Saturday, December 24, 2011

Scenes from the past two days....Merry Christmas!

I hate that it's been crazy busy so I've not posted. It's less than an hour until midnight - Christmas Day soon! Wanted to wish everyone a blessed, safe and memorable Christmas. Hoping all has been well, look forward to catching up very soon. The snowman was commissioned for a gift, picked up yesterday.

Celebrated my great nephew's 7th birthday last night before my side of the family's Christmas celebration. Yesterday was a poignant day - would have been my parent's 61st anniversary, would have been my mom's 81st birthday, Dudley came to our home 11 years ago on my parent's 50th anniversary. So blessed that Finn (Finnegan) was born on my mom's birthday....something to keep celebrating! He's into Mario Kart and I had never made a birthday cake for him cause it's so busy this time of year. I've always made his brother's cake in July and this year I was determined to make Finn's!

My niece had the little toy figures for the cake and Finn insisted they ALL were put on and luckily they fit! A joy to do!
We gave him the Mario cap and mustache!

A bit difficult to see but the cracklin' fire with Christmas music on Netflix is actually pretty awesome in our den! Occasionally when I am waiting for something in the oven I get to sit down for a minute and enjoy it!

One of my favorite traditions growing up - Russian tea, made with lemons, oranges, cloves, cinnamon, sugar and of course, tea! Wouldn't be Christmas without it.
Last thing I baked tonight....pecan pie, my favorite pie.

Found this chocolate macaroon recipe in a magazine last year!!!! If you love toasted coconut, you'll love this. Volleygirl has taken this task on....yes!
Been planning this cake to take to my in-laws since I first saw it on a friend's facebook post last summer. A Tuxedo Cake..........chocolate cake layers....very tall!
Icing is just heavy whipping cream with confectioner's sugar.
Just finished it!!!!!!!! Made the glaze after returning home tonight....was nervous it wouldn't turn out it! The glaze is yummy. Had to find Lyle's Golden Syrup....thankfully's an English syrup. Hope the in-laws like it.

Now, for some more art - BigBoy drew this for his grandmother in color pencil. I had a great gold frame for it and he put it in before I got a photo. That's why you see the white reflections off the glass in the red suit.
Well, I am literally ho-hoed bed, to bed said sleepy head. God bless you all!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Dogs on Thursday

View from above of the nosey Royal One.

Peeping at me in the kitchen last night.

May all of you enjoy your time with your two-legged pets, they are truly a gift! Merry Christmas Annie, Snuffles, Emma, Luna, Buddy, Dizzy, Penney, Tonka, Hope, Trixie, Bella, Zoe, Chief and Snickers!!!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Argh! Ho,ho, ho!!!

No time for art (booooooo!) decorating, giving Dudley pills, making coffee, washing, buying food, decorating, giving Dudley pills, feeding the Canine Messiah, washing, cooking, running errands, making coffee, resting aching bod, holding Dudley, washing, checking on the old golden retriever (Bubba), and so on, and so on........miss blogging!!!! Will post photos when finished decorating! Probably not making the open house was hoping to attend tomorrow (waaaaah!) But - I have a new cellphone!!!!!!!!!!!!! Photos one and two were taken with it. That is my four year old nephew in the first photo, came over while we were setting up outside decorations, he was so excited. Hope to catch up with everyone soon, maybe later in the evening, right now, gonna put on chicken for stew to take to in-laws, my MIL is having knee surgery today....Big Boy has been away on his first job trip to Oklahouma, he is enroute home now and the fat one (not me) will be sooooo happy!!!! Love and good health to all for now!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Bountiful Blessings

Cooking away, no time to sketch, so posting a sketch from a few years ago. It really doesn't have to be a holiday for me to be thankful to all my friends in the blog world but you are most appreciated and enjoyed. Wishing each and everyone of you a very safe, blessed and Happy Thanksgiving! (even if your country doesn't celebrate it...have an awesome week!)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Team Spirit!!!

9x12 color pencil on bristol

I am not exaggerating when talking about how big a rivalry it is between two schools that play next Saturday. University of Alabama and Auburn every year play each other last on their schedule. Bragging rights for the year. Auburn won last year, going on to be the national champions. Alabama is ranked # 2 this year and very well may have a rematch against #1 LSU for the national championship. Too bad the game isn't in Tuscaloosa, home for U of A. It is often referred to as "T-town" which would made for a better tag line. Haven't had much experience doing cartoon type drawings but I really enjoy it!

8x10 graphite and color pencil on bristol

This was a commissioned piece from an old college friend to another old college friend for her birthday. She was originally from Michigan and this is for Michigan State. Both of them were once my college roommates. I mailed it to Florida last Wednesday and heard this morning that she loved it which makes me super happy!

Been busy, Dudley's care takes some time, he is still confined and has improved some. Can tell he feels better but his balance is still haywire, though improved. If we didn't have two staircases, both of which have a gate on them to prevent the Royal One from going up, I might would let him out. The vet mentioned that the antibiotics may upset his stomach but praise be it hasn't!!!!!!

Baking and cooking begins this week. The birthday cake was put off from last week until Thanksgiving, will post photos later.

MUST clean, clean out before the explosion of Christmas decorations go up and sadly I dread it so badly because both the cleaning and decorating is back breaking. My family will help, but it is so much. I love the season but it is greatly hindered (and usually dreaded which I hate to say) by this situation. I cannot tell you how many holidays have been spent in pain or horizontal due to this. Should have been doing it all along but I have a procrastinator....ugh. I will not give up, the tree and glee will conquer!!!!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Dogs on Thursday: Late Edition

I've missed you.......but it hasn't kept me up, still able to rest my royal bod.

Embracing a little tv occasionally.

Paws down, my favorite thing in the world is wrestling with my best buddy. Using my fiercest growl with the occasional bark thrown in is simply thrilling and great fun!

Pretending that I'm really mad is such a rush, I wouldn't bite this boy for anything.

Minutes later, it's over and I'm tuckered out with my tongue hanging out and panting. Perfect for a lovely nap afterwards!
I miss chasing Dudley, he's been confined for a week now with inner ear trouble. Three trips to the vet. Wandering around the door mystified by the meows I'm hearing but not finding that furry thing drives me nuts!!! Hopefully he will be released soon and things get back to normal. Hope all my friends out there are healthy and have a wonderful Thanksgiving with their two legged buddies.This year I'm thankful that my best buddy is here year round! Enjoy it Snuffles, Emma, Luna, Buddy, Dizzy, Penney, Tonka, Hope, Trixie, Bella, Zoe, Chief, Sophie, Snickers and it's barkaliciously good to see Annie doing so well!!!!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Argh! Time Flies!!!!

8x10 graphite and color pencil on bristol board meant to post Dogs On Thursday, SkyFriday and more! Time gets away from me, especially if I get on the computer but I've had other things going on. Big Boy and Mr. Unplugged went out of town over night. VolleyGirl and I went to our favorite Italian restaurant, returned home to watch some tv, all the chick flick type shows. Starting with a couple of episodes of "Say Yes To The Dress" followed by "The Notebook" then catching the last half of "Pride and Prejudice". Okay, had to override VolleyGirl to watch the rest of "Pride" since she's not a fan of period movies and I love them, this is one of my favorites too. She relented that it was good as i kept pointing out the dynamics between them. Then the next day we did some shopping, lovely girl time! I hope to keep up better this week but it's a full one too! Getting Dudley back to the vet with his ears after taking him last Thursday, poor thing, he's so pitiful now, couldn't believe a Dr. wasn't in the office Saturday. Called an ER vet to inquire if I needed to bring him in or if he would be okay to wait til Monday morning. Must get finished setting up my Etsy account, doing some art, cleaning (ack!) and topping it off with a cake for my niece that turns 1.

All that was incomplete on the artwork above was the "surface". Debated different colors and that Wednesday at the open house, woodgrain came to mind. Pondering what to do last Wednesday night I asked my son his opinion. He hesitated, then mentioned wood. Ha! Showed him the pencils I had already set aside and some of the sample color combinations I had tested out. We think alike often. Still, upon showing him the finished piece later that evening, I was a little surprised when he commented that he wasn't sure I could pull it off. Told him to just look around the room. My bedroom is full of oak furniture my father made. Oak was his favorite because of the vivid grain in the wood. The perfect reference was abundant.

Hope all is well, will be catching up again!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


One of the highlights of last Wednesday's open house was these sweet kitties! Meet "Tux", a chubby Maine Coon, though his "mom" says he's not (I felt that tummy, he's preparing for a long winter) Holding big kitty is the granddaughter of my mother's closest friend, was great seeing all of them.
Several times I tried to get a really good photo of these felines but my cell phone has the battery life of a flake of snow in July these days so this was the best I could do. This is another granddaughter, we were at her home. Going back in December, perhaps they will pose by the Christmas tree or in it!

This is "Jag", obviously a Bengal, he was displaying his highwire circus act many times on the staircase that day......again, the ONLY photo I managed to secure. Enjoyed seeing these two from time to time that day.

Monday, November 7, 2011

The View is Black and White....Sometimes

Acrylic on 8x8 canvas

So, the game was what I expected, stressful, tough and unsure of the turnout. Sadly, a disappointing loss, oh well, onward! I finished this first attempt of painting in black and white, I really enjoyed it, maybe because it reminds me of working in pencil. Still in the process of painting the edges black, it's one of the deep canvases. Probably a name for it but don't ever expect me to know the correct name for almost anything......I do remember my children's names (usually).

Like I posted before, the open house at my friend's beautiful home on the side of the mountain was good. Wow, what a view, the entire back of her home is solid two story windows- and the view is breathtaking. Got a couple of shots with my cellphone....not trusty anymore cause the battery doesn't last worth doodly. (shopping for another)

I sold three pieces that day, have an order for a snow family and just this morning have a request for a personalized zentangle......better get my bum in gear!!! In addition, I have two more Christmas open house events to participate in as a result of this, the first one on Dec. 3rd, the following one is at my friend's home again (taking camera!) a week or two later. I want to have more things ready, perhaps some smaller items, paintings, drawings and maybe some tiny paintings to be used as ornaments. A girl can dream! Now all I need is a band of house cleaning fairies to clean around here to get ready for decorating. Once again....sometimes dreams come true.....let's hope. Each day on Facebook I am posting something to be thankful for, can never be overly thankful. Today I am thankful for my family's good health!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Recovering and Preparations

8x10 color pencil "Big Al rolls the Tigers!!!"
Wednesday's open house that I participated in was good.....been recovering, back and knee not liking it. Sold three items, a snow family order, possibly other orders and two more open house opportunities to participate in! My hand and wrist literally aching from the color pencil drawing yet I was compelled to do this one for fun!!! If you aren't from Alabama or Louisiana perhaps you are unaware that there is a football game tonight dubbed "the game of the century" between the number 1 (LSU Tigers and 2 ranked (Alabama Crimson Tide) college teams. I am preparing meatballs, haystacks and Russian tea for the event. Alabama is my husband, son, numerous friends and family's alma mater! ROLL TIDE!!!! Hope to catch up soon with viewing everyone's site.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

"Display Eve"

Started this Sunday and worked on it some last night and today. Also have another snowman well on the way. These ornaments won't be floating when I'm finished. I shade in pencil first then add color pencil and shade a bit more with those. I go ahead and color the ball as I finish to avoid pencil smears. These are fairly large, each is around four inches across, will be an 8x10. Hopefully finish it tonight to take tomorrow to my friend's open house event. 8x10 graphite and color pencil
I know, you've seen one snowman, you've seen them all....but all are a little different, no two alike. The detail and color doesn't show up real well. I gave my previous Alabama snowman to my future daughter-in-law and her family as a little gift for the new house they just moved into so I had to get another ready for tomorrow's event. Sorry, I haven't been around to everyone....been trying to catch up on laundry and draw after being away with the hubs, had a good time. Promise to catch up soon. Keep your fingers crossed for me on Wednesday!!!!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Opportunity Knocked!

5x7 color pencil on bristol board

Yeah, the irony is not lost on me that my last post was a rant on the irritating overlapping/forgotten holidays and what do I post next? Frosty's hat and scarf. Yes, I started drawing Christmas themes several weeks ago knowing I would be in the street festival. Had been looking and thinking of venues to display all these in time for the holidays but no opportunities were certain. Week before last a friend from years back invited me to an open house type event she was hosting at her house. This week she sent a message inviting me to share my Christmas items and take orders... just what I needed! She is in a position to have a nice crowd of people come through plus it is an all day and evening type of event. I am welcome to stay as long as I want or leave it there. I've decided to set up as early as possible, stay through what she would expect to be her busiest part of the day and come back later for the busiest part of the evening. Yay! I also have two snowmen orders. I am behind on reading everyone's site, had a birthday to attend, gift to buy, went with daughter to Ulta and DSW today, tomorrow the hubs and I are off for that weekend that was cancelled when I was sick. Hope to get around to everyone early in the morning while I am (sigh) trying to finish some wash before leaving. Hope all is well!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Blurring Traditions

Color pencil on 8 1/2x 11 printing paper, hurriedly sketched out this morning

There it was, the first commercial, the moment occurred last weekend, totally Christmas commercial, filled with Christmas trees, gifts, the hawking of a product. Ugh, here it comes, the bombardment, the beginning of the non-stop parade attempting to tell me I need to shop now, decorate now, decide what delectible treats to bake now. What I really should be plotting is the best prices on bags of candy for Halloween trick or treaters, what our favorites are so that we can fully delight in the eating of the leftovers. Oh c'mon!!!! Santa, GET OUT OF MY PAINTED LEAVES AND PUMPKIN PATCH!!! Give the ghosts and goblins a chance to lurch, stay away while I give thanks for all my blessings while enjoying a massive meal over the river and through the woods without having it invaded with candy canes. The shopping channels ripped open their snowy and holiday backgrounds with sets of perfected Christmas trees. Why start now? Why not have back to school sales and let the kids sit on Santa's lap telling what type of backpack you want, describe the designs desired for spiral notebooks and which lunchbox is their favorite. How come Santa and Mrs. Claus, Rudolph, groups of reindeer, elves, the Grinch, Scrooge, Frosty, gulp - baby Jesus - why aren't those costumes among the selection in the Party City sale paper? ("Ho, ho, ho!!! Trick or treat and Merry Christmas!" Toss some candy bars in the sleigh...) Thanksgiving....what? You know, that little holiday lost somewhere between the jack o' latterns, twinkling green lights and Christmas trees? Sure, the occasional pilgram appears at the grocery store, additional commercials and newspapers flashing the price per pound of a frozen turkey. The big event overshadows any decent observation of this tradition - Black Friday. Ack!!!! Fine, call me an old fuddy-duddy, I liked it when Christmas still seemed a long time away when you were watching the Wizard of Oz and eating popcorn balls, looking forward to the Halloween carnival at school and planning your costume. I liked it when we looked forward to seeing all my cousins, aunts, uncles and seeing what desserts were brought to the Thanksgiving dinner. I liked it when listening to the grown ups talk about Christmas briefly, made me a little excited that it was coming up next in the future. I liked it when we put our Christmas tree up two weeks before Christmas and took it down the day after new year's. Not now, nope, not these days. If you don't have the tree up and gazillions of lights strung outdoors the day after Thanksgiving, well, then, you're late! Please....I love the season, but I hate that decorations show up in the stores in July. I understand that businesses make the majority of their profits for the entire year during this time of year but it does make me sick that it is all encompassing, glitzy and over the top, then BAM! nothing the day after....why, cause it's all about the selling and once that day has come, the gifts are ripped open (yes, I like to open them too!) well then, the hoopla is over, commercially speaking of course. Somehow the decorations are annoying (to many) and they can't get past it quick enough. I say, if you can celebrate so big weeks and days before, why no celebration Dec. 26th? It is a time to celebrate the real reason for the season - the celebration of His birth. I know, I get it, we aren't all Christians, but, sorry, that IS the reason, no matter what type of spin is put on it. They may blur my Halloween and Thanksgiving but the essence of Christmas should remain. Whew. Huh, don't really feel any better, my opinion won't change anything, heck, even my own family isn't on the same page....oh well, gotta go carve my candy cane, er, uh, I mean pumpkin.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Petal Progress

8x8 on canvas

Weekend was good, rather uneventful, keeping up with the family, home always busy with cooking, washing and did some cleaning (argh!) Never made it to the painting>: (, can't see well with the lamp, prefer to paint in the day with the light from the window.( I'm ready to get to it today and hopefully, or get close to finishing! Working on a venue to display my Christmas pieces and snowmen and setting up my Etsy account.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Saturday Morning

Buttermilk biscuits this morning!!!!

Friday, October 21, 2011

SkyWatch Friday

Snapped this with my trusty cellphone recently. We live near an airport so it's not an infrequent sight. See the beautiful skies captured on the lens at

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Built Another

8x10 graphite and color pencil

Finished this University of Tennessee snowman last night, we have many fans that live around here. Just in time for the University of Alabama/U. of Tennessee game this Saturday too!!! The photo doesn't show the detail and color that well but you get the idea. Painted on my black and white 8x8 yesterday, sealed the deal for a commissioned 12x16 painting of hot air balloons yesterday as well.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Animal Wednesday Art

These cute little chipmunks are scurrying around the house regularly. Haven't heard them sing in their soprano style though....
Sharing some art created in past years. My son's pencil drawing of Apollo, hangs in Mr. Unplugged's study.

Here is some ancient pencil art, created by myself in college.

BigBoy's art again, in pencil.

Our golden retriever, created by my son in pencil but he let me do some shading on there too. Happy Animal Wednesday to all!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Festival Fun!!!

Last Sunday's Lowe Mill Music & Arts Festival was enjoyable! The weather was beautiful, though a little warm. The crowd was building in this view which is looking straight out from my booth. Artists, vendors were set up around the perimeter of a grassy area facing the back dock of the beautiful old building that once was a mill and now houses artist's studios and has areas for art events and parties. Beginning in the spring they have Friday night concerts on the back docks much like was going on Sunday afternoon. This was a fundraiser for the building to help with costs.

I regret now not taking more photos to share, forgot my camera so all of these are with my cellphone camera. This is the back "wall" of my booth. I confess to sitting there enjoying the live bands all afternoon and chatting with those that dropped in to look.

Not a great photo but it illustrates the beaming warm sun of the day and my view standing in the entrance of my booth looking towards the bands.

Here is the same view without being blinded by the sun. This is the same place that I exhibited art on the third floor gallery a couple of years ago. Sadly, the ladies closed that gallery after the exhibit because it was too much work for them. There are a couple of places in that building that one can exhibit and I inquired about them and may do that in the future.

This was the view behind me. I didn't have anyone with me so I had to stay with my booth. Kids were occasionally walking through my booth and under the netting so I really didn't want to leave it. VolleyGirl would have loved it but she had tons of homework to do. BigBoy drove me over and helped with all the set-up before leaving. How did I do? Eh, no one purchased anything and walked away with it but had some leads and have a commissioned painting to do after being emailed from a lady that wants a hot air balloon painting. Cris, I thought of you immediately and that painting you posted last week! Also have a personalized 8x10 zentangle to do for a lady to give to her son for Christmas. A couple of others sounded promising, we'll see. In the meantime I am looking for more places to exhibit, like galleries, the main library, coffee shops, the art league, restaurants now that the festivals are winding down. Also want to post on Etsy. Think that if the work hangs up longer I may get more response. Perhaps closer to Christmas I will get some personalized snowmen requests too. It takes me a couple of days to recover after doing this, you know, catching up with wash, groceries, etc. Worked on contacts yesterday, plan to today, along with getting back to the 8x8 black and white painting. Hope all is well.....will get to your sites now!