Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas Day

We had a small tree this year, but a lovely day.  Since DH's mom died on Christmas day a few years ago, it's been sad and lonely without her, but this year we managed calm and peaceful - which was great.  Breakfast with my mom, bike riding, presents, and an early night. 

My brilliant husband gave me a full set of newly reprinted Wizard of Oz books, complete with color lithographs. The Illustrator, John Neill has always been one of my favorite illustrators so this is a treat beyond treats.  I have two of the Oz books from the 20's, but having the whole set is a joy.  Wisely he only brought one book down to Florida for me to see, the remaining dozen or more are at home - waiting to be unpacked and set up in a place of honor. 

Wishing you all a Happy New Year, Happy Boxing Day, Happy Everything. 

xoxo Mim

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Sunday, December 15, 2013

A Snowstorm is a chance to get all those inside chores done...isn't it?

I love this time of year, and I love being buried in the house during a snowstorm. There are chores to be done, a pile of presents waiting to be wrapped and sent out, a house to be cleaned and what do I do?  I sit down and knit.

Yesterday I finished another Cowl and fingerless - mitts (really, just tubes for your hands and arm) and was quite pleased with myself.  These are Merino wool with a bit of silk in them.   I also finished my grey sweater which I've been working on for a few weeks. It needs final blocking but it looks good on and is about as warm and cozy as baby alpaca can be. The only complaint I have about this yarn is that it's SO unstructured that the sweater feels like holding a pile of slippery....well something. I can't think of a good description.  But it slides around in a funny way and is hard to fold as it slips off itself.   But all in all, I couldn't have been happier as I watched Christmas movies and knitted all afternoon.

Frankly I did feel like I deserved some time out.  Not only have I been working like a dog, but I did a lot of final shopping yesterday starting at 7:00 AM.  Yup, idiocy I know, but it was the only way to get things finished before a snowstorm came.  And I experienced going to an "American Girl" doll store. Have you ever been to one?  I never have but a niece got a doll from my mom and it needed some changes of clothing.  I was amazed at the store, it's like Disney world for girls.  It's also outrageously expensive, but if I could have had one when I was a kid...and gotten matching clothing for myself - wow!  I would have been on top of the world.  Walking away from the store I thought about getting one for myself now, and making matching clothes for myself so that I can experience that feeling - getting in touch with my inner child and all.   Then I thought that the store should do it, offer adult clothing to match the child and the doll....and then I started laughing at myself.  Still, it was a fun experience.

So today I am finishing the chores (awful chores, like laundry, and cleaning house, and paying bills), while the snow continues to lightly fall.  The plow guy has come a few times and it looks like we got about 10 inches, not too bad.  But theres another yarn waiting for me, a Malabrigo in a gorgeous dark color called whalesroad.  I've got a bottom up knitting pattern that is calling out to me.   An easy turtleneck pattern.   Plus...I do hear my studio calling my name.

Anyone want to come over to do my chores?

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Final Day 8 -

Well, it's a few days late but the whole project was last minute really.  I'm still missing the actual Day 8, where the 8th day candle get's lit but that will have to wait.

I liked this self assigned project and have learned so much about composition (and what I could have done better), color, shading.  Is there ever a project that you don't learn from?

So - Happy Chanukah!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Day 7 - even tho' it's really Day 8

I lost a day by working late on Monday night - so am still working on painting day 8.  Enjoy Day 7

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Day 6

2 more days to go and then a grand happy finale with all 8 candles, and the helper candle together. 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Days 4 and 5

We were in Florida for Thanksgiving and I got one day to stay home and draw.  I finished inking all my Chanukah drawings but have to finishing painting.

Here are days 4 and 5  - I'm liking this series.  I'd like a story to go along with it...gotta sit down at the computer and maybe come up with a story.  Regular candles not available....and finding alternate candles....I don't really know.  Send me your ideas

Days 6, 7,  8 and the grand 8 celebration coming soon.  I hope!!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Chanukah Day 3

What an interesting discussion on FB about privacy and images  I learned a lot about FB today - still think they have big issues around privacy but I've calmed down about images being shared.  

I've got to add a turkey into this series somewhere.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Day 1 and the start of Day 2

I've really gotten into these Chanukah paintings but doubt I will complete 8 by the right time.  What is interesting to me is that I am drawing the Shamash candle, the middle one that lights all the other candles, as a female symbol - when I always thought of it as a male candle (don't ask me why).  I am trying to decide if I am bridging the gap between the familiar Christmas female figure and the Jewish symbols.

Or maybe I just like drawing a familiar female figure.

I like that tough little figure holding up her candle to be lit.  She's capture my heart.

And oh boy do I need a new light in my scanner!!! That background!


Friday, November 15, 2013


No, I haven't stopped blogging but am just so overwhelmed with the passage of time lately that I feel like it's just all getting away from me.  I'm working on a new idea for a book, working on my comics, and just plain working.  And it's just last week that I realized that it really was getting cold out and that I'd better put socks on.  I haven't yet accepted the fact that winter is really here.  Let alone the holidays!

So I avoid it all, and draw.  I added some items to this painting, and scanned it in which won't show the full page.  I'm liking it - thank goodness.

I hope to do some other things over the week, stay tuned! 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

A new Fishie

A fun weekend project, a learning experience with tape, acrylics, watercolor, ink.  

Monday, October 28, 2013

Somewhere to Sketch

I joined the "Somewhere to Sketch" site - which Lynn and Ann started a few months ago. It's a good challenge to find places to draw using Google Earth.  This month was Tuscany, and I couldn't resist.

I posted a picture that I did a few years ago of a place that I stayed outside Lucca, Italy.  My family and I had a week at an old farmhouse - fully restored - it was heaven!   I did a few other sketches of other sites in Tuscany but haven't posted them yet.

It'll be fun to keep up with new challenges, nothing like a deadline to get me going. 

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Colorful Meerkat Mafia

Well, I wanted to play with drawing and painting some animals, so looked for cute pics on the computer and found these Meerkat cuties.  I wanted to try to paint them with their regular animal colors, something I am not good at usually.

Tried once....threw it out.

Tried again....threw it out.

Finally threw in the towel and went for varied color.

Now to me they look like the meerkat mafia, and how in heavens name do you paint snouts pointing straight at you?

A bit odd but it was fun.

The WLG's are coming out again, as I want to have most of those drawings ready for a winter submission to...well...somewhere.    So the start of a new drawing is below.

Fun stuff..

Monday, October 14, 2013

I love Fall

How can I complain about the weather here when I have this view on the local bike trail.

I'll complain in the winter, but right's perfect.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Experiment - Stars and Starfish

When I started this blog it was to get feedback on paintings and drawings, and I want to continue to ask for help, opinions, thoughts.  

I was playing with paints on a foggy saturday - just to play.  of course I turned to fish, and underwater theme.  I took a photo of the Work in Progress, and then added some "water" on the computer, if I was doing it for good I'd add the water in actual watercolors. 

I'd love opinions.  While I like the watery effect, I think the second one starts to look like a fishbowl! 

I have some other ideas on how to add a watery effect but that will take trial and error. 

Whadda ya think? 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

First I was gonna post....

I had an idea to post a lovely beautiful fall pictures post from this past weekend. The text was in my mind, about sunshine and colors and dappled sunlight.   The photo's are beautiful.

Then I got real. I want to show my comics posted up at class for the critique.

I LOVED doing this.  I put up all 57 pages in an empty classroom and after break we all went in to look at them.  57 pages people!!  

Everyone in the class was wonderful, appreciative, supportive and gave me great feedback.  It was a terrific experience, and the first time I have shown all the stories together.  I have work to do to get it all updated, and complete, but I have the goal now and the ideas.

I know you really can't see it all, but I think you get the idea.

I can't thank the instructor enough for the classes I have taken at Worcester Art Museum.  What a supportive teacher he is.

OK, maybe next time it'll be dappled sunlight and beautiful photos.  We'll see.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Long Time No Post

Seems like ages. I have been so busy, that it's hard to keep up.  I am getting ready to show ALL my comics to my class so that I can finalize enough for a book.  Going to get hints and ideas and critiques  - love the idea and am also a bit scared.  I am spending this weekend inking, finishing drawings, scanning, printing.

This is how it all started!!!

Wish me luck. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Animal Wednesday - Birds! (and a frog)

We were biking in Florida last week, off road and in the hot hot sun.  DH stopped suddenly and indicated that I should slow down, get off the bike and follow him.  I did of course, and saw this guy up in a tree.   Bad pics of course, as he was far away and I only had my phone with me, but oh - so glorious and beautiful.  We had binoculars with us and got a really good look at the majesty and beauty of this bald eagle.

In addition, we saw the Eagles nest - it is enormous, about 8 feet across. 

You can just imagine baby eagles being raised, generation after generation, in this nest.  

On another bike ride we had this hawk follow us around for a few miles. Did we look like mice?  I can't imagine that we did, but sometimes these birds seem curious about humans. Perhaps they also know that our thumping noises sometimes scare little mice out into the open. 

A more common siting was this bird, waiting for us to throw it something.  Nope, sorry bird, no snacks for you. 

Finally on a late night walk we saw this little guy - crouching down trying to avoid us.  We took a few pics and then left him alone, he was so cute. 

Happy Birdie/Animal Wednesday

Sunday, September 8, 2013

A Conversation.

Here is a perfect example of Venus and Mars.

The scene: getting ready to go out to dinner, each person in the duo getting dressed and generally trying to look good.

Me:  Does my hair look OK?  (Translation: all I want to hear is "yes, great")

Him:  Well, I think that you should decide whether it should be long or short, right now it's in between.  You should just make a decision.   Your roots are showing a bit, but not too bad and if you fluff it up you hide that, but I like the highlights that you did.

Me: !!!!!

Question: Does this happen in your house?

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Talking a hike - literally

A hike in the woods and cliffs by San Simeon point in the Central Coast of CA, followed by an elegant dinner at a local eatery.

An amazing, beautiful, sunny, gorgeous day.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

The most fun surprise!!!

I got a package yesterday...but didn't notice it tucked into my office until this morning.  It was from Suki, who had written to me that she was sending this package of postcards from her brothers collection.


It's more than postcards really. It's a postcard journal of a trip out west of a Mrs. Stearn and Miss C.W. Batcheller.  Don't you wonder what their relationship was? Aunt and Niece?  Old lady and companion?  Sisters? How I would love to know!   I'll show you at the end of this post how I know their names. (and my ideas on their relationship...don't get excited, it's pretty tame!)

This is one of the first cards with (I assume) Carrie Wood Batcheller's writing.

Mrs. Milly George Stearns is our "matron"

Miss Carrie Wood Batcheller is our younger lady.

( How about Mrs. Truxtun Beale with her maid - hoity-toity!)

Carrie and Milly went thru the Panama Canal to get to Los Angeles.  I think this was fairly adventurous for the time. The Panama Canal opened January 7th, 1914 - just one year before these two went thru on the Kroonland.

Then they arrived in LA and started sightseeing in the Automobile as written below.

I like to think that this is a photo of the two ladies, with companions that they met on the trail to Mt. Lowe

Typical 1915 view of LA street scenes?

Then it appears that they went to San Diego after two weeks (and four days) in LA.  There is no note about how they got there, I love to think of them driving down the coast.

Note the Steamship on the horizon.

This Hotel looks the same today as it did in 1915. 

It appears that they went to the Panama-California exposition of 1915  which was such a successful expo that it was extended thru 1917.  The point of the expo was to celebrate the completion of the Panama Canal and to "put San Diego on the map" especially after the "wall street panic of 1907".

I guess it worked!

Then they started traveling up the coast. I don't know exactly how, I'm assuming they didn't drive, but who knows.

There are a few Santa Barbara photos and postcards.  The usual serene views, with few people and fewer cars.

They made it to San Francisco - this hint of GG park is for Robin, who loves that park. 

They apparently took a ferry to Oakland where they visited a beautiful hotel "situated in the midst of most unattractive surroundings"

From San Francisco they boarded a Railway to travel to Oregon, Lake Louise, Banff and then thru Toronto and Montreal home to Boston.

I know their names from their return itinerary - from San Francisco way back to Boston via western cities and scenic destinations.  6 weeks of travel back...for $247.20

To me it's so much fun to read these little stories, and think about who these people where, what they did and how they got about.  They left home on May 22, 1915 and got back to Boston on September 1st, 1915.  Three and 1/2 months of traveling - who could do that now?  Then again, 6 weeks of that was on a boat out to the coast and another 5 weeks back by train, with sightseeing along the way.

I have found out - thru quick research - that Carrie Wood B was born in 1867 and was a Music Teacher in Providence, RI.  Maybe she had the summer off from school to travel.  She went to France in 1924, I'm not sure for how long...that's for another story.  A census when she was 15 has her listed as "step-daughter".  I can't find anything on Milly - so I'm making up the story that Milly was a widow, with Carrie her daughter.  Milly was widowed, and Carrie had to teach music to help support her mother. Milly herself did dressmaking.  Later on in life, Milly married George Stearns, who was a successful shop owner who could afford to send his wife and stepdaughter for a jaunt out to the West Coast.

This was such a delightful present - thank you Suki - I love it!