Friday, May 22, 2009

Prepping for VACATION!

Sorry I've been so out of touch lately. As I said in the last post, I've been dealing with some minor health issues, plus dear daughter had to be brought home from college. The amount of STUFF took 2 days to go through just so we could
get the car in the garage. We just dumped everything from the car into one side of the garage and then the car wouldn't fit! So what happens?
She packs up before the STUFF gets unpacked and put away and she leaves for GA. So who does that leave to sort through and put the STUFF away? Dear ole mom...
When I finished with that I realized we are taking off for FL TOMORROW MORNING and I really need to start thinking about what I need to do before take-off.
Lists, lists, lists... Almost done packing and in between all the to-do lists I've managed to play around with a few art supplies.
This piece is a 9 x 12 canvas that I created a background and love the background so much I'm having a hard time figuring out if I even want to add anything. Although it's such a underwater-y feel to it that I'm seeing a mermaid? What do you think?
Was thinking of painting one, but then the thought occured to me that a metal one might look really good. Especially with the rusty looking drips in the background.
Incidentally, this background is paper towels that I used to blot another project and then dried them, tore them up, glued them down and then used more paint and ink washes over them. I really, really love the texture and colors.
Once I'm back from the beach, I'll decide where to take this piece, artistically speaking.

Next little project was to make something for the 3 grandchildren who will be
with us in FL. I have one grandson and 2 granddaughters.I decided I wanted to play around with some dye. But I really hate all the steps that go along with dyes so I settled on setacolor paints. They can be thinned down and used somewhat like a dye. I've used dyna-flow which is already thinned down but never used setacolor. I think I like it quite a bit.
So the kids are getting cute little beachy clothes to wear.
Grandson gets this shirt, although I have since added dolphins to the bottom of the shirt. I used lumiere paint and chunky fabric stamps. I will take a photo of him wearing it and post when I get home.

Granddaughters get these little dresses.
Since photographing them while they were drying in the sun on my picnic table
(which I got paint on and hubby was not too happy about, although he laughed, cuz he knows me and my sloppiness)I have gone back with more of the blue and turquoise colors to try and tone down the yellow. Who knew the yellow would get so much brighter as it dried. On the t-shirt it was fine but the crocheted part of the dresses was almost a neon. So they look more green on top and I also added some
seahorses to the bottom of their dresses with lumiere and chunky stamps.
Again, I'll post photos with the little girls modeling them.

Next project was to make myself a couple of beachy necklaces. This is one that I've re-done about 3 times over the years. I keep changing the beads used in the necklace.
One year it was just 2 strands then I reduced it to a single strand, now that it's 3 strands and I used mostly pearls this time,I think this is my favorite.

This one is made using the pendant I made while away for the girl's weekend.
My dear art friend Sandy showed me how to solder with a torch and I made the pendant with her and I posted it in a previous post. Now I can actually wear it as a necklace. I wanted something a little asymmetrical and different. I think I like it,
although it's possible it may go through a couple of changes like the previous necklace.

Well, that's about all I've done this week, other than take care of the pile of dear daughter's STUFF which I didn't photograph. I have also planted some flowers in the yard, dealt with tons of paperwork (because we have FINALLY sold the house in GA!!!),been for bloodwork and an MRI, plus I treated myself to a manicure & pedicure this morning.
So,other than throw a few more things into the suitcase I think I might be
ready for a much needed vacation with my family!
I will try to visit a few more of you before I take off. If I don't pop in to say so long, then I'll drop by when I return- May 31!
Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend everyone.
Live your life creatively~

Monday, May 18, 2009

'These are a few of my favorite things' ---I've been tagged...

My new blog friend Janine tagged me last week. I've been a real slacker lately and have not been posting or visiting with my cyber friends. I apologize. Life just seems to keep getting in the way! I was dealing with a few more (hopefully minor)health issues last week AND we went to pick my daughter up from college on Thursday. We brought home what seemed like an ENORMOUS amount of STUFF from her college dorm room and barely got it unpacked when she was off again to visit her old friends in GA. She is there right now catching up with buddies much like I did a few weeks ago. I am happy for her. She has some really good friends there.
The rules for tagging are supposed to be that I offer up 6 things that make me happy. Then I'm supposed to tag 6 more people. WELL......
I'm going to bend the rules a bit and include photos that go along with the 10 things that make me happy.(tried to keep it at 6 but there's just so many darn things that make me smile) Instead of tagging 6 more people I am going to extend the offer to anyone visiting my blog to
go through your photos and come up with photos depicting whatever number of things that make you happy or just take a day to shoot some photos of the people, places or things that bring a smile to your face! That way I don't put people on the 'spot' by tagging them when they prefer not to be tagged or making them feel obligated to post and tag.
By doing this I will hopefully inspire a lot more than 6 folks to share photos and snippets of info on themselves. Have fun with it and share your thoughts!
1. First and foremost of the things that make me happy are family. Art is also a huge part of my happiness so I'm showing a painting I did a few years ago for my husband on our 'dating anniversary'. Yes, that's right, we celebrate our first date every year as well as our wedding anniversary. Isn't that cute? So the painting is what makes me the MOST happy---family, home, love and of course ART.

2. The beauty of the sky just before sunrise, especially over the Atlantic Ocean. aahhhhhhh, so breathtaking.
(this was taken July 2007 at St. Augustine Beach, FL)

3.THE BEACH-Period... Any time, anywhere, any beach always makes me happy! I've always said that sitting on the beach and listening to the surf is better than all the Valium in the world! Perfectly Peaceful.
(this was taken April 2006 at Pensacola Beach, FL) ...gorgeous beach

Below-Another beach shot of St. Augustine (2007) and the beauty of the sky as a storm is rolling in.

4. Just so my 4-legged friends don't get upset, these are not necessarily in order of importance!
My dear little Emmy-she's a 6 yr old domestic shorthair and she has an abundance of personality! She's always making me smile.

5. My crazy airedale terrier, ROCKY! If anyone has read or seen the movie Marley & Me, he is almost exactly like Marley!!! Watching after him is a full time job... But I love him so. Again, he has more personality than any dog I've ever had.

6. My sweet Tabitha! Although I never call her Tabitha, her nickname is
TibbySue. Don't ask why??? I just started calling her that and it stuck. She is 12 yrs old and purrs more than any cat I've ever had.

7. Horses. Love them, always have. But never really rode them. Now
that my daughter rides, I'm reconnecting with a childhood dream.
This photo below is a picture of the horse we just sold when she was a baby. Cutie!

8. Flowers. Love them, always have. When I was a kid I used to go around the neighborhood picking everyone's flowers. My mother always sent me back to their houses to apologize and offer the flowers back, but everyone always let me keep the flowers! Love all flowers but my faves are peonies, iris, roses, lilies & daffodils.
Below is a bed of Siberian Iris at the Chicago Botanical Gardens.

9. New York City!!! I've loved NY since my first visit there in 1984. Fell instantly in love with the energy of the city. It's like no other. I tried hard to find
just one picture to post but decided to offer 3 different shots. First is obviously a street sign taken near South Street Seaport.

Next is Central Park on a beautiful October day.

Next shot is St. Patrick's Cathedral on Madison Ave. Such a gorgeous building.

10. And Finally...The first snowfall of the season. Such a serene setting. The world seems to slow down and everything gets quiet.

Ok, everyone. Go through your photos or plan a day just to reconnect with the little things that make you smile. Share them with us!
Have a perfectly wonderful week~

Monday, May 11, 2009

A Sweet Present on Mother's Day!

Yesterday while relaxing, reading the Sunday paper and having my coffee I was summoned to the back door by my dear hubby. He was calling me quietly to come and look out the back window at the baby geese! Oh how cute they are.
The mother goose, and I'm guessing father goose along with FOUR babies, were sunning themselves across the pond in my neighbor's backyard. I ran to get my camera and tried to sneak out the door without making a sound so I could get photos.
I was able to get quite a few shots of them across the way, then mommy goose decided to take her offspring for a swim. They were doing a freefall into the water. Absolutely adorable, and of course I didn't catch that with the camera.
Yesterday, Mother's Day, is the first I've seen the babies. She waited until then to show up and introduce her little ones to the water and to me. What a sweet little gift.

They ended up spending most of the afternoon in my back yard after their little swim.
Today the babies look as if they gained 5 lb. overnight. They are grazing on the grass constantly. They are also getting better at jumping into the water.
It's just so darn cute to watch how they follow their mommy on the ground and in the water. Both parents are constantly on the look out for predators and honk rather loudly when other geese and ducks come within 10 feet of the babes.
Amazing to sit and watch the wonders of mother nature!
To view more photos of these creatures you can check out my flickr.

I have some backgrounds to take pictures of that I've been working on.
Hopefully I'll get those posted tomorrow.
Until then...choose to live your life creatively and take a break to just sit and enjoy mother nature whenever possible~

p.s. if you click on the photos and enlarge you can see just how cute those little babies are : )

Friday, May 8, 2009

"I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends." John Lennon

Friends...Where would we be without them? Truly one of life's perfect gifts. Whether old friends or new I count them as a blessing. Having just spent last weekend with old friends I realized that
my circle of friends is not what it used to be. Partly because we have moved so much and I tend to get more and more reclusive with each move. Also, my daughter is now at college and she was a huge factor in me getting out in the world and meeting new friends (usually mom's of her friends!). With each move I made new friends only to leave them far behind which is always a sad thing. Although with technology we stay in touch but it's not quite the same as being able to call up a friend and say "meet me for lunch".
This last move, as I'm sure I've said before, really kicked my butt. I haven't gotten out to meet alot of people and most of my neighbors are retirement age and beyond! Not that I can't be friends with them, they are sweet people, but most of them were 'snowbirds' and left the area for the winter months.
That's where the internet and my blog has helped tremendously! I've met some kind and generous people who happen to be some of the most creative folks I have ever met.
So even though I'm not 'out & about' town meeting kindred spirits I have met many new friends online. I have hope that one of these days some of us will actually be able to meet in person.

This little cloth covered journal is the one I made with my dear 'old' friend Sandy on Monday while I was in VA. It was a rushed visit with her; only a few hours stolen before heading to the airport. I just love Sandy! She is sooooo creative, she has always inspired me to do great things.
The best part is, we work together very well. We both work quickly, wanting instant gratification. So we both finished putting our little books together in a matter of a few hours.

We created the inside pages first. Painting, stamping, stenciling and let them dry while we worked on the cloth covers.
When the pages were dry, we made our signatures and sewed them in by hand with silk fabric strips from an old kimono.

Above is the back of the book. Sandy was gracious enough to give me the transfer of the bird she had already done and painted over. She had all the supplies ready and waiting for me when I got to her house. She also fed me pizza for lunch. What more could a girl ask for.

After making the journal we even had time for her to teach me her tricks about soldering with a torch. I have soldered with a soldering iron but never with a torch.
I made the little pendant with the bezel up above. I soldered the bezel and the little brass filigree piece on. Then I added some glitter inside the bezel. When I got home I was trying to figure out what I wanted to put inside... Since the color of the glitter reminded me of water, I had just the perfect little starfish to put inside. Then I'll glue a page pebble down over the bezel. I'm hooked on the torch! Gotta buy me one now. So much better than soldering with an iron.
The bottom pendant is one that she showed me how to 'faux' emboss on. I'm going to add some other elements to it. I'll let you know what it morphs into.

Wishing you all a FANTASTIC WEEKEND!
I plan to have a great weekend even though my daughter WON'T be here! She's in the midst of exams and she's COMING HOME Thursday! Only to take off on Saturday to fly back to GA to see all her 'old' friends. Oh well, I'll have her the rest of the summer.

I walked around my yard yesterday afternoon and picked a wonderful little assortment of spring flowers. So the next photo is a bouquet for all you mothers out there!

Choose to live creatively~

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Laughter is the BEST Medicine

I just spent the best weekend with my old girlfriends from high school!
We had such a great time reminiscing and laughing. We must have laughed from the time we got there Friday until we left on Sunday. We went to bed laughing and we got up laughing. I haven't laughed so much in so long. It was just fantastic. My sides were aching from laughter as well as my face. At times the laughter was so intense that we were crying.
Amazing what laughter can do to the soul. It was like a breath of fresh air cleansing the body. I really needed that camaraderie and the relaxation that accompanied it!
Getting together with people who have known you for years and were such a huge part of your life during those trying teenage years is so much fun! They know you like no one else does. Even though some of us haven't stayed in constant contact through the years it was as if those years had never separated us. We picked right up where we left off those many years ago.

Above is my friend's fabulous lake house. The girl in the lower right corner (Debbie) is walking towards the dock on the lake.
We spent most of our time on the deck and on the huge screen porch. Below is a photo from Friday afternoon. We started the weekend off with looking at photo albums from our high school days and our high school yearbooks. That's when the laughter all started : )

As the night wore on and we had a few beverages, we broke out the music and started to dance! I believe these girls are dancing to Motown hits at this point.

I'm sure you noticed the hats. One of the girls crocheted them all for us. Since it was the weekend of the Kentucky Derby we had to have hats for Saturday's race. We placed some bets and watched it on TV, with our hats on of course. But we also wore the hats all Friday night and pretty much most of Saturday. She made all of the hats different. We loved those hats.

I was also able to visit with my brother and his family as well as my dear 86 yr old aunt and my cousin and his wife. I even stopped by to see the doctor that I worked for for so many years.
I spent most of Monday with my dear 'art buddy' Sandy. She had a fabulous time at Art & Soul. I got to see all her beautiful projects she created in the classes she took. We had a blast playing with all her art supplies.
In the short time I was able to spend with her, we made a book with blank pages that I plan to use as a journal of sorts. (will post photos of these later)We also made a soldered metal pendant for a necklace and even created a piece of faux embossed metal for possibly another pendant.
I feel renewed & revived. Ready to jump back in to my art studio and get some work done. Like always though, when I spend time with Sandy she jumpstarts my creative juices to the point that I'm ready to go off on some new projects rather than finish up the one's I had already started.
Of course I spent most of today unpacking, washing clothes, catching up on phone calls and emails. So the studio awaits!
I also haven't visited any of my friends out there in blogland. I promise I will be there tomorrow to see what I've missed.
For now, I think I'm going to bed early so I can wake up ready to go!
Live your life creatively and don't forget to laugh~

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