Thursday, December 31, 2015

It's New Year's Eve... again... so soon...

It's December 31, 2015.  How is it that I have been blogging this blog for 10 years now?  It's not possible.

My first blog post... ever... was here on August 13, 2005.  I have to laugh as I re-read all those posts as I gingerly put my toes into the blogging pond.  :)  Didn't take long until I was totally hooked.  Lots has happened in the intervening 10 years...  most good.. some bad.  The sadness of loved ones lost... the immense joy of new babies added to the family.  I must say that I AM GLAD that I started blogging.  I find that many times I will think of something and will either not remember the circumstances or the date or who did it.. or whatever..  and I can usually plug in a keyword in the search engine of my blog and there it is..

Except for that period of time after Google bought Blogger.. hrmmmpphhh   For about 6 months one time and about a year the second time Google refused to allow me to get into my blog!  So during that period it's anyone's guess what

Be that as it may... today is the day.  The old year fades and a new one begins.  For the first time in many years I am totally sad that I am not going out on New Year's Eve.  For the only time in the history of my life I COULD be going to a concert of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.. sigh  He will be at the casino in Thackerville just outside Wichita Falls tonight.. my heart breaks...
But then again.. I have to say that YouTube almost.. almost... makes up for it.  :)

I hope your old year fades out sorrows, disappointments and unhappy incidents of the year.. and brings a new beginning of all the good things you could hope for.  :)

Nostalgia .. and stuff

December 28, 2015  Got up early this morning.. about 4am.  Don't ask me why.  I sat here until 5:30 and decided it was time to make coffee.  In the process of wasting all that time I began to wonder what was going on with all the blogging friends I've had over the years that I don't see much anymore.  So I went to Chloe's Place...

Linda B. lives in Victoria, Australia and I began to read her blog back in 2005 when I was heavy into crazy quilting and ribbon embroidery.  When I looked today, she still has not blogged since 2013 and I miss her witty, independent personality.  

If you are into embroidery of ANY kind, the place to go is Pin Tangle.  Sharon Boggins is the most wonderful embroiderist (I don't know if that's a word, but sure fits.. :)  )  that I have ever seen.  She has tutorials, an embroidery "encyclopedia of stitches", worksheets, online classes.. etc.  And on top of that.. she is just a wonderful person.  :)  I seem to give away everything that I do .. but I do take photos.. :)  This is a small practice block.. from way back then.. :)

Haven't done much for the past few weeks.  It seems (from what my Dr. says) that he had to fix much more than was anticipated during the surgery and it is taking A LOT LONGER than I anticipated to recuperate!  But have done a few things lately... 

I've wanted to try this particular watercolor for a while.. and have tried it a couple of times with very unhappy  But I do like this one.  

The year is ending soon.. Hoping your holidays have been good one.. :)  

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Today in My Life.... December 19, 2015

Today is:  Saturday,  December 19, 2015

I woke up this morning:  hot and sweaty with one dog on my left side all snuggled up and the other at my feet all snuggled up.  It's not that I mind all that snuggling, but it sure does get hot regardless how cool it is in the room.. :)

I am hearing:  the click of the pill cutter as my sweet DH is cutting his pills in half to fill his week's worth of pills in his daily container.  Such a mundane thing... but brings to mind how thankful we should be that we can in fact afford the medications we need.

As I look out the window:  I see the brightness of the sun as it squiggles through the blinds and lights up the curtains in bright lines of happiness that the day is new and full of promise.

I am thinking: that December is not a really good time to have surgery..  :(   While I feel much, much better than before I am still not in such good shape that I can spend all day shopping or working on gifts... Christmas may come in January... who knows?   :)

The current book:  is another re-read of the Vince Flynn novel Consent to Kill.  I bought a new Vince Flynn book not long ago (can't think of the name of it right now) and as I read it I was appalled to find that it was definitely not written by him.. the quality of the writing was nowhere near what I was accustomed to and my first thought was of James Patterson and all his ghost writers. So I looked it up.  And felt a bit ashamed of myself when I found that Vince lost his battle with prostate cancer and his Mitch Rapp series was being continued by another writer.  While I do not find the books as good as the originals, I suspect that I will continue to read them.

I am thankful for:  the gift of life at this particular time in history.  Sometimes I think that this may someday be seen as another Dark Ages by the coming historians... We are nothing more than the same people who lived as serfs under kings and lords... working every day and giving away a portion of our earnings to the local lord (or government) for them to spend making love or war at their whim.. As far as I can see not much has changed since the days of Charlemagne.  We are still at war with the Muslims .. or at least with the radical Muslims who kill indiscriminately since.. to them.. anyone not a Muslim is an infidel... We still have diseases that have no cure.  We still have religious charlatans who dupe the masses into filling their coffers with money while they tell the masses that the most normal and natural things are SINful (I do hate that word)... Young men are sent off to fight in wars and come back filled with the terrors they cannot escape.. I can see very little difference in our lives than at other times in our history... EXCEPT.. today we have the ability to learn for ourselves.  Information is everywhere.  Learning to read is the norm.  We take it for granted.  We should not.

Plans:  not many.  I will sew a bit today.  I will work on nalbinding the fingerless glove that I've been working on for a bit... try to get things ready to be mailed on Monday.  Perhaps grocery shopping this afternoon.  But for the most part... no real plans.

Creatively:  not much has happened during the last couple of weeks.  Surgery on the 2nd pretty much stopped everything for a while and I am just now feeling almost up to my old self again.  I did finish the nalbound hat that I was working on.

Then I spent about 10 minutes dyeing this mystery wool.  No idea what I will do with it, but I'm sure something will come to mind.. :)

Well, my feet are cold and I think I'll just mosey on into the living room and put them up in front of the fire.   Haven't done any painting but may actually do that sometime later today.  :)

Have a lovely day..

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Conundrum... To Do or Not To Do

I've been debating with myself for weeks now about whether or not to open an Etsy shop for my paintings.  As some in my family would say.. "You've wallered it around long enough!".   I expect they are  And my poor DH is so tired of my asking him what he thinks that I suspect he just turns his hearing aid down and shakes his head.  :)

I have sold two already and have had several people ask about some of the others.  Realistically .. I don't think Picasso or Michelangelo have anything to worry about from my art  ... but they probably would sell a little.  The big question is... do I really want to be tied down to an Etsy shop?  have to worry about being gone for several days and not be able to fulfill orders in a timely fashion?  Would it make my hobby a "job"?  What about artist's insurance?  What about taxes (which I don't really think would ever be a problem since there would not be that much income)?  Taxes mean keeping records.... and so on and so on.. 

But... the thing is... where am I going to put all these paintings and cards???

"I can hear it now.. no one can answer that but you."  The thing is.. in posting I have to think it through just by writing it... so .. there it is.. the conundrum..

The latest of the efforts ... These were all inspired by photos that I found online... there is no way to know who to attribute them to. 

 This one of the table and chair touches me deeply... That worn table reminds me of something wonderful... I just can't remember what.  And that cup and saucer.. my grandparents ALWAYS had cups and saucers.  The coffee was always poured into the cup to cool it and then sipped from the edge of the saucer..  The wild flowers..  I just love it... what can I say.. lol 

This one was painted with real coffee for my coffee loving daughter.. :)  

This one.. well.. it just makes me happy to look at it. 

The rain has stopped but the mist and fog has continued for several days giving us quite gray days.  My basil is doing great in the pot in the back yard.  There's a marigold that came up volunteer and is blooming like crazy, and my wild onions decided they weren't dead after all.  

I hope your day where ever you are is a really good one.  Hugs.. :)

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Rain, Rain... etc...

It has been raining for several days now.   The back yard is a pond again and Sam refuses to go out. Poor little guy...  I was talking to a young lady at the ophthalmologist last week who said her dogs wore shoes when they go out... always had... hmmm  I have to wonder whether that would work for Sam and Katie or not.

We need the rain.. most assuredly... but I find myself in a melancholy mood with all the gray days. And now the time change that says it's only 5:38 in the morning when my body says it's 6:38 and time to get sweet DH up in half an hour. One would think with the passage of time that these hour changes twice a year would get easier.. but no..

My thoughts are turning to Christmas.  Last year I made everyone a family birthday calendar and put photos on them that I thought the family would enjoy.  I can't decide whether I want to do that again this year or not.  Perhaps...

I'm still painting.  Several friends have asked me if I would sell any of my work.. and I have.. but can't really make up my mind about setting up an Etsy or Artfire shop.  I'm not really looking to make a job for myself out of a hobby that I truly enjoy.. :)

This mountain scene is now framed and above the fireplace.  It took a while for me to get it right since DH really had something specific in mind when he requested it.  I'm not sure it's completely right even yet, but he seems to enjoy it and that makes me happy.  :)

This mountain scene is now framed and hangs on the long wall of our bedroom.  I like it much better now that it is framed.. but still find things that I would change a bit if it were not already hanging.  I don't think an art piece is ever really finished... I think you just stop somewhere .. :)

This painting was done from a tutorial by Wilson Bickford.  He has some wonderful video tutorials that are easy to follow and turn out lovely paintings.  He's one of my favorites when it comes to oils.  Of course, mine didn't turn out quite like his, but I love it anyway.  :)

Can you believe it is the first day of November?  I remember thinking on January 1st... we'll blink and the year will be over and it will be Christmas all over again.. lol  It seems the older I get the faster the seasons pass.

My coffee cup is empty, my sweet DH is up and the pups are curled up in their bed waiting for the activity of the day to start.  I guess it's time to do that.. :)  Hope your day is filled with love and laughter.. :)

Friday, October 23, 2015

It's Friday... again...

My sweet DH and I were talking the other day and it seems that every time we turn around it's Friday... I reckon that's what happens when you begin to get old.. :) 

I've spent the last hour looking at photos to see if I can find something to paint.  Today is one of those days that seems to fly by with nothing happening.. lol   My brain is on autopilot and seems to be stuck in neutral.. no decisions made today..  :) 

I was over on the other day and watching a video by the frugal crafter Lindsay Weirich.  She was talking about all the uses for glycerin in the craft room.  One of the uses is for adding glycerin to inexpensive watercolors.  So... I ordered some and have been adding it to my watercolors.  It truly does make a big difference.  
Two weeks ago I decided to put together a cream that might be good for face cream.  A friend of mine is fascinated with the process so I told her I would make some and see what she thought of it. So I put together a recipe using Kukui nut oil, borage oil, Tamanu oil, vitamin E oil and .. believe it or not... Crisco and it is wonderful. Definitely needs tweaking... got too much rose absinthe in it and you can smell it across the  .. but it is a wonderful skin softener.  I used distilled water with a bit of beeswax with a tiny bit of borax for the emulsifier.   

In case you are wondering about the Crisco... Crisco is made up of soybean oil and palm oil.  The soybean oil is relatively neutral on the skin, but does help your creams hold their consistency.  But the palm oil... a true wonder for the skin.  It's been used for centuries as both an edible food and as a skin moisturizer.  And it's been right there in your kitchen all this time... :)  

The rain has arrived.  Thunder boomers into the night last night.  I haven't looked out to see what's up today, but we are supposed to get this rain into the weekend... and that's a good thing.  Loving the cooler temps.  

I've decided to paint my Christmas cards this year.   With the price of postage going up so much over the last decade or so, Christmas cards seem to be going the way of the dodo bird.  And that's just sad.  

I have no plans whatsoever for accomplishing anything today except to finally be able to spend the day at home and cuddle our puppies.. lol  I may do a marathon watch of Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman in Sherlock Holmes .. you never know. 

Have a wonderful day today.. :)

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Neighbors are Moving

Our neighbors are moving.  At least one of them is...  I suppose it's a story of the effects "progress" has on all relationships. 

It's a middle aged couple.  He is an immigrant from another country who is well educated, speaks several languages.  She is a bit younger and they are both very ecological minded.  It seems they have lived here for years and enjoyed their life on the outskirts of town... away from all the traffic, noise and emission pollution.  And then we came along.....

Our builder bought this adjoining property and the original proposal was for 4 homes on it.  There was quite a dispute about it from all I've heard.  In the end the homes were cut down to three and the garages changed to open on the front of the house instead of the back.  Our home was built 4 years ago along with the house next door.  The house next door sold this year and the last house began to take form a few months ago.  And... there is now a very large church across the street.  And... there is now a Wal Mart about to open on the corner.  There is small group of professional building down at the curve,  a small housing development across the way from us.  Progress has arrived...

I have to admit that I feel very sorry for them... and for anyone else who is feeling the pinch of society moving in at a speed that is almost impossible to comprehend.  One day all is quiet and peaceful and the next day you are having go to the end of the block to make the turnaround just to get into your own drive.   Suddenly 7 foot fences block off all the sunlight from your garden and dogs are barking at your cat.  Watching the sunrises and sunsets are a thing of the past because you can no longer see them for the buildings.

I must say that I love our home... our dogs Sam and Katie... our 7 foot privacy fence.  But I am also sad that the changes occurring around us are having such an effect on the lives of the people who have called this area home for many years.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Today in my Life... October 20, 2015

Today is Tuesday, October 20, 2015.

I woke up this morning:  very, very early... got up at 3:45 am  and stumbled into the office... fell into my computer chair and prayed for cooler weather.  These night sweats are killing me.

I am hearing:  the fan click as it makes those orbits around that fake golden hub up there.  However.. with the night sweats, I do believe I don't care if it's fake or not as long that cool breeze continues.   My sweet DH is up and clicking his coffee cup in the kitchen... The day begins.. :)

As I look out the window:  I see the new WalMart across the street has cleared all the rubble and trash from the site.  It is beginning to look like it's been there for a while... sod going in, parking lot finished, all the heavy equipment gone.  Won't be long now.

I am thinking:  that I really need to carry a notebook... perhaps I should buy some kind of everyday apron with pockets that I can wear everywhere... that would make keeping a pen and paper in my pocket really easy...

The current book is:  a re-read of the James Patterson book Cross ... for about the 4th time.  I really need to find some new authors.. (she says for about the 100th time!)

Creatively:  doing watercolors.  I took some photos of the new plants when we put them in the flowerbed last weekend.  I also bought some cyclamen that were on sale for $1.00 a piece... LOVELY!!  So I got out the water and brushes and did a couple of florals, but also found an easy Wilson Bickford tute on that I did in watercolor instead of the oils he was using.  Didn't turn out too bad.

This is the Wilson Bickford tutorial for painting a chickadee... All I did was change it to watercolor.  He is one of my favorite art instructors on YouTube..  There are couple on there that really make it easy to follow their lead.

 This is a cyclamen, but not one of the ones I bought this weekend.  This is a tutorial by Lindsey Weirich The Frugal Crafter showing how to draw the cyclamen and then blend sharpies to color it. Well.. I changed it to watercolor, but followed how she drew it.  She has many, many tutorials on a multitude of things so make sure you run thru her videos.  There may be something there you would like to try.

This is done from a photo I took of the pansies that we planted this weekend.  I just know that if I keep at this long enough I will get somewhere in the ballpark of good at it... lol

I am thankful for:  telephones and old friends.  I finally got up the nerve to try one more time to find an old (sorry   friend from high school.  When I looked up the telephone number for her brother I was stunned to see that it was the same number I had dialed about a zillion times in my 8th grade, freshman and sophomore years.. It seems that he now is now living the family home and just decided to keep the family phone and same number.  Talk about deja  We talked for about 45 minutes or so and then I called my best friend from high school... I must admit to being a little nervous.. What if she has forgotten who I am???  But not... it was as if no time at all had passed. What a lovely way to spend a couple of hours...

Planning ahead:  hmmm... personally I'm not sure I should put this up  I do plan ahead on occasion but must admit that seldom does it turn out without at least a little zig in the zag.  Anyway, the Basil I planted out back is seeding so I'm gathering those tiny seeds and putting them in envelopes.  Last year I actually made tiny seed envelopes to put them in... this year an old letter size plain jane works just fine.  Also have marigold seeds.  All the ones I saved from last year were viable and put on a real show until the water stopped.. More on that later... :(

Have a great day today...  :)

Monday, October 19, 2015

Fower Bed ReDo ...

I've wanted to re do the front flower bed for a long time.  There was one privet that grew exceptionally well, was totally beautiful and completely blocked the water from the sprinkler system from hitting the rest of the bed.  Every time I asked to have it moved, the landscaper who mows and cares for our lawn would find a multitude of reasons why it should not be moved... we can always raise the sprinkler heads... etc... etc..  Well, the sprinkler heads were raised and it still didn't help.  Guess what... that privet is NO LONGER THERE!  

It will take about a month for the bed to fill itself in and look like something other than a mess, but I can wait.  :) 

Son John worked like a Turk all day on Saturday and then we finished up with the mulch on Sunday morning.  Looks a little sparse for a while, but that will change.  :)

John works for Midwestern State University in their horticultural and grounds maintenance department.  He was telling me that an alumnus left a chrysanthemum to the University that was over ONE HUNDRED YEARS OLD!  I had no idea they would even live that long!

There will be stepping stones added in a couple of places to make working the bed easier... and stop the walking all over my creeping phlox.. :)  I cannot wait to see it when it is all mature... (telling self to BREATHE... lol)

Do so enjoy having the kids home.. Just seems there is so little time...

Another of the paintings I have done lately...

This is the side view of the house my father's parents lived in when I was small.  My brother and I would spend hours playing on that stump.  I am trying to find a  few pictures of the front of the house... but since my photos were all destroyed first in the tornado in Wichita Falls and then again in a mistaken trip to the trash.. sigh... I have to rely on the goodness of someone else's heart to get them.. :)

The weather is cooling off,  being out during the day is wonderful now.  I'm sure that since that little ditty was said out loud the North Texas weather gods will laugh out loud, snort and bring the temps back into the 90s... but we'll enjoy it while we can... lol

Have a wonderful day... :)

Saturday, October 17, 2015

It's Saturday!

Have my youngest son here this weekend.  Even makes the coffee taste better.. if that's possible.. lol We're going to totally re-do the front flowerbed.  It's been quite a mess for the entire year and the fact is ... I'm tired of it!!!  Haven't the faintest idea what it will turn out to be, but it certainly can't be any worse than it is.. 

I don't know if I've mentioned my rash...  I've had it since February of 2014 and it seems quite content to set up housekeeping and stay until it retires.  The only reason I'm mentioning it is that I've totally set aside all the wool and fiber things to see if I can find the culprit that is causing it.  So.. I have taken up watercolors.  

I realize that I will never take the place of Picasso or but I do enjoy the process. So for the time being this will by my passion.  Not that I won't be doing some knitting or crochet or sewing...  I just won't handle the raw wool for a while.  (She says that and somewhere deep inside a voice is snorking... )  Well, I'll try to stay away from the raw wool... :)  

I had another heart cath a couple of weeks ago... results wonderful.  Dr. says will not have to have another one for years..  Now to work on the bradycardia.. slow heart rate.  I think this definitely is caused by the meds I take for familial tremor but I've tried 2 other meds and they didn't work so this is my last option... I think.  We'll see.. :)

Every year I say the same thing... can't believe how the year has passed so quickly.. but... Here we are at nearly Halloween and the holiday season is upon us once again.  All the heat from the summer will be gone and we'll be complaining about the   Personally, I think we just like to complain.  :) 

I suppose I should get busy if I plan on accomplishing anything, so I will just say ... I hope everyone has a wonderful day.  I know I will.. since every day spent with my children is a day worth it's weight in gold.  

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Hello Again...

It's been almost a year since I've posted.  Guess facebook just took over my keyboard and refused to let go.  :)   Must say that I have enjoyed it and have found many old friends that I haven't seen or heard from since high school... but... and there is always a "but"...  It seems that facebook is like email or quick phone call.  Once it's done, there's no going back to re-read it unless you want to search back for years.. and then there's no guarantee that you will find that one priceless gem you're looking for.  So I think.. just perhaps... it's time to stop. 

I have been really distressed over the past few months.  I could not get back in to my admin area to post on Mish Mash etc...  When my computer crashed a couple of weeks ago and I had to update to Windows 10 I found that..  (of course)..  all my passwords were gone.  Everything had to be reloaded and updated.  Talk about a chore.. lol  Anyway.. suddenly Google just jumped right up and let me back in.. yayyy

It's been a busy year.  I will try to update a bit as I go along.  Looks like blogspot is having difficulty and will not upload my photo so will try back later..  I'm just happy to be here... :) 

The big blue quilt is finished.. :)  My Aunt Sue quilted it for me on her longarm quilter and must say did a wonderful job.  It's a light, warm, cotton batting quilt and we used it all last winter.