Friday, January 30, 2009

Away for a Day

VolleyGirl has a tournament Saturday.......will last over 10 hours! First for me, I packed pencils and sketchbook. Be back around later, have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Dogs On Thursday: Apollo Meets The Colored Pencils

Last night mom was sitting with me in the den and I noticed something very new to me on the table. I am quite the inquisitive type, you know, checking out every vehicle that passes by when I am outside, every little noise. This seems to irritate my family, they like me to take care of business and move on but, oh, I digress! Anyhow, this object peaked my curiosity and I decided to check it out. Usually I can get by for a quick step up on the arm of the chair but I am always made to get down. This time I managed a little touch at the table, kind of checking it out to see if there was any possibility of getting a closer look at this item on the table. To my disappointment mom made me get down....but she was kind enough to get the item down and hold it for me to look at. Let me tell you.......I don't know what that was so I proceeded with great caution! See for yourself! Excuse me, did you just say I was a 'fraidy cat'? I'll have you know I am a responsible, cautious, ferocious bulldog! Mom......they called me a 'fraidy cat!' Happy Dogs On Thursday to everyone!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

First Watercolor in over 25 years........

I didn't intend to attempt a real picture but I can't really play with it, I have to try to make it work and then just learn from it. I went back and forth on whether it was a serious attempt, the middle is supposed to be layers of mountains but the colors are too dark/bright for the effect it needed. I rushed the grass and left tree for sure. I was working on it yesterday morning and I bet the phone rang at least five times...always check it when you have kids at school and off at school. My husband works from home and called me downstairs twice............finally finished it last night. It is 9 by 12. I enjoyed it and think there is another brush or two that I need, will definitely do more. But I did it and you all have had a HUGE part in inspiring me!!!!!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

What I've Been Up To Lately

This is some of the playing around I was doing late last night. People/portraits are not a strong point of mine. However, I love doing eyes and those are found in the margins of my notes, papers in a meeting, on the paper tablecloths with crayons in restaurants...whatever. I would like to improve my "people skills" of the drawing kind, I don't have any issues of the socializing type, thank you very much! The bottom one are some from photographs of VolleyGirl, but not all of them.
I spent a couple of hours cleaning out and totally reorganizing the drawers and cabinets in the rec room where my painting space is. I am sooooooo proud of getting that done even though I paid the price in the back for the rest of the afternoon and next day.
Next up, trying watercolor for the first time in too many years...then back to my acrylic "Maytagarama" paintings I must complete. Yes, I procrastinate those things I do not enjoy.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Apollo Shares Art for Dogs On Thursday

Can you just feel the love I have for the BigBoy....he is my 'bestest' buddy ever!!!!! We have so much fun together. I just had to show off some of his drawings, especially the framed portraits of myself he did when I was younger-those hang in dad's study. He's been drawing since he was real little and always loved drawing dogs. He was a big Disney fan and has great ones of Goofy and Pluto he did as a pup but I couldn't get to them today so I found some from a children's cookbook he did for church.
The mean bulldog (oh, that's not me!) is one he was working on in his drawing class just last night! He did put my markings on it though.....cause I'm his favorite. I thought y'all might enjoy some of the others he has done, he likes doing dog portraits. He has one of me he did in class last semester using photoshop but he didn't send it to mom like she asked - kids, go figure!
I've been following my same schedule for the most part, enjoying a little time outside. I have been trying out a new sleeping spot in a chair inn the den but it just doesn't quite fit me....had a little problem.
In a couple of weeks I am going to visit my best buddy at school for the weekend and I CANNOT WAIT! Next week I'm going to tell you about my visit to PetSmart with dad and best buddy, until then, enjoy BigBoy's art.....don't you just have to love him.....and me?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Broadening Broad

Late Monday, as I took Apollo for a bathroom break, the sun was headed out for the evening. I loved how the pink and dark blue clouds hung just above the tree line down the end of the cul de sac. It looks like we have a nice snow on the ground from this drawing, but sadly we don't. I may fill it in, eh, uh- probably not, as I will move on to the next drawing. I have been inspired and very humbled by seeing amazing art and hearing about those of you who read books, magazines and take classes, etc., etc. I can't tell you how long it has been since I have done any of those things. You have thrown the match and lit a fire under me (or at least started a smolder!) I am joining my local art league so that I may take a class in the near future and begin a more strenuous effort to improve and widened my abilities. This drawing was created with colored pencils and ink. Thanks to you all for your daily inspiration!!!
Tomorrow Apollo has a special treat (not a dog treat, he's nice, but not crazy) for "Dogs On Thursday" featuring his best buddy!!!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Trying Something Different

VolleyGirl and I picked up food yesterday and as we waited, I loved looking at all the tiles on the walls, no two were alike. I'm unsure, but I think they were slate. The patterns were amazing and last night I decided to use those images to create this with colored pencils and ink. My effort to do art more often and try something different. Hope everyone has a great weekend, BigBoy is coming in from school for the long weekend!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Dogs on Thursday! More Than Meets the Eye....

First impressions, although very important, can be quite deceiving. Since my debut last Thursday to "Dogs on Thursday" many of you probably formed an opinion of me already. Many may have the idea that I am a typical bulldog, ferocious eater, big sleeper, rather slow, snores loudly, (well, maybe that one's true) and non-chalant about life. Please, allow myself to enlighten you. Deep thinking is something I allow myself. Relationships are important to me and I try to share reading interests with Mom sometimes but she is stingy with her magazines. I spend a lot of time in negotiations and discussions face to face with Dudley, sure, I sometimes try the strongarm technique but I find that stepping back and rethinking the situation is a smart move. Much of my time is spent in thought. Take this morning for example, my mom took me outside for my personal business around 6:20 and very quickly I grasped that it was the coldest morning so far this winter, around 18, but felt colder. I wanted to mix things up a little, thought perhaps if she had a little more activity out there it wouldn't feel as cold. Even though I always relieve myself quickly and head back in for the couch, this morning I decided to go on far out and perform more in depth "duties" for a change too. Yeah, I know, I always do that much, much later in the day but like I indicated before, don't assume that you know everything about me.
Not much gets by me, from what I can tell, that BigBoy that I love so much must be coming back around soon cause they have been talking about it. He is in my thoughts alot and I can do some fast running around the den when he comes in the door cause, again, don't assume that I am family very often has a difficult time catching me because I am so fast. Since I am so curious about things I stay in my crate sometimes when they can't keep a close eye on me cause I love to "look" around the place with my mouth. O.K., maybe I am feeling a bit sleepy now, but it is my hope that this has shed some light on who I am. Now, go spend some time in reflection on what I have shared, just as I take moments for quiet time and ponderance gazing out the window in dad's study.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Post "Gift" and Welcome to My Bedroom.......

The post in memory of my dad was chosen as "Post of the Day" by David at Authorblog. I am very touched, twofold, since the post is about dad and that David is a squeaky-clean, new visitor to my blog! Many have dropped by as a result of his kindness...I was very pleasantly surprised when I checked my site this morning to find more comments, thanks David.
Just wanted to share a couple of pics that I neglected to post on dad's post- these are two pieces, well, three if you notice the one beside the dresser that our tv is on, in our master bedroom. The dresser and a chest of drawers were in dad's bedroom that became ours, the armoire is from plans I drew out for him, drawers are behind the doors. There are two bedside pieces that I had him make but the tall lingerie chest is particularly dear because he brought that to me when I returned home from an unplanned ten day hospital stay after surgery for a twisted intestine (I know, maybe TMI!). It was a scary experience for my parents. It was a surprise gift!
Please read the post about dad below if you haven't already.
Thanks to everyone (new and not as new) who have left comments on dad's post, I am truly touched that you were touched.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

In Memory of Dad

I was blessed to have two wonderful parents. Both of them were talented, mom was a great cook, quilter, seamstress, gardener and also crocheted. Dad was also a cook, particularly known for his pork shoulders cooked on the pit. Down south, that's simply known as barbecue. Thanksgiving and Christmas it was his cornbread dressing. Then there was his hush puppies, spring rolls, barbecue chicken......oh, how he loved food and loved to prepare and feed people. I could talk for hours just on dad and food. For as long as I can remember he had a big garden which you can see part of it in one of the photos, in their backyard just steps from the covered patio where the pit was. He had alot of creativity. I recall his snow person in our front yard before I was 6 years old. He didn't make a snowman, he made a statue! That was one of the few big snows in my lifetime. I recall watching him work on the bust of Lyndon Johnson at our kitchen table, mostly remembering that he used toothpicks some on it. The only one he ever did that I am aware of. That table is where I do my painting's a story in itself for later! He did all the wood carvings in the photo while he was a night security guard when I was very young. During his last year of life he told me he read through the bible twice during that job. The photo was taken for an article on them in the base newspaper. I found the drawings as we were cleaning out their house, I don't recall seeing them before. Obviously, the colored pencil one is of President Kennedy and the other is of a General but I don't know who he is. He didn't draw or paint that often. He did pencil drawings of my two brothers' baby photo. He used it in various ways. I've been that way myself even though I have an art degree. In the 70's when macrame became popular, he did that-I still have a purse he made, with a wooden handle. Made jewelry from old mercury dimes for each one of my mom's seven sisters and one for her and I to share.

Dad was in the service during the Korean Conflict, he and mom got married on a weekend pass. Next time she saw him he had been severely injured in the back by shrapnel and was in the hospital many states away for a year. They thought he would be paralyzed. During that time he made some items out of leather and the copper reliefs. He learned to cut hair in the service too and had a barbershop where he worked Thursday evenings and Saturday when I was growing up. His real job was with the government and was on the base, where he started out as the security guard. He wasn't an educated person and he had his job to provide for the family but lived to do all the other things he enjoyed. He had a quick wit and usually a joke, he enjoyed being around people.

Our childhood vacations were spent at the lake an hour or so away, camping in a school bus he had totally renovated. He worked on it in the evenings in the backyard. I would go out and sit with him to keep him company while he worked. It had built-in cabinets, sink, an icebox, he made a booth to eat in using two of the bus seats and a table...just behind the driver's seat. There were two sets of bunkbeds in the back and a couch that folded down that could sleep two. Mom made curtains and he put them up all the way around. Yes, there was room in the very back for a porta-potty! He had it painted blue and white on the outside. There were tables attached to the side of the bus that folded down....the place for the gas grill....and all that cooking. He loved to fish.

He retired the first chance he got and sometime later had a building built in the back of the house that had his barbershop and a workshop. He then began building furniture. He built gun cabinets, entertainment centers, bedroom pieces. He made cedar chests that some of the granddaughters have. VolleyGirl has a sweet babydoll crib. OK, I could go on and on, but you get the picture. He socialized with his friends in his shop working together with some of them on his and their pieces.

The last photo is dad and my two kids in 1999. Today is the fifth anniversary of his passing. He is still greatly missed but he sure made an impact and left a tremendous amount of memories.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Blogger Friend Does Portrait

In all the hustle and bustle I have not posted that one of my blog friends, Leet, honored me in a beautiful way recently.....duh, where is my head sometimes! She chooses someone that frequently comments on her blog and creates a personal portrait from time to time. I chose my two great nephews for her subject. Finn is now 4 years old and Eli is 18 months old. She did a beautiful job! Please drop in to see it, she is very talented and super sweet!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Sprucing up the Space and Let it Shine!

I found a carousel for my brushes and pens yesterday. I was perusing one of my favorite stores - TJMaxx and had decided to put back a $7 item since I didn't have cash. I spotted it on an aisle on the top shelf. I was not looking for one there, was going to look at Hobby Lobby. There were several there in natural, white and a dark wood. It really wasn't a good price to me but liked it so much I paid $19 for it. Usually I find when I walk away from something that I like to look at other places first...I find myself going back to get it. Waiting to complete my workspace organization before taking photos.
We have been making up for the past two years drought and when we have a day or two without rain it is awesome! I have never been so tired of the rain. Apollo is not fond of going out to do his business either and of course all the grass coming into the house-more fun. Two days ago the water was up and some areas around us were flooding. We had lots of new washed out potholes but they were filled this morning as I drove VolleyGirl to school. Just look at the sunshine that greeted us!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Debut of Dogs on Thursday!

I was born an English Bulldog on July 3, 2006 in Biloxi, Mississippii and made my way to my new home on September 11, 2006. The top photo was the first photo sent to my family while they were waiting for me to grow up a little. I was given the name Apollo, but my family has lots of nicknames for me, you will see some of them in the future. Being that I am extremely spoiled and that my dad dotes on me shamelessly, I have a pretty sweet life around here. I like to think the world revolves around me....eating from a spoon to ensure that I don't eat too fast and choke, having my own special chair, special rides in the car AND my dad gets me a toy almost every time he goes to buy my food! I can't play with them much cause I can tear up ANY toy. Sadly, I must take benadryl at each meal cause my kind tends to have allergies. Happily, they keep the tablets in the freezer so that I hardly notice them in my food though sometimes I still manage to spit it out. The big boy around here is my best buddy and I go nuts when he arrives home from school, still hoping he's going to take me with him for a visit-maybe this semester! The young girl around here doesn't do a whole lot with me but I sure like how she pets me so I follow her, block her off and force her to pet me. She too, has fallen for me a bit - teenagers! The mom here does alot with me and has a funny nickname for me, "Fat Bastard", from that Mike Myers movie. She's really good with me, but I get the feeling she wants me to be treated more like a dog - HA - never! Dudley the cat and I play at the staircase occasionally, sure wish I could catch him! He teases me alot. Well, that is just a bit about me. Rightly so, I probably will appear every Thursday on here since the mom says I am His Royal "Hine"ness and with the status I have here, I may as well be seen. I'm still sleeping right now, I will wake up in a couple of hours for breakfast, soaked just so, for my enjoyment. Enjoy my photos!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Would like to know if there are any problems leaving a email address can be found to the right. Maybe it's just me- I need to be working on being more creative with my writing and artwork. Not the way to start the new year!

Friday, January 2, 2009

The Last Christmas Drawing, Kid's Pics and Sticky Buns...

The candle was quickly done in pencils late one night just before Christmas. Apollo is in hog (or dog) heaven when BigBoy is home, he wouldn't be still so his head is blurry....VolleyGirl posing in some of her new clothes....Claus brought her a new camera, why she's using mine.....both would be horrified that I posted their pic. Apollo, the "Canine Messiah", would feel he deserves more!Finally, probably my last "holiday" baking. I made sticky buns for the first time New Years Day. They were easy, sticky and yummy. If anyone's interested in the recipe, let me know...I'll post it!
Putting away decorations today and pondering my resolution for this year: Clean out this house! It is just one (sadly, there are many) thing that stresses me out, too much clutter. Every closet, drawer, nook and cranny needs going through. In past I have gotten rid of items and then came upon an occasion when I wished I had it, can't let that scare me cause too much has got to go! The difficult thing is that I will have to pace myself due to the back, knee and fibromyalgia, and now club volleyball starts up this week which means running VolleyGirl around and sitting on bleachers. Resolution: I will complete at least one project a week. I also will be back finishing and framing the "Maytagaramas". I look forward to moving on to other paintings, drawings and want to do some watercolors. Okay, on to the tree.......