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.
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