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Thursday, November 29, 2007

PIF....and Some New Art

Several blogs that I've visited over the past few weeks have been doing something called Pay it Forward. Yesterday I stopped by Sammy's blog and she was doing it so I decided to jump in and participate.

Here's how it works....I will send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this PIF (Pay it Forward) exchange.

I don’t know what that gift will be yet and you may not receive it tomorrow or next week, but you will receive it within 365 days, that is my promise!

The only thing you have to do in return is to pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog.

So basically, if you’re one of the first 3 comments, I’ll send you something crafty that I’ll make!

Once you sign up, copy and paste the above paragraph on your blog, and three other lucky people will be recipients of your handmade work.

Pay it Forward!

And don't forget to leave me your email so I can contact you for your address.

***Edited: if you want to join the PIF please say so in your comment otherwise you won't be included.

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I finally finished the drawing I've been working on for the past several days. I'm happy with how it turned out and I hope you like it too....


"Old World Visions" clickable to view larger (that pink smudge is on the scanner and not on the picture!)

The scanner cut off part of each side but you can see most of it. When I get our new camera I'll try to take a photo of the drawing.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Christmas is Early....

Recently I ordered a piece of jewelry from the fabulous Julie. I have long been an admirer of her work and finally decided to treat myself. My pin arrived the Friday after Thanksgiving and it's even more beautiful than I had imagined.



I wish I could get a better picture of it but I wasn't able. This doesn't do it justice at all. Also, Julie included one of her ATCs which I just love. Her jewelry and ATCs are so creative. No one works with "junk" like Julie!! She is fantastic!!

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I have a little tease for you again today! I've been working on an art piece and it's taking me several days to complete so I'll just give you a little corner of it so you can see what I'm doing....



This is 9" x 12" on Bristol using micron pens. I should have it finished by tomorrow.

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I will be able to take really good photos in another week or so. HB and I treated ourselves to an early Christmas present. We ordered a Canon Rebel XTi camera. I can't wait to get it. I'm sure it will be a huge learning curve for me!! I use a little Kodak Sureshot and even though it's very simple I still get confused by it!!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Art is Art.....and a Tree is a Tree

I guess I should have done my homework before I went out into the world with the statement "I'm an illustrator" because this morning I decided to do some research and found that I'm not an illustrator!

Apparently it means someone who draws pictures to accompany a story. I don't do that. It's all quite confusing. Isn't anyone who draws something considered an artist? And doesn't that picture illustrate that very item? So wouldn't an illustrator also be an artist? According to this article it would seem so but it also stressed that critics don't take illustrators seriously. So maybe I shouldn't label myself as one....not that I expect critics to take me seriously! I doubt they'll ever even hear of me.

Art is such a personal thing and I must admit that I don't understand a lot of what is considered art today. I don't see the beauty in a urinal, for example, or of pictures made using body fluids!! But they are recognized art and some are even hanging in museums! Is that what people really want rather than some beautiful picture painted with oils or acrylics?

Well, I'm getting off on a side track so I'll go back to my original subject of artist vs. illustrator. Maybe I have to just be strong and say the words and get over all the expectations of what it means. Someone who puts an image onto paper or canvas is an artist even if you call them an illustrator.

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Now that I have that out of my system, I have another tree drawing to show you....



I don't like this one as much as the "weird" tree but I did it several days ago and decided I needed some "art" on this post. It has a border all around but the one side got cut off by the scanner. This is another one I did with a Sharpie. I don't like the lines they leave and have been searching for something that will make solid black lines and yet be versatile enough to do very thin lines as well as fill larger areas. I remember using India ink in high school. Do they even still make the stuff?? And do people still use it? I can't remember what we used to apply it though....was it a pen or a brush? Does anyone know, or have any other suggestions?

A Few Changes and Some Recent Photos

I'm sure you've noticed my changes for Christmas!! The drawing is an old one I did several years ago but it was the quickest image I could come up with....I'll most likely change it in a few days.

Also you may have noticed that I've changed what my profile says. I've (gulp) stated that I'm an illustrator. That took some guts but I promised Suzi-k that I would do it and so there it is in print for all to see.

Many of you have been so encouraging about my drawings. I'm also considering a few other changes in my blog but more about that later. I know....what a tease! Hey, it's a long standing thing. I was voted one of the three biggest teases in my senior class! What can I say!! Apparently it doesn't wear off with time.

I also added a new profile photo....



I'm getting into the Christmas spirit this year!!!

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Are you sick of eating leftovers yet? Do you think if you have to look at another turkey sandwich you'll scream? Well, then don't go any farther because I'm going to show you a couple of pictures from our Thanksgiving!!

First and foremost was the star of the day....HB did the honors.



And the supporting role went to....also done by HB.



Some of the other cast members....I actually did some of these!



The new kitchen counter tops being used....



And last but not least, HB and I with some of our guests....we had almost matching shirts!! Can you say ahhhhh....



It was a fantastic day with our family. I'm so glad they were all able to come spend it with us. And a special thanks to Damon for taking all the photos.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The Big Reveal....

I had a fantastic Turkey Day!! I didn't eat too much and I had a great time with my family. I promised you lots of photos and I'll have them soon but not today. You see, I got so involved with everyone and everything that I completely forgot to take even one single photo!! Lucky for me, others took lots of photos and have promised to send some to me. So when I get them I'll tell you about my Thanksgiving.

Today I have lots of photos of something else. HB and I have been talking about getting granite counter tops and we finally decided to do it....right before Thanksgiving when we were having about 10 guests for dinner!! Can you say CRAZY?!!

We shopped around and finally decided on the place to buy the granite and they would also install it. They seemed very knowledgeable and professional. They sent a woman out to the house to measure everything and she talked with us for quite awhile....mostly about how important it was to have good customer service. We liked that because we think it's important, too.

HB did all the demolition and that took him a couple of weekends because he had to do the work when he had the time. Consequently my kitchen was a wreck for a few weeks....all the while I was cleaning the other parts of the house.


Kitchen before


This is what most of my kitchen looked like for a couple of weeks!!

We had an odd little breakfast bar area that separated the kitchen from the family room. It was nothing more than a clutter area. Everything that came in the door ended up on that counter area! We both did it....and I hated it!


Breakfast bar before

The woman who came to the house (Sue) suggested we just get rid of it....cut it down to regular counter height and make one big island area. Why didn't I think of that!!


Breakfast bar being demolished


HB taking down the last part of the old breakfast bar

So long story short, we scheduled the installation on the 16th. Remember, Thanksgiving was the 22nd so there was no time for any delay! Of course, it would be done as planned, said Sue and her boss. No problem.

Can you guess what happened?? Yep....problem....delay!! On the morning when they were supposed to be here we sat waiting patiently and no one showed up. Finally HB called and Sue informed him that the truck had broken down on the freeway and the crew would get here if and when they could! Remember this was the woman who stood in our kitchen and talked with us about customer service and how important it was!! She hadn't even bothered to call us to let us know what was going on! We had to call her!

After several more phone calls HB got really p----d off at her whole attitude and he began calling around to other places to find someone who could install the granite. After talking to several people he found a contractor who had a guy come out to the house and take a look. He said he could install the granite the next day....the 17th. So he and HB went over to the original place and picked up our granite and brought it to the house.

All night we worried about whether or not they would actually show up the next day and if they would be able to do the job. Our worries were for nothing. They arrived as planned and worked their butts off but they got the counter tops installed and everything looks beautiful.


The crew hard at work


Kitchen after


New island area

HB also hung some pendant lights over the new island area and installed a few more outlets and new switches. It was a hectic few weeks and I didn't mention it on the blog because we wanted it to be a surprise for Thanksgiving.

And remember when the truck broke down? That was the same weekend all this counter top stuff happened. Talk about overload!!

After all the granite was installed I still had to put the kitchen back together and clean the whole downstairs all over again! Do you see all that cloud of dust in the air in that last photo....well, most of it ended up in the house! Every surface was covered with a layer of very fine granite dust! But I made it. I got it all cleaned and ready and it looked beautiful for our big day. That was just one of the things I had to be thankful for!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Turkey Day Wishes....

My plans were to make it around the blogs to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving but since that isn't going to happen (!!) I'll do it here.


image taken from the web

My wish is for you all to be surrounded by family and friends and to have oodles of good food to share with each other.

I hope to have a bunch of photos to share with you after Thanksgiving so get ready!

Hugs to everyone....I love you all....

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Trucks and Tags



This photo (from the internet) has nothing to do with today's post but I just thought it was pretty!!

To say HB and I have had an eventful start to the week would be an understatement! Over the weekend the pickup truck that he drives to work (almost 200 miles a day round trip!!) decided it needed a break so it just stopped right in the middle of the street! Luckily we weren't too far from home and he managed to get it back to the house. We called a tow truck and had them come get the truck and take it to the repair shop.

Turns out it was something to do with the clutch and it was over $800....Yikes! Just what we needed! Merry Christmas!!

So early Monday morning I'm snoozing away and I keep hearing this distant bell ringing. The darn thing just wouldn't stop. Oops, it was the phone and it wasn't even 5:00 AM!! It was HB and the truck had broke down about 30 miles from the house! So I jumped in my little car and went to rescue him.

We called the repair shop, told them what happened and where the truck was along side the highway. A couple of hours later they call and tell us the guy who worked on the clutch the day before forgot to put any transmission fluid back in the truck and the transmission was gone!

The good news is, they're putting in another transmission free of charge (as it should be!) and they rented a truck for HB to drive today. There was no problem, no trying to make it our mistake, nothing like that. They admitted their mistake and said what they would do to make it right. We're pleasantly surprised and pleased with the service. But I'm sure the guy who made the mistake isn't having a very good day!

Now on to something else. I was tagged by Kate to do a meme. Here are the rules:

1. Link to the person’s blog who tagged you.
2. Post these rules on your blog.
3. List seven random and/or weird facts about yourself.
4. Tag seven random [?] people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
5. Let each person know that they have been tagged by posting a comment on their blog.

I'm sure by now everyone knows all the weird things about me....but I'll try to come up with some new ones. Here goes....

1. I sit and shuffle cards while I watch tv if I'm not doing something artsy. I have to keep my hands busy! I keep a deck of cards beside the sofa where I usually sit....it isn't even a full deck (but then neither am I) but it doesn't matter because I just shuffle them.

2. I am basically a fairly shy person....don't laugh! I am! In a big group of people I don't know, I'm not comfortable but in a smaller group where I know at least some of the people then I'm comfortable and will intereact and usually be silly.

3. I've told this before but it's so weird I'll tell it again! My mom washed my hair for me until I was a senior in high school....and I didn't think it was strange at the time! Can you say pampered!!

4. I hate math but my checkbook always balances out to the penny. Not very exciting but true. On the extremely rare times when it doesn't I'll spend hours searching for the mistake until I find it and make the corrections.

5. I don't fly! I didn't come equipped with wings so I prefer to keep my feet on the ground.

6. Have I mentioned that I love purple. Bet you didn't know that about me! Please refer to photo above!! (Sorry but I'm running out of things to say!)

7. I hate tagging people for these things. I love doing them myself but I always hate to make someone else do them. So with that in mind, I won't tag anyone but will leave it that if you want to do this please do so and let me know.

Friday, November 16, 2007

She's Ready for the Party....

Thank you for all the wonderful comments on my artwork! Wow....it makes me so happy to know that you like what I do. Even when I don't always like it!

Today was a really busy, stressful day but I managed to draw something this evening. And I only gave it a hint of color so I'm happy with it.

Here is my latest lady....



It took me forever to do that archway! HB thinks we should buy stock in Sharpies!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Oops! Apologies All Around....

My face is a little bit red after my whine session the other day!! Sorry about that! I promise not to do that again....because when it's late at night and I write something on here, I'll save it until the next morning before I hit that "publish" button!! That way I can read it over and decide if it's ok to put out there for all to see.

Now moving on....I don't have a lot of art to show you today but I do have a couple of doodles. They aren't nearly as detailed as some of the previous ones but I didn't have much time.



And this next one is completely weird!! I'm not sure what corner of my brain this one was hiding in but here it is....



It seems to be a cross between Halloween and Christmas.....or a bit of Nighmare Before Christmas, maybe. I can't really comment since I haven't (gasp) seen the movie. Did I mention I live under a rock??!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Am I Wasting My Time??

First of all, thank you to everyone who commented on my Woman of Mystery. I appreciate each and every one of them.

I took several days away from the blog because I've been cleaning....at the moment my house is 99.99% ready for Thanksgiving. I have a few last minute things to take care of and then it will be ready for the big dinner. After that I'm planning to put up our Christmas tree on the following weekend. I figured I'd get an early start since last year I never got in the mood and never decorated at all!

I've been going through some frustration regarding my drawings....or rather paintings. I always feel very comfortable sketching out a picture but when it comes to adding color then I usually screw it up. That's why I have so many pen drawings! I have tried all the different mediums....I have watercolors in both tube and pan, watercolor pencils, acrylics, pastels of all kinds, markers, etc. And I just don't seem to get the results I want. I also have many different kinds of paper and canvas and it doesn't seem to make any difference. I just can't get the look I see in my mind.

Mostly I've come to the conclusion that I dabble....I don't do art. I just sort of hang around the edges and peek in the window but I don't do real art. Oh, I know all the things about "everyone draws and paints in their own way", etc and that's true. So I guess that tells me that I'm just not a very good artist if I can't even put color on something and have it look right!

You can probably tell I'm feeling very low right now. I sketched a cute girl (at least I thought she was) and then I decided to try to color her and messed it up completely! Here is what I did....



Of course this is a scan and the colors aren't very true (her skin isn't really that icky gray color!) but you can see it's a mess! I would appreciate any constructive criticism, any helpful hints, or just tell me to give up and find a new hobby. I am so FRUSTRATED!!!!!

Friday, November 09, 2007

She's a Woman of Mystery....

Here I am again just popping in to share my latest drawing. This one came as a surprise! I sat down to doodle, drew the "lacy" shape, added the bottom part and then realized that there was a face trying to get out!! So here she is....



I just added a little color to her eyes so they didn't look so blank! I don't think I'll put anymore color on this although you never know about me.

I'm dedicating this drawing to Daisy....today would have been her birthday. I miss her and think of her often. Her blog is still on my list at Bloglines and I go back and re-read some of my favorite posts. If you're new to my blog and haven't seen Daisy's blog then give yourself a treat and go there now! You will find it a delight. Be sure to go to the archives for 2006 (it takes a bit to download) and read her wonderful stories and posts. She was an amazing woman.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Just Doodling Around Again....

The cleaning bug still has a hold on me so the only art I have to show again is a doodle that I did while watching tv last night....



Thank goodness I can sit and doodle while watching "mindless drivel"....that's what HB calls most tv programs. With the writers on strike I'm sure it will only get worse. But maybe that will be good for me and I can get more art done! I don't watch a lot of tv but I have to admit it's usually on in the evenings even when no one is watching it. HB goes to bed so early that having the noise in the house is somehow comforting for me.

Ok, I'm off to clean again. I'm making good progress and should be able to finish by the weekend. Wish me luck....I'll see you soon.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

I've Got a Bug....

I've been struck by the cleaning bug! I'm doing lots of cleaning and working around the house in preparation for the holidays. The only art I've done is this doodle....



I'll be back in a couple of days. This "cleaning bug" should only last another day or so!!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

My Doodle Gal

I'm still messing in the studio but I did manage to make a little painting this morning. It doesn't show in the scan but her hair is silvery....I used Twinkling H2O's so it sparkles. I decided there needed to be some gray haired gals represented in art!!



I hope everyone is having a good weekend. I'll see you in a few days.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

More Art Journal Pages....

I'm completely pooped from all the partying done around Blogland yesterday. I had to make the rounds to some of them this morning and I still didn't make it to everyone's party. Fun....fun....fun!!

I may not be posting quite as often for the next little while. I have some projects going at the house (I'll tell more about them later) and I'm trying to really concentrate on my studio and making art.

Here are two pages from my art journal that I did today. They may not be finished yet....time will tell.

First one....



This has silver ink but it shows up as white.

And second one....



I'll post these on flickr in a larger size if you want to see them bigger.