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
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 and the other was the fun Joanne Sharpe.  (Remember her Whimspirations site at  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!


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:   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:


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!


 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:  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!!!