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!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

I've Been Framed!

8x10 graphite and color pencil on bristol

Up to my eyeballs with things to do for the festival tomorrow. Learn some lessons from the first time. Was hoping to have more pieces complete but sometimes plans get a curveball. Finished this one last night and have a neat frame for it which I will post later on. It looks much better in person, the fabric looks like velvet. Mr. Unplugged prefers the color version, while BigBoy likes the graphite, being an artist himself I think he appreciates seeing the shading more without color. Contrary to what you may think, my house does not have Santa hats lying around everywhere! Actually, these are just figments of my imagination.
Here is the other Santa hat in graphite that I just framed yesterday. Duh, can you tell I'm hoping viewers will be wanting some items for the approaching holidays? The guys went out of town overnight, yep, took that little trip the Mr. and I were going to do last weekend. That's okay, we can go another time! Hoping to get around to site's soon after cramming for the festival today and tomorrow. Hope all has a safe and memorable weekend.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


This "Dogs on Thursday" post is pre-empted to bring you a special pictorial to honor the 11th birthday of our resident feline.

What the heck?!!? You can't do that to His Royal "Hine"ness, the Canine Messiah, King of this middle class castle, Oh Pampered One, Sun to bulldog world galaxy, Fat Bastard (oops), Master of Household Events, (okay, okay....we get it!!!!)

We just did.

Started getting my checkups at some new digs recently. Finally, a place fitting for the feline franchise - Catisfaction Cat Clinic. Dark cats are so passe'.
Oh my! Such bold, red floors, glass tables, the wonder of it all!

Let me tidy up a bit - in style. It would have been in such poor taste if this were leopard print. Yeah baby, this is my flavor!

Does this angle make my tail look too puffy?
I'm here, work with it.
Kitchen management is not my thing, being nearby is important.

Ahhhhh, love it when all the toys are hanging around just for me to investigate. That tree....why isn't it here all the time since venturing outside to climb one is forbidden?

Here's wishing you eleven more years Dudley!
DON'T let it happen again.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Just Pencil Me In....

8x10 graphite on bristol

Finished this Santa hat last week, hope to do another adding red before the weekend. Did I mention I am doing the Music and Arts Festival this Sunday? VolleyGirl and I had a great time on our little over night adventure. Hours of shopping, eating, (always getting a little lost, I am notorious for getting turned around wrong....) and lots of laughs. We didn't get home until 8:00 p.m. Friday evening. Saturday morning was our scheduled get together with BigBoy's fiance', her mom and the other bridesmaids to look at dresses. Our first stop was a shop just minutes down our street. By the way, has anyone seen the movie "Bridesmaids"? It's a bit profane but terribly funny.I left the house not feeling the best, a little nauseous, didn't think too much of it cause I feel a little that way from time to time, attribute to medicines. Felt pretty good until the end of our stay there, which was a lot of fun, seeing the girls try on different styles and their opinions on them all. We were next going to a shop about 20 minutes away. I was, by this time, steadily getting Fiance' and mom were aware cause I had to mention it, needed to stop by house for a drink. We were going to ride all together but.....gosh, glad we didn't......let's just say that shop didn't have my full attention. I was tossing the cookies in the restroom (at least I made it), missed some of the dresses and discussion. So, unfortunately, we had to pass on the Mexican lunch, made it home, ran upstairs and didn't come back down for two days. Nausea, chills, aching joints, family were very good caretakers. Still not sure if all the clothes survived some of my husband's washing techniques. I'm back on my feet but still not totally normal and my back is recovering from all that shopping followed by lying in the bed so long. Needless to say, the mister and myself did not go out of town......

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Bird Babes of Summer

Twice, nests have been built and babies born. Enjoyed watching them come along. Much bird action in the front yard to keep up with! I watched them learn to fly too, twice! I cannot locate my photos of the round little babies with newly sprouted feathers that didn't quite cover their little bodies. Watched other birds go after them while the mother tried to protect them, made me a little sad. I sure enjoyed watching them and look forward to it next year!

Okay, that said, the VolleyGirl and I are headed off for an overnight stay of shopping and change of scenery! Saturday morning is bridesmaid dress shopping (YIKES, it's drawing nearer!) with the bride-to-be, her mother and the other bridesmaids. Later that day, the hubs and I are off for an overnight trip together as well. Taking my pencils and bristol pad to work on snowmen (maybe).

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Street Festival Scenes

Pictured below is my "booth", first time ever to be put up. It was very windy all day, many times I thought of a piece flying off and impaling the back of my head!!!! No pieces ever fell, price tags were snowing however.

Some of the Madison Belles passing by, loved there hooped skirts and parasols.

Paintings from booth across from mine, she won best work in festival.

This was just two booths down, stained glass, beautiful work. She won best booth.

The sweet man right beside me had oil landscapes.

Not too far from Artist Alley was the children's area, this was towards the back end of it.

The view to my left.

We had a blast watching all the babies and dogs walk by, VolleyGirl stayed with me all day. These two were interacting right beside us. Didn't sell much, several snowman orders. It was definitely a learning experience. None of the photos are from Main street which was the major road for the festival. These are from around the section for art dubbed "Artist Alley". I didn't venture too far and leave VolleyGirl, figured that would be the time someone would have questions! May be participating in another on October 16th IF they accept me. I will be creating some more Christmas pieces, finish my 8x8 painting, more snowmen, one from all the SEC teams and particularly schools nearby. More zentangles. Would like to have a couple of more paintings but probably will not have the time. If you want to see some of the pieces finished up for the festival see my previous post.