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Thursday, September 30, 2010

A thousand half-loves must be surrendered to take a whole heart home. -Rumi

May I have the courage Today

to live the life that I would love,

to postpone my dream no longer

but do at last what I came here for

and waste my heart on fear no more.----John O' Donohue

How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. ~Annie Dillard, The Writing Life

Today is a beautiful, "seize the day" time of year! I pray to be able to decide what ARE my "half-loves". Those things which I like, but perhaps are things which distract me from doing something with my whole heart! [I am indebted to my friend Macrina for this quote from Rumi, which was included on her e-mail!]

I realize, that to be an artist, I must spend the time painting, creating today...because this IS my life....(thank-you, Annie Dillard and Thoreau).

And thanks to the late John O'Donohue for the poem about postponing dreams no longer!

[Finally, thanks to Martha Stewart for the image of the woman in the open door!]
My good news- since listing more paintings on Etsy this week, I have had sales. And one painting now seems to be destined to be on a book's cover. Truly, neglecting dreams is not an option!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The second day of autumn and the porch is a perfect place to paint.
I add more details to a painting from last year....plum kuchen.

Now, the longer I looked at and worked on this picture of delicious seasonal pastry...the more I wanted some! LOL!

SO.... I pulled out my yogurt cake recipe, halved the recipe and baked a small one, as I had only one plum left! [I didn't need it in the still life any longer!]


It is a perfect early autumn afternoon and Arkansas is playing Alabama....Mr. P is at the game. The town is FULL of football fans, but all is quiet, the streets are deserted, except in the stadium where 76,000+ are watching! Many others are home in front of the national TV broadcast.....this will be a wild evening when the game ends.. IF we win, playing the #1 team in the nation.....

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Guess what I am doing today...

Read more here , if you like.

One thing I love about putting my art on the computer screen is that I can see it with "new eyes" and often see something that remains to be done in as usual, this is a work in progress! Fun!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Mom, my sister Elaine and I have had a very nice visit the last few days. Elaine left this morning to return to Western Oklahoma where she lives. Here (photo below) we are returning from church services yesterday. The chair in the photo, from Mom's house, was one of several being loaded into Elaine's van. The chair is one of a set which Mom's parents had. It is going back to the Panhandle.

Here is a photo of my maternal grandparents in August 1958. They were German immigrants who had a wheat farm and stayed in spite of the dust bowl. That "tree" is a lilac bush under which I loved to play house. I am the 7 year old to the left side of the photo. Elaine is the littler sister here. Brother Chris is the baby and Hollis is the 6 year old.

Both sides of my family lived in this area in those dust bowl days. Before I was born, my mother was a teacher and one of her students was the youngest child in this famous photo. Western Oklahoma is a land of big sky, infinite stars and endless horizons. It is not an easy landscape to fall in love with, though the theater of the sky is truly wonderful!

I am now reading "The Worst Hard Time" and find it so full of information about the area I once called home. Not an easy read, but fascinating!

One piece of good news- we seem to be in the process of closing on Mom's house. Keeping our fingers crossed!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Armchair travel has taken us to the western isles of Scotland this week as we again watched
"I Know Where I'm Going" ,a wonderful classic movie which is also a fable. Watch this movie, if you get a chance....!!!!!


An artist, Winifred Nicholson, whose work I have been looking at this summer, also worked around and painted in this part of Scotland.

She used lots of white in painting this sunlit window, "Borage in Sunlit Window". Through the window, you can see the mysterious, beautiful islands and the sea.

I've been "needing" a new painting for our bedroom....something light, airy and peaceful...
SO, I made a painting based on Winifred's. Mine is a little brighter....I love the blues!

After doing the painting, I began to wonder what borage really looks I found the photo below on the Internet. It turns out that borage is called the "herb of gladness" and that the oil is very has GLA....gamma linoleic acid (also found in Evening Primrose which I sometimes use as a supplement).

Thursday, September 09, 2010

An Invitation!

Calling all hungry friends, near and far!

I plan to be baking this Pear Frangipane Crostada Recipe today as it is cool and rainy....almost time for an autumn tea.
The "frangipane" means almond custard and the almond paste was rather my next attempt may be a simple pear crostada...but today, we are "going for it". Please do come..say about 4:00 pm???

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Keeping up appearances....or not.

Photo this morning....feeling tired and unfocused.....and my hair (which I am trying to allow to return to it's now gray state.. never seen as I have colored it for many years)...

was looking pretty moth-eaten, flea-bitten etc. Still I didn't want to go to permanent color and face the continuing agony of roots growing out.....could there be something that would help???
I went to a beauty supply shop and asked for help. Several thought I should just do permanent color....but they helped me at least get a better look. (below)

The grays are still there, but blend better and I think I can keep doing this until it is all just gray. [Then I'll decide what to do next...but I want to see where nature has me now!]

There is something about even small improvements perking up our spirits....I like this and feel better! Below is the information of what I color (to take out all that brassiness) is "TRUE STEEL". It is hair color...but it is temporary, not permanent!

Roux Fanci-Full Rinse temporary hair color. Keeps hair color looking its best between color treatments. Evens tones and removes brassiness. Blends away gray. Color is instantaneous and non-damaging. Added styling lotion allows for coloring and styling in one easy step. 15oz container.

Shampoo hair. Rinse well. Towel dry. Using rubber gloves, raise applicator tip of bottle and apply close to hair. Work color through hair with fingers, then comb through to ensure even distribution and saturation of every hair strand. Blowdry and style as desired. When washing face, if soap removes hair color at hairline, dab on a little Roux Fanci-Full Rinse with cotton. For longer lasting hair color, style with Roux Fanci-Full Color Styling Mousse.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Finishing up and working together!
This quilt top has been around our family home for some time. My sister pieced it while in high school in the 1960's....slowly, by hand in quiet time in her room.
Mom handquilted it more recently. Now it will be ready to go home with my sister, (who is due to visit this weekend) after the binding is put on with the help of our friend, Paula. It is full of memories of the clothes we wore in high school, and some family "scraps" which go back even earlier!

I love the colors and orange is so "IN" again now!

Below, another colorful family effort. Mom is crocheting the next round on my granny squares, destined to be a cozy afghan soon! I see lots of orange here too!

Monday, September 06, 2010

Labor day has been windy and warm here. I wanted a photo of two zinnias who are doing well in spite of a hot summer. Even holding them, the photo is still a bit on the shaky side.

I spent time in the studio....maybe I WILL paint those zinnias yet.... first though I wanted to organize my acrylic paints.

I am less "at home" with acrylics than watercolors, have struggled to find the brand I like best. Now, I think I am settling on GOLDEN acrylics. They have great quality paints and the lids don't break as easily as others. Here, the project was to put a dab of paint from the tube on top of the lid, so I can tell at a glance what color it will be.

In addition to zinnias, I have plans to paint a dish of strawberries....I have the inspiration and the photo ready. A small 5x5 canvas will be large enough.


What's for dinner???? Grilled chicken and a side dish of herbed spagetti squash from Emeril Lagasse.

Friday, September 03, 2010

My spirits have been lifted several times this summer by things which come in the post!
----First the wonderful Round Robin canvas book project initiated by Carmen. This week, I was working on the last of the 9 art journals to come my way.
Below is my page for Ileana, in progress. It is a recycled watercolor which I have cut with an exacto knife to make an arched "door", tied shut with red and gold trim. The word, "BELIEVE" is added to the floral painting.....

Opening the doors reveals the collage inside under a couple of misty layers of golden chiffon. The text now reads, "art saves our dreams". Now, I am off to "antique" and glitter (with more sparkly gold) the inside of the doors which are too stark at the moment. The finished page will be posted on my ARTY COLLAGES and DOLLS blog.

More cheerful mail from a friend this summer! Lizzy, sending a collage that commemorates all the "coffee visits" we have had over the years....often with other dear friends in attendance...(not that you other friends are the old woman in the window....but perhaps she represents wisdom, wise counsel?!) I know I must be represented by the pear in the chair!

Connecting with friends is SO important to me....whether you are fellow bloggers or "buddies" who live nearby. I hope to be visiting more now that my busy summer is winding down!

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Finally, last Saturday, we were able to wind up the work on Mom's house. Steve and I drove down and "hit it" for one last time!

After lots of cleaning, we loaded our two cars, as best we could, to get the last of things that needed to be removed. Other things went out to the curb-side recycle and "free cycle". A project that took my summer has been rewarding.

The Little Rock property went on the market today, here on the MLS . We are praying for a sale before the end of the year.
Mom is doing well with us here. I can now channel my "project" energy into working on this home, where the 3 of us now live! First up, a yard sale! Time to de-clutter! Seeing the open space in the house for sale makes me want to live with less....

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