Saturday, September 30, 2006

Illustration Friday "Quiet"

I've enjoyed bats flying all through the summer. I started to imagine what it would be like to fly, quietly about, catching your dinner in the dark. Bats are not blind (I always thought they were) and have excellent hearing. Quiet always seems to come at night on the wings of bats or at least seems to lower the volume to a pianissimo fluttering touch.


And dreams like bats
(which with small cries
go chasing gnats
and long-legged flies)

wing through the darkness
of the breast
until with day
they take their rest,

hanging head downwards,
vague, aloof,
like some soft fungus
on a roof.

-Elizabeth Coatsworth

Rainy days...

Another COLD, rainy day. I know I have sensitivity to light patterns during the seasons. I get moody and a little depressed about the weather growing gray. I still have a lot of the Southern California in me, I guess. But I'm working on my feelings with lots of color around the house and being aware of my moods.

Apparently, I sounded down in previous posts and my sis was concerned. Not to worry, Becky! I'm feeling better now. I also get aches from the cold. I guess it's time to pull out the long underwear. Dang.

Jon and I had his folks watch the kids. We went shopping because it was really too cold to do any long walks. I confess I went to the new shopping center. I got some sneakers and socks. Then we went to Dicks Sporting goods and got a few small items for hiking (compass, snake bite kit). Then we went to another shop further some books. We had a moment of adventure and drove off to this road that stops at the end of a woods. We walked around a little and then back...much too wet and it was private property. Oh, well. Canoe Creek is still there.

Jon did find another hen of the woods (which he froze and we'll sample). I hope it's as good as they say.

In other news, I've had quite a few pieces of work shown at the local Albert Michael's gallery:

This photo shows my mom's Fall Bunny as well as other artists work. There is a framed painting of a Pumpkin Fairy by myself.

I saw the exhibit last night when dropping off more work. I was excited about seeing everything and it all looks really great. :)

This showcases my mom's work in soft sculpture...Guinea pigs, Bears and a few other goodies are shown with some crochet work by fellow artists.

My cat doll

More work by various local artists...

I guess I sound a little down too because I found out our trip to Philadelphia is cancelled. This was a trip with Jon for the University press convention for Pennsylvania's Historical Books. I was really looking forward to this but apparently, they had enough people. Dang. Double Dang! Oh, well. There is another convention in November we might be able to go to. It's for Slavic Books. So, this should be interesting.

But the good news is I can volunteer for the Fall Festival at the Gallery. So, this made me feel like I have something to definitely look forward to.

Art wise, I'm getting more work ready for several spots in State College. Again, the Stone Soup as well as the Tait Farm. Hopefully, I can have a few finished before this weekend is up.

I also want to make a few flyers and send them to various companies and a few hospitals. Hope I can start getting exposure this way as well.

Pic of the foyer of the gallery...
Lots of work sold at the reception last month. I may try some bigger pieces...either in my cute critters or abstract style.

I just realized I haven't decided what to make for the girls for Halloween costumes. They mentioned several things like vampires and some such things. But I think they both agreed on, I will see what I can do. Hmmmm...

I also have a new Fall class out. Fall Decorations. Will see how that goes but I'm just glad if I have some friends over.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Forest Dreams

Forest Dreams, originally uploaded by emily999.

Photo Quilt made of some of my favorite images found on flickr...

Green Acres...

This one local station is playing lots of old TV shows; Mama's Family, Kung Fu, Green Acres and I'm sure more but I forgot. Anyway, they had two really great Greene Acres. One was about Oliver and Lisa Douglas (Eddie Albert and Eva Gabor) who are thinking of moving after only living on their farm for one year and getting a really good offer in Washington DC. After all is said and done, they realize they can't leave because where would they get friends as loyal and quirky as the ones they have. It was just really sweet...and timely.

Gray day...

It's a rainy gray day. It wasn't supposed to start raining till tomorrow but I guess weather has a mind of it's own.

Ran a few errands and ended up going to the local mall, Logan Town. Let's just say we never go and the gals had a vague idea of what this was and called it a mull instead of mall.

We got there early and apparently, you can walk around before the stores open up and use the ball pit. So, we did that. Then we got a little snack and walked around. We went to the store I had to go to and there was a VERY weird person in there. I mean strange weird. I thought the man was mall security or something at first and started to think, did I touch something? Did I do something? But what would a mom and two kids look like she did? This older man (in his late 60's, about six feet, heavy/muscular body type) kept following us around. He held a child toy near his groin area which disturbed me and I started to feel really disgusted and nervous. This creep followed us closely nearly through the whole store and I finally said, "Let the man pass by, let him get by" and started to gesture for him to go. He seemed surprised I confronted him and walked by, paid for his toy and left. I was very weirded out and felt scared. I don't know why I didn't just tell the cashier that guy was sick or call for security. At one point, near the back of the store I felt like we were going to be attacked or something. It was a horrible feeling. I felt very threatened and very vulnerable and made lots of noise about the junk they sell in the store and ushered the kids really quick near the cashier. It was an odd feeling of panic...but I guess I was at least making noise! I may have to call the mall and tell them to be aware or something.

As I left, the same older man was in his car driving by us. He smiled and I felt more terror as I was confirmed it was not mall security. I even felt like ducking in the parking lot to hide. I need to review my self defense moves and refresh the big can of pepper spray in my bag. Hmph!

On a happier note, I got a good long letter from my bestfriend, C! So, I'm feeling like there is normal people still left in this world.

Still, it was rather upsetting and if I drank beer, I'd have one now thank you! :) Or at least a hot toddy...

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Mushroom soup...

I recently came into a soup recipe that was shared by an on-line pal and made a few adaptations to it...I don't know if you'd even call this a mushroom soup after what I added but it tastes REALLY good and is just the thing for cold weather.

Emily's Fall Mushroom soup

Family pack of mushrooms (diced)
1 bell pepper (diced)
1 small eggplant (diced)
1 pack of chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
1 onion
5-6 garlic cloves, diced (I like a lot of garlic...)
Olive oil
Flour (1/2 cup, depending on how thick you want the soup)
Milk (or soy milk)

Brown the onions/garlic in pot with olive oil. Add the mushrooms and brown slightly. Add about 2 cups of water. Heat to bubbling and add all other ingredients. Add more water as needed. Add salt and pepper or Mrs. Dash to taste. I just pour some flour in the soup with the milk and mix. I know you can remove some of the broth and add flour to it to make the reux...depends on the time factor for me...

This is excellent with crackers or warm buttered toast. I just finished the last of the Em's Fall mushroom soup. I could see adding some red pepper for extra warmth (which would be good around late Fall) or adding chedder cheese sprinkled on the top. Hope you try this and enjoy!


Post offices...I like them and get so annoyed/angry by them. I sent a package to my mom and a client and BOTH have yet to recieve them. I'm starting to get nervous they won't get to where they're supposed to be going. My mom just wrote to me that she hasn't recieved her package and now I'm frustrated/sad. This is the package w/ the long sought doll pattern, of course. I know there are plenty of other things to get emotional about but really makes me angry.

Deep breath...calm breath...I'm still annoyed but at least I'm breathing. I guess I hate to lose things.


I'm one that listens to her dreams. If I have a bad dream/nightmare, I tend to listen to it and try to understand why I dreamt it. I think the unconscious knows more then we could ever handle and that is why we dream about things in our life.


This is one reason why I like having kids:

I would have never thought to do this with a doll cake and cat...

Feeling a bit blah...

Tired mostly. I feel like I'm going to get a second wind...just when, however, is the problem. Now Mr. Nelson seems to be getting his...

Had a good day. Yesterday, I felt so tired and like a cold/achy feeling was all over. I think I can tell when rain is going to happen by my aches. Supposed to have some this weekend, I gather. A bit down, is how I feel. Of course, I just listened to the entire "Hair" musical. I've got to stop doing that...not that Hair is so bad, just some depressing songs. Now, IZ is on. Music really can create, reflect moods.

I think I forgot to take my vitamins today. I'll take some and I know I'll have some energy afterwards. I do know I did quite a bit today. Mostly annoying things like driving. I don't really care for driving. I'm such a bum but I know...I'd much rather take the bus or have someone else drive. I know it's because for years, while I lived in LA and before I met Jon, I rode the bus. Sometimes I hated the the bus being late or the crazy bus driver that would pretend not to see you at certain bus stops (he was really crazy...bitter, sarcastic as well as rude)and then the scary situations like this drunk man who thought this giant moth on the bus could bite you and kill you with it's poison. Okay, that sounds kind funny, actually. Anyway, there were some of the oddest, kindest moments on the bus. Would I rather take the bus here? No. Things are SO spread out around here you have to have a car or carpool. Yes, there is freedom in having a car. And there are definite chains as well.

I guess I'm reacting out of driving up this one hill. It's near the Post Office in downtown and so steep. It's obscenely steep, the kind of hill where you feel like you've put all your precious years into the ability of your brake to with stand sitting on that cliff of a hill. Last year, I slipped a little backward on that hill and ever since have avoided it. But today, like a goose, I challenged the Gods of the traffic lights. I thought I could make the green light but got stuck on red. And to make matters worse, a car was behind me. I hate that. So, I waited for the light to go green and gripping the steering wheel with all my might, pressed on the gas. Lurching forward, I could see the semi-surprised look of the volunteer traffic cop and his buddy. Guess they could pick up my fear level by that...heh. I survived and vowed not to use that darn hill again.
Tomorrow a friend of mine is going under surgery...I'm sending her a little prayer that all will be well.

Last night, I had several nightmares and then I slept in even though I went down so early. I must be out of sorts because of the weather. I felt like I was covered in Bengay joint ointment. I'm pathetic.
To make matters worse, Norrie was attacked by an 18 month boy. This might not seem like much, but apparently this kid is a known biter/scratches and does this to every child. I wanted to bop him with a wooden spoon...a couple of times. I didn't, of course, but I sure felt like it. I also wanted to bop his parents. But instead I turned to and typed in toddler. Oddly, I found out biting is common and happens to a lot of kids. I found out it's a way of getting attention and dominance. So, I printed two copies out and gave them to the care taker (she was at her wits end) and hopefully she gave them to the parents too. I love Dr. Greene. Sometimes, he'll (or they) write some things on there that are just right to the heart of the matter.

Well, I'm not too afraid of sending Norrie & Lydia back...just hope the little guy learns really quickly not to bite.

I sent the girls and daddy into other room without TV. Lydia is filling daddy's ear and Norrie is doing her fair share. Honestly, I don't know how they keep going. Even Nelson is tuckered out, now.


Anyway, that's my day....oh, and I watched Totoro with subtitles. I have to say, it was better than the voice over. It's funny but the subtitles were rougher and more a more human feel. The voice over had more of a poetic feel, which has it's plus side, but I like the humanistic feel even more.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

It's nice having work at a gallery...

Just got news, I sold six more of my ACEO's at the local art gallery. I wonder which one's sold...hmm. Will have to find out. So, I'm going over there on Friday and will bring more work in.

Both girls have mild colds but seem to suffice on Pokemon reruns. Well, actually one fell asleep, I see.

I've sent off two submissions to some card companies. Hopefully, they like my work and have me do a design or two. I found another one I'm interested and I'll try them next. Also, there is one company I applied to before and will do so again. The old adage, try, try and try again is my motto. For some reason, when I was younger I thought if you were rejected from an art __________ (fill in the blank), you were a failure and doomed forever. Now, I realize you have to keep trying. Keep working, be honest about your work and work as much as you can. One of my favorite person's J K Rowling (author of Harry Potter, single mom, etc) sent her book to at least 38 publishers and was rejected every time. But the 39th or so publisher, accepted her work and look at her now. Keep that in mind folks. It will happen if you keep trying.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Feeling waves...

There are moments when I feel like I'm content, happy, etc. And then a wave will come and tear this feeling away. I know the cause and I'm finding ways to solve this problem. Still, the waves are there...everyone knows these waves...uncertainty, fear, anger. Finding the root of the problem helps. It doesn't solve the problem, entirely, but it helps to know why.

For a long time, I didn't realize I was allergic to pollens. I would be irritable and depressed. Then I found out, I have allergies and these allergies cause migraines and these migraines cause tiredness, etc,etc. I started to deal with these feelings and allergies. Now, I feel I'm at 75% working capacity. lol. I'm getting better at identifying why I feel anxious or impatient. And, more importantly, at expressing this to my loved ones.

I'm also learning that feeling good all the time is not always ideal and waves of life are always there. Dealing with it, learning to stay a float and knowing how to paddle to shore, that is key.

A web address of one's own...

I have an official new web and am pretty excited about this. It's a first step in looking more professional and serious as an artist (at least for me). Next, I'm going to redo my gallery page and dress it up a bit. Right now, it's fine maybe a bit overly quirky but all right. I'm just so thrilled about my new web address, though. I'm still linked with my page but it's an actual web address of my very own. I'll have to make new business cards (though the old one's are still very valid) with the rather catchy name. It's funny how it seemed to take forever to find the right combination for my name. Jon and I went back and forth for awhile and all names we chose were already taken. Then I thought, edgegal. I wonder if it's taken...I crossed my fingers and plugged it in. Voila! It was available!!

Edgegal standes for: Emily Dimov-Gottshall Expressions gallery. I love the gal part as it can be either for a gallery or for a gal. Perfect. So, spread the word and tell all about! :)

Next, I'm going to be advertising on a few fave sites and see how that goes. Should be interesting...

Ebay paintings!

Lots of new paintings at my eBay shop!

Family love bunnies

Family love bunnies, originally uploaded by emily999.

At the campus stream

At the campus stream, originally uploaded by emily999.

This is probably my favorite pic of my gals...they seem so happy and the tilt of the shoe on Norrie...just perfect. : )

Saturday, September 23, 2006


We went over to Mowry Marsh's a wetland area between some farms. Very beautiful and just quite wonderful. I have to bring a lunch for the kids next time. Jon caught grasshoppers and crickets for the gals and we watched them hop across the pavilion. I did a "plein air" painting of the Marsh as well...

Remembered the digital cam and even though it was foggy at noon, I think the pics came out rather well. We brought Mr. Nelson as well and he enjoyed being out too. We drove over to Gearhart's and got some popsicles and water.

Tried to sit outside but a wasp kept bothering us. I was getting grumpy too (Norrie was irritated and wanted to leave the Marsh after an hour, so that wasn't too bad). We got some sandwiches on the way home and crashed afterwards. Not too bad of a Saturday morning. Jon and I got into a little fight...I tend to be optimistic if not, overly optimistic politically-wise; Jon is more of a realist/slight cynic when it comes to politics. Ah, well...I really shouldn't pout...which is what he said I did (and he was right...).

Anyway, some fantastic news: I got about 30 small pieces of work to show at a local gallery and about 10 or more of my mom's soft sculptures to show. My mom has NEVER shown anything at a gallery. She barely recognizes she's an artist (sorry mom, but it's true) but she really is. The gallery folks took everything we showed! I was really surprised and VERY happy for my mom. I'm still in a happy place about this.

There is going to be a Fall Festival on October 21 at the Albert Michael's Gallery (located at 230 4th Ave in Altoona, PA). I want to go, but may be out of town (we shall see). Then there is another show on November 24th and runs till December 2 with lots of Christmas handmade goodies. This is very exciting and I plan on doing more work to show for both of these. I really like the owner too as she's an animal artist as well and the gallery is quite beautiful. They really need to get a web site to go "international". : )

I may sign up for the Christmas Tea...that's in December on the 5th at 6 pm. I don't know if I'll bring the girls or not. It's a limited event, so I don't know what I'll do yet.

Anyway, I'm thrilled about all the happenings locally and esp. that my mom is showing her work too.

While at Gearhart's I saw they had a card display by a card company I was considering sending some work to. I think it's a sign for the Art god's to go for it. I think I'll send a copy of my Mowry Marsh painting...

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Peace Day...walking...

Today is also International Peace day...I had a lot of plans but none took root. I wanted to have my whole front yard filled with pinwheels for peace but I don't have one ready...actually, I have two in the garden, wish I had more. Then I did a last minute vigil attempt but everyone is too busy. So, I will do one tonight with my family.

I've been walking a lot more lately. The weather has been good and even if it's not "good", I'm going to appreciate it for what it is. Sometimes I get hung up on the idea of perfect weather. I was kindly reminded while talking to a new friend that there are interesting and attractive elements even in foul weather. I had never thought of that before. It's funny when something true and brave sweeps in front of your face and you go ah, ha! That's how I felt...

I think I need to get some good walking shoes and hiking boots. This is another realization from walking. I have wonderful arch supports but I've been getting severe charlie horses in the bottom of my foot. Not fun, esp. at 5 in the morning...or any time, for that matter. Another exspense but well worth it.

I feel pretty well today and even though I could see my breath when I let Nelson outside, I think it's going to be a good day. I have a hang up about the sun, apparently.


Sampson, our tuxedo cat, is clawing my leg and trying to nudge me into giving him moist cat food. Now, he's sitting on my knee & purring. He drools when he purrs. Oh, well. He's a super long cat and I think I may have to do a painting of him. Now, he's back to aggresive nudging...

Anyway, I need to do some work...planning on bringing in a few pieces to the local art gallery, Albert Michael's and I have to get some new stuff up to Stone soup as well. There's an artist reception tonight at 5...going to try to make it as Jon get's home at 6pm...

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The politics of politics

Have you ever had a day where you were flummoxed by emails of niceties that just made you want to say, good-bye and leave a group? I've had one of those days...The sad thing is I've seen all these people in real life but when we talk there is more niceness and little things being said about the real issue. The real issue is I don't like red tape and I don't think it should be around a belief or religion. I guess I'm getting turned off by red tape and thinking of red tape less venues. I'd write more about this in detail but it wouldn't do any good. Let's just say, a lot of kind people are getting pretty sick and tired of protocols...and this was another reason I left organized religion.

Ah, well...just one of those stressful things that a quiet group of people don't want to talk about. And one that will work out in the long run...
Anyway, I had a great day otherwise. Had another art lesson with my art student and my girls. I was nervous about it all as Norrie is an attention hog and Lydia can pull her fair weight of "look at me". But it went fairly well actually. I really enjoy the company too. :)

In other news, I'm so glad it's the end of Wednesday...another allergy shot under my belt plus I got some work done at the in-laws (had to borrow their computer as my ink is out). It was a nice break to see them too. Thursday should be low stress, if any and I can rest and play with the girls. We've been taking long walks lately and having fun with this. I love this time of year and for the first time I've been here, I can truly appreciate the weather. I'm not so afraid of pollen or of too many plants (maybe I've mentioned that before). Either way, I'm feeling rather well.

I also have a plan now. I'm going to try out public school but still do some homeschoolers activities. I think this way we'll be balanced and I won't loose hair from teaching the girls, etc. I hope it works.

I want to try going to Mowry Marsh tomorrow...hopefully it won't be too rainy and I'll be able to try this out. I'll bring the camera too.

I notice if I bring Nelson with me, he's very calm. I guess that's how dogs are...

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

House cleaning workout...and Rant.

I don't mind working out. When I feel like there are no owies in my life, I can do a good work out with my allergy medicine and not be stressed out but feel really good. Housework, however, should not be a workout. However, for those deemed housemothers, housewives, work at home people, homeschoolers, etc. housework, inevitably becomes part of their daily chores. Now, don't get me wrong we should clean up and sweep the floor, etc. However, if you live with someone, your partner SHOULD help and not leave EVERYTHING up to you. Can you tell I'm annoyed?

We've had several discussions and it always comes down to me doing the work, again and again. Yes, Jon will feel guilty and do dishes for a few days at a time but come the fourth day, nada. So here I am ranting.

I must say the house looks good now. Swept, 90% of the dishes cleaned, laundry down to possibly two more loads, sure the bath trash needs to be emptied and there is a definite odor coming from the cat box. But the rat cages are cleaned, the table is spiffed up and there is a miracle of white on the kids art table. I've been speeding around the house because I was going to have some art students but they seemed to have cancelled. But I'm not annoyed. I'm glad the house is organized, it's just when I'm cleaning I threaten divorce, become half crazed and my patience is down to 20%. This and cleaning with two raccoons, is not fun. If you have kids under 6, a study once said, you've got the most stress a mom can handle. And by God, they are right!

Sigh...things could be worse and thankfully they are not. We had some rain, the sun came back out and the air has a cool sweetness to it. I think weather like this is a true blessing. Regardless of all the bad stuff out there (and there is a lot), I'm thankful today for a clear blue sky, a late night rain and for so much really.

Since our Peace walk on Saturday, we went to a beautiful spot outside of Geesey Town. It's called Mowry Marsh. There is a small road that one turns off of and you immediately park on a dirt road. There is a small path that leads to a really nice pavilion and overlook area. Then you stand and look at the view of trees, marsh, and the slight turn of Fall leaves. Gorgeous. Let's just say I was really kicking my self for not bringing my camera...I want to go back with my paints and do a watercolor painting while there. The girls enjoyed running around and playing. Beautiful open space and you're surrounded by nature. If you know Oprah magazine you'll get this next line, "Breathing Space" without the text. ;)

I swear more people should go out for walks. Find something your interested in like rocks, mushrooms, leaves, animals and go walk and try to find them. It's funny how much more you'll walk because you're looking for something. And it's a great stress reliever. Of course, my marsh walk is extremely short but I started thinking about my mushroom walk last week. Plus, we found some mushrooms after Church on the campus. Jon found his first hen of the woods but we couldn't eat it as they spray chemicals on the grounds (so much for education...there are MANY organic,non-polluting "weed" disgusting to use chemicals as kids run around there and lots of wildlife...).

So, we took the hen of the woods and sprinkled the bits by an old oak tree stump in our yard. We're hoping for possible mushrooms of this variety in the future. Supposedly, you can do this with certain mushrooms, others you may have to dig out the rotted stump. Oh, well. We did come up with a crazy plan of buying and burying some red oak stumps and seeing what happens, say next year. Hey, it's an experiment! :)

Anyway, it's another gorgeous day and we may walk for a bit since it's cooler than yesterday. I'm so glad to be on the right medication for allergies. What a difference! And the allergy shots help so much. I think I'll be able to enjoy the seasons a bit more now.

I have several ideas I want to start...3 mini-art quilts and do some advertising. It seems I'm constantly thinking about this as well as creating new works. I guess I was due for taking such a long hiatus! : )

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Etsy test...

I have an on-line shop at Etsy and want to see if my link works. Okay! Seems to be working!

Things like this:

reside there...

New paintings on Ebay!

Lots of new work on Ebay!

cocker spaniel

Mostly in my Japanese inspired style, such as:
Bouvier Der Flandres


All this walking has got me plum tired. I'm glad I used a bit to go to the market and get a few necessities. I even remembered to get Mr. Nelson a dog chewy. He deserved it! After nearly running at full steam, he was tuckered out from all the marching too...I love it when he's tired. He's like a cuddly little fluff ball. Thank goodness for Nelson. Apparently, today is March for Peace day and this Thursday is Pinwheels for Peace as well as National Peace day. I'm so glad we did the march, even if we got tired. I feel so happy to have done something like this. Plus, you can't beat walking and for a reason! : )

I'm ashamed to admit this is the first time I've ever walked so much in the downtown area. I avoid the area, I guess or just drive through. It's a good walk, actually and I wish we had brought strollers. We might have gone for more marching but carrying the kids was just too much. Plus, I forgot my allergy medicine...oh, well.

I guess I was a wee bit sore from yesterday's hike too. The Lenape Pow-wow is happening today and tomorrow too. It's too bad we missed it yesterday but it was really nice going to the trail as a compromise.

Art wise:
I have to scan some new paintings I've done...I have about 10 or so new ones and I've got them finished last night. I'm also going to go and get me a gallon of resin and try this out. I feel excited and happy to try this. I remember my old art teacher in 1992 telling me about resin and I wasn't sure what that was. Now, I've heard it again and after some exploration, I'm like what HAVE I BEEN MISSING? lol!

peace march 17th Street bridge, Altoona PA

peace march, originally uploaded by emily999.

Close up of the march...we actually got a lot of support, people honking and smiles. Jon and I were glad nobody threw things or were negative.

I was a little worried about negative response but there really didn't seem to be any...or else people have started to realize how wrong things are and know why.

We met in the depressed downtown Altoona...many stores are closed down, empty or barely hanging on. Wish we'd vote in people who made more effort for things like our downtown shops/small business well as voting in people who will give Voice to Peace.


Sunset, originally uploaded by emily999.

at Huntingdon Lower rails to trails.

Lower Rails to Trails in Huntingdon

We went to Huntingdon yesterday...tried to find this Lenape Pow Wow but got lost. We ended up getting some burgers for dinner and taking walk along a Lower trail (Rails to trails). It was gorgeous!

Lydia was disappointed about not seeing the Indian dance (she loves dancing) but this was a good compromise...

1st Peace March in Altoona 2006

Marching across the bridge, originally uploaded by emily999.

Here we are marching across the 17th Street bridge. We had about 40 people marching in a group. We walked all the way up to Dutch Hill on 17th Street but we all got tired at this point and headed back. Next march, we're taking strollers, water and snacks. Even Mr. Nelson was pooped.

The marchers continued to Logan Blvd, came back around 17th Street and marched on down 6th and came up 7th Ave. Let's just say, peace marchers are in really, really good shape. I've got to march more!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Illustration Friday: Farm

I thought of farms and then I started to think about mushrooms and our walks in the woods recently. I wanted to create a mushroom "farm" perhaps in the wilds of a forest, & harvested by small mythical creatures who are kind and gentle.

Illustration Friday
You can read more about our mushroom walks here.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Interesting day...

Had an art class today, very nice as I got to met someone with similar POV's and do art stuff. And I actually got to talk a bit with another mom which is really great!

Afterwards, I ran out and got my allergy shot, dropped off way over due kids video (someone stuck them in the video library! grrr...oh, well a nice donation to the library) and then off to the Post office. Then, drove home just in time to pick up the gals and deal with them. They were acting out of sorts for some reason...probably their colds and the weather being so gray/cool.

In between all of this, I baked some banana bread (turned out pretty good) and found a massive garden spider such as I have never seen in real life (I look at a lot of insect/animal books) and was surprised at just how big it was.

I was a bit creeped out trying to get a close-up and ended up getting blurry pics.

I also found four different mushroom species growing in the grass where a tree used to stand. It's fascinating as one of the fungus's is definitely edible (gem studded puff balls)

and the other, I'm not so sure. Ever since the walk on Sunday, I've been keeping my eyes peeled as has Jon. He came home with the new color copy of Bill Russell's mushroom book "Field Guide to Wild Mushrooms" and it looks really great! There are definite perks to having your husband work at the University press. :) Of course, now I'm trying to dream up various writing scenarios to get published...;)

Anyway, I did a spore print of what I think may be what is known in the Mushroom world as a LBM (Little Brown Mushroom). I'd refer to my notes but a three year old used most of my notes as inspiration and wrote all over them.

Jon found this mushroom...we believe it's an old chanterelle but we're going to email the mushroom guy, Russell, and see what he says before getting our hopes up.

Oh, and here are the oil pastel characters I did last night...not the greatest pic. I think I'm going to have to save up for a new camera. dang. Or get my eyes checked.
And no, those are not my glasses but a pair of sunglasses we were fooling around with.

Actually, feeling better...

I guess sometimes you just have to work through a cold and get better, bit by bit. Today, I feel a lot better. Still coughing and such but I can sleep at night and not feel like I've got a glob in my throat. Not fun. The gals seem better too.

I should be doing other stuff but I guess I'm "resting". It's damp & rainy outside and not much fun to go out. I'll have to make a few outside trips...either before or after 2pm...may have a new group of art students coming in at 1pm.

6:19 am

Now, I'm up early. This always happens...if I get used to getting up early for some reason (kids, sick, etc), I'm up and about before the sun has risen. Which, when you think about it, isn't really a bad thing. Very Ben Franklin:

"Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise."

Of course, I'd change it slightly to make it woman:

"Early to bed and early to rise makes a woman healthy, wealthy, and wise" :) I've read a bit of Ben Franklin's writing...great philosophy for anyone, really.

Either way, I'm up and about, have slight laryngitis and am thinking about fences. We're going to put up a simple fence around the house but I'm contemplating an electric fence. It's a great idea really and I wouldn't have to worry about Nelson running off and getting hurt.

Seems like all the animals are up too...Kiwi and Sampson are playing on some chairs, Odie (the cockatiel) is watching as is Nelson and the rats are running about playing. Everyone seems pretty okay. The gals are asleep and were so good getting ready for bed...when I asked them to put away their toys, they did and we went up, brushed our teeth, got in our jammies and they went down. I'm guessing they're feeling better after having colds and their schedules are returning. Thank goodness. Plus, I noticed they both took short naps and it really seemed to change their dispositions towards the positive. Funny how a nap has that effect on them...and most people.

I just realized that both cats (the older ones are upstairs)are staring intensely at Odie. Kind of funny, actually. Odie has a look like, "I'm just preening, la de da"...very Tweedy bird-ish. I think he likes the attention...a little bit.

On another note, I found out I really like onion bagels. I hadn't bought them in awhile and I got some last week. A little cream cheese (I know I shouldn't) with a sprinkle of Mrs. Dash, delish!! Of course, you have to have a cup of coffee to go with it.

Did you know that bagels are made by dipping them into boiling water? That's how they get the shiny crust. I vaguely remember this from a Mr. Rodgers episode...

Today is a low stress day as I have a new potential art student. I'm debating whether to drop the girls off for early day care or afternoon...they are such attention hogs when I have my students over. I guess this is normal but for pity's sake! I just want to say, CALM DOWN and sedate them or something. But it's better to give them to grandma/pa.

I got an ingrown toenail removed but I have to back in 5 weeks to get the root killed. Quite dramatic sounding but not really. Even though my toe is slightly sore, it feels a thousand times better now that it's not cutting into my toe. What a relief. I actually like the medical center they just put in...very efficient, friendly and professional.

Looks like I had some good news at the local art gallery. Sold two ACEO paintings there! I was quite happy and surprised. Now, I want to run down there and bring more work in. I have a quite a few things I could show too. Plus, my mom's Kitty Dolls...I wonder how they'd do.

This won't come as a surprise to a lot of folks, but dogs are attention hogs and do get jealous. I didn't realize how emotional they get, but it's true. It might not be the same sort of emotions as humans but it's definitely an emotion for the dog. If someone had told me this before I got a dog, I would have said what anthropomorphizing! But now, I realize it's VERY true. I just have to touch a cat or even hold one of the gals and he's jealous or worried about his status. I know he has issues, poor guy, but it can be quite pathetic.

Nelson kind of acts like the Lion from the Wizard of Oz..."Let me at him, just let me at him..." He acts tough with the cats but is mildly afraid of their claws. He does bite, however, but doesn't break the skin (I know because he bit me on occasion).

Art wise, I've discoverd I really like using oil pastel on black construction paper. Very interesting effects and one can get so many different shading possibilites. I was doing a few last night and it was quite relaxing. I was going to share some pics but my batteries in the camera are down. Oh, time.

Hope everyone has a good day! :)

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Fly trap mushroom

Fly trap mushroom, originally uploaded by emily999.

New work on Etsy!!

Just posted a mass of lovelies on etsy!

Lots of handmade goodness by my mom and a few by me too. :)

Feeling a tad better now that I made it through the day...thank the stars for medicine and the patience of people. I really don't know why I stress out so much. 90% of the time, things are gonna be all right. My dad-in-law has this great saying "Egbok". Everything’s gonna be OKAY. Don't you love that? Also, Jon's family had a turtle named Egbok that lived at their house in California. They'd feed it a banana and he would come every morning to the back door, waiting for his banana. Isn't Egbok a great name for a turtle? I think everyone should have one things named that...

I also made a smelly discover...never store slightly stinky mushrooms in your freezer as you will have a VERY stinky freezer afterwards. I can't even open the fridge it smells so badly.

On another stinky note, while I was giving an art lesson, Kiwi, decided to let out a stinky smell...which made all the kids laugh like crazy but was quite embarrassing...I even think Kiwi was embarrassed. Poor little thing.

Rudely awaken at 6:30am

Now, it's 7 am and I'm trying to overcome a headache, boarding on laryngitis and my slightly achy toe (had an ingrown toenail removed). So, I'm not too happy since both my gals are up and shiny at this ungodly hour. It's wet and rainy outside, I have people coming at 9am and I still have to clean the rat cage. ugh. Did I say I don't fell well? I'm waiting for the Dayquil to hit I do feel a tad better. I have to take my allergy medicine as well as I've gotten confused about whether I should or shouldn't if I take Dayquil.

Norrie is feeling better after going to sleep at 8 pm and Lydia looks great too. I feel and look kind of gross but maybe a shower will help relax my muscles.

Sunday...I thought I wouldn't be able to go to Shavers creek but ended up going. It was more hiking then I realized and I felt slightly asthmatic near the, I didn't take my allergy medicine because I wasn't sure about having taken my cold medicine. Maybe I shouldn't worry about that and just take it.

Shavers creek was gorgeous and I'm glad I went even though I don't feel very good and probably got most people sick...feel bad about that. We walked through marsh to get to some mushrooms and my shoes nearly were sucked off my feet. Never had that happen before...or at least not both feet! Good grief. Then, we walked up hill and a woman found a wasps nest in the ground and ran screaming from there. She got stung and I was like, good god what now. I totally recognized her scream as something bug related as I was stung about 25 times when I was on a hike in California with a friend. Don't even want to think about it...anyway, I started mumbling things like, "I don't even have my Epi pen..." and warning people not to go near there. Scary.

People were tasting mushrooms left and right. I was a bit surprised, though some were definitely not edible and our leader, Bill Russell, said most would taste stronger than the hottest pepper. I didn't do any tasting as having allergies would probably puff up like a puffball. Russell didn't even having sensitivity to poison oak/ivy and I'm the type of person who looks at it and starts itching. One of my brothers is like Russell (David) and my other brother, Daniel is more like me only worse.

It was fascinating to find mushrooms and everyone looked for various species. I found out the older a mushroom the more bitter it would be and the younger, the harder to identify. So much to learn. I didn't pick any to eat but was content to study them and find out about the nature of the mushroom.

One thing that struck me was not even Russell would presume to know everything. It was a bit humbling and made me feel a bit more comfortable to know even he wouldn't throw caution into the wind about mushrooms or act like he knew everything.

I was rather amazed at how beautiful the area was and even though everyone seemed to hike like crazy, I got a few good pics.

I liked how most of the trail was on wooden walk ways...

Monday, September 11, 2006

Shavers creek

shaverscreek, originally uploaded by emily999.

I want to be Bob Ross with a camera...

Sunday, September 10, 2006

We think these are boletes

100_5661, originally uploaded by emily999.

but we're not going to eat them...They're saved in the freezer but I'm guessing we'll most likely toss them. It was a good lesson to hunt them, make spore prints and observe them close up. We'll have more information for the next search.

These are from our Friday night's Mushroom walk... pics to come from our Shaver's creek walk with Bill Russell.

Have a cold in my throat...

but am feeling better. Yesterday, we were all out of it. Basically, we got up puttered around (I did make a pretty good mushroom soup). But we were so tired we crashed about 2 pm for a nap and slept for a few hours. I hate being sick.

At least I feel better today and last night I started feeling better, too. My throat feels like it's filled with cotton balls and it's hard to breath and swallow my warm coffee.

I'm supposed to go on a mushroom walk today...and I want to but my ear hurts as well as my throat. So, I don't know...Maybe if I wrap myself up in a thick's not like we're out hunting caribou or something.

Anyway, one of the reasons I have a major sore throat is we went to a park about 7pm on Friday night and it got cool really fast. We were actually looking for some mythical giant acorns (according to our inside source) but found mushrooms instead.
In the impending darkness, we could see the pale glow of possible boletes...

(we picked this but did not's a bolete but is a fake?)

We looked and sure enough looks like we found quite a few.
(Frost's Bolete...poisonous, look but don't touch)

Norrie and Lydia are excellent mushroom finders...I guess being a mere three feet and under has it's advantages. I was hoping to see the glowing mushrooms called "The Jack o' lantern" but not to be. It was kind of creepy and magical to be out in a park so late but we paid for that the next day.
So, we stayed much longer then we should have and I was wearing only shorts/tee shirt. Lydia was sick the next day and Norrie was fine. But now Norrie is coughing. I think Mr. Nelson was sick too because he was a bit lethargic.

I didn't get as much done painting wise but I did make myself a cute bag last's quilted and is really big. I like the effect of dark outside and light inside. I got all the fabric for free and I think it came pretty good even though I did it free form.

(New bag. I think it has Japanese feel...)

I didn't make a cover and gave it small inside straps that attached with Velcro. It's meant for collecting things like leaves, mushrooms, acorns, & sticks. I'll probably carry my sketch book and some pencils too. I put in about two inside pockets and one outside pocket. I was thinking of adding a mushroom patch but just thought that would be too much.

Oddly, while we were sick yesterday, our neighbors had a yard sale with another of their neighbors. I had Jon take the girls over and they came back with an elephant and bunny. Then Jon told me that there was a quilt bar stretcher for $15...I'm like, Jon if it's in good condition, please get that for me. So, he did.

(Quilt stretcher: $15!...comes in small, medium and KING SIZE stretchers. Phew!)

Anyway, I'm feeling a tad better but I'll see after the Dayquil...I'm thinking of skipping the mushroom walk but we shall see.

One thing about picking mushrooms is they smell. I didn't think they would have that much of a smell but they do and it's like some sort of 500,000 times the strength of store bought mushrooms...this is not good and nearly turned me off of picking mushrooms. Good grief, the stink! I don't know if I'm cut out to forage for mushrooms and stuff like chicory ( I was thinking of finding some and making some coffee with it).


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