Back in the saddle

Hi Everyone!

Yes, I am back.  Last week was insane trying to get everything done before leaving for my son’s graduation so I did not make it here before we left.  BUT, here he is in all of his graduation glory and I am one proud Mom!

 

I did barely manage to get the room painting finished before we had to bring back his bed and dresser.  Before with my piles of mess and After before my mess takes over again.  I need to have an art supply yard sale or a better solution would be to win the lottery and build myself a nice big studio. 



 

Now that the big event for the year is over I am SO ready to settle down and get back to work with a routine.  We planted the majority of the garden yesterday so other than the daily weeding I should have a couple of months before I have to stop for the major harvest rituals…picking, canning and freezing.  The bees are settled in though I am adding a swarm from my brother-in-law this weekend.  No more home remodeling until Fall!

 I am setting up my easel in a corner and plan to start back painting today!  For the past year I have held off taking any commission work other than a couple from my daughter.  During the graduation party there were a few inquiries about whether I would be taking any again.  After discussing it with D. on the way home we decided that, yes, it’s time.  I will be adding pet portraits to my Etsy shop hopefully this week and then as soon as I gather some sample work, add people portraits as well.   I will add the links here on the blog when I get them set up.

 I can’t tell you what a relief it is to feel like life is settling down a little and I can get back to the artwork.  My 100 Day Project fell apart, but my goal now is to get back in the saddle and finish out the rest of the summer with some steady work.  Maybe next week I will at least have a sneak peek of what is on the easel.

The flowers are blooming here on the farm and they WILL be making it onto a canvas soon.  Until then, just enjoy the May beauty!  Have a lovely week!

Patience required

Life seems to require an ongoing, endless supply of patience.  I’m sure there is something right now that you are having to wait on.  You would think that as the decades fall behind you that patience would get easier.  Maybe it does to a small degree, but overall it seems to be just as difficult at every stage of life.

There are huge “patience required” problems such as waiting for medical test results, medium level problems along the lines of trying to sell a house and the average low level patience trials of traffic, slow service, etc.  Often all of them are happening at the same time!  Why is it surprising that we are all walking around stressed?

First apartment, here she comes!

Today I have a list of low level stressors that are just aggravating the heck out of me.

  • A pile of boxes waiting to go to a recycling event tomorrow, but I still have to wrangle more out of the storage today.
  •  Another pile of boxes that are part of the “slow move” that I keep tripping over.
  •  The one room that still is not finished with the tiling. I have soooo much more to do and this one is taking forever.
  •  Several client jobs that are on hold until decisions are made or meetings rescheduled.
  •  A landscaping project that is on hold until a large water trough can be moved.
  •  Flowers and herbs that need to be planted, but we have a cold snap at the moment so it’s too cold to plant.

There are a few more, but I will not bore you with all of them. Then I remind myself that there have been many times where my patience was required for the HUGE level items.  Yes, I have waited for the medical results.  I have waited for payments from clients while wondering how the bills were going to be paid.  I have waited to hear from kids who were driving alone at night for the first time. Why, after all of these big ticket issues do I continue to let tiny day to day things try my patience?  I should be in Zen mode most of the time!

Bad Bob

Last week I did discover a new method for relaxing that surprised me.  I took a break from tiling floors and wandered out to the barn where D. was doing some work.  As always Big Bad Bob was there offering his equine help.  He was a muddy mess so I got the grooming bucket and intended to just clean him up a bit.  An hour later we had three spiffed up horses and I was the calmest and most relaxed I had been in months!  I don’t know if it was the concentration required (you don’t want to brush a big horse in the wrong direction) or the big, warm creatures who let you know when they appreciate a good scratching or exactly what the combination was, but it worked wonders on me as well as the horses.  I think Bob, KC and Christy will be looking better on a more regular basis from now on.

Well, it’s time for me to head out and face more tiling adventures.  I hope you all have a wonderful week.  Don’t let the little stuff get you down and if it does, find a horse that needs detailing.

Floors and bees

Happy Friday!! It is a rainy one here.  Good thing I just have TILING on my To Do list today. Yes friends, I actually stuck tile to floor last week! Check it out.

floor 2Here is what I have learned so far if any of you happen to want to tile your own floor.  1) It is not hard.  2) It IS tedious.  3) It IS messy.  I am still quite the novice at this and have not started cutting tile yet.  If you notice in the picture I just got the whole tiles down.  Today’s challenge is to test the cutter out.  I have a manual cutter and hopefully that will work for the most part.  There are a few pieces that will have to be cut lengthwise and I’m 99% sure my cutter will not do those.  Bless my friend Helen. She has a wet saw we can borrow.

floor 1

My goal is to get all the cut pieces down and mortar set so by Wednesday I can start the grout process.  I need this first room done before we can move on to the rest of the house.  You know, that whole move stuff out of one room so you can do the other room process.

All artwork is on hold probably until July.  There simply is no time.  It is all I can do to keep up with my design work right now.  Gardening season is upon us and D. is chomping at the bit to get seeds in the ground.  I am throwing a box of stuff in the car every trip up to D’s in my attempt to make a SLOW move this time.  My last couple of moves have been fast and stressful. Now that process is reaching critical mass and we are having to make more and more decisions on what stays and what goes and how fast can it go.

Next week my town is having a recycling day.  I am dropping off a carload!  The next weekend the theatre company I work for is having their annual yard sale.  Guess who will be dropping off a TRUCK load?  Can you tell I am beginning to feel a little overwhelmed???

With all this going on I have avoided thinking about spending any time drawing or painting and started distracting myself with gardening ideas.  Too much time on Pinterest will make you crazy.  I started studying medicinal herbs, and decided to expand my herb garden this year.  That started me thinking about my future bees and how to help them.  That lead me to studying permaculture and now I have another whole list of projects for the farm.  Someone please take my ipad away from me or slap me when I am on Pinterest or YouTube!

beephoto-1437514805204-ae0a51951572

Soooo, about those bees.  I spent Easter with Mom & Dad.  Dad got me the bee hive for Christmas and has it put together now.  It’s time to get the bees for it.  The plan was to hopefully get a split from one of his hives.  No such luck this year so I told him to go ahead and get me a nuc when he and my brother-in-law pick up their order next week. Then I asked him when we can get the bees settled in their new home.

Dad sort of hesitated and replied “Well, I need to keep them here for a little while so I can keep an eye on them and make sure they are alright.”  Ok, I have to admit that my thought at that moment was…”Dad, I got your grandchildren to adulthood without losing, starving or maiming them, I think I can handle some bees.”  I refrained.  MAYBE I will get bees these year.

Since I have been slack for the past couple of weeks about including some environmental information I will recommend the documentary Vanishing of the Bees.  The link take you to the website, but you can watch it on Netflix.  We need the bees.

Have a wonderful week and go plant some flowers for the bees this week.

 

Flooring photos by yours truly.

Bee photo credit.

 

 

Quirks

Harmon ParkIt is finally here. Spring and the official start to the floor tiling extravaganza. I know, you have been hearing me talk about it for months now. There may have been a little avoidance/procrastination going on coupled with some unexpected family commitments to delay the process. If all goes well this weekend I will post a photo or two to prove I actually did stick tile to floor.

This past week has consisted of more Spring cleaning than creative endeavors. Yard work last weekend while we had some decent weather then digging things out of storage to be donated to a couple of fundraising yard sales in April as well as a big town recycling event. Time to get rid of the ancient VHS players and old cell phones.

Last Sunday we had a conversation in church that has amused me all week. Who knew that a coffee pot could  cause so much division?

coffee yin yang

Have you ever thought about your personal little pet peeves and quirks? How did you acquire them? I think many of them are passed down through our families. You know, the “that’s the way it’s always been done” effect. Some are in reaction against the way it was done in our families. My sister and I will never wash dishes the way our Mom does because we had to do it her way growing up.

The same quirks you thought were charming in someone when you were dating will drive you to the brink of insanity after a couple of years of marriage. Wars may very well have started over quirks.

Our quirks are part of what makes us each unique beings. As hard as it is sometimes, we really should appreciate and celebrate the quirks in each other. Why does the way someone carries their money in their purse make someone else crazy? Or how towels get folded? That’s one of mine. I fold towels a certain way and that’s the way I want them done. Yep, much of it comes down to control issues. Does it really matter how the towels are folded if they are put up in a cabinet and very few people actually see them? It does to me!

How do you handle someone else’s quirks? How do other people handle yours? Can you find a way to appreciate them or at least compromise before World War Three breaks out?

I have claimed responsibility for my towel folding obsession and just do it myself rather than subjecting family members to “my way.” The same goes for the dishwasher. Have you noticed that the dishwasher is a HUGE issue? It is now understood at my house that my rearranging the dishes is not a statement of anyone else’s inadequacy, but just a hang up of mine. Well, that and the fact that my way is better!

So what was the subject of the church discussion?  One of “my kind” sinned by taking a cup of coffee from the pot that had not yet finished the brewing process. This set off a protest by D’s “kind” that the “sinner” had now effectively ruined the pot of coffee for everyone else! It was soon determined that the class was almost evenly split between the two coffee obsessed factions. It was left to the non-coffee drinkers to mediate. We consider them “heathens”, but for continued peace, love and understanding with our Christian brothers and sisters we practiced forgiveness and grace.

May your week be filled with understanding and grace for others and yourself. Happy Spring and Happy Easter!

 

Harmon Park photo by Christel Williams

Coffee photo credit

 

Happy March!

Some of my winter blues have subsided. It helped when I got these…

tulips 2and that the weather is going to do this… Spring weather

next week!  Spring is almost here.  It hasn’t been a terrible winter, but I don’t handle cold of any kind very well.  I am ready for those 70 degree days.

The flowers inspired me to start this…

tulips

 

It is still a work in progress but it was all I had time to work into the schedule this week.

Today I got the call that we have 40 boxes of tile to pick up so I have to hurry up and finish painting the room I have been working on…IMG_2802

and learn how to lay tile!

I sort of rushed through last week’s post since I was running late.  Ok, so I’m late again this week but not AS late.


 

For the moment I am going to call my little environmental section Healing Home.  I need to call it something so until I or you have a better idea that’s what I’m going with.  Did you read last week’s post?

At the beginning of each season I go through all my clothes and see what needs to go. With Spring almost here I think Spring cleaning is in order.  Today I will start with clothes.

I’m pretty sure most of us at this point probably donate our out grown or out of style clothes, but what do you do with the ones that are stained, torn or threadbare?

Here is some information about just how bad the problem has become with our textile waste.

Before you throw out the worn out clothes, stop and see if they can find a new purpose such as napkins, swiffers or un-paper towels.

Better yet, consider less clothing.  The uniform look has been a “thing” lately or you could try Project 333.  I have sort of blended both.  I am down to about 40 items of clothing (she doesn’t count underwear, socks or work out clothes in Project 333) and most of my clothes are solid colors that mix and match easily.  It is rare that I part with more than four items now in my seasonal purge.

If you are just finding my blog, this section is new and is my small way of simply making us all aware of how badly we need to clean up after ourselves.  You know, that Mom thing just never goes away even after the kids leave home!

Have a great week.  I have to go help D. load up 40 boxes of tile now!

 

 

A bad winter attitude

Where does a week go?  I need for them to slow down a little.  What the heck am I saying? I am in the middle of a major winter blues episode.  No one around me wants time to slow down.  I am cranky, depressed, edgy and any number of other bad adjectives.  This happens every February and lingers until there is sufficient sunlight and warmth.  I NEED FLOWERS!  I NEED SPRING!!!

I will try to get through this post without unleashing any of the bad winter blues on you.  Just be thankful you don’t live with me.

Here is the project I was working on this month.  They decided to reveal the shows this week so I can show the illustrations now in all their glory.  I work for a community theatre and do the show logos for them.  These are for the upcoming 2016-2017 Season.

MASH was fairly cut and dry.  It was somewhat boring until I added the texture.MASH logo low res

Route 66 was my challenge.  They wanted a 50’s feel with neon or a jukebox, but it still needed the sign incorporated and had to be readable.  I had to go look for a tutorial to learn how to make neon in Photoshop.  Who knows if I will  ever need that skill again, but I pulled it off once! This has been the favorite of the four.  Guess the time involved paid off.Route 66 logo low res

Tarzan was the most fun.  I haven’t played with watercolor paints in a long time.  I am pleased with the way it turned out.  I should spend more time with the watercolor paints I think. Tarzan low res

And last, but not least was the Velveteen Rabbit.  A watercolor illustration was requested for this.  Originally I just had the rabbit, but they wanted the boy included.  I will admit that I get intimidated painting people in watercolor.  Well, any paint for that matter.  I am much more comfortable drawing people than painting them.Velveteen Rabbit low res

So those are my most recent projects.  They have been time consuming to say the least and have taken up most of my creative time this month.

As March rolls in I’m afraid my most creative project is going to be tiling floors.  We just ordered 500 square feet of tile last night.  D.H.  is trying to finish the barn and since I am the detail person (and am not capable of lifting rafters on a roof) I will soon be up to my eyeballs in mortar, tile and grout.

As I promised last week, I am starting a little environmental project to add to the end of each weekly post.  I need a name for this.  Any suggestions?  For now, here is a link to a blog post I found interesting this week.  I have been recycling for almost 20 years now, but this made me more aware of little things we overlook.  I am giving up plastic straws at restaurants now and am paying extra for paper plates over styrofoam plates for out wedding reception.

“Why I Don’t Recommend Recycling Plastic”

I am going to go buy myself some flowers and margarita mix at the store today and combat these winter demons.  I hope you can find some sunshine and have a wonderful week!