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Monday, March 31, 2008

A birthday and Another Update

Thanks to everyone who sent me emails and made comments regarding my little mishap. I'm still typing by using only a couple of fingers on my right hand so it's rather time consuming. The cut on my little finger is right at the first knuckle, on the outer edge and I swear I've hit it against something about a million times! It may never heal at this rate. The other one that gives me problems is on the fleshy part of the thumb, right at the point where there is a knuckle near the bottom. And once again the cut is on the outer edge where it gets banged around if I'm not careful. I've tried to draw but it just ain't happening!!

I'm doing a couple of these quiz thingies so you won't forget me!

I saw this one on Mary's blog:




Your Expression Number is 5



A total multi-tasker, you have a wide variety of talents.

You're very versatile and able to change at a drop of a hat.

A free spirit, you crave change and adventure.



Clever and quick witted, you can convince anyone of anything.

You can do anything you desire... though this sometimes gets you in trouble!

Very popular, you're always thinking up new ways to entertain and amuse your friends.



Your restless and impatient attitude means you don't stay with projects for long.

You tend to be erratic and scattered - it's hard for you to focus.

You often find yourself in a state of flux with constantly changing interests.



And this one is from Sara's blog:




Your Thinking is Abstract and Sequential



You like to do research and collect lots of information.

The more facts you have, the easier it is for you to learn.

You need to figure things out for yourself and consider all possibilities.

You tend to become an expert in the subjects that you study.


It's difficult for you to work with people who know less than you do.

You aren't a very patient teacher, and you don't like convincing people that you're right.



Ok, that's all for today. I'm reading some of the blogs but not doing much commenting as it takes me too long to type right now. And today is HB's 60th birthday!!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Update on blogging break...

This is HB writing for Janet. Janet wants me to say that the blogging break will have to be extended a bit. Seems Janet had a little accident in the kitchen.
Nothing serious but enough to make typing on the computer a real challenge for the next few days at least. For some reason a glass baking dish simply shattered as she was washing it by hand. Her little finger and thumb on the right (dominant) hand
sustained cuts. Bandages and neosporin have been applied but the discomfort is pretty bad. Janet will probably not answer emails for a couple of days but will still read blogs when she can.

Resting....


Image from the internet.

I'm taking a little blogging break. I'll still be visiting when time allows and I'll answer emails of course but I won't be posting anything here for a few days. Maybe then I'll have some new things to show you!!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I'll Try Again....

Back in February I did a giveaway for my blog's second birthday. I pulled a name out and posted it on this blog requesting that winner to contact me. No one ever did. I tried to get in touch with the winner but had no luck. I've waited this long thinking that maybe she would check back at some time and I could get her information.

So after waiting until now I am going to say she isn't going to contact me. I had HB pull another name out of the jar (I kept all the entries) and Julie of The Celtic Lady is now the winner. Julie, I will send the drawing out to you at once. If you don't remember which one it was, here it is again....



"Arpana, The Little Dancer" is not exactly a "Celtic Lady" but I hope you'll like her anyway!

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Several blogs have been posting photos of their snowy weather. I took this photo Monday afternoon at about 4:30....



I'm sorry!! It has been absolutely beautiful the past few days. And my apple tree is finally starting to blossom. I was beginning to wonder if it was going to this year! I posted that photo over on my photo blog.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!!

It's Easter Sunday. HB is cooking ham and I'll make some potatoes au gratin and asparagus. We've had a very quiet day so far. Mostly he has been working on getting all our papers ready for the tax accountant....we have an appointment next week. I did a little bit of art in my moleskine and another picture of a tree. They are all viewable on my art blog.

Over the weekend I received another package in the mail. This time it was a beautiful doll that I was lucky enough to win on Dot's blog. She makes the most incredible dolls and is the originator of the Dotee doll seen all over the internet!

This doll is bigger....she's about 11" tall and she has that sweet face that only Dot creates....



And here she is sitting on my mantel....



Isn't she just the cutest thing?? I love her because she's all done in pinks and pink was my mom's favorite color.

Thank you, Dot!! I love her and she will reside in my studio with my Dotee doll and all my other dolls that have been sent to me by other bloggers.

And thanks to everyone for all the lovely Easter cards and messages. I really let this holiday sneak up on me!! I didn't send out anything!!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Blogland is Amazing!!

Sometimes this world of blogging is just so spectacular and so mind-blowing that it just blows me away! Who would think that you could sit down in front of a screen with nothing more than a keyboard and reach out to people all over the world....and have them reach out to you, too....that you could form friendships and become part of someone's life when you've never actually met in person.

I don't think even in my wildest dreams I could have imagined how much fun it is to be a part of Blogland and to meet so many truly wonderful people. There's not a day that goes by when I don't meet someone new or discover a really special blog that touches me in some way.

Bloggers are a special kind of people because they seem to have hearts as big as the world. Such is the case with Shop Girl. She has been a good friend to me here in Blogland....and she recently sent me the most fantastic gift. When I opened it, read her note, and saw what she made it just brought tears to my eyes.



It was a bit difficult to get a good photo of this bracelet but I hope you can see what she has made....that little charm holds the picture I drew that was in Artful Blogging magazine!! On the back is the letter J. Isn't that the most special thing for her to do?!! I will treasure this always. Thank you sooooo much.

I hope each and every person who ventures into my blog knows how much I appreciate all of you. Your comments, your emails, your thoughts, advice and help are always things I'm thankful for and look forward to each day.

A huge hug and thanks to everyone....and a special one for Shop Girl!!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

A Little Catching Up....

Many of you know about and participated in the Pink Project which is the idea of Monica. She is doing an incredible job of putting this whole project together. If you haven't been to her blog go there now! She is beginning to put the doll together and it looks amazing.

I was thrilled to see that one of my squares is right there on the doll's skirt!!



That face with the pink beading around it in the upper right hand corner is one of my squares!





You can see it on the doll's skirt about midway up the left side! I'm so honored to be a part of this project and to have one of my squares on the skirt! Please, note that these three photos are all from Monica's blog and I have permission to show them here. Thank you, Monica!!

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I was able to get a better photo of the Easter bonnet lady so I've added her to my Artopia blog. I did that little cat painting below in the previous post in just a few minutes using my computer program. If I had had a little more time I could have done a better job on it but it had to be finished and posted last night.

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I'm working on several projects that have deadlines coming up so I can't show those to you yet. But I'm still keeping to my goal of being creative every day this year. Some days it's only a quick sketch or maybe a doodle or zentangle that I actually draw but I'm still finding all kinds of ways that I am creative each day. It's fun and exciting to be involved in Leah's project. It has made me take another look at what I consider "being creative" plus I've seen changes in my art, too. So thank you, Leah!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Happy Birthday, Mister Rogers!!

Yesterday Mother Henna had a request for sweater art to commemorate what would have been Mister Rogers 80th birthday on the 20th. I decided to participate with a silly little picture I did in my computer....



Definitely not great art but still fun.

Just a Mish-Mash of Things....

Today I'm in a potpourri-kind of mood so no telling what you'll find here! If you're looking for my ABC Wednesday photo it's on my photo blog....there's a link over there on the right side of this blog.

For quite awhile I have been seeing bloggers show their Moo cards. At first I was not sure what a Moo card was. I didn't know any cows personally, had no desire to meet any, and couldn't for the life of me figure out why I'd need a card that said Moo!!

Then I got wise to what was going on and now I'm the proud owner of my own Moo cards. No cows were hurt in this process.



Moo cards, for anyone who doesn't know, are small, about 1" x 2.5", cards that you can have made from your photos on flickr. I chose 8 images and I'm happy with all of them. I'm not quite sure what I'll do with them but I have 100 of them!

I've been playing with my new toy and have done a few more pictures, some I've liked and some I've just deleted. Here is a mermaid that I re-did using my toy....



Not one of my better ones but it looks ok. I posted another one of my ladies over on my Artopia blog. She was a black and white that I colored with the new program. I'm quite happy with her.

I've also been posting my zentangles and small doodles on flickr so if you want to see them you can click my link on the side.

Last night I drew out a face that I wanted to color in my new program and then when I was all finished I realized (oops!!) that I had drawn her on Bristol too large to fit the scanner! So I just used colored pencils to finish her.


"Ready For the Easter Parade"

She looks better in person because none of the shading on her face shows up too good in the photo. I worked on her most of the evening and used a lot of pencil to finish her. I may do her again in a smaller size so I can use my toy to color her.

Monday, March 17, 2008

The Wearin' of the Green....



No, I'm not Irish....at least not that I'm aware of but my kids are half Irish so does that count?

I've never been one to celebrate St. Patrick's Day very much since I don't like corned beef and cabbage (I'm a vegetarian) and I don't like beer, green or otherwise, and I also don't like Irish, or any other kind of, whiskey. I can't dance very good so a jig is out of the question, and green really isn't my color! So I guess it's a good thing I'm not Irish!

But I couldn't let the day go by without some kind of acknowledgement so after a long session with Lisa where I learned so many things, I am now able to navigate around my new program and actually do painting with it!! I made something "green" to celebrate.

Here's proof that I can actually use my new toy! I took one of my ladies and put some color on her. Now please remember this is my very first try at this. I chose Lettuce Lady because she looks good in green!

Here she is before....



And here she is after a few minutes with my new toy....



Isn't that cool? Poor HB may not see much of me for a few days! I'll be locked in the office, hogging all the computer time while I paint and play! I did Lettuce Lady in just a few minutes so she isn't perfect but I wanted to let you see what I was able to accomplish after only a short amount of time and some great instructions from Lisa. Thank you, Lisa!!!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Spring Fever....and Frustration

Helllllooooo! Is anyone there? Where has everyone gone? Blogland seems to be very quiet and a bit deserted right now. Do you all have spring fever or what? Or are you all buried in snow?

I thought I would show you a couple of pictures of things blooming around my yard....just trees for now but they look pretty.



The little bit of pink against the white blossoms and all of that against the brilliant blue sky....I think it looks beautiful!



These are blossoms on one of our almond trees. Aren't they pretty?



This is more of that pink from the back yard. It's our nectarine tree. We had it seriously pruned last year so there are new limbs coming out in strange places. I thought this one looked particularly pretty with the bright pink against the dark bark.

Ok, have I enticed you enough with Spring blossoms? Now I'll tell you that I can see fresh snow on the mountains nearby! We had a wild storm come through on Saturday and it brought snow to the mountains. Nothing where we live though....just cold temperatures.

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I recently bought a new program for my computer on the recommendation of someone. It's called Bamboo Fun and it's a tablet and pen to use in conjunction with Photoshop or PaintShop. So far this weekend all I've managed to create is a huge big headache for myself. I just do NOT understand these programs. And don't tell me to just get in there and play because I have been in and out of the damn thing all weekend and I still can't do one single thing on it! Everything seems to be in a foreign language that I don't understand. I touch something and everything disappears or gets huge or gets tiny or does all number of weird things! The tutorials don't really show me HOW to do anything. I need step by step instructions that begin at the beginning, and in plain old basic English words that I can understand! Maybe I'm just too old to learn this stuff.

When this person talked about it I was really excited because she said it was fairly easy to use. But I didn't stop to think that easy for one person can be very difficult for another person! I'm not a stupid person and I've learned many things just by reading a book with clear instructions or by having good pictures to follow. But for the life of me I can't make heads or tails of this stuff!

I bought PaintShop Pro 9 several years ago and it came with a big, 502 page instruction book. None of it made sense to me so I bought "Paint Shop Pro 9 for Dummies"....that's gotta work, right? Wrong!! I didn't learn anything out of that book either. So when Lisa talked about this new program I thought it sounded much better than what I had. So I took PSP9 out of my computer, bought the new program and installed it and when I opened it, it looked almost the same as what I had just taken out!

Don't misunderstand me....I'm not in any way blaming this person for any of this. She made an honest recommendation of a product that works great for her. But for me, it's another piece of software that I don't understand.

If I could just find someone who could come to the house where I could use my own computer, and they could give me classes in this stuff I think I could learn it but I don't know of anyone who does that. So for now I have a very nice paper weight on my desk and a lot of stuff in my computer and I can't use any of it.

Frustrated....who, me?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Some of This and a Little of That....

This week seems to be flying past and I'm not getting much done. I've had to get out of the house every day this week and today is no exception....and once I do that my day is history! I haven't done much art except for zentangles late at night.

I thought I'd share with you what my dining room table looks like since I've been using it for painting headquarters....



And don't even ask about the studio upstairs! It's become sewing headquarters and when you open the door you're immediately required to step over one of those big plastic bins, with two others right ahead. Oops, don't step on the ribbons and lace! Oh, straight ahead is the work table. Yes, there really is a table under all that mess! I'm too ashamed of the mess to show you a photo so just use your imagination! Let's just say that the worktable is a HUGE mess with a tiny space where the sewing machine is sitting. HB is afraid to open the door! He just knocks and talks to me through the door.

I did a little 5" x 7" drawing for my neighbor. She recently had a birthday and she likes all things Egyptian so I tried to make an Egyptian Princess....



Ok, that's about all I have right now. Oh, I almost forgot....I did a couple more little dolls. This one is going to HB's granddaughter....



and the other one....well, when I showed it to HB he said it looked like a phallic symbol!!



I just made her from a couple of scraps I had so she doesn't have much of a shape....well, maybe she does! She has a little tulip dangly at the bottom and some sequin flowers for her hair.

So I guess it's back to the drawing board when it comes to dolls!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Food Related Meme....

I recently saw this "Grocery Meme" on someone's blog and I didn't save the url so I can't remember where it was....sorry! But I did copy and save the meme to do sometime when I didn't have much to talk about....like now! So here is that meme.

1. How often do you go to the grocery store? Unfortunately, several times a week! I'm not very organized when it comes to food, plus there's not one store where I can go to get everything we like.

2. Do you love or hate going grocery shopping? It's kind of a little of both. Since I'm not thrilled about cooking it can be a drag to have to think of meals to prepare (and I'm doing most of the cooking since HB is doing a job right now)

3. Where do you go? Trader Joe's, Winco, Stater Bros, Smart & Final....most of these names won't mean much if you don't live around here.

4. Are you a faithful list writer? Yes, for the things I need to get but I mostly wing it for what meals I'll prepare.

5. Do you write it but never remember to bring it? I write it down and I remember it because I have a small blank book that I use for just things I need to buy. I jot down anything I need to get whether it's groceries or something else and I always have that book when I leave the house.

6. Do you use coupons? Very seldom. They usually don't have coupons for the kinds of things I buy. We don't use much prepared foods, and most of the time I cut out a coupon, then find the very thing on sale at a better price someplace else.

7. What is something that you ALWAYS have in your fridge? Milk, eggs, butter, yogurt, just the normal stuff.

8. What is the thing in your fridge that is a "guilty pleasure"? Right now it would be Tropical Fruit Rainbow Sherbet.

9. What is that one or two things that you feel like you buy every single day? Not any one certain thing. I'll usually think about making something for HB's dinner and have everything but one item!

10. What items do your children consume in ABUNDANCE. Nothing. I don't feed my children!! Only because they're grown and feed themselves.

11. What's on your fridge? A couple of business card magnets holding some notes plus a little round magnet Molly gave me, a big, purple-y "J" magnet from Kai and a cute magnet from Violette.



12. Are the fridge magnets special, or random? The ones from Molly, Kai and Violette are special....and one of the business card magnet is pretty darn special....it's Angel, who cuts my hair.

13. When you go to the store do you just throw things into the cart, or do you stack them neatly? I'm a neat stacker! I try to keep all like things together so when they bag them (or when I do that at one of the stores) everything is a little easier.

And I carry my own bags. I have about 6 canvas bags, 3 vinyl bags from Trader Joe's, one of which is insulated for carrying cold items, and a crocheted bag that I sometimes use for produce because it stretches.

Now you know everything about my grocery habits! Wasn't that fascinating! And since we're on the subject of food, here's a pic of HB's dinner last night....



This was everything before I added the tomatoes and this is after....



Very easy crock pot meal of kielbasa, onion, celery, garlic, potatoes, orange, yellow, and green peppers, and 2 cans of petite diced tomatoes. He was happy!!

If you're interested I added some of my older drawings on my art blog and some Springtime pics on my photo blog.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Flopsie Arrives....

Spring is definitely here in the Antelope Valley!! Everywhere I look there are trees blossoming in lovely shades of pink and white. The days are warmish and the nights are chilly....but all too soon you can be sure the HEAT will arrive and I'll be an unhappy gal! I like the very short seasons of fall and spring....short here because we usually go straight from winter into summer and vice versa! But I'm enjoying it all while it lasts.

Yesterday I was in the studio most of the day. I started out thinking I'd make a very long Dotee doll and call her "Long Tall Sally" (that's now what I'm doing today!) but Sally wasn't ready yet. Flopsie was pushing her way to the front! So instead of Sally I created Flopsie....



She has a handpainted face....



And torn strips of fabric make up her tassel....



I had so much fun making her. As soon as I painted her face, I loved her. I think she looks quite ready for Easter with those hot pink ribbons around her ears. It's not an Easter bonnet but she's happy.

Today I'm hoping Sally appears! But who knows who might show up and insist on being "born"!!!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Spring Has Arrived!!!!

Not much going on around Chez Lavender. I'm still painting ACEOs and listing some of them on Etsy....and posting them on my art blog. I'm still in that mode where ideas are coming faster than I can create. I'm working on several things all at once and not making much headway on any of them!

Several blogs have recently mentioned something called zentangles and I was curious. Go over and take a peek if you haven't already. They have some very cool artwork....and similar to some of the things I've done in the past. I just didn't know they were zentangles when I did them!!

Last night after HB went off to bed, I sat with my moleskine and drew a zentangle.... or maybe not if you're a purist because mine isn't done on a 3.5" x 3.5" card.



I can see why they call them ZENtangles. When I work on something like this I can just "disappear" into what I'm doing. I love the repetition of lines and can get lost in them.

For everyone still stuck in winter I hope you don't get mad at me but we are having some really great weather out this way! All my trees are budding and many have blossoms on them. It looks so pretty to drive around and see all the pink and white blossoms everywhere. My front sidewalk is covered in pink blossoms from that darn decorative plum tree. I love the blossoms but later when the "fruit" begins to fall all over the sidewalk....well, then I'm not so thrilled with it. Spring usually doesn't last very long around here. We seem to just jump from cold winter to hot summer with not much in between. So when the weather is nice, like right now, I'm lovin' it!

I took this picture out the front window so it isn't too good but I think you can see the trees and the blosssoms....I was too lazy to put my clothes on and go outside this early!!



Sorry about that big white spot in the corner! I never claimed to be a photographer!! I hope where ever you are today that you have good weather and lots of smiles.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

The Tattooed Mermaid....

Yesterday DebR and Sara both had posts about this cool site where you can create a "painting" so of course I had to try it out.

This is what they created for me....


Click here to create your own painting.


I'm not quite sure what the heck it is!! And I don't even think I like it! The ones I saw on Deb and Sara's blogs were pretty....wonder what that says about me??!

Oh, well, I decided to create my own drawing the old-fashioned way. This is "Tattooed Mermaid"....



This is on some odd sized Bristol that I had and I thought it might make a cool bookmark. I need to punch a hole in the top and add some pretty fibers.

I added three new abstract pictures on my art blog....two black and white ACEOs and a 3.5" x 3.5" picture.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Art....A Little of Mine and Someone Else's

Lately my creative light has been turned on and things have been coming to me so fast that I can't keep up. But I know the light will dim a little at some point and I'll be struggling to find a way to be creative. For me it always seems to ebb and flow....feast or famine. I wonder why that is. Does it happen that way with everyone?

Currently my house is a mess because my creativity has been flowing. I've got my painting area set up on the dining room table....I had to completely clear it off yesterday so HB and I could have our Sunday morning waffles in the dining room! When it's warm we have them out on the patio but it hasn't quite got there yet. So all my paints and brushes and water containers and pens, etc are piled on the buffet cabinet and I just haven't had time to spread them all out again. The ideas, however, just keep coming. I have such a busy day ahead of me and so many things I want to be painting. Time....I need more time!

I have listed a few more of my gals on Etsy and you can also see most of them on my art blog....both links are on the right side of this blog. And here's a drawing I did last night. I think this is "Mother and Daughter"....at least for now.




On a different subject....well, actually it's still art, just a lot better than mine! Over the weekend I received a package from Zorana. When I saw it in the mailbox I just stood there for a minute looking at it and then I ran home and sat on the couch, again just looking at it. I didn't want to open the envelope because it was so beautiful! I didn't want to mess it up! Finally I opened it and was more than thrilled.



Isn't that envelope wonderful? This photo doesn't do it justice. The colors are so pretty. Here's a close-up of the little birds along the bottom....



This photo is clickable so you can view it larger. I just love the little birds. Well, I love everything about this package, inside and out. The ATC is great, and I now have a print of one of Zorana's paintings!! I'm in heaven! Thank you, Zorana for all the things you sent. I'm enjoying them.