Monday, November 22, 2010

Yes! My very own Sharpie sandals!


Okay, you guys.  Remember my drab yellowed white canvas sandals?  Well, here's the glorious new life for them.  I have had so much fun coloring with my Tropical Sharpie set. 

I just don't want to stop and now am thinking of what else I can color on.  I can't wait until I can wear them next summer.  They definitely are much more fun than plain old white.  What do you think?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

They show her "heart"


When I was looking at my favorite Facebook pages (my kids, of course) I came across a photo of our sweet Gracie Beth.  It brings tears to my eyes because it reflects exactly how she is.  She has such a tender heart and you can see that from this photo taken in NYC.  Thanks to her I have a well organized blog that actually looks attractive.  She took my designs and made them look the way I envisioned them.  You know how that is when you can see something in your mind but don't know how to present it and don't have the skills.

I just had to post this as it is one of the photos that makes me remember how much I loved raising this girl.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Green parrots taking shape

Baby steps.  That's what this painting has been-baby steps.  I feel like I can never just make a huge stride but at least I'm doing something and moving forward.  I like the idea of having the orange underpainting but might bring it more to a redish orange.  It would give it some difference from the background leaves.  Subtle differences that make each part of the painting stand out in it's own way. 

Monday, November 15, 2010

The next step in my painting of birds


So, here it is and it's not much to look at it but I'm still in the underpainting phase.  Unfortunately I just haven't had much time to work on it recently.  I got good news that I can go part time with my job in January.  I can hardly wait!   It's like my life has been almost on hold for the last 6 months.  It drives me crazy.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Preventing the encroachment of the mighty Weber River


As I said over a month ago we discovered this year that there was a terrible problem developing with the river next to our cabin.  We had such a ferocious spring run off that the river restructured itself and tossed around, willy nilly, huge trunks of trees and boulders.  It even created an island that never used to be there.  The worst of it to us is that it has increasingly gotten closer to our cabin and shrunk the space that we claimed as our own between the 2 (even though that part is public but no one could do anything with it).  If it kept up at this pace we would have had the river right next to our cabin.  Moving things around would have been a joke by ourselves.  Our neighbors were having the same problem.  So we all went in together and hired a heavy duty backhoe driver to move everything back to where it was before and shore up the banks with rocks. 

Saturday Chris and I drove up to see what had been done.  I'll tell you it was money well spent.  This guy did a fabulous job and I've taken pictures to prove it.  In the pics you can see the large pond that is down the path.  It's so cold up there that the pond has started to freeze over.  Chris tried to tease me and put his foot on the ice.  I wish I had had the camera on him when his leg punched through the ice into the freezing water.  Thank goodness he was on the shore.  I kept telling him I didn't want to have to go in and get him!

On the way home we drove by a farmer's field just outside of Peoa, Utah.  There are 3 buffalo that live there and they are so cute.  I just had to get out of the car and take their picture-especially after my story last week about our adventures with the buffalo in Washington.  Anyway, they were so dullsville and didn't care at all that I was close to them.  I was smart enough to stay on the other side of the fence but they didn't look at all that ferocious.  I know.  Buffaloes are very unpredictable and not to be trusted.  Did anyone see the youtube video about the man that has a buffalo as a pet?  It comes into the house and lays on a rug and watches t.v.  It's even housebroken!  Look it up for yourself.
One more thing.  I just have to add a picture of the gorgeous Thousand Peaks Ranch that we drive through on the way to and from our cabin.  A branch of the Weber River flows through there and it's probably about the best fly fishing any where around but it's totally out of bounds for anyone except whoever has a permit.  So, you drive by and your hands itch to just get a hold of a pole and experience fishing at it's best but it's not to be.  I just love the rust colored willows.  It's a paradise and we're so lucky to be able to go through there often during the year.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

"Life is good award"


Well, I am so slow to put this on my blog but I knew I had to put a little thought into it.  Mooncat Farms has awarded me this and I'm very honored!  It is required that I pass it on to other worthy bloggers.  That I will do but after I answer the award questions first:

1.  If you blog anonymously are you happy doing it that way; If you are not anonymous, do you wish you had started out anonymously so you could be anonymous now?

I like the way I have it now.  It's not in my nature to be anonymous.  You know how artists are "out there".

2.  Describe one incident that shows your inner stubborn side:

Oh, I am a little rebel.  My husband can attest to that.  I just refuse to go along with certain things that I feel are ridiculous.

3.  What do you see when you really look at yourself in the mirror?

Probably what everyone else my age sees:  that there are new wrinkles, etc. but I think I look pretty good for my age (I hate that sound of that...blaaaa).

4.  What is your favorite summer cold drink?

It's the same as my favorite drink all the time...Diet Coke.  Well, actually, I've changed that.  It's now Zevia.  Zevia is a natural cola without sulfuric acid to eat away your bones.  It also has some caffeine.  Yea!

5.  When you take time for yourself, what do you do?

Head down to my studio, eat lunch with friends, read, garden, walk outside, and work on my blog.

6.  Is there something you still want to accomplish in your life?  What is it?

Own my very own horse/horses.  I never have.  Finish my Art History degree.  I'm so close it hurts.

7.  When you attended school, were you the class clown, the class overachiever, the shy person, or always ditching?

I don't fit into any of these categories.  I was part of a group and we laughed ourselves silly.  I just had too much fun in school-especially junior high.

8.  If you close your eyes and want to visualize a very poignant moment of your life-what would you see?

Wow.  I can I pick?  Too many but I have to tell about something that gives me shear delight and it's part of one of those moments.  I remember laying out by my cousin's swimming pool in Santa Monica when I was a teenager all by myself.  I could hear the propeller type airplanes overhead.  Just the whole space in time together with the sun, the pool, the warmth and carefree day just gives me such a wonderful feeling.

9.  Is it easy for you to share your true self in your blog or are you more comfortable writing posts about other people or events?

Well, I would say I share "myself" a lot but not too much.  My daughter told me I better not write one of those tell all blogs that make people cringe.  So you won't get any cringe stories from me.  But you can't help but get a real sense of my personality by the tone in my blog.

10.  If you had the choice to sit down and read or talk on the phone, which would you do and why?

I am a readaholic.  Does that tell you what I would pick?  I do like to talk to certain people but not for long because I have to talk to people nonstop for 8 hours everyday with my job.  I'm talked out most of the time.


My vote for some great blogs (and I know there are so many more out there!)

1.  Shoplet.com blog  (Okay, I know it's my daughter, Gracie's, work blog but you'll see that it IS a great one-never dull). 
2.  My Crappy Photography-great great photographic creativity.
3.  The Yard Art Game - sometimes a little spicy but it's such a guilty pleasure.
4.  Magnon's Meanderings - Wow!  I just love to hear about the countryside of France.
5.  Lemon Verbena Lady - get out in that garden and start planting-you can't help but be inspired!
6.  Urban Sketchers - well I don't think they know I exist but I don't care-it's so dang interesting!
7.  Josh Pincus is Crying - you know, anyone that tells all the cool stories about dead celebrities and illustrates it gets high points from me-it may be a little too spicy for some.

Monday, November 1, 2010

buffaloes-Old photos-dumb parents


I was looking at some wonderful photos that are on mycrappyphotography.blogspot.com of buffaloes.  Josh is such a great photographer.  It reminded me of something that happened in Sequim, Washington, many years ago-probably 17. Here is what I told Josh about our experience:


"We went to the Olympic Game Farm  in Sequim, Washington (right before you board the ferry to go to Victoria). It was great! Animals all out in the open wondering around. We bought a bunch of old hamburger buns and drove our van through the park with the doors open. Animals would get in the car to get the food. We saw a baby buffalo-so we called to it. Before we knew it an adult came up to the car and put it's head in the window and opened it's mouth for hamburger buns. We just started throwing them in and it was stacking them in it's throat. We were laughing so hard and it was slobbering all over the radio controls of the rental car (whoops). It was ridiculous that we did that because we realized later how dangerous it was. My husband watched on another occasion where some people tried to get one in a trailer and it smashed the whole thing. Then he told me how dumb we had been".


One thing about that place that really strikes me all these years later is that it really was not a safe place for just letting people drive through.  I mean-just look at the flimsy fence where the bears were.  But it was so fun.  The bears weren't just laying around.  You could see them fighting each other off in the distance.  It really was a wild animal type park.

So I thought I would post some of the old photos.  You can tell how long ago it was.  Gracie and Charlie still had white hair!  Charlie is 26 now and Gracie is 23.
The baby buffalo

But the photos of the buffalo's tongue is so grotesque.  I just had to show everyone.  I'm not kidding-it was so hilarious but it wouldn't have been if any one had been hurt.
 Lindsay, Gracie, Chelsie and Charlie at the Buchart Garden 
(Unreal lighting)

Dumb parents, right?

P. S.  If you want to be dumb you can still go there.  Here's the link Olympic Game Farm.  I can't believe it's still around!!!!!!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

happy halloweenie!!!


Last week I had 10 and 11 year old girls come to my house and decorate little pumpkins.  We only have 1 hour to do these things.  So how do you clean out a pumpkin and carve it in that space of time?  You can't unless they are a lot older.  Anyway, I just went into my studio and scrounged for materials to decorate.  I have an abundance of sequins and beads left over from the prom dresses that I hand beaded and sequined for Gracie.  So that's what we used.  Oh, there were 2 girls that couldn't come-so I made a few.  It was very very fun and they loved it.  Then the highlight of the whole project was that they had to deliver them to a "lady in need" in our neighborhood to cheer her up.  It's such a good project.

I hope you will all have a fun and safe night! 

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Step 2 and 3 of the new painting


Okay.  So today I put a heavy wash over the brilliant underpainting of red orange, plum and magenta.  Today's wash consists of white, cerulean blue and ultramarine blue.  This is the sky that will be behind the leaves (of course).  Even though not much sky shows through it's nice to do this first so you don't have to add the sky later as an after thought. Notice I'm careful to let the underpainting show through because I want the redish hue to remain as the underpainting of the green leaves and green parrots.  You know the complimentary color of green is red.  So this will give the painting life by allowing the red to barely show through.  I'm also going to do another underpainting on top of that.  And I haven't even gotten to the drawing of any objects.  Now you can see why my paintings take such a long time.  Yes, it does take a lot of patience to go through this and it's hard when I want to start on the beautiful parrots!

I've been using this method for about 20+ years.  I was always a "get it done" artist before and this was good discipline for me to make myself do.  It just pays off to do the outlying areas of the painting before you get to the main subject.  That way you won't have to be careful painting around things.


I had a few minutes more to spend on this before work.  So I did step 3.  Remember what I said about doing the things that should be done first?  Well, I didn't listen to myself (see-now don't you feel better-I didn't listen to my own advice).  I started in with an orange underpainting for the leaves and said, "Uh oh".  I noticed I should have done the branches.  Off came the orange and I did the UP (underpainting) for the branches.  I noticed that they're kind of an orangey brown.  So I thought blue would be great as the UP.  Then I decided I wanted to be a little more creative on that and I did a cerulean turquoise (my fav color, you know).  I know I'll have to add some bits of branches later but this is a good beginning.  

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

What to do when your white shoes have turned yellow and you're on hold


ANOTHER beginning project (as if I need another).  But but but this is a practical one.  I bought these very pretty white sandals last year and they were/are so impractical.  Never buy white sandals that are made out of canvas material and expect them to remain white.  It doesn't happen that way.  If you could look at the bottom of the shoes you would see they have no wear and that's because they've hardly been worn at all.  Can you believe that the stupid things pick up every little bit of dust, etc.  So, fussy person that I am, I have tried everything to get them white:  cleaners, toothpaste (yes, that works on Keds), putting them out in the sun on a very hot day.  All it did was turn them yellowy.  I think the glue has something to do with this.  Sooooo I decided to use some Sharpies and turn them into funkadelic sandals for next year!  These are new tropical colors and I'm having so much fun coloring when I have to wait on the phone.  It might not turn out the best but, what the hey?  They were going to be worthless anyway.  So, I'll let you see them when I'm done.

By the way-notice my trusty sketch books in the picture?  I'm using some patterns that I made up a while back.  Waste not/want not the trusty designs!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Here we go again.....

I just thought you'd like to see the beginning stage of my new painting that I'm doing for my sister.  She and her husband love birds.  So I went to the zoo a while back and found some beautiful green parrots to paint.  Can you see that now with my underpainting?  Probably not.  But that's what this is going to be.

Okay.  So I went to the store to buy some lemon pepper and it was outrageously expensive!  So I thought, "I'm making my own!"  Hence, the bowl of ground up lemon peel.  I tried drying some first and it wouldn't even grind in my food processor it was so hard.  So I decided to grind it first.  Then dry it.  It's going to be great.  I just know it. Our family goes through a lot of it.  It's so good on raw veggies like cukes and tomatoes.  I cover a turkey or a roast with it before baking.  It's wonderful on cooked green beans.  We just use it all the time.


The last pic is of some beautiful flowers from our garden.  I just had to show them.  You know, I'm becoming a huge fan of gazanias and blanket flowers.  They are my 2 new favorites.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

drawings that flow and move


Just another drawing from my sketch book that I thought you'd like to see.  I never know where I'm going with these things, my doodles, until I see something begin to develop.  I've always liked the way this one turned out.  I think it's because of the movement in it and the "anyone" quality.  We don't see their faces and it could be anyone that you would like to imagine.  It has an old fashioned feel to it-like the old melodramas in the 1800's.  That's why I entitled it "Old Fashioned Actresses".

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

cool cool art made from photography paper and clips

 
I just had to show all of you this really really neat sculpture.  It's so beautiful and you've got to see the rest of it on my daughter's blog, http://blog.shoplet.com.  There are more pictures of the whole project that are unbelievably beautiful.  I wish I had thought of this.  In a way it makes me think of Chihuly.  He does the most incredible glass sculptures.  When we had the 2001 Olympics in our fair city of Salt Lake they had an exhibit of his work in Symphony Hall downtown.  After the Olympics they purchased one of his sculptures.  It's fantastic and is in the entry way.  It sure is a talking piece that I never tire of.  Come to think of it we saw a show, probably on PBS, of his workshop and how they blow the glass.  If you can locate that you'll be very entertained.  It's so dangerous!  I don't know how they do it.
Light Exhibit

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The "Bathtub" Porsche and my coolest car! Wish I still had it!

The '65 "Bathtub" Porsche

Well, this is not the greatest of photos but it's very old and second generation.  It's glued in a scrapbook.  Anyway, I came across this today and realized that I haven't ever posted a picture of it.  It's actually my cool car #1 as I also had an '66 MGB (same color) just out of high school.  That one has to be #2 because it roasted your legs in the summer (engine was over them) you had to spray starter fluid in the carborater (is this not spelled right?  Even spell check doesn't know) before starting it every time-even after sitting for 10 minutes and it had no syncro mesh.  The lack of the syncro mesh made it so you had to double clutch when down shifting from 3rd to 2nd and this is the car I learned how to drive with a stick shift-I was very good at it but it took a while..  

The Porsche was a true joy to drive.  Even though it was so old (I had it in the end of the 70's and early 80's) it purred like a kitten and you just couldn't help but feel like you owned the road.  Unfortunately it was NOT a good family car and everywhere you parked it someone would steal or attempt to steal every thing off of it.  It also was never the same after the drive to Yuba Lake in Utah over a sandy dirt road.  It got into the engine and it never was the same after that.  My first husband and I had to take it to California to sell it and get a good price after many hours of work getting it back in good condition.  

So, I did have an opportunity to drive like a race car driver and enjoy every minute of it!

Monday, October 18, 2010

The White Queen

Okay.  So this is really ridiculous but here I am as the White Queen from "The Chronicles of Narnia".  I am so tired tonight after being on the phone for work, nonstop, for 9 1/2 hours.  I just don't know whether I'm coming or going these days.  But I love Halloween and dressing up.  This was from my old work place, the dental lab, and I really got into this costume.  A week before Halloween I put a punch bowl on a desk with a plate of candy (was supposed to be Turkish Delight) and didn't tell anyone what it was for.  It was the introduction to my costume.  If you've not read or heard the story-the White Queen is a meanie and keeps a little boy prisoner by feeding him Turkish Delight candies.  This costume was probably more fun to make than to wear-especially the crown.  It was a special challenge.  

So HAPPY HALLOWEEN (I'll be working the whole time at the call center.  Do you feel sorry for me?  No?  You shouldn't because I ended up doing this because I traded so I can be with my daughter and her husband when they came to visit).

P.S. I look so plain and pale because I had white mascara on and everything else was supposed to be washed out looking.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Kyra smiles!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Forrest and Anne Walden-2 remarkable people

As I was searching through my pictures I came across this great old photo from the 1960's of my grandparents.  Actually Anne was my step grandmother but since I never knew my biological grandma, Clara, Anne was just the same.  Anne and Forrest were married in their later years after Clara died of breast cancer when she was 62 (and I've been told she was an incredible person also).  Anne Critchelow had never been married before.  They were married, I believe when she was in her 60's.  But they grew up just down the street from each other.

If you think that some women are brave and tough then you never have seen the queen of them.  When Anne was a young woman she went to Johannesburg, Africa, in the early 1900's to work as a secretary, all by herself.  We loved to sit on her stool that she had gotten from an African tribal leader.  I wish I knew what happened to it.  Anyway, this lady was like an Auntie Mame.  She always drove a Chrysler Imperial, had big floppy hats, a cigarette in one hand, dachshunds at her feet and a "dearie" out of her mouth.  What an influence she was on me.  I remember one time reading a book to her and I said I couldn't read the word.  She told me that I should never say that-that I could do anything I wanted to.  Anne would quit smoking only to start up again because she had gained too much weight.  What a character she was.  I just loved her.

Forrest was a self made man that lost his father when he was very young.  He used to deliver his mother's baked goods in his little wagon.  He started out as office boy at Strevell Patterson Hardware in Salt Lake City, Utah and worked his way up to president.  I remember sitting at my grandparent's home and strange men would come to the door.  My grandpa was always giving them money.  He helped everyone.  Nobody loved his dogs like grandpa or played the piano more beautifully, by ear, than he did.  He never had had a lesson.  I loved their house.  It always smelled wonderfully of pipe tobacco.

Such memories.  But  I think that my siblings and I turned out the way we are in many ways because of Anne and Grandpa.  Or as we called her "Annie Wannie".  Wow.  I can't wait to see them again some day.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

this is part of my day-how about yours?

Every day when I look at my email and sometimes more than once I go to this site.  If you click on the button it automatically gives food to an animal.  My nephew, Forrest, told me about it and he's a hawk for phoney sites/emails.  So I knew it must be reputable.  Anyway, as I get older and older I love and respect animals even more.  You might want to Bookmark this and make it part of your day.  The site has other worthy causes to take part in also: The animal rescue site.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Grace and Dave are here! Skyping with Kip and Brandon


Just a quick posting of us all at Bucca di Beppo, an Italian restaurant near here.  We had a great time and ate way too much rich food.  Dave got an AP for his IPhone that's a calorie counter.  I don't think anyone will finish the leftovers now that we know what we ate last night.  I ate one ravioli and thought the whole time-yikes. 

Saturday night while the guys were in a church meeting Gracie and I went through her room to try to get rid of stuff.  It was ridiculous how much junk was in there.  But will be great for someone else.  We also Skyped with Kip and Brandon.  It was great.  Gracie hadn't seen them, except in pics, since her wedding last November.  It's hard to watch Brandon because he's like a twirling top.  A cute twirling top.  I'm so glad for the technology now to keep in touch but it doesn't make up for actually being together.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Kitty and Flounder-unlikely buddies

I came across this photo from 2006 the other night and put it on my desk top.  Now these 2 are gone and it makes me sad.  I loved seeing them play with each other.  Kitty would forget every once in a while that she couldn't really eat Flounder and I would have to remind her of that.  They were so funny.

It reminds me of what my son, Cliff, told me years ago about a lady he worked with.  She had a cat that used to sleep in the bottom of their bird cage and the birds would jump all over it.  I bet that cat had hours of grooming ahead of it. 

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Snydermille-never to go again-our family retreat


I just came across this painting that I did of Snydermille.  It's actually a good way to see how I use the under paintings.  This piece was done specially for my husband's nephew, Spencer, and his wife, Lisa, for a wedding present.  Snydermille is a large piece of property owned by our church and designated for my mother-in-law's neighborhood to use.  On the land was a huge building that could easily sleep 40 people.  The living room was big enough to have large tables (4 or more) set up, 4 large couches, a t.v., plenty of space to put up a few quilts and still have an area for the kids to play four square.  And the kitchen had 2 stoves and refrigerators.  In the bedrooms there were many bunk beds that the kids would drag around and make forts.  Once a year my husband's family would plan a get together for several days.  It was a chore getting everything packed but we had so much fun playing games, doing projects, eating, eating, and eating.

This little town is located right before you get to Park City ski resort in the Wasatch Mountains.  Surrounding it are the outlet malls and in Park City there are lots of fun things to do.  If you look walk straight up the hill from the building you will come to the Ski Jump for the 2002 Olympics.  In fact the FBI rented our retreat to stay there during the games.

We often involved our kids in projects for charity like the Festival of the Trees (benefited Primary Children's Hospital).  We helped make ornaments.  One year, when Kip was in the Navy, and on a ship we made gift bags for all the men on his ship.  It was unbelievably touching to hear how they loved their presents.  I think the kids maybe enjoyed it more than the men.

My in-laws, Marge and Tom, were the ones that arranged this fun for us every year and footed the bill.  They're both gone now.  So Snydermille is just a memory-memories of pinatas every year filled with treats.  I'm sure sad that we can't go there any more.  I won't miss the bugs that seemed to be everywhere and cleaning the place when we were done.  But the togetherness we felt was, well, PRICELESS.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Photos that are striking and could be a painting

I saw a story on my home page for MSN today about a guy that collects odd but striking photos of all kinds and ages.  It reminded me of a great one I took of Cliff, Grace and Charlie when we rented a house in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico.  They were in the pool when a big storm moved in.  I just had to post it for you all to see.  I love it.  In fact it's going to be my next sketch for now.  Maybe I'll do a painting of it some day.

Every once in a while you see a photo and it says PAINTING.

Of course I would change some of the composition to make it work better.  They're too spread out.  Incidentally, I did that with my last painting, "My Paradise".  I completely took the horse that's on the right and moved it from the left-then overlapped it with the horse with the kitty. It made it flow better.  Plus I used the "Golden Mean" when I organized the focal point.  I'll talk about that later (if I haven't already-must go back and check).

Friday, September 24, 2010

"the rape of europa"-i'm in shock!

 http://www.thearttribune.com/local/cache-vignettes/L234xH290/Raphael_Jeune_Homme-06819-d10fe.jpg
Every once in a while I see a video that leaves me in shock and thinking for days on end.  Chris and I just watched this and it was fascinating but truly tragic.  It's about the stolen art during WWII by the Nazis.  If only it could be all found.  I've posted probably the most famous of those not recovered, "Portrait of a Young Man" by Raphael (valued at $100 million!  I think that's what they said).  There are so many that are lost still in this point in time.  What has happened to them all?  In the video they talked about when the generation that stole them passes away then their children won't know what the history was and they'll try to sell them.  Then they might come to light.  I looked around at my paintings and thought how awful it would be to lose them.  They're so much a part of me.  I'm always afraid of theft and fire.  Fortunately I keep transparencies and slides in our safety deposit box to prove what I have.  But losing the originals would be so painful.

Anyway.  If you want to be totally mesmerized I suggest you rent this video.  You will not be bored.  I guarantee it.  I said to Chris that his dad would have had a lot to say about this if he were alive and watching  as he was in the Italian campaign.  He must have seen a lot of this going on-the destruction of the art treasures.

Not too long ago a piece was discovered in our museum at the University of Utah that belonged to one of the Jewish families.  I remember it well.  The museum was wonderful about giving it back.  It is featured toward the end of this show.

Well, just when you think the world doesn't have any surprises-then you hear about something marvelous like one of these art objects coming to light.  I wonder how soon this will happen again.  One can only hope.  



Thursday, September 23, 2010

Dustin! Art and Frame Station genius!


Just got home from having "My Paradise" framed and, WOW, am I happy!  I just had to show you all the finished product before I hang it.  Don't you agree that it completes the picture?  I have to listen to Dustin because he just knows what is the best.  He's in Murray, Utah-just in case you want to know.

In other art project news.......I got set to start my sister's painting today and remembered that I left my acrylic paints in Baltimore so Cliff and Lorien could paint her pregnant stomach casting (yes it's the shape of her tummy and they paint scenes on it).  Well, he said today that they're not planning on doing anything.  So, the paints are coming back home where they belong.
Slowly progressing art project news-I have been making an attempt at the new mosaic for my kitchen but have to be so careful with my wrist.  Maybe I'm just not cut out to be a mosaic artist.   I just hate having physical problems.  It's so inconvenient, you know.  Oh, and here, also, is our neighborhood project.  Lucky me to have my drawing on here.  This one is of Thanksgiving Point, Utah.  The carousel is all topiary and my drawing doesn't do it justice.  It's so beautiful.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

And now for something different

Just thought you would all need a little comic relief !  One of Cliff's more intelligent poses.  No one would guess that he would grow up to be a very successful hair stylist in Baltimore.  In fact about 3 years ago he was chosen the best stylist in the city newspaper there.  Since then he has been on a t. v. show called "Split Ends".  He told me there is another one coming up but I can't remember what it's called.  Why did that little twerp have to move so far away?  He's the best at what he does and I have to go clear across the country to have my hair done by him.  That's just what I get for encouraging him to be an independent adult.  Hmmmmm.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Chris and Char take a hike!

Does this look fun, or what?  The guys really enjoy going on hikes together and this was one they took a few weeks ago to "Meadow Lake".  Fortunately they went without me because I think I would have been dragging.  It turned out to be kind of a hard hike at that.  Chris ended up falling against his back pack and cracking a rib.  That was the extent of their injuries and they said it was well worth it.  I love to see my family having fun!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Thinking of Kip

 Can you tell it's from my sketch book?  Ha ha.
9 years ago I was sitting in church and thinking about my son, Kip.  He was in the Navy and out to sea a lot of the time.  Part of that time was spent south of India during the 9/11 aftermath.  I'll back up. Kip joined the Navy just before he turned 21.  Nothing was going on much militarily for the U. S. in the world.  It was a safe choice and one way to get himself going in life.  We were very proud of him for making that decision-although none of us were big on the idea of enlisting in the military (I was very against it in the 70's because of Vietnam).  But this was a brave venture for him.  I'll never forget seeing him board the plane, walking through the gate, with his baseball cap on backwards.  You know-la de da-no care in the world.  What an awakening he got!  Boot camp was unreal but he made it through.  When we went to his graduation from it we were amazed what a different person he had become in a few short months.  Just amazed.  Although it was miserable a lot of the time (got sent to a room where they cranked up the heat and made him, and others, do exercises for hours-for him, just because he asked someone to pass him some food while in the galley)-he told us and we could see the accomplishments he had achieved.

So, he chose to go to school in Virginia Beach to learn how to be a radar tracker.  No big deal, right?  He chose Japan as the place he wanted to be stationed and his first ship was called the Vincennes (do you remember when one of our ships accidentally shot down an Iranian plane-I think it was-in the gulf?).  He said, "Don't worry, Mom.  We'll be the last ship to be sent into the gulf."  In August of 2001 there was a big emergency out to sea, just east of China.  All of a sudden things starting happening with the military.  It was active, big time.  Kip's ship was sent to this area and he said he now had to track hundreds of fishing boats.  It was incredible.

You all know what happened the month after that.  We didn't hear from him for weeks to see if he was alright.  That's when his ship was directly south of India for quite a long time.  We didn't hear from him much and it was often from a phone booth in an undisclosed location.  We didn't know about him being south of India for quite a few years after.  We didn't see him for 1 1/2 years.  Wow.  Such adventures.

One can see why I was thinking of Kip in church-praying a lot.  I call this drawing above "Thinking of Kip" because he LOVES to fish.  He could sit out by the lake by our cabin for the whole day by himself just trying to catch 1 fish.  We all went fishing at a "guaranteed to catch a fish" fishing hole where we caught a lot.  Kip cleaned all our fish.  Cliff and I tried to help but we spent more time over at the hose washing our hands.  Kip would eat all the fish that no one wanted while in scouts.  I have a picture of him when he was about 7 kissing a fish he caught at the cabin.

Now he's out of the Navy after 9 years, raising his son, going to school, and working part time as a mailman in California.  He's a terrific father and wonderful man that we are very proud of .