Tuesday, December 30, 2014

December 30, 2014

I am off from work this week, and at least I got through Christmas without being sick.  I think the last two, I have been, and I waited until yesterday to come down with a sinus 'thang' with a cough.  There were several people at work that were sick last week and I was hoping I wasn't going to catch it for the holidays.  I don't seem to have what they had, so I am not going to blame them, but its damn considerate of me, I think, to use my already-off time to be sick! 

That being said, I have time for art, because even when you were a kid, home from school, wid a code in da nodes, (sniff) you could color and draw, right?  I was in training wayyy back then!

Although now, it is interrupted to change batches of laundry and to make sure the dog goes out.  The difference between being a kid and an adult.

We had a green Christmas this year and the sun is shining brightly today, with beautiful blue skies.  I saw something on Facebook today that said, "Christmas is over, I am ready for Spring!" and that about sums up where I sit.

When Hubs and I were first married, I found a Christmas Journal (in one of those magazines that you get a million of at Christmas), and bought it with our name printed on the front of it.  We have been faithful in filling it in every year with facts about the Christmas, the synopsis of the year, and our hellos and goodbyes that the year held.  In fact, when we filled up our first book and I couldn't find another one, I made another, and some for friends.  We love going through it and reading about when we were just starting out, then when the kids came along, and the rundown of what each year held.   Today, I am going to fill it in for this year, we usually do it on Christmas Day.

Another thing I forgot to do this year is on Christmas Eve, is, we usually put out luminaries.  Must be that Green Christmas that we had that just didn't quite feel like Christmas. Well, its one for the books!  Literally! 

I found this online, and I like the blank slate part.  Blank canvas waiting for colors!  Endless possibilities!  Stay tuned!

Monday, December 29, 2014

December 29th, 2014

For a few years now, I have chosen one little word in the beginning of my New Year, (thanks to my friend Shells who introduced me to it) because it really is more reasonable than a New Years resolution.  I was skeptical at first but I enjoy the simplicity now.  One word. 

(Although, I did make a NY's Rez last year that I would work on the projects I had in the art room for 'someday'.  In this blog, I have tried to put the projects in here to show that I have whittled away at some of those projects.)

The way this WORD thing was put to me is; you open your mind around the end of the year of what you think your New Year needs to have in it, and usually, if you are open to listening to it, the word picks you.  You'll know it when you hear it resonating within you.  You will hear it multiple times. Some people pick words like create, focus, inspire, and relax.  Some use it in their artwork and root it into their world.  Let it challenge you to enhance your life.

As you have read here, a couple blogs back, I told you two years ago I needed SUNSHINE to be in my world.  (I think if you go back a ways, you can even see where I picked that word!)  I also picked it last year, but it didn't feel the same.  I don't think anything was speaking to me, and I may have panicked, and heck, it was a good word for me before.  (The word doesn't have to be picked before the first of the year, but sometime around the first month)

This year, I think my word is going to be LIGHTEN.  I need to lighten up. Lighten my load.  Lighten my worries, and lighten my clutter.  Let go and Let God lighten.  Lighten picked me. 

I know that once a room is clean, there is room for so much more mental clarity.  You know how it feels when you have just spring-cleaned a room?  Yeah, I want to feel that. 

Yes, I need to let more things roll off me. I need to take some armor off and learn to let things go. Lighten Up.  Give it to God to handle.  Take it off my shoulders.

And like half of the worlds population, I need to physically lighten.  I want to make better choices of food and get off my butt and take a walk more often.  Not going to join a gym or buy special food courses to do it, but walk on my lunch hour and just choose healthier foods.  Hopefully that will lighten ME. It is within my power.  Why not?

So there you have it.  I have three days to lighten this house of all the holiday goodies, (tee-hee).

I hope anyone reading this can pick a word of their own.   It really is much easier to abide by in the New Year, although I am not giving up on my rez from last year.  There are still many projects to do here that need doing, and I feel momentum has been good in that way.

I know Shells is inviting some art related One Little Word projects in the DLP 52 journalling group, so if I get inspiration about my New Word, I will post it here.  Stay tuned!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Friday December 26, 2014

I forgot to post the Christmas art that I did this year.  Every year I try to do one special 'card', not that I make cards and send, but I do post them and wish everyone a Merry Christmas and show it.  Well, for 2014 its this...
 Compiled from two barn pics I have pics of. 

While out shopping, I found some of these and had to have one of each.  Aren't they they cutest?   I haven't checked to see if they were the inspiration dolls that I posted about a while back that are supposed to replace the elves on the shelves. 

Stay tuned!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas morning 2014

Awake alone, hubby and son upstairs still sleeping after 8 am.  I am up, having the cup of coffee with a Christmas choir singing on TV.  The dogs have been out and are fed, and back sleeping.  In the quiet of Christmas morning, I am hit with the ghosts of Christmases past, and future and of course, the present.

This year we are waiting a few more days to celebrate Christmas until our other son is home as he had to work on Christmas, and we are whole as a family.  Its not Christmas until everyone is here safe and sound anyway.  Reminded of those with family away, perhaps serving the country, or just too far away to make it home.

Reminded of those mornings where there were excited children tearing through wrappings and playing with new toys.  Ahhhh, the way times change, eh?  Its all about going down the road. 

Anyway, the shopping and the hype and all will be pretty much done after today, and we can set our sights on a new year, new beginnings and new sights.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all beautiful memories.  Make them and keep them!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Monday December 22,2014

Last I wrote, I was going to my friend, Christy's paint party.   Here is the painting we did:
I guess I learned a little from doing it,  but there is something off in it.  Perspective.  If its water, its going up hill.  The 'art teacher' that taught us said this is the hardest painting she teaches.  She taught draw line from A to B and paint it in thusly... but not sure I did it justice and I had more experience than most in that room.

Anyway, it was fun.  We had wine. Good night out.

Instead of the art I usually post, I thought I would post a short story that I recently wrote. 


The old man with the walker hobbled up to the surprise guest to the retirement home he now occupied.  Santa had just ho-ho-ho’d his grand entrance and residents were in line to sit on Santa’s lap for pictures.  

Eddie loved Christmas here, with all kinds of people around and the lights and decorations!  There were always visitors at this time of year; choirs from the school who came caroling, kids from the church and youth groups dropping by to make cookies or bring other goodies. Much different than the old days, Eddie thought.

Eddie used to own the bar in the small town.  For years, he kept his place open for those who were missing families far away and wanted somewhere to go on Christmas Eve.  There usually weren’t too many of those in this small town.   A couple of older gents who either were avoiding the hub-bub at home, and needing the ‘shoring up’ of a drink to face the in-laws again, or those who were just alone in life and were regulars in the bar to begin with.  Eddie’s place was their home and the regulars were as close to family as they got.

There use to be a kid that, from a year or two past legal drinking age, occupied one of the stools a few years in a row on Christmas and didn’t have another place to be.  Eddie knew this kid was a local and served his dad at this same bar for years.  In fact, Eddie saw this kid in here with his dad many times, playing pool and the juke box while his dad had a beer.  He was familiar with him and had watched him grow up.  And even knew his name was Randy.  His parents were divorced, his mom had left the scene and his father and his new wife were spending Christmas with her family, away.   His friends were all at family functions, so here he be.  Way too young to be here, though, Eddie thought.

Eddie served him up the beer and conversation and felt bad that Randy had no where else to be, because a good kid like him, should be somewhere better on Christmas.

Fast forward a few years,  and Randy eventually found a girl, and settled down, had a family and had other places to be for Christmas.  Eddie sold the bar and found retirement to be enjoyable and the two didn’t see each other again for years.

In the retirement home that night, Santa recognized that man on his knee, although the man had no idea who he was, as they both smiled for the camera.

After Santa’s pictures and visits were over, and he said “Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!” Santa left.  The retirement home had a huge meal for all the residents.  Santa was invited back to eat, without the red suit, as a thank you for coming.  And he did.

When the costume was off, and Randy slipped back into the room, a few of the residents knew exactly who he was, and who he had been.  But from one resident, a joyous, “RANDY!”  It was Eddie, who was happy to see this kid again, all these years later, at Christmas time.  He gave Randy a quick hug and they caught up on their lives since the Christmases they knew together, so many years ago. 

The End.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas, and I hope to blog again before the New Year.  If I don't have a joyous one, and stay tuned!!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

twelve thirteen fourteen

Today is Twelve Thirteen Fourteen.  That's the last day this century that will happen, with all the numbers in succession like that.  Realizing that just gave this day an air of specialness!  Especially since I won't be around for the next one.   The last one was before my Mother was born and my Grandma was 14.  Wow.  That puts it in perspective!

I haven't been doing a lot of art lately, and yet, I have been doing some crafty stuff. 
Nothing really braggable, mostly experimental.  I am going to a friends paint and wine party tonight.  They are really popular here right now.  Open a bottle of wine, and paint a canvas: girls night out.

I have done a couple swaps in my art journal group, and I apologize to those ladies.  I don't know if I just don't understand the art journaling well enough or I just have my head elsewhere. I think they are getting the dull end of the swap. The stuff they send me is gorgeous, but not sure what I will do with it.  But the dining table is full of that stuff as I keep trying to follow the crowd.  I think my calling might be elsewhere.

Christmas is going to be at my house this year which means the dining table has to be cleaned off, much to The Hubs' joy.   SO, I have to make room in the art room for it.  Oh boy.

My goal for the weekend is to organize the art room better.  Make room in there for the stuff on the dining room table and get the house spiffed up a little.  I may need more than the weekend!

I have been thinking about my ONE WORD for the New Year.  You know, you choose one word that resonates with you for the whole year and usually, the word picks you.  I believe I have found mine.  I will share it once I declare it for sure, but this one is following me around and not leaving anytime soon.

Last year, 2013, I chose the word SUNSHINE because it made me feel good and lifted my spirits.  This year, I chose it again, thinking I didn't want to let it go yet.  I liked that.  But it was a used word, and felt second hand and didn't end up having the magic it did the first year.  It was harder to use.  So, lesson learned:  the word needs to be new.
 See, don't these just make you feel like sunshine?  Looking out my winter window, I could use some sunshine before I have to give this word up for the year.

Well, I shall post the results of tonights party.  For now, I have taken a long enough break for lunch and have to get back to the art room.  (Fibber McGee's closet for those of you that knows what that is.)

Note to Rebecca:  I ended up putting the bow on the wreath, and it did come in tied for second in the voting.  The one that won was a FROZEN themed one.  Thanks for your comment!  I appreciate all comments!

Have a great sunshiney successive numbered day out there everyone:  Make it something special!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

November 22, 2014

My boss, who is in charge of the decorations for the company Christmas party, bought 18 artificial wreaths that were bare nekkid - kinda like this:
 So she puts out an email to the whole building that the first 18 people can sign them out, take them home and decorate them, and bring them back for a vote.  Winner gets a prize.  Then they are used for table decorations for the tables at the party.  And raffled off at the end of the night.  I just happened to have some Christmas sprigs, etc that I had purchased last year, and never used.  So, true to my New Years Rez, I got to get one more bag of stuff out of my art room and decorated mine:
Its much fuller, but wondering if it needs something else?

My creative endeavors this week seem to be hitting the same wall.  That 'something else' factor.
Here is a colored pencil drawing I did earlier this week and have to decide how to do the background.
 So you can see it needs SOMETHING ELSE.

I DID happen to finish a painting this week:  For now, I call it "Mama Barn and Baby Barns" but not sure if its totally done too.  What is it with this Something Else deal?

And I finally decided what the 'something else' was that this needed... it needed a little bit of icy-ness in the trees and a little sparkle for the snow.  It only took about a year to figure that out.
The hardest part of doing art is knowing when to quit.  You can overdo so easily.   Just about every painting I do, I say, "I think I am done", then put it up where I see it daily for a week or so, just to see if that is true.  I also take a pic and put it on the screen.  That sure brings any flaws to light and many things that you don't see while doing it.

 I have some things base coated in the artroom drying, that I need to go and do, so stay tuned...!

Monday, November 17, 2014

November 17, 2014

Omgoodness!  Its the last half of November already!! 
and next week is THANKSGIVING!!!  Whew!  Where does the time go?? (disclaimer: this is not my artwork, but i really, really, really like it!)

I haven't been posting, because, there is just not that much happening.  I see on my last post, I welcomed in the ugly month of November.  Well, I guess it showed me! 

Snow and blowing and slippery-ness and bundling up.  Old Man Winter has arrived.  But its still autumn until the equinox, you say??  yeah, that don't mean nuthin.  You're not in Kansas anymore, Toto.  You have to be hearty and sturdy to live here, man.

 Working on a couple things, artsy wise, that I will post when possible.

Stay tuned.  Stay thankful.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

November 6, 2014

Happy November. 

Well, - November! Welcome to windshield scraping, bundle-up, no-leaves-on-the-trees-anymore, ugly season.  Oh yeah, and its deer season.  Our son got his first with his bow last weekend. Bless that animal and the meat within.

I think I am almost done with my cousins vacation pic.  I think I will call it Peggy's Cove, because, I believe that's where it is.  I have slats to put on the fishing hut and I might just call it done.

Next week I am going to be part of an art exhibition in Ann Arbor, that a friend of mine is putting on at her work.  I will be there for the meet and greet and then leave a few pieces for a month.

I am not participating in First Fridays this weekend, but hope to attend. 

Well have a couple other things going at the moment.  Stay tuned!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Blogtober 31, 2014

Congrats to my fellow Blogtober-ers!  We made it through yet another Blogtoberfest Challenge!  I know I kind of got a late start but I tried to catch up and stick with it.

Its 930 pm on Halloween, and the day has been a full one.  At work we scaled back a little, but still had a great time having our Pajama party!

The Village's first annual Halloween Parade went off with about 15 floats that survived the wind, rain, snow and sleet.  It was not fit for man nor beast out there tonight, and the winning float went away with $1000.oo in their pockets!

Tomorrow, I am going to a small church fall craft show to see my friend Maureen who is showing her pottery.  She does beautiful work!

So this concludes another year of this thirty day challenge.  Thank you again if you have been reading.  Returning to my un-regularly scheduled posts.

Stay  tuned!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Blogtober 30 2014

Well, just about 32 years ago as I write this, I was preparing to walk down the aisle.   Fast forward, thirty two years and he is teaching a class tonight, and I am holding down the fort doing the laundry, the clean up after dinner, and preparing for a costume day at work tomorrow! 

Our department is Halloweening as a Pajama party!  How much fun could THAT be?  Going to work in my JAMMIES???  I haven't done that since the Unemployment Days.  In fact, back then, I might have been in those jammies for DAYS!  Ok, lets not go there...

Anyway, I will have to take pics tomorrow.  Then its home to hundreds, and I MEAN hundreds of trick or treaters, then the first ever Halloween Parade in our small community.   Followed by a Family Costume judging and a Zombie contest.  And our first born will be home for the weekend.

Presently, a Charlie Brown program is on about the election.  I am not really paying much attention, but when the little Woodstock birdie speaks, our dog barks.  Its kind of funny, really. 

I sold the painting that I finished last night to my cousin, but it is actually from a picture of her vacation anyway. I only charged her materials.  I didn't feel right asking for any more, as it was her pic to begin with.  She didn't ask if I could do it, but I asked her if she minded if I put it on my to-do list. She had no idea a week later that it would be done.  But she loved it.  She's one of my biggest fans.

Well, until tomorrow.  LATE tomorrow.  Stay tuned!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Blogtober 29 2014

"Everything I ever needed to learn, I learned in Kindergarden!"  So here is my Show-N-Tell...

 Here are the 2x4 blocks that I did for Halloween....

 This is Peggy's Landing.  From a picture from my cousin and her hubby who just visited Nova Scotia.  I'm not sure I did it justice.

I received these in the Mail from a lady named Lorraine Cline from a swap for Art Journalling from DLP 52.  Thank you Lorraine, they are beautiful.  I need to keep up on this journalling thing.
I am lucky to do this Blog for Blogtober!   And there are just two more of those. 
Stay tuned!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Blogtober 28 2014


Enjoy your day!
Stay tuned!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Blogtober 27, 2014

Today I was introduced to KINDNESS ELVES.  These are like the Elf on a Shelf but they teach kindness instead of 'entitlement' lessons or creep some kids out who don't want Elfie to watch them while they sleep. 

The idea was mentioned by Anna at the Imagination Tree:  http://theimaginationtree.com/2013/11/alternative-elf-on-shelf-tradition-kindness-elf.html

 Quoting Anna's blog:
"We haven’t yet started obviously, but this is the general outline of what we will be doing with them:
  • They will arrive in our home and have been sent to share some love and magic at Christmas time
  • They will only be sharing kind ideas and noticing things that are lovely. There will be no focus on negativity, but they will still be lots of fun and silliness too!
  • They will be moved somewhere different each morning, sometimes in funny situations and positions, often next to an item that we need for that day’s kindness activity e.g. inside a mixing bowl ready to bake some cookies as a gift
  • They will be holding little suggestions for acts of kindness, love or helpfulness that we can do together that day for e.g. “Let’s collect some of your toys and give them away to the children’s hospital”, “let’s make some cookies for the neighbors”, “shall we visit an elderly friend/ relative?” etc
  • When they see the children doing kind and lovely things, they will leave a little note for them to find in the morning e.g. “Oh I loved it when I saw you sharing your new book with your little sister” or “you were very kind to help your Mummy load the dishwasher!” etc
  • Some mornings they may wake up to find the elves have lined up their shoes, tidied their coats, got the breakfast things ready or fixed a broken toy etc. Modelling direct ways to be kind and helpful as a prompt for the children in the day."
 Don't get me wrong, both kinds of elves help keep the wonderment in the kids eyes during the season.  Have you seen where some parents have had more fun with the Shelf Sitters than the kids actually did!? 

But, I love the lesson that Christmas is giving, and I think these are just adorable!

Do ya think it might be too late for my 25 and 27 year old to play this game?  Probably.  Dangit.

Stay tuned!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Blogtober 25, 2014

Next week, I will be married to The Hubs for 32 years.  Quite a feat for these-a-days.  Our anniversary has other things on the calendar, and the weekend after is filled with Trick or Treaters and a wedding of a friend. So we will probably find time to dress up a little and pick a restaurant that won't ask if we want fries with that.

I don't know that we have been doing it subconsciously, but we have been bringing up memories a lot  lately.

You know your marriage is strong when you can go through MAJOR home improvement. We have ripped down walls, and built on, and spent Christmases (notice- more than one) with nothing but plywood floors and dry wall on the walls.  Our 100+ year old house was in need of a LOT of TLC when we bought it when we were first married, and we have lived in it ever since.  We have never had the money to hire work done, although we did have someone build the stick portion of the new addition -we finished it off.  Because you do the work yourself, we learned that doing the 40 hours a week thing to be able to pay for the new addition, you have to do the work at night and on the weekends, and therefore, is probably not done as fast as you would like, but there is a sense of pride for a home you built yourself. Our photo albums are full of before and afters, and our kids at different ages with hammers in their hands.

I worked for Hubs for 4 years at his job. Not many marriages could deal with that. That's 24/7.  Lots of give and take and boundaries and compromise.  Not only are you dealing with opinions at home, but he is your boss too.  You want to come home and gripe about the day at work, (or the boss or the employee) and you can't.  Then the big boss decided to let me go, and Hubs had to give me the news.  That was fun. (NOT!)

Once we had the house pretty much done, it was almost time for the kids to go to college.  Big house for the two of us!  This is when the test STARTS... can you rattle around in a house with just the two of you? Man, you'd better LIKE that other person, because now there is no buffer.

We have grown and adapted.  He "gets" me now.  Something he had to learn, and I am not sure that lesson isn't much more than just learning toleration.  I think spouses of artists need a few  more kudos.  I know my mind goes a thousand directions at once, and I will take tangents in my conversation and head off in another direction, and completely lose the point in the whole thing.  He will ask, and I will say, TRY TO KEEP UP, WILL YA?

Two great kids, community, family and countless jobs, ups, downs, laughs and tears, birth, death, sickness, health, rich and poor, we have weathered it ok.  Those lines in the wedding vows are true tests, and are taken for granted at the start of a couples journey.  Now I say, Whew!

At this point, I don't think I have the oomph in me to start training another one.  And this one makes me laugh, usually when I don't want to.  Or shouldn't.  Good feature to have in a life partner. Guess I'll keep him.

So when we get to raise our glasses at that special meal we are using to celebrate with, I will hope the rest of the journey is an easy one, and there are many more.

Happy Anniversary!  Stay tuned!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Blogtober 24, 2014

You know how I said last week that I love a fun sign?  I found my collection of signs in a folder that I put away... here are a few:


Hope they made you smile today.  Stay tuned!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Blogtober 23, 2014

My sympathies to Canada today.  It seems no where is safe.  No one is immune. Blessings for peace and understanding for all of us.

Tomorrow will be a better day than yesterday.
Stay tuned.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Blogtober 22 2014

<< Decorating the front steps.

Can you name all the colors?>>

<<Behind every dark cloud there is ALWAYS sunshine.

 He tells us that the winter will start out a little harsh, and be very cold, although not as long as last, according to some Old Wives.  >>

 << True!

And one last Ha-Ha for the Ta-Ta's - Breast Cancer Awareness Month:

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Blogtober 21, 2014

I've been BOO'd!  

This morning I got to work and there was a little bag of candy with a poem on my desk from an anonymous person that read:

"The Treat is for you, I hope you enjoy
The idea is simple, one I hope you employ
You pass "BOO" along to two other cubicle neighbors
Along with any kind of Halloween favors
If we all do our part and spread the good cheer,
By Halloween night it will all be clear,
We're a friendly bunch, we like to share fun
So please do your part to keep BOO on the run!"

So tonight I am putting together boo bags to leave tomorrow.  Shhh... don't tell anyone at work! I don't know who left it, so they may get one back!

I had a sticky note on my calendar to start this on my own, but someone beat me to it.

 Kind of like a May Basket.  Without the chasing.

We'll those bags aren't going to put themselves together.  Stay tuned!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Blogtober 20, 2014

 This was my weekend project for work. The Elves deliver Secret Santa gifts for a small donation to charity from now until Christmas. Not bad, considering I didn't have a pattern and just started cutting on the posterboard.

The venue this weekend.

Personal note: Rest In Peace Officer Greg Hunt.

Stay tuned!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Blogtober 19, 2014

Well last evening was a success!  There were a lot of people and art! 
I am humbled that they let me in.   My little piece of art got lost in all the awesomeness that was there.  I am not sure if my confidence is better or worse for the experience.  I guess time will tell. I really haven't had any art classes, I have learned by the seat of my pants, and when I put it up against others, it shows.  I have to remind myself that I do art for me.  Not others.  As long as I am happy with it, that is all that matters.

I read an article once upon a time, about how a creative brain is always going a gazillion miles per hour.  Its the reason some kids daydream in class and can't stay focused.  Some kids who have been given medication to help them focus, end up dulling their creativity too.  I would be fibbing if I told you I was a good student back in school.   

I have recently discovered this artist named Rodney White who does really awesome stuff like this:

Love his work and bought the calendar!  Not only do I like his painting, this particular one speaks to me.  The best pieces I have done have been from the heart, not the mind.  Which is why I have a problem letting them go.  But I can.  And I will.  It gets closer every day.
Stay tuned.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Blogtober 18, 2014

Tonights the night of the Human Form exhibition!  I can't wait!  Will hopefully be able to take pics and post them tomorrow. 

As long as I am showing it tonight, I probably can show you now what my piece in the exhibition is:

These exhibitions get me out of my norm and make me try things I probably wouldn't normally try.  The bonsai display from last month,and this one, have challenged me to step up and do something new.  Although I usually hate "assignments" there's a difference in 'challenge'.  And of course, its not a 'gotta', its a 'want-to'. 

A local winery is donating wine for the evening,  a local cheese store is also donating.

The venue is a historical building basement, with its half brick, half slapped-on plaster walls,with uneven floors.  A cool place for an 'underground' display which, yes, will have some nudity.

One of the displays was in ArtPrize.  I saw it there and now ArtPrize is over and it will be there tonight.

I hope we have a crowd!  It would be great to see you! 
Stay tuned!