Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Years Eve 2013

I can't remember when the last time was that we had a quiet NYE at home.  And its all good with me.

The weather outside is frightening.  Single digits and windy, with 4-6 inches predicted.  Just a good night to stay in. 

Looking back on this year, I have warm fuzzies.  We went 600 miles (one way) to my family reunion.  Not sure how many more of those there will be, but it was good to see everyone again.   I was finally hired at the job I have temped at for the last two and a half years. We went to Art Prize again this year!  We have been able to take a couple short trips this year, and each have been memorable.  Everyone I love is healthy and happy.  Life is good.

The new year looks exciting to me.  I can't wait to watch the Olympics.  I am looking forward to going to going to ArtPrize again this year.  And possibly a graduation is in our future!  How exciting would that be?

Like I previously posted, one of my new years resolutions is not to always paint on canvas.  To recycle and paint on things that I already have.  To use up some of those supplies I have in my art room that I have saved for 'someday'.   Do more recycled art.   Like those wooden block Santas I did.  Those were scraps that were headed for someones wood burner.

Today, for about a dollar, I made eight coasters that look like this:

Made from beer cartons and 4 inch tiles. I think they turned out awesome! Thank you Pinterest.  I think I will give some as a gift for a Man cave and keep making some until all those beer cartons I liked the art on (and brought home so they wouldn't get thrown away )  are recycled into something useful.  Maybe, next craft show season, (next fall) I will finally have something to sell!

My friend Terri also invited me to join an Art Journal class for the New Year, and we start off needing a three ring binder and some heavy paper pages.  Just so happens, in my art room, I saved some 4 inch binders from the dumpster (there was nothing wrong with them, except they had titles on them).  SO, I am designing up the outside with some duct tape and some adhesive vinyl to house the journal.  

The pages for the journal?  My friend, Barb, rescued a TON of paper, (different colors, light weight up to cardstock) from the dumpster at her work.  (corporations can throw out soooo much good stuff) I have used a lot of this paper for years, but some of it is even three hole punched!!  Its just been waiting for this project!!  I am jazzed about doing this journal!
So, so far, my recycled, use-what-you've-got resolution is working well!!

This Friday is the First Friday of the month and I am displaying at the Pool Hall.   I have to get things around for that tomorrow while I am off.  Hmmmm.... what to take to a Pool Hall... ???

Always an adventure!  Stay tuned!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Good morning!  Christmas is over and in these last days of 2013, while we're waiting for the New Year, is kind of a down time, not blue, but relaxed.   Here are the things that make up my world at the moment.

Today, DS2 will be soon leaving for the long road back to college.  It takes 7 and a half hours for him to drive back on a good day.  Looking at the radar he should be able to travel safely, unlike the trip home, which was so nasty he had to do it in two days.  I call these pins and needles days for me, until I get the call that he has arrived safely.   The house will be too quiet for the next few days.

I am still looking for that elusive word of the year 2014.  I hate to say it, but at this point, I am reluctant to let go of last years word.  I am keeping my eyes and ears open to a new one, but feeling like I haven't used up the one I already have. I need and crave "sunshine"... especially in Winter.

After 5 days of a tummy bug, that has curbed my holiday eating, (that can be good AND bad)  I wondered if it was my silent thought that I do not want to gain any holiday pounds.  Starting to feel better today, actually drank a whole cup of beloved coffee!

Looking forward to doing some Bra Art for the rekindled Auction coming up in February.   A local merchant held these auctions for about 8 years, and as times are hard, she ended up closing up shop.  I think I participated for 7 of the 8.  But now after a couple year hiatus, someone is picking up the ball and running with it.  It raised a lot of money for the Womens Clinics in the county and the artists supported it well.  I have even done a piece already, (possibly not done yet.) And hope to do at least one more.
The dictionary page has the word "brassiere" on it. Debating whether or not to put a pink ribbon around the word.  I like bra art that can be a conversation piece and not just reek the auction.  Some think you can only do art on a bra.  I have some years, and those are fun, but sometimes, its nice just to do a non-wearable.

Speaking of the Bra Art Auction... I was perusing Pinterest the other day and actually saw one of the bras that I did one year.  Someone posted it!  Not sure if it was the new owner or not, but I thanked them for posting it.

We have not heard of any get togethers for the New Year.  We were thinking of inviting some folks over here but I haven't been feeling well, so hadn't said anything yet.  It wouldnt bother me if we just had a nice dinner and stayed home, but we do that here all the time.  Maybe we need to branch out a bit.

Speaking of the New Year, I see on my wise old Facebook page, that the New Year will start on a New Moon, supposively signifying that  its a year of new beginnings... hopefully in the way of some new jobs for my hubs and DS2 after he graduates in May.  Ahh.... that would be nice.

Well, thats it for now.  Stay tuned...

Thursday, December 26, 2013

December 26, 2013

Hoping you all had a Merry Christmas and the holidays were good to you. 

Now that Christmas is over, I can show you what my season included:
 My impromptu dining room table centerpiece...

 These were blocks cut from 2x4's - yeah, I could have just put letters on them that spelled "Merry Christmas", but I took it a little further.  They were gifts for people on my list.

 Our Grandpup decided that this was HIS spot.

Doing some art for others for Christmas allowed me to get the nativity set that I have been wanting for years.

 I found Santa checking up on some folks, and decided to give him a lift one night.

My Christmas card art this year.  I got about 10 printed off before the graphics card in my computer went bad and I wasn't able to do any more.  Haven't printed off the calendars yet either.

Thank you Pinterest.  We had fun with this this year.  It made a great photo op at the company party and family get togethers.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Sunday, December 22, 2013

The weather outside is frightful, and all the snow that we had last week is being washed away by rain, and a lot of the state has had ice.  We thought for sure we'd be having a White Christmas.

Sunday dinner is done, and I am doing the last bits of art in the art room for Christmas.  Tomorrow I work, and then have two days off.  Then two days of work, then two off, then one on, then two off then two at work, and two days off again.  Tis the season.

Still trying to come up with a word for next year... here are a few things that I haven't had a chance to post about SUNSHINE, last years word.  See why I love it?

It just makes you feel good...

But, I have decided on one of my New Years Resolutions... I want to make an effort to use the supplies I have in my possession now.  I have saved things to do something with "someday"  Well, hate to tell ya:  Its going to take more than one day, and this is the YEAR.  I am ready to get it out and done, though doing something because you HAVE TO is never as much fun as the things that you WANT to, I really need to make the effort. THEN, I am challenging myself to actually sell some of my work this year.  I am still learning what the part is about it that has been my stumbling block, but every where I turn, I hear that its time to make stumbling blocks into stepping stones.  This is the year.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Thursday December 19th, 2013

If you had been reading my last post, I found the camera.  Then I found the Christmas stockings that I couldn't find, (they just seemed to be right in front of me, after I had been looking for over a week!  How could I have missed them?) The only thing I need to find is my ring.  I took it off to do a deep moisturizing on my hands, ('tis winter!) and can't remember where I took it off.  I remember thinking that "it'll be safe HERE! "  Yep.  REAALLY safe! 

Between the house being a mess, with me spending free time on finishing the projects for Christmas, all that shopping and wrapping and decorating stuff, and trying to put in my time at work, I just haven't had the extra brain cell to think about it.

So, within the whirlwind of my mind, I am thinking that we are coming upon the time to pick THE WORD of the New Year.   Instead of the usual resolution, you pick a word, (or it picks you), of what your goal, or vision of the New Year will be.   Last year was the first time I picked a WORD, and it kind of picked me.  Meaning, the minute I thought about it, I knew it was probably going to use it for 2013.  I love that word.  It was SUNSHINE.

I feel better when I can sit in a sunbeam, and I felt I needed the uplift last year at this time. Oddly enough, it has worked!  I do feel that I have a better attitude than I did last year at this time.

My thoughts are searching and whirling for that new elusive WORD.  I have a whole week AFTER Christmas when my mind is more sedentary to come up with one.   Or maybe I'll pick this one again... its done me well.

Monday, December 16, 2013

December 16, 2013

Last Thursday night was our Company Christmas Party.  I was taking pictures of co-workers and having a great time.  I always have my camera on me, and my friends know it.  My card is carrying over a thousand pics, and yes, most are downloaded on the computer, but its my picture wallet.  When I want to show someone something, its on my camera, and I can show them!  A far cry from the bulky 35mm cameras I used to carry around with all the lenses, (and have to get developed before I could share with anyone!) the Hubs and the boys bought me a small pocket-able digital.  I love it!

Anyway...over the weekend, I was Christmas shopping and out and about.  Sunday night I was ready to drop those pictures onto the computer so I could send them off to people.  Couldn't find the camera!

I emptied my purse out, turned coat pockets inside out, (even the ones I knew I didn't wear).  In the middle of the big snow that hit over the weekend, we searched the car, under the seats, down the sides of the seats... panic started setting in.  I asked the Universe, Oh where! Oh Where! did I put it?

My camera goes with me everywhere, and before I hyperventilated about losing my security blanket, I made a mental list of everywhere I went over the weekend.  Oh, boy!   Thats a lot of backtracking!  Would someone turn it in if it was found or throw the card out and use it for themselves?  Would they keep the card, and erase the last year and a half of my life?  (I know, I know, they are on the hard drive too, but I was in panic mode!)  Settle down, I told myself, I probably left it at work.

Certainly anyone at work who found it and looked at any of the pics would know exactly whose it was!  I couldn't wait to get to work today to look around my desk, and the drawer I keep my purse, and ask the party clean up crew if anyone saw it.   No luck.

So today, while at work, I called The Hubs (since he was off on a snow day), as I wanted him to check a bag I brought home from the party. (I had already looked there once) Funny enough, sent that text to a friend I used to work with... he had no idea where it was.  Lol!  Once I stopped the much needed laughing, I had to re-text The Hubs, and by that time, said if it wasn't in the bag, could he call around to a few places we were at this weekend to see if anyone turned it in. He texted back later and said no, no one found it.

Ok, so I had been without it for 4 days.  I was starting to give up hope.  On the way home, I thought I would double check the coat pockets once again.  While I was doing so, I was thinking about what I was wearing Thursday night. I wore a blazer that I hardly ever wear.   After I took it off, I had hung it back in the closet, put the dry cleaning bag over it again to keep it clean until I wear it again.  Surely, I would have felt the weight of the camera had it been in the pocket, but I would check again.

I squeezed the blazer through the wrapper and didn't feel anything that would feel like the camera, but what the heck, I lifted up the plastic and checked the pockets anyway.


I am happy to say all the pics of my artwork for the last year and a half, not to mention my boys smiling faces (in more scenes than one) was safe!  Vacations, day trips, family gatherings and celebrations. 

I know you are probably rolling your eyes, but I will sleep better tonight.  Ask, Believe, Receive is big for me.  Never a doubt. 

Now its time to go download and email some pics...

Saturday, December 14, 2013

December 14, 2013

 I love this photo.  I would love to give credit, but not sure where it came from.  Thought I would share.

Wow.  My apologies for the attitude in the last writing.  Guess I needed to vent. (Feel better now.)

I'm happy to report that I have done 4 projects for other people that they asked me to do since I have shown you anything I have done. (not the people I was venting about) Whew!  Done and paid.  Good feeling!  Check that off Santa's list!

Also, have done a piece for my Christmas cards.  Then I printed said cards and am hopefully going to get those out yet today! Check.

Printed address labels for said cards and other Christmas correspondence.  Check! (they're pretty cute!)

I also have made some reproductions of my work for some people that wanted them. Backed and matted! Check.

One tree up, one yet to do, one check, not two.

Working on several small gifts for special people.  They are drying in the art room. Not nearly done, so not a full check off my list but getting there!

Two of three boxes packed and off in the mail.  Check and check!

Must yet do the online ordering.  YIKES!

Doing some baking and some food goodies for gifts today. 

Have half the calendar done for the family.  Need to spend time on that yet.

Wowsa.  Guess I'd better get to it!  Will post some pics next time.  Until then, enjoy the season!  Its not just the 24th and 25th you are suppose to enjoy ya know!

Friday, December 6, 2013

December 6, 2013

File this under Where the Attitude Comes From....

Maybe its because in 9th grade I had an art teacher that I locked horns with and she pretty much had me convinced I was never going to be an artist.

Maybe its because of said teacher that I didn't really do much with art for about 15 years.

Then once I started to explore art again, and realize that if it made ME happy, then to hell with everyone elses opinion, that was what I needed to do.

Then people started liking my art, and liked what I did.

Then they wanted me to do things for them.  Some were appreciative.  Some wanted to control every brush stroke.  Some just loved what I did, but when they wanted me to do for them, I wasn't good enough.  Some folks really burned me with their opinions.

So back to art for ME.

So maybe, just maybe, I have developed somewhat of an attitude.  When I am done with a piece I have done, I am done.  It is an extension of me.  I don't believe it needs embellishment or something else.  Like it or don't, it doesn't matter to me, but please don't tell me if YOU had done it, YOU would have done this or that to it.  YOU didn't do it.  I did.  This is my suit of armor.

My attitude is from that.  I see where it stems back to my art not being good enough for some people.

One of the things I need to do in the new year is decide NOT to do art for anyone but myself again.

Then I have to find a place where I can let it go, (in my mind as well as find a place to sell it from) and sell it or give it without thinking someone is going to 'make it better'. 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

December 1, 2013

Well, one month away from 2014.  Wow. That year went fast.  And in other ways, it seems a loonnnng time ago that it was New Years.   We have had a few bummer years, but this one seemed to be better for us.

Every year I do a calendar for my family.  Every year I go through the year in pictures to decide what to put in the calendar.  Today, I started that project, and wow- there has been a bunch to report this year.  And I also do a calendar that has my artwork on it... Wow, I have done a lot of painting too! 

Not all awesome things are material things,  Some things just make you go, "cool!" 

Let me just post a few of the awesome things that have happened here....

Excuse the pic that is upside down, but last Christmas, a coworker taught us all how to make these snowflakes.  So on our lunch hours, we did a bunch of them and hung them all through our department. They were beautiful and envy of the building!  When the tragedy at Sandy Hook happened, there was a snowflake campaign, and we send a box of ours.  We received a beautiful thank you from the folks in Sandy Hook thanking us for them and on the front of the card were many of the different kinds of snowflakes that they received.  Ours was on the front too!   They received trucks and trucks of snowflakes from all over the world and thanked everyone for their "blizzard" showing the concern and prayers for all the victims and families in the tragedy. 
In a small way, it really did feel like we could help.

In March, Hubs and I went upstate and as I was shopping, noticed this little cutie pie in a store.  I asked the owner if I could take a pic and paint her.  He said, "if you can get a good pic, have at it, but if you end up painting her, I would like to see it."  Fair enough!  I painted her from this pic, and sent it in an email, he wrote back, wanted it, and his mom was the next email saying, DON'T SELL IT TO HIM, sell it to me for him for his birthday!

I had to tell him a creative story about getting a good print of it, but sold it to his mom and the guy got it for his Birthday!  That was a fun experience!  And I know it went to the right home.

The painting >>

Last one for the day.

Each year Hubs helps out Santa and pretends he's him, so that Santa can stay back with the elves making all those toys.
The Legion Auxiliary here, have Arts and Crafts making and also holiday treats for the kiddies during the event.
After they visit Santa, they can make presents for their families and friends at the craft tables.  A few of them ran back to give them to "Santa" and didn't forget that giving can be reciprocated.
Those special ornaments decorated our tree last year. 

Bless their little pea-pickin' hearts.

Maybe I will just add a few more awesome things again tomorrow.  Until then!