Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year


I wish everyone a Happy New Year. May it be filled with hope and more surprises than you can imagine!

Today, I cleaned off my desk and was able to move things around enough to pick up a painting I started a while back. I did get more done on it. If you are wondering why I haven't painted anything around this owl it's because it's going to actually be a collage element in the painting. I just started the tree that the owl will be in. He'll be sitting in the hole of the trunk. I put down a wash of color but now I'm going to add light molding paste for texture before I continue with more layers of color. Anyway, it felt good to be creating but I need a larger table! I can't wait to have my studio back although having it set up again will be a while. I have 40... yes, FORTY 12 gal. plastic bins packed with supplies and that's not all, folks! There are things that aren't in bins and then, there's book cases of stuff along with iris carts and drawers of stuff. Not to mention and huge metal rack of plastic drawers and more stuff out on my carport! And my new studio space is small compared to my last space so, I have to go through everything to see what I can part with, what will go in functional storage in the storage shed, and what will need to be inside the studio for regular use. It is a huge project for sure but I can't wait to have my own room again! I think I'll get started over the weekend.

Tomorrow, Sam is having one of his best friends over to play. He and Daniel were in class together for 3 years but he moved and is not pretty far away from us. They still talk on the phone but haven't seen each other in a few months so they are looking forward to being together tomorrow.

I am NOT staying up until midnight. No, I am not one of THOSE people. I can't wait to get in bed! It's only 7:20 and I'm watching to clock. My boys are in the middle of a movie and when it's over and I get them in bed, I'm going too! So, for all of you who stay up watching the ball drop, enjoy!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Kitty crunches



Kenzy thought he was helping me do crunches this morning and well, maybe he was. Max happened to grab the camera.

Yesterday, the wind kicked up and let me tell you, it got COLD! OK, so I know some of you buried in snow want to hit me upside the head but, for us Phoenicians, it's cold. When I went to walk this morning, it was 32 degrees and it was NOT pleasant. I thought my nose would fall off. I'm just not a cold weather kind of gal. I planned to take the boys to a cat show today where Kenzy's siblings are being shown however, Chuck needed to use my van to return a piece of equipment and I thought he was leaving at 10:00 and would be back shortly. However, that didn't happen. Instead, somehow, ever so slyly... and maybe unintentionally but regardless, I got suckered into cleaning stuff in the shed! I thought we were just moving some things around to store my salon equipment for the time being but, it turned into a 2-1/2 hour project when I finally said, "Enough!" I really don't wanto to have to take Chuck's car for reasons I won't go into. Anyway, by the time Chuck get's back with my van, there won't be much time for the cat show today. So, I guess I'll plan to take the boys to the 9:45 service tomorrow so we can get out early and head downtown for the show tomorrow. I think Chuck has a project going on tomorrow here with the construction stuff anyway.

The boys have been Wii-ing all day. They are sore from playing! LOL! They are bowling right now. Sam, who is the total slug and wants to play on the computer all day, has been getting more exercise with this game than he ever gets with anything else... besides swimming. Anyway, they are really enjoying their gift. They've also gone into the program and made Mii characters of themselves and all their friends so now, when they play baseball, all the players are their friends instead of just computer fill in people. I have a character too! ;)

Well, gotta' go make Sam something to eat.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Wii

I snuck this video of the boys boxing with their Wii. It's so funny to see my couch potato Sam moving so much! LOL! We just recently put the t.v. on the wall and still have to hide all the cording but it is nice having it up higher. Chuck has been working on the computer system for all our movies, pictures, etc... to go through the t.v. Doesn't mean much to me but seems important to him. Anyway, I captured this video this morning of the boys and just thought it was cute.
video

Thursday, December 25, 2008

CyberFyber

Susan Lenz, a fiber artist who put together the Cyber Fyber exhibit now has all of the traded ATC's and postcards in an online exhibit for viewing! The actual exhibit opens in South Carolina at a gallery in January. If you'd like to view the galleries, they are here (ATC's) and here (fiber postcards). I created a fiber postcard for this exhibit. The postcards are exhibited by number. Mine is number 90. If you'd like more info about the exhibit, check out details here. There are some really cool pieces of fiber art in this exhibit. Susan is even sending a goodie package to the "people's choice"... the piece with the most comments! Cool, huh? Susan does some pretty amazing work herself so check out her site.

Christmas day


The boys were raring to go early this morning but we didn't actually get to mom's until almost 9:00. She had a nice spread ready and boy was it good! The boys, of course, wanted to open their gift first. Since their stockings were buried in the storage shed, I went to the dollar store and purchased a couple of cheapies for this year and stuffed them. Their main gift was a Wii, which they have wanted for months. Some family members also kicked in to help with the purchase and to them, we are grateful. Here are a few shots from the day:

After breakfast, I hit the Scrabble board and played FIVE games, back to back. My eyes felt like they were going to pop out of their sockets! I couldn't concentrate any more after that! I won 3 of the 5. I snapped a few photos myself of me with each of the boys.
Max monopolized my mom most of the day playing games or doing "find a word" puzzles while I played Scrabble with Fred. Sam played on the computer much of the day.

Max then caught me in the floor and tried smothering me in kisses. He's such a character.

Trying to kiss me a million times is something Sam wouldn't be caught dead doing. I can't even get ONE from him. But Max... well, he's like a ladies man at age 7 and it scares me silly to think of him as a teenager. Are there convents for boys?

Chuck left for the afternoon to bring the Wii home and get it all hooked up and the programs loaded, etc. So now the boys are boxing each other. I think they will enjoy this thing and have fun competing with each other.

It rained all day and let me just say, "I'M SICK OF RAIN!!!!" I need some sunshine, people. I can't handle so much rain. It seriously depresses me. However, it started to clear on our way home and the sky was beautiful with the sunset and we even got a rainbow.

When we got home, we found that "Santa" a.k.a., my neighbors Willa and Alec, had delivered gifts to the boys "fort". They now have 4 new chairs, fake plants, snacks, and a box of craft supplies so Sam, Max, Mariah, and Roman can all have lots to do while hanging out in their fort. It was the sweetest and most generous gesture. Max was jumping up and down screaming "This is the best Christmas ever!" (the fort was his brainchild) Willa played innocent while he showed her all the things. We love our neighbors and couldn't ask for better... and not because of their generous gifts but they are genuinely kind people.

So, now it is the end of the day. I'll soon be putting boys to bed and heading there myself shortly. After all the concentrated Scrabble time, my eyes are really tired. I love playing that game. I'm sure I can play online but am afraid I'd get addicted and never get anything done if I started. ;)

I hope everyone had a wonderful, relaxing day as we did.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A few things

Well, here it is, Christmas eve. It's pretty quiet in the house right now. Chuck isn't home and my boys have been out riding their bikes until Max got a flat when a nail was found in his tire and promptly pulled out. ;( Now, they are decorating a small orange tree in Christmas attire. Desperation from two boys who don't have a tree this year. We have no decorations in the house at all. With the house full of overflow stuff from the renovation in progress, there not only is no place for a tree or anything else, I couldn't get to the decorations and stuff anyway. The storage shed is also stuffed with overflow with all the Christmas stuff buried. Anyway, now the boys have taken our portable DVD player out and have the neighbors, Mariah and Roman, out watching Frosty the Snowman with them in their "fort". I just took out hot chocolate so they are happy as clams.
Those of you who read my blog regularly, know that I've been going through some really hard things for the past several months. I've never had to work through so many hard things at one time ever in my life. I've been hit on every front... financially, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and of course, all those things wipe you out physically. By this past weekend, I could barely stay out of bed. It took great effort. And gosh, are my eyes ever tired of crying! By Monday, I was in such a downward spiral I couldn't see any hope. My counselor helped me talk through a lot of things ranging from grief to anger, hurt, frustration, disillusionment, disappointment.. you name it, I've been living it. I was finally able to really see the wrestling match I've been having with God in the midst of this too... and yes, anger at Him and a lot of mistrust... fear to trust. Then, there was a choice to make. I made a choice, by the time I got home, that I would trust God with my broken, wounded heart and trust him for redemption because I realized that He wasn't the one making my life so miserable. I admitted that the reality is, I have a boatload of stuff to deal with about ME... and I don't truly know how to love myself well or this person I married almost 23 years ago. Neither of us know how to do this well... and sometimes I wonder if we know how to do it at all! I have chosen to commit myself to God to learn how to love myself and my husband well... in a totally different way. What I have always thought was loving was, in fact, the complete opposite. This has been a very scary decision to make but without God's presence, I truly have no hope. Monday morning, I had gotten a daily devotional in my mailbox that I felt was speaking directly to me. It told me not to give up. That God is faithful and loving and can be trusted. Then, I read this blog post by Toben In his post, he has a link that I followed and found myself reading the story of this couple. While their circumstances are different from mine, their story gave me hope and courage to make a choice to believe God. He's been telling me over and over "You don't believe me. You don't trust me." and I just kept running. I have stopped fighting and stopped running and I am finally feeling peace. It doesn't mean circumstances have changed... they have not. Circumstances are still hard. But I feel like I can breath in them.

On a different note, I snuck my kids gifts over to my mom's house today and we'll be going over for breakfast in the morning so gifts will actually be underneath a tree! We usually have Christmas breakfast here at our house but, given the circumstances, we're going to mom's. I got the boys home and gave them both much needed haircuts. It's been quiet since they've been outside. Chuck went to look at some salon equipment since I'm hoping to be ready to start cutting hair again in 2 weeks or so.

I'm in real need to paint. I need to make some time, some way, some place, to paint after the holiday is over. I have a watercolor I started a while back and would like to finish. Maybe I can take the boys to the park and while they play, work on the piece. I just find that I crash and burn without some regular art time... which I've not had for about 3 months now. I'm dying people. DYING. I also need quiet alone time which I've also not have much of since construction started in my house either. And, topping it off as a person who feels how her house looks... if you saw what we've been living in, no matter how hard I try to clean and have some sense of order, it's like a bomb site... well, you'd know part of the reason I've been an emotional mess! However, these things are only part of the big, big picture.

I'm soooo enjoying Kenzy. He's quite a character. Here's a latest picture of him.
Well, gonna' get a few things done before the boys come in... like maybe making them something to eat! Merry Christmas, everyone!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Cold

So, while I know that many in this country have much colder weather than we do, still, 40 degrees feels cold to me when I walk in the mornings. However, I have found that I enjoy seeing the frost glistening in the morning sun. I have also discovered that my husband had purchased some exercise clothes that are similar to a two piece body glove. Thin, tightly woven fabric that fits like second skin and is very warm. These have been a great find for my walks in the morning and they just happen to fit me perfectly... and he's never worn them, to my knowledge! So, they are now mine. ;) I have also found that after walking in 40 degree temperatures for an hour, the only part left of my body that is just really cold is my face. It has caused me to wonder if "this" is what it feels like to have botox done or collagen shot into your lip... where your brain tells you that you are smiling but you can't feel if the muscles in your face are actually following suit. It's a weird feeling and one that I don't plan on creating with anything injected into my face! The cold is enough!

We went to one of our annual Christmas parties Saturday night. Yes, everyone knows I don't like going to parties by now and it took me the entire day to talk myself into it. But I went and it's always easier after I get there. This particular party is one we have been attending each year for at least 11 or 12 years. Mostly all the same people there each year too. The funny thing is that the whole party is centered around a single pot on the stove of rice. Yes, you read that correctly. Not just any rice, but a Norwegian rice pudding that is just DIVINE! The party is simply titled : Rice Night. Everyone knows about it! It's tradition. Our party host, Steve, cooks this family recipe and it takes most of the day for it to cook, carefully on the stove. I mean hours and hours making sure all the ingredients are just right and that there is no sticking in the bottom of the pan. Last year, we gifted them with a huge Le Crueset pot just for this particular treat, although I'm sure they use it for other things! Of course, there are lots of other foods to nibble on besides the Rice. Cheering always erupts when we see Rand and Michelle Mozingo walk into the house. This couple knows how to cook. Every year we, meaning everyone already at the party, swarm them to see what they made. This year was some sort of oysters, which I did not taste... not eating those things... BUT, Michelle made up this AMAZING parsely pesto that I came close to making myself sick on. I started out putting it on little slices of bread or crackers but ended up just eating it in heaps with a fork. I MUST make it soon. The ingredients were flat leaf parsley, green onion, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and anchovies (the surprise ingredient). I mean, this stuff was unbelievable. Anyway, this year, I finally made my way in the kitchen to be one of the "stirrers". Different guests often rotate through the kitchen to stir the rice for a while. I had duty right near the end with several of us doing taste tests deciding if it needed more cooking time, etc.. Once it was finished, there is someone assigned to the pot to dish it out, someone assigned to the stick of butter to add to each bowl, and another person sprinkling cinnamon on top. It is absolutely to die for and worth breaking my diet for, just for one night. Chuck told me he got the recipe and I'm like, "Uh, no. Do not give me that recipe. It will be my downfall and complete ruin. I will triple my body size if I got free rein on that stuff as often as I want! Once a year is my limit!" He offered to get me a bowl to bring home with me and I turned it down through gritted teeth and iron will.

I also had my family gathering on Saturday with my mom, brother and his family, and us, although Chuck never made it over due to work. We had a nice time together although my step-dad refused to play Scrabble with me because I'm guilty by association... my mom beat his really bad a few times this week so he wouldn't play with me because I'm her daughter and usually beat him too. So.... no Scrabble. But, he owes me and I will get a game out of him soon! I had not seen my neice and nephews in a while and I almost didn't recognize them. My nephews are 13 and my niece is 10... besides my own boys, I was the shortest one in the house! My 10-year old neice is 5'6! My nephews, at age 13, are hoovering at about 6 ft!!!! And here I am just shy of 5'3. One of my nephews is not my brother's child, biologically but the other is built so much like my grandfathers... both were tall and lanky. Why couldn't I have gotten those genes? Oh well...

Today, I fed my kids chocolate cake for breakfast. Yes, I did. Bill Cosby would be proud.
I've already done my exercises and walk this morning, had breakfast, and now it's time to jump in the shower. I think it is haircut time for my boys so guess I'll pin them down for that. Not sure what the rest of the day holds. I do have a counseling appt. at 4:00 though. Other than that, who knows. What I need desperately is art time. I mean NEED... in a bad way.

Friday, December 19, 2008

meeting

Today I went to meet a woman with hearing loss. We were meeting at my new friend, Joy's house, which is just a wonderful place. Joy has known Cami's mom since the late 60's, I believe. When I went, I was under the impression that Cami's hearing loss was similar to my own and somewhat recent. However, I learned that Cami suddenly became completely deaf 12 years ago. She's a beautiful woman a few years younger than I am, with 3 children. She is going through a really difficult time right now, through a divorce, and dealing with the complete hearing loss seems to be magnified. When you are hearing impaired, or completely deaf, this handicap can very easily isolate you causing incredible loneliness. Hearing and understanding people is so much work. You rely on lip reading as best you can so now you have very tired eyes every day too, not to mention the mental concentration that goes into simply being able to 'hear'... something that most hearing people take for granted. Cami is dealing with many of my own fears as I look down the road knowing that, most likely, my loss will continue to progress. I do not know the decisions I will make down the road, to be able to hear. Cami is a candidate for cochlear implants now but it's a big, scary decision to make that comes with many adjustments afterward. I am borderline as a candidate. My loss is bad enough that hearing aids have pretty much been maxed out for me yet I don't have quite enough loss to be ready for the implants. Emotionally, I know I am not ready for them either. I hope that by the time they are necessary for me, they will have gotten much smaller for the implants. I try not to think too far down the road. I hope that I was able to encourage Cami today, to look at all her options, seek out people that have similar issues that will understand and be willing to put forth the effort to learn to communicate with her so she doesn't feel pushed away and isolated. It saddened me to hear how she no longer has friends due to her hearing loss. People just got uncomfortable, didn't know what to do or how to handle it, didn't want to spend the effort and time to learn ways to communicate, and just drifted away from her. It's heart breaking. That is my biggest fear in my progressing hearing loss. Yet, it is another reason I'm so thankful for friendships I have found online. You don't need to hear to communicate through the web! Technology is wonderful!
So, today I made a new friend. I plan to get together with her again soon. We exchanged e-mail addresses so we can keep in touch.

My boys went with me today and were so good! Joy has a home that is literally hidden in a neighborhood. My kids thought it was the coolest thing. She has property like a mini-forest that can't even been seen from a main street.. you have to drive down a 'L' shaped driveway to find this place. It's like being transported to a different place. my boys had the best time playing outside, jumping on a trampoline, playing with her dogs, etc.. They stayed outside and never came in once in 2-1/2 hours! And they didn't want to leave!

A friend just called and is on her way over to 'kidnap' my boys and take them, with her son, to look at Christmas lights! They'll be so excited when they find out! I'm popping popcorn to send along...

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Just stuff


Here's one of the latest shots of Kenzy. He's quite a character. This is such a sweet shot of him in one of his few restful moments. On a different note, I'm wondering if there's goat somewhere in his bloodline. Finicky is not a word that could ever be used to describe this cat. He'll eat anything! He acts like I don't feed him. Tonight, I tossed together some Great Northern beans with garlic, Parmesan, and parsley and yes, he was eating them. Weird cat. You can also see how wild he gets when he helps with laundry as he was here:
Today was the last day of school for my boys until Jan. 5th. It's gonna' be a long break for me. Hopefully they'll like each other for the next several days... or if anyone has advise to help with the bickering, tattle telling, etc... please leave it in a comment! I'll need all the help I can get. They obviously see a referee hat on my head and it's not one I want to wear! Maybe I could ship them off to see Grandma in Cleveland!

Tomorrow morning, I am meeting a woman who is losing her hearing. I agreed to meet with her to tell her my own story and share with her how I have coped with my hearing impairment. I hope to be some sort of encouragement to her.

Saturday, my mom is having our family Christmas lunch and then, that evening, is an annual Christmas party we have gone to each year for at least the past 10-12 years. While I know and love everyone we see at this party, it still does not make me want to attend. I am just not a party kind of girl. It takes great effort to get me to a party... lots of self talk such as :
"You know that you'll enjoy yourself once you get there."
"It will be fun to get out of the house and be with other adults."
"It's your chance to catch up with people you don't see often."
"Just do what you always do... find one or two people and pow-wow in a corner all night."
The thing is, I hate small talk/ chit-chat stuff. I prefer deep, meaningful conversation and it's difficult to get at a party, ya' know? So, it's true.... I often end up with one or two people off in a corner all night. I'm not good at working my way around a room. I just hate it, even if I love every person there and enjoy being with them. If I could be with each person individually, that would make me really happy but that doesn't happen at a party! LOL!

I have to get my final paperwork faxed in tonight confirming my acceptance to teach at Art Unraveled. I need to get that done before I forget. I'm really, really tired and just want to crawl in bed. But, it's only 7:00! Well, intense emotional stuff can really wipe you out, ya' know? And I've got my share of it lately. I'm exhausted. So, with that, I'm going to go make sure my paperwork is in order and start heading my kids to bed so I can go myself! Kenzy is ready to curl up and sleep too. He just crawled up on top of my desk and has sprawled his body out between my arms while I type. My mom watched the boys this afternoon while I had my appt. so she wore Kenzy out playing. He'll sleep good tonight!
Angela Cartwright is having a give-away on her blog for the Holiday edition of Pasticcio Quartz zine. Head over and leave her a comment to enter!

I'll update here later but for now, I just got home from a 2 hour, very difficult counseling session and need to feed my kiddo's. Back later...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Bathing a cat

OK, so bathing a cat isn't something I've ever given serious thought to. However, I've never had one accidentally go into the toilet! Oops! Guess Kenzy didn't know it wasn't a chair! Let's just say that it was an interesting experience but it could have been worse. I didn't get bit or clawed to death but I tried to maintain a good grip on his out of the way of his claws! And hey, maybe if I get him use to it now, I can bath him more often in summer during shedding season. Or, he may learn to really like water as some cats do. He accidentally went into the bathtub with water night before last. He's learning the hard way, I think.

On a different note, it's raining here in Phoenix and those of you who know me, know how I feel about it. However, it did not stop me from my walk. I purchased a rain poncho last month so I put it on and went on my way after doing some other exercises at home first. Exercising with a kitten is proving to be a challenge. If he's not untying my pants, he's after my hair, fingers, or toes. Anyway, I walked in the rain. I'm glad I thought to get rain gear last month after walking with an umbrella last month. That's not easy to do. I have reached my weight loss goal plus an additional 1/2 lb. loss. Anything else I lose from here out is icing on the cake. I'm not going to focus on it but just keep eating healthy and doing my exercises. I feel so much better. Walking seems to be saving me right now, on some level. Life is still really, really hard and not much end in sight.

The construction is still under way. My house still looks like a bomb went off in it after two months now. There is no room for a Christmas tree and, in fact, there is no sign of Christmas here in my house. I've done no shopping, no cards, no decorations, no baking, no nothing.

After the first of the year, I will be starting back to work after being a stay-at-home mom for about 9-1/2 years. For those of you who haven't known me that long, I am a hairdresser. I worked in the industry for 3 years before I got my license and then continued for another 14 years, until I had Sam. When I quit, I was still enjoying it and good at it. I still enjoy doing the haircuts I do on friends and family but now it's time to head back into it full force. I'm most concerned with my ability to balance everything... wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, artist, housekeeper, errand runner, friend, and now work... or should I say, more work that I actually get paid for. That part will be really nice! It will be an adjustment, that's for sure. But, I am looking forward to seeing some of my old clients again, hoping I can still find them all! I'm sure many have moved but hopefully, I can locate many of them.

Well, I suppose I need to eat breakfast and see what I need to get done today. The boys only have 2 days left of school before they are out for the holiday. I wish I were looking forward to it! I'm a scrooge this year. Anyone want to come play referee for the next couple of weeks?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Great news!!!



I just received an e-mail accepting one of my class proposals for Art Unraveled 2009!!!! I'm so excited to have the opportunity to teach at this retreat! The class accepted is for my original single page bound book.

So, all of you who have been writing me asking how I bind my books with single pages, now is your chance to learn! My class will be held on Tuesday, August 11, 2009. I'm very excited to teach this and the class will come with a complete booklet of instructions which is over 10 pages long! Registration for Art Unraveled usually starts in February with the classes going live on the web the end of January. Keep checking the AU website for the latest details! Even better, you get the scoop early if you join the Art Unraveled yahoo group.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Kenzy's first night

Well, this little guy acts as if he's always been here in our home. He just belongs. He played all day yesterday. At one point, I was holding him on his back in my arms, like a baby, and he fell asleep. So sweet! Then he played some more. I was concerned he'd cry during the night missing his litter mates but nope, when I went to bed, he came with me, snuggled right up by me and went to sleep. He got up once to go potty and came right back to bed and conked back out. He slept until I got up, then he got up with me. He's so good. And, just like with my beloved Minya, he looks at me, we lock eyes, and he starts purring. What a loud purr from something so small! The only problem I see we'll be dealing with is jumping on counters. His other mom allowed the cats on the counters but that is a "no, no!" rule in our house. So I've got some retraining to do. Gotta' get out my water bottle or get a water gun. But gosh, if that's the worst I have to deal with, this guy is a dream! I'm so happy!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Look who's here!




See who came home today?! I got to pick up Kenzy this morning and he walked in and acted like he owned the place from the first second! No hiding under the bed for this little guy. He's quite confident and inquisitive. The kids have had a ball playing with him all day. They just build him a fort in their room and he's actually sleeping in it! LOL! This little guy has a really loud motor and loves kneading with his paws. He's very loving, funny, and playful. It feels like he's always been here. We are crazy in love with him already. Isn't he just beautiful?!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Chihuly
















Today, I went to the Desert Botanical Gardens with Fran to see the Chihuly glass exhibit. Let me just say that we were glad flies about because our open mouths would have been full of them! We were gasping with our mouths wide open most of the time! AMAZING work! We were blown away. I took a ton of photos. Here are a few of my favorites, although it is difficult to choose a favorite. I've posted the rest of them over on my flickr site . All the glass was outside as part of the landscape with the exception of the large bowls. When we went to see the bowls, we watched part of a video showing the process of blowing the glass and creating these pieces. It was mind boggling! It took FIVE semi trucks to transport all the glass here to Phoenix and Chihuly sent a whole team to put all the pieces together. It's quite an undertaking. I highly recommend anyone to see this. It will be here in Phoenix until March. Pretty spectacular!

Seeing the amazing work really gets me in a creative mood. I just want to get paint out and slather it all over myself and paint, paint, paint! I sure see some interesting inspiration for paintings with this exhibit!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Nancy Reyner workshop


hands of the happy painter/ end of day 1

Well, I have been in heaven the past three days painting in my workshop with Nancy Reyner. She's a fabulous and extremely knowledgeable artist. She's like a walking encyclopedia ready to share all she knows. I learned a lot, was challenged, and just had the best time. I worked on three 24x30 inch canvases simultaneously. A big size for me so something new... and I don't usually work three, totally different pieces at once. I did my first abstract but am not emotionally relating to it so I feel very detached from it. Another piece is not finished yet, and then, there's my favorite. I used a photo of an up-close shot of a tree trunk as my inspiration to create this piece. I'm very happy with it. I'm not sure it's finished either. I think it may still need more lighter color value and highlights in the rough bark area of the trunk.

(click images to enlarge)

To create the rough bark, I used practically every type of ground and texture product that Golden's puts out. Anything from garnet gel, pumice, fibrous texture, heavy molding paste, crackle paste etc.... you name it, I threw it on there.

Here's the abstract. It just is...
I'm peaceful, joyful... and really tired. I'm heading to bed now. Oh, and just one more week until I get to pick up Kenzy!!!!

Monday, December 1, 2008

What a weekend!

OK, first of all, I'm ready to protest kids being out of school for holidays! Listening to the bickering and tattle-telling all weekend just about did me in! And, gee, Christmas break is only weeks away! Anyone need company of two little boys? I promise, it won't be boring!

I spent Saturday cleaning out my bedroom, closet, drawers, organizing, etc... It was a job that was long over due. And since I'm limited to really what can be done with my house right now due to the continued construction stuff, I tackled the bedroom. Just wanted to show this:
Yes, this is the bouquet of flowers that I keep in a crystal vase by my bed. Do I have tacky taste? No! But these are love flowers from my boys. Sam got me the red poinsettias when he was maybe 4. He chose them while he was at the grocery store with Chuck that Christmas. Now you have to know this... Sam is not very demonstrative of his love for me so anything I have is a big deal. The tissue paper flowers they have made and the flag, which Sam wrote "mom, mom, mom" all over, is part of the love bouquet too. I have kept these by my bed for the past 5 years and have no intentions of removing them. They are a sweet reminder for me. Do they match my decor? Heck no! But who cares?

And these:
I keep this tiny pair of my boys soft, sweet baby socks in my sock drawer. They were my favorites that they each wore when they were newborns. I often take them out, open them up, and marvel that they were ever so tiny. These are another of those odd things that my boys will some day find tucked away in my drawer after I'm gone, when they are cleaning my things out. But I hope they know that they aren't just baby socks tucked away in my drawer, they are precious memories tucked away in my heart.Link

Today, I have already walked down to church, set up for my Bible Study class tomorrow morning, walked home, and now to get a few things done around here. I have a counseling appt. later this afternoon and book club this evening, for which I need to provide food since this months book was my choice. We read "Incidents in the life of a slave girl" by Harriet Jacobs.

This week will be super busy for me. Beginning Thursday, I will be taking a 3 day workshop in East Scottsdale at the Brio Fine Arts Center with artist, Nancy Reyner.
Due to traffic, I'll have to leave my house about 8:00 every morning with hopes of making it there by 9:00. Class will get out at 3:00 and then the drive home. I've set up after school play dates for my boys and then on Saturday, my mom is planning to watch them while Chuck continues work on the construction project. While I'm very excited about this workshop, I also know that it's pushing my capacity. I've never signed up for a 3 day workshop because I know how wiped I get, especially when I'm painting. But I just couldn't pass this up! I signed up months ago! So, by Sunday, I'll be toast. Happy toast though.