Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Creative EveryDay and Animal Wednesday (the fishes are animals - aren't they?)

After I got over feeling like this everyday (see piles above) I started to draw and sketch and generally enjoy myself. Interspersed with bike rides, I've read some "how to " books and magazines. I wanted to learn to draw legs - here is a study that I copied from one of the "how to" book. Cute guy eh?
Of course the study of legs is simply in preparation for my fish with legs - and I like this little set shown below. I have a colored version, but the scanner is is poor...that'll have to wait. Mr Big fish is teaching little fish how to walk properly and the little snub nosed fish feels a bit out of it! (but HAW anyway)

I also found this wonderful paper at the local art store - it's sort of silk screened with a black surface that is very toothy - almost like it has a bit of grit in it. So I worked on my bubbles...or yeast...or whatever. Mom likes it and wants to frame it, so I'm going to take it to the framing store and give it to her as a present. I don't want her to do it herself, as the pastels might get smudged.
So in it's own way, a productive and fairly relaxing week so far. DH still coughing, have him on antibiotics and hope that'll help.

Happy New year to you all!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

doing better...

have managed to log on after much agitation with Comcast. Whew.

lot's of pictures and stories to post later far lots of bike riding and swimming...DH slowly getting better (whew again)

Have a Happy New Year everyone!!!!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Just the Tiny-est bit cranky

And heres why. The day we were getting ready to leave for Florida - DH woke up and his minor cold had gotten worse. "Maybe we shouldn't go" I gently suggested. "No - of course we'll go" he boomed (and then coughed). " I feel fine, this little cold will be gone in a day". "Okay" said dummy me.

Fast forward to Wednesday. DH woke up croaking. I went to drugstore. Fever about 100 (you'd have thought it was 110!) Aspirin. Cough syrup. Bed. Water, and hot soup.

He woke up a few minutes ago and feels "dismal" and has gone back to bed for the duration.

I could be home with my nice studio cave, and be with my twins for Christmas. Instead, while the weather is very nice and I'm enjoying that - I'm nursing a sick hubby, and catering to MIL - who I am stuck with. defference to my own sanity, I am moving DH over to my mothers house where I can have room to draw and putter and feel more at home. I will go to the gym every day to get some workout's in so that my muscles don't atropy.

But overall - I am rather annoyed. This is my vacation and while I know he can't help feeling sick...we should have the heck stayed home!

So - Merry Christmas to everyone!!! May this be the last cold for 2008 and also for 2009!!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Animal Wednesday - ongoing triptych

This has been the funniest little project - inspired by having this cardboard thing hanging around and not knowing what to do with it. Then I started trying to learn how to paint fur - which was a disaster - but I hit upon an abstract picture of a dog and copied that - and the project started.

As mentioned, the pooch picture was copied but I don't remember from where. But I liked the concept of dot and dashes and squiggles instead of trying to paint fur.

The canary came next and somehow he was easier to paint . Did him on canvas mounted onto foamcore and had fun with the background.

Then I began the struggle with the cat and went thru 3 or 4 versions - all of which were awful. Couldn't paint fur to save my life. Cat looked flat and nasty. I finally resorted to a cat face and tail only. So, first resolution for 2009 - work on cats and fur. The cat and window alone looked to uneven against the 3 D bird so I added curtains and a curtain rod.

I tell you - I had fun with this project. I was only playing around - no emotion involved except for fun. It'll go on the shelf to remind me to continue to have fun with art - and forget about the other crap that gets in the way.

HAW to you all, and Merry Christmas tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Off on vacation

Finally we are leaving for our delayed vacation - won't be blogging from the road this time (most likely). Mom's computer is old and slow...and I the only place I can get a wireless signal in their community is outside in the street. I look kind of silly in my PJ's searching for a signal in a Florida community filled with well dressed retirees.

Once I get there, I'll have a good time but really I hate leaving home. I over pack to compensate, and on this trip will bring my knitting and drawing supplies to keep myself occupied. Which I may not even touch! We'll be busy with cooking for Christmas, visiting friends and family, bike riding, exercising and being outside. And we'll have a good time, and enjoy being why do I hate leaving so much.

One reason is that I reorganized my studio in the past two days and it is a cozy cave now. Having all my fabrics out was great in a way (I had them on bookshelves) but the confusion bothered me, so they've been put into the drawers (fairly neatly) of an old bureau. The mini-irish cottage that I've been working on for two years has been sent to the top of a bookcase to wait it's turn and that gave me space for another work table. So now I can draw on one table, and do crafts and painting on another table.

Here is some old vs new. The supplies storage area needs help. I don't want to invest in new shelving with doors but have had bad luck with the look of curtains. I just don't have that eclat that makes shabby chic work. I'll deal with this issue later. What I can do is to have the boys over and complete the ceiling task - covering the insulation with some white paper. This will hide the ugly pink stuff and brighten the room.

Old look
New look - exactly the same chaos.
The old corkboard was falling down. I had fastened it to the wall with putty and duct tape - my answer to most anything. So during our forced stay home time because of the snowstorm, DH fastened it to the wall with screws and things. I feel SO good about this; it's nice to know that it won't fall on my head and it just makes me feel good! More permanent.

Old look

New look

New Drawing area.

Old sewing area with fabric storage behind. It got worse! I put a wooden three tier bookshelf on top of the bureau and stuffed it with fabric. Easy to see but visually distracting.

Old look.
New look(s)

Trust me all - I know, and always remember, how lucky I am to have this space, to be able to indulge myself with learning new fun things. I love my basement space - and would spend hours down there if that were socially acceptable (do have to come up sometimes and socialize with DH).

So...we are off for a few weeks. Have wonderful holidays - and fun with families and much love to all.

And happy new year too .
After the massive snow storm that hit the Boston area this weekend, Miss Em and the two Ms E's needed some sustinence. (the cupboard was bare by this time) So Miss Em took the two to the Sam Adams brewery - just in the very spot where John and Sam Adams; Paul Revere and John Hancock helped with the founding of our new country - and founded a great brew at the same time. If you look closely you can see that Miss Ermintrude is sneaking a smoke and both gals are having a pint. Miss Em worked behind the bar to make sure that her friends didn't over do it, and be too sick to go home for Christmas.
They also had a bag full of Victori-ewe's secrets goodies - but wouldn't show them here. Gotta have SOME privacy...please?
Eventually E and E had to leave from Logan airport to go back home to Mike in the UK. They are glad to be going home for Christmas - and if you look closely you can see that they left Miss Em a little present that she is carrying in her knitting bag. Is it wool???Thanks for visiting Ermintrude and Esmirelda! We loved having you here in the US - have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year back home. Say Hi to Mike from us all, and enjoy all your goodies.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Ermintrude and Esmirelda visit Miss Em in Boston

Ermintrude and Esmirelda came to visit Miss Em in Boston right after visiting Suki in New Hampshire.
Miss Em greeted the misses E and E as they arrive thru the Big Dig tunnel - one of the most expensive public works in the history of the United States! They are a bit scared, as the trucks were whizzing by them in the tunnel and they knew that Boston drivers do not have a Good Reputation.
Miss Em decided to take the two travelers to her favorite store - where she thought they would feel at home. But Esmirelda and Ermintrude didn't want to sell their beautiful wool - they need the thick coat in the Boston snow! They insisted on doing some shopping at the local mall where they also shopped at Victori-ewe's Secret.

After a good long visit at the shopping mall all the girls wanted was to sit down an have a few and get off their feet ...or hoofs.

They went home, and relaxed in front of the fire - while the wild snow storm raged outside.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Trying for vacation

I took two weeks off work, hoping to spend that time in Florida with our folks, warm(er) weather, bike riding, hot tubs and maybe...just maybe...a trip to the beach. started snowing yesterday, and is beautiful even if we are home and not sunning ourselves. Here are some morning images.

Pancakes and bacon for breakfast with fresh hot coffee; crock pot food planned for dinner...and snowshoeing during the day. Could be worse.

And the Misses E and E will be arriving today for fun and games... - good! they can help us plow the driveway!!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Illustration Friday - Voices

Miss Em has been finding her voice

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Animal Wednesday - a Cat and Birdhouse

This cat is the start of the third part of my little triptych - dog in the middle and canary on the one side. Cat will be on the left side. I haven't drawn cats much and am a bit worried about the color. I want a black cat...but perhaps marmalade will work also. We'll see how it all works out.

We had these gourds outside as birdhouses and I took them down to clean them up. This one was beyond repair as an actual birdhouse so I pasted and glittered and glued and embellished. Fun if not gorgeous. But I was proud of myself - I really got into the gourd decorating and of course found a site that sells gourds....and gourd accessories...and I didn't buy a thing!!! The other one (not shown here, packed up as a present for a friend) I did with natural colors using some rubbed on acrylics - it came out beautiful and glowing.

American Gothic Sketch - Miss Em and Mr. Tee

An idea for a Christmas card.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Wonderful Trades

I got these gorgeous Moo cards and absolutely terrific mandala's from the queen of mandala's - Miss Marianne.
(Sorry Teri - you are the queen of mandala's also)

I just LOVE them, look at the colors and the wonderful good luck Hamsa (miriam's hand).

Thank you so much Marianne - these are beautiful and such a treat to get in the mail.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas in Bloggy land

There is something about Christmas lights that has always gotten to me. My Italian aunts had the completely gaudy lights with the bubbles and tons of tinsel on the tree. I was always facinated by the gaudy, beautiful colors and the cold tree smell.

But I never knew how all those decorations got onto the tree. Being brought up Jewish, I never took part in the tree trimming - in fact when I was invited to one - I chickened out because I thought it had something to do with cutting the tree to the shape it was in - that classic pine shape (why didn't I know that the trees GREW like this?) So it was a mystery to me until I married an Italian Catholic who never thought of not having a tree and taught me all the tricks of tree trimming.

He also taught me about stockings - filled with candy. We've had to change that custom as I try not to eat sweets ad nauseum. I love the colored baubles and little ornaments, all purple and silvery.
Note the mini dog ornament - that all that we have on this little tree this year.

Merry start of holiday season from Miss Em and Mr. Tee - who have kissed and made up.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The unwanted christmas card

A Christmas card arrived from someone who should have known better than to send one this year. This is an unwanted Christmas card in Miss Em's book.

Miss Em brings it to Mr. Tee's attention that this Christmas card should not have been sent.

Mr Tee disagrees and thinks it is a "nice" gesture.

Miss Em tries to explain her point of view, with well thought out discussion and lots of "I feel" statements. Mr Tee acts supercilious and thinks Miss Em is over-reacting.

Miss Em get's a bit annoyed at the supercilious attitude and begins to sink down into the gutter of word slinging and gentle cursing

Mr. Tee takes offense at the gutter-type discussion and begins to sling a few words of his own. Things get out of hand and there is alot of hand waving and gesticulating.

Eventually there is a standoff - where it is better NOT to say anything at all and just go to bed and sleep it off.
To be continued.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Illustration Friday - Rambunctious

I'm taking a lead from Teri and using the "ram" part of the word for my post. Electricity just came back on at home but it somewhat tentative so I'm rushing in with an older piece that I always loved.
Happy weekend all.

living in the dark

Can't even draw Miss Em. No electricity this am - but I had a nice sleep until 8;30 am - no alarm! No stove. No fridge. No heat. May take days to get it back - should be interesting.

Worst part is...NO water pump. Which means no bathroom flushing. None! No shower.

Ah well....

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Letting Go

I was sad when I heard that Suki's mom had died, and sad when I heard that Debra Kay's Uncle John had passed on...sad and nervous too.

I am, in many ways a superstitious person. My Grandma taught me to be nervous about things because as she said "it was better to expect the worst and hope for the best". Grandma brought me up to be very superstitious. Salt over the left shoulder and all that.

So when I heard of two deaths that affected people that mattered to me - my first thought was "bad things come in threes" and I waited for the other shoe to drop.

And it did. Today we found out that a friend from work lost his battle with brain cancer. 44 years old - and he's been fighting this for 10 years. He was a co-worker and a friend and I'm so sad for his family - I fought back tears all day at work (and let them come at times, as all were doing).

One of the reasons I love the people that I work with is that we all never questioned what our roles would be when he got sick again two years ago. Can't drive? Fine - we'll pick you up. Can't travel for work? Fine, we'll figure out how to conference you in. And as things got worse and he had to stay home, everyone took turns cooking for the family. We all chipped in and hired a lawn service to come for the summer and do the weekly cleaning and fall cleanup. It wasn't a big deal, it was just what needed to be done. We're still going to pay for the snow-plowing for the winter - his wife and 6 year old daughter have enough to worry about without worrying about snow.

He has been released from what had come to be an uncomfortable existence - an active guy debilitated by an awful cancer. He did everything to try to overcome this - experimental treatments (which worked for a year or so) and was ready to sign up for another study when things took a turn for the worse last week. It's hard to believe he's gone

Miss Em is letting go - the Red Balloon is for Suki's mom...the Yellow for Uncle John and the blue for my friend Paul.

Go and kiss your families and loved ones.

Animal Wednesday - Rememberance

The dragonfly "ride" above is dedicated to my friend Suki - who just lost her mom. Suki named their farm "Dragonfly Pond Farm" so this slightly frivolous drawing goes to Suki - in memory of her mom.
This second drawing goes to the wonderful Debra Kay - who loves her snakes - and who also lost someone she loved this week, her Uncle John. Deb has taken care of, been a friend to John for many years, and moved back to Oklahoma to take care of him in his final years.

So why a drawing of elephants? Firstly, I love the beasts, love their social set up and just love their looks. Elephants mourn their departed friends as we do...

And an elephant never forgets - right?

So never forget your loved ones this season - go and give someone a hug.

Oops - just noticed that elephants leg is in the wrong place - ah well, whats a drawing for if not to do over.