Pen and Ink...and maybe some paint

Saturday, February 28, 2015

ATC's and family callers...

What a nice evening it's been. I spent a few minutes visiting with my little brother, Mark, from Texas. Just small talk and a few chuckles. As soon as we hung up my other phone rang and it was son Josh. He wanted to give me a heads up that they may be moving back to the area because his wife, Jess, plans to go back to school for her RN or LPN degree and the best school for her would be about 1-1/2 hours from here. We would be so excited to have them so near! (They live in Kentucky right now.)

Other than family news I've worked on tax stuff a bit (just gathering forms), sorted and planned some photo album pages, worked on an ATC, and did a little computerizing. Here's the first of four ATC's I'm doing for a Bible Verse swap. It's the second one I've done with this verse. Deja vu!

Time for a cup of tea and maybe I'll do some knitting and watch something on TV. God bless you all and shalom!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Knitting challenge! :)

That's it! Come on knitting grandmas. How can you resist? (I can, because I won't reach this level of expertise for another hundred years! I would if I could, but I can't so I won't.)  Just had to share. :)


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

He's Alive!

That's the name of the Easter swap that I made these for...

Four similar, yet different, cards.
I'm a little bit on pins and needles. Micah sent me a FB message, which I got 10 hours later after I got home from work. She said she felt "funny" last night and today, so not to be surprised if she calls me at work and needs me to come watch the girls while she goes to have a baby!! She didn't call me at work, but did have her sister-in-law come and spend the day with her in case she needed help. It's getting closer! I would appreciate prayers that the baby (Adele) would arrive safely and that Micah would get to the hospital in a timely manner and that everything will go smoothly. :)

Hope everyone is warm and dry tonight. Take care of yourselves and much shalom to all of you!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Time to check in...

Six days since my last post? Where have I been? :)

So many things to do, so little time!

Today I've been puttering around doing a variety of things. I started scrubbing on the shower before even having breakfast! Then I had breakfast, answered an email from Dad Glenn concerning tax matters (what would I do without my tax guru?), then I started designing some ATC's for a new swap. This is a practice piece of paper. I was determining whether or not watercolors would smear the printer ink. Not too bad! So, I'm going ahead with the four cards below.

The swap is called "He's Alive!" and we're making cards about the Easter story. I couldn't say no to a swap like that!
Each card has a photocopy of the Matthew 28 story of the resurrection. I'll make a cross shape out of painter's tape on each card then paint over it with watercolors. When I remove the tape there will be a white cross like in the practice example. Then I'll do some lettering, maybe in gold marker or white gel pen. I'll see what works best. I'm also in another swap where you illustrate some of your favorite verses on cards. Should be great! I've set aside my big painting for now. It seems like I don't do as much art when I go bigger. So, it's back to some ATC swaps for now. I really enjoy them if I don't put too much pressure on myself!

I'd also like to get another square finished today for Adele's baby blanket...

...and I've started reading Absolute Surrender by Andrew Murray. I had heard of this author before, but my son, Josh, gave him a high recommendation, so I bought 21 of his works on my Kindle for 99 cents.
It's a gorgeous, sunny day outside. Only 15*, but that's pretty good for us right now! The wind is blowing like crazy, and swirling the snow around. Good to see the sun, but I think I'll look at it from inside!
Stay snug...
...and think springy thoughts.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Scattered thoughts...

Just a few quick thoughts before my bedtime bowl of spumoni! :)

My painting is not progressing very quickly, but that's okay. I'm enjoying making small, spontaneous additions to it. I'm working on the seedy middle of the flower. Then I'll add some detail to the petals. Lastly the sky will be messed with. I painted this canvas blue a long time ago, thinking I would paint something colorful for the grandgirls' bedroom, but never got around to it. So, the blue of the sky is brighter than I would like. I'm thinking of something Van Gogh-ish. I will have fun trying things!

Since I worked today daughter Micah didn't have a babysitter for her week 34 baby checkup. So, she packed a lot of snacks and improvised the best she could. Audrey and Hazel behaved themselves admirably, though Audrey did ask a few too many questions about the goings on. :)

It was -25* this morning. Thank goodness everyone's cars started! Micah and Adam's outdoor woodstove went out during the night, so it was 58* in their house early this morning. Adam got it started again but Micah ran to Walmart to buy a heater to speed up the reheating process. I invited them to come stay at my place, but they toughed it out. That's life in the north!

I'm thinking of eliminating gluten from my diet. Is anyone else doing this? I saw something on Facebook listing ten symptoms of gluten intolerance. I had most of them! Any tips would be appreciated. I'm looking for a good list of practical foods that are gluten free. I will replace my wheat bread with Ezekiel bread, which I've developed a taste for. Unprocessed, whole foods seem to be the way to go.

And now, in the interest of better emotional health...spumoni! :D

Have a good night! Tomorrow I'll catch up on the latest episode of Downton Abbey!


Saturday, February 14, 2015

Exciting knitting progress...

Well, it's exciting to me to actually finish something, even if it is only a 9 x 9 inch square!

My first experience with binding off! I have scrounged up a needle to weave the ends in, but haven't done that yet. I did, however, complete ANOTHER square. That took about an hour.

Why am I making a bunch of squares? Because I'm too chicken to try knitting something large in one piece. My plan is to make nine of these squares and then sew them together. Is that allowed? Well, whether it is or not, I'm doin' it! :) It will be my attempt at a baby afghan/blanket/thingy.

I have a question for you knitters out there. When one actually knits a baby blanket in one piece on round needles, why on earth do you begin with 3 stitches and keep increasing each row until you have 154 and keep decreasing until you get back down to three?!? Why can't you cast on 154 stitches in the first place and just knit it so the rows are horizontal instead of diagonal in the finished blanket? The answer is probably obvious to someone with experience, but I don't get it right now. :-/
Here's the blanket I'm speaking of...
Well, that's all I've done so far this morning. I think I need a nap! ;) Still planning  a visit to dear daughter's house later, and some other projects. Happy Valentine's Day to all. Wish I could send you all chocolates!


Friday, February 13, 2015

A restful evening...

Got home from work with weary legs and feet. So, I've been vegging out in my favorite chair with my feet up!
Anyone remember these little pizza kits? This is how we made pizza when I was a kid. I saw these at the store while I was shopping and decided to make a "childhood memory pizza" just to see what they really taste like! I'm glad I added some pepperoni and shredded cheese, because the fixings in the box make a pretty basic pizza. It turned out okay, and it was a fun little project. These went by the wayside when we discovered Shakey's Pizza! :)
I'm working on the photo album project. Remember the albums I'm making for my three kids? I have three bags full of old photos to sort through. I think I'm going to start by categorizing them according to where we lived. Then by year. Then I'll pick a few from each pile and make a collage which I can photocopy for all three albums and a copy for my "master" album. These are old photos that have been through a lot, but I just wanted to give the kids something to spark some memories. Since the early 2000's most of my pictures are on my camera or computer, so these are mostly younger pics of the kids.

I've been looking through some Pinterest photos. Mostly Ireland, but I see there are some English photos in there as well. This is a little cottage that would be fun to live in!
 And, hopefully, this room would be in that cottage. Doesn't it look like a splendid place to read or knit?
I came across this picture of the Dark Hedges a couple of times. Weirdly beautiful, don't you think? I believe they're in Northern Ireland somewhere. Mags, if you should stop by, maybe you could tell us why kind of trees these are?

 Doesn't this look cozy? I'd love to see the inside. It's in Finland.
 Hazel and her mom had an ice cream date on Wednesday night while Audrey was at AWANA. Hazel wants so badly to go to Cubbies, too! Next year she'll be old enough. But she thought ice cream was a pretty good idea! I'm going to visit her and the family tomorrow. It seems like ages since I've seen them!
This little picture reminds me of a poem I came across while going through some of the kid's homeschool papers. I had written this little poem on the inside of the cover of someone's spiral notebook.
For All Those Who Love Midwinter
Then blow, winds, blow!
And rave and shriek,
And snarl and snow,
Till your breath grows weak--
While here in my room
I'm as snugly shut
As a glad little worm
In the heart of a nut!
-From Winter Fantasy
by James Whitcomb Riley
I'm looking forward to a nice weekend of sorting photos, painting and knitting. Stay snug, little worms! :)

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Today's pursuits...

I had an early day at work so I was home by 3:00. I did a little more painting on my acrylic sunflower. I just have the flat base colors on, so far. I look forward to adding lots of layers, and hopefully ending up with a decent looking painting. :)

I got some big, fat needles and started making...something. I'm using two colors of yarn and I like the chubby, soft texture of the resulting fabric.

Oh, on the way home from work I stopped off at the library book sale! Here's my loot!

Three of these are books that I donated to the book sale a while back and found them on the shelves this time around. I decided I might want to read them after all. Someday! Why did I get TWO copies of the Children's Writer's & Illustrator's Market? They're full of great articles about writing! :)

Okay. Enough computerizing! Y'all have a nice evening, shalom, and stay warm!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Just passing through!

I just saw this while perusing knitting patterns. Isn't this an adorable "farmer's market" cap? I'll leave a link to the pattern. I wanted to put this here so I could find it later. :)

I have three projects started, so far. Now I'm chomping at the bit to try knitting in the round. I'll have to watch a tutorial first! The main things I'm excited to try are making hats, mittens and socks!

Off to do other stuff. Stay warm!


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

More Uganda photos...sorry, can't help myself! :)

I do want to have a record of this auspicious occasion, and since more photos surfaced on Facebook today...well... (Oh, and this is my son, Jordan. I guess I forgot to mention that. Sorry!)

I know I already posted this picture, but I wanted to have them all together here!

And here's one from his previous trip a couple of years ago...or is it even four years? I'll have to check! He's helping the medical folks.
I've put the "29 Faces" button on my sidebar. I'm not sure if I'll really get around to doing the challenge, but I'll draw something if I feel like it. I won't worry about doing it every day. What a rebel! ;)

Peace on you all!

Monday, February 2, 2015

A bit of sketching...

It dawned on me yesterday that my blog has become more of a family photo blog rather than an art blog. Well, I think there's room here for both, but I'd like to get back into doing more art. I was watching some "sketchbook flips" on YouTube and one young lady encouraged me to just keep on sketching. Try to do some every day, but not in a compulsive way.

This first sketch reminds me of why I don't like drawing with pencil! I always smear it. This guy is a little out of perspective, but I felt like I had accomplished something just by drawing him/her.

I switched to pen to draw this quirky birdhouse. Both of the photos I used as models are from Paint My Photo.

What have you drawn lately?

Shalom and goodnight! :)

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Marathon babysitting!

Yesterday was a long one! :) Daughter Micah and her hubby Adam headed for Fargo (90 miles) to do some pre-new-baby shopping. They left at about 8:30 a.m. and returned at about 8:00 p.m. They had some difficulty finding things they needed. Audrey and Hazel are both going through miserable colds and Grandma didn't feel too great either, but we muddled through.

Audrey and I had some time alone while Hazel slept in. She showed me how she plays games with her sets of cards. She knows a lot about animals! She was fascinated with my explanation of how a moose eats plants under the water.

She also has Doc McStuffin and Nemo cards. Sometime during our conversation she dropped an interesting factoid. She said, "There are all kinds of bumps on the road, and friction and stuff, that keeps us from going off the road." :D I don't know where this came from, but it's one of the highlights of visiting with Miss Audrey. She's full of information! (Three years old!)

She wanted a braid like Grandma's, and I was happy to oblige.

Hazel and Audrey were both feeling wimpy, so they spent a lot of time on the couch propped up on their pillows.

Lord, I'm praying for healing in their little lungs and bodies, in Jesus' name. Amen!

Colds. Who needs 'em?!?

Micah and Adam came home with lots of baby paraphernalia for us all to admire, and some toys and books for the girls. It was fun to see it all.

Today is a day of resting and trying to recover for work tomorrow. My son, Josh, asked me to take the Humanmetrics Jung Typology Test and to answer a couple of questions. This is to help him with a 16 page paper he's writing for his masters program. I spent some time this morning writing 3 pages on my results. (I'm an INFJ type.) I hope what I wrote made sense and is helpful to him. It was fun to do, though mentally taxing in my current condition.

Back to the resting part of my day. It's sunny and cold here. Hope you're all experiencing a little hygge and shalom today! :)