Saturday, June 30, 2007

Friday, June 29, 2007

If only she would turn around...she'd see them all.

She'd see the fireflies, that is.

A-Ha Take On Me

This was (and probably still is)my favorite video from the 1980's...

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Summer colds/fevers...

Looks like we're having our first summer colds and fevers. Norrie is 100 in one ear and 101 in the other. I've got a temp too...just 99. I think it's this constant cold (air conditioner) and heat, and cold again. We'll take today easy. Now, I know why I was up at 12 am...


I saw a baby robin with only one normal eye. The other one was really small...deformed or something. Maybe it was attacked at one time. But it was getting around and hoping here and there. Poor thing. Hope it makes it.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Quote of the day:

Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.

-Oprah Winfrey

About 12:30am

Sinus pressure...ugh! It's one of the biggest one's I've had in awhile. I'm guessing it's because of all the humidity and now thunder storms. My ears ache a little too but not too bad. Thankfully, I can take Motrin.

I had some mint tea and was surprised to see the last packet. I love Mint. It seems whenever I feel sick or have an ouchie, mint calls to me.

Lydia finished her Kinder-camp! We're amazed and so happy she had a good time. She looked so proud doing her class sing-a-long and being in their "show". She seems to love shows and performing. She's such a sweetie. There was one little boy who kept getting distracted and basically pushed my gal to the back while taking a poke at this other girl. I could tell Lydia wasn't happy about this but trudged on. I've got the video of it. Of course, we were all indignant and even grandma was appalled. lol.

(The rouge on the end and Lydia in the middle...she handled the shoving better then I would have. I hope I didn’t dress her too warmly with the long pants…poor kid. The top is by my mom!).
I feel like I got too much heat too (had to drive around a lot and our car doesn't have air-conditioning). Fortunately, we can borrow the folks-in-law car (which I did) and it has air conditioning. Apparently, if your air conditioner doesn't work, you can spray a sealant inside of it, let it dry, and then put in the new air conditioner stuff. We're going to try that with my SUV and see what happens. I'll be glad when the humidity goes down.

Jon wasn't feeling great, but is better. He's down about work stuff as well but that seems to be getting better too. I hope he feels all right...he needs to get a check-up with our doctor soon.

Next week, Jon has a few days off for vacation. We're supposed to go to Ohio for a few days...but I dread the heat. I get sick so easily from it...or rather the plants that are blooming at this time; hydrangea’s and fox tails. I'm almost positive that these plants are really what’s irritating me.

We took a walk tonight after the rain came and the thunder subsided. Rabbits seemed to be dancing with the fireflies in the grass and darkening light. It was just so beautiful...and if course, I want to illustrate this some how. I feel like our yard is so wonderful because it has a nice big thicket of trees and brush. Some people think it looks overgrown (usually people who don't know very much about plants and animals) but I know who lives there. I have robin families and maybe even a rare bluebird! I'm not certain as I'm afraid of scaring the poor dear when I take a peek. I also have Cardinals, Blue jays, Mocking, Cat-birds and some flickers that like to eat the ants in the brick path we put in a few years ago. We have all of these wonderful animals in a little thicket not 200 feet away from a busy road in the near middle of town. Yes, we have rabbits galore but a rabbit fence protects my little garden. We’ve got squirrels, chippies, and I’m sure snakes and more. I love that I have safe places for animals and even insects. Also, our bat is back! We saw her (or him) swooping joyfully above us, grabbing moths and mosquitoes for dinner. I hope to see a few more (esp. if this is a female) bats like last year.

I feel like we're blessed to have our little yard and also a place where we do not spray chemicals to kill dandelions (and eventually, give our pets/selves cancer). I'm constantly afraid of my kids/dog to accidentally take a step on someone's grass that looks too perfect. I know what they've put on it. This one neighbor on the corner has a "perfect" lawn. They tried to plant a little fir tree and it died within a month. I could be wrong, but the way I've seen him spray weed killer all over the place, I'm pretty sure it's hand in hand. There should be a law against this. Esp. in places where people live so close together and the fact the drainage goes right into our ground water! Sometimes, Jon and I dream of living with a few acres between us and all the rest of the world.

It seems like there is this strange movement of neighbors recently. It's not such a bad thing, except people keep doing stupid things. The first was the neighbors who chopped down 3 beautiful Blue Spruces at the very edge of their property. Why? I have no idea. Now, they have more lawn to mow. Then, there was another move and the new folks, were all right (smoked around their daughter, me and my kids) but okay, I guess after I gave her the hairy eyeball. 

Then, another move and the new people chopped down the HUGE rhododendron bush to the ground! I have never seen anything like that. I trimmed my bush a few years back because it covered the path. But not to just kill the whole thing! I was shocked and saddened. I'm sorry but I don't have tolerance for people who just chop everything to bits. That's sickening. I hope the previous owners never see that...just so sad.
Maybe they'll plant climbing roses...I don't know.

Anyway, my mood went South after seeing that tonight. I couldn't even pass the house. They also had two really barky dogs and the neighbor person across from them, started shouting "ah, shad up!!" Like they were his dogs. He looked really ugly when he said that...I never did that with the two German Shepard’s barking at me until two years later! I was surprised at his bitterness since the dogs have got to be here for only a month. Surprising. And they were not as loud at the German Shepard’s, believe me! lol! :)

Actually, I'm learning to make peace with the German Shepard’s. I've decided to throw a ball every now and then to the dog and hopefully, this will make him like me more. I did throw him one and it was a like he turned into a puppy. I felt really sorry for him, since then and will try and toss him a ball every now and then. I don't know why the owners don't play with them. I play with Nelson as much as a mother of two can...and believe me, Mr. Nelson will make sure he gets his play time. I bow down to the great and mighty, Mr. Nelson! lol!

Art wise, I learned of this new technique of melting plastic bags between two sheets of paper. I started to wonder if I got a headache from this as well but I had the air filter on, etc. Anyway, I tried it out and it's fun...but I don't know what I'm going to do with all this stuff. I made about 15 feet of 5 inch wide plastic "fabric". I'll try experimenting tomorrow.

I want to rearrange the studio. The sandbox worked well until the cats discovered it and then all hell broke loose (or poop/pee, I should say). So, that is off limits until we scrub that clean. I need more lighting and I want to finish the painting ASAP.

I'm nearly done with Lydia's room, by the way. Talk about a difference! I wish I could have my studio there. It is so light and beautiful! I can't wait to finish it and start decorating. Then, it's Norrie's room. I know there are folks who shudder at painting woodwork, but if it looks so much better, it can’t be bad! White paint brightens the room so much more so than dark wood (which is really just stained). I may have to paint my mantel over the fireplace as well.

Ever since I learned you can put varnish on woodwork/paint in high traffic areas to give it extra strength, I've been doing this. I love the effect and so many fewer chips. I need to do this to the hallway as it keeps getting bumped with the falling child gates. Well, I’ve been up for a good long time, my mint tea is finished, my headache…is getting better.

Off to bed and hopefully dreams filled with blue twilight, the glow of green fireflies and stories of other worlds.

Oh, and I almost forgot! Lydia's first tooth is loose!

I wish I had taken better care of my Little Rabbit's Loose Tooth by Lucy Bate. I loved that book to pieces...I think the gals would enjoy this one too.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Illustration Friday: Camouflage

This is from my book, Emily and Mr. Nelson, and I thought it would make a good use of the Illustration Friday word. I know, shameless promotion! :) He's all covered up and if he runs into a swarm of Lady bugs, you'll never find him!

And here he is in his artist gear as a paper dog. :) (This is an example from my book which includes a paper dog Mr. Nelson and paper doll Emily each with 3 outfits).

Book secrets, revealed!

Book secrets, revealed!, originally uploaded by emily999.

A doggie cookie creates interest in anything! ;)

Monday, June 25, 2007

My Flag: The Earth and Sky

My Flag: The Earth and Sky, originally uploaded by emily999.

I pledge allegiance to the Earth and Sky and to protect all living things in-between.

Summer Solstice, June 21st, as the evening sun fades...

places I've been

create your own visited states map


It's a humid Monday. It's not too bad but it makes my allergies act up a little. I feel tired as this was a semi-active weekend. Friday, I took a spill in the backyard and fell on my side, skinning my elbow and knee. Fortunately, nothing was broken and I'm glad there weren't any cars driving down the alley at that moment. I was trimming the hedge with an electric trimmer, which I wasn’t holding, thankfully, at the time of my fall. Still, I'm feeling the aches even today. Mostly, in the lower back and neck. I stepped on some broken cement (plants had grown under it) and I thought it was sturdy. But I ended up falling. Oh, well...part of life, I guess.

So, I ended up walking stiffly around but nothing was broken. I did some painting of Lydia's room but really felt awful the next day. We ended up taking Sunday really slow. We drove to the Jaffa Mosque and found some goodies. Only spent $2.75 and got some good deals. I'll share those later.

Then, we drove around and almost went to Gallitzin park but started to feel like we might need supplies for that. We may go out next Sunday or sometime next week. We'll see.

We ended up driving back and took a detour. We found a strip mine from the 1940's which is going through a greening process, thankfully. I don't know very much about the mine, except that it's inactive and you can see the horrible effects of acid

rock. I took some pictures of the area. Some areas are just so awful...the water is orange and sickly looking and the moss (which should be a healthy green) is brown and orange. Very sad looking. No bugs live there and the few trees that are in the water, are dead. This is more reason to go solar.

Apparently, it was much worse about 20 years ago...But now, various parts are looking much better. There are spruce trees and Quaking Aspen as well as wildflowers growing everywhere.
It nearly looks like you're in the Southwest with the rocks and sparse trees. A strange sort of stepping through time, for me. Apparently, a lot of off roaders (people on dirt bikes) like to use these roads. I can see why. If dirt bikes weren't so loud, I'd be tempted to ride them just so I could see things at a closer view with frequent photo stops.

We gathered various types of rocks...slate, coal, what might be a lime rock with iron in it, and some bluish gray rock (have to identify that one still). I love rock collecting and was in heaven...just so much variety and even if the rock is covered with orange iron, it still makes interesting patterns.

On Saturday night, we drove through this town called Mill Run. It has a lot of local history and some of the more colorful characters from the early 1940's.

We drove past this farm that was owned by a German man in the 1960's and now his kids have it. There are lots of gorgeous trees and woods that have been protected because of the Altoona Water Conservatory. These are breath taking. I didn't have the camera with me and it would have been too dark for pics, I think. The woods are thick and we listened to the cries of some unidentifiable bird. Bear marks on a tree made me realize just how out in nature we were. A few glimmers of fireflies gave the feeling of other worlds. It just seemed so haunting and quiet. I know we were being watched by some sort of creatures...I like to think they were the woods spirits.

We also ran into some dirt bikers coming out of a hidden trail...I'm glad people do this. In some ways I wish more people would do this and appreciate going on trails and protecting them from being made into Wal Marts or citified.

It's funny how you think oh, I can't believe I've moved to this place...I need shops, stores, people...But then, you go for a drive or walk around at a state park, you think, thank God there are places to escape to. To be alone and have the quiet of the world around you. It's a relief, really to escape to these places.

In the middle of last week or so, we drove to see the Elk farm

and then stopped for ice cream outside of town called The Milky Way. Normal, everyday people getting ice end up people watching while eating ice cream. Very nice, actually. These are more quiet moments...eating ice cream in the car and enjoying a warm day.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Finished my book!

Well, I finally finished my 2nd children's book! Officially, it's my first published book and I did it on I can hardly believe it's done. It's called "Emily and Mr. Nelson".

It is a story about how a rainy day and a wet dog, Mr. Nelson, gives Emily an idea. She will make him a raincoat. This also includes a paper doll of Emily and a paper dog of Mr. Nelson. :)

I hope you'll enjoy it. I still need to revise the preview of the book but otherwise, it's ready to roll! :) I'm thrilled (relieved) to have finished this and now can move on to my next project(s). This took an incredible amount of time and I can see how authors would want to give this all to the publishers...good grief, it's a lot of work...and don't get me started on the revising. Talk about having to be humble. My hats off to anyone who works in publishing.

Now, I'm off to bed to dream up new stories and paper dolls! :) For some reason, I feel like crying about having finished this book. Don't ask me why...

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


Mr. Nelson is having a dream...his little paws are twitching and he must be running through a field. hehe so cute. :)

Humidity is high...and the scent of Chickens.

It is so muggy outside right now. I'm glued to the house and rush from one event to the other because it's terrible outside. The plants, of course, are LOVING this weather. I cannot believe how fast my seedlings are growing...the pumpkins have grown by at least 1-2 inches per day! I can't believe it sometimes. Amazing. Plus, the rabbit fence is working as I seem to be getting lettuce for the first time ever! I'm pleased as can be.

I have been leaving offerings for the garden spirits (aka rabbits) and they seem to be taking to my compost, ahem, offering spot with delight. They're faster at composting, I think! :)

Kinder-camp is going well! I made the mistake of calling Lydia's mittens clouds (they sewed using yarn and a plastic needle, I assume) but otherwise, they had a good time. Norrie is a bit bored in this time frame but we go on walks and help each other with cleaning/chores or just doing nothing at all.

I'm very thankful for our air conditioners at the moment. We have them on low and this keeps the house very comfortable. If it's too hot, I can take us down the stairs and retreat in the basement. I really need to paint a few more spots down there and clean up a bit and it will be quite nice. Mr. Nelson loves to rest on the cool cement. Such a sweetie...


Last week, I had a run in with a very disturbing and annoying "government" office. I only say this in a loose context as when I walked into the building and the office, it seemed more like a social gathering and I was intruding in on the private conversations of these people (at 9 am in the morning). These are elected people with strong Republican ties...I won't mention names (rolling of eyes) as most people around here (Altoona, PA) probably know who/what I'm talking about anyway and if someone is dying to know, they can do a bit of research.

Anyway, went into office on a rainy day, my hair is wet as I gave the umbrella to my little one. I ask about getting some papers notarized (my husband had gone there before) and asked about it. The woman whips around and jumps because she was so immersed in her conversation she didn't hear us walk in. Immediately she says no, we don't do that only transportation. Her face is this wrinkled batch of sun burnt skin covered with thick make-up...very unattractive as she's trying to look about 30 years younger and it's not helping. I'm totally taken aback. She then, sees my look, tries to look concerned (all this while leaning on this window and looking me up and down) and says, "all right, what do you want to get notarized?" I immediately started to feel threatened and shamed and said, "It's private”…also, I was confused as I didn’t know who the heck she was or what all these people (three or so) were doing and staring at me. She huffs and acts like I'm just too much. Then, this person starts to ramble off a bunch of things they do, including notarization, I say, "yes, that's what I want to do." She says, this "It's only for TRANS-POR-TA-TION" and emphasizes every syllable in the word while showing her yellow-white teeth through her wrinkled lips. I was disgusted and said, "O---Kay...Well, Thank you." and as I left the room I shouted, "For being SO POLITE." What a total ass of a person. If I could have slammed the doors, I would have. Honestly, if Republicans are going to vote stupid people in, why can't they vote nice or civil people in or a little like Teddy Roosevelt or something??? I could not believe how totally unprofessional this place was. It was sickening.

So, I drove over to the triple A, paid the $5, had a totally different (professional) experience and was not humiliated for wanting to notarize a birth certificate. I told Jon and he complained but I think I may have to write a letter.

I’m still shaking my head at this. Awhile back, I mentioned how our post office was mailing three or so crates of baby chicks. I guess, sometimes you don’t just get chickens at the post office in a small town, sometimes you get them in office too. What's even worse, is we're paying them to be there (taxes)!

Monday, June 18, 2007

The Fairy Queen

The Fairy Queen, originally uploaded by emily999.

the dancers

the dancers, originally uploaded by emily999.

wonder about rejection

for Illustration Friday

Saturday, June 16, 2007

The magic hat

The wishing hat

One day, Edward dreamt of white mice. Even after he awoke, he thought how lovely it would be to have a sweet pet mouse and when he closed his eyes, he could see them all again.

Friday, June 15, 2007

You Are Ernie

Playful and childlike, you are everyone's favorite friend - even if your goofy antics get annoying at times.

You are usually feeling: Amused - you are very easily entertained

You are famous for: Always making people smile. From your silly songs to your wild pranks, you keep things fun.

How you life your life: With ease. Life is only difficult when your friends won't play with you!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Nasturtium leaves in afternoon sunlight

feeling a bit better...

We watched about a half hour of various footage on baby rats. Let me just say, this made me feel a lot better and some of it made me laugh. There are some really devoted people out there and will actually breed rats. Just made me smile so much. One should watch out for the occasional disturbing footage of rats and snakes. Otherwise, some delightful and uplifting stuff.

Robin's eggs!
Also, much to my surprise right next to Fergie's grave is a robin's nest. What is most surprising and beautiful is it's in the hydranges and I got some photos of the brillant blue eggs. I think I'm in love...what a great reminder of the life spirit. And can you see the bits of plastic bag used in the nest? I'm amazed at about reuse! :) lol!

1st day of kinder-camp. I'm still amazed...she took to it really well. I was the weak link...but definitely didn't let on. ;) (Thanks, Monica for some sound advice).


I've had a long day and it's almost over. There was one annoying bit which I'll relate tomorrow...basically, a rude person can make you feel really bad. But I actually did a good response! I felt very "Avitar" (a kids cartoon which is really excellent...I love the story and eventually want to get it on DVD for keeps. My favorite character is the uncle of the "bad" kid). I swear kids cartoons are so much better than TV shows based for grown-ups. The writing is so much better and not polluted junk that people in the business think most viewers go for. Anyway, good stuff...

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Thunder storms...

We've been getting thunder storms for the past three days. The rain, thunder and lightening usually start off around late evening. Today it was a bit earlier. Kind of scary and we all ran inside. We were looking at Fergie's grave and talking about heaven, etc. Lydia wants another rat just like Fergie but I don't really want one. I'd consider it if I didn't really want a guinea pig. I've wanted a guinea pig for awhile...but even that is off in the future somewhere.

I'm too sad to think of new pets. I felt a little better after I did a digital sketch of Fergie from memory. An email friend suggested doing a collage...I think I will. It's funny how you think you're not going to get emotional about something like a rat, but you do. I even got grumpy about it all. Also, the hang over of a flu, apparently, didn't help.

Jon's getting something now...I guess the kids aren't far behind. Oh, dear. Jon's entire office got sick and they had it for one day or so too. Must have gotten it from them...


There are a lot of events coming up this weekend but I don't know if we'll go to many of them. Probably the free concert and a few others. My joints/wrists are aching from the change of air pressure.


I cleaned out our bedroom closet. I was shocked by the dust bunnies/cat hair that was in there. Good grief. I re-organized it so it's a easier to store clothing (bulky winter stuff and so on). I just remembered I have a vintage sewing machine in the gals closet. It needs a little fixing up but it should be usable. I'll have to drag that down next, I think.

The problem with storage is I have a lot of winter blankets as well and it's hard to stuff all that into the single linen shelves in the hall. I'll have clear out stuff in the big hall closet to store blankets in there, I guess. Or stuff a few in each gals room.

I didn't paint Lydia's room at all today. I hope this bug is done with soon and I can get back to semi-normal. Plus, my foot is aching like crazy. The bandage helps but only so much.


I think I need to walk the trails...we haven't done that in awhile (I have to get Nelson his anti-flea/tick medication first...I do not want to repeat the tick situation of last time...yuck!). This would be a great relief, I think. Hope we're all well enough to do this.

The glamour of school has worn off Lydia. She doesn't want to go at first but after a few minutes of protest she does. Once we're there she's excited and happy. I kind of feel happy too. Norrie is depressed. She missed Lydia and feels lonely and clings to me. I need to give her some more one-on-one.

in memory of Fergie
In memory of Fergie Rat 2007

illustration friday: Suit

He liked to wear his green suit and he wore it well.

Our little Fergie has left us. It was very sad last night as I could tell she was leaving. The strange thing is she looked so much better. Her eyes were open and she looked like a healthy rat. I know it wasn't true (her tumor was huge) but I know she's not in pain and that is a comfort. I feel sad and tired emotionally. It poured down rain and thundered and I like to think she rode to rat heaven on these flashes of light. Good-bye, dear Fergie.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Busy like a bee...

and yet here I sit. Ha-ha Just taking a break. Lydia's taking to summer kinder-camp really well. I'm very pleased but still nervous. It's a bit issue. I just wish I could put a camera on her head or attach safety devices on her. This is one of my fears, I guess. I try to avoid all the news but with all of this stuff happening more and's like good grief!

Well, I picked up my summer camping kid! She seems SO much more confident and sure. I could tell by her body language she is feeling good and secure. Makes me so proud. She showed her sister how to play on the slide and such. There were a few unruly teens lingering about and they called on me for aid. This one kid gave me such a look of disgust and he's the one that was blocking the wee-ones! Gees! I started to feel angry and wanted to smack his ugly little face. I hate it when some teens have problems and just ignore adults and little kids. It makes me feel mama bear-ish.

I brought a lunch for the gals and they were calmer and happy. No tears and screaming like yesterday (we had serious hunger pains, apparently...and this one kid in Lydie's class cried the first half hour...ugh. Already picking up annoying habits). But today was great.

I feel happy and upbeat even though I was so sick last night. Major tummy upset...felt sick to my stomach and had diarrhea. Then, I started to feel congested and when I went to go to bed, I threw up! I couldn't believe it. I've never done that before...and had to rush to the sink. It was horrible. But afterwards, I felt a lot better. I don't know if it's from the rice Jon made (he might have used too much better) or else the mulberries we've been eating without washing. I don't think we should do that anymore. Yuck.

But I'm feeling better and a bit tired is all. My muscles are aching.

In other news, my mom sent the cutest outfits for the gals. I have to take a few pics of them. I just saw the gals run out after stealing more chips! My two bad mice...

Anyway, I'm beat. We had some lunch on the porch mom's package came (as I mentioned earlier) and she sent them some puzzles with markers. The kind that is in black and white with a velvet fuzz. This is one of our favorite activities and we had a good time doing this.

Last night, I also got the rabbit fence up (to keep rabbits out of our garden) and planted a bunch of seeds. Probably too late in the year but who cares...have to give it a try. So we shall see. I was disgusted in May with gardening as my starter pots (which I started really, really early) got nibbled, knocked over and finally ignored because there was just too much rain. I felt bad about that as I had some interesting things planted. Even the lavender never emerged.

I still don't have that gardening thing down pat. My tomato plant lasted all Winter and gave me about 10 tomatoes...small but edible. I'd prefer bigger ones but what can you do? A huge heated greenhouse would be extremely costly.

(this post has taken several hours, with a constant flow of breaks).

Monday, June 11, 2007

Knowing your self

Got my rejection from the graphic artist job I applied for. I'm not upset or even annoyed by it. It was a good experience to see what local businesses need and are doing. The only negative on this job was it was full time. I seriously need to be here at the house with my kids while they are at school or while I homeschool (still debating this) and to allow me to paint. I found some part-time jobs I'm going to apply for and I think this will be a much better fit for me. Some of the jobs are exciting as they would be dealing with things I'm very much interested in; flowers and dogs.

I actually feel relieved. Normally, when a person gets rejected they're sad but this really goes to show this wasn't the best match for me. I can now focus on my kids and other pursuits.

I also want to do local work...not have to drive all the way to State College (it's two hours drive round trip). So, I'm excited about these new jobs.

I'm also glad I returned my library books on time and just feel like things are going well. Must be the sunny day. :)

As an artist, you need to have time. If you're dividing your self up to your family, there goes some time. Outside jobs? There goes more time. I'd much prefer one or two part-time jobs (to keep it interesting) then a full-time one. It's just better for me emotionally and stress wise.

1st day of Kindergarten camp...

Well, we survived our 1st day of summer camp. I was so nervous I had to take some Tums. Terrible. And I hardly could sleep because I was worried about missing the time. But all went well. I can't hear very well and I think I got the wrong teacher's room but other than that, it went well. I'm so proud of my big girl. She is just amazing.

There was a little boy who must have cried for the first 20 minutes. The teacher goes to the same church and is the Sunday school teacher too...and has the EXACT same response every time. Poor guy...but he was smiling and cheerful upon time to go home. I was afraid that that Lydia wouldn't want to leave (her usual response once she over comes the initial shyness). But she was fine.

A lot of parents where misty eyed (as was I) and I had to bit my lips a bit to keep the tears at bay when the kids came out. I swear it's more emotional for us big people. Sigh...

Anyway, a good day. I even had a talk with my neighbors. For some reason, they thought it was a good idea to trim back my rose bush without telling me. It's right on the fence. It fell over from last nights heavy rain and they mauled the thing down. Such ugly cuts after I trimmed it so nicely and got such a good harvest of roses. I still can't believe they wouldn't ask. All this time, I thought it was a mean spirited person cutting it (they NEVER told me about the trims or even asked if they should do it. They assumed they should because the previous owner of our house, let them! Communication people!!). Let's just say, this blog entry is getting the very calm version and my poor family had to hear me rant and rave and look very sad all evening.

In other news, I'm having a bit of a problem with Mr. Nelson and the potty. Every time it rains, he refuses to poop outside and saves it to poop under the dining room table. I have taken the rug out and scrubbed and dried it. Jon brought it back in before I got to scrub the floor and I think this is why he keeps going there. Well, I took the rug outside just now and low and behold a huge pee mark. Yuck. So, I scrubbed the floor and poured white vinegar on it and am letting it sink in. It smells awful but I think this might get rid of the pee smell...I hope.


I am nearly done painting my eldest room. People are describing the color to a strawberry milkshake. And I guess it's true. It looks very edible. I plan on painting the wood floor a light green and maybe getting a light green rug. This will give it a forest feel. There may be a light colored tree mural too...sort of like Sleeping Beauty's forest. I love that.

My youngest wants a pink room too and I'll probably go for a slightly different pink. Although, I really, really love the pink color in the first room.

I may paint our room terra cotta with yellow ochre trim for the windows. This is a long way off but is what I'm thinking about. Maybe a turquoise blue for the inside of the windows. Just ideas I'm floating around.

We're debating how to paint the trim on the outside of the house as it's really bad...needs sanding but we're afraid of lead. So, we're going slowly.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Cafe St. Drogo

Cafe St. Drago, originally uploaded by emily999.

Cafe St. Drogo

Cafe St. Drago, originally uploaded by emily999.

my work is being currently displayed in Hollidaysburg, PA

One of my favorite smaller pieces...

abstract...the cosmos

I did this one last year, I believe. I just put on some protective shellac as I'm going to show this one at the cafe amoung about 10 others to the Cafe in Hollidaysburg. This painting took longer to work on as it requires a good 48 hours to dry. I'm working on a much larger piece...I'll be using resin to protect it. This requires a whole other set of problems. Mainly, wearing a face mask, working outdoors or at least in the garage with the main doors opened wide. This is why it takes me so long to get my other pieces finished.

I'm going to aim to do those sometimes soon...Their sizes are 4 by 2 feet and bigger.

We're going to stop at the art store and pice up a few supplies...paint and gel medium. I love this stuff as it's quick drying and doesnt' make me sick.

If some of the pieces don't work at the Cafe, I'll tote them over and see if they work at the Gallery. Then there are a few places in State College Jon has mapped out for me.

Well, it's Saturday and I've got to get cracking. Have a good weekend!


My new orchid painting with a silver touch to the background.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Self publishing...

Well, I got my book back. A few mistakes need to be fixed such as using the wrong image for the cover! Ack! Glad I decided to do a proof first. Other than that, small things need to be ironed out. All in all, I'd say a good three hours worth of work and then, I can release it to the masses.

I'm feeling better about my GN...I'm re-editing it and want to add a few different elements to it. Then, it's get the illustrations started. Phew. I guess I got a little overwhelmed as I checked out a mass of books from the library and was stunned (and slightly disgusted) but what's out there. I'm a bit prim, I guess. But I'm going a different way with my book and such as it is, this might make it unique too.

Anyway, I feel pretty good today. My foot is hurting less and less, thankfully. Plus, we have the air conditioners out and one or two are on. The house feels a lot better cooler and it helps my allergies. The Hydrangea’s are starting to bloom and these I'm really allergic to. I can tell as my nose is stuffy.

The rats cages are all cleaned and just need to get to the cats and Odie's cage. Otherwise, I'm on top of the chores.

I'm ready for lunch! Currently, we're watching Pom Poko...I've mentioned this film before. It's about raccoons in Japan. It is full of metaphor about living together in harmony so as to make our homes and land livable for animals and people. Because of this film, land was made available and protected for animals. Talk about the Power of Art. This is what more art should be doing.

Supposed to have art classes tonight but nobody has signed up. That's too bad...maybe next month. Sigh...June seems to be EXTREMELY busy and most people seem to be on vacation. I know I wish I was. Ah, well.


Tada!, originally uploaded by emily999.

Today's sunrise on the East coast

Taken from the window after being rudely thrown out of bed by my little bed bugs...

Holly hobby flower press (fleamarket find!)

Next, are roses...

Flower collage

Flower collage, originally uploaded by emily999.

We're excited...haha. :)

Pressing flowers

Pressing flowers, originally uploaded by emily999.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Warm say...

I should be sleeping...actually, I will be in a few minutes. I did so much today. But I'll start with the day before... Yesterday, I made three loaves of banana bread and a tin of muffins (which I brunt). The day before, homemade pizza (two kinds) and they were quite good.

Today, I finally put down the first layer of pink in my gals room. Now, she is demanding various colors changes and what not. Plus, she informed me that she's the leader and I have to follow. I said, "Oh, really?" I love it when kids have a sense of themselves. Norrie is having issues about this and is going on a growth streak...or will be. Suddenly, she has a massive interest in food...which is fine since she's usually so picky.

I've been painting. Finished up two abstracts (24 by 20 inches or so), am finishing up a larger piece (3 ft by 2) of peonies and then there are smaller ones I have that need a little something. I'm going to be showing them at a cafe on Saturday. Wish me luck. Then, I will be bringing in a few more to the gallery in Altoona. I may go up to Tait Farms and bring in some new work there...I have about 20 things I could bring.

I admit I am feeling really good about larger works...I've worked small for so long, it's a relief to "let go".

Even though I'm tired, I feel pretty good. Did some cleaning as well and tomorrow I have to do pet maintenance. They need clean cages and food places. Ah, well...such is the life of me. My rat, Fergie, is still with us. She seems to be perking up and is nosing around. Her eyes are still sickly but it's getting better. At least her appetite is back and she's grooming. Good grief.

Well, enough is enough. Good night. :)

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


I just sold my painting at the Albert Michael's Gallery and Gifts in Altoona,PA. I just feel like good things are happening and low and behold, they happen! :) I'm working on an abstract with Peonies as my next painting but will be doing a companion piece to the Orchids. I'd like to do a series of Orchids as they have a freshness and beauty to them. I'm amazed that their blooms stay for such a long time...some are from 1 to 4 weeks and others of the Phalaenopsis family commonly last from one to four months! Amazing.

Well, I'm thrilled about my painting being sold and feel like celebrating. I may have to start a few new paintings in honor of this one.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Beautiful day today!

I might not feel great in the foot department but today is really amazing. The air is so refreshingly cool and seems to be filled with energy. It's on and off raining with the plants and trees getting greener and greener. It feels like the fire flies/lightening bugs should be coming out soon.

I've been getting small projects done and thinking up some new ones as well. I feel a bit stuck on my graphic novel...don't know why. I guess I started to feel like I'm not going to be as good as some of those cartoonist out there. I feel like I'm just a beginner and what do I know? Self doubt! Ugh!

I did, just to let it out a bit, finish and self print a children's book on I'm waiting for the 1st copy to check for (hopefully) minor mistakes and what not. I'm nervous. I'll report back once I get it.


I finished about 20 pumpkin people statues made of paper clay and I photographed them but I'd rather redo the photo shoot...for some reason, I did a lot of blurry photos. Most likely I didn't have enough light and I didn't want to use the flash as it makes the colors look funny. So, I'll probably retake these before putting them up on eBay. But for a quick look this is how they look:

I guess the thing I didn't like about this photo shoot is I would have liked to use some natural elements like grass or a few small leafed plants for color.

So, I'll probably retake this with my assistants helping me, of course. It makes for good rainy day actives anyway.

As it is a rainy day, we did some art activities. About a week ago we picked buttercup flowers, and some purple violets. I got a flower press at the big Jaffa Mosque flea market for .50 cents! I have always wanted one since I was a teen. I was one of those girls that loved Anne of Green Gables having read the books and reread them. I'd pick flowers and press them in the pages of book, walk around with a book of poetry in my hand or read 1800's Victorian novels. I even had a straw hat with silk flowers that I put together. At one time, I was lucky enough to have a bike from the 1950's, but to me it was even older. I put a basket on the front and would go biking and stopping to pick flowers. I loved that.

Anyway, I would press flowers and had quite a collection. However, I never did anything much with them...when I got the flower press (and it's Holly Hobby too!) it came with instructions and cards/frames and what not. So, the girls and I did some flower artwork. I need to download the pics and will be sharing that shortly. We added glitter for some sparkle. :)

A side note, my girls have dressed me in a wig and this sad attempt of mine at a sun hat. Let's just say, I look like Little Orphan Annie with a big yellow hat as I type. I may have to do an illustration of myself. ha-ha

I think more people should wear wigs and hats that are really elaborate and fun. It would be interesting to go out to shops and places if people did this on occasion. It wouldn't have to be any sort of historical event or what not...just wear a cowboy hat or a fedora for fun. I think people can be a bit too serious at times. I know I can be...


I'm still waiting for the card people to return my "rejected" work. I can't believe how slow they are being. What's more Jon found a blog where that artist worked with Recyceld Papers and they returned his work ASAP and gave him a tart rejection. Am I supposed to be flattered? I hope so...but I'd rather get a check and my work back...grrr...

Monday, June 04, 2007


Well, it rained and rained this weekend. This was not a bad thing as we really needed it and it was very refreshing. All the flowers where happy, birds seemed to trill even more with the sounds and animals seemed to be happily going through their activities. After the heat of last week, it was so nice to have rain.

I had an art class on Saturday but nobody showed up. So, this was a bit of a let down. Still, I had a good time conversing with the gallery owner. I guess I need to send out a few reminders. Plus, being a rainy day, maybe some thought it was cancelled (it wasn't). Ah, well...

I've been picking peonies like crazy...too beautiful to just watch outside. I'm hoping by picking them, more blooms will come. Seems to be working!

My foot is still aching (plantar fasciitis). I've taken to wearing my sneakers all day which is annoying as I like to be barefooted in the summer or wear sandals. Not likely. Ah, well.

Nelson is barking up a storm...(took a break to let him inside).

I was tagged by my friend in blogland, Carol. Eight things about me, is what I'm tagged about. Hmmm...

1. I love my pets (this is pretty obvious). I love them because they're interesting and funny and even though they have some traits that are less lovable, they can redeem themselves pretty well. Example: missing the litter box or having an accident before a walk. After being scolded and looking sad, these critters usually make up by playing with me or being cute.

2. I know the above sounds like I love my pets before my family but that is not the case. I love my family very much. Oddly, I'm when I think of family, I also include my friends...their extended family. And another odd thing, I think of family as friends too...not something to be tolerated because they are "blood" relatives. Framily? lol

3. Even though I'm a skeptic, I still look for symbols and meanings in life. I tend to think of it subconscious clues to life. It's almost like seeing the signs for a bear that might be ahead of you. If you see the scat, bear prints, claw marks on the trees, most likely there is a bear nearby. So, I tend to do this a lot.

4. I also believe we see a lot of things through our sense of familiarity. In other words, if you feel like something isn't right or you can tell...For example, when we used to live in an apartment in California. We had gone out for the night but had to make an unexpected detour home (forget why) within a half hour. When we got out of the car, I looked at the building (a four apartment building) and had a strange feeling of being watched. Nobody was renting the upper two apartments but I kept looking at the windows in the dark. I told Jon, I felt something strange...maybe I detected a shadow moving or something but didn't recognize it consciously. We went into our apartment and within twenty minutes we heard footsteps running down the main steps. Then, someone knocked on our door and asked about seeing the landlord. We told them he wasn't in and the person left.

An hour passed, and the landlord appeared. He was shaken and apparently, someone had ripped open the upstairs door frame and stolen tools! The police came and we all were amazed at what happened. What's more, the back screen of our apartment was ripped open as if someone was trying to break in! Scary. I think we all have this ability but need to hone it and look for the signs and track those bears.

5. I sometimes think I would make a pretty good cop. But then, I don't like violence and I can get a bit squeamish about blood/guts. I'd probably be like the cop in the TV show The Blue Line with Rowan Atkinson...the blonde woman who is more of the liberal slant police officer. :)

6. If I get emotional, it's best to set me before a piano and to bang out my frustrations on the keyboard. I've composed a piece (played it for years) and keep developing bits of it. There is a poetry to the piano. Recently, I've learned to play the guitar and find it very relaxing. Mr. Nelson, apparently, is my biggest fan and will fall asleep when I play any of the musical instruments. Music soothes the savage beast...

7. I have panic attacks if the house isn't in order before someone comes over. I know why I do this, and I'm working on it.

8. I really like my home even though it's not magazine perfect or even close to organized. I feel comfortable in it. Sure, there are major things to get fixed (like storm windows/insulation) but on the whole, I really like it. It's cozy and a bit roomy here and there.

This has got to be one of my longer posts (time wise). I started this at about 8am and now it's 4:12 pm! Interruptions seem to be part of my day. Ah, well...

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Peonies 2007

Peonies 2007 in my favorite vase, originally uploaded by emily999.

Friday, June 01, 2007

humidity is high

We just got back from the market. I actually went with the kids alone. I haven't been doing this lately, as I feel so tired (usually) afterwards. We were supposed to go last night but it was a good thing we didn't as it poured. Instead, we just sat on the back porch in the dark, watched the lightening and played with glow in the dark bracelets I got at Michaels. The gals loved them. We had a great time just hanging out and watching the down pour. It didn't bother my peonies too badly. Actually, I think it helped some bloom and I gave a few to our neighbors.

My climbing roses are blooming and look gorgeous. I would like to add to them as they make me so happy.

I went to our favorite market and dropped the kids off. My foot hurt so much from walking (my darn arch!) and now it still hurts. I have to do my foot exercises...

Some vaguely good news...seems Fergie (one of our little rats) is perking up! I still can't tell if she's drank any water but she has been eating the fruit I've given her. So this is good.

I just put the air's so muggy and bothering my allergies but I'll be better in a bit.

I'm pooped. Running back and forth at noon with bags of groceries is not fun. I'd rather do it at night and with Jon. The gals were helpful but then started to toss the bags in the house...fortunately nothing was broken.


Art wise, I'm going to the gallery tonight. I need to call and find out if anyone signed up for the grown-up art class first. But even so, I'm bringing supplies for tomorrow as I should have two or three kids signed up.

I'm going to be doing some photography for the gallery owner and can hardly wait to start the setup and lighting. It should be fun.

I can not believe it's June 1st. Good grief...Summer solstice is the 21st! I think we'll definitely go to the UU's for that one. I think that will be our focus, celebrating the solstices. The nice thing about the Episcopal church we're thinking of going to is they have an 8am, we could do both on those days.

Also in my art world, I've finished a few side projects. I'll be photographing those shortly. I'm pretty proud of getting these finished. I'm so secretive...he he

Well, it's off to gather supplies for tonight, do some cleaning, take a few photos, tend the kids & pets, and so forth. I feel a bit like Cinderella. ;)


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