Saturday, April 30, 2011


I suppose this makes it official. My studio REALLY IS my blissroom. My long-time friend, encourager, enlightener, and fellow artist, Linda, was home for a 10-day visit. She surprised me with this very wonderful banner for my newly cleaned and rearranged blissroom. It is SO Linda, filled with the most wonderful embellishments of all kinds, ephemera, flowers, and uses pretty, pretty pastels which I love. So now when I'm going through one of those non-creative, barren dryspells, I know where I'll look for a little creative inspiration. Bliss.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Is it settled then?

Just how long will we be capable of maintaining our 3 1/2 acres here in Newton? Fifteen years ago it seemed effortless to mow, trim, plant, weed. But the task seems to be getting bigger as the years pass. It's not like we have a "Ponderosa" sized place, but the trees, shrubs, pond, orchard, vegetable garden, perenniel beds make for a lot of work. We love it all, but it's a lot of work. Last week we got this little tree, for free, at Lowe's. It 's the exact same size that Daddy's was when he gave it to me 14 years ago. So if he makes it OK and we let him get to the size of my dad's tree planted out in the front berm, we could plan on another 14 years here, God permitting! Is it settled then? We'll see!

Thursday, April 21, 2011


This morning I was sitting in the livingroom having my coffee. It's my AM ritual, something I could never do when I worked in laboratory medicine because I had to be off and running early. All of a sudden there was the NOISE of the yappiest little bird that shows up every spring. A wren! Honestly, besides the hummingbird, the wren is the smallest bird around here, but she has the LOUDEST song. So, she gave me a little inspiration for this (WIP) journal page. That is  not a wren, by the way, but that's OK because then I guess I'd have to call it YAPPY BIRDSONG.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

One Last Snow Storm

One week ago today I was out in my yard in 70 degree weather. It felt so good to be raking, cleaning up my perennial beds, and just enjoying the fresh air and all the bird noises. Today we're looking at a 5 - 6 inch snowfall! We've gotten snow in May already, so this shouldn't be a surprise. Hopefully, this is the last of the snow---until November.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Spring Cleaning

I inherited my Grandma Miller's pack rat gene. That, coupled with the fact that as kids, my siblings and I really didn't have much, results in the fact that I have a very hard time getting rid of "stuff". I do the "what if ?" thing. Plus, I see a potential project in anything from a 5 inch piece of lace trim to a 5 foot long left-over vertical blind panel.
Four days ago my studio looked like this. It was getting hard to even walk through it. My stash had grown to a point where it was unproductively sucking all the creativity out of me. I just started sorting and cleaning and junking. I moved from my studio out into the hall which I annexed onto my studio then into the second bathroom from which I "borrowed" a few drawers for art supplies.
Tomorrow, probably, I'll be loading my Blazer with "stuff" and making at least one trip to Goodwill. There are a few things I have to fine-tune yet, but I am so ready to make art in my very tidy studio.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

It's a Struggle

The past week has been a struggle in more ways than I care to share on my blog. Suffice it to say that if I wasn't a believer in the fact that our struggles make us stronger, I'd probably "throw in the towel" as my mom used to say.

One of the more pleasant struggles of the week (if there is such a thing as a pleasant struggle) is the second lesson in "Journal 365", Pam Carriker's class. Faces. Drawing is daunting. Drawing faces is DAUNTING. I never did a face this way. Practice, practice, practice. She just makes it look so easy.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Lesson One Project One

I've (at least for now) completed a first page in Lesson One of Journal 365. I can see, though, that I'll go back and add and touch up just as Pam says she does on her pages. At least this is a start for me. Practice makes perfect and I'm willing to do all the practicing necessary.

Friday, April 1, 2011


     I (VERY MUCH) don't like April Fools Day. It's not that I don't have a sense of humor. I just never saw the humor in tricking or fooling someone and then laughing at them. I'm a very gullible person and, it seems, I've always been the foolee not the fooler.
     This year Mother Nature is playing a trick on us. There are 4 ft. snowpiles in the yard, my tulips are struggling with the 10 inch snowfall from last week, and the poor robins are frantically picking for food in the little patches of grass that show through.
     I vividly remember our first April First here in Newton, 14 years ago. I left for the office a little behind schedule faced with a load of end-of-the-month bookwork waiting for me. About 1/2 mile up the road I realized I'd forgotten my glasses. So I returned home to get them and remember thinking "I hope this isn't a sign that it's going to be one of THOSE days." It was.
     About 2 hours into the pile of my e-o-t-m work, Daddy called. Mom, who by that time had been chronically ill for about 7 years was having a bad, bad day. He was rounding up my sisters, me, and Mom's hospice nurse. I spent the day sitting vigil with Mom. It turned out to be her last day with us. She passed away at 1:08 AM on April 2nd. We stayed with Daddy and made plans for the next day and left just at dawn.
     A little while later I was sitting at the diningroom table with my coffee, paperwork, and watching the sunrise. I was exhausted, sad, and wired. For some odd reason, I was so relived that Mom made it to April 2nd.  She didn't pass away on April First. It was as if she spared us some huge, sad joke.
     So, here it is another April First. I guess the 4 ft. snowpiles aren't all that unbearable afterall.