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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

FROM THE WALK....things we (art dolly "Penny the Playful"...see previou post...and myself) saw in my "funky" hometown.

A native stone house with stained glass windows, a pussy willow, a daffodil which would harldy stand still for the photo, as the wind was blowing quite hard! and a large cloth-draped headless angel armature!(we saw lots of other cool stuff too...only room for the better photos!)
The walk we took was around a quiet mountain top retreat center in my town...we still have "old" hippies and a lot left over from the 1970's! I just love it here!

She just arrived in the mail! My healing doll from Ninnie...."Penny the Playful" I am calling her. I had told Ninnie that I needed healing in the area of playfulness!

[this is part of the curse of bring the first-born, and a goody-two-shoes Sunday's child on top of it! I do play and follow my muse but always with the inner critic in off to play now...taking Penny on my walk!]

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

My Artist Date for this week....I tried to visit a local garden was really too early for any lovely flowers (of course!!!!)
However, there was this fantastic, fantasy butterfly garden bench!!!! And I just found it again on the Cricket Forge!

"We are flower girls......"
This is a quote from my friend, Lizzzzy when we were noticing that all the floral dresses had disappeared from the stores.....
and many of the stores themselves were gone!

Last night my HH brought over an article for me to read from "Fortune Small Business" magazine. The owner of this business, reVamp specializes in making vintage style clothing. She lives a almost totally vintage lifestyle, too.

I once had a similar dress business. My sewing partner, Bonnie and I made lovely floral dresses and sold them in trunk shows held in customer's homes. Our business was called "Thistledown" with the fanciful associaton to the idea that fairies wore clothing from the fibers of the thistle seed pod. (My ancient Yorkshire roots coming out again?)

So as spring approaches, I remember those lovely floaty floral dresses...and spent until midnight last night looking at them on e-bay. The only place, other than re-sale shops, to find the Laura Ashley and April Cornell dresses.

This lavendar floral is Laura Ashley...and the pink paisley floral (below) is from April Cornell...both listed for bids right now.....of course, I have a huge collection of McCall's Laura Ashley patterns so I can order some April Cornell fabric (that is one of them at the top of this post, Moda) from an on-line quilt shop and make a lovely spring dress myself.....or not!

(I am learning that just because I think of a project does not mean that I have to do it! even if it would be fun!)

[BTW, working with layout on this Blogger post is "something else"....I can have it beautifully arranged here, only to have things "fall" elsewhere when published........too crowded when I put in plenty of visual space, or fragments of sentences remaining in odd's not's Blogger!]

Monday, February 26, 2007

I don't want to rush the seasons...winter still holds it's charms (a warm cup of tea by the fire for one!).....

Even so, I find that playing with old brass stencils which my friend Lizzzzzy found in a flea market has led to the creation of this word...

And the tiny antique card, which came from Arm and Hammer Baking Soda years ago is also a harbinger of the coming season! ( Though in Arkansas, I think the robins never really leave!)

Its off to work for me today...working mentally on collages of SPRING!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

The writing's on the wall!

or I wish it were!

It's time to do something to my home to celebrate spring....
I'm talking about a little face-lift or change. Maybe I'll re-paint the kitchen cabinets....but what I really want is one more thing in my studio...

My plan for this week is to begin by chosing a strong word for writing on the wall. I like the word "Inspire" for my sewing room/studio!

The ATC with "inspire" is by Gemma!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Remember the amaryllis???

I found it on the porch....still beautiful in it's own way! The stamens even have clear crystalized sparkly beads of nectar...what to do with this???

Here is one artist's beautiful book of ideas!

I know I'm not likely to make any fairie clothing from the ethereal petals, but they might end up on an ATC...Photocopies if not real dried petals!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Let the beauty you love be what you do.......Rumi

In further search of support and direction for growing as an artist, I have joined the Finding Water group. A 12-week exercise based on the book about perseverance by Julia Cameron.

I'll have to start the morning pages again. Artist dates, I am good at....going for walks (alone) will be a challenge.

Five beautiful things from today: 1) Shadow , our black cat 2) the roses on the table 3) the almost half-full new moon with clouds passing in front of it 4) the soft pink sky when I left work this evening 5) watercolor paint on paper.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Love Thursday!
This is a yoga position that I love....
we must love ourselves before we can learn to love others....
Exercise is part of loving ourselves.
More love here!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

My watercolor is coming along....I am adding some faint pussy willows to the background. [I just read that pussy willows were traditionally picked on Ash Wednesday and kept in the house, blooming and leafing out in the vase. They were then used on Palm Sunday when real palms were not available!]

I'll try to soften somethings and bring out others....I think I have a very "Lenten" palette going, lots of purple and blues...a time for quiet reflection. I may try bringing the turquoise paint (I just bought that tube of color and can't leave it alone!) to the foreground with a few random splatters!

Another thing about my paintings, I like to have some ambiguity going on, some "push/pull" where I don't give you all the answers, and your eye is hopefully intriqued!

I was able to begin a painting yesterday!

I'll post it as I work on it today and maybe tomorrow, until I have to go back to work....

The inspiration photo was posted on House Wren Studio, Charlotte Lyon's blog...the Valentine Bouquet she photographed and posted.

I paint because I love it! It transports me to a timeless world where all other problems and issues vanish....I know it is my BLISS

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

More romance......
We love to do our armchair traveling via the television.....our library has videos of this modern romantic series filmed in Scotland.
Archie MacDonald, is burdened with the family estate and all of its problems...not to mention his crazy father, dreamy mother and several young women who find him very attractive!
Wonderful if you have time for it!

ATC's from my Arty Collages and Dolls blog...


You give your love and friendship unconditionally. You enjoy long, thoughtful conversations rich in philosophy and spirituality. You are very loyal and intuitive.

Find out your color at!


I took the "test" from a post by Janet (Just beecause....and just for fun!) and I came up "BLUE" , too. (Probably not a surprise for someone who chooses indigo as a name for their blog...)

I will be "blue" if I don't stop reading blogs and start doing my I will post what I do later....

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Anniversary Scrapbook

These are photos of my favorite hunky husband in front of a crackling fire, and myself in a new hat....
1)Hunky husband has purchased tickets for us to
see Rod Stewart when he comes to Little Rock in April.... (DON"T CANCEL ON ME, ROD!)
2)and to celebrate going out for a romantic dinner at a Thai restaurant a cold night here this weekend (our real anniversary), I purchased the new brown velvet hat!
(I must admit to being inspired by a recent post about hats on Lady Laurie's blog!)

Saturday, February 17, 2007

For BETTER or worse......
February 17, 1973 two lives were joined....
yes, it is our Anniversary!!!!!!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

This is my first time to do a I chose a small/short one....

Four places I've lived besides where you live now:
1.Felt, OK.
3.Eldorado, Kansas
4.Little Rock, AR

Four places I would like to live:
1. Flagstaff, AZ
2. Nantucket
3. Yorkshire
4. Paris

Four movies I'd watch again and again:
1. Anything with Gregory Peck
2. Out of Africa
3. Doctor Zhivago
4. Il Postino

Four TV shows I liked to watch years ago:
1. Annie Oakley
2. All Creatures Great and Small
3.Hallmark Hall of Fame
4. Masterpiece Theater

Four of my favorite foods:
1. Thai spring rolls
2. Brownies
3. Mashed potatoes
4. Curry

Four places I'd rather be right now:
1. Floating the Buffalo River (nearby here in Arkansas)
2. In a tea shop
3. The Louvre
4. The Atlantic seashore

It is another quiet snowy day...lovely and peaceful!
We don't get such heavy snow here (in Arkansas) that we are inconvienced for long...
I was reading Daisy Lupin's post today where she mentioned a favorite book...."Precious Bane".
That reminded me of one of my favorites..."Larkrise to Candleford". It is about village life in the late 1800's in Oxfordshire. "The hamlet stood on a gentle rise..."
It was in this author's memories of growing up in a rural village, that I first heard of griddle scones...and began making scones on top of my stove rather than the oven.
These were favorites with my children for years!
Here is the proper way to eat a scone.......
TO EAT A (CREAM) SCONE: In the British Isles, these scones came to be popular in cream teas where the scone is served warm under a blanket of Devonshire cream and strawberry jam all complimented by a fine tea. To eat, take a tea knife and split the scone in half across it's girth. Now take a spoonful of jam or lemon curd and Devonshire Cream onto your small tea plate. Then spread a little jam or lemon curd on the area of the scone's crumb face, the size you might expect to bite elegantly. Top this with as much or as little Devonshire Cream as you wish and eat just that mouthful. For true English elegance, do not spread the whole half at one time, and most certainly not the whole scone! This is considered inelegant in those circles where people know about such matters as tea-table etiquette!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

One of my Valentine roses.....
I hope you all may find some LOVE today!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Sweet flowers from sweet friends and....
A candy heart says it all......a quiz from Janet's blog....
(My heart survey came out just like Janet' usual! We were both daisy's a while back, too! )

Your Candy Heart Says "Hug Me"

A total sweetheart, you always have a lot of love to give out.

Your heart is open to where ever love takes you!

Your ideal Valentine's Day date: a surprise romantic evening that you've planned out

Your flirting style: lots of listening and talking

What turns you off: fighting and conflict

Why you're hot: you're fearless about falling in love

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Before and After.....
Can you find at least 5 differences between the two images? (just kidding!)
It has been a fun day... but.I've done more than enough to this painting....[one more in my 200 practice paintings...after 200 paintings, one may know one's style and have a creative confidence!]
Time to clean up the table and put the paints away for now!
[I want to share a teacher with those of you who love watercolor...Shirley Trevena]

Still Painting Pears!

Here is today's effort as is is currently...I scan the paintings, then can often "see" things I need to change after the image is up here!

This painting is called "3 O'Clock Saturday" because that is what time it was when I was working on the clock face!...I think I will brighten some of the foreground...especially the small pitcher. and add some texture detail on the table cloth...maybe a lace-type texture. I will also down-play the wicker -like arches in the background...make them into twig furniture?
This palette is very pink and purple...just a bit of yellow on the apple up front...maybe I can repeat the yellow somewhere....and I'll try to make sure that my "center of interest" (usually the place where the lightest light meets the darkest dark) is in a good place...right now, it may the dark green leaf with the torquoise accent....
More later.....

Friday, February 09, 2007

More pink for February!!!!!
This is a photo of the world's BEST rose scented candle...."Classic Rose" by a.i. Root candle company.
It is all natural and smells like heaven...they use only soy or petroleum!!
Smells like heaven and won't give you an allery attack or a sinus headache.
Today I will buy rose candles!

A Celtic Prayer.....

Thanks to Thee, O God, that I have risen today, To the rising of this life itself; May it be to Thine own glory, O God of every gift, And to the glory of my soul likewise.
O great God, aid Thou my soul With the aiding of Thine own mercy; Even as I clothe my body with wool, Cover Thou my soul with the shadow of Thy wing.
Help me to avoid every sin, And the source of every sin to forsake; And as the mist scatters on the crest of the hills, May each ill haze clear from my soul, O God.

I just love the internet! I have been waking up each morning with this song/prayer going through my mind/heart. So I type in the first line and here it is!

I hear it , in my mind sung by John Michael Talbot a classical quitar.

I had a nice post written here...then decided to add my black and white self-portrait...(which I "made" from a color photo.) So it isn't really a self-portrait!
So who knows how this will look after Blogger does the layout!
At anyrate...this is me, 2 years ago.... and my grandmothers many years ago!
It's time for me to go to work again...but I have the weeked off...more time off than at work this week...

Inspired by what Janet wrote yesterday.....

These two young girls are my grandmothers....both photographed dressed in white on a special occasion.

Dora at her Confirmation and Ruth at her Graduation (?) .....around the turn of the last century.

Both eventually lived in the Oklahoma Panhandle.... Ruth married to a cowboy/rancher and Dora to a wheat farmer. Ruth's household (my father was her eldest son)was completely classic Western with Scotch Irish/English roots and Dora's home (where my mom grew up) was German and faith were important to these women. Neither could drive a car...their days were spent working hard...and Sunday was going to church, they had contact with people and music...a time to rest and think.

Both had the experience of trying to earn a bit of money by selling eggs...only to have the husband take their money for something other than their own plans and dreams.

Both were quilters...from necessity and probably as a way to create and control something entirely their own...(until it was given to whoever needed it).

Ruth's husband divorced her and remarried , she lived with us for the first decade or so of my life. I remember her as being sweet and comforting, she taught me to make biscuits, to do an outline stitch, hemstitch and other things.

Dora was a woman of few words, very shy and quiet, except when she and my mom would be sitting and laughing and send us away to play elsewhere. I loved the homemade teacookies and even raised donuts she would make for us.

And we usually did have the world's best fried chicken on Sundays in the summer...I even got to help with getting the chicken ready on Saturday...plucking off the tiny pin feathers after Grandma had dispatched the chosen chicken and scalded the dead bird.

Both encouraged my creativity. But there were "rules" too..."If you sew on Sunday, you'll take it out with your nose on Monday." "Pretty is as pretty does." "Color inside the lines!" "Don't squint!" (I needed glasses at an early age and felt so grown up because all the grown-ups wore glasses!) "stand-up straight" (practice walking with a book on your head)...both wore those old fashoined lace-up shoes...oxfords with a little heel ..and tan cotton stockings. Oh,and corsets! those were enough to make any woman strong!

I have Dora's facial bone structure and Ruth's brown eyes...and I hope I also have their strength and compassion.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

It's all in a day's work?
This is what I have to show for my last few hours at home....a gown and robe for Lilia's American Girl go in her Valentine package!!!! I wish I could be there with her, to try this on Kirsten....and get some Valetines hugs!
Now off to the post office and then to my job!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

This is the painting I am working on today....the scanner only picks up the center...but that may be the best part anyway!
It is based on a photo of a peony in a bluegreen glass vase....from Better Homes and Gardens February 2007...and a couple of pitchers from my collection, and some pears, purchased yesterday,( which I will soon make into a salad with baby lettuce,walnuts, blue cheese, and balsamic viagrette dressing....)

This is the watercolor I am working on....I started it yesterday....a little more detail and it will be finished.

I will donate it to a silent auction at an anniversay ball to raise funds for one of our local art centers.

(I painted this from a digital photo my husband took of a beautiful bouquet we once received!)

It feels good to be painting again! Today I may set up a still life with a couple of red pears....seems I am still
loving all shades of pinks ("rose" in French), and red this time of year!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

This is the first day of my "weekend"...I have Tuesday, Wednesday and most of Thursday off from my part time job. So I'm here with my morning coffee, planning my day.

(This is a watercolor from last fall of 2 of my favorite teacups/mugs...)

I was really affected by seeing a page of collage art on Kai's blog..."Claim the life you deserve" ! was on her post 297. It has reminded me to take action and "do", not just dream..."claim" being a very forceful and proactive verb!

Another thing I have noticed is all the February birthdays among the people whose blogs I visit! Happy birthday to Kelli, Pretty Lady and Corey!

So today, I will paint. I have not painted in a couple of months...too busy playing with blogging and collage. I will begin by lighting a candle to help me focus....(I have a link in the sidebar to "Light a Candle")

I'll post my painting for tomorrow's post.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

This is a Simple Sunday post....

A peaceful photo taken during the snow last Wednesday...

posted in thanksgiving for many friends and blessings!

Friday, February 02, 2007

Today is not only Groundhog day (another legend with ancient roots),
but it is Candlemas. That is the day when all the candles for the coming church year were blessed.

Simple Abundance tells us to bring light into our homes today by lighting candles. There is something soft and lovely about a newly lit beeswax candle!
( Storing candles in the freezer before lighting them may make them burn more slowly...)
Pausing as you lighta candle and remembering a wish or intention is a lovely spiritual gesture.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

It is February 1st!

We are having more snow...though not too bad, just pretty to look at and causing everything around here to be cancelled for a day or two!

This is the bleak mid-winter in many places and February offers several ways to add color to our lives....(most especially Valentine's Day of course!). I love to do this mentally by learning about traditional celebrations....
Today is the feast day ofSt. Bridget of Irelandwho legend says first wove these crosses from river rushes. Traditional Irish homes have a newly woven one each February 1st placed above the door to ward off fires and other troubles.
(This is my quilt based on the woven cross design.)

One other Celtic idea I have for today is to make Oatcakes!
These are a low-sugar/highprotein comfort food...low sugar until I put the jam on them that is!

Simple Abundance for February 1st tells us to begin taking creative time for outtings...since we are snowbound, I guess my outing is via computer.

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