Pen and Ink...and maybe some paint

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Two more swaps under my belt...

I've really been going to town on the ATC swaps lately. I think I have about 15 going right now! I just mailed these two off, so I'm all caught up, but now I've discovered a couple of other types of mail art trading that I would like to try. One involves making a 4x6 postcard with art on one side and a message on the other. I'll be doing that soon. Another is for making 5X7 canvas board paintings. You only make one of those at a time and it's a monthly contest, so I can plan ahead. I have all kinds of canvas boards...just not 5X7's! So, I'll have to buy one or two before I can try that. :)

Here are the two swaps I'm sending off today.

The "Van Gogh" swap...
...and the "Crayons Are Back!" swap.

I'm thinking crayons are not my favorite medium. Some folks can get beautiful results with them, but I'm not one of them, lol. Anyway, you can never have too many crayons around for the grandkids! They won't be wasted!

Other than a foray to the post office, I've spent a quiet day indoors today. Our little town is having what it calls the Muskie Days Music Festival, which involves lots of events such as a 5k (which I've run several times in the past) and lots of bands playing within the two square blocks that constitute our fair city. Lots of tourists flocking the place. I may venture out later out of curiosity...maybe. A band called Chasing Clarence will play at 3:00. One of the members is a friend of my boys. They play folk/Christian type music. I might go listen if I get up my introverted nerve. I'm not big on crowds, but I really need to get outside a bit.
named after this guy...
Hope you're all having fine summer weather!
Shalom to all!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Finishing up a swap...

Here are the last two cards for the No Butterflies/No Birds/No Flowers swap...

This cute little pirate's map was shamelessly copied from the internet. Isn't everything?

This was from an actual photo of one of my hubby Bob's old trucks which was gracefully rusting away in our woods.
One of my next swaps involves copying something by Van Gogh. I found this picture while looking around for a reference photo. I won't be tackling this one, but I love the feeling of this painting. Notice how the farmer has removed his shoes so his feet can have a rest. :)
Hope you're having a great day! I'm being a recliner potato on my day off. I just watched From Time to Time for the second time! I figured if I had access to it for seven days I might as well watch it more than once. ;)

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, July 22, 2016

A HOT day off...

I've been sitting in front of two fans most of the day. Hot out there! And in my apartment. I suppose I could get an air conditioner, but I think the really hot stuff will pass soon.

So, I spent a lot of time computing and watching You Tube videos. I also got my laundry done and ran to the store to pick up a birthday card for a granddaughter in Maryland, whose birthday snuck up on me! Kristen will be 12 on Monday! I think the card may be a little late.

I did a little reading in The Normal Christian Life by Watchman Nee. Here's an excerpt with underlining and margin notes by a friend who owned the book before me.

I'm taking Dori's advice and reading just a page or two at a time, and really meditating on the meaning. His writing is packed with insights though these are elementary Christian teachings. As he mentions, we tend to wander away from the ABC's of the  Gospel when we think we've attained a new level and can do things in our own strength.

Oh, I also took a nice long nap on the couch. Very important!

Toward 8 p.m. I was looking over some of the swaps I've got going, and realized I hadn't done any art today. I always feel better when I've done a piece of art on my days off. I'm involved in a swap called "No Flowers/No Birds/No Butterflies" (or maybe that's the wrong order, lol). The idea is to avoid the cute themes we so often fall back on. We're supposed to come up with themes that are a little different. Here are my first two cards. The dinosaur is very similar to the one I did for the Cute Dinosaur swap, but I figured dinosaurs would be okay for this swap. :)

Note to self: Give that dinosaur some teeth!! (The color is sort of washed out in this photo.)
This is the second card I made for the Cute Dinosaur swap. We're only required to send one card for this particular swap, so the second one is a host gift.
I finally have some sunflowers!
And that was my day. Just trying to keep cool. Hope you managed to stay cool, too!
Bedtime soon, so I'll say "Shalom!"

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Library book sale!

Ah, yes. It's that time again! I went to the library book sale on Thursday after work, knowing that things would be well picked over. That didn't worry me; no way! That only increases the thrill of the hunt. And, I was sure I wouldn't be hauling too many books home. Right.

First, an odd assortment. A nature book for the grands, a book on Scandinavia with lots of colorful photos which might serve as inspiration in artwork. Also a book on writing and selling children's books, which is outdated, but still might have good ideas. The Artist's Way is probably the copy I donated a while back, but never got around to reading. Still not sure I will. She seems a little new agey to me. But, it can sit on my shelf while I decide. Lastly, a Brother Cadfael mystery. I've never read one, but it might be interesting.

 These go in the history category. I wish I was one of those people who could quickly read through books and remember all the details. I tend to quickly forget what I've read when it's dates and such, but I'm still very fascinated by history.
 I read Open Heart, Open Home back when it first came out, but thought it might be worth another read. The others are just more history, really. Only from a faith viewpoint.
 And, lastly, a stack of classics. I've read The Chosen before, but bought it because I love Chaim Potok's characters and wanted to give it a home. And maybe I'll read it again.
These books are stacked on the floor in front of my bookcase. I'll have to find some room...somewhere!

I've been working a lot on my Sketchbook Skool assignments. I think I'm finished.

This one was for Jane LaFazio's class. We might call it "Let's All Try to Do Art Like Jane". (It should be called "Produce I found on the internet", since only one is a veggie.)  It's not what I would do if left to myself, but it's what she asked for.
For Roz Stendahl's class we needed to work on contour and gesture drawings. She suggested going to a natural history museum or large sporting goods store where there might be some taxidermy to work from. Sorry, not in my neck of the woods! She told us we could use dinosaur or other animal models/toys if we couldn't find taxidermy. Voila!

After drawing with the still models, she gave us the assignment of doing some quick gesture sketches with live animals. Sorry again! No live animals here. Most students had a dog or cat to use. I, with my usual resourcefulness, decided to draw from a YouTube video.
I think I'm not much of a sketchbook person. I like the idea, but when it comes right down to it, I mostly enjoy doing ATC's. I'd rather give my art as gifts than to keep it in a sketchbook on a shelf. Call me weird. ;)
 The last artist to do a class for Sketchbook Skool was Tommy Kane. I really admire his detailed pen and ink/watercolor drawings. It's lots of fun to watch him work, but I just don't enjoy drawing the kind of subjects he gives as assignments. He also spends about 4-8 HOURS on a drawing. Sorry, I have other things to do! His assignment was to draw our kitchen. His version was interesting, but I've decided to skip the assignment. I have no enthusiasm for it. And since I paid for the class, I'll do what I wanna, lol. :)

 An art friend from the UK is having a swap of her own called "Cute Dinosaurs", so I made this one for her.
 I've just begun reading The Normal Christian Life by Watchman Nee. I've had this on my shelf for MANY years. I'm not sure why it's taken me so long to get around to reading it. Well, probably because I have too many books and I'm an indecisive person. Maybe? This particular copy came from an old friend who was a chiropractor. He also invented alternative methods of healing using magnets and electronic devices he made himself. He was quite a larger-than-life character. One of his gadgets actually cured my husband's prostate cancer almost 20 years ago. He was also an on-fire Christian, and believed in the power of prayer. As you can see, he was (or maybe still is; I'm not sure if he's still alive or not) an enthusiastic underliner and margin marker. It will be fascinating to try and decipher his writings. Bless him! (I just remembered that my son, Josh, said he was just starting to read it, which reminded me that I had a copy. So glad!)
 On the garden front. As you can see, I have one ripening tomato and several green ones. The red you see in the upper left is the cap on the propane tank, so don't be fooled. ;) I had to do away with my squash plants. They turned completely yellow. They were very root-bound. Obviously, my pots just aren't big enough for larger plants. We'll see how the tomatoes and sunflowers do. I may have to water more than once per day to keep up with their needs.
Audrey and Nathan both have birthdays this week. I'd better get busy looking for some new puzzles for Audrey. She's a master at them and has been wearing out their puzzle supply. I'll have to get a card and some money off to Nathan. My grandkiddos are such a blessing!

I hope you're all enjoying the last half of your summer. I haven't gotten outside much, except yesterday when I babysat for 6 hours and took the girls outside to play. They blew bubbles, we threw and kicked balls, they swung (swinged?) on the swing set and slid down a dirt hill and we discussed why we don't eat berries and mushrooms we find in the yard and woods. We also discovered a bunch of raspberries growing right behind their house. (I didn't encourage them to eat them because I think that might have negated my warnings about other berries!) and some pretty bergamot flowers, which we picked and put in a mason jar with water for their mom.

Thanks for dropping by!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

My sketchbook is on tour!

Remember when I filled up a sketchbook and sent it to New York City to be part of The Sketchbook Project? Well, it's now on tour along with many others! The chances of anyone actually looking at it are infinitesimal, but it's an interesting happening (for me) just the same.
 Pom, the tour will come to North Boulder on July 23. You can find details here. Apparently, you have to RSVP if you want to go. This is probably the only stop on the tour where I know anybody. (I used to live just outside of Boulder, so I can almost visualize where my book will be!) If you should decide to go I think they can look up the book by my name or it's ID# which is B826081. Anyway, it's fun that mine actually made it on a tour. They don't all get to do that. (I think it's a random pick thing.) You can find more posts about the sketchbook here.

Josh and family came up for a visit for a couple of days. It was good to see all of them and spend some time with my grands, Nathan and Starry. I miss my boy, but it looks like things will work out better for them in Kentucky than here. Jess's large family offers her lots of support with the kids as the whole family faces some challenges. (I talked more about those challenges in this post. The problems with Jess's siblings that I mentioned in that post seem to be resolving themselves.) They do hope to move 10 or 15 minutes away from her family to a place of their own in the future, but for now will live with her folks and siblings. They live on a very nice farm in the country near Paint Lick, Kentucky. (Love that name!)  I think communal/extended family living is an idea whose time has come in our present economy. So many struggle financially or health-wise, and an extended family living under one roof can help to share burdens. Of course, being human beings, it can be difficult living in close quarters, but it can also be an opportunity for growth. Anyway, I'm praying that they will not only survive, but thrive!
Nathan and Starry walk in Paul Bunyan's footsteps in Pequot Lakes, MN.
Starry playing in the lake just a couple of blocks from my apartment.

Nathan having some park time. They went to a LOT of parks while they were here.
This picture popped up on Facebook. Son Jordan, skating with friends somewhere in the Fort Worth area. :)
And a few cute pictures of Micah's three girls...
Adele, with her hair blowing in the breeze, lol.

Sweet Audrey. She's trying to loosen another tooth so the tooth fairy will bring her something good!

Hazel and Audrey

Hazel aka Hazey

Ha, ha. So much fun!

Sorry! When Micah does these "photo shoots" I just have to put them all up here for posterity!

Now that the company has headed home I may settle back into some art projects and reading. I have several books going at the moment.

I came home a little early today because I was feeling kind of puny and we were pretty much caught up and well-staffed at work, for once. So, I'll take it easy and play a bit. Thanks for looking in on this rather longish post. If you made it this far...THANKS! :)

Have a great rest of your day!

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Lazy weekend...

Hello, all! I don't know about you, but the Fourth of July weekend is a good excuse for me to stay close to home. Our little town explodes with weekend tourists, and the big rodeo that takes place here every year. When Bob was here we went a couple of times, but I'm not a fan of crowds or excessive beer guzzling, so I'm not tempted to go by myself.
There will be lots of crowd attracting events in Park Rapids, which is the town where I work. It's 12 miles down the road, so I'll stay in the relative quiet of Nevis. I believe we'll have a parade on Monday, and at the risk of appearing Scrooge-like, I probably won't go to that either, unless Micah and Adam and the kids are going. Then I might. I work on Monday, but I should be home in the late afternoon.
Downtown Park Rapids during some event.
Fireworks? I'll hear plenty of them from my apartment. (Scrooge, scrooge...)
I've been indulging and relaxing so far today. I stayed up later than I should have last night. My Aunt Dixie, who lives in Angleton, TX (which is where my folks live) posted a video of Art Garfunkel singing on Facebook. That led to me visiting YouTube and looking up some old Simon and Garfunkel videos. It was a virtual concert! I enjoyed it very much, but I'm probably more tired than I would have been. Oh well. Sometimes you have to do these things. :)

 As you can see the garden is growing. Petunias are mingling with squash blossoms...
 ...and others are bursting out of their pot!
 The tomatoes are growing, but I'm noticing some of the leaves are turning yellow, and others are getting a little curly and crispy. Okay, all of you gardeners out there. What's wrong? I'm giving them Miracle Grow every couple of weeks and trying to keep them watered. They dry out quickly in these pots. Any ideas?
 The sunflowers are heading toward the sun, but they also have some yellow leaves.
I think I'm decompressing from a couple of weeks of planning for the kids' move from Kentucky. Though their plans fell through, I feel sure they are in God's hands where they are. They are always looking for reasons to be grateful, and are making plans to better their situation right where they are.
Nathan and his dad went fishing...

...while Starry and her mom played nearby.
 I'm off to do some more reading. This is one of my current reads. I like reading people's life stories. There are a lot of good dads in my family, and I may pass this along to son Josh when I'm finished. I think he will like it.
God bless you all! Happy Fourth!
Shalom. :)