Monday, October 31, 2005

Broken part 2

This is another part of my broken illustration for visual context...

I'm thinking of doing a graphic novel based on this...I like the feel and I have some ideas for storyline. Any comments?

Illustration Friday: Broken

The word of the week is "Broken". I just read Bombings kill six U.S. soldiers in Iraq. This illustration comes from that headline.

Sometimes I just want to forget (or Artists need to give voice to war and peace)

Sometimes, when the world beyond my own little families and friends seems too much, I just want to forget. I don't want to remember there is a war going on. I don't want to remember there are people in Asia dying because aid cannot get to them. I don't want to think about the Gulf. How can you take that all in, anyway? It's beyond very beyond.

Some people give money and if I had some, I'd do the same. Of course, I do believe every bit helps and even small amounts mean a lot. Jon gave blood. I'm going to do this next time when he goes. We'll be weak together.

However, I think there are things we can do. We can protest. And I don't mean just walking in the streets with banners. We can protest in our conversations. We can inform people. We can talk and engage others on a basic level. We can say, This war is wrong. We need to start peace talks in Iraq. And then ask questions such as why haven't we done this already? Why is it taking so long to create at the very least a neutral zone? What are we saying when we bomb or send soldiers into these areas? This certainly isn't going to make people want to talk or even consider peace.

So, what can we do? We can protest by talking. We can protest by showing in our art and writing what war does to people. We can show how the main people who suffer are the families. War is against the family. Regardless, of what country you were born, war effects the family in the worst way and by having families broken by death and falling apart from permanent injuries, war steals the trust that makes a family a family.

Even if someone believes that war is the right thing to do, explore this. Why is it right? What are the costs of war? Is it worth it? What are the benefits? Where are the benefits? And answer these questions as honestly as you can.

I think there is hopelessness all around us. I see people just falling under the weight of pain and sorrow. And it would be easy to do just roll over and not do anything. But we can do something. We can talk. We can write. We can create some art that discusses these issues at the very least.

I once read this children's book. It was about a kitten in a flower garden. This kitten saw some pretty bees and watched them. She started to chase them and use them like cat toys. However, they are bees and didn't want to be "played" with. They began to sting back. The kitten learned not to bother bees but to appreciate them from a distance.

Even in a child's book there is room to show insight and honesty. I wonder what would happen if artists started doing this in earnest.

Sunday, October 30, 2005


October Leaves

Art Gallery

Art Gallery
Originally uploaded by emily999.
A bit of my work at the local art gallery, Albert Michaels, in Altoona.


Originally uploaded by emily999.
Found on a walk of mine...

Trick or Treat

Trick or Treat
Originally uploaded by emily999.

Sunday evening...

Had the time change...This could be reason #2 of why trick or treat night is done a few days before Halloween. It's still perplexing. Either way, it's become four days of Halloween...not too bad, when you think of it. And there's still the Day-of-Dead on November 1st. This could become quite an interesting series of celebrations. What a way to welcome the Fall Solstice!

A new month is almost upon us. This week looks to be a bit crazy. I'm having a cat-scan to see about my sinus' and maybe help my allergies. This would help my hearing possible and see what's causing the loss.

Then there is a series of lessons and another doctors appointment on Wednesday an then piano lessons and finally on Friday a 10 am toddler art session. I am so ready for this art group! I'm excited and I know it will be fun. Supposed to be at least seven kids, make the at nine (including mine). So, all in all it's going to be a bit wild. I still have to stitch up about 15 hand puppets...they're going to decorate them. The following week will be calmer...I hope. I still need to get Mr. Nelson's vaccinations/updates and get him ready to be a breeding dog. I'm going to give it a try. He really does have good genes and is very smart. Plus, he doesn't have runny eyes and for a Bichon that's very good.

I was relieved that my adult art student cancelled on Saturday...but at the same time I was a bit disappointed. Hopefully, I'll see her come November. We shall see.

Also, I'm getting ready for setting up a knitting group at the campus. Hope to hear word on a space and we'll go from there. Otherwise, things are getting into a good routine.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

One of the odd things

about living in a small town like Altoona is they don't celebrate Trick or Treat on Halloween. It's always a few days or so before. Apparently, this has been happening for about 30 years. I wondered if it had something to do with some religious groups or what not. But according to my dad-in-law, Ed, it's probably more innocent than this. He remembers there was lots of cane raised (vandalism) such as soaping windows (writing words (dirty) on windows), or using wax (harder to clean), soaping street car tracks, and throwing dried corn on the porch to make a loud noise. Ed mentioned traveling gangs (in which he did or didn't travel) that would go visit various persons who you felt wronged you and get even.

Apparently, having trick or treat night on a different night doesn't really help this sort of this. Now, it's primarily toilet paper and egg throwing. My husband, Jon, saw kids buying packs and packs of eggs. And in another town, Hollidaysburg, there was a huge egg throwing problem. Thankfully, it rains a lot over here.

Anyway, that's what's happening over here. We've done tons of Halloween stuff...trick/treating on Wednesday ("safe")in freezing cold wind, Thursday we handed out treats and did 15 minutes of actual trick or treating and then on Saturday a small kids party at the YWCA and just having a good time and meeting new people. I have to say, one of the nice things about living in a small town you meet people and they know the same people. Surprising and fun.

Well, still haven't gotten my pics up and there are quite a few. Been working with my students and doing lots of art, piano and science. Nice feeling to be doing something I really enjoy...

Thursday, October 27, 2005


Went trick/treating at the campus with my little gals and daddy. Thought it was going to be It was in the freezing windy cold. So cold, I didn't realize I sprained my ankle and now it hurts, hurts hurts (and is why I'm up at's 7am now) . It was fun but so crazy and inconsiderate...even the poor college students were freezing (they handed out most of the treats).

Anyway, Norrie wouldn't wear her costume. She acted like it was filled with pins and emitted this high pitched screech that seems to come from the bottom of hell. Lydia was a good sport and trotted around wearing her dinosaur costume even though many thought it was a dragon. Oh, well...close enough and at least it was 95% handmade by me (I bought sweats/pants and cut sewed them up to create the will come later...Probably much later...busy day).

The plan today:
Find some new music for my piano students, clean up dining room, drop off girls at grandma's, teach piano, come home and set up for art, clean up and pick up gals, possible trip to post and drop off art/mail, come home and hope kids are tired and ready for nap. Rest for a bit, get ready for trick/treaters and family and hopefully just hang out and relax.

Well, I'm overwhelmed by this list already and my ankle still hurts. I guess that's why I feel so sluggish...

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


Originally uploaded by emily999.
To all those who died in the Iraq War, we remember you today.

I did not get to attend a vigil tonight so I'm doing one on my blog. This candle is in memory of the 2000 US soldiers killed and the hundreds of thousands killed and injured men, women and children of Iraq.

Than Heaven more remote

Than Heaven more remote,

Emily Dickinson -

Than Heaven more remote,
For Heaven is the root,
But these the flitted seed.
More flown indeed
Than ones that never were,
Or those that hide, and are.

What madness, by their side,
A vision to provide
Of future days
They cannot praise.

My soul, to find them, come,
They cannot call, they're dumb,
Nor prove, nor woo,
But that they have abode
Is absolute as God,
And instant, too.

Of all the poems to come to me, "The heaven more remote" is especially meaningful. For me, this is about how we try to capture heaven or this concept of God and bottle it and make it a commodity. But we can't. This isn't something to be held in the hands or sold at markets. Emily Dickinson was more cynical as she was writing, I believe, in that these things don't exist. I think she was trying to talk about how some people spend all their time focusing on heaven when, she (the speaker) is here and in the present.

Dickinson talks about the remoteness of heaven but the last line says it all, " But that they have abode Is absolute as God, And instant, too." For me, this means within reality, the real world, God exists.

And so, my illustration Friday is based on "Heaven more remote" by Emily Dickinson

Monday, October 24, 2005

Supposed to snow...

2-4 inches in the higher elevations. Wonderful. It's not even Halloween, yet! Crazy! It's too cold and I'm tired. I had my allergy tests today. I'm allergic to grasses and dust mites. So, now I have to clean everything and wear a mask when I'm outside. Great. Plus, it's rainy and cold. It was such a blah day and I felt tired from the tests (had four shots of allergy stuff and it made my shoulder slightly stiff). Not fun.

I've got to get an appointment for Mr. Nelson and the cats. They need their yearly physical, next.

I've updated my web page and added a few links. Most importantly my pet portrait page! I've taken the leap and put an add in the paper. After this, I might try a four day art class with Chinese Ink. I think that will be fun and interesting.

Anyway, I've got to check on my little ones. They're playing in the kitchen...wouldn't touch the rice, pork and beans I made them. I, however, feel glutinous as I ate a bit much (hey, I was taste testing). And I'm tired...well, they finally ate several pieces of cheese, a can of children's pasta and are now drinking warm coco with marshmallows.

I'd write more but I'm too pooped.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

New things on Cafepress!

Just put up a few new things on Cafepress! I have quite a few things up with some guinea pig art of mine and some other art work. I didn't realize how much Cafepress has changed. It's great! Check out my shop and look for some new things in the near future. I'm going to be doing some calendars with animal themes! I'm really excited.

Just a taste some changes...more to come!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

It's getting cold...

It's getting really chilly and cold. The air had a touch of frost and it feels like Fall is edging into Winter...too soon!

Break out your coats and scarves, boys and girls. The Farmers Almanac says it's going to be a bad winter. And with the price of gas going from 25% to's time to toughen up on any drafts and see how much like Jimmy Carter we can go. If you don't recall, Jimmy Carter said to keep saving on your gas wear an extra sweater and that will help to conserve. I like that attitude. Of course, I'd like to have thermal heating too...this would be really good to reduce that gas usage. Really, the government should subsidize this and make it easier for every body access this. But that's a long shot as this is a oil president with oil on the brain.

Anyway, been busy as heck...piano, art, science lessons. Some of my older works are displayed at a local gallery "Albert Michaels" (more on that later).

Right now, I'm working on some bigger paintings...Acrylic abstract for some color in the house and to show some licensing companies. See what happens.

Dang. It is too cold. Thankfully, Jon changed the filters (which were really dirty) and we may turn on the furnace. It's awfully cold right now. Where's my sweater?

Oh, and I'm starting a knitting group to knit for charities. Should be interesting...and keep those fingers warm.

One thing I love about teaching kids is the innovative ways they see things...and they aren't afraid to try different colors and music variations. Love it! : )

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Donate for aid to victims of earthquake in Asia

Tuesday...JB Tree Farm

Went to the JB Tree Farm...drove there all by myself which is big news as I haven't driven by myself past Duncansville. I've got this fear I'll drive off into the woods or keep driving to Canada or something. I know it's irrational, but that's how I've felt for awhile. Now I know this won't happen. The worst is I'll have to turn around and go back.

Anyway, I made it to the JB Tree farm after driving 12's about 40 minutes away (esp. with the crazy directions from not ever use this or yahoo...just plain hairball). The other mamma's were there and I thought I was late but I was right on time.

We started off with pumpkin decorating.

Painting pumpkins.

Kids learning ground hogs are very bad to farmers although they are very cute on Ground hogs day!

Are they real? Not quite, Norrie...

The group was huge and half did another activity while we did the pumpkin stuff. It was fun...but it was crazy again as Norrie just kept walking. It seemed like she was Dori from "Finding Nemo" and this little phrase of "just keep swimming" for Norrie was just keep walking, just keep walking. Driving me nuts and I couldn't sit down and relax for more than five minutes. VERY ANNOYING. Next year, I will be going with a buddy or else make Jon take the day off. I was exhausted.

On one of Norrie's walks she discovers corn...

And pumpkins.

Just keep walking, just keep walking...

So we did that and then we got to ride the haystacks pulled by a friendly tractor and tractor guy. Okay, he wasn't very friendly and mostly grunted and nodded at various farm people. However, there was a friendly dog, Annie, and she is known for going down ground hog holes and killing them. But she was very nice to the kids...

This ground hog was not killed by Annie but she has killed others like this one.

Protector of the pumpkin patch and friend to all little persons, it's...Super Annie!

The trailer ride was mostly relaxing and I got to see some beautiful Fall landscapes. It was refreshing to see the change of seasons and the girls weren't running everywhere. I just had to make sure they didn't tumble out of the high speed tractor...Okay, it wasn't high speed...more of a gentle rocking. Pleasant.

This years Christmas tree crop? Perhaps...

The corn maze...where the children, as I over heard one mom say, become "Children of the Corn". Well, not really...

A mostly beautiful view...they stripped the land for electrical wires...Unfortunately. Sometimes progress, is not very pretty.

Baby Christmas trees...awww

At one moment during the hayride, Lydia said, "I like you so much mommy." That makes the whole thing worth the while.

Then we all came back and played on the pyramid of haystacks. I was off running after Norrie who thought the reindeer were esp. Interesting. Fortunately, the reindeer didn't mistake her fingers for carrots.

Just keep walking...

Is that you Comet?

Then it was more haystacks and then we ate. I half cooked my hot dogs, burned the marshmallows and wished I had Jon there to either help me or to yell at. But all in all, it was a fun time. Lydia is mostly good about staying in one spot...Norrie is like me at that age...although, I was apparently a worse wanderer.

Just keep walking...

marshmallow...good. The only thing that made her stop walking.

Then there was a corn maze (one toddler size and the other much bigger...Apparently one hour long to go through!). We just did the little then there was crankiness and tired looks and the girls were feeling a bit sleepy from all the excitement too.

So, I packed them up and drove home which was a lot faster as I didn't follow the insane directions from internet maps.

At least in all of Norrie's wanderings she looks like she knows where she's going.

What's next on the horizon, mom?

Sunday, October 16, 2005

It's really windy outside...

It's Fall and this is a sure sign of Fall...wind. I don't really care for wind. Mostly the noise factor as well as the kicking up particles for my allergies, aspect. I'm running on six hours of sleep...the wind sounds haunting and makes for odd dreams.

Had I known we'd have this much wind, I don't think I'd have moved here. This is one reason why I didn't like San Francisco...way too windy (plus has a bad history of earthquakes). I guess any where someone lives there's going to be dangers.

Just had a memory...last Fall we went outside and were either coming home or leaving; it was dark. The leaves swayed, the neighbors garage light flicked on and for a moment it felt like a scene out of "To Kill a Mocking bird".

On another note, we went to JB Tree Farm and had a great time, the girls and I. When we got home, Lydia gave me a hug and said, "I like you, mommy" with such made my heart melt. Unexpected surprises...I'll have more on the farm later. I think I know what photo I'm going to do a painting of while the Winter snows are piled high and I am feeling the need to escape into memories of warmer times. Actually, there might be two photos...

I'm trying to push my self into working on a larger scale for paintings...nothing in the mural size...just trying to go bigger (22 X 30 inches) in Sumi ink. I'll see if that works.

Saturday, October 15, 2005


Originally uploaded by emily999.
This is based on the Ella Fitzgerald song "Isn't this a lovely day". It's about bad weather...that's what makes me feel cold physically. But having someone to lean onto and be there for and they are there for you...that makes the cold easier and as the song goes "...Isn’t this a lovely day
To be caught in the rain?"

New items in my shop...

I've been creating mini-sculptures...

"Red Guinea Pig"


"Blue Guinea Pig"

You can see them in my shop at:

Also, I have some new paintings up at my eBay shop:

Such as:

"Sleepy puppy"

"Let there be peace"
based on a Children's Choir. And

"Little Hedgehog"

Oh, and:

"Guinea Pig"


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