Thursday, September 30, 2010

Table and Chairs...and more

First - a quilt for a friends soon-to-be-coming great niece. The pink stripes are a plush soft material and the back is blue flannel with a carrot pattern. (oh boy, is Emily going to be jealous!)

Then the dog bed with my well-behaved stone pet - sleeping happily away. I had fun with this bed - it's goldy and purple and just right for a tiny royal pup. I ended up with a pillow as a bed, with an easily washable fleece cover.

And the painted table and chairs. This was fun - and alot of work. I also learned a ton during this process about what paints to use, and freehand vs. stamping design.

I will bring these to Yart and see if they sell - if not...I have no idea what I'm going to do with them. Perhaps a consignment shop.....

On another note, I had some dental work yesterday on a tooth that my dentist didn't like the looks of on xrays. It didn't bother me but I figured that she knows what she's talking about...but right now I would welcome a root canal on this tooth that was feeling fine until she started in on it.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Animal Wednesday - postcards

I had some blank watercolor postcards and have been painting them up for the YArT sale. The first is my favorite image - that of the "underground snake/dragon - danger ahead - watch out" image!

The second - a fish - whose image I saw somewhere on a card and copied as I liked his teeth

Now this one I blatantly copied from an image that I have from another artist - whose name I don't know as the card isn't signed. I don't do it justice - her's is gorgeous. I have found that the way for me to learn to draw is to start by copying drawings or other images - get comfortable with that and then move onto drawing from photographs - and hopefully onto life drawing. But to keep it honest, I'm donating proceeds from these two to the "save the fishies and turtles" fund in the gulf.

Happy Animal Wednesday all - put your links below as usual - love that mr. linky

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Six Word Saturday

I started a New Drawing Class

Friday night Portrait Drawing. I think I got a bit better as the night went on - good instructor (very talented) as shown in sequence below. He had us start with a 10 minute pose, then gave instructions, then another post...more instruction etc.

Friday night fun. Lots to learn about shadows etc, as I usually see the world as a flat plane with no shadows - I have to learn to look.

I like this better than figure drawing - better focus. But once again, standing up for 3 hours in front of an easel makes my back ache. I'm gonna sit next week and see if that works better.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


For about 20 years I have sung in a local chorus. Mostly classical music - usually a Mass in the fall (I've gotten very good at Latin) and lighter stuff in the winter and spring. Since I love to sing, but have an awful shyness about singing in public - the chorus is a perfect way for me to do what I like to do yet not faint from shyness and fear of public expressionism. Our director is amazingly creative and always challenges us to learn more, do different stuff, expand our repertoire. We've sung in Boston a few times - on our own and also with the local Russian chorus (that was my favorite). We recorded a CD of Amy Beach's Grand Mass in E flat (not a best seller, but a great stocking stuffer for friends and family). Here is one picture of me actually singing in a concert - I think I'm in the top row - third one in.

We rehearse on Monday nights and it's tough to get there. For the past few years, I haven't sung much and I realize how much I miss it. Singing is a great stress reducer, and I know I need to reduce my stress - so I'm going this year - at least to rehearsals. The concert is always on the Sunday before Thanksgiving and that's a tough time for me - we usually go to Florida for Thanksgiving week and its crazy to miss the weekend. I'm also in charge of the tickets and the chorus information booklet - but those are tiny chores.

So that's my singing story - not terribly exciting and sometimes one more thing to keep up with. But I love it, I really do and going again this year is helping me cope with all the recent changes and upsets.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Animal Wednesday and I got nothin'

Here is a list of our past few days:

Saturday - drove to Vermont to go to a museum. Longer drive than we thought; left at 9:00 am, got home at 9:00 PM but it was fun.
Sunday - worked on a quilt in the am, rode bikes in the PM - tired from Saturday
Monday - worked all day - crazy work - went to singing at night - came home and fell into bed
Tuesday - worked all day - crazy work - met friends for dinner - sat and talked till 9:00 pm - came home and fell into bed.
Wednesday - what!! is it Wednesday already? Where are the animals - oh yeah - I don't have any. The only thing I have is a picture of a round barn that presumable held animals at one time in it's life.

And oh yes...while at the museum I noticed a folk art painting that looks like an ancestor of Emily's - could it be????

Happy Animal Wednesday all!!!

Monday, September 20, 2010

I love MOO

I ordered some business cards from MOO and had such fun making different fronts.

Small things can make your day - isn't it the truth.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Mitzvah Friday

I have a bit of a different approach for this one this week.

Here is the background.

I had a serious disagreement with someone at work - actually I was calm and fairly collected and he was picky, accusatory, and inflamatory.

I went home shaking with anger and some grief over this episode.

Somewhere during the night I decided to do a mitzvah for myself and instead of (1) quitting my job in anger and frustration or (2) going to HR or (3) sulking or (4) keeping quiet about it and putting on a good face...I decided to do (5) talking to the person and working out the difficulty to my satisfaction.

And I did and it worked (for least for now, this person is a bit volatile at times, and these are tough times at work) and I feel better and had a few good chuckles in the end.

So I am counting this as a mitzvah to myself - sorely needed.

Plus I am seeing Grace and the boys for dinner - triple mitzvah for me.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Animal Wednesday - Two snakes

We went bike riding last weekend and I brought my little 3x zoom camera hoping for some AW shots. We were screeching down a hill (what fun!) when I saw this little guy in the road. So I stopped and shot a picture, figuring I'd enlarge the photo since I can never get very close to a quick moving snake.

But I kept trying to get closer and he didn't move much and just let me walk up to him....

...and then I got even closer and he still didn't move altho I think I saw a glare in his eye....

....finally I was so close that I could see the patterns on his skin - isn't he a beauty?

Then that night we had an outdoor fire in our new firepit and look what I saw in the fire -

I googled "what does it mean when a snake image shows up in your life" and found this:

This a powerful totem -- it is
the symbol of transformation and healing.
The Snake is wisdom expressed through healing.

It is a protector and guardian totem,
along with its sister totems, the Dragon and the Serpent.

If a snake totem has come into your life, your creative forces are awakening.
Your intuition will sharpen and be more accurate.

Snake energy is the energy of wholeness, cosmic consciousness, and
the ability to experience anything willingly and without resistance.
It is the knowledge that all things are equal in creation.

It also signals a transition in your life.
New opportunities and/or changes.

Snake is fire medicine, the medicine of transmutation.
On a material level, it is vitality; on an emotional level, it is ambition and dreams;
on a mental level, it is intellect and power; on a spiritual level (the highest level),
it is wisdom, understanding and wholeness.

Snake magic is heavy magic.
Become the Magician and transmute the energy and accept the power of the fire.

The Snake is one of the symbols of Thoth.

oooohhh - I just got shivers - the "power of the fire"??? and a snake showed up in my fireplace???? wow. wow. And I do like the thought of an image of transformation and healing. I'll take it!!

Happy Animal Wednesday - and I hope your animal images are happy ones.

PS - here's something even stranger. My Chinese astrology symbol is....yup - a snake.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A Gorgeous Autumn Day

I got home on Friday - to beautiful Fall New England weather. Crisp, cool, sunny, blue sky - perfect for a bike ride in the woods which we did on Saturday.

How quickly it's gotten cool and fall-like here. Seems like yesterday that it was 90 degrees, and suddenly we have 50's during the night. I love the feeling in the air of pending hibernation, harvest and peaceful snowy nights. The colors are magnificent, and a joy to see. I love summer heat and long, long days - but I've always adored the autumn season - it suits me just fine.

My dear DH has given me lot's of wonderful presents this year for birthdays and anniversaries. A new camera is coming soon and I came home to one of those round fire pits for our patio - I've always wanted one. So after biking we dragged wood onto the patio and built a lovely fire. We sat and watched it for hours, chatting quietly about this and that but mostly just mesmerized by the flames. I had marshmallows of course, and toasted up too many.

We solved a few of the world problems by chatting about them, and then a few of our own. Had a quiet rememberance of 9 years ago and how hard it was to be apart that day and the following days.

A peaceful, relaxing, just-what-I-needed day and night.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

No Animals on this Wednesday

Boo-hoo, boo-hoo sob sob sob - no time for animals today, I even forgot it was Wednesday. But it is and I'm in Florida driving from doctor to doctor and it's even my anniversary and no hubby with me.
BOO HOO!!! (I am imitating Emily so I guess that is my animal for this wednesday - ok KJ?)

On the funny side, yes, I am driving my MIL and her aide around to Doctor appointments and it is again a test of my patience. Like when I am in a parking lot and heading for a spot to park when MIL points out same spot and says "there's one!" (like I wasn't just driving right towards it!). Or as I get ready to drive off somewhere, and am going thru my own driving ritual (turn on car, put on seat belt, foot on brake, take off parking break) and she leans over in step two and TAKES OFF THE PARKING BRAKE.

Why would someone take off the parking brake when they aren't driving the car???

The day is filled with little tiny annoyances like that, and I am trying to be saintly and laugh it off. I did say (very nicely) that if she took off the parking brake again, or did anything like that - I was getting out of the car and going home. So there.

MIL is doing OK, but the whole process is somewhat depressing. She wants to try chemo, even tho the oncologist says that it's just buying time and will not cure anything. We have an appointment with another oncologist just because she wants someone with a more positive attitude. I actually understand her logic there, but....

I keep telling her that the positive attitude has to be in her own head, but understand how difficult that can be when a professional tells you the bald facts. I mentioned to her that perhaps she shouldn't ask them "how much time do I have" because they will answer with the truth.

Oy, oy, oy....

I am heading to a cousins house tonight to be with about 13 cousins for a New Year's dinner. I'm so looking forward to it, I can't tell you how much.

So, to all of you who celebrate these holidays' - Have a Happy and Healthy New Year. And to all of you who don't celebrate this holiday - Have a Happy and Healthy New Year!!!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Heading down to Florida again

Sat down last night to draw some pictures and this came out. Interesting, especially as I am heading down to Florida again today to spend the week with my MIL and various doctor visits. I'm not dreading it, which is good and hope to carve out some time for myself to work on some projects. DH laughs when I say that - he was there for two weeks and didn't have a moment to himself. But I think I'll manage something. I am bringing NO clothes - as I have enough stashed at Mom's house to last me for a long time. I AM bringing knitting, and a quilt that I am working on. And books. Maybe even time to redesign my blog!!

It struck me that I started off the summer giving up a Memorial day weekend to be with my mom during a minor surgical procedure that she had. I certainly didn't mind, altho' I was a tiny bit cranky about postponing some fun plans. And now here I am on Labor day, at the end of the summer, going back to be with MIL and all that she is going thru. And I am still a tiny bit cranky about giving up my vacation days to do this. So...what does this portend for the rest of the year? Who knows, and I can't plan ahead. Just try to go with the flow as much as possible.

Have a good week!!

Saturday, September 4, 2010


I finally got sick of painting furniture and sat down to do a little drawing. A few postcards emerged.

It's a gorgeous weekend here - we're off to a friends for a cookout. Hope you're having a lovely day.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Cute (I think so anyways) Project

I saw this idea in a magazine somewhere - just a mention of it. I thought it looked like fun so I decided to give it a try.

The weekend that my DH was away, I went to the thrift store and for $10.00 I got a small table in terrible condition. Just about 24 inches by 18 inches. Painted brown or shellacked and flaking off all over the place.

Here is the top in the original condition.

I turned it over, added wooden finials to the ends of the legs and two pieces of wood to one end between two legs, painted the whole thing, added a covered cushion and here it is...a small pet bed!!!

The things on the headboard came off an old frame, and are temporary here. I'm fooling around with making a plaque for the headboard with "DOG" or "CAT" but want to add that later for whoever get's this.

Ain't it cute???

( Yes, I realize that I need a more "professional" setting for photographs aside from the basement workshelf. But it's early and the light is bad everywhere else so I just did it. Gotta get with the background idea).

I'm making another cover for the bed part. I started out making a fitted cover but realized that it would be better to have a sort of fitted sheet. The one I was in the middle of making is actually a bit small, so I'll start again on that.

This was a fun, quick have a tiny dog who needs a bed?????