Friday, April 30, 2010

A *sign* of the times - Funtry Friday - local road trip!

Signs fascinate me and I am not sure why!  Anyway, here are a few that I have seen around here lately.  C'mon - let's take a little country road trip for this fun in the country Funtry Friday!

Where the heck am I and where am I supposed to be going?

Small miracle that I didn't run into this one trying to read it =p
And, basically it is on a 'T' road where you turn right or left *winks*
...unless you hit the sign.

Holy cow - is there like a trap door in the road?
I am so not walking this way again!

Yeah... and this says what?  huh?

Oh, this is probably what the other sign used to say.
Well, it's better that the one up by my sister's - that one says
'violators will be shot'.
Um... and I'm not completely convinced the guy is joking =p

Me?  Well, I am contemplating a sign that says "Tumbleweed Crossing".  It would at least be a sign of the 'season' around here!

Happy trails!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Piling up ideas...

Well, today I was going to share a bit more from my art journal adventure fun, but...  Well, you know that days don't always go according to our plans =p

Um... first *rolls eyes* I discovered that I filled up my hard drive again!  So, I spent a lot of time moving files and deleting copies of pictures (what is up with that?!)

Then...  finally, I could check my email and get caught up. 

And... there was an email from my cousin about her dad.  He has Alzheimer's and is now unable to walk.  I knew that she needed a call, so after I finished braving the wind (gale force tumbleweed mover) to feed all the critters, I dug out her phone number.

Hey, amazing - not only was she home, but she was not in the middle of dinner!  We had a lovely chat for 2 1/2 hours.  Ummm...  you thought I was only wordy in the blog, huh?!

Anyway, as a result of her phone call (see, I am not totally tangent woman!) I am going to share a tiny preview of a new project that is in the works.  I am starting a new blog (no worries!  This one will be here full of the same fun things!) and two new web pages.   Crazy, huh?!  I am working on a web page to show more of my artwork -  And, I will add a second blog, Survival316 and a web page for that blog, too.

What is Survival316?  Well, it's a blog about surviving.  Surviving what?  Well, everything from having a parent with Alzheimer's to making a free (mostly) lightbox, from ordering hay from a broker to traveling with kids, from making an appearance on national news to how to design a crochet pattern.

Stay tuned in this blog to find out when the web pages and the new blog are all up and running.  There will be lots of cool stuff, prizes and a great give-away - but no further details right now *winks*  After all that talk with Debbie, I think I am out of words!


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

It really gets my goat...

...when I know it's going to be a 'goat day'! *roflol* In this case, the goat day 'got' Bethie *winks* who was really enjoying the warm Spring weather. She was exceptionally frisky!

ah-oh...  I have seen this look before =p

Hey!  back off of the camera!

I told you it didn't taste good!  hehe - didn't I?! 
And, yeah - I am laughing!

Well, no need to get all onrery -
you are the one that tried to eat the camera!
*roflol* how about you go eat your food instead!

You will note that your mama isn't running around like a crazy goat!
And she even left you some munchies =)

I love the antics of the goats on a warm Spring day.  Hope you enjoyed them, too =)  Now, I am going to go take the advice of elderly mama Maggie goat, and nap in the sun!  She is so sensible ;-)

Happy Spring!  (at least to those of us in the northern part of the world *winks*)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Awww! Look what I won!!!

Lizzie of Lizzie's Lovelies on Etsy had a give-away on her blog, Lizzie's Lovelies and I won!  Check out this darling little Winnie the Pooh bow!!! 

Oh, I can't wait to see how cute it looks on the girls =)  It's really well made and I got to pick what kind of a clip I wanted, too. 

Lizzie has tons of really cute bows in her shop.  If you have a little princess stop by and peek at all the lucious little lovelies!

Thanks, Lizzie!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

A bazillion errands and a few hours... Will it all get done?

Yesterday was...  well, it was a busy Saturday!
  • 7 AM leave house... arive in Prescott almost an hour later... to find lots of traffic and not much parking because there is a ton of stuff going on downtown =p
  • Go to Bible study =)  Very fun today - and glad I was not too late!
"Keep the Focus" by Emma L. Fenton
  • Off to Fry's...  gorceries... and a very noisy cart!  *lol* and a few nice words to a frazzled clerk who was fielding constant complaints due to the store remodeling - hope she had a better rest of her day!
  • Go to Walgreen's... unscheduled stop =p
  • Stop at the health food store - Maggie needs her pills *laughs*
  • Dash to Costco and race through with blinders on 8-/ buying only what is on my list...
  • Stop on the way back to Chino Valley to drop off recycling... oh, yeah!
  • Post Office in Chino - wasn't I just here???
  • Gas station...  yep, out of gas again...  *sigh*
  • Safeway...  only because Fry's didn't have some of the stuff I need and I didn't want to buy Costco quantities =p
  • Up to my sister's house to visit with the dogs and drop off their mail...  they will be home soon!  woohoo!
  • *whew* heading out to Paulden...
  • 2:30 PM...  parked in my driveway and wondering who will unload all this schtuff for me...  Oh yeah.  I would unload it for me... if I could make my feet move =p
  • *collapse*
But, hey - I smiled all day - and 'kept my focus'!   Emma gave me "Keep the Focus"  last year and I love it.  It sits on my computer desk as a great reminder to keep my focus on the Lord.

Hope you are having a great in-focus day!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Virtual pARTy - another fun 24 hour painting!

What's not to love about the Virtual pARTy?  A fun photo and 24 hours to create your artwork... and,  I did manage to do just that - woohoo!

Here's the photo that I had to start with ~

This is a photo of Thoroughbreds in the paddock/saddling enclosure at Saratoga (NY), courtesy of Kimberly Kelly Santini.

And, voila!  Here is my painting!

9 x 12 inch watercolor painting on archival 140 pound watercolor paper with, of course, my lovely artist grade watercolors that I love!
"Ready to Run!"

As you can see, I left a lot out of the background.  I did this because I wanted to focus on the excitement that the horse is feeling.  Eyes on the gate - ears intently listening - saddled and ready to go!  "Ready to Run!" is all about the attitude and the desire of this horse to get out there and race.

Thanks for the fun photo, Kim!

The Virtual pARTy is open to anyone - just follow the link, check out the blog for directions of how to participate, and jump in and have some fun!

Happy creating!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Funtry Friday - I find the strangest things in the darndest places....

What is that?  A golf ball?  How did the kids across the street manage to make a hole in one all the way back here????

Well, I can't leave it in there - got to go swimming.
***sheesh***  This water is cold!!!
... not to mention a little bit disgusting...

Wait a minute.  This is so not a golf ball...

This is an egg....
A guinea egg to be exact.
I know the culprit and I know exactly what happened!


Okay - hide your eggs - the ravens are on the loose!  Naughty little thieves *winks* they are always swiping eggs, but looks like this one was 'the one that got away'! *roflol*

Do you have funny little 'thieves' at your place?

Hope those ravens don't drop the next egg on me =p

Thursday, April 22, 2010

I remember.... Thursday's Thoughts

"Tell us about someone's memorable birthday. Yours, a friend's, a child's, a pet's, a family member's, etc. " was posted by Joey & Aleethea for the Etsy Bloggers Team blog carnival this week. 

A memorable birthday?  hmmmm....  How about a memorable birth-day?!  I could tell you about the day when Cynthia was born.  That was very memorable!  Does the fact that the nurse delivered her give you a clue?  *roflol*

How about the day that Mikayla was born?  I was there and it was incredible!

How about the huge birthday celebration that Cynthia and I had last fall where we celebrated a big "0" for her and for me?

Lots of milestones are attached to birth and to birthdays and rightfully so.  I think that's why I am enjoying the 'birth' of my journal.  It's a 'milestone' because I have wanted to create an art journal for quite a while, but I didn't know what to put in it.  I finally decided to create an art journal that has as its *focus* the search to find ways to feed my creative spirit and keep it active every day.  Sharing what I learn along the way with you is part of the joy of discovery!

One thing that I have discovered is that looking back through my older drawings is lots of fun.  I can see where I have improved, find some forgotten techniques that I want to explore further, and remember places and things that I want to incorporate into new artwork.  Of course, in the process of looking at forgotten artwork, I have found a lot of unfinished 'business' and half finished treasures.  *argh* what to do with them?

Well, here is what I am asking myself about each one -
  • Do I want to finish this?  (pile number one)
  • Do I want to use this as part of a collage?  (pile number two)
  • Is this suitable only for the recyling bin?  (stash in recycling)
  • Will my daughter cream me if I throw this away?  (pile number one)
'Pile number one' has grown, so now I will need to do a little sorting to see what gets finished first!  Yep, another set of questions -
  • Is this something I will sell?
  • Is this something I will keep?
  • Is this something I will give as a gift?  when?
  • Does this project have a deadline?
  • How much time will this take to finish?
  • Do I like it enough to finish it?
  • Am I sick of it?  Is 'pile number two' a possibility?  or do I need to make this go away permanently?

So, tell me, what do you do with those half-finished bits and pieces you have created?  Oh, please, don't tell me I am the only one with a pile of half done painting!  *roflol*  Somebody!  please! Happy creating (and sorting) and a very Merry Unbirthday to you all!
PS  The little sketch is one I did of Mikayla in 2005.  She still loves to play with cameras!  It's called "Shutter Bug".

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wednesday's Words - Help for the pile of lost creations calling out to you!

Wednesday's Word of the Day is:  triage

Triage is actually a medical term that is used in emergency rooms (among other places) which insures that the guy with the chest pain gets in to see the doctor first while the rest of us patiently sit and play cards in the waiting room.

Yeah - look it up it really does say that *winks* just in 'regular' English!

Now, honestly, tell me - does your little craft area look like WWIII?  Does your easel have 49,375,282 post it notes on it?  Can you find the tool that you need? Do you have a few little unfinished odds and ends projects???

It doesn't matter what kind of creative endeavor that you are hip deep in - I will bet that 'yes, yes, no, and yes' are the answers of more than one person out there!  Well, maybe you have clutter instead of post it notes, but you get the idea.  Something is in the way, something is lost, something is not finished...  And all of that is choking your creative spirit! 

Time for some creative triage.  You need to evaluate the situation, determine the best course of action, and then you need to take action. 

There are basically two areas of 'creativity' to take a close look at: Where you create and what you create. Let's look at where you create today.

Evaluate the situation -

• Is clutter your enemy? Tools buried under a landslide? Can you get to everything you need to create or do you have to move a few hundred piles out of the way every time you work?

• Is your room creativity friendly? Do you like to be there? Do you feel inspired while you are creating?

• Do you have to share your creative space with others? Do you work in the kitchen, living room, bedroom, etc?

• Space too small? Lighting not good enough?

• What would you like to change?

Determine the best course of action -

• Is it time to clear out, clean up, and sort everything that you have? Do you need a cleaning buddy? Will accountability help you to stay on track?

• Do you need a portable 'solution' so that you can easily move your creative center from location to location? Check out your local art store and/or office supply store for great solutions.

• Do you need to change the size, media, craft, or creative venture that you are doing to fit the current space limitations that you have?

• Have you outgrown your little spot? Should you think about sharing a space outside of your home with another artist?

• What can you do today to make one change that will boost your creativity? What would make a difference to you?

Every situation is different and only you can know the best solution for your little creative corner of the world. Where we work does affect our ability to create, though, so care, attention, and a high priority should be given to this area on the triage scheme of things!

Where do you create? What would you like to change about it? How can you accomplish those changes? Have you already 'taken action'?  If so, what have you done that could help us? Share your ideas in the comments - I would love to hear them!


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Etsy Blogger Blogger of the Month loveliness!!!

I know you have been waiting to see who is the Etsy Blogger for the month of April ~ wait no more! 

Pam of MagdaleneJewels and MagdaleneKnits is our featured blogger this month!  Pam has been an EtsyBlogger since September of 2008 and she also is in charge of posting our EtsyMini Mondays event for the team.  On top of that ~ she is VERY talented and has her lovely creations in two shops Etsy.

Check out what I found in her MagdaleneKnits shop on Etsy ~

Gee, I wonder why I like this so much!  *roflol*

She has lots of wonderful creations in her knit shop for kids and adults!  And ~ she has an amazing jewelry shop, MagdaleneJewels.  Look what I found hiding in there ~
Isn't this gorgeous!  Love it!

Pam also finds a bit of time to share her life on her blog, MagdeleneJewels' Blogs.  Be sure to check out her very cute Easter photos there!  Those kids are soooo cute!

Check out the great talent in the EtsyBloggers Team next time you are cruising through Etsy.  Just type 'etsybloggers' in when you search for 'all items'.  You will be amazed!

Happy eye candy!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Ahhhhh *big smile* I LOVE my paint brushes!!!

I love them so much, I thought I would share my favorite brushes with you!
0 Isabey Onyx Kokinsky Sable

My absolute all time favorite brush ever!  Yes, it cost a ghastly fortune, but - hey - I owned an art store *winks*  This brush keeps a wonderful point, has lots of spring, and has lasted well for the many years that I have had it.  I do take very good care of my brushes, though - when I get attached to one, I want to keep it around for a loooonnng time!

7 Silver Brush

I would give you more details from the brush handle, but I use this brush so much that I have worn off all but the size and the name!  This brush also points well (a must for me!) and is great for detail work.  It carries a lot of water and delivers it well, too.  I like the feel of this brush a lot.

Pair those two brushes up with this last one, and you have my favorite trio!
3/8" Connoisseur Risslon Dagger

It is really fun to use this little dagger brush for washes.  It will lay down a broad wash and then come to a delightful point.  It's versatility makes this one of my favorites.

Do you recognize the little painting under those brushes?  It's "Percy" - and these are the three brushes that I used to to paint this very fun little boy.  Check out my Etsy shop for prints of this painting!

Do you have a favorite brush (or tool) that you use when you get creative?  Share the fun!


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Picked up a little junk out in the yard...

I am always checking the ground for 'litter' while I am outside.  I have found really interesting rock and feathers, odd stuff that I have no clue what it is and how it got there, and, well, lots of stuff.  Like this stuff I picked up one day...
Oh, yeah - and I pick up eggs *winks*  Here's an egg, a couple of rocks, and  *gasp* OH NO!
A snake shed???  The dry snake skin that a snake leaves behind when they shed it means that there is a snake nearby!  gadfry, what do I have crawling around out there now?  good snake?  bad snake?  That makes my blood pressure elevate and my voice squeak!  Into the bowl it goes for a further close up look when I get inside - maybe I will see a pattern on it?!  *obsess*obsess*obsess*

Yeah, so I took a closer look when I got inside.  Yep.  It had a pattern.  Yep.  It was recognizable.  Yep.  Nice little veins.  Leaf veins *rolls eyes*  All that obsession for nothing =p 

However, what I almost missed was this nasty chunk of plastic that was sunk deep in the hay.  Have to watch hay pretty closely, I have found, because lots of weird stuff gets stuck in it...  Yeah.  And I almost missed this because I was obsessed about a dead leaf!

Good reminder to me, too, that I shouldn't obsess about the little pooh in my life.  Instead, I should keep my eyes on the 'big picture'!  Going to remember that every time I see a dried up old leaf  *winks*  How about you?


The next day he (John the Baptist) saw Jesus coming
toward him, and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God,
who takes away the sin of the world!"
John 1:29

Saturday, April 17, 2010

So... I was wrong...

...pea hens DO have the same loud call as the peacocks do!  *roflol* I heard it for the first time today!  Now, I can add her to our noisemaker crowd *winks*

Penne, shrieking pea hen

Bethie, maaaaahhh! and Maggie...

Guinnea silliness!

barking Lova dog - and Cookie - (when they are not pretend growling)

clucking hens like Pretty Girl and peeping babies like Baby

Crowing Rooster ~ Buddy, the main man (just ask him)!

hungry horses, Billie Jane and Hershey...

The only quiet little critter seems to be...

Bennie, the rabbit.

Unless you count this quiet, white chicken ~

...which would really be a salt block that the horses licked into this shape.
I think Hershey and Billie Jane want to be artists, what do you think?

Hope you enjoyed the noise makers!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Funtry Friday ~ What a horse REALLY thinks...

Yep, this would be me ~ heading out to toss some hay and brush some horses... and I can just imagine what they will have to say...

Okay, you get to work while I clean up this big mess you made here.

(yep, this would be flurries of palomino dancing in the wind...)

(*whew* my shoulder hurts and my hand is sore and you are still shaggy!?)

Hey!  What's up here?  C'mon, slacker!  Get back to work.  You don't see me stopping ~ I am still cleaning up your mess!

And don't you be posting any stupid pictures of me, you hear!

Yep, gotcha, Hersh ~ yep, I hear you loud and clear, buddy!

Happy Friday!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Journal Adventure! Ummm... ***focus***

The first step for my journal adventure is to get a little ***focus***!  Exactly what do I want to do?  accomplish?  create?  with this art journal????  I have a vision for the first page ~ here it is in progress...
One of the first things that people are told to do when they start a business is to create a 'mission statement'.  A "What do you want to do and why?" statement.  It's a good idea for anything that you want to do because it will help you to focus on 'the main thing' and not get sidetracked along the way.

Like my big letters?  Nice and subtle, huh ;-)  And, no, I didn't draw them - they are from my little rubber stamp collection.  They are there because each letter is part of my Art Journal Adventure 'mission statement'.  Okay, here goes!

  • Jump start your day!  For me, that means that I spend some time in prayer where I unload my mind and get ready for the work of the day.  This time is often filled with lots of inspiration for new artwork, among a ton of other things!
  • One a day!  Make art a daily venture ~ either by creating a new painting, or working on an exhisting creation.  Even if it is only a doodle ~ do it!  Everyday!
  • Use new media, new ideas, new techniques!  Stretch yourself!  Explore!
  • Reach for perfection!  Dive into some great art books, seek out others to share the creative adventure with, take a class, get a critique ~ strive to improve! 
  • No ugly self-talk!  Hey ~ ugly self-talk is bad, no matter where it pops up!  Squash it!!!  Ahhhh ~ didn't that feel good???
  • Art Journal Adventure is all about 'art' and 'art' is all about everything!  Color outside of the lines and have fun!
  • Love what you do!  Exercise your passion ~ everything in an art journal doesn't have to be a masterpiece, but it should be a part of your personal passion.
Well, there is my start on my Art Journal Adventure!  Who knows where this will lead next *roflol* Stay tuned!


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Artist's "block"? Here are some helpful ideas! ~ Wednesday's Words

Need a way to see past "artist's block"?  White paper got you down?  No ideas, no desire to create...  NO!  NO!  Here's help to see your way through "artist's block" and jump start your creativity!

  • Just mess around!  Bet you can create something way better than my little 'block' there!  *winks*
  • Take a class!  There is nothing like a group of artists in one room all sharing ideas to really give your creativity a jump start.
  • Keep a notebook by your bed.  Did you ever wake up with a great idea, but when you sit down to create you can't remember what it was?  Keep a notebook by your bed and jot down all of those great early morning or late night ideas.
  • Take a walk in a new place.  Go to the park, visit the zoo, go bird watching - a new place to visit will give you lots of inspiration.  Don't forget to take your camera to record all of those inspirations!
  • Check out an art exhibit.  Find a gallery or museum and plan to spend an afternoon just soaking up ideas and surrounding yourself with artwork.
  • Visit your local art or craft store and see what's new.  A new 'toy' is a great jumpstart to creativity!
  • If you usually paint inside, grab your paints and go outside and create. 
  • Use a different media.  Sometimes we just need a change!  Don't worry - it's allowed ;-)
  • Start an art journal.  Need ideas?  Check out my "Thursday's Thoughts" and you can watch my jounal adventure unfold.
Well, there's a bunch of ideas for you.  Hope you enjoyed your Wednesday's Words and that you will have a very creative week!


Monday, April 12, 2010

Welcomed the rain - loved the rainbow!

It was a complete rainbow!  Very faint at the top, but you could still see it.

Okay - just had to share that!
Hope you had a blessed Monday =)

Sunday, April 11, 2010


Yesterday would have been my parents anniversary.  They were married April 10, 1946, in what was both a difficult and a hopeful time for our country as well as for them.  That did not stop them from moving forward, raising a family, working hard, and enjoying life.
This is their engagement photograph.  Hehe - Mom told me (several times) that she is wearing a red blouse *winks* I guess that made her just a 'wee bit' of a rebel *laughs*.  Anyway, here is the (I think *winks*) very handsome couple looking forward to a future full of plans.  Some of those plans were accomplished, others fell by the wayside, and some, upon a closer look, were tossed into the 'round file'.

Growing up with them as my parents was a lot of fun (even with a pesky little sister who now has permanent best friend status).  Mom and Dad left lots of 'love prints' on our hearts.  That's probably why red is one of my favorite colors (my livingroom is red) and why I can enjoy the simple things in life (like chasing tumbleweeds with grandkids =p ).  Oh, and they did give me the best focus of all.  Here it is, in Mom's favorite Bible verse ~

I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From whence does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
Psalm 121:1-2

Do you have a favorite verse?  You never know who might be encouraged when you share it!


Saturday, April 10, 2010

Whooohoooo! I am back in action!

Okay, so maybe you didn't miss me =p  But I missed all of you =)  I had that little computer huccup...  but I have cleared out enough files to have a nice little 'green line' instead of a red one!

And, since I missed Funtry Friday - where I get to share some country fun with you all - I decided to share what I would have shared yesterday if I could have shared it yesterday instead of spending all my time clearing out all of those files until my eyes blurred and my brain fuzzed...

Did you get all of that?  okay - relax!  here's your Funtry Friday Fun on a Saturday =p  I couldn't get very close because I would have chased off the birdies, but here is Billie Jane visiting with two ravens.  I think she invited them to breakfast ;-)

She was sooooo fascinated!  and then...

...when they flew away, she watched them until they were out of sight!

Well, hope you enjoyed your little bit of country fun!  Have a wonderful 'down home' weekend!

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