Thursday, July 28, 2005

MOS July 2005

Month of Softies: Monkey Mania!
Well, I actually finished these guys awhile ago. The first one I made about 2.5 years while we were driving to our new home in PA. It was a crazy time and sewing helped me focus on something. The sock set I got had two pairs and I have been meaning to make the other one. This was the perfect excuse! So, I made Norrie her sock monkey. Then I had to make them something to wear and decided on freehand aprons. That is why they look so odd. But they serve the purpose and I made them in less than a half hour.












They are sisters. Sisters, sisters never were there such a pair of sisters...

At this moment, my feet are killing me, my tummy is growling, I feel sore, achy and tired. But I am almost finished getting things cleaned up around here. I actually put in some towel racks in the bathroom...this required using the drill/bits. I was so happy to find the my hubby had bought a new set of drill bits! This made everything 100% easier. I'm very proud of myself that I got that on. I was a little unsure if I could but now I feel like I can do it.

I've been doing some straightening and cleaning and sorting. It's surprising what you'll find under various furniture, boxes and what nots. Mostly dog food pellets, dusty toys and a least 10 straws. But things are looking good. I guess I should do more cleaning...yeah, right. Looks like the in-laws are here to pick up Lydia! Not that she was so bad. Norrie was the one who was dangerous...spilling a whole bowl of popcorn, smashing pj on the carpeting, and generally making messes. It was a tough morning. But the good thing is I'm reaching the point where I just don't care how things looks anymore. Not that stuff is awful, just little ones make lots and lots of fingerprints (and then some!). I'm progressing, I suppose.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Flickr Group!

I forgot! Here is a new group I created. It's about vintage wrapping paper. Vintage wrapping paper or paper that can be used to wrap things. So, this is a very loose translation of what can be shared. Please check it out! : )


  • Vintage Wrapping Paper!
  • The start of a good day...

    Well, actually it started out kind of effie...I was awakened by the rustling of my 3 year old by my bedroom door. I open my eyes and she's staring at me. Kind of unsettling. That woke me up, rather fast. But my body was feeling all achy and sore. I've been speed cleaning up the house, spiffing, painting, etc. And let's just say that's a really good workout! I must have climbed the stair 15 times, yesterday. It wouldn't be so bad but it's so darn humid and even though the house feels nice and coolish, you can get really sweaty just sitting in a computer chair! We don't have air conditioners downstairs. The idea is all the cool air will come down the steps and cool the lower floor. It works, most of the time.

    Anyway, on to bigger and better things. We have finished the hallway!!! I'm thrilled and it looks grand. I want to add lots of paintings, pictures and paint the light fixtures (they are lovely old ones but have been painted by the previous owners...a brownish color. I'm thinking black. I feel so happy that this one thing was done. I also painted the one wall in the bathroom and the ceiling. It looked really bad but now looks bright and cheerful. Then we painted the ceiling in Norries room. It was stained really bad from the roofers. When they tore off the shingles we had one more good snow and of course it leaked. We still have to paint Lydia's and our room. Sigh, always painting. But that can wait until after my sister leaves.

    I didn't get to finish Norrie's new curtains but I will next week. I really wanted to finish them for the bedroom where my sis and her family will be sharing.

    I'm bunking up the girls in Lydia's room and it's a bit stressful as they aren't used to sharing and will play for a good half hour before settling down. The good news is they are actually going to be at 8:30 pm!!! I can't believe it but they are. Amazing. Talk about miracles. Now if I can only get them both potty trained...the next and continuing challenge.

    I didn't get the table in the dining room painted but I have half the chairs finished. This is good and I just need to clean one of the rugs and put it in the dining room.


    Last night, we cleaned off the ping pong table and spiffed up the basement. It's funny how having guest over makes you do all the things you were supposed to do ages ago. Jon even put up the peg board in the basement for tools. It looks really good...like an actual workshop.

    I feel like things are really progressing and when my best friend, Caroline, visits in late summer we'll have even more to share. I would love to have my studio painted by then or at least the dining room floor painted and coated with a protective coating.

    I rearranged the dining room a bit and it looks much better.

    6 hours later...

    I had to stop my blogging as life was crying at my elbows. Let's just say it involved poo ( lots of it), massive tears (from me too), ear aches (from crying), cleaning, and comforting and finally finding out what it is my two little ones wanted (hot dogs) and then playing and entertaining them while I tried to get ready for my sister and family who are coming on Thursday night. Between all of this there was a beautiful rain storm, thunder and lightening and moments when I was calm and content while struggling to hold both of my kids on my lap. Phew! During this time I managed to do some things I haven't been able to do in awhile. I got out the ironing board and did some ironing! I can't believe I did it but I did. I always worry that I'll burn someone with the iron out ( I have a big ironing board and a little one. And ususally I'll iron when the girls are fast asleep. I'll iron with the little on in the bathroom. Now, I realize I can do this with the big one (I brought it up stairs and store it in the hallway of my studio). Thank the stars! I pulled out some vintage baby girl dresses I collect and put them on some wooden hangers and put them on the walls. So very cute! I love it! Plus, I hung up the quilt my mom made for Norrie. It's all hand made...every stitch is by her hand. Lovely.
    The photos:
    Be forewarned, there are quite a bit of hallway pics. And this is only the beginning...




    More of the actually color...it's really brighter than it looks.

    Sampson cat...looking regal. A true blessing of a room is when a cat graces it with his presence.



    Ah, the light!



    Fresh from the oven...I found a super easy muffin recipe from
  • The Garden helper. It looked easy and had the least amount of things to add. They came out perfect! The last batch, I sprinkled with chocolate chips. Yum. And yes, it is warm but the down pour of rain we had earlier this afternoon cooled things off a bit, thankfully. Nothing wipes out the smell of painted walls like freshly baked goodies.


    I went around taking pics of things I've done a few years back. This is a collage I did of my family tree. I really like this one. It came out so nicely.

    Preview of one of my mini-quilts. It's actually a little larger...8 by 12 (something like that). I've more that I'm working on. : ) Remember folks, Christmas is coming! I'm going to put my quilts on my web page to be viewed and adopted. : )

    Just some of my dolls I have collected and made.

    This was my favorite doll as a little girl. My mom made it and it's hanging on the wall. She used to have a dress but I loved it to pieces.

    Found this outside by our parking spot. Lovely thistle, so purple and so bright.

    Curtain I did with a mass of material I got from my neighbors. I mean mass as in I got 8 garbage bags full...hehehe. I've made so much from this stuff...mostly practical stuff. But this was actually very fun and a good learning experience.

    The recent curtain I'm working on for my daughter's room. I still need to finish these but couldn't do it before my sis came over. Oh, well. I'll try to finish these in August.
  • Well, that's it for now. Busy day but more to do...bathroom is next. Ugh.

  • Monday, July 25, 2005

    Illustrations Friday!

    Tranquility. Didn't really care for this as the word of the week...I guess I don't feel very tranquil. Got lots of stuff to do and various thoughts pop into my head that make my troubles really just seem so minute and frivolous that I start feeling ashamed for getting carried away with my petty concerns.

    Now, that I've got that out on to IF. Tranquility, or Peace and tranquility...I just don't think anyone or thing can be tranquil unless there isn't a moment of peace in their lives. So, I did this little painting. The title is a bit long but it's about the painting:
    The God of War hid the God of Peace and Tranquility. Only through the Gods and Goddess' of Protest and Justice could Peace be found.


    I actually felt better doing this little painting. Funny how that works...

    Saturday, July 23, 2005

    Bedford County fair...

    Well, I dropped off three of my paintings...actually, I had 23 ready to go but found out you can only enter one per entry. Ugh. Well, it was a learning experience since it was my first time there and next year, I'll be doing one for each category. I'm also going to aim for a quilt to enter and maybe some crochet. I saw some of the stuff people had there, not to bad. I wonder how much it costs to rent a spot (if you can). Looks like great fun! We're going to go next Saturday with my sister and her family when they come in from California! I'm very excited. Hope I at least get a ribbon. That would be very cool.

    I found out that spilling your ice tea on the porch is not a bad thing as long as there is ice. The girls love playing with it! Thank the stars above!

    It's such a gorgeous, gorgeous day! I hope it's like this all week.

    I didn't sell but one of my ACEO cards. That stinks. Hmmm, I'll relist and up it up tonight. Plus, I have a new batch of paintings to put up. Plus, I want to work on my on-line shop, too. I'm finishing up 3 quilts these are much bigger and have more to them than my two listed here. I think they are very cute.

    I need to go outside and take pictures or something. Last night I had a talk with Jon and I just vented. Now, that I've got the paintings at the fair out of the way, I feel so much better. Funny how that works.

    Have a good weekend!!!

    Friday, July 22, 2005

    Beetles!

    A few days ago we had a huge rain pouring (yesterday we had more rain, in fact...felt monsoon-like). I heard the rain hit the window and this weird buzz pop sound. I thought, okay a bug got chewed up in the air conditioner or something. But it wasn't the case. We still have our plastic on the windows from winter (cheap insulation from the cold, for all you Westeners out there) and so I have two towels rolled up on the top to keep cold air out and warm in as well. Apparently, this
  • black beetle somehow got in between the plastic and window glass because that's what was making the odd sound. This guy was huge! Nearly one and half inches in length and as black as patent leather. Actually, quite beautiful if I wasn't so scared at the same time. Well, I thought, it's going to die. Don't bother it. So, I left it alone. I showed Lydia the bug and she was like oh, a big bug. And she felt fine because A. it wasn't in her room and B. it's behind plastic. Me, I had nightmares last night and kept thinking it escaped and was climbing on me. So, I was quite irked by it even though I thought it was going to die.

    Well, I look at that beetle today. I had to. The air conditioner was acting funny and so I had to clean out the filter. And that's when I see the beetle is quite alive and is trying to climb out of the plastic. I mean, it's just sad. I start feeling really bad but scared too. So, I start thinking get, Jon to get it out. He can put it in a box and liberate it. Well, I start thinking about how big a baby I am and I got a box and one of my knitting needles. After I opened up the plastic the little guy fell on his back and I'm like, great I gave him a heart attack. For gods sake, wait to die until I get you outside, I think. I prod him into the box, and he's standing on his feet, phew! Then I quickly cover it up with a hard back book and run like hell down the steps with every hair on my body standing on edge. Mr. Nelson is like, what the hells the matter with you? And senses something big is happening.
    I run outside and dump the black beetle in the grass and he's on his back again. So, I splash him with water from the kiddy pool and he revives and digs into the ground. So, I feel better that I didn't let him die, that he's out of the house and I won't have any nightmares. He or she seemed to look at me thankfully from inside that box. Yes, we had a moment there of mutual fear and possible understanding? Well, I wish him luck in catching bugs, mating and producing other black beetles as long as they are well outside of the house. We've got to get new windows...
  • Thursday, July 21, 2005

    They're giving me shady eyes...I feel like Mr. Crabbs

    Suddenly, my neighbors are all acting huffy and puffy. Though I do notice they pull their dog in when I'm outside. Last night, the little one was barking from the roots of his tail. I mean it! His ears were flapping so wildly it was like my little bichon and I were 50 prowlers trying to get into their yard! It would be funny, if it wasn't me being barked at. I think they know they are in the wrong. I'll have to go over there and talk to the mrs of the family, I believe.

    Anyway, it's starting to get warm, a nice dry heat, finally. Humidity is no one's friend. Actually, too much of anything is no one's friend.

    I recently found out (last night) that my banner on my webpage wasn't showing up all these months...except on my computer. Let's just say I was royally annoyed and upset. How many jobs I applied for giving my webpage as an example of my work and low and behold, nothings there! So after cursing and raising my heartbeat to possibly unsafe levels, Jon and I figured it out and got it ironed and organized. Let me just say, it's always good to have an extra pair of eyes (esp. eyes that know what they are doing). I felt like I had a piece of food stuck in my teeth and nobody said anything. Or worse, like the woman that was in one of my theater arts class. She had sprayed her hair with some hair spray (when that was popular) and it had crusted into big flakes all over her head (I guess it was a cheap kind). Nobody (including me) said anything. The next day she said to everyone, why didn't you say anything? We just looked at our feet. I still feel bad about that. I know it's not the end of the world, but it surely meant a little something to her. That's how I felt. Possible karma??? Perhaps. So, to make my self feel better I'm going to promote my webpage today. Here it is:
  • Emily's Art Gallery!

    Also, I have a shop on there!!! It's simple and I've just got ACEO's on there and one big-ish painting. But this is the first step. I will be putting lots of goodies up as I go. Sorry it takes a bit to download. I'll have to reformat the pics in the next bunch for those with computers of longer download time. Yes, it is basic but it gets the job done. Sorry there are no fancy oh's and ah's. Just a simple page of me stuff, as Mr. Crabbs might say (from Sponge bob. Gotta love the bob).
  • Wednesday, July 20, 2005

    Beyond annoyance...

    Okay, the day has finally cooled off and the humidity is really low, in fact not even there. The sky beautiful like the Sound of Music landscape. In other words, a perfect day to go and hang out with my little gals and dog in the back yard and splash in their kiddy pool. So, I go and do that. Set up the pool close to the house, as much out of the sun and away from the middle of the yard. There is a two pointed reason for this. Yes, it's to stay out of the sun but it's also to be blocked by the wisteria and the neighbors yard. You see, my neighbors have TWO German shepherds. The eldest one is smarter and I think was professionally trained. The younger one has not been trained (in fact, the neighbor has admitted that the older dog is supposed to train the younger one. Hmmm, that makes sense, doesn’t it? I thought the owner was supposed to train their dogs but, what do I know).

    Anyway, it's a beautiful day and I'm risking fate. Why? The dogs aren't outside and I'm filling up the kiddy pool and the girls are ready to play in the water. Then the neighbor lets his dogs out and they start barking...at me, my girls and at my little bichon.

    Let me rephrase this, every day this happens. I go to my car, barking. I go outside to walk my dog, barking. I go to the garage, trim plants, try to play in my yard and there's barking. So, lately I found out if I wet the dogs with the hose they go away. I've tried peanut butter, having my husband talk to the neighbors, talking to the neighbors, nothing works.

    Skip to today. I get the hose and tell them to be quiet and not bark. I wet them down and they start going away. Who should jump out but the neighbor and starts yelling, at me! I'm really surprised at this as he just acts like it's all me. He tells me "I'm taunting the dogs". Yes, I want them to bark at me. In fact, I love barking so much that I try to make them bark more. Then he says my little dog ripped up their trash. What does this have to do with barking, I don’t know. Also, I don't know if this is true or not but I certainly know I've never seen him do this. They put their trash right next to our property. And I have seen the trash torn into by animals. If you leave the trash out at night, this will happen…to everyone…esp. if you live where we do (skunks, raccoons, wild cats) I know there are stray cats wandering around, but this was in the Winter time. As in 9 months ago. I said, if it was my dog, I'm sorry about that and I'm sure it only happened once. Then he's like "I don't want to talk about this any more." I'm like your dogs are barking at me and my children. He's like they are barking at your dog...keep your dog restrained! I said why don't you train your dogs not to bark at me." He said "they are guard dogs you can't train them." I'm like this guy is really stupid or really dense or I don't know what. Of course, you train dogs! That's why you get them to guard; to be trained and behave.


    Let me just say this now. I don't yell very often. In fact, some might say I'm very mellow. And for me to raise my voice and get annoyed at something like this, I have to be pushed to the edge. I was pushed to the edge. I've even tried to feed their stupid dogs peanut butter to get on their good side. Not a bit of good because it's not reinforced by their owners (though the older dog does understand "no" and will walk away). So, I'm upset and annoyed.

    The neighbor walks into his house and shuts the door leaving the dogs outside. So, I tied Mr. Nelson to the steps and stood in my yard and let them bark at me. And did they? You bet. Did I taunt them? Nope. I stood there with my back to them and smiled at my girls. After a few minutes they brought in the dogs. I just can't believe he said it was my fault. My fault I have a little dog, children, live there, can't tolerate barking and disturbance of my peace. So, yes, I'm annoyed.

    Another thing annoying about my neighbors is they throw cigarette butts on our grass. I haven't complained, yet. In fact, we were thinking of making them a gift of a terra cotta pot filled with sand so they can dispose of the butts there...instead, of flicking them at our grass. Would they get the message? I don't know. I could go into how I've smelt certain herb smells coming from their basement but that's another story. How I wish their mom would read my blog! lol She seems to be the only one who has sense and I've heard her raise hell quite a few times there. And she does yell! The dad just doesn't care or do anything productive and he's there 90% of the time, too.

    Anyway, I had to get that out. I think I feel better already. It's funny how he tried to pin their barking on me, somehow. I hope I didn't get sunburned from standing in my yard. I wish to god we could put up a 90 foot fence....like all the other neighbors on the other side of the German shepherds. AH! :) More later...

    Tuesday, July 19, 2005

    Illustration Friday: Karma

    What a tough word...let me just say this now. It was really tough and I was close to not putting up an illustration for this week. Give me something generic! Something bland and maybe not boring but just a bit more room for interpretation. Well, here's my interpretation...



    Actually, Jon came up with this one based on the bumper sticker, "My karma ran over your dogma". Cute, actually...:)

    Mini-Quilts!

    Well, I finally got two mini-quilts finished. They are at the bottom of my blog page for easy viewing. Heck, I didn't realize it would be that easy to put these up using paypal! I am SO thrilled. There are going to be big changes at my web page in the next few days, I think. At least there are going to be LOTS of buttons to purchase things I've made. Just need to start snapping pics and put them up! I'm so excited I can hardly believe it! Well, take a look at my new mini-quilts! :)

    Monday, July 18, 2005

    Oh, boy! I got goodies in the mail!!!

    These have got to be the cutest magnets I've seen in a long while! Thank you, thank you, thank you, Kim!!!







    I got this chubby package today and it was stuffed with lovely bits of art from

  • Kim's suitcase I feel so happy and lucky! :)


    Nelson is happy too!
  • Sunday, July 17, 2005

    ACEO's new ones...









    Here are few things I've put up on ebay: Have a look
  • Emily's Auctions


    Also, still working on the hallway...had some setbacks with hives (Jon) and just plain awful weather (humid). Applying for several jobs, wish me luck and still need to do a few other things on my list checked off. Even though I didn't finish them this week, I'll give my self till Wednesday. Also, I'm going to be putting in my paintings for the County Fair this weekend end. Should be interesting. :)
  • Friday, July 15, 2005

    Progress...

    Things are going smoothly in the painting of the hallway. I had a setback with a major migraine but I guess a lot of people had this from all the wind kicked up from the Emily storm. I love that the storm is my name! How funny is that?!? Although, it's a bit disconcerting when I see the headlines on yahoo...Emily is approaching Jamaica, etc.

    I sold seven ACEO's! Thank you everyone who bid and got one! This is progressing better than my previous sales (I sold two or three the first time). This is turning out to be a pretty good thing. Plus, I'll be putting up more tonight or at least tomorrow evening. I need to put them up at around 10pm or later (for all the Westerner's out there). I love making them and they are very fun. I've been tempted to bid on some ACEO's my self...there was one that was so gorgeous of a doll's head and insect body. Wish I could get a copy of that one! Lovely!

    I feel so good that my hallway is progressing...sorry to go on about it! My dad-in-law says it's like the inside of an egg. I like that...sounds protective and secure. It's so bright I can hardly believe it's the same hallway.

    I'm almost done with a few mini-quilts and I'll be posting them on my blog. I think I'll have paypal links if anyone wants to buy them. Also, if anyone doesn't have access to paypal they can email me directly and we can work from there. Plus, I'm working on some little surprises that I'm going to be putting up pretty soon. hehehe :)

    In other news, I've made the bodies of the sock monkeys for Loobylu's Month of Softies (MOS). The girls love them even if they haven't any eyes or features. They hug them and carry them around...I know the monkeys will by loved.

    Also, I'm going to have a section on my website where all the ACEO's that haven't sold will reside and people can buy them from there. Lots and lots to do.

    This weekend I hope to accomplish:
    1. List more ACEO paintings on eBay
    2. Do another junk of my small front yard in terms of weeding/etc.
    3. Plant two little trees and a burning bush(turns red in the Fall!) and spread mulch about.
    4. Finish that darn hallway!!!
    5. Share pics of various projects on blog.


    Phew! I hope I can do this. I think I can.

    This week is Unitarian Sunday. The previous Unitarian meeting was great. We had a speaker, Todd Sparks, talk about "The Wizard of Oz" and how we all wear ruby slippers. Our ruby slippers are our spark and our "what makes you special". Don't take off the ruby slippers and let someone else have them. Or as Mr. Sparks so eloquently said "Never let those ruby slippers off your feet. Never give up your passion, your individuality, your uniqueness, your spirit, your inner spark..." So, true!

    I think my caffine high is starting to wear off. I feel like I'm slowing down a bit...like a robot running out of juice. :) I think I need to go rest...I cannot believe all the stuff I did today, including finger painting with the girls, tending to their needs, painting the hall ceiling with Ed, going to Lowes for more paint, listening to Jon when he got home (he ran out of gas and had to hike 3 miles to the nearest phone/minimart...) and then cleaning up because I thought my mom-in-law was coming over but didn't. Sigh...At least it wasn't a boring day! Plus, my kids are addicted to "Nightmare before Christmas". I think they're going to be gothic kids in elementary school...oh, well at least it's creative.

    Oh and I almost forgot: Tim Burton is coming out with a new film similar to Nightmare before Christmas called " Corpse Bride".
    And, the best for last, Nick Park is coming out with a NEW film
  • "Curse of the Were-Rabbit". and Gromit in October!!! And by the way, "Aardman Studios" has a very cool web site!
  • Tuesday, July 12, 2005

    Feeling a bit sheepish...

    Called my sister (which I should have done in the first place) and she is staying a goodly long time of 4 nights. That's pretty darn good!! Very excited and makes the whole house working on stuff worth it.

    Speaking of house, I'm in the process of painting, painting, painting my hallway/stairs a bright butter cream yellow with Alaskan skies blue. So pretty...and let's jut say there is light in spades. My goodness, is there light. From dingy to wearing sunglasses. Not that bad really and in the Winter it's going to be so nice to be in a brightly lit hallway. Of course, this makes everything else in the house look dingy and chipped and needing some lovin'. Sigh...it just never ends.

    I'm making lace curtains...just material I bought to cut and sew up. I have the pretty blue curtain I made a year ago...that will be fine.

    Dad-in-law helped and Jon came home early and helped too. It was a relief as I stayed up to midnight priming the walls and then started again this morning. The only good thing about painting alone is you can dance. You can't do this when others are around...too embarrassing. Madonna makes good dance music, esp. The early works.

    My glasses are speckled with drops of paint and I think I have to get them repolished or something (fine scratches). What's a good way to of removing paint from your glasses?

    Also, Norrie is into throwing things away. I mean everything...she threw the vacuum cleaner cover away and fortunately, we found before trash pick up. Then she threw away shoes, toys, books, etc. The sad thing is she does this and sometimes she realizes she can't get it out; other times she's like, "oh, well." hmm

    Anyway, I'm doing more ACEO cards and I want to experiment with collages. I'm excited about this because I used to do big collages a few years ago and it's nice to return to something like this.

    Still, plugging away at my mini-quilts. Have a grumpy baby...got to go.

    Sunday, July 10, 2005

    Early one Sunday morning...

    I mean, really, really early one Sunday as in 5:45am. Yup. That's when I woke up. I felt like I had a sore throat so I got up and wandered about the internet and then I wrote my sis a good long letter...mostly complaints about various relatives. Let's just say it involves some house ideas...

    Anyway, I got up early, then it dawned on me...well, actually I've been thinking about doing this for ages. I weeded the front patch of yard! At 7 in the morning! I feel so type A. And believe me, I'm not type A at all...most of the time. As I pulled and pulled grass/weeds and cleared up the mulch and raked I felt like I was beating the sun. It was still shady and as I raked I felt good. Then I swept and I think I swallowed a bug or at least the wings...very gross I know. Now, I have that annoying tickling feeling in my throat every time I think about it. Plus, as I type this my fingers feel slightly itchy, I hope I didn't get bit by some insects. There were a few June bugs in the dirt and I was wearing gloves. I hope it wasn't a spider.

    I'm trying to pretty up my front yard because my sis is coming in a few weeks. Apparently, they're going to take side trips to Philly. They are so type A it's disgusting. Personally, I just like hanging out and maybe going to a fair or seeing the Amish but mostly being with the people I got to visit. Not to just see new things. They don't get that. EVERYTHING has to be about learning new things, getting the most out of everything, sucking life up into a little piece of dehydrated fruit and encapsulating it into I don't know what. Am I annoyed? Yes! I was hoping for a three day visit (at least) but now it looks like one evening. Joy. Wonderful. Plus, it's my birthday and Norrie's birthday and guess what? They'll probably be driving to the airport in Pitts to visit the zoo, at least. That's what they did the last time. They left a full day early and tried to get to the zoo. Unfortunately, they're driving escort (her hubby) got lost and they made it there 10 minutes before closing. They could have relaxed with us and had fun. But they were determined, dammit! So, yes I am feeling frustrated and sad and much like second place. Sites and new things are more important than la familia, to them. grrrr

    So, I weeded the front yard...out of vexation, perhaps and made it look 10% better, okay closer to 35%. Next weekend I'll do more. I plan to have the whole front yard covered in mulch, little bushes that are winter hardy, maybe a returning flower or two such as a butterfly bush, and I want to put a few big rocks about and a frog or two. I'd like to get/make a flamingo like a neighbor has a few houses away. It's made from a shovel. Isn't that cool? I have an old pot that I'm trying to covert into a lady but. I just need to remove the handle and spray paint it red. It will be quite cute, I think.

    Has anyone seen that TV show on HGTV, about some English guy on caffeine? He's this hyper gardener and if I watch him in the wrong mood, I get irritated. But other times, I feel actually inspired. Sometimes I think he goes way too far (removes everything to the ground)in his reinventing of the garden. But in some cases he's very right. He'd have a ball in my little front yard. It's small and has the best sunlight, of course. I'm trying to imitate him but ripping most everything out (except the climbing rose, the lavender I planted and this hydrangea (though I'm allergic to it...it hardly blooms, fortunately)). I have some seasonal stuff in there like tulips, and hyacinth but that's it. I'm thinking mini jumpers and maybe some sort of bonsai tree. Eventually, I'd like a Gingko...but that would be on the outside on the mini-slope. Inside, would be all black mulch and a few bushes and maybe some color along the edge.

    I hope the lavender takes off soon. We had a dry spell for a while and it wilted but I kept watering it and now it's perky. I hope it grows nice and big soon. I've got so much stuff to do and so little time. Hope I can accomplish half of it. It will be rather nice when it's done.

    I'll try to take some before and after pics. But I'm not aiming for anything flashy in my front yard. Just calming and orderly. Oh, yes and some solar powered lights for the night. Now, that would add a bit of polish.

    I can see why people find peace in the garden. I feel quite good right now...and I'm just imagining the end product. Plus, it feels good to sit after all the digging around...makes blogging not so much of a guilty pleasure. :-)

    Friday, July 08, 2005

    eBay!

    I've listed a few new ACEO paintings on eBay. I'm so excited about ACEO's that I think I'll try some collage pieces next. Art-Card, Editions and Originals...check them out!

  • Emily's on eBay!
  • Illustration Friday...

    Word of the week: "Metropolitan Sunshine"
    I actually did this painting a few days ago. It's for my ACEO paintings I'm doing to sell on eBay. I'm going to be posting a bunch of them tonight...new stuff!

    The reason I painted this is because even if the city seems to overpower me, there is always a moment where you can find nature...such as a potted plant. Actually, I don't think a metropolis is a bad place or anything like that. In fact, I think they are beautiful and amazing and full of life. I came to question this when I was living in California of all places. I remember I was riding a bus and was chatting with a fellow passenger. I was lamenting how there was so much of everything and so much noise, lights, etc. Then he told me about how he's been places were there wasn't a light for miles and how you're searching just for a bit of life in all the sea of wildlife. I doubted this.


    Before Summer Rain

    Suddenly, from all the green around you,
    something-you don't know what-has disappeared;
    you feel it creeping closer to the window,
    in total silence. From the nearby wood

    you hear the urgent whistling of a plover,
    reminding you of someone's Saint Jerome:
    so much solitude and passion come
    from that one voice, whose fierce request the downpour

    will grant. The walls, with their ancient portraits, glide
    away from us, cautiously, as though
    they weren't supposed to hear what we are saying.

    And reflected on the faded tapestries now;
    the chill, uncertain sunlight of those long
    childhood hours when you were so afraid.

    ---Rainer Maria Rilke


    Now, that I live in a place that is smaller than the suburb I came from in California and how we drove mile after mile through acres of farms, woods and mountains to get here, I can say that it's true...we do search for that light in the darkness, we do look for others in a sea of green.

    It's funny but people think of my small town, Altoona, as a metropolis. People who have lived on farms all their lives. No, Altoona is not quite a metropolis. However, if you cross your eyes and jump up and down it could be a mini-version of a big city. Well, maybe not. :)

    Thursday, July 07, 2005

    Illustration Friday... Among other things

    Well, I didn't think I was going to be able to put an Illustration Friday submission up. I'm not feeling 100% because of my allergies (the hydrangea are in full bloom...And so is my sinus pressure) and because I was depressed about waking up to so much pain in the world. It angers me and saddens me that we have to live in fear because of choices beyond our control are thrust upon us. I'm thinking of course about London. I pray that the people are all right and I pray we learn from this, unlike the actions which have lead us to this very day. Thoughts of safety float in my head and anger. This doesn't have to be. It doesn't but it does. Why? Because the deaths of the innocent remain unpunished. There is too much blood on our hands to wash away. As Shakespeare's Lady Macbeth once said, "Out, out damn spots..." our spots and stains don't wash away with forgetfulness or soap and water. But until there is actual justice and a trial this will continue, I'm afraid.

    ***********************

    My illustration for IF:


    I didn't know what I wanted to paint for the word of the week, "Sport". At first, I thought it was an annoying word as sporty things started to pop into my head. Then I started to think about how sport is linked to the Olympics. I remembered seeing a photo of Cheryl Haworth a few years back. And I was thinking what happened to her. So, I looked her up and she won a bronze and became the strongest woman in the US at 15 years old. I immediately was taken back not just by her age but by her presence. She is not a svelte, narrow woman. She is titanic, strong and beautiful. I wish I had people to encourage me at such an age. And she is such an encouragement to everyone. We forget that size comes in all strengths and shapes.

    Sunday, July 03, 2005

    Okay, one last thing...

    I remembered what I was going to post...I'm hoping to score some wool at the Bedford county fair. Supposedly, if you go on sheep shearing day you can get wool really cheap. I'll try my best. I just want to try some basic spinning...nothing fancy...and maybe some dyeing of wool with koolaid. By the way, I tried beets and I must have done it wrong...it looks grayish...not what I was trying to do. ugh.

    I'm embarrassed...

    I didn't realize a contest was over on someone else's blog (My Little Mochi) and I put my bid on her flea market final amount (and of course, I would have been the closet one) . But I feel so dorky for not looking at the post date, etc, etc. Oh, well... I'm laughing too.

    Now, I forgot what I was going to post about...so I'll just write a little about my pattern hunt. I'm looking for a rag doll pattern. Why? Well, when my parents lost their home and almost all their stuff (they got to salvage their things from the trash...horrible, long story) my mom lost ALL of her craft things...like patterns, notions, books, etc. She admits to having way too much but her things were painfully ripped from her in a way that was not good. I mean she lost quilts that were passed down from generations, so much furniture, etc. It's hard for me to even write this, actually. I've already deleted lots of posts/writings I was going to share before but I'm going to go ahead and post this one anyway...kind of therapeutic actually. Plus, I'm a firm believer that if you write it out, you'll feel better (and it's nice to have spell check too. Unlike a hand written journal...which I still write in as well). My other feelings on this is my parents are here and safe, unlike a lot of people, we are actually fortunate in this.
    ********


    Back to patterns...she has this one doll that she loves and the pattern, of course, is gone. She's probably going to kill me if she reads this (sorry, mom! Thankfully you're in CA and I'm in PA). I'm looking for this doll's pattern:

    (My mom made this doll for me about 15+ years ago. The outfit is a new one she made me a few years back.)

    As for the pattern:
    I'd like to either A. Buy the doll pattern, B. Make a copy of it or C. Trade for the pattern. If anyone out there has a copy of this dolls pattern, let me know. I know it's a long shot. I've recently been trying out eBay but I ended up getting doll patterns that have nothing to do with this doll in the hopes it will be similar and I don't want to start a collection that badly! Though, the Holly Hobbie pattern is really cute! I'll post that once I get it made...might be awhile.

    Looking for this doll!

    Well, I got the last bit of the wallpaper off the top part of the hall and the hallway feels so much better! Now, we're having a wallpaper party to remove the bottom half! I'm feeling really excited to start painting!

    Also, here is a children's rocking couch I reupholstered. I really love the fabric too! The arms are floral and the backing is little bo peep...very darling.
    It still needs a little something on the arms to hide the staples. I think I'll cover some mesh canvas with some quilt lining and cover this with fabric and then staple it on the sides. Then I'll hot glue ribbon over the staples and trim the rest of the chair. I think it will look very sweet and very pink girly.

    Today is the annual Summer Picnic at a family friends. I'm going to make this dish called "Poor Man's Ice Cream". I've tasted variations of this. I got the recipe from Alta West. She was our adopted grandmother and had so many wonderful stories. Being Seventh Day Adventist, she was the first person I knew who didn't eat meat. She had some great recipes for mock burgers (I know it called for oatmeal and soy sauce among other things). Anyway, to make Poor Man's Ice Cream this is what you'll need:

    Powdered jello (strawberry)
    Cottage Cheese
    Canned Cocktail fruit (drained)
    Cool Whip

    Large bowl or food container w/lid
    Big spoon

    Mix all the ingredients. Chill for about 20 minutes (if you can wait). Enjoy! This is super easy and really, really good. Have a good 4th!

    Saturday, July 02, 2005

    Napoleon Dynamite and films for the weekend...

    I confess I am a big fan of Napoleon Dynamite". We rented this movie about two months ago and I saw it twice. It is so awesome on so many levels. It's about a guy who is inclined towards "geekiness". But what is geekiness or being a nerd? Some say it's the way you dress, the attitude you have towards life and people. Maybe it's being so involved in what you're doing that you don't care what people think about you. You just know what you like and it doesn't matter if people think you are trendy or "cool". In that case, we should all try to be more like Napoleon Dynamite.

    If you haven't seen this film, you ought to give it a try. It has a quirkiness that is appealing and draws you in from the very first credits. You'll know what I mean once you see the film.

    Plus, the music isn't bad either...Another soundtrack I would like to get. Also, Jared Hess, the director, did a music video for "Postal Service. It's very intriguing even if the lyrics are disturbing. Down with Global Warming! I've seen some similar films such as "Welcome to the Dollhouse".This is much more of a harsh look at how kids can become so outcast...Even in their own families. It's hard to watch but worth it.

    Another quirky, sad and beautiful film is "Ma vie en rose". or "My life in pink". Rent it and you'll know what I mean.

    Friday, July 01, 2005

    Beets are yummy...

    I tried this new recipe from one of my on-line groups and it's really good. It's called Pasta con Rubini or Pasta with Rubies by Wendy Edelson.
    And I can see why they are called rubies!





    They are quite beautiful when you pull them from the oven...Glistening a deep, dark red. And they are very tasty, filling and healthy. It's hard to make them in the summer (the oven heat) but they are worth it.

    Here's my version of the recipe:
    I cut up the beets into diced size. I got a round cake tin and put a bit of water and placed beet pieces in it. Then I covered them with olive oil and sprinkled some salt and Mrs. Dash (I was out of garlic). Then I baked for about 35-40 minutes (or until soft-ish). Afterwards, I just scoped them up on a plate and had them with a chicken salad sandwich. Very tasty. You can also make them with pasta, and Parmesan cheese.

    Sociable

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