Why Is It?

Why is it there are so many things to wonder about? Why is it I think of things to wonder about, then don’t remember what it was I was asking about a little later? I’m going to stick to my story, which is my hard drive is so full of so much wisdom that it takes a long time to sort through the data to find that one little file that would answer that question. Or maybe lots of questions.

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Why is it I never ever develop an interest that remains a reasonable interest, instead of always turning into an obsession. Come on over, look around my house, look in all those cupboards, closets, hidden crannies, and you will know what it is I’ve been interested in over the years. It becomes obvious that my interests have a shelf life. There are, for instance, all those containers of yarn (decorative containers, at least) stored on the shelves of my bookcases – purchased when knitting was my passion and I went into a buying frenzy when in the yarn aisles of stores. Then there are the small containers and containers and containers of beads, bought when beading was my passion and I went into a buying frenzy when in a bead store – whether in real life or virtually. Now – it is alcohol inks, alcohol ink and india ink markers – all things related – along with the surfaces upon which the inks and markers can be used – Yupo paper, mineral paper, ceramic tiles – the list goes on. Back a bit further, there was digital scrapbooking, spurred on by the gigabytes of photos taken and stored on my computer. That covers only the past few years, folks – no need to dredge up ancient history, right?

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Why is it when I am folding newly washed and dried laundry, I feel compelled to sort my multi-colored undergarments so that the colors are separated and the same hues are not worn on successive days. Why, I ask myself, does that even matter?

Why is it I can so long resist starting some projects – something that must be done, but that I don’t want to do – when the reality is it would take so little time to complete, and then I could stop nagging myself about it? I do nag myself a lot. I don’t listen well though, hence, much is undone.

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Why is it I’m even asking these questions? Really? Does it matter? Do you care? I’d guess not, but here we are, aren’t we? This post is accompanied by photos of the skies, taken over the past month or perhaps a little more. Something I don’t question, even though I could not explain why the skies present so many different faces. It’s a relief, isn’t it, to have something that doesn’t need to be questioned?

We are on the verge of what might be a historical event – the first presidential debate tonight. Let me rephrase that – the first debate of the presidential candidates. There is no assurance that the debate itself will be presidential. I make no promises that I will watch the entire two hours – my tolerance level may not be high enough.

Why is it we no longer trust?

I end now with the wish that your life is enough, and with a photo that is more peaceful than the world around us.

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Share Your World – 2016 Week 38 – and more

This past week I had the pleasure of having a friend of many, many (around 50, actually) years visit me. We had a lovely time, sitting home and chatting, visiting Crater Lake, visiting a local museum – and, the highlight of it all – grocery shopping! Oh yes, The Gracious One and her husband also hosted a neighborhood potluck, so my friend from many years could meet my neighborhood friends.

Now I am home alone again with my furry girls, and ready to share some of my world.

Are you a hugger or a non-hugger? I did not come from a family of huggers, but it is something I love to do and I love to receive. Sometimes I have to remind myself to hug though – just because I didn’t grow up that way. A hug goes a long way to make a day better.

What is your least favorite Candy? Anything fruit flavored or marshmallowy. Or candy corn. Really, any candy I like involves chocolate, peanuts, caramel – at least one of those components.

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word “fun”? I think that’s another of those things that depends on my mood – but always, spending time with loved ones and friends is fun. Seeing a new place is fun. Walking on an ocean beach is fun. Taking photos, playing with my inks – my “fun” is usually pretty subdued.

List of Favorite Smells: What smells do you love? Whether it’s vanilla scented candles or the smell of coffee in the morning or the smell of a fresh spring rain…make a list of all the things you love for a little aromatherapy. The question here is whether I’ll remember all my favorite smells.
1. Baby powder
2. Fresh-cut grass
3. Ocean air
4. Bread baking in the oven
5. Dinner someone else is making for me
6. Cinnamon
7. Vanilla
8. Lilacs
9. The air after a nice gentle rain
10. Cantaloupe ripening

This answer could go on and on, but that pretty well summarizes it.

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? I am grateful for the visit with my friend, and the fact that she was able to meet some of my other friends. I am grateful that I have room for friends to visit. I am grateful for the company of my furry girls, and for the times my old girl Bailey perks up her ears and looks alert, as well as those times she still displays a little bit of spunkiness. I am looking forward to another week of life in my world.

A couple of photos now from my visit with my friend.
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Update to Yesterday’s Post

One more attempt to make this painting something I’m happier with. This is it, no more messing. It is what it is.

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Life is full of learning experiences!

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Oh Heather, I Cannot Compete!

A few days ago, one of my bloggy friends posted a photo. She is Heather Higham, whose photography just blows my mind. Anyway, the photo she posted that made an immediate leap into my heart was this one:

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She gave me permission to try to paint this with my newest love, alcohol inks. So I tried. My first effort:
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Not happy. Not at all happy. Try again:
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Nope. Still not happy. Maybe the third time will be the charm?
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Oh my! Nope. Nope. Nope. Heather, I cannot compete!

Perhaps I should stick to my Whatzits.
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Share Your World – 2016 Week 36

Here we are again – already! Time to share with Cee.

If you were given a boat or yacht today, what would you name it? (You can always sell the yacht later) I assume this yacht will come with a captain and necessary crew, and will be fully paid for? If that’s the case, then I would name it “Whimsy” and I would go wherever my whim took me. Friends and family would be welcome to join me whenever they were able to and wanted to. We would explore, near and far.

Which of Snow White’s 7 dwarfs describes you best? (Doc, Happy, Bashful, Sleepy, Sneezy, Grumpy, Dopey) Plus what would the 8th dwarf’s name be? I guess I would be Happy. Sometimes, like Cee, I’m Sleepy, but mostly I’m Happy. The 8th dwarf would be Lazy, I think. Although I’m not lazy about things I want to do, just those that I should do.

Name a song or two which are included on the soundtrack to your life? I’m going with one that Cee chose – Helen Reddy’s “I Am Woman”. There have been several times in life where I’ve had to remind myself that I am strong. Also a silly little, very old, song – “Zippy Do Dah”, with a bluebird on my shoulder, I can do anything. Almost.

Complete this sentence: I like watching… The birds and the furry critters outside my windows. The changes in the sun’s position in the sky as seasons change. On TV, HGTV, Food Network, Dancing with the Stars, The Voice – things that don’t require a lot of thought.

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? Always – loved ones, family and friends, including my furry girls. Sunshine on my shoulders. Raindrops falling on my head. Life.

My interests have been directed more to my Alcohol Inks than to my camera of late, but I have taken a few photos, so this week I’ll share with you the visitor into my yard, who thought I wasn’t looking. Ah ha! But I was!
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This visitor has a partner, who keeps mostly to herself, but occasionally they are seen together in public.

It’s enough, isn’t it?

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Sharing My World and Other Things

I’m a little undecided about what I want to post today, so I think I’ll play along with Cee and share a bit of my world, but I think I will also meander a little. Because it seems like a good day for that. It’s cloudy out there and if only we could get a nice gentle rain so I could sit on my front deck and listen to the raindrops hit the gazebo canopy, it would be perfect. So here goes whatever might come!

List 2 things you have to be happy about? I got up this morning. I have the freedom to do pretty much what I want today. And more – the green outside my windows, the warmth and furry girls inside my house, the friends just up the road, my kids – far away but yet so close. The list could go on and on.

I am also happy playing with my alcohol inks, enjoying the online classes I’m taking from Sheryl Williams, from whom I’m learning so much; part of that learning is finding out how much more there is to learn. From one of our recent assignments in this month’s classes, this Monarch butterfly. I need to do more of these, to learn to get my lines finer and straighter, but it was a lot of fun in its imperfections.
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If you could take a photograph, paint a picture or write a story of any place in the world, what and where would it be? Oh, this is an impossible question to answer. There are so very many places that I would love to visit and photograph, some of which might be used for future paintings. I admire Cee’s desire to take a photo of a volcano from a helicopter and it sounds like it would be a memorable experience, but there are so many other things I would like to see too.

The butterfly led me into a world of insects, so I did a ladybug. All the paintings in this post were done on 4-1/4″ ceramic tiles.
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Should children be seen and not heard? There are times and places where yes, children should be seen and not heard, just as there are times and places where adults should be seen and not heard. But in a family/friend situation, children should also be heard, and should be encouraged to speak thoughtfully, to participate in conversations without trying to dominate. As much as that’s possible with children – sometimes they just need to be the center of attention too.

When children are out in nature, they should have their questions, their squeals of delight, their thoughts, heard.
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List at least five of your favorite first names. For girls, I’ve always liked Amy and Sarah. Kathryn, of course, because that’s what we named my daughter. For boys, Michael, Geoffrey (spelled this way, the way we spelled my son’s name). There are others, of course, but I’m pretty traditional when it comes to names. I think some of the names children are being given nowadays could be difficult to live with as they grow up. But hey, it’s all about making your choices and doing what you believe in.

I found a photo of this blue butterfly that I thought was so vivid and so pretty, I had to try it too. When the Artistic One and I went on our cruise, part of one of the on land excursions was to a butterfly house, and we saw some of these, but I could not get a good photograph, so this one brought back memories.
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My heart is undecided whether more realistic painting is what I want to do, whether I want representational but loose, or whether I want to just go for it and let whatever comes out satisfy me. Perhaps a little of each. Time will tell. After the insects I decided to try my hand at some flowers – very loose flowers, whatever happened as I dripped and blew the inks on the tile. There were times I was ready to toss them all, to pour the alcohol on the tiles and wipe them clean, but I persevered and in the end was not completely dissatisfied.
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There was one flower though, that was much more realistic and required brush strokes rather than just dripping. This one was inspired by a tutorial done by Diane Marcotte in Cathy Taylor’s Pigments of Your Imagination. The tutorial was about using resists (masking fluid) to allow white space for the flower to be preserved when the background was poured. I opted to wipe on a very light background, and using ceramic tile rather than the Yupo paper I was able to stroke my flower on top with alcohol ink brush markers without the use of a resist. I then stamped on the green, but I really wish I had started with a different background and foregone the green stamping. Perhaps I’ll play with it a bit more.
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All of this experimenting has made me question what’s important in many respects. Is it important for me to take the time to play with an artistic endeavor that both frustrates and satisfies me, or is it more important that I spend more time on responsibilities, like housework? Is it important that what I create look like something recognizable? Is it important that I always eat a healthy meal, or is equally important that I give in to a whim and eat something that is not a well-balanced, healthy meal, but that calls my name at that moment? Is it more important for me to enjoy my time with myself, doing what pleases me, or should I be putting myself out there more, socializing more, participating in community more?

What is important, in the end? I think – at this moment, anyway – that what’s important is what suits each of us and what satisfies each of us individually, so long as it is not infringing on anyone else. However – that old WASP work ethic does rear it’s head every now and then and whisper criticisms in my ear. Sometimes I heed that voice, but often I tell it to just bug off!

Filling life with enough – that’s important, right?

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Share Your World – 2016 Week 34

I haven’t done this for a few weeks now – the urge just hasn’t been there – but this morning I feel like playing. I’m so glad Cee is flexible about attendance!

1. What is your favorite comfort snack food? Chocolate, in one form or another, most of the time. Although lately I’ve been on a cheese (sharp or extra sharp cheddar) and crackers (Wheat Thins) kick, which I think doesn’t do a lot for the waist line. My rational is in the heat we’ve been having dinner has been a big green salad, so that makes up for it. Right? We won’t talk about the dressing on the salad.

2. Is the paper money in your possession right now organized sequentially according to denomination and with the bills right side up and facing the same way? Very definitely yes. That comes from my training to be a cashier at a movie theater when I was in business school – in those days, that was a very strict requirement. We also had to count change back. I get frustrated now when cashiers hand me (no counting) my change and the bills are all willy nilly. The constant is the changes, right?

3. If you were a mouse in your house in the evening, what would you see your family doing? The mouse would see me in my big chair, feet up, watching TV, playing games on my iPad, or reading. In cool weather, the mouse would see me covered by my so so soft fleece blanket that lives in my chair. The mouse would see my furry girls sprawled somewhere near me, Shasta most often in her chair or on the couch – so the mouse better stay hidden, because my girls would be chasing it in a heartbeat.

4. Would you rather not be able to read or not be able to speak? That’s a hard choice, but I think, like Cee, that not being able to speak with be more readily dealt with either by sign language or writing notes. To not be able to read would take away so much of what I enjoy doing – and, reading directions for something new is a critical part of life for me. I’m very much a written instruction person.

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? My gratitude is pretty much always for the very same things in my life – my kids, my friends, my furry girls, the roof over my head, sunshine, birds and their songs, breathing, mobility, time to do things I love and the ability to ignore those things I don’t want to do for awhile. I’m looking forward to more of the same.

I have continued to play/work with alcohol inks, so I’d like to share some of the images created for lessons in the online classes I’m taking with Sheryl Williams. We are working with pouring inks, pens, brushes, and markers.
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This one was one I did just because I wanted to.
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Here’s to you and your days filled with enough.

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