Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Happy Spring Equinox!

Here's hoping you all have a beautiful Spring Equinox!
Blessings on you for a fruitful season!

This was strapped to the leg of a carrier pigeon and landed in my blog for Pat!!!

I've been taking some online classes.  In one of them there was a wonderful piece of art done by a woman called Pat.  I really liked it & commented, "Holey Crapoley!  This is great!"  Or something to that effect.  Anyway, she asked me how I would illustrate "holey crapoley"!  So, being the crazy person I am, I immediately got on the job!  I looked up Thomas Crapper and found out all sorts of info, like he did not invent the flush toilet, but developed related inventions such as the ballcock.  He heavily promoted sanitary plumbing and pioneered the concept of the bathroom fittings showroom.  Prince Edward asked him and his company to supply the plumbing for his country seat of Sandringham House in Norfolk, thus giving Crapper his first Royal Warrant.  The firm further received warrants from Edward as king, and George V as Prince of Wales and king.  Crapper held 9 patents for water closet improvements, but none for the flush toilets themselves, even though his advertisements implied the siphonic flush was HIS invention!
But was this enough information for me?  Nope.  Further investigation showed that the word crap is actually of Middle English origin; and predates its application to bodily waste.  Its most likely etymological origin is a combination of two older words, the Dutch Krappen: to pluck off, cut off, or separate; and the Old French crappe: siftings, waste or rejected matter.  In English, it was used to refer to chaff, and also to weeds, or other rubbish.  Its first application to bodily waste, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, appeared in 1846 under a reference to acrapping ken, or a privy, where ken means a house.
OK...now I had enough information to do a couple of small illustrations for Pat that would explain how I would illustrate "holey crapoley".  And here you have them!

I'm sure this is WAY more information than anyone needed to know, but it just goes to show what it takes to create a fun illustration or two for a pal!  Hope you like it, Pat!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

Well, it's 2/14/14 and it's 77 degrees here in New Mexico!  Our crocuses are blooming as well as some of our other bulbs.  So I just had to share a pic I made of a photo I took in our yard today.  Hopefully I'll be able to update my blog soon!  Been busy with art lessons and watercolor paintings!
Life is wonderful!  Hope to see you all soon!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Happy Halloween and More to Come!!!


So that's it for today!  Here's wishing you all a Happy Halloween and Happy Samhain and Happy Dia de los Muertos!  I hope to be blogging more as I get ready to roll out my greeting cards and books!  Wish me luck!

Balloon Fiesta!

This month is the annual International Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque!  It's fun & pretty, but can be dangerous.  There were a few accidents this year.  One morning we woke up to a bunch of balloons heading to our neighborhood in Rio Rancho!  There's some good spots for them to land here if they're careful.  So here are some pics from the other day:

The invasion begins

One over our neighbor's house

ACK!  It's the alien one!


There are so many fun shapes to see!  If you go to http://www.koat.com/news/new-mexico
And click on the header that says Balloon Fiesta, it will take you to a bunch of sites with pictures of the special shapes rodeo, splash & dash in the Rio Grande, etc.  Have fun checking it out!  And watch our for that "Wicked" one!  Maybe you'll get to see the Bee family or Clarabelle or the Wells Fargo Wagon!


Strathmore online classes

Strathmore has a site where they offer free classes.  They promote their products this way and get to see new art work.  I took a class on greeting cards with two instructors.  One was Jane LaFazio.  You can see her work at janeville.blogspot.com and the other was the fun Joanne Sharpe.  (Remember her Whimspirations site at Joannezsharpe.blogspot.com?)  Anyway, they were both wonderful instructors with very different styles.  Jane teaches you how to really SEE what you are drawing and is more realistic.  Joanne teaches you how to interpret what you see in a loose, doodly, fun way.  They were both inspiring!  Here are some lessons from their classes:

Card and postcard backgrounds ready for lettering
 One with lettering...the inside says "Smile!"
The Wizard
There are a lot more, but this is a sampling!


Potpourri!

In between classes I made some potpourri!  Every few weeks, Ron has been bringing home a dozen roses...they run cheap down here.  I remember when I was living in Cuernavaca, my "brothers" would bring home roses every Friday to their wives & my mamacita!  It was a nice tradition.  So I gathered up all my saved roses and leftover herbs, spices, etc, bought some orrisroot to use as a fixative & some essential oils to help infuse the petals with a wonderful smell.  Here are a couple of pics of the process:

This batch made 7 quarts of potpourri!  It is now curing before it goes into large storage containers.  Then I can take some out, add a drop of essential oil to reinvigorate the smell & use!

Now for the fun stuff!

I was able to take a few online art classes, and continue to do so.  If you look under my Labels on the left to "Old Work" and scroll down, you will see the kind of art I did a long time ago.  I knew I wanted to loosen up my art as I am looking to get back to my roots & create some whimsical greeting cards.  And to dig out those old children's books I started way back when, and get them finished up & ready to get published!  Hopefully this will help with recovering some of my medical expenses in a really fun way!

The first class I took (and am still involved in) is called "Doodle Arts and Lettering".  It's offered by Joanne Sharpe and you can find her at Whimspirations here:  joannezsharpe.blogspot.com   She has been a teacher forever (sorry Joanne!), and is wonderful and inspiring!  Just what I need to loosen up!

So here are some of my homework pieces from her class:

First, in a little ring book of 100 pages, she gave us prompts for making our own doodles.  It was hard for me to doodle!  I wanted to make things look real!  So it was good to get out of my comfort zone!  These are just a few pages:

Leaves
 Hearts
 Stars
 Flowers

And here are some of the lessons:

The one below wasn't from the class.  
I just did it when I had a headache & needed some relief!
Doodling is very zen!

 Before
After 
Before
After


 This was a birthday card for my mom.
The inside reads:  You can wear purple!
Earth Goddess Diva
I'm still finishing up on the lessons in the class!  Her next class, "Draw Your Awesome Life" starts at the end of October!  Luckily her classes are "forever classes", so like buying a book, you have access to them forever!  Whoot!



Now on to me! (And ME)

OK...the first thing I did was not the most fun.  I spent a lot of time working on getting better.  For those who don't know, I was diagnosed awhile back with ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia.  For information on ME, you can go here:  www.name-us.org  Scroll about 1/2 way down for a definition.

There's a lot I learned about the medical system, our government health issues and alternative health care.  So much was hard to understand, especially with the brain fog that comes with the illness.  I found this little doodle online somewhere and I think it helps explain things a lot better than I can.  Especially for those of us who are more visually oriented.  ;)


I have done a lot to improve my health, but it is a long haul!  And alternative medicine is expensive when you can't use your health insurance to cover it.  I am just grateful for being able to be well enough to still be creative!  Hopefully, I will be able to use my creativity to refill our coffers that dwindled like melting butter!  Wish me luck!

What have we been doing all summer???

Well, let's start with Ron!  He spent most of the summer outside landscaping, working in the garden & building a new shed for his tools!  His garden was such a success, we gave bunches of tomatoes to all our neighbors & pals!  We're down to his teeny pumpkin patch right now, but it was all wonderful.  The following are some pics:
Early garden & raking up berms



First tomatoes with medicine wheel in background
 Flower bed with bougainvillea and petunias 
Lots of various tomatoes
 Black Hollyhock
 Pots of geraniums and herbs
 Pink Hollyhock
Volunteer squash?  Pumpkins?
 More veggies & potted herbs & flowers

 Getting to the end of the harvest



And now for his shed!

 Peek a boo!  Can you see him?

 2 man job done by one man!
 Tools starting to fill the shed

And then the end of the harvest
Volunteer sunflower from bird seed!
 Marigolds that protected the tomatoes
 The squash on the left was great!
And the pumpkins on the right are now almost ready to harvest!

It was a great season!!!