Saturday, December 31, 2005

HAPPY NEW YEAR! 2006

Over here on the East Coast, it's officially 2006! Welcomed in the near year with sparkling cider, family and the clang of baking tins by the kids. A nice welcome I should say.

I hope this year brings blessings to all and we are all successful. For my self, I'm going to work harder at my art, create some new art classes, and count my blessings for which I have many.

Hope everyone has/had a good welcome of the New Year. Stay healthy and safe everyone.

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 30, 2005

Now I can share what I did...

Made this for a Christmas present:

"Giant Schnauzer Mini-Quilt"


(Back of quilt)

Quilt is made with felt pieces...came out rather nice, I think.

~~~~~~~~
This is just two of the many kitty cats I made from recycled sweater materials. I must have done about 12 or more. Plus, I have more to finish (for whatever reason...maybe to sell) but they didn't have any more stuffing at the store! Can you believe that? Only a massive box of stuffing for $25! I don't think I need that much. So, I'll either wait till they get more or sacrifice a pillow. It's amazing what you can do with an old, I mean semi-vintage, sweater. : )



I'm making various kitties out of different fabrics. I made the pattern my self.

One collage I did:


I love it, actually. Crummy pic but it's a great collage. Might have to get it framed...


That's it for now...it's really late and I feel like my arms are becoming lead. Thank goodness there is a three day break for Jon. His family celebrates the New Year with sauerkraut and hotdogs. Supposed to be good luck for the New Year. What do you celebrate with?

More work to come...

Nearly 2006 and observations...

Wow! I can hardly believe it is nearly 2006. What will this new year unfold? I hope it is better and more peaceful than 2005. That's my wish for the new year...aiming towards peace world wide.
******

At this moment, my house smells like oranges and a slightly dirty rat cage! I'm feeling pretty good as my allergies are under control after I got replenished for my medicine. What a difference being on the right medication makes!

I was just informed by my two year old that santa clause is coming, again. This is a conversation I'm listening to right now with my 3.5, 2 year old and husband:

Santa already came...he brought chocolates

hey, Lydia...here!
(Eats a banana)

Yummm!

yum,yum,yum
I like it!
hey, Norrie!
Norrie is eating an orange.
Yum, but don't eat the sticker! (sticker on the fruit)
Just don't eat the stickers! The stickers are yucky poo. Don't eat the oranges or the oranges skin. Just taste that.

Yuck. The stickers taste yuck.

The stickers get on your skin and go down and make you feel better.

I mixed all the cheese rice together and I got cheese rice!

Oh, no! Mr. Nelson doesn't have any water !
Nelson will get thristy and then die...!

Doggie all water

Nelson fun...
No, no don't give him more bones...

No he needs three! (holds up two fingers)
That's two...

Let's put it back
That's the bones for later
Punkin I see
That's a punkin
Let's clean the rats cage.
Let's clean the rats cage

No, it's...let's clean it tomorrow
No! Today! ...
Santa already came
Santa already came.
Yes...
More and more presents and... muffins!

That's pretty much the conversation I hear on a daily basis...very poetic actually. I did this a few years ago when my neice was three...I typed what she said as she was talking to my sister. It was about rain and sunlight...just very pretty when I read it later on.

Well, here is a Mr. Nelson picture...he's been neglected here on the blog...I've got to remedy that!

Thursday, December 29, 2005

New site of mine Angels and Fairy people!

"Playing with yarn"
E.Dimov-Gottshall


Also, I have a new site I thought I'd share. It's purely commercial...

http://angelsandfairys.blogspot.com/ and different too. It deals with photo manipulation and artistry. If you ever wanted to be seen as a fairy or angel, now is your chance! ~

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Christmas and dear holidays...

Christmas has come and gone and with it the tides of holidays and soon the tree will begin to wither, shedding a thousand and more needles. The lights, by some will be left till February (thankfully), and decor will slowly make it's way back to the dark reigons of the basement or elsewhere. And slowly and surely some will pay off their past dues, some will make plans for the New year and others will continue doing the do.

I've been thinking a lot about what Christmas/Holidays mean and about life. This life of ours is very short. When you think of the hills and the earth all the millions of years...it's amazing. And we are here in such a short amount of time...only living till our 80's or 90's, if we are lucky. But what is quantity of years if it is without quality. Some might interpret quality as living the "good life" or having a fancy ________ (fill in the blank). However, some might say quality is not what you have but what you do. What are your actions doing? What have you done in this world to make it better? Certainly, we can not all be Mother Theresa's or Ghandi's or Tolstoys. But we can certainly try to attain some of what they accomplished. What parts of our small worlds could we help? Would that mean volunteering one hour a month to some shelter? Would it mean picking up some trash that crossed your path? Smiling at your nieghbor even if you are annoyed at them for some reason. It's hard to do but it's small and true.

I've thought about what the holidays are and aren't. I've determined that I don't like shopping and would prefer to donate trees to places where there aren't very many. I've made a good majority of my gifts and this has given me the utmost pleasure (even though I was sick at the time with double ear infections!).

I think the best description of the Holidays and of Christmas is found from Charles Dicken's "A Christmas Carol",

'There are many things from which I might have derived good, by which I have not profited...'Christmas among the rest. But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time, (is) as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. And therefore... though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it has done me good, and will do me good; and I say, God bless it!'

And this is what I feel about the whole blessed time of Winter Solstice. We are all on this journey to death and how we treat each other and are kind, that is what makes this life worth while.

My question is how do we make it last? How do we take the forgiving and charitable time and make it last the year round? What little kindnesses can we give to each other? I think we already know the answer. : )

Friday, December 23, 2005

Thursday, December 22, 2005

All things deer


All things deer
Originally uploaded by emily999.
I tried out the flickr toys and made this deer mosaic...it was fun.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Illustration Friday

Winter dreams




Illustration Friday
Also,

Sailing away

Christmas dreams

I'm very blessed to have people who care about me. I really am. It's hard to know that someone leaves this world and is never going to return. We are all on that road. I only hate that some people have to end in such pain. It's horrible. So very unfair.
*****************

A good thing that has happened is there will not be drilling in Alaska. A vain (and cowardly) attempt at passing this bill attached with sending aid to our troops was voted down today. I wonder if there is some good looking down from somewhere directing people to make ethical and wise choices. I just wonder...
******************

Been sweeping and cleaning...I do that when I'm upset. I guess I was really okay for a long time because the house is a mess. Cleaning like there is no tomorrow and finding energy to do things I wouldn't normally think about too much...like reducing that laundry pile, cleaning the bathroom and organizing the cupboards. Strange...

Time

I think I've started to really account for my time. I hope I make the best of it. I do. I hope I can do a few worthy things, they don't have to be big, just enough to make this world a bit better.
There was a time when I was younger and I worried that I wouldn't have time to write some books ( I was very much into writing short stories) and finish my great master pieces or become some great leader (I was rather ambitious!). And I still think about that but in smaller terms. One things I've started realizing is I don't need certain distractions in my life. It's hard to do this but you have push away the stuff in your life that's not essential. For me, that means getting rid of some unwanted/used things that I've held on for too long.

I guess I'm starting to think about this new year approaching. What blessings will we be able to find if we get rid of the unwanted things? What differences can we make in peoples lives that will enrich them? It doesn't have to be big. Small things do matter...I believe it was Le Corbusier who said "God is in the details". I believe Good is in the details too.



Peace to all.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

******In memory of Todd Sparks*******



Todd Sparks past away on December 18th 2005, 2 am. He went to our church and had been suffering from cancer and pain. He loved the Wizard of Oz and gave a sermon about it one Sunday. Here is what I wrote on his sermon in July:

"This week is Unitarian Sunday...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..." ".

Good-bye, Todd. We will miss you. You truly had a spark of passion and creativity.

We're going to be making a donation in his name to the Cancer society. Cancer is were we should be fighting a war...

Friday, December 16, 2005

"Charlie Green"

Was reading a headline in the news...I'm not reading the news as much. In fact, today was the second day of reading headlines and I did read some articles I admit (like bush let NSA spy on Americans...which is WRONG! These were people being spied on for a vague reason and I'm assuming, most likely no reasons connected to current events. Sounds familiar, doesn't it? Hint: No WMD's). Anyway, that got me annoyed but I started to think about the famous Ben Franklin quote:

"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both."

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

I also read another headline "San Francisco Renting Christmas Trees" and I thought what in the world? So, I read that one and realized it's about giving back to the environment and making your part of the world a bit better. I liked that. One mother did this to show her kids how to be environmentally aware. The donated a tree and the kids named it "Charlie Green". I just thought that was so endearing...and we've all seen the Charlie Brown "Christmas special" with the little tree and how everyone comes together and decorates it...

Anyway, a funny line in the story and that which I'm making the quote of the day is:

"Granola-eating, sandal-wearing type people"

I love this! I wouldn't mind being described that way. Lots of good people eat granola and wear sandal's.

I, however, don't eat enough granola (in fact, I can't remember when was the last time I had some. I think I need to go the health food store and pick some up, you know us liberal types...lol!). The funny thing is I'm wearing sandal's right now. Yes, there is four feet of snow outside...these are cheap versions of Birkenstocks that I have for wearing around the house. Plus, I'm wearing white socks with them. I'm comfy, not stylish, mostly comfy. However, I do own big pink puffy slippers too.

http://www.yahoo.com/s/265255 (On renting Christmas trees)
****************************

In other news, Jon had to take the SUV (four wheel drive) and this has the kids seats in it. This means I can't go Christmas shopping/mail packages. I'm going to be late, again, with X-mas stuff. VERY ANNOYING. I'm house bound with two crazy kids, four cats, four sluggish rats (they are nocturnal), a hyper bichon and me. Plus, I have a HUGE pile of cards to send out. I was ranting at Jon last night, why do I have to do all the shopping, etc. Let me tell you, I hate shopping. I would rather shovel out a chicken coop then face crowds at the mall. Mind you the mall here in Altoona, is nothing compared to the mall in California. That thing was huge! And you had tons of people walking around looking at stuff, buying. Ugh! And you had to go with the flow or risk getting stomped on. It was very suffocating.

It's not that I don't like people...in fact, I love people and I love watching them and seeing their expressions. But when you've got to march into a place and pick out gifts that are either overpriced or become a wizard at reducing prices and coupons, you lose something. It becomes a strange game...I'd rather be fishing. I really would. Maybe not ice fishing...but I'd rather be outside collecting a bunch of pine cones or sewing or knitting or especially painting. Now, I feel sad. I think I need to do a few paintings…which is hard to do when your husband has to work overtime.

Why do I work myself up? I am making things as well as bought a few things. I'm all stressed out for nothing, I'm sure. I just wish cards were enough. Maybe instead of wanting “things”, maybe we could buy trees for neighborhoods without them because I've seen neighborhoods near where I live without a single tree and it's pretty ugly and unfair.

Well, before I start doing a "Mr. Smith goes to Washington" rant, I'd better great life. Ciao!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

All I want for Christmas is...

So, I teach art lessons and I've got a bunch of cute kids that learn from me, but believe me it's very vice versa too. I have the kids start off with journaling/drawing. Sometimes, I'll give them random things to draw or other times abstract concepts or even holiday themed ones like "What are you Thankful for...", etc.

I've gotten ear fulls on thankfulness for: Toys, not sure what they're thankful for and thankful for snow. Last week a conversation at the art table commenced with "what do you want for Christmas?" This ranged from money, cotton candy people, blue snow and animals ability to talk. Fodder for an artist and esp. a children's illustrator. Delights unfold. : )

One of my favorite artists is Lynda Barry and she (among others) inspired me to try teaching art and kids. I can see why. Kids are such amazing fun. They make you see with new eyes. My own children remind me constantly of love: they are reminders of how to be tender and firm all at once.

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

One of my new years resolution, for it is that time again, is to let things be. If the house is a mess and I'm working with my kids, to let it be till later. To be in the moment. It's hard to do but it is doable. I can't do all things and I won't. I don't want to, really. For now, I'm happy with what is.

This, however, does not mean taking my dreams and smashing them under heels of regret. It means to know your dreams are there, ready for the taking. When you need them, they will be there.

It's also funny, how, when you do begin to stretch past your old ways you find new ways and new people. One of my favorite books, "Stretching Lessons" by Sue Bender talks about this sense of self. It's a very quiet book and should be read in short bursts so that you can contemplate it. Actually, reading is meditative...what a wonderful, surprise.

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

What my house smells like right now:
Cilantro
deep fryed flour
garlic
eggplant
pepper

What does your house smell like? I know my bedroom smells like something not so good (pooy diapers) but at least this new smell of food will conquer ye stinky smells. : )

By EDGE Gallery


By EDGE Gallery
Originally uploaded by emily999.
One of my abstracts...working on several more...
This one is entitled "Blue Forest" and measures 3' by 2'.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Winter snows and Artist reps...

It's cold outside and all is white. Though the leaves of Fall have passed and the grass lies beneath in dormant sleep, all is not at an end. Life still carries on. The rabbits play across blue mounds of ice, all that remains are their tracks. The house is warm and lived in. Icicles hang, natural decorations of the season. Piano lessons carry on, my kids drop ornaments for the sacrificial passage of a well decorated tree. Oh, well...

I'm still a bit sick but getting better. I think having take-out Chinese wasn't a good idea...even though it sure tasted good. Jon and I started to think about restaurants we used to visit in Alhambra, California. There was one called "The Happy Family restaurant". Isn't that a great name? We loved it. They served traditional Buddhist Chinese food...All vegetarian. My favorite was an eggplant fried with cilantro. Oh, that was good. I'm still trying to find a similar recipe. If anyone knows of something like this, please share.

In other news, I'm searching for an artist representative. I've had five rejections and counting. But in the midst of it all, I've gotten some good advice from the rejections and from fellow artists, so all is not lost. Keep on truckin' as the saying goes. If there's one thing I am, I don't give up. I might take a break, but I don't give up.

If there are any suggestions for what my style would fit in regards to representatives, I'd definitely appreciate suggestions.

I'm going to borrow "White Christmas" from my sis-in-law...I need to hear that lovely song about snow, etc. It's an interesting movie esp. now that we are in the midst of so much tragedy and sorrows with the current war raging on. My thoughts are with the troops and the families. Good news is my cousin, who joined the Marines about a year ago, isn't going to be sent to Iraq. At least not yet. I hope he stays safe.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Feeling better...

You know you're feeling better when the house starts looking messy and suddenly it does matter that your little ones have gotten into your dresser and have pulled everything out. My sides still hurt when I laugh and I have to sit occassionally and rest. Otherwise, I'm feeling better and so is Jon.

Now, I've got a ton of house work to do. Feels good to have energy again.

Life feels better and less chaotic.

Favorite quote of the day:

Why do it the easy way, when you can do it the EVIL way?
-"Kim Possible"

Silly, I know...but humorous. That's what happens when you're sick...you end up watching cartoons...oh, well.

Quilts


Quilts
Originally uploaded by emily999.
So, as not to look like I'm being very idle, a few quilts I've been working on.

Two feet of snow, sick and Ya-Ya's

Talk about feeling trapped. Here we are, Jon and I come down with the worst flu in five years, with our two kids and a blizzard raging outside. The girls had their flu shots and I think a VERY mild case of the flu. If they had gotten what we had, it would have been horrible. I felt like I could very easily go to the hospital and get an IV and not blink twice. This from someone who is very afraid of needles/blood.

Anyway, I'm rebounding. I've slept like I've never slept before and every time I laugh a little my back and sides hurt from flu excursions (to say the least). I still feel queasy when thinking about various foods...esp. those that I ate previously to the other night.

It's funny. I didn't feel very sick before all this happened. I just felt a little tired and I thought I had forgotten to take my allergy medicine but I hadn't. One of the mom's from my art class did ask if I was feeling all right. And I thought I was just tired and needed lunch. But as it turns out this might have been the beginning.

Jon came down with the effects first and this started me on it within ten minutes. I sometimes think we are very linked mentally/physically. Very odd at times. We're the type of couple that if someone is thinking something about Star Trek, for example, the other one will say do you remember that scene? And the other person will be like yeah...without having to explain all the in-between, how'd you get to think about that stuff.

I think people are like this more than we realize. People we live with/interact with we start creating these bonds/brain waves (connections) . It's the way people are, thankfully.

I think this is why people become so attached to pets, as well. They are there all the time and they need you as much as you need them. For example, I knew I was starting to feel better when I started to pet my cat, Simone (who wouldn't leave my side...sometimes to my annoyance). I started petting her and noticing how soft her fur is and just admiring her face. It's like they take away your self pity and help you get out of that mild sick induced depression.

On another note, it's also nice to have friends and realize they do care about you. Having someone say they'll come out in the snow and bring you to the doctors (in a blizzard no less!) really makes you feel cared for. : ) Which brings me to my next thought. I'm reading (actually, almost finished) "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood" by Rebecca Wells. It has some luke warm moments of writing but in all, it interested and engaged me. One line I found compelling was " How tender can we bear to be? What good manner can we show as we welcome ourselves and others into our hearts?" I thought that was especially meaningful. I liked this book as it is about a daughter who is making peace with her concept of self and her concept of her mother.

So, how tender can we bear to be? That is a hard one...but I'm trying to learn to do this, not just with words but by actions. And you do have to be a little brave, too. You have to sweep your shyness or hang-ups to the side and notice the details of a persons face and that they are there.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

FINISHED THE COOKIES!!!

Yes! Chocolate chip cookies are done! Bagged and ready to go.Got presents for Friday, phew! Secret santa stuff. I was stressing out about it all and now, I'm all right. Reason being, tomorrow is a big one, as in lots planned. Piano lessons at 10, an art lesson at 1pm and then 6-8 pm (if weather permits) Stitch and Bitch. Phew! Busy! Plus, 6-9 inches of snow is supposed to come in. Good grief! Did I tell you I do not like snow? I like playing in it but not driving in it.

I also got some sweaters in the mail at a very good price of $11 each. Did you know you can go on Amazon, type in xyz and find the cheapest price? This does not mean cheap quality...this could mean sale wise. So, that's what I did for sweaters and jeans.

Had a fun time with art students today. Did some collaging, should be a good turn out.

I got two rejections in one week in regards to art. One from a client. And the other from an agent. Well, as the saying goes, try, try and try again. And I shall. But I did get some fantastic news about potentially getting my art students at a show in March! I'm thrilled. : )

Other news, got more batting and am going to try and finish some quilts. I saw some fantastic quilts and now I want to try them...but not if they take longer than a day or two to do.

I'm going to do another new web page with a style I developed that's similar to Eric Carle's. I'm in love with it and I'm teaching my kids this in art class. More to come! I'm starting to feel good about collaging again. I was a bit overwhelmed by the beauty, passionate work some artists have done in collaging but now I feel like I have my own strength. It's a good feeling.

I've got to send my mom some Christmas cards I ordered for her. I think she'll like them. They are of the wooden dolls I did at cafepress. They look pretty good, actually.

Two more weeks till Christmas. How about that? I feel a bit better about it now...I'm not going to do anything more than tend to my home, do my work, make a few things and go crazy. Sigh. Ain't life grand?

Oh, and our furnace broke...apparently, it was some sort of a coil...but it was replaced within two hours, thankfully. Boy, the house got cold fast! Now we are warm again and everyone is active, including the rats.

I haven't been taking pictures lately...mostly too busy. I hate that but it's true.

I really, really hope we don't get 6-9 inches of snow. But if we do I hope it happens at 2 in the morning and lasts for an hour. Wishful thinking, I know.

(I think I'll try taking some snaps of the cookies/mini-quilts or else go to bed. Most likely, the latter)

The only thing I wish I could do is the tiara that Violette has due tomorrow. I just found out about it tonight and I so want to do it. We shall see. Modern day Hippie Goddess that is Violette. : )

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

One of the funniest things I've seen in awhile

It's Jerry Time

Found the above at boingboing

Jerry has got to be one of the most creative/innovative videos I've seen in a long time.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Monday...

It's cold outside and snowy. Jon is taking the black car w/child seats. I could use the green one but I don't like it because it's smaller and cramming everyone in is a pain...Though it does have a radio. Still, I like my big ol black SUV. I love it because it's my first official car. I got it used from my sis. She got it used before that. I have to say it's a very long standing car. It's pretty good on mileage and is used like a truck (we've hauled our green car when we moved cross country with it) and totted bales of hay and lots of junk. Very practical and I like how it's got dings and looks rough. I would like to eventually get it painted up again and fix a few cosmetics here and there. Otherwise, it's well used, paid for and sturdy.

So, I'm house bound. I've been quilting, thinking of stuff for loobylu's December softie, making a puppet (marionette) for a puppet show we're going to be putting on in February and moaning about getting 48 cookies done by Friday for a Holiday party. Maybe I should just buy them. hehehe I guess that's cheating and people, heck, I'd know if they were store bought. Oh, well.

I'm trying to practice something I learned at Church on Sunday. That is not looking at the news...that much. I can't help glancing at the titles on yahoo news;it's always there. However, I will not read the posts/message boards even if I have some witty comments. It's killing me though!

I've already given up TV and I know I was stressing from news on the internet. I'd start yelling or get snappish because I felt so sad about things in the world. I still do feel badly. But I will try to create art that deals with the world through reflection.

So, I've been sewing more and making quilted curtains for the windows. They came out rather nicely. Until we get new windows in January, these will do. Apparently, you can get a tax credit for new windows come January. Exciting! So, we have plans for this.

Lydia and Norrie have odd rashes from dry heat, apparently. This is stressful too esp. as Norrie's got a bit bloody. My nephew has eczema . Now, I know what my sis has been dealing with. Awful.

I feel sad that Jon has these stinky new hours. Every 2 months he has to work 3-11pm and every six months he has to work 8-5 am. Sure, it's less stress work wise, but it's stinky. It makes me feel like I'm a single mom and hardly anything gets done around here...well, that's not really true. I just feel like it doesn't.

So, I feel sort of down...Probably a cold coming on. I didn't even get to go to the Christmas concert Jon's parents were in. Stinky poo.

The good news is I did finish my commissioned painting. I'm glad that I was able to do this at least.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Illustration Friday: Blue

Several ideas came to mind...but this one just flowed right out...





Titled: Something borrowed, Something blue

I was inspired by Carla'sIF's illustrations of women. And Frida Kahlo's self portraits. Self Portrait by Kahlo

Friday, December 02, 2005

Rat grrl


Rat grrl
Originally uploaded by emily999.
I know it was wrong. But I had to do it. I gave the girls some cheese chips...after the psychotic jumping around (like as if they had won the lottery or something)they looked around their cage for more. Funny little gals. Oh, and they're drinking lots more water.

I've got to build them a maze next. They are so cute! But they hate flash photos...

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Illustration Friday...

A small mouse with candycane
Been slacking on this or rather too busy to do it often. I feel like I'm doing a lot but loving it. Being mostly allergy free (only because of my zyrtec) makes me feel like I can actually accomplish some things I've been meaning to. Hate to sound like a commercial, but it really helps. I'm still going to get a sinus surgery, sometime.


Anyway, can't believe it's December 1st. Amazing. The first week of December is pretty insane. But after that, it should be too bad. I wanted to do the Nutcracker show but couldn't find the time, darn it. Ah, well. I'll rent it. Plus, I've got to finish up a few projects and I don't know what else. : ) lol.

Boy, is this year different from last year. I've got tenfold the friends (both in PA and internet) and just feeling like things are better emotionally and physically. Lots to be thankful for...plus, I've got four cut rats. Life is funny sometimes... Thank goodness.

Sociable

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