Tuesday, August 31, 2010

coming up for air


i'm finally able to get a little breather from canning.  the top picture is my kitchen counter which is loaded with vegetable beef soup and peaches that i've canned this past week.  i like to admire all my hard work on the counter for a few days before they go down to the basement.   today i didn't have anything to can so i was able to find a little time and energy to paint.  my canning list is getting shorter, yeah!  this week is salsa, which seems like a pretty small task compared to the soup and peaches.  all of this canning can be a little overwhelming at times, but it is definitely worth it in the middle of the winter to see my family eating all of this wonderful food.   hopefully i'll finish this painting tomorrow and be able to post it. 

Monday, August 23, 2010


Picnik collage

i love having zinnias in my garden.  their colors are so vibrant, the blooms last a long time and they make a great cut flower.  i didn't plant enough this year to cut them for our table, i have so few that i would rather enjoy them outside.

when i went out to my garden to take some photos today, i was able to get some really close shots of a monarch butterfly,  it sat so still for me, like it was posing just for me.    after it flew away i  went to look at the pictures and guess what?  i forgot to put my card in my camera!  does that ever happen to anyone else?  or just me?  i've had a few lost opportunities when i've done this before.  very frustrating!

Friday, August 20, 2010

no intentions

whimsy garden

i'm really happy with the results of this painting.  last week i started it and had a plan in mind.  as plans sometimes go, it backfired.  it began with a bunch of scrapbook paper for the background which i had liked, but as soon as i started to paint over it, i knew it wasn't working.  i kept trying different things, different colors, there was even a girl painted on it at one point, but i didn't like it, so it went into a corner.   the other night while talking on the phone, i grabbed it and just started painting over it.  no intentions, no ideas,  just something to do while talking.  i mindlessly grabbed different colors.  when i got off the phone, i looked at it and really liked what was starting to happen. 

i had random things lying on my counter which i knew i wanted to use in a painting at sometime, so i thought, now is the time.  last week during our hot spell, i was craving an iced coffee.  after making my coffee,  i looked at the filter and thought that it would be a great place to do a drawing on.  the coffee filter became the main flowers in this piece.

the other day fischer and i were playing with his Spyroart kit.  i remember having one as a kid, where you can draw all sorts of circles and shapes with little gear like pieces.   i ended up using some of the circles for the petals and the center of the flowers. 

after i had my main flowers down, it all came together so easy.  i would paint a little and step away, maybe go outside for awhile, come back and glue a few circles or paint a few dots, step away again and kept repeating this.  after i drew the birds in, i knew i was done.

this painting was a fun piece to do because it all came together so effortlessly and i liked the results.   i wish this could happen more often.  maybe i need to try painting more while i'm on the phone, imagine all the people i'd be able to catch up with!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

it's been awhile

whoa, it's been awhile since i've posted anything, let alone  post any new artwork.   i haven't been feeling very creative lately.  last week i was in canning mode.  i put up 34 quarts of tomatoes and sauce and froze 2 bushels of corn.  i tried to draw and paint in between all of this but nothing was flowing creatively so i just let it be.  it didn't help that it was super hot and humid here, my brain felt like it was melting, i could hardly concentrate on anything.  so the kids, the dog and i packed up and went and spent a wonderful 5 days with my parents (my husband was out of town.)  it was so enjoyable and relaxing.  i'm actually starting to feel a little creative energy flow again.  the weather is beautiful and i have a bit of a break until the canning begins again.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

the tale of Tadley

one evening about 6 weeks ago we went for a little walk.   during our walk we found a big puddle filled with hundreds of tadpoles!   the puddle was between the road and a small parking area.  we couldn't believe a frog would lay eggs there, but we've had so much rain this summer that there are puddles everywhere.  as we walked home, we talked about coming back to get some tadpoles because we figured the chances of them surviving were pretty slim.  we never made it back that night, but the very next morning we went back with a bucket of water, and we just couldn't believe it, but  the puddle had dried up over night and all the tadpoles were dead, we were all pretty sad, especially fischer.  my husband decided to scoop a dozen or so dead tadpoles and put them in the water.

we were gone all of that day and didn't get back until late that night.  when we checked the bucket of water the next morning, there was Tadley the tadpole swimming around, the only one that survived!  wow, were we excited and happy to see that little guy.

we set up an old fish tank in fischer's room and put rain water in it, with lots of rocks and leaves.  we had to look online to find out what tadpoles eat.  we froze lettuce and would feed him that and sometimes soak dog food in water and then add it to his water.

it was so much fun watching the little guy everyday and see him grow.   fischer enjoyed this the most.  he was always upstairs in his room checking on tadley.  he had a little song that he sang to him at night.  fischer loved to tell me all the time where tadley was in his tank and where he was swimming to and what his favorite corner was.
what an amazing learning experience for fischer and amelia to watch tadley grow bigger and eventually become a frog.   i really enjoyed it too.  last weekend we went out of town.  when we left on Friday, tadley had his back legs and still had his tail. when we got back on Monday, the first thing Fischer did was run upstairs to check on tadley.   fischer   was just over the top with excitement,  " tadley's not a tadpole anymore, he's a real live frog! his tail is gone, he has front legs and was sitting on a rock and hopped off!" he just couldn't believe it.  i couldn't believe how fast it had all happened.
the whole time we had tadley we kept telling fischer that when he becomes a frog that we will have to let him go.  this weekend we had a lot of family in town and we asked fischer if he wanted to let tadley go when all of his cousins were here and he agreed, so we let him go on sunday in our compost pile.  we thought he could find lots of yummy bugs in there.  we think tadley is a tree frog, maybe a spring peeper, and told fischer that this way he can sing to us in our own backyard.  oh my was that ever sad.  fischer knew it was the right thing to do, but the tears came pretty quick.  it just broke my heart to see him so sad.   fischer would say such sweet things, "i just love tadley too much," and  "mama, how come when i think of tadley i start to cry?" and   "mama, i'm going to sing my song to him so he comes back."  "tadley was the best and luckiest frog ever, he was my best friend."

i wanted to go back out to the compost pile and find the little guy and give him back, but i didn't.  afterward fischer and his cousins drew pictures of tadley and little notes that say "we all love you,"  it was all very sweet. today, fischer is still drawing pictures of tadley.

that night after we let tadley go,  i was tucking fischer in for bed and we could hear a tree frog singing just outside his window and fischer asked "do you think that's tadley?, i think that's tadley singing," and   i said " well, it just might be."  and fischer fell asleep thinking that tadley was singing to him! 

Friday, August 6, 2010

happy weekend

purple coneflowers
another busy weekend ahead.   we had a wedding we went to last weekend and have another one this weekend.  lots of good family time together, the kids love it.  tonight we're  making homemade pizza and having a bonfire. 
hopefully after the weekend is over i can find a little creative time for myself.  mentally, i so need this.  i'm a much happier person if i have this.
wishing you an enjoyable weekend!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


is it really August already?  i just can't believe it.  when August rolls around i always start to feel a little sad because i know summer is on the down swing.  my birthday is in August, and as a kid i was always excited for my birthday to come around, but that also meant summer was coming to an end and school would start.
i'm definitely not excited for my birthday these days, but  i've decided i need to stop looking at August as if the "glass is half  empty" and just cherish and be happy for all of it.
i drew this little illustration while sitting outside watching the kids play in their little swimming pool and play with the water hose.  it was just so enjoyable to take in all that was around me, the birds chirping, the cicadas buzzing,  my garden bursting with vegetables, and even the heat of the afternoon, while sipping my tea, watching kids be kids and  enjoying a little drawing time.
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