Saturday, December 12, 2009

Charlie and Ben

Here's Charlie....wonder what he's thinking!!! He's 10 months old in this photo that I took over Thanksgiving.

And here's Ben...looking through the wish book! Ben's 3-1/2 years old...another Thanksgiving photo!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Sweet Brudders!!!

They are so cute and so two grandbabies...Charlie and Ben!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Hyacinth Bean Vine

One of my favorites from my garden this year are the Hyacinth Bean Vines that I planted from beans that I got from my sister who lives in the western part of NC. I was not even sure they would grow here closer to the coast...but it's beautiful and the butterflies love the blossoms.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

New photo of Ben and Charlie...

Here's a new photo of the grandbabies...Ben can hardly wait for Charlie to get big enough for them to play together all the time. Ben's 3-1/2 years...and Charlie's 7-1/2 months.

Monday, August 17, 2009

This is so funny, I just had to share it...

Children's Science Exam

If you need a good laugh, try reading through these children's science exam answers...

Q: Name the four seasons.
A: Salt, pepper, mustard and vinegar.

Q: Explain one of the processes by which water can be made safe to drink.
A: Flirtation makes water safe to drink because it removes large pollutants like grit, sand, dead sheep and canoeists.

Q: How is dew formed?
A: The sun shines down on the leaves and makes them perspire.

Q: How can you delay milk turning sour?
A: Keep it in the cow.

Q: What causes the tides in the oceans?
A: The tides are a fight between the Earth and the Moon. All water tends to flow towards the moon, because there is no water on the moon, and nature hates a vacuum. I forget where the sun joins in this fight.

Q: What are steroids?
A: Things for keeping carpets still on the stairs.

Q: What happens to your body as you age?
A: When you get old, so do your bowels and you get intercontinental

Q: What happens to a boy when he reaches puberty?
A: He says good-bye to his boyhood and looks forward to his adultery. (The kid gets an A+ for this answer!)

Q: Name a major disease associated with cigarettes.
A: Premature death.

Q: How are the main parts of the body categorized? ( e.g., abdomen)
A: The body is consisted into three parts -- the brainium, the borax and the abdominal cavity. The brainium contains the brain; the borax contains the heart and lungs, and the abdominal cavity contains the five bowels A, E, I, O, and U.

Q: What is the fibula?
A: A small lie.

Q: What does 'varicose' mean?
A: Nearby.

Q: Give the meaning of the term 'Caesarian Section.'
A: The Caesarian Section is a district in Rome.

Q: What does the word 'benign' mean?'
A: Benign is what you will be after you be eight.

New photo of Ben and Charlie...

Ginger, my daughter-in-law, just sent me this photo of my grandbabies...Ben and Charlie. Ben is a bit over 3 years and Charlie's 7 months old. My cousin saw this photo...wrote me telling me it would be a good advertisement for Cosco! Aren't they so cute and's about time for me to go for another visit!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Rain all week...brings cooler weather!

Time seems to be flying...and no painting done lately...but making the jewelry is paying off. I went to a music workshop last weekend and sold a lot of the jewelry that I'd made. We've had rain all week and I've been engrossed in reading several books I checked out from the library. Schools are getting back in session and that means fall is on it's way.

This instrument is called an Oud. The young man played it
last Saturday at the music workshop. First time I've
ever seen one.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

And here I find....

Another month gone by without a posting...things sure get busy from time to time. I've been traveling, visiting, making jewelry to sell, playing music...and recuperating from a back injury...which is beginning to get better. I have two music students learning to play the mountain dulcimer. This has been fun. I've been taking a break from painting...but my painting students will soon return as the weather cools and I'll be back to my painting. Do you find that life goes in cycles...or is just me?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Squirrel on my Yankee Flipper bird feeder

If you want to see something funny, you should check out my YouTube video of a squirrel trying to eat the bird seed from my Yankee Flipper bird feeder. It's the first time I've seen a squirrel actually trying to do this.
Squirrel and the Yankee Flipper bird feeder

Where has time gone!

Hard to believe it's been almost a month since I last posted...but there's been lots going on. Since my last post, I've been busy, busy, busy making enameled dulcimer jewelry...getting it ready to take to a week long dulcimer workshop in the NC mountains...where...not only did I take classes, but also had a chance to sell my jewelry at their market. Did great...sold lots...and came home with 4 orders. For the past week, I've been busy getting those orders finished and out in the mail. No time for painting...but hopefully, I can put away my enameling supplies and get back to my watercolors.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

We've got BABIES!!!

A couple of posts ago...I added some photos showing where some wrens made a nest in our Topsy-Turvy tomato plant holder. We didn't think the eggs would hatch....since it rains in it and we've continued to water the plant...but we've got babies. Mama wren is so busy flying in and out feeding those babies. It's so enjoyable watching them.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Squashini...Squachini...Zuquash...what do you think?

Here's a stange looking veggie I picked from a yellow squash plant in my yard. We don't even have any zucchini planted this year...and none of our neighbors have any planted either.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Odd Place for a Wren's Nest

We recently bought one of the "topsy-turvy" tomato planters and hung it on our deck. After the tomato plant was a pretty good size, along came a bad storm with lots of wind and the tomato plant broke off. We added a new tomato plant and along came Mr. and Mrs. Wren and decided..."hmmmm, what a nice place to build a nest and raise a family!" We water it from the upper deck and every time we start adding water...out they fly...and as soon as we move away from it...back they come. What determined little birds they are. Not sure whether the eggs will hatch...but we'll see.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

More painting on the Pink Rose

I did a bit more painting on the pink rose...not sure how much more I'll add to it...but maybe a bit more on the bottom leaves on left. I don't want them to be in focus as much as the leaves on the right...I'm still thinking on it.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Pink rose - unfinished

Another rose I found blooming in my son's yard...couldn't resist painting it in watercolor. It's not finished...I've been painting on it a little bit every day.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Mighty Like a Rose

I visited my son a couple of weeks ago and took some photos of his beautiful roses. Here's one that I painted in watercolor.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Geranium Painting

I bought some geraniums for my deck and this was the first one to bloom...thought I'd try to capture it in watercolor before planting it.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

My yard...the last of the azaleas...

(image after learning to adjust the colors and values of my scans)

(first scan prior to learning to adjust colors and values)

Finally, I've had a chance to do some more painting...finished this one tonight.

Added note: I've been playing around with my new printer/scanner...trying to figure out how to get the colors in the image to look more like the painting. The top image is MUCH better.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Onions in colored pencil

Another colored pencil drawing of some onions.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Flower Garden

Another quick loosely painted watercolor of a flower garden.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Friday, April 24, 2009

Yellow Clover

I've been walking around my yard today...looking for new things to paint. My yard is full of little wildflowers...and I used to call them weeds...but now that I know they have names, I think they deserve better than just being called "weeds". I found this one and I've been trying to find it's name. I've looked online and then decided to put it on my blog and see if anyone could tell me what it is...and when I started describing it with the "heart shaped leaves"...I realized that it looked similar to clover...but with yellow flowers. Then I changed my "search" and found out that it is called "yellow clover"...and it grows abundantly around here in NC.

Colored Pencil Drawing #1

I've been looking at some of the colored pencil drawings and decided to post my rose.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Meeting in the dark...

I was just reading the blog of a friend, Scribbles From Rabbit Hop, and it reminded me of something funny that happened to me years ago. When you have pets, you can expect the unexpected...and there's always a laugh with them.

Years ago, we lived out in the country next door to my husband's cousin and her family. We all had dogs...ours was a male...theirs was one female and one male...and their female was not spayed. When their little dog would go into heat, they'd put her in a wire pen about three to four feet off the that ALL of the numerous male dogs in the neighborhood could not get to her...but they could all stand around underneath the pen and "sniff and growl and fight".

At night, we would bring our dog inside...but one particular night, he kept whining, moaning, and barking...and we could not sleep. Finally, in desperation, I let him out thinking we would have some peace and quiet and would be able to SLEEP! Well...forget that! As soon as I opened the door, he nearly knocked me down getting through the door. Across the yard he dashed...and I went back to bed, thinking "sleep at last". I had hardly closed my eyes when the "fight was on". There was the loudest growling, snarling...and barking that I had ever heard. I put the pillow over my head to no avail. My husband finally declared to me..."you put him go get him!!!!!" Oh me!!!

With me in my nightie and short at that, I put on my slippers...grabbed the broom and across the yard I stormed. I had no light...but they had a large overhead outdoor light that lit up their entire yard...and part of mine, too. I got closer, but thankfully still in a darkened area of the yard, I saw my neighbor out there in his "briefs"...hollering and chasing those dogs with his broom. Well...I nearly fell over on the ground laughing so hard...but I stiffled it as much as possible...not wanting him to see me in my nightie...but what a sight! Too bad we could not laugh over this later on...he was so quiet and reserved...and probably would never have been able to face me again.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Stepping Out of my Comfort Zone!

In trying to step out of my comfort zone, I had lots of problems with this one. I definitely need to do some more on it...right now, I just can't figure out WHAT it is that I want to do. I'll keep looking at it for a few days and see how I feel about it then.

P.S. After brightening the colors a bit and now looks better.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

A weed from my yard...

I had a chance to do some painting this afternoon. I sat out in the yard and painted a weed with a yellow flower...hmmm, wonder what makes a weed a weed...and a flower a flower...

Thanks to Spinnerta, I learned this is a wildflower called Yellow Avens.

A walk around my yard...

I was so busy a couple of days this week, I was unable to find even a few minutes to paint because I know once I get started painting, I can't stop. Yesterday morning, I took a walk around yard just to look at all the new growth and plants that are beginning to blossom. I took my camera with me and took loads of photos hoping to have some from which to paint. Although I'd rather paint from the plant itself, I knew some things wouldn't stay the same...probably not even an entire day. Here are just a few photos of things that really caught my eye.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Dogwood Blossoms

I finally finished my painting of the dogwoods. I painted the background three times before I was satisfied. I would paint a while...then leave it and let it dry before working on it again. By the time I finished, the edges of my flowers were turning brown.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Sunday doodling...

Yesterday afternoon, I decided to watch all of the 2009 Nora Roberts movies on Lifetime...and by the time the last one came on, I was getting sleepy. To stay awake, I knew I had to do I grabbed my small Moleskine and my 001 ink pen and started doodling...not even sure what the end results would be. I looked up and saw one of my watercolors laying there...and I started drawing I kept on...until the entire page was filled. I still had a little bit of time left before the movie was I began filling in around the leaves...trying to add a bit of contrast. Here's the results of my doodling last night.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

White Azalea

Today is Easter...
a beautiful sunny day...
a day to enjoy the beauty of God's world around us.

For this painting, I used a masking fluid to mask
out the entire flower. Then I painted the
background with a wet-into-wet technique.
Removing the mask can sometimes be a daunting task,
but it's always nice to see the clean white area
of the paper to begin painting
the flower.
Also, sometimes it's difficult to paint the white
flower without using any white paint.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Red azaleas

My red azaleas are blooming now. They're smaller and after closely observing them, I realize each flower is double one flower inside the other flower. I believe the name of it is the Red Ruffled Azalea.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Can't stop painting them...

They're so beautiful and the yard is full of blooms.
It's hard not to paint them while they're here.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Another Azalea Watercolor Painting

Here is today's watercolor painting of an azalea. My bushes are really filling out with color. They are so pretty. I'm from Wilmington NC where they have the annual azalea festival. It was held last weekend but I was unable to go.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Azalea in watercolor...

More azaleas blooming!
After adding the background, I think I like the white or lighter backgrounds better.
That's fine with me, because when I paint backgrounds,
I never seem to get it painted so that I like it.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Azaleas are blooming!

I have a lot of trouble painting tubular flowers...showing depth into the center of the flower. My azaleas are now blooming, so I'm going to be painting them in watercolor for a few days to see if I can improve my techniques.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Pink flowers blooming in the spring time!

Another flower painting...I love painting flowers...and I'm definitely ready for them to start blooming.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


I was sitting downstairs waiting on my clothes to come out of the dryer...saw an interesting photo laying on the table...decided to do a quick painting while I was sitting there. I didn't even have a piece of good watercolor paper I picked a piece of the lightweight watercolor paper...and quickly laid in the colors for these trees. It's a scene from my front yard.

Spring Flowers in Yellow

Flowers loosely painted using watercolors

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Getting locked out...

One early morning in the cold of winter a couple of months ago, Chloe (my little dachshund) and I went out so I could get the paper. I was wearing only my gown and robe (thank goodness for the robe). The door I went out usually unlocks when you turn the knob…but for some reason it did NOT unlock and when I got back to the door to go in…YIKES…I discovered we were locked out. That door would not budge. This is one of those French doors with all the little windows…15 little panes. Hmmm…I went around to the kitchen door which has 9 little panes…but it was locked…just as I knew it was…but I was hoping maybe it wasn’t. The two other doors to the house have dead-bolt locks and they were locked up tight. I hated to break out a window…and I tried to think of what else I could do. I was getting very cold.

I was able to get in the garage where it was warmer…and when I got in there, I looked around for something to break out a window…when I realized I could get in my studio where there was a phone. The lady who pet sits for me has a key…but it was so early and I really hated to call her…but I didn’t want to sit in the garage for half the morning. I decided to call my husband who was down at the river house for a few days fishing. I didn’t know what he could do…but at least I felt better calling him. Now in cold weather, my husband is NOT an early riser…so I knew he’d be sleeping in… and I was afraid I wouldn’t even be able to wake him…but he finally answered the phone. I said…”I’m locked out…which door do you want me to break out a window…I’m cold and I want to get in”. To which he replied…”I don’t want you to break out ANY window…I want you to get the key out of my tool box and unlock the door”. And then, of course, he asked the “stupid question of the day”, “why did you lock yourself out”…to which I replied…”so I could wake you up this morning to see if we had any spare keys hidden anywhere outside the house”….but we did finally laugh about it and I felt so much better knowing I could get back in where it was warm. Chloe was at the door where we went out…barking “her head off”…mad, ‘cause she thought I’d forgotten and left her outside…and she hadn’t had her breakfast yet.

Make Your Own Notecards!!!!

This is a little notecard I painted using watercolors. I bought a box of note card sized envelopes, then I cut lightweight watercolor paper to fit them...and fold the paper over to make a card. This is not the best watercolor paper, so adding a bit of pen and ink drawing to it improves the overall look. These are to do...and then I have note cards ready when I need one. They can be used as birthday cards...or cards to stick in with a gift...or a quick "get well" card.

Friday, March 20, 2009

A Rose is a Rose is a Rose!

While looking through my sketchbooks yesterday, I found these roses and thought I'd post them.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A New Sketchbook - A New Beginning!

I love starting a new sketchbook (or a painting, for that matter), but sometimes it can be intimidating. I don't want to mess up the first page in my new sketchbook and be sorry it's easy to procrastinate...and keep looking at that new sketchbook. What the the book, write your name, address, and all that good info on the first page...or put it on the inside back cover...but get that info in there. That way, the chances are greater in case you lose your book or leave it laying somewhere...that you'll get it back.

When you are hesitant to start working in a new sketchbook, turn to the first page and make a mark...whatever...but make a mark. Draw something that you're familiar with or is easy for you to draw. Doodle drawings are non threatening and fun. You can do these without even thinking about them.

I taught middle school and high school art. The first thing I would have them do in their sketchbooks was to do a creative name design. They'd write their name in large decorative letters to fill the page...then fill the letters and page with patterns, designs, and colors. They loved it. I did, too. I wish I had an example of one of these designs.

This "inside right cover" image was difficult to scan so it looks right...but this is something else I've done and had my students do. I glue a sheet of black paper to the page on the right side...but only apply the glue close to the I was adding in another page. I either tear out a hole or cut a flap that can be opened to a drawing underneath. This drawing can be something small and easy for you to draw. I then went back and used gold pens and gold spay paint to decorate the black. This sure makes a "grand entrance" to a new sketchbook...and then you're excited to keep "filling your book".

Something else I like to do to my sketchbooks is to paint the covers with abstract designs using brightly colored acrylic much fun...and what a beautiful book it makes.

I used to feel the same way about starting a painting on a canvas. I'd set it up, then look at it "forever"...afraid I'd mess it up. I'd want to paint...but just couldn't get I'd keep looking at that blank canvas. I began to realize that once I got started...I got so involved I couldn't quit...or didn't want to. I walked by that canvas...I'd grab a brush, pick up some paint or some medium...and smear it on randomly. Then, it was easy to keep painting.

Once you've started your sketches and drawings...if you "feel" like you've messed it up...put it aside for a few days...then look at it again. Things always look better the next day or a few days later. But...if you're absolutely SURE you've messed it up and you feel like it's going to inhibit you from doing future drawings...then collage something over it. Your art is supposed to be fun, enjoyable, and satisfy that "creative urge" inside you.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Lost keys...

Yesterday morning, I went out (in the rain again...where is the sun?)...ran some errands and bought a few groceries...came home, unloaded the car and put the groceries away. I locked my car using the remote. I usually either put the keys in my pocket or in my purse. I only have one set of it's important that a person with only one set of keys keep up with the keys...right?

I got ready to go to a meeting last night, reached in my purse for my I ran to the bedroom and went through the pocket of my jeans that I was wearing when I went out yesterday keys...darn...where could those keys be?

I grabbed Gene's keys, jumped in his car, and took off for the meeting. I tried to put the missing keys out of mind so I could enjoy my dinner and the meeting. But when I got home, I dug in and started looking again for those keys. I looked everywhere...even emptying my purse...which is good, because I got rid of all the receipts that seem to collect and clutter my purse. I traced all of my steps from that morning...even going out in the rain and checking around the car...also checked the yard where I had walked the dog as soon as I got home...but...still no keys. I was missing "Dancing With the Stars"...and I was getting very frustrated. I knew the keys had to be SOMEWHERE!

My husband told me that if they didn't turn call and get a replacement set of keys from the serial number...and I was sweating that $200 cost!

I kept trying to think if I had missed anything else I had done during the day. The only other thing I remembered that I did was to lay back in the recliner in the couch and grab a short catnap! But I had already run my hand all around the inside edges of the seat, then laid the recliner back and checked under it with the keys. I was in a quandry. I happened to remember that you can take the back off this couch...good thing I even remembered that you can do that...and Gene's jaws dropped when he saw me doing it. He thought I was tearing the couch apart...but the first thing I found lodged back there was a toy from my grandson, Ben...and the next thing I found were those keys...thank the Lord!!!! That was enough to make one!

I decided to buy a "key finder" off I went this morning searching for item which is apparently more available at Christmas...but anyhow, at Walgreen's, I found one....tried it out and bought it. When I whistled, it started beeping...and I whistled again, and it beeped again. So, I'm hoping this will help me in the future...hopefully, I will NEVER need it.

This drawing of my keys was done after Claire posted the suggestion in her comment that I do so...and you can see that I've added my key finder.