Wednesday, February 28, 2007


Hey all (four of you),
Sorry I haven't blogges since Saturday. I actually did, but it got eaten up in the blogosphere, and then I ran out of time to retype it. I am such a computer nerd.
Just an quick update- I promise a big post with pics tomorrow (later today, actually).

Papa spent Sunday night at the D.C. airport, because of the slush storm, but finally made it to Florida. He is lonely without us, but doing well.

Yesterday was a parenting day from hell, but today went much better. We had a piano lesson, did English, history, some parsing in the latin reader, read out loud, ate Chinese takeout, and watched a few episodes of That 70's show. I know, I know, it isn't super appropriate, but honestly, most of the inappropriate references go right over their heads.

More tomorrow, I finally feel tired. Hopefully I will rest tonight- you think I'd sleep better with a whole queen-size bed to myself, and no snoring, wouldn't you? Go figure.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Photo of the Day #4

The Family Homestead. Here is our home, taken from the front yard. More later, I am off to drop Papa off at his seminar, fetch Gramma, take her shopping, then back here for a laudry-folding party. We have to get all of Papa's clothes washed, ironed, and packed so he has clothes on his trip to Florida. He leaves tomorrow.

Friday, February 23, 2007

What do you think of my new paintsticks?

I have been down in the studio today, experimenting with my new Shiva Paintsticks. What do you think of this?

As opposed to the lighter touch of the colored pencils? I haven't colored the face in yet, but other than that.....

Better? Different? Makes you wanna puke? Smile? Or are you indifferent? Is one image more pleasing than the other? I value your thoughts. Be honest and specific, ok?

Just when you thought you had everything

I was cruising some art/quilting blogs when I found this post.
I don't know where Karen found it, but it is hilarious. The rest of her blog is fun, too.

Relaxed Friday

This is the first day all week I haven't had to be out of the house early squirrelly. I let the kids sleep in till 9:30, and they are slowly starting to function. Other than 2 scheduled coaching calls, I really have no plans, other than to keep the laundry going so the Papa Dude has clothes to pack. He is off to FLorida for training for his new job. He will be gone two weeks, and will be gone for my birthday. I am hoping I can convince him to take me out to lunch today, but we shall see.

Nothing else new here, gotta go put a load in the wash, cook up some bacon and eggs, and see if we can at least get a bit of school in today- for the first time this week- so much for getting tons done while public school was out, sigh.

Picture of the day #3

We love shells around here. We have a huge collection, and add to id often. Here are just a few that the Fine Young Man arranged and then shot.

I need to take my camera out with me today, and start shooting some more pics! I have shown you everything I was behind on showing you. Yay for me!


Monet's Bridge, circa 2004
Just the top, not quilted. This was one of a series of 3 exercises I did from a book a few years ago, the title of which I can no longer remember. THis one is my faves I would like to do more- a series of abstract bridges, or water elements. I can tell it is done by a beginner in the abstract world, but I still like it.

This one is my least favorite of the three. It was a color exercise, focused on red, but some parts of it just don't work. But, I plan on showing stuff to you that I am not happy with, as well as stuff I love, or else how will I grow as an artist?!

This one is nice, but didn't really stretch me much. THe colors are pretty, the piecing was not tricky, and the colors are those I am already in love with.

These works are a couple of years old, the stuff I did just before my huge block set in. My thoughts have been to abandon this kind of quilt-making, in favor of more collage-y styles. But looking at them now, I almost want to go back and finish them. I didn't post their sizes, they are all on the small size from 12" square, to aprrox. 15" x 30".

So, I was brave enough to post these, now I am curious to hear what you think!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Photo of the day #2, and a computer nerd question

First the nerdy part- I spent hours yesterday adding links to my sidebar, and now only a few of them are showing up. WWHHYYY??? I guess I will have to figure it out in my spare time, which means it won't happen today, that's for sure.

On to the picture of the day. Here is a bachelor button, taken last Easter. Soon, I keep telling myself, soon, it will warm enough that these will bloom again!

That's all for now- I am back from the dentist, have to pick kids up, and head to Nature Study- we are drawing mammal skulls today.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

New work

Hey! Wanna see what I am up to? Here is my latest piece. It is for someone, who like me, is in love with turtles. I had the patches, and then a bunch of pre-cut brights, so it went together in a flash. It is approx. 10" X 30".

Here is a close-up so you can see the beading I am doing on it. I am such a newbie when it comes to beading on a quilt, but it is easier with each bead, if just a tad time comsuming.

When I showed my design walls in yesterday's post, you may have been wondering what those blobby brown things on it were. Well, this is something new for me too- colored pencils on hand-dyed cotton fabric. One night when I was auditioning fabrics for a quilt, I saw images in this one fabric. Thought maybe it was due to smoking too many pencil shavings, as Ree would say. But, no, when I looked again, there they were- fairies, just waiting in the shadows. So I got out my new woodless pencils, and started playing. These are some of the results.

THis one is a wing-ed lady flying. Can you see her wing stretched out behind her, and the sillouette of her curvy body?

This one may be harder to make out. It is a lady with deer-like ears and wings. She also is shapely, with a nice hip to her.

THere are a couple more, one that looks like an elephant with two sets of ears, and one that looks like your typical Peter Pan-type fairy with a funky butterfly on his outstretched arm.
I am wondering if I need to buy some SHiva paintsticks to play with these more, and have no idea what they will be incorporated into, but they have been fun to play around with, and I can see my shading skills inproving.
I'd love to know what you think.

photo of the day #1

Hmmm, now that I can post photos, which one will I choose? And can I come up with something snappier that "Photo of the day"? I think I will show you the bench that Papa Dude and the children made for me last year for my birthday. I love it. It is around a crabapple tree between our driveway and our next door neighbor's house. She built a bench last summer, so we have a great meeting spot that is nice and shady in the summer. Easy to earn bonus points if you can tell on which holiday this photo was taken.

More later,

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Christmas in February

OK, OK, I know this will be 2 months late, but remember in December, when you were visiting all your fave blogs, and they all showed pics of their special holiday decorations? The ones that made you think of your great aunt or your best Gramma-type lady? Well, here we go, better late than never, because I know a couple of you who will really enjoy seeing them. Then I promise to post some pics of artwork, okay?

These are our stockings. They are huge, and hold a ton. I made one for each of us, and my mom. THey hang on our tv cupboard. As you can see, my antique vase collection and my Christmas music boxes are dispayed nicely in the glass shelves.

Next is one of my faves- this is the top of our current studies bookshelf. On the shelf, you will see my snowman collection. On top, is the Santa and reindeer that belonged to my grandmother Gladys. It is always a heart-wrenching yet happy time when I unpack these each year.

Here is a close-up:

Here is a pic of the piano wall. As you can see, I have family photos on the whole thing. At Christmas, I put banners up on all the walls- some are Santas, and some are robins with holly. This is the piano that I have come to adore, because my Young Lady plays hours and hours on it every day, bringing me much joy.

Here is our entryway, with all our bell swags, and the stars I bought this year.

Here is our tree, with the two wierdos, umm, I mean dealightful kids working on the decorations- or are they hugging the tree??

Okay, now I am even closer to being in integrity with Dy, Amy, and the whole picture thing!

Studio Pics! Finally!

I finally got my Fine Young Man to learn how to upload pics from my digital camera! Yay for us! So, I will now try to put a few pics of my studio up. First off, is my pride and joy, the 2 4 X 8 design wall panels. As you can see, there is room enough for a few projects at a time, with room for whatever inspires you, to boot!

The panels are on a sliding rail, like closet doors. Behind them, I have tons of shelf storage. I have cleaned and organized them since this pic, so they look even better now.

I have two tables set up in an L shape. There is room for 2 machines, one for me, one for my Young Lady. On one table, I have a cutting mat, on the other, is my ironing cloth. I didn't adhere it to the table, because I like being able to take it off in case I need lots of room for a project, like Valentine making, or beading a quilt.
As you can see, this is also a good space for setting up my laptop, or encouraging cats to lie on fabric and piles of beads.

Here is a good view of the fabric wall. All my fabric is in the white plastic drawers. THe tall drawers hold all my collage materials, and the big brown cupboard holds all of our art supplies. Again- this area has been reorganized since these photos were taken, but I wanted to go ahead and post them so you can see the space.

Let's see if Blogger will let me post one or twomore. I just want to tell you, I know this isn't a real fancy space, and having to share it with 3 cats, and the spiders that they don't eat, with no ceiling yet does make keeping it tidy a challenge, but I am so pleased with the feel of the space. It is cozy and open.

The wood stove makes it nice and warm down here at 4 in the am, when I am not sleeping. The cats like it too.

That's all for now. Now that I have this process down, I am hot to show you new works, old works, my Christmas decorations (that have been sitting patiently in my camera since December!), and the kids and cats.
Thanks for being patient, Dy.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

This Artist's Way

Last week, Amy and I started reading The Artist's Way. I am hoping that it will help me recover from this almost 2 yr old block I have been in. The studio has helped immensely, but something is still missing. For the class to work, I am supposed to do a weekly check-in each Sunday, so here we go.

I really struggled with the morning pages, but was successful with taking myself on an artist's date. I thought it would be the other way around.

The idea behind the morning pages is to do 3 pages of free-write first thing when you wake up. I have heard it called "brain drain" before. I have been trying to get up at 6 am, and I really struggled with getting 3 pages written at that time of the morning. Sometimes I wish we were supposed to be doing night pages- I lay awake in bed, with at least three pages of nonsense and unbidden thoughts floating around in my brain. I did 5 out or 6 days this week, with some days not being a full 3 pages. Sigh. I vow to be better at them this week.

I called Amy early on in the week, trying to come up with ideas for an artist date- this seems like a strange concept for me so far- doing something to support and excite the artist within. I ended up finding some time after a tortuous Massage Therapy appointment last Thursday, to expore a Big Lots store near the massage office. I found tons of fun little doo-dads for collaging- sticky string, 3-D stickers, art papers, cheap fancy envelopes, paper leaves, etc. I came out of there with a huge bag of goodies, and only spent $20. Now that I have played with some of it, I want to go back and get lots more!

For our exercises this week, we were supposed to explore who were our early champions and villians when it came to being artists. I really had to search to come up with any villians in my life when it came to my making art. I found lots of champions, though, and it was interesting to search back through my memories and think about people who were supportive of me when I was young- hadn't thought about some of them in many years.

My studio is coming along so very well. It is still rough in spots, but I have almost everything put away and organized, and the cool part is that I have actually been creating this week! I quilted a small wall hanging, which is now in a hoop, waiting to be beaded. My Little Lady (the daughter formerly known as the Girl) and I have been making Valentine's Day cards for our close friends this week. Funny- I have made one in the time it has taken her to make five!! I am committed to being in my studio every day, and am getting closer to this being a reality. With all the other responsibilities and commitments I have, this is turning out to be a major deal!

Today, I will read ch. 2's lesson, and get started on it. I am so glad to have a partner in this exercise. It has made it so much easier to actually do the work, and show up at the pages, knowing someone else is putting in the effort and doing the time too.

How did you do on your goals for this week, Amy?

So, when it comes to my art, who I am is the possibility of being a prolific creator of art.

update on the education of The Fine Young Man

So. It has been an interesting week with my son. I am still battling, or should I say, working with, the school system to see if my Fine Young Man can attend the high school full time next school year. It is taking a great deal of my time and energy, but it will be okay in the end. I just know it. Because I have an amazing son. He sees that fighting me over schoolwork for the last couple of years has caused him (and me) a great deal of trouble and inconvenience, and he sees that it is going to take effort to dig himself out of this situation. We are working on baby steps. This week, he is in integrity with all of his work. This is a huge triumph. Yay!

In other news, the Fine Young Man is going to state with his speech and debate team! He is also going to the national trials! He had a tournament just last night, and took first place in Humourous Interpretation. He is just getting better and better, and his routines are so much fun to watch!

Aaacckkk. Dumb Blogger

I know, I know. I haven't been blogging again. Sigh. I have been fighting Blogger. Then when I finally think I have it down, it blows up in my face again. And then I just have no energy to post anything. But I think I finally have it under control now, and think they will accept both my name and password. Can't believe it took me all week to get it in gear on that. I am such a computer nerd.