Saturday, October 30, 2010

Six Word Saturday

Again...on my way to Florida

I decided to "pop" down to Florida this weekend to see how the old ladies are doing. MIL has been overly cranky and unhappy, so maybe a visit from me will cheer her up a bit. Her biggest problem is that she doesn't understand why this disease has happened to her - and she can't get over that fact. So on top of feeling miserable from the disease, and from feeling bad that she has this bad luck...she wants to know WHY she has this bad luck. I can't answer, and won't try to.

My mom, knock on wood, seems to be OK, and I plan on enjoying her company a bit. We both love to go shopping together so I plan on a trip to the area of Sarasota with little shops and boutiques for a good long browse. Neither of us will buy anything - maybe - but it'll be fun. Lunch out also. No parties to go to. No other family obligations. Maybe a beach trip tomorrow morning. We'll see....

Right now I am on the airplane, which has wireless connection. Our internet connection at home went down the other night and I have felt stranded without it. Right now I'm like a junkie who's gotten a fix - I'm high on connectivity.

Have a good weekend all....

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Animal Wednesday - puggies and ospreys....

Drowning and being licked to death by tiny adorable Pugs...

what a way to go!!

I had a really cute video lined up for today - saw it at work. But for the life of me, I can't remember the name of it so I can't find it on YouTube.

So to compensate, I found this puggy video and will also show you the Osprey nest that we saw last weekend. In the summer time, we can see the birds in the nest, with occasional tiny heads popping up screaming for food. But at this time of year it appears quiet.....I guess they all summer in South America!

The Osprey (Pandion haliaetus), sometimes known as the sea hawk or fish eagle, is a diurnal, fish-eating bird of prey. It is a large raptor, reaching 60 centimetres (24 in) in length with a 2m wingspan. It is brown on the upperparts and predominantly greyish on the head and underparts, with a black eye patch and wings.

Their nests are used year after year and get larger and larger - we saw some in Maine many years ago that were over 50 years old by local legend.

Happy Animal Wednesday all!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


As I was going thru my clothes this fall, I decided that my winter robes were ratty and nasty and needed to be replaced. I wanted a new luxurious robe; warm yet sexy. One that would make me look like Katherine Hepburn in the morning instead of Ma Kettle.

The point is that my idea of luxury is sumptuous lingerie and robes and all things boudoir. Powder puffs, and perfume. A steaming bath with scented water. Huge heated towels and a warm fire. What I have is a bathroom. and a bedroom, and I'm a lucky girl I know that. But oh boy - I can dream can't I? Imagine slipping into this velvet baby after your relaxing bath - it's on sale for about $300.00!!

Or this vintage quilted one for about $400.00 (do you get the point that I like pink robes?)

Or my absolute favorite, this heavy silk, vintage from the 40"s "hostess robe". This one is too small for me and I considered stopping eating to diet until I could fit into it (I'd probably be dead by then, but I'd be luxurious!) I can just imagine my friends reaction if I showed up in this to act as hostess. They'd think I was off my nut.

Either way, I had a great time looking thru all the gorgeous vintage stuff on line and imagining myself dripping in silk and embroidery.

In the end, I went to Marshalls and got a lovely velour robe for $29.95. It's comfy and warm and I think luxurious (in its own way). But the hostess is lurking inside, just waiting for the opportunity and money to lounge around in heavy raw silk. Just you wait!!

Now I'm off to rush thru a lukewarm shower and rush off to work. No lounging for me!!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Silver lining

Katie Jane suggested that since tough times are around, we should look for the silver lining. I agree and you know what? it isn't hard to find. So here are some silver linings from yesterday.

DH and I went for a bike ride and since I was still cranky and sad I put alot of energy into the ride. We rode 18 miles and I was faster than him almost the whole time. And I felt 10 times better when I was done. I took some awesome pictures of leaves and sunset....and ninja-bike rider DH. It was cold out there - and he is wimpy about cold so was bundled up.

I took a decent picture of myself by holding the camera UP above my head so that I shot downwards. Duh...why was I always trying to take self portraits from below or eye level - those are so unflattering. I wasn't smiling here but for no particular reason. I think I was just being analytical. So imagine a big outdoors bike riding smile OK?

I decided to look for perfect leaves - and took photos of these two. I think you can go crazy looking for perfect leaves - they are so brilliant and colorful. I would love a dress made of leaves. (but then I'd look like a tree, not usually a good look for a woman)

Aren't these red and yellows striking?

We stopped at our favorite overlook and I got this shot. This is one of the things that makes me stay in New England. I adore this time of year. Someone had a wood fire going which makes it all even better and much more silver-lining like.

A shot of a random view. But awesome right?

And then there was the sunset.....and to be honest - I didn't do anything to these photos. No enhancement - nothing. This was really the sunset....

Shot 1 - looking at where the sun was actually setting.

Shot 2 - Next to where it was setting - but still how gorgeous.

This reminds me of "Gone with the Wind". Isn't there a shot of a tree and a sunset?

Getting lower....


Then - at night - instead of doing my laundry - I got a penchant for looking at vintage boudoir gowns on line. I had a great time, and can't you just see me coming home from bike riding and hanging around the house in one of these babies??

I actually love vintage clothing and would love nothing more than occasionally being in a situation (think warm hotel apartment) where I could lounge around in something like this - drinking mimosa's. But alas - while I love these items, I am still more of a flannel and sweats girl. But I love dreaming....

Hope you've enjoyed this post...I have.


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Posting....and some pictures

I really haven't been posting much lately. Maybe it seems to you that I have, but I know that I haven't really had my heart into it lately.

Did you ever find yourself in a situation where there is so much going on but you think you can handle it all? I mean really - what are the options? Fall down and cry? Refuse to face facts? In my life - for some ungodly reason - things have been piling up to the point where even pleasurable things seem overwhelming. But in the past day or so, maybe some things are calming down a tiny bit.

1) MIL isn't losing weight anymore. She had basically stopped eating and lost 20 lbs in about two weeks. My brother told her to eat ANYTHING that she she took him at his word and has been eating ice-cream, and Italian pastries and at least 3 ensure a day. She feels a tiny bit better and at least isn't losing weight. 1 tiny battle won.

2) One of my aunts had open heart surgery the other day and so far has come thru it just fine. It's a load off my mind since my uncle is totally emotionally dependent on her (who isn't after 55 years!) And it's a load off my mom's mind who was totally worried about her - which made me worried about mom.

3) Another aunt, mom's sister, is in a nursing home (but she LOVES it - says' she's never been happier ) but seemed to suddenly go almost completely gaga. Couldn't feed herself, remember much - the works. So sad for mom...this is her big sister. We think it might have been a medication that she is on, so that dosage has been cut in half and lo and behold - mom had an intelligent conversation with her on the phone yesterday. Made her feel good and is a bit of a relief to all.

3) I still don't know about work, but have at least started working on my resume and have sent it to a few people for review. (gotta send it to you grapes....monday!!)

Writing down your worries always helps doesn't it? I've just looked at this list and thought "hmm...that's really not such a long list". But as we all know, it's not the actual things that make one worry so much as the potential for big changes. Old people dying - while natural - is a big change and the shift of family ownership to the next generation while inevitable is not easy. Some cousins have taken on the ownership of certain holidays, but it's not all solidified yet. We've all talked about how to stay connected when the old folks are all gone, and I have complete certainly that we'll figure out a family vacation or weekend away or something. A job loss is just that - a job loss. But it's also such a change in routine, or not seeing the same people every day who know you so well (at least parts of you). Thinking about starting a new job is overwhelming - and I'm going to try to take the advice of many and hold off looking for a few months to settle my head down.

So sports fans - that's whats been keeping me up at night...or sleeping with clenched teeth. My nephews and their college applications are a great distraction. Putting Miss Em into comic form is a great distraction (about 15 - 18 pages drawn, inked and colored so far! - gotta have at least 48 for a trade journal publication!)

I feel so much better having written all this that I WILL show some artwork from last nights class. And you thought you were going to get off easy.....

First attempt. Instructor liked this the best but I think it's a bit wonky around the eyes.

Different technique used here. Actually all night we were supposed to be "drawing" with our eraser. I struggled with that - ALOT.

Last one and one that I liked the best - simply because it wasn't a 3/4 view. Full face on - so relaxing to see both eyes.

On another topic - I had made some paper mache bowls from tissue paper. People loved them at Yart, but they don't appear very practical so didn't sell. Well, my BFF and I were in Michaels a few weeks ago and we found these really nice tall battery operated tea lights so I bought a few for these tissue paper bowls. They work beautifully as shown by these pictures - the first one with a flash and the second one without. Whadda ya think???

Thanks for letting me vent. I'm ready to face the day...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Animal Wednesday - swans

When we started kayaking on a local river a few years ago, there were maybe 4 - 6 swans that had made their home on one section. We've been watching them for a few years and now there are about 2 dozen of these enormous birds making their home on an island on the river - and floating majestically around. People tell me that they are an invasive species in this area, but I haven't done much research on that topic - I do love to watch them float, swim and fly.

Recently we saw one guy (I assume it was a guy - I haven't yet learned to tell the difference) floating along with his wings puffed up and it was obvious that he was catching the wind for a free ride. And now I know how the famous swan boats in the Boston Public Gardens got their wing look.

Here are the Swan Boats floating on the pond in the Public Gardens - a locally famous landmark. It's a sweet gentle ride - totally unexciting and delightful. I haven't done it for years, but now I know how they got their wings up look.

Happy Animal Wednesday!!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Portrait drawing class

When I first get to Portrait drawing class on Friday nights - my hands are clumsy and I can't draw worth a bean as shown by the two awful drawings above. And no...I'm not fishing - I've posted these to talk about something that I learned this week.

By the second drawing I'm feeling a bit looser yet also a bit more tense. Our instructor wants us to only use contrast - dark and light and since I haven't learned to see that way yet, it's hard for me - very hard. I have trouble getting over Color, and color gradations to see thru to dark and light. I know that literally my eyes need training to see differently so I work hard at it - too hard. Trying to get dark and light yet make it look like a person - whew. Tough for me to do.

The third drawing was a bit better in terms of dark and light and at the end I threw in some color to placate my eyes. Our model was in front of a green chalkboard and had an orange sweater on. She had the most beautiful eyelids - the only problem was that she kept falling asleep!

By the 4th drawing - I'd had enough of trying to make the drawing look like our model and I just went for the dark and light. No one in class liked this one, they were rather horrified. But I did like it! Maybe because I knew what I was doing and why - but I also like the lips here the best. Yes, it's a bit of a caricature but in terms of learning dark and light, I think it's the best one.

So what did I learn? To get over trying (once again) to be perfect. To draw, and then draw again. To play. To not worry about what others think (the instructor is quite the realist and perfectionist - very very good painter).

I'm hoping to go into this Friday's class with this new attitude intact. We'll see how it all works out.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

and you thought yesterdays video was silly.....

Okay... in recent years (like the past 20) I have only gone to Bar Mitzvah's that my cousins have given. And they are nothing like the Bar Mitzvahs that I have gone to in the past. These are for the kids with kids menus and various fun things to do. You can get your picture taken and put it on the cover of "In Style" (which I did with two nieces) this case.... do a video of your head dancing on a cartoon body. (see link below - I couldn't get it to upload on Blogger PLUS I had to play it on my computer and then film it with my camera as it was download protected) And, like me, you can laugh hysterically thru the whole thing - to the point of having the video crew in hysterics also and asking if they can use you as a model for how much fun this could be. I also now know that I laugh with my eyes squinted shut and my mouth wide open (tres chic don't you think?).

Crazy Video Link
(I can't get the audio to work - wah!!! Sing to yourself - La Bamba!!)

My cousin Michael is in the middle and my mom (yes, 87 year old redhead) is on the end. She was a bit confused about the process but got into it completely as you can see. She especially liked the cactus body part.

I'm always a bit astounded at these parties - coming from a Brooklyn background where the religious part was more important and the parties were really for the grownups. The most kid friendly item at My Bat Mitzvah was doing the bunny hop. But these kids have a niece and nephew enjoyed themselves tremendously. This Bar Mitzvah even had a theme - Football. Everything was football oriented, to the point of astroturf as table coverings and bleacher seats around the table. And since his favorite team is Cinncinati tigers - there was a LIVE TIGER AT THE FRONT DOOR IN A CAGE.

I don't know if letting them all have a good time enhances the religious portion or diminishes it - that sort of analysis is way over my head. But I had a good time - as did my cousins.

We have another one to go to in NYC in April - and it'll be interesting to see what that one is like. The "theme" is - BEACH. Hula skirt maybe????

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Pug sings Batman theme for Animal Wednesday

I have been away for a week in Florida at a crazy busy family Bar Mitzvah. And when I say crazy - I mean busy and fun and tons of cousins and really fun and crazy. And I got home yesterday, without my car keys - had to take a cab home from the airport. Unpacked my bag and found my keys - had to get DH to drive me back in to Boston and get my car!

I was exhausted when I got home, snoozed for a few hours on the sofa and then stumbled to bed. And woke up to animal wednesday and I got nothing! But the video above combines my love of Pugs with love of comics so there we go.

Happy Animal Wednesday to all -

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Animal Wednesday - looking for Wildlife

We went kayaking on Sunday and I took along my new camera with it's 10x zoom. My goal - looking for wildlife to post for Animal Wednesday.

We floated along

past the last blooming Water Lily

thru millions of tiny beads of pollen on the water - a beautiful green cover on the lake....

...which wrinkles when you move against it - isn't that cool?

And finally we found our wildlife.....


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Double Duty

The Dog Bed did not sell at YarT. Lots of people looked at it but very few people have dogs small enough to fit on it. Plus everyone said that their dogs slept with them, and didn't need their own bed. And I overheard someone say "it would make a cute doll bed" so......

....I re-purposed it last night with a quick sheet and bed cover, and little pillow.

There is even a little blanket under the bedspread - pink to match the sheet. It appears that I didn't take a picture of that but oh well....

Do little girls still play with dolls and like to tuck them into bed? I guess I'll find out!!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

My YarT summary - a LONG post!!

Stella Sleeping thru it all

I state here and now that this is MY yart summary only as I'm sure there will be many. And many varying views - yay for bloggers!!

I also state here and now that KJ and JB are overwhelmingly generous hosts who fed and watered us continually from sunup to sundown. With awesome food. And two particular helpers in the kitchen who went above and beyond without whom it all would not have come together.

I am also stating that I didn't take as many pictures as I should have and we don't have one of all of the bloggers together. Nope. Didn't get that shot. Too busy, too much going on.

I got to their house (I should say their wonderful house - warm and inviting, comfortable and cozy, interesting art to look at, books to read etc) on Friday night at around 9:30 and stayed until 11 talking to Lo, CS, Robin and other of their friends who were over.

Wonderful evening despite the pouring rain and I finally got to the hotel at around 11:30. Slept like a log!! Woke up to a perfect day - sunny and cool and fall like. And when I say cool, I mean like 40 degrees. I actually stopped at WalMart on the way to their house and bought a sweatshirt cause I hadn't brought one with me. I'm still in mental summer mode.

KJ and JB provided 6 foot tables and chairs - they had a pile of them - all rented and all set up around their wonderful side yard.

Early morning shot - looking peaceful

I have never done an art show/sale before and didn't know what to expect. I also didn't know how to set it all up, what to bring in terms of art and what would sell and what would not. So I brought alot of stuff and I mean ALOT!! My table runneth over. I had quilts and art work, and the table and chairs and dog bed and bowls and on and on.

Since I've never sold before I didn't know what to expect. Do you say "hi" to people? Ask them if they'd like some help? Ask what they are looking for? I simply played it by ear and smiled and spoke if it seemed like a good idea. At first people just wandered by and poked around and picked stuff up and put it down again. Because I had so much different stuff on one table, it was like a table rummage sale.

My table early in the day

Lo had the table next to me on my right and on my left was the wonderful painter Gordon Heins - he and his family are friends with KJ and JB and were staying with them. Lovely family by the way, and Gordon is a wonderful artist. His wife Heather makes lovely jewelry and did a brisk business selling her beautiful work. ( I can't find a link to Gordon's artwork but when I do, I'll post it)

KJ and Gordon

Lo's table

Chewy was there with a table of her wonderful artwork which I barely got to see as it was so busy. Suki came for a visit and to help - she manned the booths while we went to the bathroom or got lunch. And really, the pleasure of meeting these two woman was overwhelming. I recognized Suki from afar, she is so .... I don't know what words to use... beautiful, unique, calming - yes all of that. And she wore the red heart and brought us package of presents which was truly wonderful. Darlene and I had some time to chat before dinner - it was really a pleasure to meet her.

To sum up my actual selling experience...I did very well. I sold the table and chairs YEA!! (to friends of Chewy's actually which makes it even better) I sold 3 quilts. I sold felted bowls and paper mache bowls and postcards and framed and matted artwork. I simply couldn't believe it! At the last minute on Friday I had grabbed the "Strange Fish" book and the original watercolors from it. I put the book out on the table with a way too high price (on purpose) and a sign that said "original watercolors for sale". One lady came over and started reading the book and was laughing hysterically with joy - she LOVED the book. She bought two watercolors from the book that I actually have to finish and mat and send to her.

So to me, from a commercial standpoint, it was a great success. Not sure how everyone else did but this was good for me and a terrific mental ice breaker. I feel now that I can approach other stores and sell some of my more arty quilts and other more "arty" items. I found that at a venue like a yard/art sale people tend toward either small items or practical items. Alot of people picked up and admired my tissue paper bowls but no one wanted to buy them, they aren't practical. I realize now that I should have put one of those battery run tea lights in them and showcased them as atmosphere bowls. Ah time.

I drove home after dinner tired and happy. Dinner of a tricolor pasta with chicken that Gordon made which was amazing. and garlic bread. and salad and dessert. I staggered into the house - gave the lowdown to DH - staggered to bed. The car is still stuffed with the remainders. It'll have to wait. We're going kayaking today!

Dinner line
Long Table of hungry people

Thank you Karen and Janet....