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Thursday, November 30, 2006

It's a "Blue", Early Morning Kind of Day....

I've been making a few changes again!! I wanted to add a little music for your listening enjoyment while you visit me. Since there aren't many Christmas songs (other than Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer) that feature "red" in the title I decided to go with my teeny-bopper favorite, Elvis and his "Blue Christmas".... because it would be a blue Christmas without all of you. (I thought EP might be a bit much for everyone so changed it up to Celine Dion)

Yesterday while browsing around the blogs I noticed that Sombra had a fun little quiz on his blog. I decided to include it here today.....

You Are Sunrise

You enjoy living a slow, fulfilling life. You enjoy living every moment, no matter how ordinary.
You are a person of reflection and meditation. You start and end every day by looking inward.
Caring and giving, you enjoy making people happy. You're often cooking for friends or buying them gifts.
All in all, you know how to love life for what it is - not for how it should be.


I might enjoy a slow life but mine is anything but that right now! And the cooking part sure isn't me! If I cooked for my friends I probably wouldn't have many friends left at the end of the day!! Cooking is NOT my stong point. But other than that I guess it sounds a bit like me. And I do like to be up early in the morning. My only problem is I also like to be up late at night, too.

I am still working on lots of things that I can't share with you here. But soon I promise!

A Wonderful Day for Me!!

Since I began my blog back in February I have continually been amazed at all the people who visit here, and all the new blogging friends I've made. It's just wonderful to think that I know people all around this country and in the UK and Australia....and maybe even other parts of the world, too.

Yesterday was a good day. I felt much better and actually managed to get some art work done plus some other things. It has been chilly recently and I'm in the "stay inside where it's warm" mode so since my studio is the warmest room in the house (not kidding!) I stayed up there most of the day. It just happens to be a room sandwiched between two other rooms and it has a large window that gets full afternoon sun so all that keeps it warm and toasty. I even had the window cracked open just a tiny bit for some fresh air.

I came downstairs late in the afternoon, browsed around on the computer for awhile and when it was almost dark outside, HB walked down to get the mail. And what wonderful mail it was, too!!

There were two packages for me! Two!! One from Robyn and one from Lisa. Well, I went to the drawer, found a knife and carefully....Oh, pooh....I didn't do that! I just ripped them open! It was like Christmas only better.

Snuggled into pretty tissue paper were the most beautiful gifts. I tried taking individual photos of them but with my little camera I can't get good close-up shots so I had to photograph them together. Here are my treasures....



The bird at the top is from Robyn. I think it is just so creative with its wire legs. It reminds me of a road runner. I just love it! Thank you, Robyn! You are a sweet person.

The two birds and the card at the bottom are from Lisa. Now why on earth do you think she chose to make them purple?? They are just so pretty and bead-y and luscious. Thank you, Lisa. You, too, are a sweet person.

I guess I will now have to start myself a little treasure tree to put in my studio so these new birds will have a special place to reside. I can't tell you how excited I was to receive gifts from people I've never met in person....just over the internet. It's truly a fantastic thing. I feel completely spoiled and special and blessed and extremely lucky to have you all in my life.

Big huge hugs and thank yous to both of you for thinking of me!!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Two to Make Up....

I'm feeling much better today. I think I just had a little tummy bug of some kind. I spent most of yesterday just being lazy. So today I'm having to make up for lost time.

I'm still working like mad on my Christmas things and hopefully some will go into the mail tomorrow. The others will be mailed out as I finish them.

For yesterday's art (which I actually did today) here is another of my ladies. No color yet but she will eventually get watercolored....



And since I was in the mood for ladies, here is the second one....this one for today's art everyday....



I didn't have time to do any color on either one of these. I barely got them this far!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Rough Day....and night

I'm a little bit under the weather today, and had a bad night so I am not too energetic right now. Nothing serious....just some tummy troubles. I'm not sure I will have any art to show you today but check back in the evening. I might get creative!

I did get a nice package in the mail that cheered me up. Not long ago I was on a blog (can't remember which one!) and they mentioned a book about how to design a series of small art quilts. Something just said "check it out" so I followed the link to this blog and I ordered the book right then and there.

Here is the book....



And included in my package was a little something extra....



Now how nice is that!! The book is easy to follow and has very clear instructions even for someone like me who doesn't usually sew very much. I think it will be a great inspirational tool even if I never sew anything....but I think I might give her technique a whirl after the holidays when I have some time.

A Gift and Two Interesting Finds....

A couple of days ago I received the most wonderful little gift in the mail from Sheila. Somewhere along the line I had mentioned that as a kid I loved paper dolls (and still do!) so this is what she sent me....



Are these just the cutest....



There are six pages of dolls and clothes, and I love them!! Thank you, Sheila!

***************

Yesterday I had library books to return, so late in the afternoon HB and I got out to do that. Our library has a small cart just inside the door and it usually has a lot of paperback books for sale but occasionally there are a few hardcovers and once in awhile there's something good. And the price is 50 cents per book so how can I go wrong. There's a little lockbox with a slot to put your money into and it's all done on the honor system.

Most of the time I don't bother to look when it's just paperbacks but today I glanced over and saw a few hardcovers. I wandered over to have a closer look and the first one I saw was this....



The book itself is like new but the dust jacket has a couple of little chips along the top edge. The book originally sold for $35.00! There are lots of black and white illustrations and a few color photos, and also some advertisements from the era. I think this might be a book I use for art/collage. I'll do some research on it later and make sure it isn't something worth hanging on to but if there are a million of them online then I think I'm safe to cut it up.

Then I saw this book....



It's all in Japanese! This is the box-like sleeve that contains a red hardcover with gild lettering. And it's all printed in Japanese....pages and pages and pages of lettering to be used in collages! I have no idea what the book is about but there are a few illustrations and several photographs.

I was lucky to pick up a book written in some Arabic language not long ago. I thought that might be good for collages, too. It's a small paperback but the lettering is so interesting. I wish I knew what these books were about just in case I use a page in a collage and it turns out to be something either silly or really bad!!

When I'm in thrift shops or used book stores I always keep my eye out for books in foreign languages because they make great backgrounds for art. I guess that doesn't make sense to some people but if the book is cheap or mass marketed then I see no reason not to use it.

Monday, November 27, 2006

11-27-2006 art everyday

As usual I found something really interesting on Deb's blog. If any of you are interested, she is running a fun little writing challenge with a prize....but the thing that really caught my eye was her "Daily Art Thing" photograph. It is downright gorgeous!! Highly reminiscent of Georgia O'Keefe's work. You should check it out. And she had another great photograph of the same subject just the day before.

Anyway the photo just jumped out at me and said "paint me"....well, I tried! And I should put extra emphasis on tried because I don't think I did it justice but here is my version of her photo....



I didn't have the same paint color and didn't want to try mixing it so mine is a pinker color.

Monday morning....

My poor little brain is just reeling from all the ideas I've been coming up with recently....but sadly I can't share most of them with you right now. I know....what a tease! But I just want you all to know that I'm not just lazing around on the couch, eating bon bons and watching tv!

And I haven't been around to visit all your blogs as often as I usually do but that's only because I'm busy creating....not because I don't want to visit. So please be patient with me for the next few weeks as I'm really going to be busy just as I expect most of you will be too.

I'm trying to keep up with my emails but I'm even a bit slow on those. Never fear though I will get them answered.

Now on to other things. We are finally getting some chilly weather. We even turned the furnace on a couple of nights ago! And we apparently got a little rain sometime in the wee hours of the morning because everything was wet when we got up. I think we might even be able to have a fire in the fireplace one of these evenings. We have a wood burning fireplace and I love it but there are times when I wish we also had a gas insert....because I would like to have a fire in the mornings but it's just so much hassle to do when I first wake up. Yes, I know....laziness does happen once in awhile!!

On another subject....I got several people who offered me some information about putting a picture on the heading of my blog and I will be doing that soon. I'm thinking about changing the name of my blog and I haven't come up with anything I like yet. "Just Bee-cause" was the only thing I could think of when I set up my blog but it doesn't say much about me. If anyone has any ideas feel free to send them to me....I won't promise I'll use any of them but you just never know. Right now I'm at a stalemate trying to come up with something.

My art piece for today will be posted later this afternoon. It's about half finished right now. So I don't have any photographs yet. I hope everyone is busy and having a good Monday morning.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Cranberry Jello Salad/Dessert

This is a recipe that my mom always made at Thanksgiving time and then again at Christmas. I have carried on the tradition....and if I didn't, Molly would be very unhappy!

This is one of her favorite things about the holidays. I love it too but since I'm not eating anything with sugar in it, or cranberries, or pineapple....well, it's off my list.

Since I've been asked, here is the recipe:
Cranberry Salad
2 small pkgs of raspberry jello
2 cups boiling water
Dissolve jello in water but do not add any cold water
Stir in:
1 can whole cranberry sauce (be sure to use whole cranberry sauce)
1 large can of crushed pineapple (or 2 small cans) use juice and all
1 cup chopped pecans
After the jello sets up spread the top with a mixture of one large package of cream cheese mixed with one small carton of sour cream. I usually use my mixer to beat these together so they get nice and smooth and creamy.
This stuff is addictive!!

11-26-2006 art everyday

I started this painting this afternoon with a tropical theme in mind....it's very windy and chilly here today! But somewhere along the line she sort of morphed into a very tropical Christmas gal!!

After I finished her and set her on the mantle to step back and have a look, I realized she looks as if she has a pink poinsettia in her hair with a sprig of evergreen.

Nothing else about the painting is Christmas-y so I'm not sure what she is!! But here she is....



Maybe that's what I'll call her....Tropical Christmas!

It's Beginning to Feel.....

I'm kinda getting in the Christmas mood. I put up a tree....don't get too excited though 'cause it's on my blog!! Right over there on the right side. And a few days ago I hung the wreath....again, just on my blog. But hey, it's a start.

I also changed the colors around....just for the holidays. I'll be back to lavender in January. But I thought I would like to have a little bit of Christmas-y feel to my blog. I don't know how to do a lot of that fancy stuff but I can change colors!

I'm trying to figure out how to put a picture on the banner section of my blog. If anyone can tell me how/where to do that I would love to know. I see blogs all the time that have interesting pictures as their header and they're people using blogger so I know it can be done....I just don't know the secret!

I'm off to my studio for more play time! I'll post my art later today. It's a bit frustrating to be doing all this creative stuff but not being able to use it as my art everyday because I don't want anyone to see it yet!! So I'm doing double and sometimes triple art stuff everyday.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Busy, Busy, Busy....

Whew!! This has been some kind of day! I had the best of intentions this morning and planned to get something drawn for my art piece but then I made the mistake of going to my studio and sitting down at the table and before I knew it, it was afternoon and I had not picked up a pencil, pen or paintbrush!

I've been working on things for Christmas (sshh!....it's a secret!) and time just flew by. Then HB and I had to get out for some errands and that took the rest of the afternoon.

Tonight I've been working on the Christmas goodies again and in between I come downstairs and knit. I'm working on a scarf for the veterans (I blogged about it here a few days ago.) I knit for awhile, then run upstairs and do some more on my projects, then back downstairs to knit again and all the while I'm also watching "White Christmas"....but I did manage to sketch out a rough idea I have for another one of my ladies. This is another black and white! I can't seem to get the paints out right now....no room on my table!



I used the same pose for this one but when I draw her out for painting I think I'll change it to something else.

Friday, November 24, 2006

11-24-2006 art everyday

First of all, I forgot to thank everyone for all my Thanksgiving wishes and for the many ecards I received. I was surprised and happy to get all your messages. And I feel badly that I didn't acknowledge them in my previous post. But in my defense I was only half awake when I wrote it!

I have been playing in my studio all day. Lots of fun stuff going on but I did manage to get one drawing ready for my daily art. Don't know if I'll get the second one finished today or not....maybe later tonight....or maybe not at all. I guess it's ok to miss one day if it's a holiday.

So here's a flower drawing....I'm not sure what kind of flower. I drew it from an old photograph in a book. I hope you like it....



Just black and white for now....maybe color to come later.

The Day After....

Today I'm staying in....no mega shopping for me! I've never really liked shopping anyway. Well, unless it's for books or art supplies! Then I LOVE to shop! But getting out at the crack of dawn to stand in line at a store so that when it finally opens I can make a mad dash for some sale item....it just doesn't do it for me.

Actually HB and I do very little shopping for gifts because so many of our family members are all over the country, we seldom get to see them and sure don't have a clue what they want or need so it's money and a handmade card for most of them. I do buy gifts for Molly and her family. We spend Christmas together so I like to have something wrapped up under the tree but Molly and Don are very non-material people so I try to make things for them. Ryder, my grandson, is almost impossible to buy for because he never wants anything! He isn't your typical 14 year old kid!

We had a quiet day yesterday and a very good meal. HB made most of the dinner and the turkey was delicious....very moist and tender. He put apples, a pear and apple juice in his stuffing and everyone liked that (I didn't have any because it isn't on my list of foods I can eat!) I made the mashed potatoes, HB made the gravy. Molly brought fresh green beans, chayote squash, portobello mushrooms and fresh ginger and steamed them together and they were delicious! I think I enjoyed the veggies as much as anything. I made the cranberry, pineapple jello salad that Molly loves but I didn't have any of it....not on my list! I was so good! I had some light meat turkey, a baked sweet potato, veggies and a small piece of crescent roll. But I was happy and didn't feel deprived. Later everyone (not me) had pumpkin pie and a little egg nog (Silk Nog) We all played Texas Hold 'em and had a good time. And through the entire day the camera sat on the counter and not one photo was taken! I just got so wrapped up in the fun of visiting and cooking and being together that I completely forgot to snap any photos.

Today I've been in my studio all day (Lisa, see I'm taking your advice!!) and I have nothing I can show you. I'm working on goodies for Christmas. There's beads and thread and glitter and all kinds of stuff completely covering my work table! And I'm having fun!!

I'll post my art piece later today....and maybe an extra one to make up for yesterday.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

It's Almost Turkey Day....Gobble, Gobble



Today is going to be a busy day here at Chez Bee-cause. HB and I will be cleaning and spiffing up the house and doing some cooking ahead of time. So I wanted to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving one day ahead of schedule.

I doubt that I will be on the computer much on Thursday. We aren't having a lot of people....just Molly and her hubby....but there's always lots to do and I want to spend time with my family. HB does most of the cooking so all I really have to do is make a couple of side dishes. Don't you just love a man who cooks??!!

We spent Tuesday afternoon doing all the grocery shopping which meant going to four different stores! But I only forgot one thing which I can pick up this afternoon.

I'm going to put my art piece on this post, too. And I'll try to do another piece of art later today so I can have it ready for Thursday even though I might not post it until Friday. I hope that makes sense!

Anyway, here's another doodle-type drawing I did. It started out like the ones Ninnie and Kai blogged about recently but then I just couldn't leave it alone and kept adding more stuff to it! You know me....more is better!



The scanner cut off part of the bottom but not much. I was too lazy to try to photograph it and the scanner is not quite big enough for the size paper I use. But I think you can see most of it.

And last but not least here are a few things I'm thankful for this year:

1. HB, my kids and grandkids, and all the rest of my family.

2. All the wonderful new friends I've made through blogging. Love you all!

3. My health and the health of my family.

4. The fact that I've been creating again!

5. The results of the latest election.

See you all on Friday.....

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

11-21-2006 art everyday

I promise this will be the last thing I post today!! I forgot to include the cookie recipe in my Christmas meme as I had intended so I put it on in a separate entry and now I have my art everyday piece.

This is a drawing I did awhile back and I wasn't happy with it....so it sat on the shelf for all this time and today I got it out and re-did it.



My personal opinion is I wish I had left out the tall spikey leaves in the background but they're in now so I can't take them out! Other than that, I'm happy with it.

Just for Vicci....and everyone else, too!!

OK, Vicci....this is just for you!! And anyone else who wants to try them. Here is my mom's recipe for Mocha Nut Balls:

1 C butter, softened
1/2 C sugar
2 tsp vanilla

Cream these ingredients together. Then add:

2 tsp instant coffee (I have also used a powdered espresso mix if you want a strong coffee taste)
1/4 C cocoa powder
1 3/4 C sifted flour
1/2 tsp salt

Mix well and add nuts (she didn't give any measurement for these but I put quite a lot and I use pecans)

Shape into 1" balls and place on a cookie sheet. Bake at 325ยบ for about 15 minutes.
Cool and then roll in powdered sugar.

These are simple and easy and oh, so good! Sorry I don't have a photo of these. They usually disappear in record time.

A Little Bit of Christmas

I know I've already done a meme this week but yesterday I saw this one over on Sheila's blog and I had to do it....'cause it has a Christmas theme.

She had hers all in red and green lettering and it looked very pretty but I decided to go "plain"....it probably would be hard to read against my purple background.

So here goes.....

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?
I like both! And since chocolate is off my list this year, it will have to be egg nog all the way. I just bought some Silk Nog....a soy egg nog....and it is delicious! HB liked it, too.



2. Does Santa wrap presents or just set them under the tree?
When my kids were small there were wrapped presents under the tree and then on Christmas Eve Santa always left a couple of bigger things unwrapped.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?
I like the tiny, white lights. And I can't be in a room with the ones that flash off and on. They drive me crazy!!

4. Do you hang mistletoe?
No.



5. When do you put up your decorations?
Again, when my kids were small I put up the tree right after Thanksgiving. Now I do it when ever I have time!

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?
A jello dish my mom always made using raspberry jello, crushed pineapple, whole cranberry sauce, and pecans....then frosted with a combination of cream cheese and sour cream. Molly and I LOVE this!!

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child?
When we went to my grandparent's ranch in Kansas at Christmas, my Uncle Fat (that's what everyone called him!!) always dressed up as Santa and delivered presents to all the kids....even non-family members around the area. I think he must have loved kids a lot.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
I don't remember learning anything about Santa! Are you all keeping secrets from me??



9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
Sometimes HB and I will open one small gift on Christmas Eve but my family has always waited until Christmas morning to open presents.

10. What kind of decorations are on your Christmas Tree?
The big tree that we put in the living room is all done with tiny white lights, and red and gold ornaments....kind of elegant. Then we have a smaller tree in the family room that has the same lights but the ornaments are just a mix of colors and fun things. Believe it or not, I still have some small blue glass ornaments from my first Christmas tree when I was only a few months old!!

11. Snow! Love it or Dread?
Love to be inside beside a crackling fire and look out at the snow but I don't want to be out in it anymore....or drive in it!!

12. Can you ice skate?
NO!! The following photo would be me on ice skates!!



13. Do you remember your favorite gift?
No....each year brings something else special and wonderful.

14. What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you?
Having my family around me.

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert?
Mocha nut balls....a cookie that I make every year for Molly.

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Probably baking cookies. My mom and I always got together at my house and baked cookies each year. She loved to bake. Oh, and my kids and I used to make crafts at Christmas time and that was fun.

17. What tops your tree?
A beautiful, lighted angel....very similar to the photo below.



18. Which do you prefer giving or receiving?
I love to give....I love when I find something that I know the person will like. But then when I can't find something it's frustrating. And of course, I like to receive gifts, too....who doesn't!

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song?
Oh, Holy Night. And We Three Kings of Orient Are.

20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yummy?
They aren't my favorite thing but hey, it's candy!!



I think maybe a little bit just around the edges sorta kinda I might be getting in the Christmas mood. Now don't start breaking into carols or anything like that but you might see me don a Santa hat!! Don't get all excited....I said MAYBE!!

Monday, November 20, 2006

11-20-2006 art everyday

After I did my previous post this morning, I went straight up to "that room that I don't know what it's called" and I got busy, cleared out a space to paint and this appeared....



She was quickly done on 9 x 12 Bristol with watercolors and micron pens. I may do another version of her on regular watercolor paper to see how it does.

Balancing My World....NOT!!

Today, as usual, I'm sort of "stealing" something from Deb's blog. She did a post about chakras and I know many of my readers have an interest in that subject.



On her blog, she had a link to a test you can take online to see if your chakras are in or out of balance. Now I know that anything generic like this is just like putting one of your toes into the ocean....you aren't getting the full thing. But a little bit is better than nothing, isn't it?

I have been feeling quite out-of-balance for a long time, and even more so recently. So I took the test. It was a bit difficult to answer some of the questions because they could have gone either way for me. And some were sort of two-part questions allowing only one answer and for me, half was one answer and half was the other! So I'm not sure how accurate my reading was.

But anyway, here is where you can find the test for yourself. It's always fun to do these tests, and sometimes I even learn something about myself that I didn't know before!


(This painting was done by Candida Maurer. You can find more of her work here.

And being out-of-balance seems to be an on-going thing for me! I can't seem to balance anything but my checkbook! Now with that I'm a whiz!! But life seems to be a little overwhelming to try and balance. I know there is so much work still to be done on our house before we can put it on the market....that makes it sound as if our house is in terrible shape, and it isn't! But I want it to make a great impression on whoever comes to see it and that means everything must look great.

I haven't posted any photos of the painting we did because each room is still only partially put back the way I want it. The painting is just the first layer of the room. I still have a long way to go until I'm finished with all the other touches. But I promise to show you how it all looks when I'm done.

With all the work on the house, I still want to spend most of my day in my (I'm having a hard time with what to call this room! I used to call it my craft room but that doesn't seem to fit. I've tried art room but that isn't good either. But studio sounds so official....so much like there should be an easel in the middle of the room with canvases leaning against the walls!) ??? room doing something creative.

Add in the holidays which are looming on the horizon and I feel completely out-of-balance! Usually I love Christmas and decorate the house to within an inch of its life!....but this year, just the thought of dragging out all those boxes of ornaments makes me cringe! I haven't even thought about gifts for anyone yet. And forget about the baking. Who wants to bake?? And I can't have any goodies anyway so that sort of puts a damper on that!

I guess I'm becoming Mrs. Scrooge this year! And I don't like it much but what to do. (Please, check back later today for my art piece.)

Sunday, November 19, 2006

11-19-2006 art (?) everyday

As I told you earlier, so far today I haven't made anything for my art everyday group. I just haven't been inspired to do that kind of work today. I've been in more of a crafty mood.

So this is what I made....No, this isn't what I was working on earlier that I said I couldn't show you....this is something that I just whipped up at the last minute to have something finished!



This is deep purple sparkly felt with red trim. I cut the hand and sleeve out of felt scraps then did a little fast embroidery on them, added a bead for her ring and a bit of leftover lace for her cuff. I think it seems a little "Red Hat Society" but that wasn't my intention. It has a bit of velcro under the hand to keep it closed and I think I'll use it for my micron pens....I have several.

Old Books Rescue an Angel....

We're having a lazy kind of Sunday. Doing a few jobs around the house, stopping for a few minutes to grab a snack, and then back to whatever we were doing. HB is also watching football.

So I got to sneak away to my art room but I don't have anything to show. I'm working on several things but you can't see them yet! I haven't even done my art for today!

But I do want to share something I made awhile back. As most of you know, I used to sell books online so I have quite a few old books that are not worth anything. So I decided to start using them for some of my projects. This is one of my favorite things I've done with them....



Three old books....two stacked on top of one another, and one standing open on top of them. Then I had an angel with a broken wing so I snuggled her into the pages, added some silk roses and leaves, a little moss and now no one knows her wing is broken. She was saved from going to the trash.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Is it really fall??

I had to post one more photo today! I walked out to the backyard a few minutes ago and discovered two roses blooming behind one of the apple trees. The blooms were hidden by some of the lower branches so I couldn't see them from the house.

I thought they looked pretty against the weathered wood of the fence and had to share them with you.

I promise this will be the last post for today!!

Cleaning, a Saturday Sky and my art for the day 11-18-2006

I worked most of the morning in my art room. I just couldn't take it any longer! I made some progress....at least I can see the top of one table! Of course, don't turn around and look at the other one because it's under a huge pile of stuff. Oh well, I have one space to work in now.



And then I took a little break and went outside for a few minutes. It's absolutely gorgeous today!! Sunny and warm....I think right now it's in the mid 70's. I looked up through the tree tops and thought it made a pretty picture. What do you think??



I like the gold, green, and red against the bright blue sky. It's just such a riot of colors and makes me smile.

I also got busy and finished up a doodle I had been working on for a couple of days so this will be my art piece for today.



It's another one using markers and micron pens on a 9 x 12 piece of heavy sketch paper. The colors are much more vibrant than they show here. I tried to get them brighter in my photo program but didn't have much luck. Once again, I think this would make a nice fabric.

It's Saturday meme time....

You all know how I love to do memes!! And surprise this one is not from Deb but I got it from Maryellen!! It's an ABC kind of meme so here goes....

A is for age:
I just turned 63 in September
B is for Beer:
Don't like it at all. Don't like the smell, the taste or the look of it!
C is for Career:
Lady of the house!! I think I made a career of changing jobs. I've done all kinds of work but ended up being the office manager for a coffee importer. I haven't worked since 1991.
D is for my Dog's Name:
I don't have a dog but my cats are named Harley and LuLu
E is for Essential Item I Use Everyday:
I think I'll have to go along with Maryellen and say the toilet!!
F is for Favorite T.V. Show:
Oh, that's a no-brainer....LOST
G is for Favorite Game:
I'm not really into games all that much but I like to play spider solitaire or Mah-jong on the computer.
H is for Hometown:
I was born and raised in Decatur, IL but left there in '79 and have never returned.
I is for Instruments I Play:
A big fat -0- on this one. Nothing.
J is for Favorite Juice:
Right now I would say apple-grape juice because I can't have my favorite which is pineapple!
K is for Whose Butt I’d Like To Kick:
Mr "Shrub"
L is for the Last Place I Ate:
At home.
M is for Marriage:
I've been married three times. And they're right, the third time is a charm!!!
N is for my Name:
Janet Kay
O is for Overnight Hospital Stays:
When each of my children were born, and once when I had chest pains a few years ago.
P is for People I was With Today:
Since the day is just starting, it's just been me and HB
Q is for Quote:
I collect quotes and have too many to remember but the one on my Mary Engelbreit calendar for today is a good one - "If your ship hasn't come in - Swim out to it!"
R is for Biggest Regret:
Don't have much of that. What good does it do to regret something that I've already done. It's just part of my life experience and was there to teach me something.
S is for Sport:
You are kidding, aren't you?? I occasionally watch a teeny-tiny bit of football with HB but I'm not into sports.
T is for Time I Woke Up Today:
I didn't look at the clock but I guess it was probably about 7:00 AM
U is for Current Underwear:
Now that's a little personal....but since you asked, black.
V is for Vegetable You Love:
Purple cauliflower
W is for Worst Habit:
Self-criticism
X is for X-rays I Have Had:
dental, wrist, and I can't think of any others
Y is for Yummy Food You Ate Today:
I haven't eaten anything yet!
Z is for Zodiac:
I'm on the cusp of Virgo/Libra so I'm a "Virbra" with Libra rising, moon in cancer.

And I'll post my art piece later in the day....after I actually come up with an idea and get it down on paper or something!! Right now it's looking like I might be doing a giant snowstorm....you know, white out conditions!!

Friday, November 17, 2006

11-17-2006 art everyday

I did a quick sketch of this earlier today and then had to get out and run errnads. When I got back I did a fast watercolor and I think her hair is crappy and she's too short....but I guess mermaids come in all sizes and they must have bad hair days, too!!

So here she is....

Doing Something Good for Others....

The other day I was "blog browsing" and I came across this and thought it was a wonderful idea. So I'm putting the link here so if any of you knitters want to join in on a good cause you can do so. And here is a direct link to the site.

I'm also going to participate in the Red Scarf Project this year. I did this last year and really enjoyed it. There was something very rewarding about making a scarf that I knew would go to some deserving young person. This is done through the Orphan Foundation of America and you can learn more about their project here.

I crocheted the scarf for the Orphan Foundation last year. But maybe this year I'll knit one. Here's the one I did last year....



I used colors I had left over from other projects but tried to choose ones that could either be for a guy or a girl with red being one of the predominate colors.

I'm working on my art piece for today but I may not get it posted until this evening. I've got lots of errands to run today. That pesky "life" keeps getting in the way of my creativity!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

11-16-2006 art everyday

Today my piece of art is something I did earlier but wasn't completely happy with... so I re-worked it and now I'm happier. The reason I did this is because one of my friends just had a birthday and since they were traveling I haven't sent her gifts yet so last night I decided to make her a birthday card. Well, that turned out like pure grade A crap!!

Everytime I specifically need to make something for a special occasion it usually turns out that way. I don't know whether it's the pressure or what. If I just make something just to make it then it turns out ok. Does anyone else have that problem??

Anyway I had planned to use the birthday card for my art piece today but since it turned out so yukky I couldn't do that. So I was on the spot for something. I remembered this piece....and I thought "now's the time to re-do it." I always cringe a little when I put that first brushful of paint on something that's already kinda finished. But I went for it anyway. The original didn't have much background, the dress was pale and washed out and the hair was not as defined.



Yikes!! In the photo some of the lines in her dress show up really dark but they really aren't like that in real life! It's all much more subtle. I guess I'm not much of a photographer. I couldn't scan this one since it's about 12" X 18" and won't fit on my scanner!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

A Thanksgiving Recipe....

I've finally started to think about Thanksgiving! I didn't want to rush into anything! Molly and I talked today and decided what we were each going to fix. And just in time, my cousin sent me a terrific recipe for turkey. It can also be used for chicken. I thought I would share it with you, too.

Ingredients:
1 whole chicken or turkey
1 large lemon, cut into halves
sprig of rosemary
salt and pepper to taste
butter or olive oil, whichever you prefer

Heat oven to 350 degrees

Rub butter or oil over the skin of the chicken/turkey until it is completely coated. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and any other seasonings you prefer.

Take a knife and gently separate the skin from the breast meat; then slide lemon halves under the skin with the peel side up, one on each side. This way the juice from the lemon will release into the breasts and make them nice and moist.

Place sprig of rosemary into the chicken/turkey.

Cover and bake for 30-45 minutes (this is for a chicken.) Remove cover and continue to roast until juices run clear, basting every 15-20 minutes.


If you've followed these steps correctly, your chicken/turkey should
look like this when you're finished.

11-15-2006 art everyday

I have been getting so many wonderful comments and I feel badly that I haven't been saying "THANK YOU" to each and every one who has left them....but I do try to make it around to visit your blogs and leave my own comments. I hope you don't quit visiting me if you don't get individual responses here on my blog. I do try to answer if there are actual questions.

I guess I didn't think about how much time would be involved in actually creating something EVERYDAY!! Believe me....it takes me a loooong time! My problem is usually that I get a fantastic idea but have no idea how to get it down on paper. Then if I manage to do that, then comes the color and I usually screw that up! For some reason I have a tough time visualizing some things with color and then other things I see with very translucent colors....and I don't have a clue how to achieve that!

So maybe that's why I like to draw in pen. The starkness of the black against the white paper is somehow pleasing to me. I have to admit though that I did not do this piece in one day. I have been working on it but I finished it this morning so I'm guessing that qualifies it for my piece today.



And just so you know....my hand isn't that steady....I did use a circle template to make all these circles! I did draw out the original sketch freehand but when it came time to actually work in ink, I used the template. Is that cheating??

I'm calling this one "Under the Microscope"....it looks like some kind of strange DNA or the cells of some wild creature.

On another note, I just wanted to say that I hope when you leave me comments about my artwork that you are honest about it. If I make a piece of crap then let me know. That's the only way I can grow and learn. I know I try all kinds of different things but that's because I don't want to get locked into one thing. There are so many kinds of art and I think I like most of them. Just like music has everything from classical to rap....well, I can't say I like all of that!! Leave out the rap and maybe you've got me!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

11-14-2006 art everyday

Ok, I'm trying this collage stuff again! I don't give up easily! I kind of liked the photo of the guy and wanted to do something with it. My first thought was "I wonder how people will accept him" and that gave me my caption.

So here is my piece for today:


"Expand Your Horizons"

A Little Bit of Weirdness About Me(me)...

Recently Deb did a rather odd meme. At first I didn't think I'd do this one but I changed my mind!! I can do that, if I want!

So here is a kinda weird meme:

Someone knocks on your door at 2am, who do you want it to be?
Someone at the wrong house!

Your boss tells you he/she will give you a $20 raise if you'll do your job naked. Do you stay and take the raise?
Are you kidding me?? No one would even pay $1.00 to get me to work naked!

Put yourself in a nutshell.
I don't think I'd fit! I have been losing weight but not that much!!

Ever see a ghost?
Yes. And I've also felt another presense from time to time in a place I used to live.

Happy with your body?
Not particularly but I'm working on it.

A reason to move to Iceland.
I'll give you three!! They have a very high literacy rate, are one of the world's most technologically advanced countries, and oddly enough they have a very temperate climate! Winters are mild and windy and summers are damp and cool. Thank you wikipedia!!

A place you've lived that you miss.
It wouldn't be the place so much as the people....I enjoyed my time near Crystal Lake, IL but it was because that's where I met my friend Kathy.

A job you'd never do, no matter how much you were paid.
Snake wrangler!!

A band/group you thought was cool when you were 13.
My gosh....you don't actually think I can remember back that far do you?? Let's see....Elvis Presley was my guy - he's not a group or a band though. But that will have to do.

You have a nightmare, who's the first person you think to call?
I wouldn't call anyone but I might wake HB....but then I might just think of something pleasant and go back to sleep.

Wanna have kids before you're 30?
Been there, done that.

A memory from high school.
A girl who was an upper classman walked up to me in gym class, grabbed my boob (!!) and yelled out to everyone "Yeah, they're real!" My married name today is the same as her name was back then!!

Ever had a crush on a friend's parent?
Eeewwww!! NO!

Do you look more like your mom or dad?
I don't think I look like either one of them. When I was a kid everyone said I looked like my dad.

Something you've always wanted to learn to do.
Play piano.

How you'd like your life to be in 10 years.
Still going strong and healthy!

Something you learned this year.
Blogging!

What do you want for your birthday?
I always have such a difficult time thinking of something I want other than books and art supplies. I'm not a jewelry, furs, expensive perfume kinda gal.

Name 4 things you did yesterday.
1. Did my art everyday entry.
2. Helped HB paint our bedroom. (Yes, we're STILL painting stuff!)
3. Grocery shopping.
4. A little crochet.
(I lead such an exciting life!!)

Last item you bought yourself?
Some yarn, a kneaded eraser, and some yarn needles. I told ya I was exciting!

What did you have for breakfast?
Steel-cut oatmeal with pecans and vanilla soy milk. Oh, and a cup of hot apple juice with cinnamon. Finding something warm to drink has been a challenge since coffee and tea are out.

Name a celeb you crush on.
I've always liked Sean Connery, and also the "bad" boys on "Lost"....Sawyer, Sayid, and Jinn. I'm not much for "pretty" guys.

Name the last 3 songs you heard.
I have no idea! I don't listen to the radio much, and most of the CD's I listen to are in other languages so I don't actually know what they're saying....I just like the music.

How many hours of sleep do you get each night?
Usually about five or six. I like to stay up late and get up early.

What do you wish you were doing right now?
Sitting around a campfire with HB, my kids and grandkids.

Who's the first person in your phone book on your cell?
My cousin, Carolyn 'cause it's alphabetic.

Last time you witnessed a fight?
I can't remember ever seeing an actual fight as in throwing punches! Molly and I used to live in an apartment above a couple who fought all the time....and they were very physical! I used to pound on the floor with a piece of wood and tell them to quit!!

Name 3 places you'd like to travel to.
1. England
2. Australia
3. Italy
This is assuming they have built the bridges so that I can drive to all those places!!

Do you know how to ice skate?
No. I used to roller skate but I never tried ice skating.

Name something you like that's out of the ordinary.
If something is popular and everyone likes it, chances are I don't! And if no one likes something, then chances are I do.

Is bigger really better?
I'm assuming that this question is not XX rated so I would have to say not always. For instance, I like a big fat book but I don't want a big fat butt!!

What do you think of Brad Pitt?
I like some of his movies. And I think he's an attractive guy (a tad bit young for me!) and I also think he's trying to work for something good.

What color are your toenails.
The exact same color they came with! Factory issued!

Do you own anything with a skull on it?
Yes, as a matter of fact, I do!

Traveled to Europe?
Nope. Still waiting on that bridge!

Last movie you watched?
I can't remember! I seldom watch movies! I know....I'm probably the weirdest person in the world but I don't like most of the movies that are made now. Too much blood, guts, and gore for my taste. I don't find violence entertaining.

Where were you when you had your first kiss?
Sitting on a blanket at a free movie in my neighborhood.

Last board game you played?
Scrabble

Leather or lace?
Leather. I'm just not a lacy person at all.

Ever had a black eye?
Yes! A guy I was dating, hit me ONCE. I never saw him again. He called and called and apologized every way possible but I wouldn't have anything to do with him ater that.

Have you ever worn fishnet stockings?
Yes....I have some on right now under my flannel jammies!! Just kidding....but yes, I have worn them in the past. I think I'm a little bit old to be wearing them now!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Buck takes a Hike....with me!!

First just let me say thank you to everyone who commented yesterday about my son's lifestyle. (If you haven't read my edited version yesterday then you won't know I changed his name to Buck!) I'm never quite sure how people are going to react when I tell them how he lives. When that photo was taken, HB also did a whole series of photos which included Gretchen and the kids....all wearing buckskins. When I showed the photos at work (I was living in WA and working in Seattle at the time) most of the people thought it was staged. You know, like when you go to one of those places, pick out a costume, and have your photo taken. When I explained that it was for real, that this was the way they dressed and lived every day, they were stunned. Most of them already thought I was a bit weird anyway, and then they REALLY thought I was!! But I can tell you that most of them thought camping meant having a nice room at a hotel!

HB and I used to do a lot of camping....tent camping. We were completely outfitted for that sort of camping. When we visited Buck and his family we always took our equipment with us. In fact, Buck used to tell us to bring everything we thought we would need because they only had exactly what they needed. They each had a bowl and a plate (wood)and their own eating utensils. They usually cooked in one big pot over the open fire....and it was usually something Buck had killed. They also ate a lot of wild plants. Gretchen was excellent at identifying plants in the wild.

Once when I visited alone, Buck, Gretchen and I went on a hike. My oldest granddaughter was a baby at the time so she came along papoose-style. Gretchen always carried her babies on her back. Back to the hike....we started out in the morning and as we hiked along every once in awhile Gretchen would stop, pick a few leaves off a plant and tuck them into a bag. I wasn't sure what was going on.

After we hiked along for a couple of hours we came to a beautiful stream with a small waterfall. By this time I was hungry and wondering why I hadn't brought something with me. Gretchen pulled the leaves out of her bag, washed them in the waterfall, and put them in a bowl from her pack. Then she produced a small container of some kind of dressing she had made (they had no refrigeration so I'm not sure what it was) and poured it over the green leaves. We each began eating the "salad" .... at first, I only nibbled a tiny leaf, thinking it might taste weird....but it was delicious. Probably the best salad I've ever tasted!



This is not my photo but I love the basket and all the wild greens. It made me think of the ones Gretchen gathered. She told me she only takes a few plants or leaves from each area so as not to deplete the natural growth.

From time to time I will try to tell you a little more about Buck and his lifestyle.

11-13-2006 art everyday

I can't believe I've been able to come up with something everyday so far! I guess when I'm under "pressure" (my own!) then I can produce something. Lesson learned! I guess that means I need to put pressure on myself to do more artwork.

This was just something that I liked the shape of....I like curving, flowing lines and this fits that description. And this time I used mostly acrylics. Quite a stretch for me!! And the little triangle shapes are made with a stamp.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

11-12-2006 art everyday

Once again I was super busy and had to make something fast and simple. This one is marker and watercolor....and I'm calling it "Life"....



The background is actually light lavender but it doesn't show up.

Another Special Day for Me!!

I have mentioned my daughter, Molly, many times on this blog. In the beginning she was simply known on here as "She Who Hates Peas - SWHP" - because I wanted to respect her privacy. She finally told me it was ok to use her name.

Well, you may not know it but I also have a son, (I'll call him Buck)and today is his 43rd birthday! He's a private person so I try not to say too much about him here in blogland. He would not see anything I write on this blog anyway (My son lives in a fairly remote area. Up until just recently he lived without electricity, running water, or any of the other modern conveniences that most of us take for granted. And he did this by choice.) but I respect his need for privacy so I'll try not to reveal too much.

This is his baby picture taken at the hospital....


And this is one of my favorite photos of him with Molly....



Buck was always a good big brother and considered his little sister as "his" baby. He looked after her and protected her and never complained when she tagged along.

Growing up, he didn't have a strong male influence in his life. Their dad and I divorced when Buck was about nine years old. Here are some photos of him up to about age three....




Buck spent most of his younger life living in an urban environment. As a kid he never went fishing, hunting, camping or any of the other things most boys get to experience.

When we moved to CA he told me he would never want to live anyplace but a big city. Then he met his significant other (I'll call her Gretchen) and she was a city girl, too. But somehow they decided to begin living a more rural/natural life. They started out by living in Oregan in a tent for one winter! I was worried the entire time!

Then they decided to move to Montana. They rented little rustic cabins and each step they took was backwards....or at least that's the way most people would look at it. They searched out knowledgeable people who could teach them the skills they needed, and they learned. Through this time, they also had two babies born at home with only a midwife....my two beautiful granddaughters who now live in Hawaii.

If any of you have read the books by Jean Auel - such as "Cave of the Clan Bear" - the man who was her advisor for hide tanning and such was the man who taught my son those very same skills. Buck met Jean Auel at some of the mountainman gatherings. He spent several years doing nothing but tanning hides using the methods that Native Americans used....in other words, he did it without chemicals and using animal brains. He actually made his living doing hides....but then he really didn't need a lot of money considering he had no bills!! I think one time Buck told me they could live on just a couple hundred dollars a year!! The only things he bought were things he couldn't make or grow himself. And for many years he didn't even own a vehicle. He doesn't own one now!

Here is a photo of Buck on the porch of one of the cabins....this is NOT a staged photo! This is how he looked every day. All the buckskin he's wearing was done by him. HB took this photo in black and white so it would look more authentic.



And here's a drawing I did from that photo....



HB and I visited several times while Buck, Gretchen and the kids lived in Montana. They had a huge tent with a wood burning stove and they lived in it year round. They decided they liked the tent better than cabins! One winter Buck wanted to test his winter skills so he dug a snow cave just big enough for his body, took only a candle and slept there all night in the middle of winter....in fact it was below zero that night! The candle and his own body heat were the only things he had to keep warm.

He can make fire with nothing more than some dry leaves and a flint, he can make rope from weeds, he can make knives and arrowheads using flint (I think that's what he uses)....he once told me he wanted to be able to walk off into the wilderness with nothing more than a knife and a flint and be able to survive! And he can do that. He's proved it numerous times.

And last is a photo taken by a friend of mine....she entered this in the L.A. Times photography contest and won Honorable Mention. I think it was in 1983 or '84. She is the girl running through the photo and that is my son as the "bad" guy!!



I have many interesting stories I could share about our visits to Buck and his family but I'll save them for another time.

Happy Birthday Buck!!

NOTE: I edited this and changed the name I originally used for my son. Since he is about 6'4" I made a reference to his height but then someone told me that's a name used for Osama Bin Laden!!!! So I changed my son's online name to Buck because of his buckskins.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

11-11-2006 art everyday

Today has been busy! What else is new around here?? And then I noticed some comments in my email about how the colors of my blog were changed! Funny....I hadn't changed anything! But sure enough the background of my blog was back to the original color!

So I had to stop and spend some time re-doing all the colors on the blog. I added a few things and took away a few things and just did a little rearranging. I'm somewhat happy with it now....but I still want to put a pretty picture on the banner area. I just don't know how to do it yet.

So my "art" for today is kinda lame! I am still trying this collage stuff....

Friday, November 10, 2006

11-10-2006 art everyday

I think I might be into a rut on these pourable things! While looking through some of my old sketches (trying to get inspiration) I came across this drawing I did several years ago. I scanned it but since it's done in just pen using the stipple method it doesn't show up very clearly. But I'm adding it here anyway....



I liked the broken bottle/gourd and decided to do it again with watercolors and pen. I left out the ribbon because I wasn't confident that I could actually make that happen in watercolor!!

So here is my art for today. I'm calling it "Break Through"....