Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas 2013!

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good Year!!
I've been busy. This is some of what I've been doing. I went to my granddaughter's Nutcracker Ballet. This year was the best production of the 3 years I've gone. It was worth the $20 I paid for a ticket. Little Bit looked and danced wonderfully as usual.

  I went over to my son's to help him decorate his tree (Oceanside - one hour away) before heading down to a retirement party for my nephew who is retiring from the Santee Fire Department after 30 years (one hour from my son's house). We had a nice time as I got to see people I haven't seen in a while and now that I am in California I get to make these events even if I do have to drive an hour or two! It's much better than a 6 hour drive! I also drove halfway between Hemet and Oceanside to have lunch with one of my sisters and to give her some fruitcakes and fruitcake cookies I'd made as she is the only one who likes them besides me.

I baked! These gingerbread men are vegan and so I took them to the retirement party (my nephew is so allergic to milk products he's almost died several times from touching something with milk on it)! I've also made brown sugar fudge which I took over the making of when my mother-in-law died. (It didn't turn out the first few times so I prayed about it telling God I was only trying to keep my mother-in-law's tradition for her son going and you know, it's never failed since in 30 years)! I made divinity for me, fattigman (Norwegian for Poor Man's Food - a cookie), Chex snack mix, fruitcake and fruitcake cookies and a bar cookie I veganized for my son. He says it's the only sweet he really cares about and has been after me to veganize it for a few years. We'll see how I did tonight!

  I have played a bit with pens making an impromptu Christmas sketch and working on a colored pencil drawing in my other sketchbook where I have six colored pencils I use, one each of red, yellow and blue in a warm tone and a cool tone. I was happy to see I could make a decent black with them!

I managed to get the two pairs of slipper socks knit for my son, a yearly tradition! 

And lastly, I made a Christmas card from a journal page I have shared already.  I needed one fast and realized this journal page would work if I cropped out my personal writing and bordered it adding a Merry Christmas.  What I forgot to do was ask permission from using Jennifer's poem on a journal page (which she was fine with) to using it on a card!  I will have to apologize for that mistake. 

So what have you been up to?  I'm sure everyone has their "too busy at Christmas" tales to tell! 

Merry Christmas again and see you next year!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Christmas Tree and A Poem

Hope you are all getting ready for Christmas but taking some time out for yourself. I was reminded to take a 20 minute breather today and it was lovely. Something I really needed. I was reminded by Jennifer Edwards who wrote the poem I put on my journal page.

 I tried drawing a One Line Tree but actually lifted my pen a few times. I had fun though and liked what I ended up with. Try it for yourself. Jennifer's One Line Tree is here. I'm sure you'll have fun coming up with your own version plus you'll feel much more in the holiday spirit afterwards too!

My tree (the real one which is actually an artificial one...hmmm, well it's as real as mine will be), is covered in handmade or gifted ornaments. The first year I was married I had only a very limited amount of money to buy ornaments so I bought a few kits and made many and then bought just a few glass ornaments. Over the years I made many ornaments sending them to my sisters who sent back some ornaments they'd either made or bought where they were stationed by the army at the time. My kids made some and even my grandkids have added to my tree. The Santa face you see on my drawn tree came from my nephew, now 45 years old!

I have been quite busy working on gifts and baking and visiting so had put "just having fun drawing" time on the back burner until this morning. Aaaah, I feel so good now. I think I'll go have a gingerbread man for breakfast!

Oh, the poem! Well, that's at Jennifer's blog at the second link I gave up above. It's also on my page so if you can enlarge the picture you can read it there too. Enjoy today and the whole season!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

My Dog, Biscuit

I cheated! I wanted to do a quick sketch of Biscuit as I kept throwing his toy for him but my inner critic said I would ruin my journal if I put it straight in there so I used a sheet of printer paper. I know, I know, I shouldn't let that critic boss me around like that! Anyhow, I liked how it turned out so added some color. I still liked it so now I had to cut it up and collage it into a journal!
And there it is, all done in my composition book journal where I have pages already painted and ready for something to be added. I think it worked out pretty well but hope I have the courage next time to just go straight to the journal!
This is a photo I took as Biscuit waited for some food to drop while we cooked. He's a bit misshapen due to a too-long back and legs and some sort of back problem he came with so he sits sort of funny. It's cute to me so I took his picture.
Then I decided to journal his picture to see if I could draw and paint this one. I did go straight to my journal this time! Hopefully I will get better with time but I am happy with it right now. I love this little dog we got from the shelter. To think his time was up the next day and the shelter didn't even want us to come see him since he has the weak hind legs! One look and we were smitten. Biscuit is one happy dog. He keeps my cat busy which is good as she was getting rather bored but that's another story for another day!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween! I am waiting for the fence guy to come and build my gates so thought I would wade into finding my photos (after updating my Windows 8 which got rid of the Libraries so now I have to find things in different places) (oh, and after getting an IOS7 update my photostream isn't being updated anymore either)different places. So, after finding my Halloween picture I am finally posting it!

I was over at Laure Ferlita's blog Painted Thoughts Blog where she shared the witch picture with us. I printed it out on Magic Matte paper which I bought at Cre8it.com. It's thin paper but strong and does a super job for photos and art journaling! I couldn't help but think of my purple hair for this witch and the sign I had in the front yard so I put the two together and made "me". This is the highlight of my Halloween as I am not expecting very many trick-or-treaters if any and candy corn only goes so far!

  Hope you enjoy your holiday and treats but hopefully no tricks!

  BOO! Gotcha didn't I? Lol.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Father's Day?

Since my husband isn't with me for his holiday I sort of took one for myself! I wanted to try a cake I saw online that said it's the only yellow cake recipe you'll ever need and they are right for the most part. It's not vegan for sure so I need to have one of those too! (My son is vegan and although he doesn't want a lot of sweets, I'd like to be able to give him one once in a while). Now I have to pig out because that whole cake is just for me! I can't ask the neighbor if she'd want any since she is diabetic and I won't want to tempt her so it's just me. I imagine I'll eat most of it though :-)

The Sketchbook Challenge has Garden Doodles as it's theme this month. I haven't done anything for that group in over a year! My how time flies. Anyhow, I thought how hard could it be to take my sketchbook outside with a pen and see what would happen. It wasn't hard. I worked fast and scribbly not worrying about whether the plants looked exactly like my plants or garden and then I added watercolor. It took me about 20 minutes total. If that isn't doodling, what is?

  I think a couple of teacher/bloggers would be proud of me, Laure Ferlita for sketching and doing it fast so I could get it done in one quick session, and Jennifer Edwards who does loose, lively sketches that I try so hard to do sometimes. This time I think I accomplished a lot by getting intrigued by doodling in my garden. I am nowhere near to what these teachers can do but I am learning and beyond enjoying the drawing and painting, isn't learning something we all want to do?

So what did you all do on Father's Day?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Aftermath

As my last post said, our house in Arizona was broken into and the copper wire was stolen. Because of that my husband is staying there till we sell the house. We've moved most of our belongings to California so he went out and got a few things like a bright blue plastic gingham tablecloth for the brown folding table that is in the dining room and a cheap flatware set from Walmart. It is surprising in that it is such a colorful set. That is what I tend to go for, not him! I decided to paint the flatware in my journal to remember his choice later on.

I asked my husband to scan it in for me and he did - after he got the scanner working. It was being pretty stubborn being on wireless and my husband wasn't in the best of moods because when I tried using the disposal after dinner it made terrible noises and so to top everything off lately it seems we now need a new disposal! We go to sign papers at the realtor tomorrow putting the house up for sale so the timing was not good. Ah well, life does go on and later this will just be part of our "moving to California" story. We will laugh about it then.

Note:The whole picture doesn't seem to be showing. Hopefully you can click on it and see it all.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Lookin' on the Bright Side

Life was pretty rosy when my husband told me to buy the California house. I've been having fun decorating it and planting flowers and a few veggies.

  But, we have to deal with the house in Arizona. We went back to clear some more stuff out of it and do some cleaning. When we got there the back door was swinging in the wind and the glass was shattered. A piece of skirting (it is a mobile home) was off also. Well, we looked inside and the electrical panel door was off also. We were trying to figure out what happened. I looked around inside while my husband looked outside. The thieves (yep it was thievery) didn't take the appliances, TV, furniture or any of the stuff like generators and pumps that were in the garage and out buildings. What they did take was the power wire running from the outside electrical box on the power pole to our connection inside the house. We are all electric so that was some pretty heavy duty copper. That's all they took but by doing so they smashed our door's window and everything in the well-stocked refrigerator was spoiled (boy did it stink). My husband is staying there now until the house is sold to prevent any more of that. So yes, we are putting the house and property on the market. From a high of $350k just before the market crashed, the realtor now says we'll be lucky to get $70k on the sale! That's just over half what we paid for the whole thing! So we are having our ups and downs right now.

  I am looking for the humor if I can find any and otherwise just trying to adjust, to my husband trying to "solve" the crime by deciding which of the nearby people would be the most likely culprit, to moving on with whatever comes ahead. I don't think that was a very good sentence but basically we are dealing with the stresses the best way we know how and I think this page in my journal which I started before we found the theft fits with the way I want to move forward. Bad things happen and good things happen. That's life. I want to concentrate on the good things. It seems to make all of life better!

On a lighter note, this is our new puppy. I saw him on a list of dogs that were facing euthanasia very soon. I called the shelter and they said it was possible as of the next day so we went and got him. He's 4 months old and needing housebreaking but he is already learning from the other dogs. In the last pic, he found he could get the big dog to play today. She needs the play as much as the little dog does. My cat is not thrilled to say the least and has attacked a couple of times (thank goodness she doesn't have her front claws) but we are hoping she'll come around to accepting him or he'll learn to stay well clear of her)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Getting Some Things Done


I've been busy going from one house to the other working on both either cleaning up to sell the one or planting flowers and veggies in the new one.  I'll be leaving for a week to the old one again and sure hope the plants can handle it without being watered.  I have taken some time to do some journaling though and these pics are what I've done.

You've seen the first picture already.  I only posted it so you could see the difference with the finished version which is the second posted picture.

The grapefruit page is one half of a spread.  I finished this half but still need to paint the tangelo half.

The last picture is a spread I did when my grandson enlisted in the army.  He looks so young!  I remember dating sailors his age and thought they were men!  I was all of 16 at the time but now at 59 I am seeing things quite differently.  Although I personally didn't want him to go into the military since we always seem to be at war anymore, I am happy for him as it gives him a direction to go for his life and college was not working for him - he does not do standard education well (he consistently gets D's and some F's yet scored extremely high on the military admittance test and has tested well on California state tests - he just can't do the paperwork for the classes). My brother-in-law, a retired Army officer says the army uses words, sight and hands-on teaching so my grandson will do just fine.  He wanted infantry and has a cousin he could find himself serving under perhaps which could be good and bad so we'll see what happens if it even comes up.  My dad was in the infantry during WWII so we now have a 3 generation tradition going (not that just being in the military isn't one for my family already with my grandfathers in the cavalry, my mother and sister marines, my husband retired from the navy and my brothers-in-law and son retiring from the army or having served in the navy). I just hope he likes it.  Actually it makes a great career path for him as long as we stay peaceful as a country for a while!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Busy Day

I finally have my scanner/printer at my new home so can upload pictures for my blog easier. I'd tried with my Iphone but last time I had to cancel my post as the pics didn't fit right. I'll get to those pics as soon as I update Iphotos on my computer. In the meantime I have scanned in what I did today.

Today was busy. I went shopping for some natural looking bark and potting soil to plant my new trees before I head back to Kingman for some more moving chores. My back is hurting but my garden looks a bit better and my trees might get to bloom and grow now they are in pots and watered.

My yard is rather atrocious at present. Here in hot Hemet a lot of seniors in the past made their yards non-toil by putting in tiny gravel and having a green spray of some sort cover it all rather like a plastic coating. That is what my back yard is at present except for to long narrow planters so I fixed them up. Hopefully we can sell our old house eventually (not too many people are selling in order to buy what we have which is what was done before the recession when Californians sold homes for great prices and bought desert ranches to keep horses on) and then I can have the yard scraped up, towed away and a patio, cover and a tiny bit of grass for the dogs put in. In the meantime I can enjoy the planter boxes and my potted trees!

I didn't finish painting before it got dark so the one section didn't get done. I didn't wait to post because I haven't had such a good track record of posting lately so took the time this evening to post what I had already.

I've tried to upload some pics from my Iphone photo stream but its not cooperating or I'd show you the real version of what my journal page shows.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

I Really Am Here

Hi everyone. I am still moving and don't have my scanner yet. I have done a tiny bit of creating and these photoessays are proof of it. Not a lot but hopefully once I am all settled I will create more regularly.

The stools used to have a green base but it didn't go with the new room they would be in. I didn't want to give them up because I painted them for my dad back in 1994 and he's gone now so I have the stools back. (I am more sentimental than I used to think I'd ever be).

The journal pages speak for themselves. I should have a lot more of them than I do.

I should be getting my red living room couch this month and then I can take pics of what I've been doing to decorate my new home to share with everyone.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Painting Again

It's been a long time since I've done any art. I couldn't resist trying to put my new salt and pepper shakers on this background I had done previously. I don't think I made the colors pop enough but I am pleased with my wonky shakers and more pleased that I got something done!

I am really going red in my new house. I am only partly moved but had to share my new red sofa. My husband is.balking at the purple rug I ordered to go with it though 😊!