Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Animal Wednesday - more reptiles

They are calling it "cold" here in Florida, it's been in the 60's during the day, and colder at night. We are loving it, and thinking about our friends up in freezing cold temps (NOT).

Saw this guy floating in a river - we were safely on the bridge. He was HUGE!!!

I hope everyone has a wonderful New Year, I'm hoping for 2010 to be a good year, a happy year, one filled with love, friends, joy, family, and only minor aggrevations. One can dream....

Friday, December 25, 2009

Happy Holidays

Kerstin posted this video and I got such a kick out of it this morning - go check it out!

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy New year to you all.

It's raining here in Florida today but yesterday it was BIKE RIDING weather and then homemade pizza for dinner. Lovely.

Hope you are all warm and cozy, are opening presents galore, and are with loved ones!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Animal Wednesday on Tuesday - Fishies redux

We are probably leaving tomorrow for a winter holiday (with MIL of course, sigh) but since things are looking up with her it should be a bit more upbeat than our last couple of visits. My mom will be in California from Thursday onwards, which is great for her - but we'll miss her around the house. But then again...we get the house to ourselves for a week...

So yes, I could have posted Animal Wednesday as a scheduled post, but I actually don't like those. My posts are somewhat immediate, not planned, not scheduled and it wears on my mind thinking that something is out there getting ready to pop (or not pop as sometimes happens) on my blog. So, I am posting Animal Wednesday on Tuesday and since there are NO rules for AW - I'm not in trouble with the animal police!!

So, the latest fish episode:

On a snowy Sunday, after inside chores were complete, I sat and watched a movie and drew another few fishes with a few additional extensions on their chubby bodies. After they were done and scanned in, I printed them on various paper, and played with color.

I like painting fish because you can play with watercolors in their bodies - letting one blend into another, plus - fish colors are variable, there is no "right" or "wrong" colors for a fish. And I do love fish that walk....

I was working on this guy early in the AM, and his tail was coming out so red, and the paint acting so strange! I thought it was the paper that I wasn't used to but was me...I was using turp instead of water and using watercolor paint. Very strange outcome I think, and very odd to work with. He is still a work in process - I've got to work on Leg Details.

Which one(s) do you like, if any?

Everyone is posting about how they won't be posting over the holidays. I won't make that statement and I'll post if I have something interesting to post about!

Happy Animal Wednesday to you all, Merry Holidays and Happy New Year.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Miniatures - a Childhood Dream?

KatieJane talked today about Christmas gifts and Christmas memories of a dollhouse - which led to her current love of miniatures today. I got Christmas presents one year...and one year only...I don't know what got into my mother that year but I just adored finding presents in the living room, under a tiny porcelain tree. We always celebrated Chanukah and got lovely gifts from Aunts and Grandma, but to me it wasn't about the presents - Christmas to me was all about the magic. Anyway, that one year was enough - I remember it like it was yesterday and treasure that memory.
But, because we lived in an apartment, we never had room for a dollhouse. My brother and I shared a bedroom until I was 14 or 15 so there was no room in there. By the time I got my own room, I wasn't into having a dollhouse anymore (how embarrassing at 15!) but secretly I still loved miniatures. So, when I got out into the world on my own, I started making miniature furniture and had a huge dollhouse that DH got me for our first anniversary.
But what I really love is room boxes, which are simple boxes with a glass front, and you do one room setting in that box. The one below if my favorite - I did electricity in it (which ain't easy, let me tell you!) and there is a special space to show an "outside"scene. So, in the spirit of Christmas I wanted to share the pictures of my little minature, easily controllable world.

The door behind that lady leads to an outdoor scene of an ocean. So, in my imagination, she's coming in from outside to her fancy living room.

Nice fire in the fireplace, making the place all warm and cozy eh?

The mantle place with it's tiny little sconces.

And tea waiting in front of the sofa.

Since I finished these pictures, I've added a pug dog and a servant carrying a baby. I can't tell you how much fun I have putting these rooms together ! Not that I have room for too many of these either...I might just have to sell them off, but that's OK too. It's the creating that's the fun part. My next project is going to be a library, sort of an English professor type, who's also interested in archaeology. I have a full size (miniature) sarcophagus which will be standing up in the room, and a tiny little leather wing chair which was just so cute I couldn't resist it.

I have so many projects waiting for me to work on, there could never be a time when I am bored. I like keeping these things in the wings.


Sunday, December 20, 2009

One Word Sunday - SNOW

Started after midnight, don't think it'll be as bad as the weather service originally said.

Beautiful outside, lovely to be inside.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

More Fish, more cards

The tradition in DH's house is 7 fishes on Christmas eve. Love that dinner!

Here are two fish cards that I am working on, just to have in my stash. I copied the basic idea from another card that I bought, as I find the way to learn is to copy, copy, copy, remember details, think, draw, try again etc. then try it on your own and keep the cycle going.

MIL is doing pretty well, and sighs of relief sound in our house. Still not 100% but better; so our visit down there for Christmas should be less stressful. We might even get to have some fun - maybe get some good bike riding in.

We are off today to see our 17 year old nephews and their 'rents - early Christmas for us and them, since we are never together on Christmas day. (Actually one year we stayed home, and planned to have dinner over there..and I got sick with the yucks and had to stay home. DH went and had a great time.)

We're expecting snow tonight, and are cracking out the snowshoes for a tramp thru the woods tomorrow. I love a snowy sunday at this time of year. Movies are pretty classic, lots of reindeer and happy endings - my kind of movie.

Be well....

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Pages for Suki's Arty Soul Sisters book - you can see I have houses on the brain. Winter nesting I think.

I think this is one of the oddest things I've done, but I like it, it's growing on me.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Houses thru the ages and a lovely day

I did these little house/home drawings on the plane last weekend, thinking I would use them for one of the traveling journals, but when I got them home and finished they didn't work at all for what I was thinking. Different sizes, and all together not what was planned. But I like them, they're cute. I'd like to add Castle, and Victorian house, and other styles, so as I collect pictures of those, and draw, I'll add them to the collection.

Don't know what I'll do with it, but who really cares. was a big day. KJ was visiting Lolo and I decided to meet them down in Rhode Island. KJ decided it would be great if it was a surprise for Lolo, and told her that she had a delivery coming in the afternoon. I made it no problem the 50 miles to RI, but the last mile or so confused the hell out of me - probably because I had the wrong address! Finally I called KJ, turned out that I was literally across the street from lolo's house, KJ still pretending that I was a delivery person, I knocked on the door. Lolo answered, said sweetly "can I help you?" then shrieked MIM and the hugs began. We had a lovely afternoon, talking and eating and snuggling with Sweet Emma the wonder dog. I can't explain fully the feeling of meeting someone that you "know" in another way - it's just delightful. You're new to each other but start off with a history and while there is a ton to learn about each other, the common interest and other common friends adds such a note of depth. It was really a wonderful day, and I look forward to more with these two and certainly with others.

Christmas cards

I've been writing Christmas cards, altho this year I am writing less due to time constraints. But I noticed that I write the same thing over and over again which is "hope to see you this year" and "let's try to get together soon".

I'm sick of writing that. This year I'm going to make the effort to actually SEE those people that I am so fond of, wish I could see, hope to have dinner with.

I like these friends. Some live far away and it's impractical to plan to get together on a regular basis. But there are people who live within 20 miles that we haven't seen in years, often talk to on the phone but can't "find the time" to get together and have brunch, or dinner. What's up with that? Are we all so bloomin' busy that we can't take an evening to see old friends?

I have a million things to do this week, as you might imagine. Laundry to be finished. Presents to be wrapped. Presents to be BOUGHT!! Cards to finish. But I'm going to carve out time to see some friends because if I don't do it now...I never will. Something is always waiting in the wings to distract me.

I don't want to wait for a tragedy to hit and have to say "I wish I had seen them one more time". Nope...2010 is going to be the year of leaving the "wish we could get together" behind and substituting "it was so great to see you" and I plan to start this today.....story tomorrow!!

Animal Wednesday - Alligator on a golf course.

This is a stock photo but this also exactly what I saw last week in Florida on the golf course behind my MIL's house. He was just resting in the sun, and the pictures that I did take were with my lousy cell phone camera so no joy there. I don't even know if the golfers knew he/she was there, there were over a tiny hill playing away. I kept wondering what would happen if they drove (or walked, g-d forbid) over the hill and saw this 8 foot alli waiting for some nice delicious sunburned old man to chew on!
It was a high point for the week, that says alot eh?

HAW all - enjoy your local critters.

PS - lot's of wonderful money donated to Bernie last week and I've matched 10% on top of my donation. Thank you all - she does such wonderful work and I love to support her efforts.

Monday, December 14, 2009

I am home again...for a little while

Oh my, oh my - have I been busy.

I went to Florida last Thursday and sprung MIL from the hospital, brought her home, got her settled, did food shopping,got prescriptions, set up a meds schedule, got nursing visits set up, along with Physical Therapy visits and Home Health Aide and also hired someone to come in two days a week to drive her around until she can drive by herself. At the same time, worked a bit with mom on finances, went to the movies (Invictus - more later) went shopping, went to a terrible craft show, flew home early Sunday am and went to a party last night. Even I know that this schedule is ridiculous, but you've gotta do what you've gotta do.

In talking to the nurse I think we figured out why this second hospitalization happened. MIL had just had major heart surgery and was given a drug so that fluids did not build up in her system. She didn't like that drug because it kept making her she stopped taking it...fluids built up, lung compressed, blood pressure soared, problems with breathing - and back into the hospital and more surgery. When I figured this out...well...I was a bit "annoyed" to put it mildly. Why she would stop taking a medication without telling anyone, I just don't understand, but she promised never to do that again and once she understood what she had done, was pretty embarrassed. I couldn't get really angry with her, she is a little old lady in many ways and just didn't put two and two together, but I pretended to be really angry with her just to get the point across. I think it worked.
So, I am home for a week, then we go back down again for Christmas, and for more evaluation to see how she is doing.

I have high hopes for 2010. I like the way the name of the year sounds, and I think the overall number looks friendly. I always thought 2009 sounded sharp and edgy.

Invictus - good movie - not terrifically great but very good. It's about Mandela and his efforts to bring his country together when he began his presidency. We went to see it because my brothers friend is the screenwriter, and also because - well...learning about Mandela is a good way to start a new year (Ok, I'm a bit early I know, but give me a break OK?) Of course I thought of Soulbrush thru the entire movie - Mandela is one of her hero's.

I'm hoping for boring soon - I want to get back to fun blogging, artwork, quilting, knitting, friends and real life! I have artwork exchanges to show, and ATC's and other doodles. Soon...

Be well all

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Animal Wednesday - Christmas for the pooches

Bernie at "A Place to Bark" has an opportunity to help the animals this season - please go to her site and see if you can help! Email me or leave me a message if you've donated and I will match 10% (or more depending on total amount)

Happy Animal Wednesday everyone!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Where has the week gone

I came home from T'Giving "vacation" a week ago and somehow the week seems like it went by in a flash, and in other ways - a lifetime. Nothing has gone as predicted, so why predict?

Mr. T was supposed to come home Friday - for that reason (and others) I cancelled plans with a friend (you know who you are), came home to find out that MIL was still in ICU, not doing too well, and Mr. T was going to stay. It was OK, nothing wrong with a Friday night at home. And Saturday the boys came over and we went to the movies - action film, no deep thoughts - yes! And a little bit of lovely snow.

Now I've dropped them off home again. Mr. T is actually on his way home. House is clean and welcoming - but we still don't know when MIL will get out of the hospital, or what is actually wrong with her now - aside from recent surgery. I have to go back down there to either bring her home, or help get her set up with help in the house.

I don't begrudge helping her, but she is afraid and nervous, and hence uncooperative and prickly. She's been nagging at us all, - who is going to help her? How will she get home? Where are her clothes? All the "don't worry it'll work out's" are not working but at this point we have no real answers. She may have to go back to a rehab until better. She may have to stay in hospital until well.

I haven't drawn a thing this week, and usually I carry my pad with my where ever I go. I am knitting more, which is a way of getting some control, with all the counting and easy to see progress. I haven't been blogging. I haven't been commenting (much)

At this point I am just venting, but the worry is in the back of my mind. Perhaps she won't be able to live alone again. Perhaps we will have to move her into assisted living. My very strong, indominable MIL is showing weakness that neither I nor Mr. T have ever seen before. I worry for her, for me and mostly for her son, my hubby. He has an aunt still living but she's old also, and not in good health. I have a large family and can't imagine being the last one standing. What a lonely thought.

Ah well. Onwards....

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Animal Wednesday - Froggy

This little guy was floating around in mom's pool last week - I hadn't seen him but got a yell from DH saying "an animal for Wednesday - bring your camera!" So we took a few pictures of him swimming around and then resting on the cleaning tube thingy.

Then I got the net and rescued him and put him outside. We find these frogs all the time, but they usually drown as they really have no way to get out of the pool. I support installation of a little ramp for them to get out but did not get much support from the rest of the family, I think they know that my next step would be little frog houses, with curtains in the windows.

Meanwhile, I just try to rescue them when I find them alive.

They really do seem grateful, with wide smile on their little faces and a goodbye croak.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Quick post ....

I heard something on the news today that has been bothering me, sort of niggling at my brain. And I know why - it's because I don't understand the military, or politics, or war. I would not make a good soldier - I'm just not that much of a rule follower.

So what bothered me? I heard this morning that we are sending "30,000 troops" to Afghanistan. I'm not making a statement about whether I think this is wrong or right or bad or good. What bothers me is the word "Troops".

It took me years to figure out that "Troops" means soldiers. Mostly men, mostly young, woman also. Why don't we say what we mean - we are sending 30,000 people to war, into a foreign country to face awful danger. I know that mostly the individuals have signed up for this, and I truly honor their commitment and courage. It's not something that I could ever do, I'm way too much of a chicken.

And in army terms - they are "troops" not people, really. But if we did say it out loud, what kind of a difference would it make! Can you imagine a newscaster saying "we are sending 30,000 men and woman into a war zone" - obviously fur would fly, people would protest - which is why we say "troops".

I'm not editing this post, no time - I have to get back to work.

I just thought I'd share my moment of realization - it struck me hard this morning, perhaps because I was warm, safe, drinking coffee in bed and ready to go off to a cushy job.

What are your thoughts about this?

Monday, November 30, 2009

Lynn's Page and some cards

Miss Em got a workout this week, I mean - what else are you gonna do when sitting in a hospital for 3 hours every day beside knitting. Drawing of course, and MIL helped me with ideas and little details. She loved sparkles so we used alot of that, and lots of crystal-things.

We ended up with about 8 Miss Em cards - fun to do - the Chanukah one is going into Etsy, the rest I just might actually USE!

Here is Lynns page for the "Girlfriends" sketchbook - this has alot of elements in it. I started with a decorative napkin gelled to paper, then stamped, and painted, and added mesh, more paint, heated for the bubble effect, transparencies, etc etc.

Interesting to do all these collages - I need to branch out more and love the opportunity to try new techniques and themes.

Sunday, November 29, 2009


I came home today, but left DH down in Florida to continue being there for his mom - who is just today getting transferred to BIG city hospital for them to decide what the next steps are. Surgery? Watch and wait? - who knows! Poor MIL, having to spend a week in the hospital with really nothing to show for it. Hopefully they will resolve things this week, but we'll just have to take it day by day. Despite it being a good week for her, and a "holiday" week for us - we are both exhausted and grouchy. I feel bad for DH having to stay down there, but we're going to have to take turns with her for the next few weeks.

So, came home mid-day today and got to work on the Girlfriend books that came right before I left. Here are pages for 4 of the 5 books that I received, the other one is drying downstairs.

Suki's page

Karen C page

Joss page

Bab's page

Lynn's page is drying. These will go out to Suki this week - awesome work in there ladies- just amazing.

I have to catch up on/with friends, emails, blogs, posts, etc etc, so will see you all soon.

I've missed you all,

Friday, November 27, 2009


MIL still in small local hospital waiting to be tranferred to "real big city" hospital where they can do her surgery. We are tired and worried but are trying to enjoy family as much as possible. Nerves are frayed...but thanksgiving dinner was good and fun and somewhat relaxing. I'm heading home this weekend, DH has to stay to see what happens. Then we start to take turns coming down.

It should be an interesting December!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Drawing on the plane

Drawings done on the plane ride down. Strange scanner down here does not capture the whole image even tho it does appear to fit on the scanner bed.

First one is a strange late night TV Codfish Host introducing a new "Starfish-lette" in the recognized tradition of my fishy subjects. Second one is an odd couple, Aquaman and Medusa, taking a walk on the beach. Her head is supposed to show, but I think you can still see the snake hair ponytail.

What can I tell you? Plane rides are boring!

MIL is in hospital, has to have more surgery for a collapsed lung. She's in great spirits and this will be a bit of a setback but we'll deal with it. Weather down here in "sunny" florida is overcast and cool. So....oh well.

Hope you are all well. I miss boring, I really do. I'm tired of excitement and changes.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Posting has been tough lately

(Before you read this post, let me state here that I know how lucky and blessed I am to have what I have in my life. To be able to gripe about flying to Florida for a Thanksgiving feast with a loving family is a blessing in an of itself. I am no saint, I bitch and moan way too much...but believe me - I also count my blessings every day. That said...let the complaining begin)

These were some drawings from Thanksgiving last year - we're getting ready for this year...and I feel the same stress!

Like everyone - things are getting busy and then busier at this time of the year. I often feel overwhelmed with all of the things that need to be done, and the visits that need to be made. The holidays are the times when I wish my family lived closer instead of in Florida and California and Italy. We are never home for the holidays, unless we can persuade family to come to us. But it's so hard! Come to rainy cold New England for Thanksgiving or go to sunny Florida with the rest of the family and cousins. Not a hard choice. So we are off to Florida tomorrow for a week. I'm entitled to a little bit of bitching right? Okay then - my whine is that while I have to take vacation time to go see the family, it isn't a vacation for me in any way shape or form. We'll stay with my MIL, who is still recovering and will be pretty needy I think. She has Dr. appointments and we need to figure out why she is out of breath and so tired. And she also needs a second surgery and we don't know when that will be. Her apartment is very dark, and there is no place to escape to for any alone time. She's lonely so she talks to me. Just to me. Directly.

My niece will be at my mom's with her three year old - maybe! As of last night we didn't know if she was coming or not. So my moms house might be an escape hatch...or not. We'll see. My brother and his family will be there, which is great. Probably about 50 others also, and while I love seeing everyone - it gets overwhelming to me - everyone talks so loudly and it often becomes a competition of who can be heard over whom. And then there's the competition of who lost weight this year (not me!) and who has a new ring, or other new items, or hairstyle or other crap that I hate. I have 10 male cousins, and while their wives are mostly lovely women, they are mostly stay at home moms, with lots of bling on their hands. I can't tell you how far away from my life style is theirs. My two female cousins are more like me - we've all worked hard to make our lives, we are creative, and while none of us would refuse new jewelry - we prefer handmade, one of a kind stuff.

Here's an example of why I feel like Alice In Wonderland sometimes when talking to my family. I was complaining that I hadn't heard from one person that I sent a present to (a handmade quilt). The explanation? She's "so busy! She goes to aerobics every day, and pilates and also has to take the baby to day care, or to the nanny, so she has no time to call or drop an email". This to a woman who has a full time job, a house, a husband, responsibilities. I would love to have the time to go to aerobics every day at 9:00 am...not at 5:00 am.

Oh well, I know it sounds like sour grapes - and I have the wisdom now to stop trying to prove myself or change anyone else. I do try to enjoy things when I get there, and try like hell to enjoy my cousins, aunts and uncles. But frankly, if I could stay home - I would. And I look forward to coming home already, and I haven't even left.

No Internet at MIL's unless I steal wireless from the neighbor - but I have to go to the driveway to do that. So probably no posting for a week.

Have a good week everyone - I'll try to pop around to visit!

(just read this over and I did a good job of complaining - didn't I? Glad I got it off my chest)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Animal Wednesday - Parrot collage

A collage done on a rainy Saturday - definitely multi media. Printed organza, which was gel matted to a watercolor paper which had been painted gold and silver. Magazine image of a bird, Lipsum orum printed text on adhesive vellum, card stock butterflies, gel-image transfer of the sun.


Please click here for the Animals (an ASPCA site)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Miss Em Cards

First of all - the Miss Em books should be going out this week, thank you for your patience! The first set did not come out the way I wanted so I redid them and they are much better.

Now the minx shows up in cards - gotta get them into Etsy. Enjoy!