Friday, May 28, 2010

Animal Wednesday On Friday - a visitation....maybe


I should be posting this on Animal Wednesday but it's too unique to keep to myself.

A bit of History before the story.

My grandma always said that she wanted to "come back as a bird". And our entire family is convinced that she did just that on July 2, 1989 - when a bird showed up at her old house (we were all there) and did some typical grandma things. I think I've posted about it before - let me know if you want the whole story. My Dad was very close with his mother in law - once she got used to the fact that he was divorced, and not jewish - she and he became very close.

Anyways....

Mom's surgery went well, she is just fine and is recovering nicely. She did have to spend the night at the hospital, so I spent last night at her house alone. Yesterday I had a yen to visit the cemetery where dad is buried but I missed the entrance, and couldn't turn around - yadda, yadda, yadda. By this morning I really felt the need to go to the cemetery, it was getting to obsession point - so got there at around 8:00 am. Please note that this is only the second time I have visited his grave site. I don't feel the need to go there, I don't feel Dad's presence in that cemetery. I wondered why I felt such a need to visit it this weekend!!

A hawk was sitting on a fence at the entrance to the cemetery. I walked towards him - he didn't move, but finally flew a few feet away from me in the direction that I had to go to visit Dad's grave. This happened two more times, until finally we were right next to Dad's grave (no headstone yet) and the hawk perched on the fence next to the grave and just looked at me. I finally said "hi Pops, mom's fine, she's great, I'm taking care of her"..and after a few more moments of looking at me the bird spread his enormous wings and flew away.

I am not making up this story. Not one bit.

It was either Grandma in a rather fierce form...or grandma convinced Dad to try a bird form. I have no idea.

I do know that I like the whole idea. Despite the fact that I am scared of birds, I was not at all scared of this hawk and it obviously was not scared of me.

So...whadda ya think? Was it a visitation..or a tame hawk???

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Non-Animal Wednesday

Too much to do before we go away on Wednesday - and this includes downloading all of the series of NYC Housewives - DRAMA and CLOTHES and more DRAMA - to watch on the plane. Plus the "Blind Side" movie to watch with mom when we get down there and she is in a mood to watch a movie.

Happy Animal Wednesday and even a Happy NON Animal Wednesday to you all

xoxo

Monday, May 24, 2010

Superhero Miss Em - in a comic book format

First off - excuses. Bad scanner so everything is grey and nasty. Second. I had written some words in the original, and had to erase them with photoshop in order to add type from a comic book program. And when you erase...the background goes nice and white, but leaves the grey around it untouched. I'm sure there's a way to create a white background, but I had 10 minutes to finish this.

Anyways - who cares. I had fun.

I imported Miss Em Superhero into an on line comic book program and added some text and put it into a format. Learned the necessity of planning a design. Learned that I don't have the necessary computer skills/knowledge that I need - so OK - another course to take.

But in general..had a good giggle and some fun.


She is rather plump in the last panel, cause I had to expand her out to fit that format.

Next time I'll do better.

On another note, DH was out of the house most of the day yesterday so this is what I did.

Had breakfast with grace and the boys
Got stopped by the police for an expired inspection ticket (oops)
Started at the top of the house, cleaned out my closet and put everything away in it's place.
Cleaned the spare bedroom
Cleaned and organized my office space - boy did it need it
Put loud country music on the computer and danced around the house while I did chores
Laundry
Dishwasher
Gardening
Got a package ready for my niece
Put away fabric sorted by color
Went to a "paws in the park" dog rescue event - it was great
Washed my car - inside and out.
Sat outside listening to ipod and knitted
Made a little dinner
Did Miss Em comics
Watched a bit of TV - we are hooked on "Pawn Stars"
Went to sleep.

Busy day, but feels great to have it all done. Notice that I did not say "put away laundry". Come on...I'm not a superhero!!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Seven word Sunday (yup, I made it up, but doesn't it sound biblical?)

My mom is having surgery next week.

A minor crabby post here. Mom is having some elective surgery next week - well, it's for something that she has needed to get done for at least 5 years and kept putting it off. I certainly understand why she put it off, with Dad not in the best of health but did she have to schedule it right before Memorial Day weekend? The weekend that I am invited to the vineyard for an overnight stay and to kayak up in Portsmouth and a party at a friends farm. Do I really have to miss all that? I feel I do...you know how it is. But once again, my plans go into the bottom drawer, wrapped neatly in lovely colored tissue paper to be taken out at a later date. We go down Wednesday night, she has surgery Thursday and comes home Friday if all goes well. We come home on Monday, maybe Tuesday.

I know, I know. I am blessed to be able to go down and help my old mom. I am glad she is around - I love her dearly and am glad to help. But really - I wish the gods would stop poking me and trying to make me act crazy by continual trials and tribulations.

On another Note, the grand drawing was held here at the Em household and Patty from PakArt has won a bundle of various art things to be sent out to her AFTER we return from Florida. Congrads Patty - I hope you like your loot.

Have a lovely Sunday!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Animal Wednesday and 1000 posts

I'll probably be showing a lot of cartoons on Animal Wednesday due to my Tuesday night Art of the Comic Book class - which is a hoot. more later on that.

So, everyone in the class is drawing Iron Man and Dare Devil and Vampires so I felt that Miss Em had to have a turn at being a superhero. So in order to save poor Sparky from being smashed to smithereens by a comet, Miss Em flys about and saves the day.

Too funny. Talk about taking people (or made up people) out of their comfort zone!! Anyway it was fun to do, and last night we learned how to add text to the comic so I am going to erase the text that I have here and add better text and a few BLAMS and THWAPS to make it an authentic comic.


So on top of it being Animal Wednesday, I discover that this is my 1000th post!!! That calls for a giveaway don't you think? So, if you leave a comment here today you will be in for a drawing of a bunch of great stuff. A wonderful Vintage book or two, decorative paper galore, trimmings and other items that will make your creative heart go pitty-pat. I will pull the winning name on Saturday night.

Have a happy Animal Wednesday!


Monday, May 17, 2010

First Applique Quilt

I finished it (pretty much!). This applique quilt was fun to do, but more work than I thought it would be. I decided to hand quilt the yellow sky area, and embroidered eyes on the birds and smoke coming from the chimney. I have a few more bits to do, but basically it is done. I didn't make this quilt for anyone specifically and am going to try to sell it thru Etsy - or thru another avenue. Either way, getting the pricing right will be challenging. While it took me alot of hours to complete, mostly I was on a learning curve and the next one should be much quicker. I've done designs for 5 more quilts - should be interesting!!

Always learning - that's my motto for the day. Always learning.

have a lovely monday - at least TRY to....

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Six Word Saturday

Don't Listen to Negative Jealous People

Alot of people at work are very stressed and hence, extremely cranky. And some are ready to squash down any thoughts of Life-after-this-job and want to take everyone else down with them. There are other people in this life who are just negative naysayers - ready to pop a hole in anyone's balloon - just to make themselves feel better.

One old friend called me and started razzing me - "haha - you'll be out in the real world now" (where does he think I've been? Heaven? with everything that's been going on in my life?) and "boy, you'll really see how tough it is out there now" and similar comments. He was gleeful in believing me to be miserable. I couldn't believe he was doing this. He went on and on until I finally got angry, told him he was a jerk and hung up the phone. He hasn't called or emailed since. And I've known him for over 30 years. Go figure.

Another guy at work saw that "Iron-Girl" thing - which I did for someone at work (inside joke, did it quickly, she loved it) and started laughing at me. "you think you can draw? Leave that to your husband! This looks like Casper the Ghost. You draw terribly". Of course that feeds into my insecurities, but I got a quick handle on my feelings and realized that he was One Of Those People - them who love to bring others down. On the plus side, it reminds me that not everyone is going to like this character or my drawing style. It's not for everyone.

What is wrong with people when they do this? It's not like you're asking for help with a business plan that is an awful, poorly funded plan. it's not like you're asking their opinions. They just want to make sure that you feel badly - and I truly DON"T like people who do this.

I don't know what will happen with any of my ideas. Maybe Miss Em will publish...and maybe she won't. But I'll have tried at least. I'm not putting all my eggs in her basket - the competition out there is very fierce to say the least.

I guess in a way it helps to get negative feedback so that I can strengthen my backbone, get ready for rejection and learn how to continue to plow forward.

I have to remember this mantra "Don't listen to Jealous, negative people". Learn something from them, but don't get discouraged.

I'll keep repeating that to myself.

Have a lovely weekend everyone!!!

Post Scriptum:

Let me tell you something on the positive side - I have a dear friend (she knows who she is!) who is honest without being hurtful (ever!), fair, truthful, and loving. She is very creative in so many ways, an unbelievable scrapbooker even before scrapbooking was popular. She can make a house into a home in 5 minutes, she has that talent. She is also very down to earth, practical and straightforward. We've also been friends for about or over 30 years, and she knows me inside out. I told her about my comic book class and her comment to me was "Miss Em is darling, it would be great to do something with her". (i might be paraphrasing a bit, but the "darling" part was there). That encouragement meant more to me than any negative comment could make me feel bad. Thanks Grapes!!!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Homework


ha ha ha

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Animal Wednesday - The WLG's meet Mr. Beaver and a new art class

The Water Lily Girls on one of their pond adventures - of course meeting a beaver. Obviously haven't colored it in yet as I think the coloring for the beaver will be difficult for me.

A very good friend is NOT so happy with the WLG's feet area - suggests fishy type tails. I took it under advisement and tried but it simply didn't work. I couldn't get them to work with tails - they just are what they are - no-yellow-boots-tiny-miss-em-figures. Of course in the water their feet disappear and they have a little propulsion thing going on - which miss em has never had.

On a funny non-animal-wednesday note, I started a class last night called "Art of the Comic Book". The instructor has a number of published comic novels and was very good. It's the only Art class that I've ever taken that was completely guys, and young punky guys at that. Tee shirts with comic characters on it and tatoos. And continual talk about space robots and transformers and Batman. And me, a middle aged lady in a pink sweatshirt and jeans. Just picture it!! Andy, the teacher, lectured on the business of comic books and gave out samples to analyze - he was very serious about teaching the art of comics. He gave us an assignment to draw three panels based on a script from Batman.

By this time I was getting nervous. I don't want to draw Batman. I want to draw Miss Em...but better.

Luckily, DH has advised me to bring some Miss Em books with me and I finally got Andy's attention and asked him to see my work and understand what I wanted to do.

He got it in a flash. He looked at me and said "these are great - you're crazy" (laughing). I told him that DH didn't want me to take a drawing class so as to not change my style and again..he got it immediately. He loved the Miss Em books, asked to see more, said that they should be published in a series of books. I was over the moon!!

Anyway, he'll help me with technique and putting her into panels, and formatting. Eventually, if all goes well, I'll talk to him about how to get published etc. It was a great evening.

I have to say tho' that some of the others in the class had excellent artwork of SuperHero's. Full court watercolors and black and white stuff. We talked about ink and artboard and all that. I really got alot out of the class and look forward to the rest of the evenings. But the best moment was when he started looking at the Miss Em books - initially planning to be not impressed and as he started going thru them the look on his face changed. That really made me feel good.

Wouldn't it be funny - some day I'll have to go to one of those comic book conventions - Mr. P would fall over with shock.

So...HAPPY ANIMAL WEDNESDAY to you all.







Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Ignore the color


Please ignore the overriding yellow tint to these photo's. I took them in the basement this morning and decided to post them because:
1) I am too lazy to bring the piece up and photograph it upstairs and
2) once you see the final quilt you'll be so happy at the colors and surprised because right now you're saying "what is she thinking - those colors are awful - poor Mim has lost it"

Anyway, I bought a book this past week with contempory baby quilts and it was like a door opened in my mind. (I'll post the book when I finish the quilt - have to give the proper credit.) Anyway, since them I have drawn designs for 5 quilts, and am working on number 1 - House on the Hill. All Applique work - which I have never done and is filled with fiddly bits falling here and there. But fun and colorful and SO different from piecework.

You can't see that the birds have legs and beaks, and the chimney will have embroidered smoke coming out. A few other little touches, including an awesome border and it'll be done.

Note the underground snake - my favorite.

The amazing thing about this type of applique work is that I can use tiny bits of fabric - not much goes to waste. Another opportunity to NOT throw anything away - oh joy.

Better stop admiring my own work now and get dressed and go off to the "real" job!!! The one that still pays the bills.

Have a lovely Tuesday.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Weekend Work

Just a note to say that DH and I spent alot of hours this weekend talking about a new business plan for me...my baby quilts and Miss Em. May happen...may not but it was great to start thinking of future plans.

I'll keep ya posted on that idea.

Funny/strange midnight items:

1) wierd screaming from outside at 2:00 am. I went under the covers while the big strong man peeped out the window. It was the Fisher Cat - why he was screaming is beyond me but it's an awful sound.

2) Funny Dreams: Pigs on Parade led by Miss Em twirling a baton. There was a Piglet section too. All pigs in formation. Without Miss Em it would have been a bit too much of Animal Farm, but with her it was just funny.

Happy Monday (ugh)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Working Life


Well, it's official now so I can talk about it. The corporation that I work for has decided to sell my division, most probably putting me out of a job eventually. I've know about this for a few weeks, have felt that this was going to happen for many months, but am still pretty depressed at the thought.

In my more up moments, I know that things will work out - that "one door closes and another opens" and all that. I even have a few moments of excitement about taking a few months off. But in my less happy - more honest moments I wonder what the hell I am going to do! I'll probably get a good severance package, but still need an income - especially for decent health insurance.

I've been in this situation before - hell, my last company went bankrupt - but I am older now - less flexible, less willing to pound the pavement looking for something new. I'd move if I had to...but don't want to. I'll do what I need to do...but wish like hell that this hadn't happened. Remember how I was hoping for an unexciting year? Well..if wishes were horses....

I am also coming to grips with what it means to me to work, and to do a good job and be rewarded for it. I get kudos at work. I have a community of friends. I have a place to go everyday, tasks to perform, a routine to follow. I've always been one of those people who say "boy, if I didn't have to work, I'd never be bored" and now I'm afraid that I would get bored, and don't have the impetus to push myself to do something everyday. I know I'm projecting too far into the future - but my way of doing things is to go to the dark side first and then climb out. I've worked full time - with only two week vacations - since 1977! Can you believe that? If I'd been working for the government - I could retire with a pension.

Oh well...I'll start making a list of things that I can/want to do. I could become a dog trainer, or paramedic, or dog walker, or publish Miss Em, or clean houses, or .....I guess I'll figure it all out.

But shit - I'm just not in the MOOD to think about this.....

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Animal Wednesday - Videos

I know I've been absent all week, things have been busy (VERY busy) at work, and I got a stomach bug that lingered thru the weekend. I'll tell the work tale later in the week, for now - let's enjoy videos and photos from recent kayaking trips.

The swans didn't like it when I got too close to them, but were they ever magnificent when they took off.

video

Listen to this one with your eyes closed, it's not particularly pretty - the point was to catch the bird sounds which were incredible in that section of the river. The birds were so loud, and raucous - flying about, swooping down to get sips of water from the river; protecting their nests - it really was amazing.
video

These swans were making noise and waddling around. None of the swans were interested in having us get too close
video

I saw a muskrat swimming along. At first I thought it was a beaver but was way too small, and when I saw that skinny ratty tale - well..hello rat by another name!



He looked to have a cozy house amongst the tree roots.

Happy Animal Wednesday everyone!