Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter!

These pictures are a pretty good indication of my day spent with our family of friends.

I was creative today and decorated cupcakes, a ham, and made a wool bowl with a tiny egg.

Also, our African irises are really putting on a show, so I got some shots of those, as well.

It was a beautiful day!

On to April!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Isn't it Ironic?

 The quote I have used for today is part of a challenge I found here, on the Artists in Blogland site. 
"Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year." from Ralph Waldo Emerson. 

I had just finished telling my sweetie how very happy I am as I finished baking lemon cupcakes, starting a new art piece and contemplating the quotation for the month. My sweetie had just come home from the Seven-Eleven and informed me they didn't have the Cadbury Mini-Eggs I wanted to use as decor for the cupcakes. No problem, I thought, I'll just go to the store and pick some up.

I didn't go right away, instead, I took out the Faber Castell gelato sticks and began working on the art piece. I stepped a little out of bounds on the black and white theme, yet I tried to keep the light and darkness available. Also, I had to wait for the cupcakes to finish baking. 

Once the timer went off, I pulled them out of the oven and set them on cooling racks. While they cooled, I moved on to painting another section of the piece. I am so bad at waiting for cupcakes to cool, paint to dry, and anything else that takes time. Here it was given to me today. I used the cooling time to get started with art and that kept the cupcakes cooling and getting ready for me to eat one. The art plan was going well, so I decided to go to the store because my paint had to dry for me to move on. 

You know, I've been tracking the hummingbird babies over the last few weeks and they are really pretty ready to leave the nest.  So as I went to the door, I sneaked a peek at the two babies and found out they were facing opposite directions and away from each other in the nest. I noticed their beaks getting longer almost by the day. I wonder if they're honest?? ;)

Naturally, I wanted a photo. I've been so happy with the pictures my phone can take and I really tried to get safely close to the nest without the Mama bird buzzing my head. The first photo was blurry enough to warrant another picture. Then, it all happened so quickly, but a baby flew from the nest onto the ground inside the house. We held the curious and quiet dogs back, and just as a hand approached the bird, it flew into the breezeway and onto the cement sidewalk. 

Oh I felt awful! I still do. I've been watching this miracle for weeks and cannot wait for them to be old enough to go on their own ways, yet I savor every moment I get to see these babies. I was heart broken as my sweetie looked online as I did too, to find answers for our hummingbird baby. The last we wanted was for the baby to get eaten by a cat, so we had to work quickly.

He knew I didn't plan to do anything to the babies and they really are nearly large enough to take off on their own. But that didn't change the fact he was going to try and put the baby back into the nest. My stomach was sick. I couldn't believe my actions had created such a horrible end.  The quotation kept running through my head, "Each day is the best day in the year." except when baby hummingbirds might die?

He did end up getting the sweet baby back into the nest and then 'lectured' me, too. I was too close. He had tried to gently tell me to stay away from the nest. I didn't. I didn't touch it, but I was scared to death when the baby fell. I had been too selfish and disrespectful to the birdie babies.. 

I sulked and had cake. I ate up some sorrows, but did not over-do-it. The baby bird is back in the nest and will get over the trauma of the day. Regardless of the drama, I love the quotation Mr. Emerson left us with. Each day is indeed the best day of all the days. Even when a day has ups and downs, painting is there. 

Lilfe is here and there, 

I am fading out and that is ok.

I will do my best, no matter the circumstances.

Enjoy the art, get the cake, and have a great Easter. 

0Fabriano Disegno paper, 80lb
Faber Castel Gelatos
Prang Watercolor in Black

Friday, March 29, 2013

Good Friday

Good Friday is such an ironic name. A man was once crucified on this day and they call it good? I know the stories, but it all seems so strange. What a dark day it was for those who believe in him. Those people must have really thought the world was ending- or at least the one they knew as Christ walked alongside them in real time.

How anyone could be grateful for such a horrible event is mysterious. Why. Really, why, would anyone think His death on a cross could be a good thing? Surely the press would have given it a spin. Of course, the ones who knew him personally had to have the faith that the event might somehow bring something good. But seriously? It was an awful and painful death. One would hope the shock of nails hammered through hands and feet would prevent actual suffering. How could his father have allowed him to go through such pain? It was big pain.

Then to find out He died for us to save us from sin.

I am grateful for His pain and the life He has given us.

I have to admit, it is sometimes hard to dangle on the edge of letting go of pain, suffering, grief and sorrow, to know that He will catch me and forgive and bless me in my days on this earth. I feel like it is so much safer to hold onto the sadness and that is the way to really live. Because pain is the opposite of joy and in this month of black and white, it is known I should have one to know the other. But God wants the Joy for us. The pain and suffering? So small compared to what His Son went through. We are here for joy. for life, color and the living.

I am grateful for life. I am so happy and filled with joy of spirit and faith. Gratitude can sweep through even the darkest of days and fill hearts full of joy. All it takes is a moment of thanks for the smallest of things. Once it starts, it is really hard to shut it off. Be grateful and the joy of life will be with you.

It is Good Friday. Appreciate. Love and Gratitude. Peace.

And I cannot be ashamed of my Faith. Please, find it in your heart if you do not agree with what I have posted to respect my beliefs. I am the judge of no person because it is not my job. No matter the faith one chooses, or does not choose, the judgement is not mine to make. I happen to believe God will be the judge for me. The decisions I make are between Him and me and I cannot be responsible for the beliefs of others. I will continue to be the person He has made me to be and I will do my best to honor Him.

Thank you, my friends, for visiting my blog. It is a joy knowing you have been here with me.

These babies look so sweet and are probably very close to leaving their feathered nest for the real world. I loved watching their little eyes blink today. I am so thankful for seeing these two tiny miracles.

Fabriano Disegno 80lb Paper
Prang Watercolor


Thursday, March 28, 2013


This door belongs to a who knows what? It's a Laguna Beach mystery door to a mystery building that is also covered in surveillance. We tried to find out, but nobody knew the answer.
This is Laguna Beach from slight altitude.
This is the sand at L.B. My friend noticed the waves created an interesting structural pattern every wave.
Here is a parking lot at the Newport Beach Pier. It was so great to just be there and feel the breeze. It should really be the last picture, but the pictures are out of order. We were here last.

We took a little trip up the mountain side to get an amazing view of the Laguna Canyon area. It is so beautiful up there! Quiet, peaceful and absolutely amazing.

And finally, the painting came from inspiration gained on our shopping trip today. I saw it on a painted mirror in the frame. The concept stuck with me and I "swiped" it from the boutique. (The quote! Not the artwork!....")

It is a beautiful thought for the future.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Gray Areas

 This may be a little deep...
In light of the battle going on for same-sex marriages, I have my own views and feelings about the subject. I don't feel like I have to share those views with anyone, really, but there are certain individuals who are absolutely affected by the same-sex relationships. 

The Children are involved. 
There are many kids who need to know their parents are considered "real" by societal standards. I am concerned for the kids involved. Also, the kids could possibly be missing out on crucial health benefits. This is a hard case especially when thinking of the children who were placed in a loving home with two loving parents without having anything to say about their placement. 
Think of the kids.


Tuesday, March 26, 2013


"These are the days of miracle and wonder." -Paul Simon

Organization is not one of my strong suits, but I've found that once things have a place to "live", life gets much easier. How nice it is to actually find things when I look for them. It's taken some getting used to, considering I've actually lost things in plain sight because they were in their places. Funny. I could have things strewn all over the place and know where everything is and I lose the things that have been organized. Hm. They've been discovered while looking for other things I know are in their places. 

It has been a goal of mine to reclaim the kitchen table since I moved in last September. We usually eat in front of the TV with the folding tables, so it's not interfered with our every day life. I just know I like to have a table in the kitchen. It's a good place to sit, look out into the beautiful back yard, make lists, do crafts, build model cars. Yeah, it's a multipurpose area that can also be used for (gasp) eating. 

Today, the table has been taken back. I built a photography space with things my sweetie already had here for digital pictures of his model cars. The man is an amazing model car builder and deserves a nice space to respectfully photograph his works. And hey, I can use it too! It will be nice to have it set up and ready to go while also having a space to eat at the table. 

I'm loving the plan for putting some art up in the kitchen, along with keeping the area tidy. That is amazing. I can't even believe I wrote that about cleaning. I have to admit, having visitors helps keep me on my toes even if they are not here all the time. Eventually, I will tackle the place and be able to maintain it a lot easier. We are melding our things and creating a space we both love as our home. 

The painting is "Sweet" and is what happens when I am exhausted. I am happy to have created the painting earlier in the day, taken a nap, and now have better clarity for writing...all prior evidence in this post aside....
The sweetness is how I feel because of the "new" space and how the house is beginning to feel. I promise pictures when things are better placed and fully functional. Ha. We'll just have to see about that. 

Fabriano Disegno 80lb Paper
Prang Watercolor in Black
  Here's the little egg and nest I felted tonight.
All of that felt is just staring at me and waiting to be made into little sweet things. There goes that "Sweet" word again! I'm not sure if this one will be kept or given away yet. It's just fun to see what will turn up next.


On a side note, the hummingbird babies are growing up! Today I saw the little head peeking up over the edge of the nest. Until today I had only seen the little pencil-lead small beaks pointing straight up in the air. I got close enough with my "sweet" phone and got a close-up. "Elation" is a good word for the feeling when I got that picture. We have tried and tried, but mostly everything has come out blurry. 

The babies move around when the breeze blows and I nearly got a shot of the Mom feeding the babies. 
This nest is right outside our door and she buzzes us if we get too close. I only came to the door to see her there and she took off. 

Tomorrow is another day and I'll be watching for more miracles. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Restless Heart

 A friend of mine is coming to visit and I just cannot wait!

There is so much to be done between now and then and I am hoping tonight will be filled with rest. The last few nights have found me awake a few times during the night and I've been a little less than me as a result. I probably need more water, even though coffee is more fun. And pop...ugh. Seriously. It doesn't take a genius to figure out my caffeine intake is probably way overloaded. Yet, coffee is what I love. 

My heart isn't restless for anything but the coming days. I am looking forward to a visit, but have to remind myself to stay present so I can enjoy NOW. And I need to CLEAN! Boy, it sure is interesting how many projects I can wrap myself up in if I have to clean the house. Next comes the justification of said projects, guilt for not getting further than I did this weekend, guilt for saying I would plan it out but didn't, and then just going to bed happy because of all of the things I did accomplish for the day.

The painting is restless, but filled with as much excitement as a black and white can convey. I wanted fireworks, or sparks, and got maybe a splash of water. It is filled with some kind of movement and that is more important.  

Fabriano Disegno F4 Paper, 80lb
Prang Watercolor in Black
 Besides. Who wants to clean when there are eggs of felt to be made? 
This little guy was sent off in the mail with the tiny eggy, as well. I'll miss seeing the expression on the receiver's face. We had a great chat today on the phone, but being there in person is the best. 

Regardless, I am thankful for this beautiful day filled with amazing blessings. 
Love, Always.

Sunday, March 24, 2013


Today was great. I learned so much and met such great people!  One of my good friends asked me to come along to a Felting MeetUp. I was so happy she asked and now I have another arty-obsession. Who cannot smile at these fun pieces? I had such a blast. 
The images here are about wet-felting and needle felting. I tried to get a good indication of the process and have a starting point for some kind of tutorial, if anyone's interested. We actually placed wool fibers around a plastic egg, wet the egg in warm soapy water, squeezed the air bubbles out and repeated until the new "fabric" was strong enough to cut and release the plastic egg. After the egg, I needle felted the little rabbit. It is so fun to see "things" appear when the fibers criss-cross to make something- it really is like a little sculpture.

I am here once again while my eyes fight me. I had the best of intentions to get the blogging done earlier in the day and here I am again posting late at night. Well.....
Who wouldn't smile with these babies?
This table shows all the projects made by the MeetUp participants.

The Hostess's home had huge Wisteria plants in bloom. They smelled so sweet and heralded the spring like none other.

 The painting really was started early this afternoon. After my friend asked me to share dinner with her family, I made another bunny for her. I finished the painting after dinner and promised myself a nap at about 10:00. Ha. I woke up at 11:58 - Enough time to post for the date! Thank goodness. 
Now, I am back here typing through the cobwebs of my eyes. 
Truthfully, it was a beautiful day. Just gorgeous. 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Falling Asleep on Responsibility

Maybe it IS writer's block. 

It's not to say I haven't had interesting things to write about, or inspirational moments to ponder, but the words seem forced lately, so I've taken a break. Plus, until I figure out a way to start writing in the morning or afternoon, I will have the added obstacle of falling asleep before my work is done.

THAT is embarrassing. Falling asleep on responsibility. 
Yes, it is my own responsibility forced upon myself, yet it is mine and I will make it so.

Yesterday and the night before, I helped make some cards to send overseas for service-people to send to loved ones for Mother's Day, Father's Day, and Birthdays. We used lots of materials that were donated, re-used or simply in our own possessions that needed to be used rather than collecting dust. After a bit of creating, I was somewhat elected to write the greetings on the cards by hand. It was like throwing me in the briar patch! The evening went well, but we didn't make nearly enough cards. 

While sorting through embellishments and decorative papers, I came upon this little pack of metal plaques. It has some simple quotations that have kind of summed up so much lately. I hadn't planned on using them, I just wanted the quotations and the picture was born. 

I've been using that camera on my phone for so much lately. Not only have I been using it to collect simple information like the quotations, but I have also used it to tutor former math students in Las Vegas. Well, sort of, anyway. While at my friend's house the other night, I got into a math problem and realized I needed more information in order to help her and not put her over the mathematical edge because the picture I sent wasn't enough. She could see I didn't know all of it. I was embarrassed for falling asleep on responsibility, again.

I told her, "if you don't use it, you'll lose it" and she replied, "really??" Then I'd really done it. I confused her and scared her both in the same five minutes. Ack! So, since I was 'tutoring' and making cards at the same time, I did my best, but my concentration was not 100% and I had to refer her to a good friend of mine who teaches the level of math the former student is taking from another school. It felt like failure. 

But it was indeed confirmation that multi-tasking really does not work for me. I need to focus on the one thing at hand, especially when writing, if I am to get any real intelligent work done. Just ask my sweetie! He's been asking me questions while I finally get to typing and I've been less than pleasant back to him. Man. And that proves falling asleep on responsibility really affects other parts of my life, as well. 

Next is the black and white watercolor painting for the Creative Every Day Challenge. I can honestly say, even though there was no painting on the blog post, all of the pictures I posted have been considered for this month's challenge to be turned into paintings. There are at least seven days left of this month.... We'll see.

The watercolor painting was created with Prang Watercolor in black and the "sword" brush in the picture below it. I realized I wanted some new brushes to find out how different types work and they were on sale at Michael's this week. I bought four.
Honestly, I've been working on the mug for a few days now just layering on paint as it will take it. I like the finished product and will be selling it on Etsy. The link will be posted on Monday. I love re-purposing ugly mugs into artful mugs. Lots of people like to find the "perfect" mug, and I hope somebody will think this is the perfect one for their self.

Looks like I've only half-fallen asleep on responsibility.

And yes, I know there are better ways to photograph my work. It's just that my little phone delivers pretty good results for my very important responsibility of simply creating art every day. It is a very nice tool  and I love it very much, but not as much as my sweetie who provided it for me. My sweetie is the best. Absolutely. 

Spring is here in Southern California and I've been soaking it up as much as my guilty self will allow. The air has the perfume of flowers, the birds chirp and fly maneuvers above our heads, baby hummingbirds have hatched outside my front door, and I found these flowers on the walk through the park today. If anyone knows the name of the tree these come from, I'd like to know. If nothing else, they look like the possible inspiration for Seuss's "The Lorax"? Very interesting, indeed. 


Responsibility delivered.
I will put the bat away and fall asleep. 
For real, this time.

Friday, March 22, 2013

This Space Reserved

Date night? Yes.

Art will be posted soon.

For now, I'll be putting up a couple of photos I've taken and made black and white.

Thanks for being here :)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

First Day of Spring

"The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another. The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month." -Henry Van Dyke

Mostly, I'm thinking of my friends back east and in the midwestern states as they cope with days filled with more and more snow, freezing rain and muck. I'm soaking in the colors here, but the world of cold is never far from my mind.

I am hoping March leaves like a lamb as the days of the month dwindle, yet the weather seems to know otherwise. Ha. On the news right now, SoCal complains of a gloomy first day of spring and I just roll my eyes. Well friends, I'm thinking of you. Stay warm and hang in there.

Artist's Loft 90lb Watercolor Paper
Prang Watercolor Oval in Black

Below is one of the mugs I created today. I'd intended to make another "initial" mug, but once I got the setting laid out, I saw a face. I'm looking for a name on this guy, so comment if one hits you.
This type of fun mug will be for sale on my Etsy site once I can finish a few more. They are fun and it is nice to be re-using materials that can withstand a second life. 
Second-Hand Mug
Paint Marker for Ceramic
Hand-Cut Stencil 


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Waiting for Spring

Over the weekend, I served as caretaker for my friend's Mom who has Alzheimer's Disease. She is 94 and can still basically take care of herself, but her memory fades in and out during the day. She seemed adamant about getting out of the house and let me know she did not want to "sit in the house all day"....

The 'California Soul' painting came from our car ride up and down the Pacific Coast Highway. The sky was so beautiful and the spring flowers of fuchsia and magenta are blooming all over. My sweet little friend pointed out all of the spring color, watched people, coveted some funky tights on a St. Patty's waitress, and turned to me as we looked at Huntington Beach to say, 

Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou are, to dust thou returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul. 
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

My only response was, "That is beautiful! Who did you say that was?" 

"LONGfellow" loud enough for me to hear. It really was precious. 

Because when I looked it up, it turns out the poem was written "From the Heart of theYoung Man to the Psalmist". So ironic. She spoke to me with her years of life and experience and I am the young one. I felt that message in my heart. It is one of those moments that create a lasting impression that stands the test of time. There are a few memories I have like that and this one is new. It is engraved on my heart forever.

Artist's Loft 90lb Watercolor Paper
Prang Black Watercolor  


(full text)

A Psalm of Life 


Tell me not in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream!
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.

Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou are, to dust thou returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each tomorrow
Find us farther than today.

Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.

In the world's broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!

Trust no Future, howe'er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act, - act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God o'erhead!

Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sand of time;

Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o'er life's solenm main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.

Let us then be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.


Monday, March 18, 2013

Give Thanks

Yes, it is March. 

However, when so many blessings are in our lives, it is important to give thanks on any given day and even in March. It doesn't have to be Thanksgiving to hold hands around the table and say aloud for what we give thanks. Any time something good happens in life, it is good to give thanks. 

I found I was saying thanks over and over again today because my prayers were answered so many times over. It was a beautiful day filled with certain miracles and challenges. And as it ends and I go to sleep, I'll be thanking God for all things, good and bad, because no matter how small the blessing, praise and thanks deserve to be great.

Hug those around you, count yourself blessed. 
Thank you for being here with me and sharing in the divine blessings from above.