Friday, May 30, 2008

Cherry..is shy.


Cherry..is shy., originally uploaded by emily999.

New arrival! Berry


New arrival! Berry, originally uploaded by emily999.

I've got the suds...

as Spongebob would say. I just feel all stuffy, sick and achy. I was wondering why I felt down these past few days and out of sorts. Now, I know. I really thought it was going to be allergies but I guess I picked up something from the in-laws when they were visiting in Boston. Oh, well...

Basically, my throat aches, have a headache, fever and just plain stuffed up nose with tired feelings. I'll be better soon.

The good news, we did get the guinea pigs! They are watching me cautiously from the side of the room...like I'm some sort of scary figure. I guess I am, in a way (being a giant to a piggy isn't that hard). They are pure white albino's with strawberry eyes and smooth short haired. Just like my first guinea pig! We're thinking of names...they are a mama and daughter. Jon picked them up before work and had them there all day and someone suggested Hillary and Chelsea. I thought that was cute but doesn't quite roll off the tongue. Maybe they will be their middle names. The gals want to call them Strawberry and Sugar (must have heard me talking about my little guinea pig) or Ice Cream Vanilla and Pudding. I suggested Lucy and Ethel. Jon liked it but the gals thought it was strange. I'm going to have to rent some "I Love Lucy".

So, that's what we're thinking about as we battle our colds (Jon has one, Norrie has a red nose and I think Lydia is getting some signs of a cold). I just hope the guinea pigs don't get this. Every time I blow my nose or sneeze they look shocked. Of course, it's 4 in the morning...that might be why they are shocked I'm up.

Still working on grants. I'm thankful to say some are ending at the end of June, one I fill out the 2nd day of June and the others are following suit. This is exciting stuff!

I have plans for a summer camp and hopefully, I can get that going soon. I meant to have all the info finished but things got delayed (the cold and all). Well, I'm going to try and sleep some more. Need to make some tea, and I'm off to dreamland.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Busy day...

Did some chores today and then had time to drive around with a friend. We went to the art store and then Art4 gallery. It was a pleasant day and nice to talk to someone who has similar interests/life with kids. I don't get that too often (just hang out with another mom), so it was a treat.

The gals are winding down from school...we're going to DelGrosso's Park (water park/rides) and they keep thinking it's after school for some reason. Kids...I was hoping they'd have chicken at the park but I think it's only hotdogs. They had the best chicken I've ever had in terms of grilled (had this about 2 years ago)...very tasty from what I recall.

I've been having chicken cravings for some reason...it's terrible as I'm not much of a meat person in the first place. I actually wanted steak last week! I'm still surprised by that.

Looks like we're definitely going to do some gardening on Friday afternoon. I'm going to try and order some gravel and compost tomorrow and hopefully, they can deliver Friday. Otherwise, we'll have to make a few trips to the Maple Brook Nursery. Sometimes, it's annoying not to have the old SUV truck we had but such is living a bit lighter. Now, Jon wants to get a pick-up as we do quite a bit of hauling.

I'm very excited about tomorrow...for several reasons...mainly, because I may be getting two guinea pigs! I hope they are healthy and everything is well with them. Jon's going to pick them up and I'm so nervous as I don't get to see them till he gets home. He'll get them from State College (a woman was giving two away). They are albino and have the red eyes. Oddly, this was just like the very first guinea pig I had. Her name was Strawberry and I loved her very much. She was so sweet and smooth haired. I wonder if these will have smooth hair too. They are a mother and daughter pair. I wish we could get them tonight but as it is, I can wait till one more day...barely.

It was funny because the woman who is giving them away got them for her kids and they did't take care of them. I'm the opposite. I usually have pets because I just plain like them. :) I think there is something about having a kinship with animals that is special and unique. For me, it's also being closer to the Good of all...which I think most animals personify (that goodness without conditions).

When I saw my friend’s dog today, I admit I wished I had a big dog again. I have some very good memories of some kids I used to tutor and their Giant Schnauzers. It's funny because I used to be afraid of big dogs and now, I love them too.

So, I’m excited about the guinea pigs and I won’t count my chickens till their hatched. I’ve come too close to getting guinea pigs and have had it dashed away (either by being late in asking or not having the funds).

Now, I have to think about building a nice big cage (indoors) for them to play and live in. I’ve been researching this and have found a few sites that show really interesting arrangements for their cavies. The little girl in me is cheering with excitement at the thought of this. Sometimes, it’s good to listen to that kid!

Besides all the excitement of the guinea pigs, I need to get Mr. Nelson cleaned up for the summer. I know I’ll have to brush him out (again) before going to the dog cleaners as he has some awful tangles. Hopefully, I can do this soon…poor guy.

Well, I’ve got to turn in; can’t believe it’s already 11pm. I still need to get a CD together to submit for a local art show…I hope I can get it together for this one. The weather has certainly been strange lately…cold, then hot and then supposed to be a freeze tonight! Good grief.




profile in definition

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Chain Reaction Machines

We all need some Rube Goldberg time in our lives...

Monday, May 26, 2008

mouse in jug


mouse in jug, originally uploaded by emily999.

playing with photoshop...

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Fairy for the Bees


Fairy for the Bees, originally uploaded by emily999.

Available on eBay.

Abstract


Abstract, originally uploaded by emily999.

Miniature art work (ACEO: Art Card Editions and Originals)

This is an abstract I recently did. It will be available on eBay soon. :)

Friday, May 23, 2008

Sunny day at last

This has got to have been the most rain we've had in a while! It seemed like every day several rain storms would dump water on all of us and not let up. It wouldn't have been so bad if it was warm but it was so cold too. I can't even remember half of what I did this week as it felt like I was just driving around in the rain.

Fortunately, I got some of the rooms cleaned with a helpful volunteer (thank you, Cristy!) and then Jon did some cleaning last night. I went over today and cleaned up the basement (sand) and vacuumed half the steps. Boy, does dust build up...I really need to get more volunteers at the museum. Still, it was nice getting half the steps done (we brought our vacuum over and this helps a lot).

Things are going better in many respects and we are now stable money wise. So, this is a huge relief, as anyone would say. The next thing I need to do is get my compost/dirt delivered and start on that garden. If I put in a few hours, it will be ready to go and I know I'll have a good crop of something...most like zucchini and hopefully, potatoes and carrots...oh and tomatoes of course.

Lots to do but if you enjoy doing it, that does make a difference. I'm hoping for a few other things to turn up and will find out next week. It's art related and I'm excited about it.

There's a art show, speaking of art, which I need to get a few pieces ready for. It's due on June 1st...not much time but I hope to have some work to share.

I feel a bit tired after all that cleaning today. Plus, I did the dishes which isn't a bit feat, really, but when you see the pile of dishes we make, it can be impressive.

Well, I missed out on the 6 guinea pigs. Oh, well...maybe next time. Lydia is missing being 5 years old. I didn't think kids are like that but I guess they are. I remember when my niece turned 6...she was the same way. So interesting how kids think.

Looks like it might rain, again. This isn't so bad as today was a nice warm day. I decided to use the last of my bright blue paint and painted the garage door. I think I'll get some more and paint the other outer doors (ancient sliding doors) the same color or blue with yellow marks. We shall see. Plus, I want to paint the front porch...I was going to go with periwinkle blue but Lydia told me red is better. So, I might go with that (I did see a very nicely painted front porch a few weeks ago in red). I feel so domestic.

Well, I think I'm going to sneak over to my bed and lay down for a little bit. I feel a bit sick from eating all this food at dinner...I stuffed my self, shamefully.



Thursday, May 22, 2008

last of the blossoms


last of the blossums, originally uploaded by emily999.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Keep On The Sunny Side - June Carter Cash

Raining...

It's raining today and cold. It's a bit odd for being only 40 degrees and it's nearly June...what are the fireflies going to think? Strange weather...even though it is better than humidity. Still, I'm worried about my garden and will everything grow. I've really got to start thinking about making simple greenhouses (old jars can fit over seedling, giving a protection against the elements).

I remember a neighbor back in California. She took this barren grassy bit and made one of the most beautiful gardens I had ever seen. I admire people who can do that. It gives me hope of doing something like this as well...At least I pulled a few weeds from the front yard. I love dandelions but at times they will grow in spots I want to just keep mulched.

Last night was a bit hectic as there was a last minute party of the cutest kids. Most had to be under 6...I was surprised by the amount of kiddos but on the whole they were pretty good. I know there will be a big clean-up, none-the-less.

Then, we had a board meeting and things are moving along! I'm very pleased as more board meetings are just what we needed. It helps get plans made, responsibilities done and best of all there is a sense we're all in this together. What a relief.

I know I tend to be a Pollyanna type and try to keep myself level headed. Now, I want to see that movie again...We should all encourage our Pollyanna's as much as possible.

Make a wish....


, originally uploaded by emily999.

Work that was on display at the BCAF

I had three pieces that were chosen to be displayed at the local art show at Penn State. It was an honor being in the show and especially having my digitally composed pieces accepted.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Squirrels!




This is so cool! A live action shot of mama squirrels and her young!!! Thanks, Patrick and Lori!

Also, forgot to show some new artwork:



Got a bit behind on my art stuff...

I've got to update my art blog soon as the server was down a few days ago for this. Hopefully, it's back up.

In the meantime, I'm putting up new work on eBay. I can hardly wait for summer time...then, I can really get work done.

It was a long day but very nice as we talked to some new people and the gals had a good time playing.

On a different note, one of the things I really want to do is make the gift shop at the gallery come alive by having sales go on-line. This would be a great way to encourage sales and give local artists a chance to work with a really great cause.

I feel lucky to have a lot of good people in my life and mostly to have crazy Mr. Nelson (my dog). I have to say he makes everyone laugh (even if he snuck downstairs and went potty down there, shame on him). Another good thing about having a dog is he forces us to play...even if we don't want to. Honestly, if I could, I'd have two dogs...but my darn fence probably wouldn't survive (it's sort of like a fence for cattle but smaller grids). Anyway, stuff to think about.

I almost got 6 guinea pigs. Unfortunately, someone beat me to it. These little guys were going to be given away and I missed that one (Jon's probably relieved). I wouldn't mind a goat, but we're not allowed in the "city". Maybe we should just get a little farm some day...I know a nurse who does that. Has a house in town and a farm a few miles away. Sounds like a lot of work, though...

Well, I heard about this cool place but I'm not supposed to tell anyone about it. Let's just say it's in Martinsburg...sort of like a junk shop but a bit better (it has FABRIC and ART supplies!). I really, really want to go but have to wait till things are a bit different money wise. A visit wouldn't hurt if I just window shopped. This is one reason I like to read blogs and websites...you get to look and don't have to buy anything (yet). :)

Last night I stayed up till midnight painting and even though I was tired, it felt very good. If I want to refresh myself, painting does the trick every time. Actually, any art will do. I need to start thinking about making a "fire pit" sort of thing (maybe a bar-b-que type kiln) to test out the paper clay idea. I hope it works...this was something I've been wanting to try since the Winter.

I'm so excited about the art show at the Penn State Campus...it's an honor to have 3 pieces there. We went to the artist's reception (and volunteered, actually)...good food and a fun opportunity to meet some people in the art scene locally.

All in all, an interesting week. The gals and I are pressing flowers, drying out lilac (hopefully, this will work and I can make potpourri) and enjoying Spring. I still have to photograph my mini-quilt and put that up on-line. Too much to do, I guess...and I still haven't finished planting in my little garden space. I did start some lettuce, turnip, and other plant seedlings. I hope they survive the thinning process…I’m a klutz at this.

I’m thankful at the moment…it amazes me how family and friends really do help in times of need. I’m very grateful right now.

Also, we got rid of the old car. It wasn’t worth trying to fix up and after all the list of repairs we’d have to make and on top of that it was a gas guzzler, it was time to say good-bye. I was sad as it had a lot of memories. It was my first real car (didn’t start to drive until my late 20’s…took the bus or walked in CA) and this made it a bit harder to let go. Plus, I had a lot of good memories with my sis and family (we bought it from her). Anyway, it was a good car…but nothing beats getting $15 for half a tank of gas! The little trekker is REALLY good on gas (plus, having air conditioning, a working radio and no leaky sunroof is a great thing).

Well, that’s it for now. Today a lot was accomplished, planned out and I’m feeling a lot better emotionally. A good day with a bit of rain.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Mission Acomplished.

I've officially made the oatmeal-raisin-chocolate chip cookies! It took me till the next day (Kim, you encouraged me to get this done!lol!). I must be feeling a tad better (having the air conditioner on, helps control dust/pollen). I finished the cookies and my eldest said after one bite "These rock, mom!" I was surprised by that and very honored!

I also am trying another sour dough recipe. The other one I tried was a bit convoluted and made it hard to follow with the little tangents here and there. I used my old trusty Betty Crocker cook book (the 1970's version, I believe). That book has got a lot of use. Yesterday, all I could manage for dinner was something I'm calling
"Italian Dumplings". Bascially, I made dumplings and added basil to them. Then, I tried to fry them first (this didn't work out too well...either too dough-ie or else not enough oil used). So, I boiled the sause and dropped them in there and steamed them up. Surprisingly, this came out really good with a touch of parmesian cheese for garnish. Give it a try (make sure the sauce in the jar is a bit watery (I swished some water in the jar to get the last drops, as well).

Today, I was blessed with a gift of beans and kids clothing. I know, strange combination but they're needed. I used the kidney beans to create a chili of sort...basically added chili powder, cumin, salt, chicken broth and a bit of chicken. I also baked a small chicken Jon got last night. He does lawn mowing during this time of the year for extra cash and it comes in handy, I must say.

So, with all of this going on, I made the cookies (a few got burnt, but that's what happens when I double up in the oven) and the chicken came out excellent. I feel like I'm getting good at creating new meals.

As a way to keep me sane, I started and am nearly finished with a mini-quilt. I did a guinea pig in blue and it came out really sweet. I used sweater material that had accidently been felted and another one which had been worn to near bits. This one is going to be a hard to sell as they remind me of my gals...but I will make myself something from the left over pieces. I didn't realize how nice it is to use sweater material that's felted. I used a bigger needle as well and I think this is what made it less painful (I usually use a tiny needle for sewing).

In other news, I'm volunteering at the artist reception tomorrow. It should be fun and I hope to meet some nice people. It's at the campus...

I sometimes wonder how in the world I get myself into situations where I'm out of the house so much. I'm a very home body type and it still makes me laugh...Jon's dad once told him, he'd never be bored with me. I guess that's true; I usually get myself into a situation of one kind or another. Hopefully, mostly good.

I know this sounds terrible but I watch a lot of cartoons...obviously, this is in reflection to my kids. We recently rented the whole Gummie Bears series...and it was a real treat. I grew up on this stuff and it was a delight to see my gals fall in love with them too. Of course, we also watch Jenny the Robot, Spongebob (one of my favorites), and countless other cartoons (usually classics off of youtube). I read a lot of kids books too...and again, usually they are written better and have more truth to them than most grown-up contemporary books.

I recently read a book called Mr. Glum, I believe. It was about a fish who would swim around and just be down. This made other fish down too. I have to say this is very true about my moods too...if I'm having a bad day, usually everyone knows and feels moody too. I don't think we should try and "be happy" but I do think, there is truth to what Leo Buscaglia said about the self:

Love yourself—accept yourself—forgive yourself—and be good to yourself, because without you the rest of us are without a source of many wonderful things.”
Leo F. Buscaglia

What a good way of thinking about who we are...I hope to put this into practice more.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

hmmmm...

I sometimes wonder about reading blogs/writing and so forth. It seems to me there are times when people like to read things that are negative and other times people like to read only positive upbeat things. I try to keep it balanced in my little nook here. Just seems a nice balanced thing to do.

Recently, I read that people attract likes. In other words, if people are genuinely happy, they will attract happy people. If they are down beat, they will attract the same. This seems really true for me. When I think of my friends in the past, I can see why some relationships went sour or others have held the test of time. I'd say I'm a fairly normal, happy person and I know this is reflected in my current friendships...my best friend, husband, new friends, etc. Just a sense of well being, really.

Had a great time with one of my students but we were both having an off day. I just can't seem to shake this allergy thing...time to do the nasal cleansing, I guess. I know I'll feel better afterwards, but there's a load of dishes I need to wash first.

I need to think about dinner, again. We're out of pasta, so I'm trying to think of an alternative I can fry up and add tomato sauce too. Something that is simple and sort of like pizza-ish.

Anyway, I really don't want to cook but I know everyone's going to be hungry and at least a semi-Italian dinner will please everyone! :)

If I have the energy, maybe I'll make oatmeal cookies. I was looking through the pantry and found some raisins and oats. This should be good with chocolate chips. Wish me luck the energy to finish it all.

A pollen filled day...

It's gorgeous outside and slightly cool but warming up, thankfully. I feel a bit overwhelmed as yesterday was a roller coaster of a day emotionally. I'm glad a few things are being worked out and so forth and yet, there is an overwhelming feeling that this is becoming so complicated for no real reason. I know things will work out.

I've also realized how wonderful Jon is. I don't say it enough, really. He's great and even if we're having a bad patch with this new endeavor, it's not a big thing in the grand scheme of life. I have to say, we're really learning to work well together and that's a good feeling.

I'm also glad I have what I do have. I was thinking about the horrible things happening lately, the earthquake in China, the cyclone in Myanmar, and tornados in Arkansas...my thoughts and prayers go out to all who are suffering and have left us. It breaks my heart, really. I've been through a few earthquakes and know this is one of the worst feelings. I'm fortunate not to have gone through worse weather conditions than an Eastern storm or two and can almost imagine what it would be like in something worse.

I guess these thoughts have been in my mind...I've really got to stop reading the news headlines. Fortunately, there are many good things happening and this helps balance the sorrows that are in the world right now.

On an entirely different note, I dropped some work off at Art4 Gallery. They were so nice and friendly, I felt at home. It's a beautiful space and what I love most is the use of old pieces of a barn for the front counter and shelves! What a beautiful use of something from the past and such a wonderful homage. I submitted a few pieces of small artwork there as well. I'm going to do a write up for the Altoona Art Cafe blog soon and can't say enough positive things about it. Besides which, they have wonderful artwork...I wish my pocketbook was bigger (or that I had one) and I'd definitely spend a bit there!

Even though my allergies are acting up, it's been a productive day. Things will get better and for now, we need to count our blessings.


This print was recently accepted by the juried artshow by BCAF.

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Monday, May 12, 2008

Cold rainy days...

I don't really care for cold days and today seems to have dropped to the 40's! It's cold and I'm worried about my seedlings. I think they'll be all right but in the meantime, maybe I'll make a plastic greenhouse for them.

In other news, I was surprised by the attitude of a person I have to deal with. I had made a mistake and when I tried to fix it, the person refused to forgive. I feel sorry for this person as I wonder if they've ever been forgiven or if someone has treated them really negatively in the past. I just wish they weren't so difficult to work with. I hope the best for them.

Anyway, I feel better now. I know making mistakes is part of life, and how we learn; this is part of how we become better people.

I have about 20 minutes before I have to pick up my gals. I feel like I wasted an afternoon trying to correct a situation and make peace with someone who'd rather not be apart of something good. I'd have preferred to work on some artwork. Fortunately, I did start working on a project I had hoped to finish by October earlier in the day, so at least I did this. I don't think it will be finished by October, but you never know.

I just realized I didn't have lunch yet and I guess I'll have a pj sandwich. Yesterday was Mother's day and I had quite a few wonderful people send me some salutations via blog and email. This made it a great day (also, my gals grew flowers for me and Jon surprised me with some fresh blooms too). All in all a good day (even though we worked).

I think I need to do some mini ACEO's; I must say they are good stress relievers...plus, it makes me happy. Of course, a chocolate bar would be a good thing too. :)

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Rain and sun

Makes rainbows. And afterwards, you get sunlight on green leaves, lilac in purples and white, yellow dandelions, orange and red from the last of the tulips and blues in the shadows of hydrangea leaves. Spring is here in all it's wonderful glory.

Last night, I made two soft kitties in orange and red striped sweater material. We gave them as gifts to two girls in Norrie's class (it was their birthday and they're twins). I put an A and R so the little gals would know which was theirs. I'm already making two extra for my two sweeties. It's nice to sew again...haven't done that in ages, it feels like.

Also, I brought the 3 pieces that were chosen for the juried art show at the campus to the show. I submitted 3 digitally composed works done in Photoshop. I'm very pleased they were accepted as I was a bit nervous if people would appreciate them. I've gotten good feedback on-line but you never know how it is in person. When I brought them in, someone said they were magical...and I admit I was very pleased. So, they are going to be up for however long it runs (one week). Hopefully, a few sales will be made and a few commissions.

I feel a bit tired as I've been making as much as I can from scratch primarily because we haven't gotten to the market yet. Have to wait till pay day and so on. So, it's annoying albeit a creative challenge. I made my first sour dough bread and it came out more like a pita bread (flat). I waited over 24 hours for my dang "sponge" to bubble and foam but couldn't stand waiting any longer. It can take an hour to 6-8 hours or more. I guess I was “or more”. Anyway, I made it and it was sour as sour dough should be and actually quite good (even if it was more like a strange looking Frisbee shape).

I'm listening to some Ottmar Liebert on Pandora. The selections that come up are excellent...upbeat, lively and even if it's a bit of a sad-ish piece, still has punch. I feel like I need this extra energy as I have got so much housework to do. With all the food making, things got a little out of hand (dishes piled up, we don’t have or can afford a dish washer). Plus, I've got all the grant stuff out, school bills/scholarships for my gals (they got awarded 2 grants, thank goodness), art stuff, library books and more. Plus, we were so busy yesterday (my car is officially sick and everyone wants me to dump it...but I don't want to. They'd only give 125! That's crazy), with getting the old car back home, we didn’t do much house stuff. However, the music is making me feel better…I want to dance the tango.

I'm very excited about an idea I have for the museum website...I'd like to put a gift shop on the website and have people be able to purchase handmade goods/etc directly from the website. This would bring added income to the museum and would be easier for folks to see what there is to offer, etc.

We had a great meeting with a fellow artist, Rachel DiAndrea, of Pet Art Studios, yesterday. I did an interview of her for the Art Cafe (on the Altoona mirror) awhile back. She has great ideas for the museum as well. Again, I feel blessed to have people with insight and marketing skills in my life and especially for the museum.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
It's funny how one day you'll feel tired and down but all you really need is a good nap or time to talk to someone. Had a good conversation with my sis-in-law for about an hour last night. We usually can talk but I guess it's just when our personalities are on edge (for whatever reason) or if we focus on past angry feelings instead of forgiving, we’ll clash. Fortunately, we’ve seemed to forgotten whatever it was we were fighting about and we had a good conversation. So, I'm happy about that. I hate fighting and it's such a waste of energy to be angry. Of course, I was angry at Jon the other day...I don't remember why but I'm pretty sure, I was tired and this was the main reason.

Oh, and I broke my tooth yesterday morning. I couldn't believe it. I was eating pretzels and the next things I know, a piece of my tooth is gone! It hurt a lot (scrapped the side of my tongue and my throat feels a bit like I have a cold or cold sore growing there now). I feel a bit better now. Still, it's a disturbing feeling...

I can't believe this weekend is Mother's day. I feel ashamed as I forgot it was mother's day weekend (I had been wondering why there were all these flower tents)...so, Mom, I'm sorry I will be sending you a gift this coming week. I am working on a little something for you. Also, my mom, who remembers almost everything, sent me a beautiful red work piece of two girls sharing their ice cream. My mom is so talented...and it arrived safely (she was worried about it being sent incorrectly). I love it and it reminds me of my gals.

I wish I could say what else I'm going to do for mother's day but most likely it will be working at the museum and hopefully do some painting/art. I feel a bit down about this as I haven't been working on anything it seems. Of course, that's not really true but I just feel like I should be creating more art. I did start some paper mache creations and will be sending them out and hopefully, NOT, getting rejected, again. Blah…

Right now, all I'd like to do is soak in the tub with bubbles and take a nap. Also, a magic wand would be nice to zip around and clean up this house. I guess my break is over...

Speaking of over, I can't wait for school to be over and do some nice summery things. Looks like I'll have a late garden again as I still haven't gotten my dirt delivery for my raised beds. Oh, well...

Almost forgot, I'm going over to Art4 Gallery in Hollidaysburg and will be showing my small works there too! This is exciting as it's a new gallery and they are wonderful in that they show local works. :)

One last thing, I got really lucky at the last yard sale I went to (2 weeks ago) and got 2 boxes of frames for $4. I was thrilled as frames are a bit issue for artists (I keep forgetting this until I need them for shows or just to display them at home). So, I have a bunch to work with and adapt for my needs. I like to paint them or add something fun to the surface of more serious frames...one, I put polka dots on. It seemed to need polka dots.

Anyway, I hope Jon is surviving being at the museum alone for a few hours. I was there for 2 or so hours and he was there after me. He's got to cut some lawns today...at least it's not raining! Today is about 50 degrees and sunny, sunny, sunny! 

Thursday, May 08, 2008

evening out...

Went to a first evening out with a group of interesting women from the Newcomers group. It was a nice meet and great feeling as I knew one or two of the women and made a lot of new acquaintances. Nice feeling, actually. I stayed longer than I realized but it wasn't a problem...Jon got everyone cleaned up and into bed at a good time (he has a hard time doing this every now and then, but is getting better).

Today was a stressful day, I admit. I was very worried about the allergy results...actually, I was worried that there weren't going to be any results and I'd have to start from scratch to understand some of the dilemmas the gals are going through. As it turned out, they do have allergies. Both are allergic to dogs (don't worry we're not getting rid of Mr. Nelson...he'll be getting more baths, however). Lydia has rice, grass, bug (cockroach, thankfully we have none of those) and maple allergies. Now, I understand why she is grumpy and irritable (and very runny nosed). It's a huge relief and I now know what to do to protect her. Maples are everywhere and we'll have to give her medication for the pollen season (which is now). Poor kid.
Again, at least we know what to do and what effects her. Plus, Jon is going to have to ease on the rice stuff (he likes to make this a lot).

I thought for sure Norrie would break out for grass but nothing showed up. She's the one who swells up by just going by some plants in early Spring. I guess time will tell. They're recommending tonsil surgery for Lydia and I guess this will have to be done this summer some time. Jon had this done and they say the earlier the better for gals.

After this, I started making a bunch of stuff to eat...fruit shake and banana bread. It's funny, I had forgotten I had a food processor and pulled that out. I used those hand processors but always break them (broke 2 or 3 so far). The big processor is much more durable and crushed ice really well. I was surprised as I didn't think it could do that. I'm a bit embarrassed as I have kept it for about 8 years (it's a wedding gift) and never really used it till now. Boy, was I missing something (and saving my wrists from having to mix dough all the time). Plus, it's not that hard to wash (just rinse it off). There will be more baking at our house. Especially now that I'm working on my sponge for Sour Dough bread. I finally remembered to take that out and am waiting for it to turn bubbly. Then, I can start the bread...Norrie loves sour dough bread, so it's going to be exciting to see how this comes out. I hope it's all right.

Also, did some cleaning up of the studio. Lydia was crying for some reason and we ended up having to go upstairs. She was probably over tired as we went to Target after the allergy test (I promised them this) and used her birthday card at last (thank you, Becky!). Of course they got littlest pet shops. Norrie has been doing chores to earn a pet shop, so she was pleased to get one too. They are such sweet kids...sometimes crazy silly, but mostly sweet.

I've finished up another grant and need to proof it, make copies and get it ready to be mailed. There are 3 more that are nearly finished and I'm very excited as they would mean after-school art programs at the museum. I feel so hopeful but you never know what will happen...

Well, it has been a long, long day and sleep awaits. Tomorrow another day begins.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Allergies and arrowheads

Kim Hambric art quilts
Kim's
work at the museum.


Today was the big day in finding out about my gals and allergies. Looks like all signs point to yes. Poor kids. So, now I have to try out Claritin on my eldest and tomorrow is a actual test to see what it is that bothers them most. I hope it's not cats, dogs or too much dust. If it's mostly orchards and grasses, I'll be relieved. I have those and we can handle that.

Regardless of the results, there is a lot of dusting, cleaning and wiping things down as we have to be on top of this...and boy is it easy to slide into not dusting. I'm just glad they aren't allergic to peanut butter and a myriad of things like my nephew. Poor kid...can't even pet cats.

So, this was the stressor today. Plus, there is a recommended tonsil removal...yikes! I don't know...we'll have to see about that one. Who knew being a kid these days could be so tough. Jon has had his tonsils removed, but I've never had that done. I probably should but I seem to be responding well to the allergy shots (1 per week). Now, they even have drops instead. So, this might be the way for the gals.

I'm just REALLY glad things are getting taken care of in regards to knowing what's up with my kiddos. Also, my eldest being extremely left handed seems to part of why she was struggling with school. Makes sense, really. Her great-grandpa was a lefty (forced to use right hand), her grandma is left handed and grandpa is ambidextrous as is her cousin. No surprise to me. Fortunately, she's getting a lot of support and I'm learning more about left handedness as well.




On the home front, I'm rearranging furniture, cleaning out rooms and organizing. Time to remove all that winter hangover stuff...or at least store it for later. I'm thinking of a yard sale to get rid of some things and then the rest to the Salvation army.

I need a new light for my basement studio as my big florescent isn't working anymore. It's too dark to work and I end up dragging everything upstairs...so the place feels really messy in a sort of creative messy way...hehehe.

Supposed to have a thunder storm this evening and it feels like it. Dark gray sky, humid feeling outside....got to remember to bring Odie in. I totally forgot him the last storm and I think he was upset (I know I would be if I were a cockatiel).

Other very cool news, Lydia found a 1000 year old Arrowhead right outside our door stop. We couldn't believe it and kept staring at it and wondering what an amazing thing to see this. We put it in a display case used for such things (the kind for bugs and such). It looks really good and now we always check our step by the stoop...might be more arrowheads in there.

I think Norrie was a bit jealous she didn't find an arrowhead...but there are times when Lydia is jealous of Norrie. So, it goes back and forth. Good grief.

I feel a bit tired with all the emotional stuff of the allergy testing and stressed wondering what could be wrong. I'm very glad to know it's not something worse and we can control it.

Went to the library and got a few books on fundraising, grant writing and Robert's rules. Stuff to work on because I want to make the Quaint Corner Children's Museum grow by leaps and bonds.

I feel a little relieved, that my one art show is displayed at the library and it's a bit fun to see it there. I forgot it was up and was surprised when both my gals said, mommy, your work is on the wall! It was a nice moment in that they acknowledged my work. Felt very good. I even got to see the youth art displayed on the second floor. I wish had had my camera and would have shown her work here as well. It's important to encourage young artists but especially in the way of giving them skills in business as well.

Well, I'm starting to ramble and I need to take a break. I hope it rains after Jon gets home too. One of the hardest parts of Jon working in State College is I don't get to see him for 12 hours. I wish he would get one of the Penn State Altoona jobs he recently applied for. It would actually pay much better than what he gets now and be closer. Pray/send good thoughts for us...

Now, for my break...

Beautiful work by Kim Hambric


, originally uploaded by emily999.

at the Quaint Corner Children's Musuem.

http://www.quaintcorner.org

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Busy...

Time has changed for me, it seems. Fortunately, I'm flexible enough to move with the changes...that's one thing you learn to do as an artist and writer. I'm not one of those people blessed with getting things right the first time. I have to revise, revise and revise again. Surely, it gets easier by the 50th revision and you lose some of that feeling of "but I'm perfect! How can there be something to revise?" Just part of the whole growth thing, really.
Anyway, now that I've got my first grant under my belt, I'm working on several more and looking for sponsorship for the Children's museum. I was going to take a "high road" mentality and opt for being a purist in the sense of no corporations but really this is a naive mentality. It makes it all the harder to get what you want...and what we want are children to have some fun, play and maybe a little learning along the way. This is the real mission of the museum and I'm not about to let my feelings get in the way. There are so many organizations that do good works and I'm not going to judge too harshly if it makes a child's life a little happier.
Right now, I'm working on something like 4-5 new grants. 3 are due before June...not a problem now that I have 90% of the info to fill out the forms and the other 10% is writing out the reasons for the grant. It's amazing how these grants fill your head with dreams...you start dreaming of the potential and all that could happen with them...of course, if they are shot down, it feels like you lost a pet or something. Best not to think about it too long and move on to the next grant, I guess. The main thing is to learn how to write specifically for aid and what it will do for the community. I'm constantly amazed at how writing skills are so important...they really are especially for something like this.
I'm also amazed at the variety of opportunities there are for aid and money to be given to a non-profit. Let's just say, I'm learning and most of it is by a baptism in fire, as the old expression goes. This is mostly based on a few interesting personalities...but personalities are everywhere and I just need to remember this.
I had my last art class (the evening one) today. I was a little sad to see them go but they seemed to really like what I did...and this makes me feel like a millionaire. Honestly, when I hear students say things like "You're a very good teacher", I just want to cry. It's a very good feeling. It's funny because I really do think I am a good teacher, but there is always a question...am I really? Do I try hard enough? Am I working with my students in a way that is both uplifting, engaging and inspiring? These are the thoughts which come to me...and I hope this is expressed in the lessons.
On a very positive note, I have a potential Quilting bee that might happen at the museum. This may be a collaboration between two other moms and my self. We're discussing quilting and may be trying something bigger than a 24 by 12 inch surface for the quilt. I hope it comes to fruition as it would be fun and mentally stimulating to work with fellow moms. It's amazing the contacts/friends I'm making just from being with the museum.
It's funny, how I used to think, if I had a perfect job or just the right amount of money, I'd be set. I'd be able to do something...but all along it was about stepping out of my little bubble, my comfort zone and getting a few rejections...picking my self up again and trying, again and again. This is how you know something is meant to be, I guess...if you keep trying and don't give up and there is a combination of goodness about it, things will start to happen. It's almost like magic, in a way.
Anyway, enough of that. It's late and I'm still up...coffee late in the evening and now I feel like I can conquer the world...or at least right a grant to help fix a few things, that is! lol!

Monday, May 05, 2008

13th Street Hill


13th Street Hill, originally uploaded by emily999.

blue and purple violets


blue and purle violets, originally uploaded by emily999.

At Valley View park


kids, originally uploaded by emily999.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

near collisions...

I've credited my driving, which is usually the speed limit and sometimes slower, to what saved our lives today. I drive very reasonably and today was another example of, thank God, that driving. As I was heading down 13th Ave and this woman pulls out right in front of me! I think she was trying to go in reverse (I hope) but went forward instead. It was almost like a weird suicide attempt on her part...VERY scary. Nobody was hurt but when I pushed on the breaks, I think my body was totally tense and I pulled a muscle. I feel the pain now.

I've had near misses like this...a dog running out in front of me, a cat...all safe because I drove slowly. I'm sure there will come a time, when I might be driving slowly and something happens. But for now, I believe taking things easy, is the best way to go.

As for the museum, I'm focusing my energy on what needs to be accomplished/goals of the museum and so forth. I have a very good feeling about the meeting we had with a local theater arts and supporter of the arts, Tom Sweitzer. It's amazing how paths cross and where it leads you. I'm still amazed to be apart of this museum group, really. All I can do is hope, but in that hope is the realization there are things we can do because we all care about making a place for kids to imagine and create. So, even with a few snags along the way, I feel things will be fine as long as we give it our best.

We just had an amazing rain storm; thunder, lightening and full pouring down rain. I'm starting to love these storms. I did feel a little sorry for some of the very small cars out on the road...the potholes are terrible and fill up to 12 feet in length and 8 feet wide! Good grief...I'm surprised we didn't float across.

The lilac looks a few shades brighter in purples against the darkened green leaves. They seem to glow in the dusky light...I can almost see the fireflies coming out. Oh, Spring is too fleeting but the joys of summer...who can resist? Even humidity is bearable after trudging through snow, ice and the very nose on your face feels as though it's detached somehow. Yes, humidity is not quite so bad as long as it promises a rain shower to cool the heavy air. I think I'm starting to enjoy being an Easterner...

New art at the Children's Musuem

One of the aspects of working at Quaint Corner is connecting with artists from a variety of backgrounds. On Thrusday, Kim Hambric, a multi-media artist brought in her quilt pieces for display in the first floor room. I must say, her work is full of color and depth. Some of the colors she uses are harmonic and balanced. Each peice is hand sewn with detail and most of the fabrics have been dyed or printed by Kim. They will be on display for 6 months.

In addition to this, I have some of my own work up at the Altoona Library for the month of May. There is a two year waiting list, and it was my turn. I can hardly believe it's been 2 years since the last show there. Time does fly. I've learned the importance of collecting frames and even more so, where to place the hanging aparatuse on the back of the frame. This is always tricky to me and now, after Kay Shade showed me how, I understand why. Part of the learning process...

After this show, I'll bring whatever doesn't sale to a few other venues around State College. As an artist, we need to create energy to bring people to the art (or bring art to the people). This is something basic in all of us...the need to create and to appreciate the arts created as well. I've just heard of another art shop opening in Hollidaysburg and will have to check them out soon.

Where to begin...

Talk about an emotional rollercoaster. I won't go into the details or even go on about everything that has been happening (except focusing on the positive energy of good people) but let me just say, there are some people that should really focus on finishing a project, being inclusive and stop being overly critical of others. When one gets a combination like this in a single individual, positive energy is sucked away and all that is left is bitterness and resentment (usually towards that individual).

However, this is not the case when you are dealing with a person who sparks joy, inspiration and hope based in reality. This is what you want to be on your side. Critique given from this individual is seen as growth, insight and focusing on a mission.

How opposite the conversations I've been having recently, are. The unfortunate aspect of all of this is, the overly critique individual divides people or else scares people totally because of control issues. I don't like the words this person uses (scare tactics, really) to make people want to run fleeing from a supposedly burning building when it's nothing more than someone cooking in the kitchen. This is as bad as saying there is a fire in a crowded theater.

Phew! Glad I got that out. I think I'll start a nice clean post that focuses on one of my loves, art.

Sociable

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