Sunday, September 11, 2016

9-11

I'm sitting here on Sept. 11, 2016 thinking about many things. Thinking, of course, about the events that happened on that fateful day.

I am thinking of other things, too. Thinking of the personal changes that I want to make. I am still finding my way. I live by myself. I will always live by myself. I have to take care of myself.

I am in the process of cleaning. Cleaning my house getting ready for cooler weather. Cleaning out my electronic house too. Deleting old and unused social media accounts. Thinking about things.

Thinking about some of the things I thought I was doing right that maybe are not so right.  Nothing big, just some personal changes that I want to make.

All is good, I just want to continue to grow as a person. Sometimes the things you think are helping, are actually enabling, and no one wants to do that.

Sometimes you just have to step back and look at things objectively and it's time for me to do that and to be truthful with myself.  Time to realize that sometimes people are taken for granted and whether it's intentional or not, you have to decide if you want to let that continue.

Sometimes you have to look inward and decide what is right for you and if you find that something you are doing for others isn't right for you, you have to make a change.

I'm planning on being here for a few more years anyway and I want those years to be good for me, and if that means making some changes, so be it.

I don't have any pictures to post today. I'm just typing out some thoughts that are in my little head. Maybe it's time to stop putting the health, happiness and well-being of others above my own.

I am still finding my way.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

September Morn...

Well, it's the first of September and lots of things are new. One, for instance, is me typing a post on a new computer.  Yeah, my other computer finally needed to be replaced and I got a new one. Havent worked all the "new car bugs" out of it yet, but here I am.

I've been trying to get some organizing done and had to get some help with that and have made several trips with donated goods and such, but I think I'm comfortable with the amout of clutter I have in the house now.

I have been doing a lot of painting. My favorite paint is acrylic and I do my best work with it. I went on a photo jaunt, taking pictures for future paintings (and enjoyed a pretty day in the process).

At my age, 63, I still think I should be challenging myself by doing things that are different. Maybe I read too much on the internet about not keeping yourself boxed in, or getting outside your comfort zone.

Personally, I feel like I have made it through enough that I should be able to enjoy my comfort zone. I find that I sometimes do things others want me to do... when I really dont want to do them. I sometimes decide that I need to do things differently because other people do things differently.  It's like I dont feel worthy of my own comfort zone. Well, guess what...that is going to stop. I'd like to say it will stop immediately, but a life long habit is not that easy to break.  There is no reason to list the things that I'm going to change, but suffice it to say, I'm making changes.  For me.

As I mentioned earlier, I've been doing a lot of art recently. If you are my FB friend I'm sure you have seen them, but for my blogger buddies, I'll post them here.


This was an original, based on my love of the Blue Ridge Mountains and loving to see them every day when I go outside...

This one is hayrolls on the back of a flat bed truck. Reference photo was taken by me on the way home from California...

 Here we have a close up of a modern day windmill, once again based on my own photo traveling back home. I'd like to think it's an original take on something some think is not worthy of painting.


Speaking of original and modern...I painted this spacy painting last week, just playing around with circle templates and metallic paints.


I'm in an online art group and we're doing a challenge where we all paint our version of the same picture. Here is my entry. I wasn't happy with it so I made a few changes and called it finished.

One of the reasons I wasn't happy with it is that I used some texture gel, trying to step outside my little box a bit. Oh, it looks good and I'm quite happy with the end result...except, I now realize that I do not like texture, especially in a painting.  I could go on and on about this, but I choose not to. I simply do not like textures. I don't like frosted glass and I dont like fuzzy yarn and I don't like things that are bumpy or things with holes in them. Those kind of thing freak me the hell out. Sometimes things with holes in them make me want to throw up. Seriously. I know where this comes from and choose not to share it here, but it is a real thing.

All this being said, I knew when I watched a video of an artist finger painting (with vinyl gloves on) that I wouldn't like to do it, but I said to myself...don't be so silly, it looks like fun. try it.

Well, I did try it and I was so uncomfortable, that I know now, it's not just in my imagination, it's a real thing, I don't like to touch certain things and heavy body, buttery paints are right up there at the top of the list.  I love the impressionist style of painting, but never, ever again, will I do it without a brush, in oil paint, anyway. This sounds weird, but oil paint is so soft and doesn't dry quickly like acrylic paint does, that for some reason I feel like I'm going to drown when I use it. It's like I'm making myself step into quicksand. Or it's like someone is threatening to stuff a huge white marshmallow down my throat. I have painted with oils before, using the glaze method where you paint with a brush and use solvent to thin the paint to almost a liquid. No problem, I liked that just fine. There is just something about the puffiness of soft paint that chokes me. I know it's weird, but I was so tense and uncomfortable that I finally quit the painting and decided to just accept that I have this personality quirk, or whatever the hell it is. Painting is supposed to be fun, and I'll be damned if I'm going to make my own self uncomfortable. So there, now you know.

Anyway, this is where I stopped...


I know it needs more work, but I can't deal with it now. Maybe later when it has dried, I can go in and touch it up with acrylic paint that I'm more comfortable with. Seriously, have you ever heard of such a thing. I'm an odd freaking duck.

Oh, and by the way, I'm not looking for advice or seeking solutions to this anomaly, and frankly if you offer either, I'll harumph and walk away with my nose in the air.

So that's what's happening here on Planet Keene. I'm looking forward to fall and winter, and all that goes with it.

Remember to enjoy life and if you're happy in your comfort zone, screw anyone who insists you leave it.





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...