Monday, July 28, 2008

Mom Swimming

Back in April when we initially filled the pool and it was a chilly 63 degrees, Randy agreed to heat it a bit so we could swim! My mom braved the water and I got some great photos of her. I posted one of them on WC WDE as one of my sixteen photos. I had lots of people paint her and I ended up with some great interpertations of her. This is my painting, had to be done in less than 2 hours, it took me hour and half. I am somewhat satisfied although I wish I had done her hair a bit softer. I might try again.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Long Beach Quilt Show

Well, as rumors have it, some of you know that Marta and I went to the Quilt Show in Long Beach, CA on Friday. I have classes planned all day Saturday so our plan was to go check in and see the show then I would attend classes Saturday, while Marta went to the Aquarium of the Pacific to sketch and paint.

The show was great, we almost ran through it though since we didn't have a full day and we were starving. Lots of vendors and some cool quilts. I love the art quilts, since that's what I do.
Here are a few of the entries, great stuff!

We stayed at the Hyatt, and had a wonderful room overlooking the harbor! The lights were amazing as was the view, from our window we could see the Queen Mary and the dome for the Spruce Goose.

After the quilt show we changed and decided to walk around a bit before deciding where we would eat. We walked down one of the main restaurant rows where the eatery's lined each side of the street. There was live jazz bands playing and the hustle and bustle of the city hummed around us. It was still a bit early so we walked up and down the street reading the menus that were displayed in front of every restaurant. We originally wanted to eat at this little hole in the wall, cafe, wine bar, art gallery, it sounded perfect. When we got there it was a little lack luster and there sandwich type menu wasn't what we had hoped for so we kept walking. There were plenty of people walking the streets and the police were everywhere. They were on horseback, bicycles, cars, walking, they were all over. Every restaurant had outside seating along the street and I wondered if they appreciated the police on horseback or not, considering that the horses would leave gifts wherever they pleased.

We decided on Sevillas, a familiar place where we found things that sounded good. We ordered Sangrittas (Sangria/Margarita combo) and sat outside so we could enjoy the city. It was interesting to be sitting amongst smokers, most restaurants have banned smoking but I guess outside in Long Beach its still OK. We had our fill and walked along the boardwalk and the pier. Marta was watching moving stars in the sky(she swears they were moving) as I watched the people walking and bands playing. It just proves that you don't have to go far to feel like a vacation! We tried to talk her hubby into coming down to see us but he couldn't so we just waved at all the other firemen that drove by.

My classes were good too, the first was taught by and IQA judge and she was teaching binding finishes. Can I say BORING but I got through it. She was a bit slow and methodical in her approach and she had a hard time explaining herself to the class. I wont do that one again. I loved, loved my second class. It was called Fabric Graffiti and we painted, stamped, drew and colored on both fabric and paper. It was a wonderful creative class, very relaxed and the time flew by. I could of stayed in that class another 3-4 hours easy. These are just backgrounds for either journaling or collaging or whatever. Some I am not done with yet, can't wait to come up with a way to use them.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Keeping everyone afloat!

Today I had all the grandkids over for the day. When school let out I got some crazy idea one day that I could help the two older ones with their poor grades by working with them during the summer. I have had them about 2 days per week now. I don't know what drugs I must have been on the day I decided to do this, like I don't have enough happening! I want to know which fuse in my brain is short circuiting that causes me to not only agree but outright suggest that I take these kinds of projects! After all, I raised my kids already, this is crazy. Then I slap myself and then tell myself ," Be quiet you dork, you already agreed."

I went out and bought some learning DVD's, pencil's, paper. Since I don't have my teaching degree I need to look organized and prepared. I even took them to the library and got them all library cards and we checked out books!

They had never been to a library!

"What's a library card, Nana?"

"It's a card that lets you check out books"

"For what?"

"To read"

"Wow, look at those books over there, they say WORLD BOOKS across all the books"

"Yeah, haven't you ever seen World Books before?"

"NO!" What are they?

"They are encyclopedias!" I used to love to read them and every year we would get a new one.

"Wow, Nana, whats an encyclopedia!?"

Looking totally perplexed and feeling 7000 years old I responded with " It is like the internet in book form"

I have my work cut out for me!

We have cooking lessons, ediquette training, and lots of swimming practice! As hard as it is I have loved every minute with them. I usually take Mikey and Kylie together and then take Nathan, the two year old, on another day. As with most two year olds, life revolves around them and their needs. Today, everyone was here and something amazing happens to kids when they are all together, trouble and chaos! And why is it that when boys get together they are constantly belting out announcements of all the body noises they like to make. Like we all don't know what just happened. I don't know if I can really control chaos, it just happens!

And then, in the middle of the madness, there are moments that speak for themselves, those moments when all is right with the world.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Made in the USA

The dog show was on last night, and Jennifer watches them all. As I came into her room the cutest Boston Terrier was on the screen so I froze the picture for a few minutes and sketched this adorable dog! The lighting was so strong the right side of his face was almost completely blacked out with only the tips of the ears shining. I threw some paint on it today, it was fun, loose and fast. About an hour, 12 x 16, cold press. I think that Boston's are one of our "developed" breeds hence the title.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Peaches in Crystal

Today was really great. Marta got home and came right over so we could play with our new paints and brushes. We had a wonderful visit, she shared all her wonderful sketches, we had lunch and then after painting we swam. It was wonderful. When Randy got home he played cabana boy and made us martini's and served us at pool side, wow, what a day! This is my painting with my new colors, very clean and transparent colors, I like!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Summer Peaches

There are a few things that mean summer is here! One of them is eggplant and fresh tomatoe sandwiches (to die for!) and the other is fresh picked peaches on Bryers Natural Vanilla Ice Cream! Oh yummy.
We moved both my apricot and peach tree during the construction this last year and I was sure that I wouldn't have much fruit. But to all of our surprise the tree, happyin their new location, set tons of fruit. I watched the apricots start to turn a beautiful orange and as I got ready to pick the birds got every last apricot! Oh no! I swore that this wouldn't happen to my peaches! Its amazing how the birds just know when the fruit is ready and they come in and get them right before picking time. I have done everything from nets to CD's hanging off the branches at our old house to try and beat the critters to the fruit. So I was getting ready to cover the tree when I noticed that the fruit was ready, so I ate some just to be sure, perfect! So I picked a bowl of them, we ate them over the next few days and I went back out to see if there were any left and to my amazement, nothing was touched. This repeated itself twice again until now I am down to a few left to pick. The birds for some reason haven't touched them, makes me wonder whats wrong with them?

I took tons of pictures to paint so I can thoroughly enjoy my peach season through out the year. I then bought some new watercolors to help inspire me!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Fishing July 08

Well its that time of year again, deep sea fishing is here. Casa Colina plans about 3 trips a year and Friday was our first. The fishing was amazing, although my thoughts of sitting quietly in the chair relaxing as I wait for a bite never happened. We took the grandkids and Melissa along with Jennifer. Many of the people who signed up to go didn't show up so the boat was fairly empty which left the deckhands with little to do but bait our hooks and untangle our lines. It was heaven. I didn't have to stick one hook through a eye, or mouth or gill the whole trip! We barely were able to get our hooks in the water when our lines were hit and we either caught something or lost our bait. Everyone took lots of fish home, but Jennifer won for the biggest fish again. And whats even more amazing is that as they were helping her reel in her fish another line got tangled up in hers and as they pulled her line up another white sea bass hit the other lines bait and they reeled in two fish! It was like she caught them both! Here she is the ultimate fishing queen!

Monday, July 07, 2008

Two hour challenge

I belong to a watercolor group online and we set challenges up weekly. It is great fun to have such a rich selection of photos to pick from each week. These are meant to challenge us to try things we don't normally do, whether it is a different medium, style or subject. This week I managed to fit in 3 quick paintings. This one was a boating scene from Roger's photo group. I cropped out one boat and focused on it and the surrounding water which I have never painted. It was a great stretch for me, I obviously need more practice at it. This painting was done in about 1 hour. Its really about just making myself try and paint or draw something everyday, another challenge. Have a great Monday everyone!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Happy Fourth of JULY- Independence Day

Well tomorrow is the fourth, a day set aside to basically have a party and end the day with fireworks. Its great, a fun filled day in the middle of summer. Its always incredibly hot but by the time the fireworks happen the sun has gone down and the summer nights are wonderful. The kids still love to drive to the top of the local hills and watch the fireworks happening all around Riverside. Every year, when they were small, we would take them to watch the fireworks show on Mount Rubidoux, while we played the corresponding radio station on the car radio that was broadcasting and playing the music. It was all so patriotic, then right after the grand finale the mountain always caught on fire and the kids loved to watch the firetrucks race up the hill and put out the fires! Not so fun this year with all the fires burning out of control, I wonder if they will even have fireworks on Mt. Rubidoux this year?

We are having the family and some friends over for a barbeque, swimming and just enjoying each others company. I took Jenn and Kylie to the nail salon and we had our nails done, and here is my pedicure, I think it looks great in the pool! This is where I plan on having my feet most of the day, I hope everyone has a great day.

I have so many dear friends in th UK, I will be thinking of you today working. Sorry!
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