Monday, July 25, 2016

another one of those days...

Did yuo ever have one of  those days where everything is going wrong? well, it's been one of those days for me. Somethings I have to deal with delicately and not sure how to.

In any event, I did some art this weekend...


I painted this little beach scene from a book that I have called "Paint Charming Seaside Scenes" by Jacqueline Penney...it's actually a pretty good book with step by step  directions for using acrylics.


This is the gray palette paper that I used to mix my colors on and for some reason I liked the splotches of color on the palette that I used in the painting and decided to embellish them with marker and came up with this...


As you can see it turned into a field of flowers on a grey background and I really like it. I wish that i could loosen up and do this kind of work intentionally.

Well, that's it for today... talk soon.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

decoupage project...

Well, it's me again and I have some pictures to post of my current project.  I have a new kitchen table and chairs on order, so I went and got some very colorful melamine plates and bowls. Sometimes you just need some color in your life...

My furniture and indoor décor is all neutrals.  My furniture is navy blue, my carpeting is gray and my wood trim is off white.  I love using these colors as neutrals because you can do so much with accent colors. 

Lots of the  time I use paper plates and bowls, so I don't think of how boring my dinnerware is.  I am going to be using the new table and chairs in the studio, setting up a little area for coffee, dining or just kicking back reading and looking out the window.  Since the table is off white and the cushions are a dark blue I knew that I wanted something colorful for the tableware, hence the colorful melamine plates.  I am still making up my mind on what kind of coffee mugs I'll get to go with the dishes, but I knew I wanted a tray of some sort to put in the middle of the table.

When I bought the dishes I also bought two types of coordinating paper napkins.  This got me to thinking "decoupage" and I ran with that...

 
This first photo shows the supplies that I gathered...wooden plaque to use as tray, paper napkins that go with the plates, white paint and mod podge.

this photo shows the wooden plaque painted bright white, since white is in the dishes...

In this photo you see the other paper napkins that I bought. I realized quickly that the cocktail sized napkins were not large enough and I didn't want to piece them together...

This shot shows the napkin unfolded and separated from it's white backing ply...

I brushed a layer of mod podge directly onto the plaque/tray, placed the napkin down, and when that set up, I started the layering that is required for decoupage, gently applying the first layer to the top of the napkin.  The project took two days of applying the medium and letting it cure and applying another layer...

Today I painted a blue border around the tray and distress the tray some with off white paint and sand paper, as it was just too new looking.
 
I even had little felt bumpers to put on the back...
 

I'm quite pleased with the results and I do think it will look nice on the new table with the cocktail napkins and maybe a salt and pepper shaker on it.

I have other posts in mind for later in the month, but for now hope you like my project.

decoupage project...

Well, it's me again and I have some pictures to post of my current project.  I have a new kitchen table and chairs on order, so I went and got some very colorful melamine plates and bowls. Sometimes you just need some color in your life...

My furniture and indoor décor is all neutrals.  My furniture is navy blue, my carpeting is gray and my wood trim is off white.  I love using these colors as neutrals because you can do so much with accent colors. 

Lots of the  time I use paper plates and bowls, so I don't think of how boring my dinnerware is.  I am going to be using the new table and chairs in the studio, setting up a little area for coffee, dining or just kicking back reading and looking out the window.  Since the table is off white and the cushions are a dark blue I knew that I wanted something colorful for the tableware, hence the colorful melamine plates.  I am still making up my mind on what kind of coffee mugs I'll get to go with the dishes, but I knew I wanted a tray of some sort to put in the middle of the table.

When I bought the dishes I also bought two types of coordinating paper napkins.  This got me to thinking "decoupage" and I ran with that...

 
This first photo shows the supplies that I gathered...wooden plaque to use as tray, paper napkins that go with the plates, white paint and mod podge.

this photo shows the wooden plaque painted bright white, since white is in the dishes...

In this photo you see the other paper napkins that I bought. I realized quickly that the cocktail sized napkins were not large enough and I didn't want to piece them together...

This shot shows the napkin unfolded and separated from it's white backing ply...

I brushed a layer of mod podge directly onto the plaque/tray, placed the napkin down, and when that set up, I started the layering that is required for decoupage, gently applying the first layer to the top of the napkin.  The project took two days of applying the medium and letting it cure and applying another layer...

Today I painted a blue border around the tray and distress the tray some with off white paint and sand paper, as it was just too new looking.
 

I'm quite pleased with the results and I do think it will look nice on the new table with the cocktail napkins and maybe a salt and pepper shaker on it.

I have other posts in mind for later in the month, but for now hope you like my project.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Liar, Liar

Short post today...

I have a friend who's significant other is a compulsive liar. They get along just fine but it drives some of their friends crazy.  Here is a link for them.  It's a WIKI page about dealing with a liar and basically deciding whether or not to call them out on their unnecessary lying. Just another chapter in my ongoing research on personality types.  That's all for today, unless you want another selfie...


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

I may have bitten off my nose...

Here is the e-mail I sent to my lawn guy this morning...

 Luke,
 
You probably think I do nothing but complain, and seems like when it comes to my lawn that may be the case. As you now know, I was out of town for six weeks and a quick swipe around the property sent you on your way with no cares.  Now that I'm home I must speak up...as you know, our area has been hit by numerous storms with high winds that caused lots of debris in my yard, mostly from other neighbor's trees. the other day I picked up the debris and made a pile  of it on the outside of my fence, in hopes that my landscaper would take pity on me and put it in my trash can. My other lawn people always took the initiative to do this type of thing and I assumed you guys would do the same thing. This did not happen yesterday.  After raking all the newly scattered, old debris up again and putting it in the trash can myself this morning, I could only assume that you just mowed and weeded around or through the pile causing it to spread.  I even thought that maybe you were coming back to clean up the mess.  I waited till this morning while it was cool to take care of it, but short story is... I'm hot and sweaty before ten a.m. and quite cranky because of it.
 
Bottom line is this, I now realize that you perhaps you are not landscapers, but merely high priced lawn cutters.  I hope this is not true and I hope this correspondence comes off in the way it is actually intended...helpful. Most lawn guys put a trash can in the corner of their trailer to gather up debris that is too large to mulch over.  It's a thought.
 
It's been a rough summer for us huh?  You lose my email address and can't bill me, causing you to lose money offering a discount... you knock into a fence post with the mower causing it to break, once again causing you to lose money in repairs...Then I have to ask you to mow the back lot which I thought was supposedly part of the deal and now I have to rake up grass and leaves that got left in the yard.
 
Sigh, hope the rest of the summer goes by with less hassle.  Maybe the weather will cooperate more.

I didn't even mention the fact that I had to straighten the down spout that they had knocked crooked. Dammit. I got spoiled by people that know how to do stuff. Sigh.  He may decline to mow for me the rest of the summer and if  that is the case, I'll find someone else. He is charging me $100.00 per week to mow the front and sides and supposedly do the back one time a month. I think the price is too high, but hey, I'm not out there in the hot mowing...

Here is a pile that I raked from in front of my mailbox...it is possible that the neighbor blew this mess from their yard, and if I found out they did I will apologize to the yard guys...(and raise hell with the neighbors)

This may not look like much in the photograph, but for $100.00 a pop, I expect better than this...

Here is what I looked like after raking all the debris this am...three piles that I had to put in the big trash can.

 
 
Oh, well, that's it for today. I'll keep you posted on the response I get.



Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Hello again...

Greetings to all my friends and family.  I am back home after five weeks in San Diego, California.  As I mentioned in my last post, I was staying longer than usual.  It was probably good timing, due to the fact that my sister-in-law was hospitalized the week that I arrived and was moved to a recovery center for therapy.  My sister has tons of friends locally and there was no concern about her being by herself, other than the fact that being alone in the house is completely outside her norm.

We did all kinds of sister things and enjoyed each others company. I enjoy visiting with her and now know that I am very happy living in my little area here in Virginia and while I will continue to visit, I  can totally relate to Dorothy's sentiment that "there's no place like home".

There are many things that I could write about...art, learning to navigate a new environment, meeting new people and that sort of thing, but that's not what today's post is about.

As I have stated laughingly many times, I'm not like the other kids. I actually didn't start saying this until I was an adult and it is usually amusing depending on the situation. This brings me to the thought that perhaps this isn't really far from the truth. 

I sometimes make less than kind remarks about particular types of artists, the ones who in publications, makes it a point to explain what their emotions were when they painted the work, or how they hope their viewer will feel when looking at their work. I pooh-pooh their emotions as silliness whenever I read these blurb, but in reality my own emotions are very much a part of my daily life.

It is possible that I hide from my own emotions in order to deal with them.  I like to read about personality types and traits, often taking quizzes to see how I fall into a specific category. When it comes to these personality quizzes, I take them, not only to see where I may fit it, but to recognize where I don't want to be and how to change things. 

My least favorite personality types are negative personality types and I try to look inward to see if I possess any of these traits and try to see how I can improve on them. The following information is from an article on a website called Operation Meditation and the article is called "Overcome Negative Personality Traits, And Become a Better You".

I just found this site while web surfing this morning and know nothing about it, but did enjoy reading the article.  There are numerous types of negative personality types listed, but I am only going to touch on several. I list these because these are traits and characteristics that I want to avoid.

The Judge: You tend to be very critical. You see things so clearly that you can’t help but point out the flaws. People are afraid of what you will say, so they are not very candid in your company. (Try to balance what you say. You can give constructive criticism. Given that you are able to see things as they are and as they should be, it should also be easy for you to pinpoint when something is done right. Mention that too.)

The Professor: You have a knack for remembering information. Sometimes, however, people get tired of your lecturing – even when what you say is something that they need to know. They think you are condescending. (Intelligence is an advantage, but it should be tempered with respect. You can help others, but you cannot think for them. Try to learn when to be forthcoming, and when to wait for others to ask your advice.)

The Hulk: You instinctively react with anger. It empowers you to speak out and question what is wrong. Sometimes, however, you forget to look at the situation from another perspective and later regret lashing out when you’ve cooled down. (If you feel angry all the time, find the source of your anger. Try to calm yourself – use the relaxation techniques in meditation to slow yourself down. Try to put yourself in the shoes of the person you are angry with. Only then should you attempt a solution.)

As I mentioned, these are characteristics that I want to avoid in myself, but these are the same types of people that I don't want to interact with on any regular basis and since I am retired I have much more control over the people I see everyday and can remove myself from most negative situations that are happening within the perimeters of my daily life.

So my next bit of research will be dealing with negative people in everyday life. So on to other things.

One of the things I do on a regular basis is take self portraits.  I have always done it and will continue to do so.  Here is one of the ones I took in California...

Hope you like it...

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Sunny California

Yes,  here I am in California.  I talked to my sister and asked her what she thought about me coming out to San Diego and possible staying for a longer period of time than usual...with the possibility of me living out here.  She was all for it and had their driver fly out to Virginia and help me pack up enough of my everyday stuff to make it seem like I was living here and not visiting.  So I am writing this post on my own computer and listening to my own music and have my own car.  I have only been here a few days but I already feel so comfortable and at home.

I've been sitting in the back yard drawing a bit. Mostly sketching in some shapes of some flowers and rocks with the possibility of turning it into and new drawing.  This is what I have so far...

We will see if anything happens with it. Until then I'm getting used to the neighborhood and all that goes with being in a new place.

So I'll keep you posted on my progress, in all areas.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Rambling thoughts on a Wednesday morning...

Yesterday on Facebook, someone posted a pictures of a park bench and asked "if you had one hour to sit and talk to someone, anyone, who would it be". This is, of course, a question that has been asked in many ways, by many people over the years.   If I respond, I usually respond with the name of a celebrity or someone that I would never get to speak to in real life.

My sister and I say on a daily basis, that we aren't like the other kids. We never have been and never will. I can tell that still holds true, by the answers other people give to the above question.  I was one of the people that didn't mention wanting to sit with relatives who have died.  Of the many responses she got, only a small number replied with someone other than a relative. I'm not criticizing them, I'm simply pointing out that I'm different. I seldom long to talk to those in my life who have died. I do miss them and remember them fondly.  I have no regrets, my family and friends knew that I loved them. I wasn't one to hold a grudge and if anyone died having a problem with me...well, I would be totally surprised.  In the Facebook comment section, only one person came close to going where I am going to go now.  One girl said she would like to sit down with her future self.

After thinking seriously about it, I think I would like to sit down with myself at different ages and talk about things. All kinds of things. All kinds of advice would be given of course, but if I could give myself any advice for dealing with life, it would be this...

"DON'T BE SO DAMN HARD ON YOURSELF"

Don't worry about love so much, that's just your hormones.
Don't hold your tongue so much, speak up.
There is no permanent record, quit tip-toeing around because of it.
Don't be a secretary if what you really want to do is cut hair.
Take ballet lessons if you want.
Take singing lessons if you want.
You are not too fat to be a model.
Join the military if you want, you wont know till you try.
Rock the damn boat, but learn to swim first.

"ADULTS ARENT RIGHT ABOUT EVERYTHING"

Of course our parents did the best they could raising us, and we didn't have access to the internet back then to challenge their rules, but I was convinced that all adults knew everything and I wasn't to question anything.  I don't think anyone ever told me this, I just got it in my head and ran with it.

"TRY IT, WHAT'S THE WORST THAT COULD HAPPEN"
                 Other than the current phase of taking selfies and getting killed, probably nothing

I didn't try anything new. Activities, food, places...I stayed with what I knew. It may have come from getting hurt or embarrassed whenever I did try. I tried to teach myself to roller skate and fell and was afraid to get back up. Sitting on the ground for an hour before realizing I could take the skates off and walk home. I burned my hand badly trying to help my grandmother in the kitchen. I got stuck in a tree and was so embarrassed because I didn't know how to get down. I fell on a cactus and had to have needles pulled from my bare bottom. Once again hugely embarrassed.  As I got older, I think I was stymied by things, because from what I could tell, my mom HATED the unknown. She didn't want me to do anything if she couldn't predict the outcome. I respected her opinion and usually didn't do anything she didn't want me to (that changed at sixteen, hee hee). Seriously though, never once can I remember her saying "go for it".  May have happened, I just don't remember it.  Then again, my sister and I have different memories of our mother.  My sister, Peri, was caretaker of my mom in her later years (and I respect her so much for that) but she saw a side of mom that I never saw.  I didn't move away from home until I was almost thirty and mom was already sixty-five and in all those years, I can only remember my mom being upset with me once and it was because I told her I wanted to get a place of my own.  It broke my heart that she didn't speak to me for about a month, but that's what I got from her, The Silent Treatment. (Looking back on it she may have been going through some stuff and just didn't know how to talk about it). She never raised her voice to me or anyone else when I was around. Periodically my sister talks about having to verbally straighten someone out about something, she often compares herself to Mom when she would do this type of thing. I wish I could have seen this side of her, I may have been more courageous.

"STOP WORRYING SO MUCH ABOUT WHAT PEOPLE THINK"

I  really worried and still do care a lot about what I look like. It's been such a hurdle for me (and ninth grade phys-ed showed me hurdles were to be avoided at all costs) and I still constantly compare myself to others. Maybe it's because my family was always quick to "point out" what someone else looked like (including me). A Sunday ride in Uncle's car was filled with him loudly making fun of the outfits that people were wearing...the hats, the colors, as well as the size of the people wearing them. Maybe our uncle was trying to amuse us with these statements, trying to be a comedian, but it always made me so uncomfortable. I was chubby and everyone knew it felt compelled to comment on it. A visit to the home of my uncle's "girlfriends" left me red faced and ashamed... at nine years old, after hearing the hostess say under her breath, "my God her titties are bigger than mine". Then there was the time that my grandmother gave me $50.00 when I was in high school to make me stop wearing make up, because she didn't like the way I looked.  I was fifteen and finding my way, but I needed money too, so for three months I went to school barefaced with a bit of mascara, surrounded by all my friends made up with "cat eyes and twiggies" as if they were Mods and our school was on Carnaby Street. In case you don't remember the 60's, this was the look I craved...by the way, I bought make up with the money.



I still think it looks good and now that I'm an adult I wear whatever make up I want and unless I over hear someone laughing at me, I'm usually happy with it.  Anyway, I'm rambling today, so now I'll sit down with my current self and try to reflect on the fact that I've turned out ok. The reality is, yeah, I'm still pretty chubby, but I think I'm finally ready to stop worrying about it.

Seriously, who's damn business is it any way, what I wear? How I like my hair? What my eyebrows look like? Honestly, maybe I am reaching the stage where I don't give a flying flip what "they" think.  Maybe "they" need to walk past a mirror themselves, before they snicker at what I'm wearing.

So there. Rambling thoughts on a Wednesday morning...