Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Seas of Change

 Things are changing on this last day of April. 

The tide has come in for some very dear friends of mine who have received news of promotions and new assignments. They have waited and prayed, cried and prayed, rejoiced and prayed, and now have the satisfaction of faith through Him. I am so happy and grateful the time has come for my friends to move on in their lives. 

Graduation is near for many students, acceptance letters have gone out to prospective students, and decisions are being made for life changing experiences. It is a good time for change and what better time than now?

The Sketchbook Challenge has been posted and the theme is FLOWERS! This will be fun, as I have already started on some made of reclaimed materials from the recycle bin. Plus, I can find flowers everywhere, here. What a lovely way to paint May! Why not welcome May? She's here. As we speak.
Thank you for stopping today! Have a wonderful May Day!

Sea, it happens
The waves turn.
The surf settles.
The waves churn,
life is all around.
The tide pulls,
and upheaval
becomes calm

Canson XL 98lb Paper
Prang Watercolor ovals


Monday, April 29, 2013

Bird House

 This little quote comes from They Might Be Giants. I think the hummingbirds were the inspiration for the drawing, today, as I heard them outside buzzing and flying their maneuvers and the "tweet" sound part of their air show. I thought of this song because my sister, Carrie, used to play it a lot on our stereo when she was "in" to that group. 

She's going to let me know about it, because it's "Make," not "Build". I guess it depends on the "lyrics" website used. If I'd listened to it as many times as she did, I might have memorized the "make". As for the art, well, it's in ink. I could do it over again, but I think I'll keep it this way. It's fun, anyway.


I am singing sweetly about being mentioned in this blog, Artists in Blogland. It was the quotation from Judy Garland and my interpretation that had me noticed. I'm thankful to have been singled-out among the entries for the month. I know people see my work, but it's nice to hear about how others feel about it, now and then, as well.

I cannot believe May starts in just two days. 

Tomorrow marks the beginning of many new challenges and I can't wait to see what is in store for the upcoming art. Thanks friends, for stopping to read about and see my art. It helps me feel good :)


Listen Here :)

With love, Freedom

Sunset Sunday has returned for us, today. When we left the house, the sun shone bright and it was comfortably warm. As we rounded the turn to Laguna Beach, the fog had rolled in earlier than we thought and the sun was behind it. My sweetie said, "We'll make the best of it anyway."

We walked along the beach and visited the tide pools where neither of us had been on any other visits. The rocks are so interesting to see where the waves have slowly eroded them over time. Some rocks had holes worn in them and others had broken off from bigger ones. The sign says, "DO NOT take anything or leave anything." It was tempting to take some small rock, but I resisted. The earth is far more important than my collection of stuff. 

There were no whale sightings on this night, but there were plenty of pelicans and other sea birds on the rock about 1000 feet out into the ocean. We could see them pretty clearly and I got a couple of good shots of the birds. There may have been more birds on the rock than there were people on the beach. That is certainly a benefit of Sunday evening fog walks. Most people go home once the fog rolls in and we felt like we had the beach to ourselves!

We decided on Italian dinner tonight and it was really good. 
I am so thankful my sweetie supports me no matter what it is I choose to do. Today, it was a walk to the beach. What will tomorrow bring?

Make it a great day, today!

Tide pool with anemones, tiny crabs, and kelp bits.
Pelican on the rock. Pretty small, but that rock is usually teeming with sea life.
Cool rocks just off of Main Beach Park, Laguna Beach, CA

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Maybe Mermaid....

Whether they exist, or not, is certainly up for grabs, as they are also in this painting. Mermaids have been said to be make-believe or mysterious, but hearsay has it Mermaids are real. 

I happen to know a few people who would swear Mermaids are real. Certainly, Mermaid spirit is alive in these friends of mine and they wholeheartedly perpetuate it. I once shopped for beads with one who said the colors were, in her terms, "Mermy" and she sought the perfect collection to adorn her Mermaid self. 

Some of my most favorite colors are "Mermy", as well. Although, the favorites of the past were a more muted version of those seen here. Whatever meteorite has hit me, I am happy to see the gravitation toward brighter, more lively, blues and sea greens. This ocean is alive and teeming with excitement!

A visit to the ocean seems close. Hopefully it will be reported, tomorrow evening, that the sunset has been spotted and soaked up and filled my veins with rays of sunshine. Perhaps we'll see the fluke of a gray whale in the spotlight. They've been swimming up to 1000 feet from the shore. One can only dream~

Enjoy your day :)


Friday, April 26, 2013

Special Deal for People on a Budget

 According to Sheryl Crow, "Soak up the Sun" is a good idea for those on a fixed income. Where else could one get the feeling of being in a five star spa than sitting outside in the sunshine. Her words are good and sweet. Soak up that sun while it's still free! I love it. 

Sunshine fits perfectly in the budget. With just a bit of care, your skin will thank you and so will the wonderful vitamin D. Moderation is key in any budget and sunshine is no exception. Protect yourself from getting burned and have a wonderful time.

Canson Xl multimedia paper
Prang Watercolor Ovals


Thursday, April 25, 2013


Water is everywhere around here. There are pools, lakes, streams, and the ocean. I go to the ocean when I can, but the backyard is an oasis with a pool, so I go there the most. I save a lot on gas, that way...

I'm pretty sure this painting was subconsciously ordered up after I watched the pool fill to its proper level this afternoon. I love watching water and the patterns that form because of any disturbance at the surface. Although there is no formal pattern here, the oval-type shape repeats throughout and contributes to the movement. It really wasn't planned, but the flow found itself on paper with watercolor. 

Summer is on its way and soon it will be time to take a dip in the cool waters. I spent a few weeks poolside making jewelry two summers ago. I'm sure there will be some fun crafting projects for the outdoors while I'm partially submerged in the shallow end. It will be fun to say, "I created watercolor paintings in the water."

That, in itself, sounds like 'underwater basket weaving'. I can just hear it, "How do you paint underwater?"

Summer is sneaking up on us. 
I hope she'll be kind.


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A Cloudy Day

No complaints, at all. 

A cloudy day in Southern California doesn't happen very often, but it does happen. Most days, the fog stays until midday and clears to blue, like magic. I love the coolness of the days.
My sweetie and I stayed at home today and, while he worked, I painted. 
I am actually working on a few other painting projects, but don't consider them for this challenge of Creative Every Day and I'm not really sure why. I am creating things all day long, then get to the evening and have to create something else. 

No complaints, at all. 

Just not sure how I would classify the "other" pieces. To be fair, one is for a friend's housewarming gift, so I didn't want to post it before she saw it. Another project is an experiment with Starbucks cup sleeves and still another is a start on repurposing cardboard food-boxes into canvases for paintings. The latter is also a collage for the song, "Bicycle Built for Two". The collage will have a daisy made from crazy papers I've collected- but mostly junk mail. The "junk" may not even be recognizable once I'm finished with it....

The piece I finished this evening started as just some dots of warm color. I had just started watching "Dateline, NBC" tonight and the top story was about the Boston bomber/ing. I was really sort of going for a field of flowers, considering the cloudy day, but I am sure as I half-paid attention to the television, part of my feelings came out and spread on that paper. 

Yes, the colors are warm. Upon second glances, they might also be bloody, or shots, or something. It wasn't my goal, but it wasn't the goal of the victims to be victims that day, either. I created some abstract flowers in this piece by using Sharpie marker, yet, in some places they take on the look of a harried abstract face. Faces were not my intention, but so many were injured that day and others later in the week. 

The terror doesn't go away, but it does seem to fade a bit over time. Make no mistake, I will not forget the story of that day and the horrible peace one  of those boys exhibited to strangers that day. 
I just will not forget. I can move on, but until the focus is changed, it will be harder to forget. 

Let the warm colors brighten the day!
No complaints, at all.
Have a great day!



Tuesday, April 23, 2013


Just going with the flow today....
Thinking of friends whose homes have been flooded over the past week.
I hope there is more sun than rain awhile!

Derwent Watercolor Pencils
Prang Watercolor Ovals

Monday, April 22, 2013

While Waiting

 At home today, I prepared to take my car for an oil change and smog check by packing some watercolor pencils and a sharpener, a sketchbook, and my water brush. They had told me it would be about an hour for both of the services, so I wanted to be busy. 

In the shop, the car paperwork finished, I turned to sit in one of the chairs. There was a nice sized coffee table filled with magazines of all types. They were arranged very neatly and they covered the entire surface, one on top of the next, exposing only about three inches of each near the binding, or enough to spy which titles were available. 

I moved to the lower right corner, as I faced the check-in desk, and up from the array was a girl on the cover of Time Magazine. She stared with purpose. I recalled the story of a girl who had been shot by the Taliban for speaking out in favor of children's education. She has been included in Time's 100 Most Influential People and has also been nominated for the Children's Peace Prize.

Malala Yousufzai had become my subject for a sketch. I knew little about her, other than her passion for educating the children of the world. I have learned, according to articles written about her, about 6.1 million children in the world are not in school. This girl has made it her mission to do something about it. I admire her zeal, bravery, hope and courage to follow through with her dreams.

Since sketching her today, I have learned much about her and intend to follow her purpose with more intent. Voices like hers need to be heard.

This is the magazine from which I drew my sketch.(April/May 2013)If the picture doesn't appear, it is the Time Magazine issue with the 100 Most Influential People 

This is about as far as I got in an hour. It seems like I made her eyes too large. Also, unfortunately, I believe I made her look much older. This is something I am working on in my art. I am too anxious to add in the contrast and as a result, It is almost too dark, in my opinion. I may have to take the "29 Faces" challenge to improve in that area.

At home, I added in the black of her hair and surrounding burka. She is nearly finished. After taking the picture, I went back to adjust values. There is a big light area in the lower right that should have been filled in.
Maybe her eyes are too big. And her chin too small. But her stare is indeed intense. Upon reflection, I may have made her look older, but she is one who is wise beyond her years. She has seen much pain and terror. Art can be that way, right?
Malala Yousafzai, Time Magazine Cover, Apr./May 2013

Sunday, April 21, 2013


Yesterday, I had the opportunity to participate in a Craft Swap. Never heard of that? Me either, so I decided to check it out. You know what they say about trash! Could you imagine what they might say about swapping craft supplies? They had me at the four letter word; SWAP. 

I went to a place in Anaheim called The Makery and brought a bag of gently used craft supplies that had lost their zing in my eyes, but might bring it back to someone else. I received plenty of tickets, or credits, toward other swapped-in items and went "swapping".

I found some craft punches I've been wanting to have since I left Minnesota six years ago and didn't have courage to buy, some rick-rack, a fun unfinished journal ready for paint and collage, a couple of the Pebeo paint markers for mugs, and many other little fun things. I'll post pictures sometime... 

Also, The Makery has served for a sort of storefront for some Etsy "makers" and there are some really beautiful craft supplies available there. For instance, I was able to get a few bunches of raw wool (25g) for about $3.25. If you are a felter, you know that is a fine deal.

Another event in the shop yesterday was a succulent planter workshop. I had already made plans, but they were re-using containers and had the supplies to build a sweet little succulent plan terrarium. I guess I will have to look out for another class like that. 

A company named Stampington is local and donated four different crafting magazines for "swappers" to take home. Today, it has been so much fun to look at the beautiful magazines and dream of new crafts and ideas! Reading was a great way to relax, yet stay inspired, while exhausted from yesterday. 

I feel so rich for having participated in the swap and hope they will hold more in the future. I KNOW I have more things I can part with hanging around the house. Somebody would be thrilled to use my castoffs!

Have a wonderful Monday
and let's hope for a better week.


Saturday, April 20, 2013


"The moment I let go of it was
The moment I got more than I could handle  
The moment I jumped off of it was  
The moment I touched down."


This song started going through my head, not for Morisette's trip through India, but for how I woke up refreshed after letting the anger go from the previous day. Today was busier than most, but also more rewarding as I was all over California - inside, outside, on land and sea!

From a stranger's smile, to meeting new people, to swapping craft supplies, to helping kids with beads, to the majesty of whales, to dinner with my sweetie, I'd say this Earth Day filled me up completely. 

Here I am at 2:30 a.m. finishing the post I made at 11:30 p.m. Somehow the picture wasn't even attached, so the post was simply the title of Gratitude...that's all for being wiped out for an amazing day.

Prang Watercolor
Staedtler Fine Black Marker
Tim Holtz Water Brush
and other brushes

Friday, April 19, 2013

Three Pointing Back.

 It seems like I just woke up angry this morning. Too many things were running through my head about injustice, unfairness, and the road goes both ways. These things were spinning in circles and I wrote about it in my morning pages, only to be bothered with it even after I let it out on paper. I promised myself I wouldn't make my day about my anger and tried to move on. But there are days like this where, no matter what is done to keep the anger away, it creeps back and invades precious space meant for a beautiful day. 

I was really happy when I got a cup of free coffee from Starbucks, today, since those two words, "free" and "Starbucks" are very rarely mentioned in the same sentence. Then, I went to pick up some beads for the event tomorrow afternoon and it is such a joy when people give up things for others to use. I was invited in for a few minutes and got comfortable talking with my art friend. I got to see her "real" bead collection and saw her way of organizing by color. That made me happy, too!

Then we started chatting. 
And I felt it. Like black india ink just dripping out of my mouth, the poison of words I promised I wouldn't share and words that were meant to be written on paper and not dripping out of my mouth like poison. I had promised I wouldn't share hate today and I was so doing it. 

Then I stopped. I apologized to my friend for the spew of hatred and she forgave me. But then she asked me, "Will you forgive yourself?" 

I had already taken the bat out of the closet and beaten myself up about it in short time. I am actually very hard on myself. I know it seems like I'm not moving fast enough for some people, or not doing what I say I am going to do, but it is a constant battle for me. I have given up on too many promises to myself and that turns into terrible poison in my head. Every time I give up on a promise to myself, I'm hurting me. Why would anyone want to do that? Why am I doing it? And then when the hurt of me hurts someone else? I reflect a lot. I know it doesn't go unnoticed. But I have to wonder. Am I the only one who has this "bat" syndrome?

Do other people reflect upon their own actions as much as I pain myself with my own? Why do I scrutinize every single move I make and drive myself nuts? I am not crazy, but I guess I need to know I am not alone. 

Nobody is perfect. 
Especially me.
And just as I start to feel confident about where I stand in life and speak my mind, I realize I am just as bad at making judgements as the next person. There are three fingers pointing back at me when I point just one. But why did I have to point the finger in the first place?

So, the song, "Before you Accuse Me," is by Eric Clapton. I give him props. 
"You say I've been spending money on other women, but you're taking money from someone else...." He called it. Be careful of who you think is doing wrong because then the three will be pointed back at you. 

Have you ever had to forgive yourself?


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Levity, Please!

 There is too much junk going on in the world right now. I know, it doesn't take a genius to state the obvious, but hey, as I type this, breaking news is coming out of Boston about more shootings, explosions and a police officer casualty. 

Along with the bad weather the nation is facing, it's been a pretty depressing week. 

My hometown of St. Charles, Illinois flooded today. The Main Street bridge usually sits comfortably above the water about ten to fifteen feet. Today, the water crept to just a few feet below the bridge. So many homes have been flooded, Chicagoans are walking their pet fish in the streets, and taking boats to work. Just kidding about the last two, but it's true about the flooded homes. 

Plus, friends in Minnesota are just waiting on spring. Ha. Like that's going to happen any time soon. I miss Minnesota, but I really do not miss the promise of spring that never shows up. I still hope spring comes soon. Seeing snow in April is torture enough. Bring on the heat!

Today, I got up and got at it and stayed busy for most of the day. I have a few deadlines approaching which always help get the motivational fires burning. I created a sign for our MeetUp group to use at our booth on Saturday for this festival. It's a "trashy" competition where a group of kids have come up with an idea to re-use cork in an artistic representation of a wolf. If you are reading this now, the rest of what I write in this post is not as important as clicking on the festival link and voting for "the Wolf"! It's a really cool twist on a mosaic. You'll see! We'll be having an upcycle craft booth at the festival for kids and adults, alike.

We had a MeetUp gathering tonight and I brought the sign to show the group members. It was received well and it was suggested I make the other part of the sign using scrap newspaper, to show the two groups are related by actions, but are truly separate groups. I used regular poster board and Mod-Podged packing/craft paper onto the it. The process was really fun and I know I spent a couple of hours on it, but time really flew by while I was working!!

The heart showed up as result of a chat in our group tonight. A member mentioned this week has been depressing and asked if anyone else has felt the same way. I told her yes, as well as others did the same. It is hard to rest peacefully when the nation we live in is filled with such terror and fear. And it is sad to say that I have a protocol for media coverage when something bad, like the Boston bombings, takes place. But, watching scant amount of news is the only way I feel somewhat safe. That alone is so odd. Safety our of remaining just a bit ignorant of current events? 

I really only check the news on short order. They show all of the same things, anyway. and again. 

Let's just hope the new breaking news helps shed some light on the crimes that have taken place in the city of Boston. Just a little bit. 

With Love and Light, 

Prayers for this whole nation. It's a jungle out there!!

Prang Watercolor Ovals
Journal Page



Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Wolf Mask

I will write this post in the morning. It'll keep you guessing!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A Fun Challenge!

Today I was looking at posts from others for the Creative Every Day Challenge and came across an entry linked to a blog page named Daisy Yellow. I was intrigued because of the six items that should be incorporated into the challenge and I thought, at the moment I read it, 'how crazy is that?' But, it was safe to say this challenge would brew in my mind and I might give it some second and third thoughts as it simmered.

 Even though I love trivia, I wondered what I would find for that. It was the hardest part of the whole challenge! Then thoughts of, 'well, this challenge is only introduced weekly, so maybe I'll just skip this one'. 


That challenge was a-brewin' and a cookin' on the back burner! I was sitting at the kitchen table looking through the grocery ads with my back to the TV when my trivia bonked me on the head, well, figuratively, anyway. My sweetie was watching a special about Clint Eastwood and the mention of "Spaghetti Westerns" made me take notice. Then they said it something like this, "there is no spaghetti in Spaghetti Westerns. They were named so because of their Italian producers." 

Wow! It all started bubbling from there. It all fell into place so easily and I started to envision just how I would get it all down. The result is one of the most FUN pieces I have created- both making it and looking at it. I hope you can see the lettering and would love feedback, no matter what, on this piece. It could very well be a greeting card, if it were scanned copied and pasted onto a piece of cardstock, just for fun.

Here is the list of the items necessary for the challenge:
(So much fun!)
  1. trivia
  2. orange and yellow
  3. diagram
  4. descriptive words
  5. alphabet
  6. greeting card
Prang Watercolor Ovals
Staedtler Fine Permanent Marker
Canson XL 90lb paper

Here is more information from Daisy Yellow's page about the Prompt6ix challenge.  Maybe you'll be interested, too!

"Prompt6ix is a weekly set of six words or phrases. You can interpret the set of phrases as an art journal page, a collage, an art quilt, a piece of mail art, an artist trading card, even a poem. Each prompt will include at least one color and one "technique" or method as well as words or phrases to inspire your work."

Special thanks, to Daisy Yellow for such great inspiration!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Broken Boston Heart

Who can explain what happened today? It's all over the news and social media, but who can explain it? 

I know a couple who ran the Marathon today and, very thankfully, made it across the finish line before the tragedy of the day. It was her first time and she was completing a dream of a lifetime, a real bucket list entry, and the run to beat a thousand runs. I watched her updates ever since she was notified of her acceptance to run. I have sensed her excitement as she's trained through every type of weather imaginable. Nobody deserved to run as much as this girl! But somebody, or some group, or some whatever, decided it would be a good idea to stomp out as many dreams as  possible today. I just cannot imagine what she and her hubby are going through. HorriBULLIness.

It's so frustrating to sit and watch. 
Trusting everyone will just do their part. 
Living the rest of the day 

Nobody can tell right now, what is going one. 
Until the do, I am going to say my prayers 
and rest
to be prepared for anything. Well how about vigilant? 
My heart goes out to those who need help and to who have passed. 

We love all of you and are grateful for your wonderful selves!

Take care, love the ones around you, hug more, fight less and eat chocolate. 
These are the best things in life!


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Brush Play

Sometimes it is just fun to try out new supplies. Obviously, the watercolors are getting a run for their money, but I've been using traditional brushes until today. Pictured is a "Water Brush" from the Tim Holtz collection of art accessories. This brush is filled with water, so rather than dipping into a reservoir of liquid, the liquid inside can be squeezed through to the brush and then the watercolor is added to the brush. 

Today was an experiment. 
I really started to like the brush when I found out I could fade values from dark to light on the paper. It seems like, I just added the color as close to dry as I could, then just kept the brush moving while shading and lightening the pigment. 

This type of brush would be great for travel. It would be easy to put it in the quart-sized bag for air travel, or just pack it empty and fill it with the wonderful water on board the plane. Since I've started painting, I've been longing for a way to take supplies with me no matter where that might be, and the Holtz water brush pen seems like the clear choice. And-
It's fun.

I'm looking forward to further experimentation with this new tool. 
Smiles, and thanks for stopping today!


Saturday, April 13, 2013


I let the day pull me under.
Will complete the heart as soon as humanly possible.

We were with our friends yesterday after bowling and I had to start the art.
I was just using line again for composition and Mark Jones made me try a circular coaster to bring in something different. I might have made something different, but the heart creeped in again.

We went home and I added the watercolor, let it dry a bit, and posted it here.

This morning, I added more lines and circles on top of the existing composition. It's as finished as it will be.

Stabilo mini 88 fine markers
Prang watercolor ovals

Friday, April 12, 2013

Popping Color

Today was filled with blooming ideas, fun food, and good friends. I've spent a few hours lately perusing the aisles of the Home Depot garden center just dreaming of all the things I could do to our garden....I settled for a mini-cherry tomato plant and a spearmint plant. Both seem healthy enough, I hope they actually bear fruit! On to the next ... I made a pasta salad to take with us to dinner with friends. It is so yummy and filled with the good stuff. It's a twist on Italian cooking, because along with the tomato and basil, salt/pepper and fresh garlic, there is plenty of mozzarella and an extra sharp cheddar. Yum! And what a pleasure to be in the company of friends. We did a little 'Scrabbling' and there was no shortage of chatting....Tomorrow we're probably going bowling with them. Fun times! Materials:
Stabilo point 88 mini fine 0,4 markers

Thursday, April 11, 2013


It's another day of color!
There is no plan for how this came out today. It really isn't anything but abstract abstractness. I love the color play and the way this reminds me of spring. Actually, it brings the heat of July to me to quickly. 

I spent some time with friends, crafting, today and it was fun to bounce ideas off one another and to consider new ones. It was fun!

I'm wiped out, so I'm signing off for the night. 
Thanks for stopping by the blog!


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Woo Wednesday!

 What a beautiful day it was today! 

On this day, I wrote about my Great Aunt Eleanore and today I spoke with her on the phone. Her son has passed away and I am doing my best to check in with her. She does have some family nearby in Minnesota, but I feel like I want to reach out to her. I did talk to her last week and our weekly phone time is early in the week. Today was just great to hear her voice and to let her talk. I just want to reach out and hug her!

I cannot imagine losing a child. No matter the child's age, a death like this is never easy. Heck. Any death is never easy. 

The painting is from a blue place- but I am happy today. I wanted to use the theme of spirals from The Sketchbook challenge and the theme of color from The Creative Every day Challenge and think I got a good start on this piece. It is solely abstract and visions of its meaning will only be visible to the beholder, so I'll refrain from any self-imposed challenges of creating a story to go along with it. I actually just enjoyed putting brush to paper and building a little something for Eleanore. 

Today, I got some prints made of my pieces and cannot wait to assemble them into cards. It will be fun :) I also got some well-overdue errands done today, as well.

For now, thanks for stopping by today! I appreciate your spending time here with me.


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Every Day

I had a pleasant reminder today that no matter what the circumstances, being here, present, right now, is the very best place to be.  We create every day in order to live. Not many realize they are creative, but we are all creative beings. There is no other way to live life. Creativity is a common thread from problem solving choices about breakfast and clothing choices, to how to phrase an interaction carefully in order not to offend. 

Life is art. 

There are the good and bad days, clear and hazy brain days, and love and hate days. 
As it is with any art, the contrast exists to make things interesting. 

Be kind, they say. 
Even if someone is unkind to you, be kind anyway. 
There are a few neighbors in my new 'hood who have walked past, with my eyes upon them waiting for the moment to greet them, and they keep walking. Sometimes I want to yell, "Don't you see me?" Then I think there must be some reason for the non-interaction. 

Be kind to people. One never knows the struggles of another. 
Who knows what issues plaque our neighbors. People struggle quietly every day. 
They hope for better days, of less cushion, of more protection, and overall less struggle.

Shame lives. Appreciation lives next door. Embarrassment thrives upon knowing your steps are covered when the opportunity to meet another individual fades into thin air. We let it happen. Be present.
Be kind to one another. Treat others with the same respect you want in your very own bubble, even when they turn their backs on you. 
Love them anyway. 
Leave no time for regret.

Enjoy the work of art made every day. 
Leave yesterday alone.
Say thanks, please and help, then thanks again.
Then lather, rinse and repeat. 

"Every day is a winding road" 
"Every day I have the blues"

Life is Every Day Art. 
What's your composition look like?


Monday, April 8, 2013

Java Jive

No matter where I go, I'll feel at home with a cup of joe. 
I'm not sure yet about the tea. 
Tea is the power-down to coffee's power up, to me anyhow.
I've grown akin to the Green Tea and love its mellow power. 
But, a good espresso?
YES, please. 
No espresso?
Make it a dark roast. It actually has less caffeine. 
In a Keurig, it is boss. Plus, I can froth my own milk at home for pennies.
Yet, my Refill Cup from Starbucks is worth any 50cent fill.
Check it out!
The Java Jive" was sung by the Manhattan Transfer, but I'm sure many others have done the same. 
The melody and "a cup, a cup, a cup, a cup, a cup" have been floating through my head. 
Rather dizzying, I might add. 
Such is life with too much caffeine...and my nails can't take it much longer. 
Maybe Tea really is for me.

How about you?
or Tea?

Journal Paper
Staedtler Black Permanent Marker 
Stabilo peach Marker
Prang Watercolor
Opaque Watercolor


Sunday, April 7, 2013

Sometimes I need a reminder

Sometimes I get to thinking low thoughts. 
"I'm a loser!"
"I've forgotten everything!"
"I can't stand my reflection!"
Ugh. Fortunately, those thoughts don't creep up often. They did creep up a lot more in the past and I am thankful for the sentiment I found today while trolling Pinterest; "Change your thoughts and you'll change your world." I'm not sure who said it originally, but it is true. 

Last year, on a daily basis, I posted something I am thankful for on Facebook. It didn't take long for the positive effects of gratitude to start showing up in my daily life. I realized I wasn't complaining as often and in general, I just felt a lot better. 

Posting every day made me realize I could do other things like that on a daily basis, as well. So here I am, posting one of my daily commitment blog posts and being grateful I can. Usually, when I start feeling low, I post another "thankful" post online and it all comes to pass. When I change my thoughts to gratitude, burdens are lifted and I am living completely in the present. I appreciate life just a little more every time I do it. 

Tonight I am also thankful for seeing my friend on TV playing on the American Country Music Awards in Vegas. He played in the horn section for the Stevie Wonder tune at the very end. I took a picture of the TV just for fun. I've already sent my friend a text and it seemed like that was about the best it could be without actually being there. He met Kelly Clarkson, too! Wow. What a night!

I am thankful for my time here to write and to be a little more careful about the language I speak to myself. Life is short to live it miserable! Life became so much better when I realized that.

Thanks for stopping, and have a wonderful day!


My friend playing trombone for the ACM ceremonies on Sunday, 4-7-13

Saturday, April 6, 2013


For the past five years, I taught math in the middle school. Most recently, I taught 8th grade Math and wouldn't have it any other way. I got started teaching Math later in life after teaching endless private music lessons and being a substitute band director. Oh, how much I learned in the past five years. I can't even say I learned about Math, rather, but I did learn about the middle school-ers and how to help them. 

After I moved in September, I haven't even touched a math book. I'm embarrassed to say my math is rusty and I desperately need a refresher. I know all the basics-what I need is practice playing around with the amazing algebraic puzzles out there. I never know when a former student will contact me needing  help with some math problem or other. I'd best be prepared. 

I'll consider that my warning and proof for my action step. I must review. I was not prepared today..
Sleep usually helps. in this situation. So does Starbucks....

I subscribe to the Gratitude Cafe Instagram feed. There is an inspirational quotation every day and today's said, "What are you Learning?" I am learning to be humble and keep up with the studies that make me who I am in order that I may help others. 
I am learning watercolor. I've learned the flowers I paint tend to be "heavy" looking, or the paint is too dark.
I am learning I need to loosen up control on the watercolor and let it do its job a little better than it has for me in the past. 

I'm learning I don't feel so great and it is definitely time to turn in. 
Have a wonderful weekend!
What are you learning?

By the way, "Mad Props" to the kid working on math on a Saturday night! He says he's changed his ways- and it's true!

Friday, April 5, 2013


Yes, I used graph paper. These spirals needed it! They are spirals that were named by the mathematician, Fibonacci. There is a pattern for how to create these. It looks like this:

Now to get technical, I need to remind everyone about some mathematical definitions. The sum is the answer to an addition problem. The area of a square is the total number of perfect squares within a piece. Area of a square can be found by multiplying one side by itself. Phew. On to the drawing.

Each spiral started with one solitary square. 1+the previous number is 2. So, there are two little squares with the area of one square unit and the two of them create the side for a new square of two units. The area of this square is four units. The next number in the order is 3, so a larger square with an area of 9 square units is born. And on it goes....adding the number of the sum to the number before.

This is an amazing pattern and one I did not create. In his studies, Fibonnaci found many different ways this pattern is displayed and it is what most would describe as the Golden Ratio. Most notably,the nautilus, a sunflower, a pine cone, and even the human ear were built with the Golden Ratio. Next are the orders of fiddleheads and ferns. The pattern is really everywhere and is fun to discover ways to use it and give thanks for its miracles.

Cristobal Vila has created an amazing film to demonstrate this pattern and other patterns in nature built with mathematics. I hope you find the time to visit the site and watch. The music is sweet and the video is absolutely beautiful.

I hope you enjoy the patterns of math and maybe find one you like even better today. Thank you for sharing in my passion for math, art and music.


Thursday, April 4, 2013

Back to it!

 Here is the very near final draft I posted at 11:59 p.m. I guess you could say I used the day for more than just this project because I'm close to finishing a big painting project for a friend and painted another mug. I also visited an art opening for a friend of a friend in Laguna Beach and rounded out the night with good company, including four of their five kids, at Ruby's Diner. It was a joy-filled day doing all of the things I love to do. I consider that a "first rate version" of myself. 

The "first rate" girl came home to the pooches jumping all over the place and read the clock as 10:00. Time to create! Fortunately, the quote in the piece is ready-made, courtesy of Artists in Blogland

I had envisioned the plan for how this would play out on paper and only had to actualize it. I don't usually create like that because I usually just go with a flow that shows up on its own. This quote challenge seemed good to me last month and I missed their cut-off time because it slipped my mind. So, this time, I put the challenge at the forefront and ta-da! Done. Plus, Judy Garland is one of my favorites, so that helped a lot.

It's odd I chose the "second rate version" to have hair piled up high, considering that is how my hair looks a lot of the time. Most of the time. OK, nearly all the time. But that reckons back to days where I got by with piling it up because I just didn't have much energy for anything else. Teaching does that to people sometimes- well, it did to me. Piling it up meant I didn't have to worry about it and could focus on everyone and everything around me and fire drills and vomit and raging kids and drama and not me. 

I figure, if I'm going to be a "first rate version" of myself, I need to consider me and take care of me. This is the first time in my life I am focused on taking care of me. There are areas I need some major improvement and a little at a time is working fine. Creating art is the most supreme self-care I can give me, these days. It is up to me to pile my hair up because I am too warm, or it is getting into my insalata caprese and I don't need hair in my mozzarella. 

The final version? Maybe. I'm not sure it's finished, but it is finished for this evening. I have had a wonderful day and thank you for visiting.

Canson XL 98lb Paper for Mixed Media
Prang Watercolor Ovals
Faber Castell Gelatos
Staedtler Fine Permanent Black Marker