Thursday, December 31, 2009

Etsy Sale!!!

You are Here I, 7 x 7" - Now for sale on Etsy.

For the month of January (and today also), all Etsy items are 25% off. If you wish to make a purchase, convo me through Etsy, or send me an email about which item(s) you wish to purchase. I will then mark down that piece and reserve it in your name. You can then continue to purchase the item through Etsy. I can also accept checks and money orders if you wish.

I need to make some room for new pieces. I've got lots of new ideas brewing in my brain and I'm anxious to get back to work.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Time to Regroup

I've only been out of town for three days and I feel so lost.

I'm not going to be able to catch up on everyone's blog and make the witty (snarly?) comments I would like to make.

I'm surrounded by boxes (empty and full), ribbons, bags (empty and full), cookie tins (empty, finally), tree needles, broken bits and things to glue, a kid's sewing machine I have to learn to use before I teach my daughter the proper way to sew over her finger, tissue paper, unknown things, cat yak, unanswered Christmas cards, lists of things I should have done, etc.

Bloggers, thanks for being out there. I'll visit you later and make comments on old posts.

I'm off now to heat up leftover pizza and then hope desperately that the milk for tomorrow morning has not gone bad.

p.s. Happy birthday Wiggy!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Dishes

Whew! I'm worn out.

Had a great Christmas with hubby's folks. Today Christmas #2 begins with my folks. I do know for a fact that there will be fewer dishes.

Hope everyone has a great weekend. Don't spend too much time in the stores returning gifts!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Gifts to Me

Well, looks like this is going to be a quick post.

Just here for a minute to wish all of my readers a wonderful winter holiday.

I want to thank all of you for your gifts to me throughout the year. Thanks to all who read this blog and comment frequently. Thanks to those who stop by every now and then. Thanks to those of you who have been supportive of my attempts at creativity.

All of your comments are gifts to me. It's great to know that you are out there.

Now, I am scuttling off to clean and tidy up before the in-laws get here. I have no idea what time they are due to arrive. We are all heading out this evening to gawk at lights and have dinner. Then tomorrow the hubby (with my assistance?) will whip up a brunch and Christmas Eve dinner. Then soon after that is another brunch and Christmas Day dinner will be next. And I just realized I have failed to conjure up a dessert for at least one of these meals.

Anybody have a quick and easy recipe that uses chocolate chips and 4 or fewer eggs? It's all I have on hand and darned if I'm going to the store again.

Monday, December 21, 2009

My Favorite Things, Part III

On the cooler side of the spectrum, my favorite colors are brown and blue. These colors are appropriate for those rare sunny, winter days in Central Pennsylvania.

Inception, 7.5 x 9"

City Park, 13 x 11"

Life Raft, 6 x 9"

Ripple Effect, 14 x 10"

All of these pieces are now available on Etsy.

Not a great deal to talk about today. I must spring into action now. Wrapping, baking, one more trip to one of those darn big box stores. I swore I was not going to shop anywhere until after Christmas. That just makes me a big fat liar. But one MUST have printer paper.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

My Favorite Things, Part II

Back in 2000, my husband and I had been trying to have a child for a couple of years. We went through a few unpleasant and somewhat invasive procedures. We could have gone farther down the unpleasant procedures path, but decided against it.

Biological Clock, 14 x 11" framed

While adoption had always been in the backs (and sometimes fronts) of our minds, we weren't quite sure if we were doing the right thing by not going along with these procedures. Were we wrong to not exhaust all possibilities of having a biological child? Luckily, we came across a mean little specialist who really turned us off regarding additional procedures. Really. It was a fortunate thing.

Biological Clock II, 18 x 14" framed

We then gathered information about adopting from China. Two years of filling out forms, sending money here and there (and sometimes, it seems, down the toilet), and experiencing moments of extreme doubt spread out before us. Our referral came with a photo of our child and all of that bad stuff just went out of the window (or down the toilet, with some of that money). I no longer had to hear the ticking of that damn biological clock.

Biological Clock III, 14 x 11" framed

Our daughter will be eight in February. We know every second that we did the right thing.

These pieces now hang together in our home. Here they will stay. They will not show up on Etsy.

My daughter came upon a wishing tree at a local Christmas tree festival. Slips of paper and ties were provided to write down a wish and tie it to the tree. My daughter's wish was for a baby brother or sister. Santa's not bringing that gift, kiddo!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

My Favorite Things

Since there's nothing new coming out of the studio this month, I'm going to post some of my favorite things from the past.

Spice Route I, 24 x 24"

This series, Spice Route, was inspired by a neighborhood walk a couple of years ago. The autumn leaves had mostly fallen. Mixed into these glorious colors were a few bright pink petals from a daisy that had escaped the frost.

Spice Route II, 20 x 20"

Unfortunately, at the time I did not have a small camera for carrying on walks. I would have to remember this color combination.

Spice Route III, 16 x 16"

It would be several months before I got around to putting that mental picture into fabric. Would the final result have been better if I had been able to exactly match the fabrics to a photo? I'm thinking probably not. I feel the colors matter less than the intensity and contrast.

Spice Route IV, 12 x 12"

I have since received a camera small enough to uncomfortably fit into my pocket. I rarely remember to carry it with me, however. Does forgetfulness make for good art? For me, its the memory that counts. I just wish my memory weren't getting so bad.

All of these pieces are available on Etsy.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Basic. Elemental.

Elemental I, 12 x 12"

As usual, I've managed to get myself worked up into a holiday lather. I've got to slow down and think about what is really important. I really don't want to do ridiculous activities, buy ridiculous gifts, and bake ridiculous amounts of goodies that an army couldn't even eat (I'm talking about quality, not quantity here. My goodies are good).

Elemental II, 12 x 12"

Do I really have to run all over town and find presents for my kid's instructors? Do these people really want dozens of little gifts? Can't my daughter just make a heartfelt card instead? Hmmmm, maybe Christmas is about delegating to the little people.

Elemental III, 12 x 12"

I just want to be with my family. I want to buy them gifts I think they will like. (Remember folks, it really is the thought that counts). I want to send out pretty cards. I don't have to write to everyone about how wonderful my year was. That's what those newsletters are for. We just have to let people we like know that we like them.

I guess its a bit too late for me this year to say I'm being basic and elemental. There's always next year.

And, yes, I am getting just a bit commercial here. All of these pieces are available on Etsy.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Snow Day(?)

I guess you can call it a snow day. It's also ice and rain day. In my humble opinion, it just a nasty day.

I can call it a day without school.

What a cruel joke of the weather. Four inches of white snow. Then some ice is thrown down on top of that. Then it rains, and rains, and rains. Its really no longer snow. It's now vast amounts of cold oatmeal. Nasty.

My first plan for the day was to write up some summaries of my work and have them shipped off with original artwork to one of those Somerset magazines. Once school was cancelled, it turned into "let's make sausage balls" day. My daughter was thrilled. I put the ingredients into the bowl, stuck my hands in and she decided it was not a day for sausage ball making after all. She flips open the laptop and asks she she can download some songs on iTunes. I say no. She asks if I can set up a movie. I say later. She then wants to go play in the snow (and rain). She has to wait for me to finish the mixing. The dog is waiting, too. He thinks that raw sausage would be a good thing. The Pepto Bismol from his last dietary indiscretion is still on the kitchen counter. But he's hopeful. It wouldn't bother him to spatter the rugs and walls (again) with liquid brown s**t before the in-laws come for Christmas. It would bother ME.

Now daughter is out in snow and rain with her friends building a snowman. Happy as a cold, little clam. I find it irritating to be both cold and wet.

The next plan is to do more Christmas decorating. I have to do a search in my fabric remnant piles for tree skirts. I don't actually own official tree skirts. I just use large fabric remnants that I find dirt cheap. I don't see the need to purchase a lovely felted Martha Stewart-approved tree skirt from an exclusive catalog for $250 when a $4.00 remnant suits both the cat and I just fine. To the cat, they are not tree skirts. They are just comfortable spots to rest that have invisible words on them that read "eject unwanted hair here."

Well, time to roll up some more sausage balls and pop them in the oven. And eat them.

Happy snow day.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Colors of Christmas?

I've never been one to use those so-called traditional Christmas colors of red and green. If I do use them, they won't be seen together. Not my favorite color combination. As most of my readers know, fall colors are my fave. And, yes, fall colors become my Christmas colors.

Benefits of Sunshine I, 10 x 10"

I tend to do a lot of Christmas decorating. I'm not sure if its all about the Holiday, or more of a chance to do what I love more excessively. Each year, I put up several Christmas trees. So far I have eight artificial trees in various sizes, with a live tree yet to come. One is the "heritage" tree with loads of ornamants from my and my husband's childhood. This is the closest I come to putting red and green together. My favorite ornaments on this tree are red and gold balls with spots of red and gold glitter. My mother's first Christmas with my dad was a year with little money. My mother went to the "dime store" and purchased boxes of inexpensive gold, red and green balls. She also purchased glue and glitter and went home and got creative. My sister and I divided these up years ago when my mother declared she was done with a red and green tree. Each year, I manage to drop and break one of these balls. I refuse to not use them, though. I'll hang them (and break them) until they're all gone. They've lasted 59 years so I guess they'll make it a few more.

Benefits of Sunshine II, 10 x 10"

There is a tree with green lights and green, gold and white ornaments. Red is forbidden there. This tree is in my green family room. Over the years I've collected a few surprising items. A close look will reward the viewer with dragonflies, lizards, and bees along with the usual balls. The live tree in the living room will sport red, gold and white lights. The other tree in the living room is lit with some interestingly shaped white and gold lights. Since my living room is small, there will be little room for living. Years ago, in a Christmas shop far, far, away, I spotted some brown Christmas lights. You heard me. Brown. At $18.oo a strand they were out of my reach. No doubt they would have failed to light the following year. Regardless, I still dream of brown Christmas lights.

Benefits of Sunshine III, 10 x 10"

This year, naturally, there was a Christmas light crisis. No matter that several strands were purchased earlier in the season, there was a shortage. Hubby braved the crowds at Target yesterday. He called mid-trip. "I got two boxes of green lights. There are no red lights unless you want to try those LED ones. I managed to get the last four boxes of white lights."

Green lights good. Red lights look like a volcano erupting. Not the rich red I was hoping for. The white lights have white wire. No so good for a green tree. Got to go back to Target today for a return. Hopefully they have restocked, but I have a feeling that what they had yesterday (next to nothing) is more than what they'll have today.

Yes, I know there are far more serious issues with the world than lights with white wire. We have donated to the local food pantry and may do so again. Still have to pick up some toys for tots. I have plenty of room to fill with the spirit of giving. There is much more that I can do. And hopefully will do.

But right now, I'm heading out to Target.

Benefits of Sunshine I, II and III are now for sale on Etsy.

Friday, December 4, 2009

My Annual Christmas Card Post

We received our first Christmas card in the mail yesterday.

It was right cute with its ice-skating penguins dressed in winter scarves. There were also star cutouts. It's pretty much what a Christmas card should be. Perhaps I should call them Holiday cards, since Christmas might not be the winter holiday you celebrate.

Regardless of what you call them, I do have certain likes and dislikes regarding them.

I like them pretty. Cute is o.k. Religious is fine. Snow scenes, glitter, candles, pop-ups, confetti, musical, trees, bunnies, reindeer, Mary, Jesus, Star of the East, gilded, triple-fold, elves, Santa Claus, Saint Francis, birds, are all just dandy.

If I know you well enough, I also appreciate the annual newsletter. I really do want to know (if I like you) where you went on vacation, who got braces or a promotion or straight A's or knocked up. If granny came to live with you, please tell me. If junior has developed a wheat allergy tell me. If that worthless b@stard has left you for another woman tell me and we'll get together and drink some wine. But please do me a favor. Tuck this newsletter into a lovely Holiday card.

If I like you, I will probably like your children. Granted, they may be pesky at times. I really do want to know about them. I actually want pictures of them. School photos are great. Group photos taken at Walmart are good too. But . . . BUT . . . just insert these photos into a lovely card.

I know how convenient it is to make the photo the card itself. But when I display my Holiday cards, I don't want just photos of kids looking at me. I want to see the pretty cards. I want to take the little photos you insert and put them with the other photos you have sent me through the years. After the holidays, I will file them away with the others from previous years and be astonished at how they have grown. Or, perhaps, your kids will have the honor of being displayed on my fridge for the year. If you send me one of those big ole photo cards, its just going to be tossed. How much room do you think I have to store those big photos? Very little. So those big ole photo cards of your offspring will just get tossed away with half-licked candy canes after Christmas is over. That makes me feel bad. But just not bad enough to create extra storage space.

I also know that no one is going to take my advice. You all went to the photo shop back in early October with your red and green scarves and mittens and posed for your Holiday cards. Too late now.

Hubby and I are meeting up for lunch today and we will do our Christmas card shopping. I'm going to try to pick out something pretty. Hubby will go for something funny. Either way, we will choose cards that say something about us. And it will say something about you -- that we think you're great and we want to make your Holiday even better. And tucked inside will be a little photo of our wonderful, gorgeous, achieving, talented, loving, gifted, precious, awe-inspiring child.

I'm sure I've offended a few people out there. I've probably been furiously scratched from your Holiday card list. Even more likely, you will still send out that big ole photo card anyway, whether or not you read this blog.

I know your children are wonderful, gorgeous, achieving, talented, loving, gifted, precious, and awe-inspiring. Just tuck their photo (or perhaps a photo of the entire family, including pets) inside a show-stopping Holiday card.

Happy December everybody.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Dreaming of Summer Already

Hive I, 14 x 11"

Today, for the first time this year, I heard the tune White Christmas. Not usually my favorite, but it climbs high on my chart when it is sung by Otis Redding.

Hive II, 14 x 11"

This morning is was 27 degrees when I had the pleasure of taking the dog to the vet. There had been a hard frost. Looked mighty wintry and festive.

Hive III, 14 x 11"

However, since I'm not quite ready for the frigid Central Pennsylvania winter to get here, I'm dreaming of summer. Not sure if it is summer past or summer future, but it sure as heck isn't summer present.

Hive IV, 14 x 11"

I'm dreaming of golden summer haze and buzzing bees instead.

The next item on my to do list after dog to vet and updating my Etsy shop, is go downtown and remove my artwork from Happy Valley Optical. After lunch, I will do a little Christmas shopping. Hopefully that will put me in the right frame of mind for this time of year.

Or it could really tick me off.