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Sunday, December 30, 2007

December Blur

Wow, it's been a month since I last posted---December was an active month to say the least! Let's see if we can do a quick December "in a nutshell"...at least up through the 22nd...

First off, it was my Daddy's birthday on the 3rd---

Then we found our Christmas tree on the 8th---lovely on the porch with our Christmas pumpkins...

My daughter came home from college & made Christmas cookies!

She and 2 friends decorated them...

We had a 19th birthday party for her on the 15th:

Our tree, all decorated.

I went into major beaded jewelry production,

Our daughter's new boyfriend came to stay with us for a couple of days:

We went to a Blue & White Solstice party in new ties,

And last but not least, I leave you with one of my latest favorite photos! More Christmas pics to come at a later date... (hopefully not a month from now!)

Friday, November 30, 2007

End of November

Last day of November---tomorrow starts the big holiday month---birthdays galore, Christmas, the return of my daughter from college, holiday traditions, the race begins! The main thing is to not panic, to remember to sit and enjoy the season, the lights, the music, the warmth of family and friends.

Thanksgiving was the jump-off point to this upcoming month. We happily spent it on the Oregon coast, connecting with family for a couple of days---rare sunny November days to boot! Most years of coastal Thanksgivings in our past it was impossible to venture outdoors without getting drenched from the torrential rains! Not this year---an abundance of sunshine softened the jump into the holiday season, giving us all a chance to run off energy ahead of the game.

Meals were fabulous over Thanksgiving---we were on for dinner the night before so brought a Chicken Noodle soup that was actually Minestrone with chicken added. Everyone loved it---even the kids since we called it chicken noodle ;)! The following photo is a favorite from TG dinner, and the last two were from our first night. Minutes after we arrived at Brad's aunt & uncle's house Wednesday, we were hustled to the beach to catch the sunset. We did.

May this next month have some unexpected treasures of extra time and peace tucked in with the race towards the end of the year!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I love autumn

It's a good day to organize the house, declutter my office area, and reclaim the upstairs watercolor studio---but I think I'll go paint in my pastel studio instead...

Sunday, November 04, 2007

The Oregon Gardens

Well, last weekend we finally visited the Oregon Gardens, a place I've always wanted to see, especially now that it's existed for a few years. We tried to go a few weeks ago, but the clouds never lifted until almost 4:00---which is when the Gardens close! We had fun that day exploring Silverton instead, choosing to go to the gardens when we'd have sunlight and more time.

It was a beautiful afternoon, sun pouring through the leaves, warm, and we had the added enjoyment of including my parents in our wanderings! Highly recommend going sometime if you're ever in Oregon. I'm sure, mid-summer is even more spectacular, but maybe in a different way---we saw so many lovely colors of leaves, and the feathery grasses were constantly catching our eyes---so many varieties! When we arrived we hopped on a slow-moving tram that drove around the gardens, with the driver talking about different bits of history, and plant info to give us a bit more insight into what we were seeing.

Here are some of my favorite photos from the day:

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Illustration Friday & Studio Friday!

This was painted a few years ago when I was making my mini-tea-cup series---these little watercolors were about 2 1/2" x 3". This week the topic for Illustration Friday was Trick or Treat, and for Studio Friday, it was Orange! Hope you're enjoying some great orange autumn colors this week, or if you're in the southern hemisphere, maybe some bright orange spring flowers?

Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Two new paintings

Here are my latest glassless pastel paintings---both made it into a juried show this month. They were started on site, first on campus here in town, the second a field looking south, just east of town. Both finished in the studio. Happily the field was one of the award winners at the juried show! It's so nice to work on a piece and then not have to bury it behind glass, order mats, frames, glass, deal with measuring & cutting the mats, framing....Once the boards have been prepared (or built as in the case of the larger square painting) I paint, spray intermittent coats of diluted pva size, then when finished, several coats of pva ending with a final couple of coats of UV resistant acrylic gloss spray. Wire the back and voila! Finished!! So thrilled to discover this method!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Illustration Friday on Monday---theme: Open

Thought this was a good painting to go with the theme Open and also to celebrate Autumn, my favorite season! These chestnuts are falling all over town, getting crushed underneath car tires, collecting in the grass below the trees, showing off their shiny hard shells. Painted years ago in watercolor.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Garden Tour

On Saturday, we went on a local garden tour---all about sustainability and organic methods. We toured 10 gardens, several we wondered why they were on the tour (small raised beds between the street & sidewalk...uh cool...Next!) and of course several that were absolutely amazing gardening efforts (interestingly our favorites were gardens of friends!) Saw a lot of things we'd like to try, asked questions about the best mulch between beds (straw? peppermint compost? small gravel? All have their pluses & minuses...) These are some of my favorite shots of the day:

Of course, couldn't pass this up either, tho it's not very "gardeny"...

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Happy 100th Birthday Grandpa!

Today is my Grandpa's 100th birthday---my Uncle invited us to their new house to celebrate, with pizza, beer & cake---all things my Grandpa never was able to eat when he lived since he was diagnosed with diabetes when he was 17. He died when I was a sophomore in high school. I remember him as being quiet, wearing plaid wool shirts over his tee shirts, kinda baggy khaki pants and paint spattered light brown leather shoes. What's really cool is that he was a sign painter, designer---just like my husband is now. Sadly they never met, but Brad's first shop was his old sign shop---which my Granny loved!

At the party today, my Uncle had a lot of little things out for us to see that used to be my Grandpa's---books, billfolds with his old drivers licenses, job related receipts, sketches, wooden bowls he made on his lathe, and a fun little diary from 1923, 1924 where he had short entries---"Went to school, came home, went out to the woods with friends to check mink or muskrat traps, bait "et" but empty. Played checkers, went to bed 15 to 12..."---totally cool! Brad really liked these stamps---one I've inverted so it's easier to read---I'm guessing Grandpa designed these and had them made.

The photo below shows my Grandpa---he's the one with the glasses---this is a close-up of a much larger photo showing 20-30 display artists in the Portland area---not sure when, but guessing the 30's or 40's. He worked for a while doing shop displays in Portland---way back when. Happy Birthday Grandpa!

Friday, September 07, 2007


Well, it all started with a desire to have a necklace like my daughters. I borrowed it for a couple of occasions recently and really liked the length---along with the colors & style.

So, a week ago I took a look at our local bead shop downtown, saw what was available, bought a few, then returned home to see if I was anywhere close to my inspiration. Not bad! I still needed a few more beads to finish it off, so went back the next day with her necklace in hand, hoping to find a few more beads similar. Back home I settled on the dining room table & proceeded to make myself a new beaded necklace! I loved it! My daughter came home, admired mine, said "Copy Cat..." then almost in the same breath said "Would you make me one?"! I said "sure!" (someday...!)

I had enough black beads leftover to make another necklace, adding some shiny black beads with streaks of colors embedded in the glass---this time a bit less bright and colorful---yep, like this one too!

Suddenly I was flashing on more---more bead shops, more designs, more bead information. I could hardly wait 'til Tuesday this week when a 2nd bead shop would be open after the holiday. I was there for over an hour playing in the beads, finding some treasures, asking questions... I had to go to Eugene to pick up my paintings Thursday so of course did an online search & found 2 shops to explore there... Yep, I was bit bad!! Hoping to play some more today with my new obsession... Wishing you all a great weekend finding something that feeds your passions! (hoping to paint some today too---that's a whole 'nother post tho...)