Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The trade show

Well, I have been scrambling to get things all wrapped up for my first trade show. I am frantically trying to get all the last minute details finished up along with all the sewing, writing, quilting etc. I had my business cards and post cards arrive today and they turned out great. I ordered them online from a company I had never heard about before so there was so apprehension. I was so pleasantly surprised to see how good they did come out. I even ordered some more today. We leave on the 15th so time is running out. I am also still working out Jennifer's care with our other kids. Now with the pool everyone is happy to stay over!

I have missed visiting everyones blog, please forgive me, its been so long since I have had time to just visit. I am typing this at 2 am in an effort to just post something. I miss France with Ronnel, Arizona with Teri, SC with Lyn, Thailand with Ai, Art class with Marta. I hope I got all that right, my brain is starting to fog just a bit. I will be back in a few weeks with lots to share! I am looking forward to flying to Oregon, even to work, its wonderful to just get away for a few days. I love the thought of traveling anywhere! I did get a wonderful card from Ai, thank you so much, you are too sweet.

I have been working on new patterns and quilts, this is one of them. Its called "Just Ducky"

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Its a sewing marathon

I am busy sewing new quilt patterns that I am designing for a trade show we are doing in May. I feel like a production sewer! It will be nice to get back to my art quilts and painting. I have done a few postcards for my postcard exchange. These two are the ones for the fruit series. Not overly exciting but I am glad that I am seeing the light at the end of this tunnel. I have taken a ton of pictures of the grandkids at the park and in the pool that I want to paint. I bought these two giant frames, 8'x4' I am trying to think about what to paint for the picture inside. I thought a giant family portrait might be nice although pretty tough. Still thinking about it, I want it to hang in the office so it need to be the right kind of painting.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Mikes Mural as a slide show!

I have added some captions under each picture, just drag your mouse over the picture to read the caption. The photos have some glare from the reflections as I photographed them but I think they turned out pretty good. I am very happy with this mural. The one thing about painting on Travertine is that due to the cost of the material you don't want to make mistakes!

Modified sketch for mural

Made some final changes on the drawing, I will now enlarge to the proper size and make sure I still like everything before I begin to paint. I added a pear to help balance the left side since it seemed so heavily weighted to the right. I also corrected the perspective on the large pot. Took out the sticks, added a spoon. I think its better now. But you never know, I like having the option to change as I go.

Old world mural

My son and his wife are in the middle of a major remodel on there home. They are adding rooms, redoing their kitchen all new flooring etc. It is a major mess right now. I promised them that I would paint them a mural on the travertine tiles they are using for their backsplash. I have done a sketch that I am happy with and they also like. I will be painting directly onto the tiles in washes so that the beauty of the travertine shows through. I do not want it to have a heavy painted look or resemble a decal stuck onto tile. My goal is for the look to be soft and old looking, almost like it has weathered with age and now is only a hint of a painting. I am happy with mine and I hope they are happy with theirs, the tile layers are waiting for me to paint it so I need to get it done today. I will post it as a WIP or a slide show so you can all see the progression, I will hopefully photograph it up too so we can see the end product all finished. Here is the prelim drawing that was approved. I might make some changes as to spoon placement etc but the composition is there. I am not going to add the "text" on the pot, I was just playing with some ideas. I would love to hide some personal thing in there somewhere, like there name or something special just for them but I don't want it to be too obvious or the next owners will not appreciate it.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Spa Night

I had a spa night, I invited Marta and Rudy and Dawn and Mike over for martini's and tapas. Randy makes a wonderful, summery martini called summer breeze which he made for us and then everyone brought munchies! We had tons of food and lots of fun sitting in the spa and talking about art and art classes and the museum. Great friends, food and fun, what more could we ask for. We did have some uninvited guests this weekend, a swarm of bees have decided they also like the new additions to the backyard and have started a hive in one of the walls of the outdoor barbaque area. The bees are swarming pretty good as of this afternoon, more and more seem to arrive daily. Tuesday we have someone coming to handle the issue, I wonder if I will get any honey out of the deal?

Today the kids wanted to swim so bad, so even though the water was in the 60's as was the outside air they jumped in and swam for hours. I showed them the bees and told them to ignore them and they would ignore us, as they did. I bundled up in a blanket to keep the cold wind off of me as I sat and sketched some of the features in the yard as the kids swam. I bought this giant buddah head, she has a wonderful green and rust looking patina and I loved it as an art piece for the yard. My kids now think I have gone pagan and given up my Christian faith! Wow, amazing that a piece of cement can cause such discussions and distress! So to clear up any doubt, I am not a buddist but I do love this head as an art piece for my yard. My faith remains intact. I have drawn it here as it sits on one of the columns next to the pool.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

WDE March 28th on Wet Canvas

I decided to look at the photos put up for this weeks drawing event. The host posts 16 pictures and then you choose which ever ones you like to draw or paint. You have 30 minutes to choose and only 2 hours to do your drawing/painting. I did this one last night as I sat in bed until 2am. I just love this photo, it is of her dad shortly before his death. They own a ranch in Montana and they live and work the ranch during the summer and they leave for the winters. She had asked her dad to put on his cowboy hat and shirt and pose for the picture. He grumbled and didn't want to but finally agreed. What a great shot she got, the sun, the shadows, its great. Anyway, here is my version in graphite of her dads photo, I will paint him too! It was a great study in values and shadows.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Everyday things we take for granted.

Another hard day yesterday, the post op check was not good news and the fact that Jennifer may have to have more surgery or a permenant trachea left me in tears all the way home, almost 3 hours. My eyes were so swollen that they burned when I tried to read something. It made me feel so helpless and frustrated it seems enough to have gotten this far, can't we get a break. When the doctor spoke the words of more surgery, and a possible trachea again I could feel my eyes burn as I fought the tears back. Jennifer doesn't really see the bigger picture or think through all the issues. I think its a brain injury thing, which probably is a blessing. She is just resigned to the fact that it is what it is and she will have to deal with it. I find it amazing that she tried to comfort me on our drive home, assuring me she wasn't going to die. Then thanking me for caring about her. That almost made it harder, to think about how brave she is, what she has had to endure and how she just can't seem to move forward. Anyway, it made me think about those everyday things that we do that we all take for granted. The simpliest of things that don't require any real thought like breathing, rolling over, going to the bathroom, grabbing something to eat, scratching an itch, or brushing our hair. All things we do all day long, without being too appreciative of them. Yet, once you can't do them, once those simple things become monumental feats you realize just how complex they really are. How lucky we are to be able to do them. Its like the saying, you don't realize how good it feels to feel good until you are sick. I find a sad irony in the fact that the thing that once kept her alive is now threating her life!

Although yesterday my spirit was crushed and bruised , I am always thankful for the dawn of a new day. When my energy is renewed and my body is willing to fight again for her quality of life. I don't mean to sound special, or like I am handling something harder than many of you are dealing with, because I am not. I find that so often most people are dealing with a lot of sadness that they never share. So I pray that I will try and be extra nice to people I meet today just incase they are struggling to get through the day and fighting back the tears too!
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