tweek it a little in photoshop. I have been busy working on different pieces so I will have some things to post in the next few days.

Last night was also our 27th wedding anniversary. I am always so shocked as I hear myself say the years. It doesn't feel like its been nearly that long. I asked Randy how can we be married 27 years when I don't even feel much older than that. We had a wonderful dinner at the Mission Inn and sat outside by the fire and just talked when we got home. We talked about what years we felt were the best and the worst. How the hardest years seemed to bring us closer together as we learned to lean on each other more. We have come into a special place of trust and comfort and we still like each other alot! It was low key but still special. I love where we are right now, our life has had many twists and turns and we are still so close and still in-love!

Monday, November 05, 2007

This week is over!

Well I am so glad to come out the other side of that week. We had concrete poured four days in a row, the neighbors were starting to think we were cementing our whole backyard! Then in the middle of that my grandson went into a diabetic coma and spent the good part of the week in ICU. As terrible as it was I am glad he was away from the temptation from all that candy on Halloween. He is doing much better and my backyard survived too. I have been working on some fun things during this whole crazy week, my copper pots and my Christmas cards. The Copper pots began as a study on setting up still lifes at the Watercolor Haven. I then photographed my different set ups. We post our best and critic them, it was a great learning experience since setting up a still life with good light ect is hard. I decided on this set up to paint. I also did a WIP at the site which was fun and at the same time scary, I mean what would have happened if it turned out terrible!?

We are now starting to tile our own pool, this should be fun. I mean at least I have control over all the aspects of this project. I am so tired of hiring "professionals" and we still have to oversee them and watch their work. By tiling this ourselves we can change up some of the design elements we have done if we don't like them afterall. LOL So far so good, I am really enjoying it. We haven't tiled in awhile so the beginning of the project consisted of relearning and figuring out what we were doing. We both decided that by the time we are finished we will have figured it out and as long as the pool doesn't leak we are good to go. I will post some picts later.
Marta made it home from Europe safe and sound, it will be so good to have her back. I can't wait to get together and go over all her great photos and hear the stories. She even got to meet some of our blogging friends while over there, what fun, I envy her being able to do that. What fun!! Welcome Home my friend.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Another long term change

Randy and I had the opportunity to have an afternoon alone. We went and ran some errands and then went to lunch. Jennifer had gone with her sister Christmas shopping. As we ordered our food we were talking about some of the things we are doing in the backyard. It was then that Jennifer called on Randy's cell phone. She sounded excited and was talking really fast, Randy was struggling to understand her and all he got was "Call Kim". He then tried to call Kim but no one answered, then he tried to call Jenn back and it went right to voice mail. I think prior to 2000, I would have thought something like, they need to ask us a shopping question about Christmas or something like that. I would have taken the normal course of assumption which goes from A to B then to C. We wouldn't have panicked or probably even been overly concerned. But now, it seems like we go from A to Z. From calm to panic in one leap. I sat at the table as Randy called over and over trying to get ahold of one of the girls. I could see the deep concern on his face and I was feeling my stomach start to roll. My heart was pounding in my chest and I said "did it sound like they were in an accident?" How would we find them if they were hurt? Randy kept on calling as our lunch arrived, by now we were not feeling hungry and we were both trying to stay calm and rational. That was taking all of our will power. Finally Randy got ahold of Kim, Jen was just trying to tell us her cell phone battery was dying and if we needed to call her we needed to call Kim's cell phone. AHHHHHHHH. We sat at the table after that, talking about what we were thinking and how we were feeling. We talked about why it was we immediately panic now. We both agreed that once you have walked down that road you now have a real understanding of how terrible it can be. Before we only imagined how aweful it could be, now we really know and we don't think we could handle another trauma like that. Its fear, fear that we think we've tamed yet rears its ugly head at a moments notice and trys to strangle us. Ughhhh Will we ever get over it? Will we ever think normal thoughts during times like this or will we always think the worst? Will we ever get a grip on the fear or will the fear always have a grip on us? Logically, spiritually we agree that to worry and fear things is wrong, yet our hearts can't hear our brains.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Working on my cards

Trying to stay inside as not to breathe too much smoke. I am still working on images for my Christmas cards this year. I also painted this for fun, I do several samples then pick my favorite. I am not thrilled with it so might do it again. The model is Guilli, from Watercolor Haven. He is a wonderful member and we love his face to paint. He has so much character and he seems so happy. I tried to make him Santa here. The glasses are off and I want it to be a bit looser. This painting business is all about the sucesses and failures and all those painting in between. I share all, good or bad, know it is a learning process that never ends but continues to transform.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

It continues as do the prayers

The fires continue today, the death toll is climbing as they find more bodies in the ash. Its so sad, I am sure the stories of these homeowners trying to defend their property will be next. I like the stories, I like when they take an obscure statistic, a number, a let us know the person, because then we can feel the pain. I remember when Jenn was admitted, they didn't know who she was, she was admitted a Jane Hydro Doe. Jane Doe number 8 and I feared she would become just a number to them. I spent a lot of time trying to bring her to life for these nurses so they would know how much she was loved. So they would treat her like the precious gift she was. The numbers they keep telling us about, the fire victims, or our soldiers, are more than just statistics, they are all stories. Stories of loved ones lost.

The sky hung in smoke today, it glowed an eerie yellow/gray color. The air quality is so poor they advise us to not be outside and working or exercising. I am running the air to keep the house clear for Jenn's poor lungs. This is the first day I am having a problem breathing, what must it be like on the front lines! Lord, bring relief for these men and women that risk their lives to save ours. Bless them and keep them safe. Wrap your arms around those who have lost so much and let them know your comfort.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


We are on fire, not us personally but so many around us. I feel so bad as I watch the total destruction around me. Our families have been touched, some evacuated, some losing homes. How can you watch a lifetime of things and memories disappear as you look on. This fire, raging out of control is consuming everything in its path, filling the air with black, unbreathable smoke. The firemen look so small as they battle this goliath. Their jobs seem impossible as the fire snakes and moves all around them. They attack with hoses, and shovels, small stones in the scheme of things, yet they keep at it. So many victims, so many heros, so many stories. I have lived here my entire life and never witnessed anything this bad. Lord, be with all these families, the firemen, the hospitals. Give them the strength they need to fight this monster and win!

I sketched this quickly, not looking at a picture, only seeing the scenes play over and over in my mind. It is the second sketch in my new book.

Monday, October 22, 2007

I've been TAGGED!

I was tagged by Maria-Dom, I am supposed to write 7 random things about myself and then tag seven people. I am tagging Marta, Wendee, Teri, Ronnel , Robin , Sheri, and Diahn please forgive me if you have been tagged already.

Ok, let me think, 7 random things:

1. I love the look of well lit interiors of houses at night, its so inviting and homey. You get a glimpse of whats inside and I like to imagine who lives there.

2. I hate rude and bully husbands that like to talk down and belittle their wives or kids in public, thats the only time I wish I was a big, strong man.

3. I used to feel so bad I had my kids, so young, so close but now I am so glad! I love how close everyone is and how we are still young enough to enjoy them and the grandkids!!!

4. I love all mediums in art and cant seem to settle in on just one!

5. One of my favorite things is when my husband rubs me softly, my head and ears, its helps put me to sleep on those stressful nights.

6. I am glad I don't own a gun, since designating myself as the handicapped police. There are many people I would have liked to shoot watching them flip me off or cuss me out because I tell them they shouldn't park in these spots when they are not handicapped!

7. I have always wanted to be blonde or cut my hair really short and do something totally crazy, but I am too much of a chicken.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

It's my birthday!!!

Yes, another year has snuck by me and I can't believe I am getting this old!!! I don't feel this old!!! I awoke to my coffee steaming next to my bed, filling the room with that wonderful smell. As I opened my eyes I saw an envelope resting near the cup, I opened a card from my husband with lots of loving things written inside, and a starbucks card. I thought to myself this is going to be a wonderful birthday, it is starting out so great. Jenn went off in the bus and I was able to get on line to get emails and I had a cold little one line birthday acknowledgment from my brother. I had an appointment for my hair at noon and I hadn't recieved one call from anyone. Where are all this kids I raised, giving them the best years of my life and now I am not worth a phone call. The mail came and there was one card, from my mom. Wow, my husband and my mom thats pathetic, I can't believe it, everyone forgot about me! AHHHHH Off to get my hair done and when I opened the car door my husband had another present and card, oh thank God for him. On the way home I get a call from my daughter& son, ok, things are getting better. Then I got home to flowers and lots of messages, then my other brother called, then my sister, my mom, Randy's mom and dad, his brothers wife...... ohhhh how wonderful to be remembered! When I retrieved my messages off the answering machine Marta had called from Europe WOW. She wished I was there and I missed her voice. What a great day, we went to dinner and the last of my kids calls then when I got home a giant balloon was on the door with a card from another girlfriend. I had the best birthday, it doesn't seem to matter how old we get, its so wonderful to be remembered!

I made my first mark

I finally christened my first hand made watercolor sketch book. I have been working on a watercolor project at Watercolor Haven, autumn leaves. I used leaves and made my first entry. This project is really fun. You take colors you feel represent fall and then you do a light wash, after it drys or is close you paint the leaf and press it to the paper. You can add more color, water etc for interesting and fun results. I love some of these so much I am framing them.

Monday, October 15, 2007


I just recieved the postcard mailing for the Visions Art Show, its a art quilt show that my quilt was juried into. It will run from November to January. I have always wanted to have a quilt accepted into this show, it is just art quilts and they hang in a museum just like an art show in a gallery. This will be their first juried artquilt show in their new building in downtown San Diego. When I got the mail today I noticed that I had a packet from them, when I opened it I found postcards to mail my friends and family for the opening reception. On the front of the card was 3 quilts, mine was one of the three. Wow, this is there big advertised mailing of the event and I am one of the quilts on the postcard going out to everyone, I am sooo excited. Anyway, I wanted to share it. YIPPEEE

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Home again

I got home safely but I was in such a bad mood getting home. I think its that coming off the mountain let down. I enjoyed having some time to myself and it was hard to get back to my reality. I was really getting into a good pity party when I figured I best stop now or end up in the black hole of despair. I don't know why I would be feeling like that. I had just spent the last three days playing, laughing, sewing, being cooked for, someone making my bed and cleaning our room each morning. HMMMMM

The weekend was fun and we laughed so hard my sides hurt. I can't remember the last time I laughed like that! Oh my, what a story, to long to share but Ursula and Marta know what I am talking about here. Marta, Dawn and I all shared a room. Dawn got us a gift bag of bath goodies which she put on our nightstand. Then everynight she read to us until we fell asleep. Wow, that was the best! Thanks Dawn! Her voice was like music that just quietly lulled us to sleep. On Saturday we walked down to the main street and had breakfast on the patio while the mexican women that worked there made fresh tortillas. Saturday night the whole group went to a resturant we go to each year and had a wonderful dinner. I got alot of quilting done, Marta taught us all to bind books and Dawn knitted Christmas gifts for her hubby. It felt as though our friendly group was a bit clicky this trip. I know there was some tension with some of the women in the group and I just wish we could all just get along!!! I volunteered to have the Christmas party at my house on the 7th so I need to get busy and finish the yard! I will post my new sketch book tomorrow. I love it, it turned out so great, I have yet to sketch in it. LOL It seems to be so hard to make that first mark.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

San Diego here I come

Well its that time of year again, retreat time. There is a great group of women that get together twice a year for a retreat, one in Big Bear, one in San Diego, we call them camps. We don't really camp though,this is where we stay, you can see that we are really roughing it during our visit here. It is in downtown so there are many great shops and places for foodies to get a fix. Marta and I and Dawn are sharing a room, should make for lots of laughs. Marta leaves for Europe right after camp, plus she is teaching a class, if I were her I would be a bit stressed. But if you look at her blog you can see she is ultra organized with all of her outfits drawn out in her sketchbook! I will miss you GF. See you tomorrow!


I love the feeling and colors of fall. We are just starting to see the effects of the cooler nights. I look forward to the trees blooming in reds and oranges right before the go into their hybernation til Spring. I think the thing I don't look forward to is the time change, the night and darkness arriving so early in the day. It isn't uncommon for us to work outside until almost 9pm in the summer. It will take some getting used to, the upside is that I get dinner prepared at a better hour! Pumpkins are filling all the stores now, the stands are starting to get prepared, the harvest is at hand.

My girlfriend when to Oak Glen yesterday for the apples, they are harvesting them now too. They sell home made apple pies, fresh apples, applesauce, and lots of other country treasures. I want to go this year. Instead I am heading to San Diego for quilting and painting with many dear friends, I am looking forward to a relaxing weekend by the ocean, in the perfect weather, with friends, sewing and painting. Yippee I hope I can focus and get something done, I have this bad habit of being so excited to be able to just sew that I bring too many projects, then I can't pick which one to work on and just end up jumping around. This time I am picking one or two and thats it!!! Yeah right.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

My copper pot

We were challenged at the Watercolor Haven to paint rust. I found an old copper pot that I have always loved and decided to see if I could recreate all the layers of color on this pot. It might be a bit overworked but I plan on painting it again. I have to wonder if this was ever really used for coffee or was it always just a decoration. This project made me think about rust and what happens to things that rust. (Painting allows for these weird inner experiences) I think that a rusty pot is far more interesting to paint than a perfect one, the rust adds color and personality to the pot. Its like in our own lives. Rust is like aging, some look more beautiful with some age and personality. I would much rather paint the picture of a older person who is wearing their life experiences on their faces than a model. Like my old copper pot, the rust and chemical changes to the metal have given it a beautiful patina, I hope I age a wonderfully.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Missy P

My girlfriend got her daughter a new puppy some months ago. I have been wanting to paint this adorable bassett hound who tripped over her own ears everytime she tried to walk. Here feet were so big and those long ears, too cute. I haven't painted her and I saw that cute puppy recently, not so cute anymore, WHAT HAPPENED! So goes pet ownership. LOL. She is still a wonderful, loving dog and they love her. I decided to start painting these cute puppy pictures before anymore time passes! I used to paint so many animal pictures when Jennifer managed the shelter and worked for the vet. So many subjects, so little time.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Another project

I signed up for another Christmas card exchange, actually two more. One is to be a pen and ink and one is watercolor or whatever media. I really loved doing the exchange last year and took the opportunity to design my cards early enough that I used them for my Christmas card with everyone. I hope to do the same this year. I have started with my pen and ink. I had this thought of the gift of the child with the holes representing the true gift of salvation. I think the card might read, Behold the gift....I don't know about adding color or more detail, like a crown of thorns etc. I am afraid it would get too busy, I think it might need to stay simple.

I am getting ready for quilt camp on Friday, I am so excited. We are going to Carlsbad CA down by the beach. We have a wonderful work room and Marta and I are sharing a hotel room. She has more to pack than I do since she leaves from quilt camp to Europe for a month!!! I know she is going to teach a class on book binding and we will make watercolor sketchbooks this trip! It should be lots of fun to see everyone again. I am looking forward to having some girl time. I have some things I have made for the auction that they have and I am bringing some door prizes. This group is really great about giving!! I can't wait to just paint and sew and laugh and eat while enjoying the company of these women. Yipppeee!!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

My snack

I have been struggling to paint these beautiful birds of Paradise that have started to bloom since the weather is cooling off. I painted them twice and both paintings are not worth saving, as I started my last painting I grabbed a bunch of grapes to snack on while painting. After my disappointment with the birds I looked down at my half eaten grapes and thought they looked good enough to paint. So here is my snack, mmmmmmm.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Oh I feel so bad

Hi everyone out in the web world, I have been so wrapped up in the backyard and all the construction plus the new quilts I am doing I haven't had time to do much else. I did a demo at the most wonderful quilt shop I have ever been into. The owner is a gem and it is really a fabric lovers heaven. They had their anniversary sale today and the turn out was huge. There was four of us doing some sort of demonstration. I revealed my newest patterns and did an applique demonstration. I used Michael Miller fabric on this quilt, I love the bright fun colors! The link is too their blog, a new venture for them but some great projects already up. I got them in a fat quarter package that was bundled at a show, I fell in love with the color combination. It reminded me of my room growing up as a teenager, it was hot pink and lime green! Crazy man. Unfortunately I only got a fat quarter of each so had to do a scrappy border, which now everyone wants. It was a fun day even if Jennifer had to tag along much to her dismay. She hoped to go shopping with her sister but plans changed and she had to hang with me today. I met a bunch of great people and got some good infomation.
But.... there is just one thing. As I was driving home I noticed a women in her 40-50's pulling up along side of me. I noticed she had on gloves, driving gloves. I have noticed these people off and on through out the years and I have always wondered WHY? Do they think that they don't have a good enough grip on the wheel without them? Are they planning some wild driving episode soon and just incase someone cuts them off they are ready? I just don't get it, and the people wearing them are not who you would think would be wearing them. I mean, they don't look like a proffesional race car driver. So I pose this question to anyone out there that wears these gloves, WHY? I would love to know more about the need to do this. It requires alot of thought and effort to put on and take off your gloves everytime you drive somewhere. I am in and out of the car so much I couldnt' imagine having to take clothing off and on each time. I would be chaffed for sure!!! Besides, its not like you can just leave them on and run into the super market or the bank, they might mistake you for a robber. We all remember the problems that O.J. had regarding his gloves, whether they fit or not. I find it so funny, a laugh out loud moment when a 50 year old women in a dress pulls up next to me with driving gloves on, in a van. LOL Hey, wait a minute, I am 50, how about a 70 year old instead. LOL Well really anyone wearing gloves that shouldn't be. I mean this is a part of a proffessional drivers clothing, not to be worn without driving skills. These gloves even have the little holes at the knuckles and the fingers cut out, wow. No one should have this much time on their hands.

Friday, August 31, 2007

My latest adventure

I bought a property in Idaho with my mom as an investment. It has sat vacant for almost two years and when we go up and try to work on it the vandals come in and steal all we have done. My mom worked so hard on the house last year and we started over a month ago. This time we are hoping to rent it. The house was a derilick property, the farmer built it to raise his family and nothing seems to be to code. It has taken all of our imaginations to figure out how to make it livable. The farmers wife was living there alone when we bought it and I was amazed at the conditions they had spent most of their lives. It was originally a huge alfalfa farm, he has been selling off pieces of it over the years to bring in additional income and now, after his death, the wife was left with the original house and 12 acres of alfalfa. Every room had some horrid color of carpet just layed in, none of the dry wall upstairs was ever finished off, just bare dry wall and no closet doors, curtains etc. We even discovered that the downstairs bathtub never had been connected to the septic tank. It has been a huge project, thank God for my mom! She really has managed a miracle by getting this house looking so good. When she arrived this year the house was completely covered with 5 foot weeds and people had started dumping trash on the property. All this time I had been paying a property managment company to watch it and keep me informed about any problems that might arise, yet they never notified me of any of these issues. It wasn't until the neighbor called to tell me that someone had dumped a trailor full of trash that I called the police and got a clearer picture of what was going on up there. What a waste of money that was. I was up for about 4 days to help last week, we worked from 6 am to 12 midnight every day, something my mom has done for 3 weeks. I hope this little investment turns out to be a wise decision, right now its questionable. The weather was great and the sunsets were incredible. A small gift for all of us weary workers in Idaho. Thanks mom.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Paper and Framing GRIPES

I am just feeling so frustrated, and I know that all of us who frame artwork feel it everytime we go to frame something. Why cant the frames be the size of the paper or why can't the paper come in the standard size of frames. Does this irk anyone else!! I think its a ploy by the custom framers of the world to drive us crazy. Either my painting is too big, too small or misshaped to fit in the standard. The brahma bull needs to be enlarged to fit into the a standard 16x20 mat, or I have to spend tons of money customizing sizes. UuuRRRRGGGG. Luckly I have room to expand the painting but it will change the compostition too. The lemons and limes is right to the edge so I didn't have room to expand, but I did crop, but since mats don't come big enough I still had to custom cut them. I need to master my mat cutter!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Brahma Bull

I am still playing with pastels, I seem to be drawn to them right now, probably because they are new! I am easily bored so I guess I need to enjoy this dusty journey while it lasts. I choose this subject matter just because I love animals but needed to do something not as heavy as my last draped still life. I am anxious to try many different subjects in this medium, it seems so forgiving and I love the painterly look it gives the pieces. I think the thing that is hardest so far is the framing aspect of these paintings, since we arent spraying them with a fixative they have to be framed with some foam core and no frame shop will touch them, so its going to be interesting to see how well I can get them mounted.
I have been not feeling to artistic lately so I am excited to have been able to complete this piece in one evening. I hope this ends my dry spell!! This Thursday is life drawing at the museum and I always love that, a creative night out! I hope Marta is able to get off early enough we can go by Seville's Resturant and have tapas and a Sangria before the drawing session. The museum and resturant are in such a wonderful part of town, all historic old buildings, mature trees, warm nights.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Life drawing July

I was able to get to another life drawing class. I missed last month and I really want to try and go to these, I feel it really improves my work overall. I am finding that my proportions are becoming more acurate and that I am able to sketch figures a bit better now. Last month I heard it was a big, black man and that he was a bit harder to draw due to his dark skin, harder to see values and details. This month we had a skinny white girl, LOL, she was so tiny I felt as though I was drawing skeletal illustrations. I enjoy a bit more curves and lines, which lend interest to the drawing. Although its good to paint all body styles. She had some beautiful poses and lines, I got two good sketches and then Marta and I snuck out early and went and had dinner at the Mexican resturant in the Mission Inn, so beautiful!! What a fun night!!!
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