30 October 2008

Thursday's Ramblings

That is the only picture for today. I just can't think about pictures and which ones to show you all this afternoon so we'll stop at one and call it good! I made this ATC back in Feb, I do believe. To be certain of that date, I would have to drag the only one I kept out of the notebook and that sounds like too much work for me! I made eight ATCs that all look remarkably like this one. I liked the quote and it goes with the elements on the card thusly: money isn't knowledge, though there are those who think it makes them smart. Red is the color of blood and blood is too often shed in the name of money and those doing the shedding of blood aren't near as knowledgable as they would like to think they are. The cat represents wisdom. Money don't make you wise either. The metal window screen and the brads are there just to hold things together. I put a gold background behind everything cause gold is associated with money, with greed, with the illusion of knowledge. These ATCs all traded quickly... I made the first one, posted it for trade. It traded within moments and then the requests started coming in for more of this card! It was a big hit!

today was a good day for mail art! Three ATCs, two altered envelopes, two small collage books and a blank book. Yep! A really good mail art day!

I'm sitting here in my pajamas still, drinking coffee and talking to whomever comes along. Hope I don't bore you too bad! This blog, is some days, just for my benefit to help me remember what the devil I need to get done! I'm working on my Christmas Chunky Pages again today. They have got to be mailed tomorrow, at the latest, to arrive in Canada by the middle of November! I have three fronts done completely and another front half done. The backs of all four aren't even started yet! I painted the fronts, not sure what I will do with the backs. I thought I had a lot more christmas stuff gathered for these book pages than I actually have. Had to change the plans a bit! I figure three hours of sitting over there at the table and I'll be ready to send those.

Come Saturday or Sunday I have got to drag out the hotplate and get three ATCs done. Encaustics. Looks like I'll be smelling up the house with that endeavor cause it's a bit too chilly to my liking to be doing those outside. Melted crayons stink! And melting crayons is what I will be doing for those three ATCs. They need to be in the mail no later than Monday to get to England before the middle of November!

Time got away from me on those two swaps.

I haven't been feeling well for a few days. The old body has gone into rebel mode is all. I'll get over it, just have to deal with it while it's here! The fibro kicks my butt sometimes and there isn't a thing I can do about it but deal with it!

I did all the laundry yesterday and the day before. Six loads. I still have a load in the dryer that needs taken care of. I'll get to it before the day is out. Then I have to put all those clothes in the closet and in the dresser drawers where they belong. I went through all the mail yesterday as well. That was a feat and a half! I keep telling myself I need to take care of snail mail on a daily basis but somehow that never happens and it piles up on the desk in the livingroom for weeks at a time. I take out what looks important on a daily basis but the rest of it just sits there till I get around to doing something with it! It's a terrible habit and I need to correct it!

Fred is keeping me company here in the deskroom as I type out this blog entry. He's asleep on the floor behind my chair, snoring to beat the band. He tore a hole in the sofa cushion early this morning, digging at it with his feet. He woke me from a dead sleep with all the noise he was making doing that. I can't make him stay off the sofa as he's been allowed on the sofa since he was a puppy four years ago. He apparently doesn't like our 'new' sofa. 'New' in that it isn't NEW, but second-hand. I didn't pay anything for the sofa but I kind of wanted it to stay nice for awhile...I will have to disguise the holes in the cushions now. I put a rug over the cushions to prevent that dog from ruining the other cushion. Now he's ruined both of them. The boys and I dragged out a heavy rug/throw yesterday in the shed. RW laid it out flat in the burned house so the wrinkles would relax in it so I can put it on the sofa. Guess I better go check to see just how flat it's laying today so I can put it on the sofa before Fred really destroys the sofa! Stupid dog. I can't be mad at him for long. I can't be mad at anyone for very long. That is one of my downfalls...that inability to stay angry for any length of time. I know that anger is a wasted emotion cause the one you direct your anger at doesn't feel it near as strongly as you yourself do. I don't get angry though, very seldom and it's over with as quickly as it came on. Fred got a good tongue lashing this morning when I stumbled to the livingroom to make him leave that sofa alone! He followed me back to the bedroom and slept on his blanket on the floor till about 9 when he woke me up again to be let outside.

Th weather is pretty nice out right now and I could take that hotplate and crayons outside if I didn't need to get those Christmas Chunkys done. What I really need is a shower and a nap! I have no energy today. I'm hurting from the top of my head clean down to the ends of my toes! I'm hungry as well. Guess this is it for the blog entry today! I'll come again tomorrow, maybe, and talk to you all then.

Have a terrific Thursday and go get you some hugs today. I don't think any hugs are forthcoming for me today. I got a few yesterday to hold me over though so I'll be alright! :)


26 October 2008

some trades made

Good Morning Good People!
I haven't blogged for a few days. No real reason for that other than I didn't have much nice to say. Ma always said, "If you've nothing nice to say, it's best to keep your mouth shut!" So that's is what I have been doing!
I hope the world is being good to you all.
I won't complain too much actually. Life could be a lot worse. So I count my blessings and go from there.
I thought I'd show you all some ATCs and a Chunky Page that have been traded today. I am taking part in the Collage-A-Thon over at AFA this weekend. It runs till 11:59 PM Sunday. I have all day still to make a few more cards. These you see here are the ones I traded today and yesterday. There's a couple missing cause I seem to have hid them from myself in the files on this wretched machine. I swear it is smarter than I am some days! I looked for the missing ones but I'll be darned if I know where they are!
This first one is called "Every Spoken Word". I found that man's hand on the cover of a Fast Company magazine. The postage stamp came on a letter that contained ATCs I had traded for at point in time. That's a fabric rose with fabric leaves in the hand and a quote from an old calendar rounds it out. It will be headed to Finland come Monday morning when the mail goes out.

Brown Cat is headed to California. He was made from handmade paper, pipe cleaner, googly eyes, twine for his whiskers and microbeads for his nose. The CAT are alphabet stickers. My sister Jeanny gave me the plastic heart that is attached to his belly. It used to be a button till I cut off the shank and filed it smooth. He is attached to a piece of recycled chipboard covered with text from an astrology book and orange tissue paper.

This one is headed to California as well but not the same spot as the previous one. I call it Blue Angel. She is made from an enameled metal earring that I removed the back from, another button with the shank removed and filed smooth, a sequin for her halo, twine for her little legs, a lenght of tatting for her arms, she holds a fabric rose with fabric leaves and she has glass seed beads for feet. She is attached to black construction paper which is attached to recycled chipboard.
This is the front of Make Love. It reads Let Love Be Your Greatest Aim. It is going to Finland along with the other card I've shown you. There are pink bunnies going to Finland with these as well but I didn't show you them...though I should have, they are awfully cute! It was hard to let them go! Maybe I will show you them tomorrow...Can't guarantee it though. This chunky page was made using the following: pink cardstock with sheet music on top of it and tissue paper on top of the sheet music. There is a bit of lace, some handmade paper, raffia ribbon, and a wooden medallion painted pink with a glittery sticker stuck to the middle of it. The edges are adorned with various fibers, a small metal key charm and velvet ribbon. I still haven't got the van fixed and don't see that happening anytime soon. The water leak has been figured out but not fixed just yet. The hardware store closed early on Saturday and we were unable to get the supplies needed to fix the hose on the back of the washing machine that is causing the troubles with the wet floor. That will be fixed on Monday when RJ comes along to do it. He's a good son!
RW showed up this afternoon to climb up on the roof to pour some tar up there where we thought the water was leaking into the house from. There was no need to do that so I got the chance to visit with him and Lou and all their younguns. I think I've finally figured out which kid is which! Never could keep those four boys straight. Especially the two middle ones. It was fun to have them all here running all over the yard like little boys will do. Gage found me a really cool wheel bug for my insect collection. Gabe is the adventurer of the group. He has to look in every nook and cranny around! He's an inquisitive six year old! Grant is the five year old clown of the four. He found the three wheeled bike in the burned house and asked if they could play with it. Not a problem! Play away, boys! Gavin is the little guy at only 2 yrs old. He let me carry him part of the way from Susan's house. I simply couldn't carry him any farther than I did. He held my hand the rest of the way back to my house while he and RW and I walked across the yard. Yes, it was a grand afternoon!
RW came over in the early afternoon before RW and Lou showed. He came to figure out that water leak. We had a nice long talk before he went home. Was good to see him too!
I painted a pumpkin at Susan's house this afternoon. That's what we were doing when RW and his group showed up. Me, Linda, Ma, Evelyn and Susan. Susan took pictures of the pumpkins and if she sends them to me, I'll show you the pumpkins. We are an artsy lot! That was great fun too!
Mr. Skunk hasn't shown his hide since the last post so I don't know what is going on with him. RJ said he could smell skunk in the shed, but I was out there this afternoon and I didn't smell skunk.
I need to call it a day. It is almost 4 in the morning and my old eyeballs are begging for sleep! So without farther delay....
You all be good to one another. Smile at a stranger and hug someone dear to you today.

21 October 2008

A Skunk Story...No Art Today

I could have shown you some artwork today if I'd of remembered to scan it before I sent it off to the hands of the USPS. I did two altered envelopes last night for a PIF over at AFA. Maybe next time I do an altered envelope, I'll not send them off without scanning. I can't gurantee that as I can't gurantee you all anything at all!
I told you all about the resident skunk in an earlier post. Well he was back again last night. I was fixing to close the backdoor before I went to bed and of course Fred (dog) followed me to the back door cause he follows me almost everywhere in the house. Fred spied that skunk over in Susan's yard under the flag pole illuminated by the yard light and off he took after he gave a hearty woof-hello to the skunk. I hightailed it right after him hollering, "No, Fred! That isn't a kitty!!" He paid absolutely no attention to me at all and kept right on running straight for that pretty little skunk. Fred was less than a couple of feet from mr. skunk when he swung his whole body around to face that silly dog. His tail went straight up and he stood up as tall as he could on his short little legs. Fred snuffled around the skunk, checking him out. Fred didn't make any noise in this endeavor...He'd already had his say on the back steps at my house. I, however, wasn't done with my narrative to the dog, pleading with him to come away from that skunk! Mr. skunk seemed not to notice me at all. I finally got his attention as the skunk and he were almost nose to nose. I acted as though I were quite excited about something at the house and when Fred looked at me, I took off running towards home. Fred followed! (Thank you, Lord!) The little skunk put his tail down and shuffled off behind Susan's pumphouse. Fred had to stop to do his business on the lilac bush and seemed to have forgot all about th skunk. He followed me in the house and that was that.
It was kind of cool being that close to the little skunk. I was within four feet of the little guy when he had his tail up, checking out Fred. He didn't stink at all from that distance. Course he's probably not had to use his scent glands as of yet...he is a young one. I call him a him only cause I don't know if he's a girl or a boy and referring to him as him is just easier. Very well could be a girl for all I know. I just know I have no desire to check him out to see which sex he really is! I really don't care to get THAT close to the critter!
Fred was saved from a spraying and I was saved from having to deskunk a sprayed dog! Trust me that that is no fun at all! Been there. Done that. Don't particuarly want to do it again anytime soon! It takes two gallons of vinegar to deskunk a 120 pound black lab! I didn't have two gallons of vinegar on hand last night.
Now that we know the little skunk is still around we are going to try to trap the little fellow and relocate him. Josh (who isn't an expert on skunks, but simply seems to know what he's talking about here) says that we can live trap him. Once he's caught all we have to do is cover the cage so that if he does spray, he doesn't spray anything but what we've covered the trap with. Makes perfect sense to me! Ma has a live trap that will not hurt the skunk in the least and we can take him down to the diversion dam where there is lots for him to eat and water nearby as well.
I really don't care if there's a skunk at my house. So long as he behaves himself, doesn't get into the trash cans, doesn't decide sleeping under the house is a good idea and keeps to himself...no, I really don't care that he is here. He's awfully entertaining actually. I like to watch him from afar. The ONLY thing that concerns me is that silly Fred dog. He's none too bright some days! He really likes cats and skunks look way too much like cats to this dog! I think the only thing that saved him from getting sprayed, besides me pleading with that dog, was the fact that he didn't try to chase the skunk and he didn't bark at it.
I don't believe the skunk has established a territory here. He's been here for about two weeks now. He isn't very big. Probably from this year's litter. I'm actually surprised there are not more than just this one around. Skunks have large litters.
At any rate, Susan is going to get the trap from Ma tomorrow and set it tomorrow night with some cat food to bait the critter to enter the trap and we'll take his hide down the road to the diversion dam over at Woodston. He will fit in there nicely and should be fine.
Skunks don't hibernate through the winter and winter is fast approaching. It is supposed to snow tomorrow. Skunks semi hibernate...sleep sometimes but come out on nice days to forage and get some sunshine. I think I will miss the little fellow actually...
I'll let you all know how the relocation project goes. Hopefully without a hitch!
I'll show you all some artwork and maybe another poem in the next post.
You all be good to one another.

19 October 2008

Bugs and Flowers

Bugs and Flowers. These two first ATCs are the bugs and flowers. Sharpies on posterboard. I'm pleased with the butterfly but not so much the daffodil. And I'm pleased with the sunflower but not so much the dragonfly.

The ariel view of the old fort below was also done in sharpies on posterboard. I did this one last week sometime. I don't remember exactly which day it was done. It is an ATC also. All these are ATCs. I'm still waiting for someone to claim this one as their own.

The black and white one with the silly looking birds is one my sister Susan and I collaberated on at coffee one morning. I told you all about that morning already but I didn't have the cards we did that morning scanned when I told you about the experience. And The Sheep Went Mad was a fun card! I won't be trading it!

I'm not sure Lookin' Out is quality art so I'm not trading it either. Though I may change my mind about that some day.

I have little to talk about this morning. I've been up all night. I drew the two ATCs that start off this entry during the wee hours of the morning. I talked to sister Jeanny on the telephone for over an hour yesterday afternoon and again early last night. She got me a tube of white acrylic paint that I needed badly. She has a Hobby Lobby in her town. I don't. I don't have one any closer than hers is to me and that's over 160 miles away. It was the easiest way to get a tube of white acrylic paint. She's sending me a care package! I love getting care packages!!!! LOVE IT! I've no idea just what, besides the white paint, is really in that nice size box she described to me. She was wondering what happens if I get a package that won't fit in my mailbox. When that happens, Ruth, the mail lady, pulls into my driveway and honks her horn so I'll come out to get it. If I don't come get it she'll try again the next day and if I still don't come out to get it, she leaves at the post office and I have to go to town to fetch it myself. I'm pretty sure Jeanny's box will fit in my mailbox though! I can't wait for it to get here. She said she would mail it on Monday so it should be here by Tuesday.
I'm fixing to go to bed here pretty quick. I've been up since 4 a.m. yesterday. It's now almost 6a.m. today. My old eyeballs are dragging not to mention the rest of me! I might read some if I can't get to sleep. Obviously that's the reason I've been up for better than 24 hours to begin with! Sometimes happens. I just can't sleep and other times I can't wake up. It is a vicious cycle!

There is art on the agenda when I get up later. I have cat pages to finish to get one more Christmas gift done. Twenty of those little suckers! Then I have to bind the book as well. It won't get finished later when I get up. It's gonna take a few days of working on it.

I'll be back probably tomorrow night and yak at you all again.
Have a fantastic Sunday and a great start to your week!

18 October 2008

When it Rains, It Pours!

As you all know from Thursday's post, the van died. I'm uncertain if it is dead as dead can be or if the mechanic can fix it for a reasonable price. RJ came over on Friday to take a good look at it to see if he could figure it out. He's usually pretty handy when it comes to fixing things. He wanted to take it for a test spin so he could see exactly what it was doing. He jumpstarted it and we hopped in to take it down to the mile road. We got to the mile road and lost all power. I was driving. I turned off of the highway so as not to interfere with traffic and got it down onto J Road which is a dirt road and much less traveled than the highway. It was dead again so RJ walked back to the house to fetch his car so we could jumpstart it again to get it home. I waited patiently, hoping no one would come along to ask if I needed assistance. I was in my pajamas still. RJ wasn't gone long and we jump started it again. I decided instead of turning around and heading back to the highway, we'd drive down J Road to the next mile road and go back to the highway from there cause then we'd be on the right side of the highway and wouldn't have to turn into the driveway across two lanes. I got it down to the next mile road and around the corner before it died again. As I turned onto the mile road I saw a two cats up aways in front of me. Then RJ came around the corner and up behind the van and one of the cats ran off into the cornfield next to the road. The bigger of the two cats sat down in the middle of the road and watched us while we watching her. RJ got out of his car to jump start the van again. That wasn't happening though...the cat still sat there. As soon as RJ got back in his car she too went into the corn field and disappeared. He said he saw three cats instead of two. They were bobcats like the ones in the picture here. Beautiful! I was so glad we got to see them. And doubly glad the mama cat sat in the middle of the road so we could get a good look at her. Why I didn't get out the binoculars and take a REALLY GOOD LOOK at her, I can't rightly say. Wish I had done that though.

The van is pretty well dead as we speak and I won't be able to get my mechanic out here to take a look at the dead thing till at least Monday.

I say 'When it rains, it pours!' I will explain myself there....Usually when something goes wrong like the van breaking down, something else is going to go wrong as well. It usually happens in threes so I'm still waiting for the third screw up! The second thing to go wrong is the broken water pipe under the house. The livingroom carpet is a sopping wet mess and there was a puddle on the kitchen floor and another puddle on the laundry room floor when I got up this morning. I have no water at the moment cause the plumber can't come out till Monday either! We will perservere though and it will all work out for the good! It will!

The other picture at the start of today's entry is a water hyacinth. I have these plants in two places at my house. The ones in the pond are not blooming at the moment, but the ones in the horse tank are blooming like crazy! A good find on such a crappy day! I found them the day before yesterday blooming. Ma put them in the pond and in the horse tank about a month or so ago. The mosquitos were breeding like rabbits in both bodies of water and we put goldfish in both ponds at that time to take care of the mosquito larvae. Ma has these water hyacinths in her pond and needed to thin them out somewhat. Her's are not blooming. The horse tank sits where it gets a lot of sunshine throughout the day and I do believe that is why only the hyacinths in the horse tank are blooming. What a gorgeous sight though! Very pretty flowers and flowers this late in the year are always a nice surprise!

I haven't anything planned for the day. I finished Elaine's bowl the day before yesterday. When I talk to Terah again, I'll see if she will bring her camera so I can take a picture of it to show you all. It turned out pretty good if I do say so myself! Susan agrees. It looks pretty good and she's quite certain Elaine will LOVE it! I hope so. All it needs is a coat of sealer and it is ready to go! It will go in the closet with the rest of the rest of the Christmas gifts I've already gathered.

I do believe I will be working on paintings today, though I'm not so sure where the heck I'm going to find a tube of white acrylic paint. I ran out when I finished the bowl. I could use the cheapo stuff and I probably will end up doing just that! I need white paint though as one can't paint tigers without it! And a tiger is on my agenda, still. I also have three cat portraits to paint as well. Not to mention the dragonfly with a sunflower and the butterfly with a daffodil. I really must get all those paintings done soon. The folks waiting on them are being ever so patient and I do appreciate that much more than I can say...but it's past time to get crackin' on the paintings.

It has been a week of critter sightings. Not sure what day it was last week that Susan called me early in the morning...well before the sun came up...to say she was on her way to my house (she just lives next door) and she couldn't come right then cause there was a skunk out in the yard that separates our houses. I was still talking to her on the phone as I looked out my back door to see the skunk shuffling around by her pump house. He sure is a handsome fellow! How can such a smelly critter be so handsome? We've seen him a couple more times since that morning. This morning she called before the sun was up to say she'd be over in a minute or two but the skunk was back and she was waiting for him to get out of her way! He ambled on over to the only tree between her and mine, nose to the ground, minding his own business when she started across the yard. He paid her no attention at all until she got to my back door and started talking to me before I had opened the door. He swung around, tail high in the air and looked intently our way. Fred (dog) barrelled out the back door headed straight for Susan's cat, Maddy, who was following her and didn't even see the skunk! Thank God! Hopefully the little skunk will head to other parts before long. Fred tangled with a skunk a few months ago and it didn't smell pretty at all! I'm hoping he doesn't discover this one at all. He thinks they are cats and according to Fred all cats should be his friend! Not all cats are his friend but that doesn't in any way stop him from greeting them anyway! He knows some of them have claws and are not afraid to use them. Doob is the prime suspect for that sort of behavior. She hates that dog! So wish the skunk to go elsewhere before Fred discovers him! I truly don't need a skunk sprayed dog. And that may be the third thing to go wrong! Oh, I hope not! I do hope not!

I'll come yak at you all another time. Right now I need to get out of these pajamas and go next door to Susan's for a bit.

Have a wonderful Saturday!



Message In A Bottle #2

I found a nice surprise in my mailbox this morning! I've no clue who the person is that sent the bottle my way but it contained a pretty nice selection of art fodder! There was a LOT in that little clear water bottle! It came from Westbury, NY but there was no name attached to the return address...just an address and the city. I'll put it all to good use in due time. I love the electronic doodads. Not sure yet just what I'll do with them, but they are rather cool! All the paper flowers, letters, beads, ect will be used as well. I still have time to make a few more chunky pages for my Halloween Chunky Book and the Halloween papers will come in right handy for that use, as will the two halloween charms that came in the bottle as well.
To whomever sent it, Thank you!
Now I have to make up two more bottles and send them off to the addresses included in the bottle and wait for number 3!

17 October 2008

Good News, Bad News and A Thing About Livestock

This van is the Bad News. Might as well get the bad news over and done with. Wish me luck on turning this into good news in the next week or so. This van is DEAD! I can't believe how clean it is in that picture above! That van is never clean! Must of rained right before that picture was taken... Anyway the stupid thing is dead as a doorknob at the moment. No clue what is wrong with it. It died on me on my way home from Plainville Monday night. RJ says he'll be over tomorrow to fix it. No, he didn't say, 'fix it', he said, "WORK ON IT." Whatever that means...At the moment I am wheelless. (I think that's a word?) I don't like being without wheels! I've really not needed the wheels since Monday. Well, no that's' not true either! I did need them on Tuesday, but I rounded up a ride for the dr. appt in Hays. Thanks Ma!
That's the good news! The dr. appt. Doc says my hemocrit numbers are at 45.7 and he says that's good enough to not need a phlebotomy this month! I kind of wanted a phlebotomy though as I always feel better after one. But it ain't to be this month and it is a good thing. It means the blood making mechanisms in me are doing what they should be doing instead of making bad blood! I have a disease called polycythemia vera. My calcium levels are still high though and that really isn't a good thing. But the hemocrit numbers, now, that is indeed good news. It doesn't cure the polycythemia but it makes it so my risks of heart attack or stroke are decreased. Not that I actively worry about that anyway. I've not much control over those things.

I snagged this cute calf off the www awhile back. I've always wondered why ranchers want their cows to birth in the middle of winter. Babies in the fields in January...it's cold as the dickens in January around here! If someone can enlighten me on why this is so I would greatly appreciate it. Little cows are just so darn cute!
I snagged the little piglets off the www too. I used to work for a traveling petting zoo back in 1997. This picture reminded me of the mornings at the farm before we packed up to travel to state fairs across the Midwestern United States. Every morning we had to run the little pigs in a mock race. It was training for them. Little pigs are a lot of fun! Slippery little devils though! And they didn't always cooperate when they should have! Good memories about the time spent working for Hedricks. I wish that time hadn't been cut short by tragedy. Can't change that though.
Sunrise right outside my front door. Sure wish that camera of mine would talk to that pc of mine! The moon was gorgeous earlier this evening! Would have made for a delightful picture!

I really don't have anything of importance to talk about today. My word processor is down so no new poetry for you all. I guess I could share an old one but then I'd have to go find it and I'm kind of lazy tonight.

So.....have yourselves a wonderful Friday and a better weekend than you had last time and come read again when you're in the neighborhood!

Peace 831

12 October 2008

It's Picture Monday!

Today I'm sharing pictures with you all. This is an art blog of sorts so there is artwork to share, naturally. And also critters from my own personal zoo. And pictures I've taken over the years that have an interesting story attached to them or are just some of my favorite things.

I'm kind of agitated with the artworld at the moment. Not exactly the artworld, but some of those who dabble within it. I won't go into specifics cause tomorrow (which is less than an hour from coming on) I may be completely content with the artworld once again. I don't stay mad about anything for long enough to eliminate the triggers that start me on my mad streak to begin with. I'm just too damned easy going for my own good sometimes!

Alright! On with today's entry! Get yourself a cup of coffee or whatever and settle in. We have, I think, 20 pictures for your enjoyment today. Let me know what you think if you happen along to read today!

As some of you are aware, my house burned three and half years ago. This butterfly painting went the way of all the other artwork that was on the walls of my deskroom at that time. I painted this picture with alcohol inks and acrylics on cardstock sometime in 2000. Not too many weeks ago I was sitting at my painting table, staring out the window at nothing in particular when a swallowtail butterfly, just like those in the painting landed on the weeds outside the window. I got up from my chair to get a closer look at it through the window. It stayed around for almost 15 minutes, fluttering around out there right by the window. It was a great visit from one of God's creatures! I collect insects but never butterflies cause butterflies are so much prettier flying around on breeze than they are pinned to a chunk of stryofoam, dead as door nails!
This is Patches. She has gone to meet her maker. She simply did not come home one morning. She was given to me back in 1998 by an inmate in a maximum security prison. I had known David for a couple of years before he somehow managed to arrange that she become mine. When I brought her home, she was but a little fur ball, tiny enough to fit in the pocket of my jacket. RW and I went to Leavenworth to fetch her home in April of that year. She went missing in June of 2000. She loved to have her picture taken! And as you can see, she was quite photogenic!
Pay no attention to the mess you see in the background of this photograph! It was taken less than a week after the house burned and we were in the process of acquiring new things in a rented house in town at the time. We are focusing on Miss Blue there and that cut crystal bowl with the sterling silver rim on the floor (those are leaves from the trees outside beside the bowl-thanks to the dog for that present!) in the dining room of the rented house. Notice that bowl is empty and Miss Blue doesn't look to happy about it! That's cause that cut crystal bowl is the cats' food bowl! I have had Miss Blue since 1995. She's an old critter! And she's still around now. So obviously that bowl isn't empty too often. It is, however, empty at the moment cause someone (wonder who that was?) didn't make it to the store to buy a bag of catfood before there was none left to fill that bowl with!
And here we have the bag of bones that RW dragged home about a month after the fire. He's filled out nicely from the bedraggled vagabond he was when RW and Dougie came traipsing in with this handsome grey fellow in tow. RW says, "We brought you a friend!" We didn't even have a house anymore and this kid's bringing home strays to live with us! He always did bring strays home though so this didn't surprise me too much. Billy is a wonderful cat! Tall and lean. He has a very long tail! He looks like he's always dressed to go to the opera or out to a fancy resturant. And he has the pretties gold eyes of any cat I've ever known! He and the dog you'll meet in a few are the best of buds!
Anyone who has ever seen a field of sunflowers in bloom will agree it is a gorgeous site! Here's the proof! These are oil sunflowers, grown for the oil produce for cooking and what have you. That flower was over a foot wide and over five feet tall. I am 5'7" and it was taller than me!
There is no rhyme or reason to the order these pictures are in. You all know I haven't exactly figured out how to put these pictures in this blog anyway! Be thankful you get pictures, period!
This is a pen and ink drawing that lives in British Columbia now. It is Bob Seger, Stucky's heart throb. Stucky, AKA Maureen, loves Bob Seger! I sent this one to her back in 2000. She framed it and hung it above her bed, "Like Jesus" she said! :) I miss my friend, Stucky. I haven't talked to her in the longest time!
This is Ronnie Van Zant done in pencil on newsprint. I no longer have this drawing as it was on the deskroom wall when the fire raged through the house. I like it though and wanted to share it with you all. If I'm correct, Ronnie Van Zant is associated with the band .38 Special. They are an excellent band and I listen to them while I'm in the van driving to destinations far from home. The dog doesn't like .38 Special near as much as I do! He always sits in the passenger's seat if I've no other person along for the ride, but when I put .38 Special into the tape deck, he goes to the back of the van in protest. Tape deck? Yep, I'm not up to speed with the newest contraptions for automotive music! No cd player, just a tape deck and FM radio in that '97 Ford Windstar! I believe Ronnie Van Zant is dead as well? Correct me if I'm wrong on that point. CLARIFICATION! I've been told this isn't Ronnie Van Zant but Johnny Van Zant instead. Doesn't surprise me at all that I have gotten this information wrong! Thanks to the person who set me straight! His/her remarks are in the comments section below. They have given me much information that was not known by me and I do thank them for that education!
Another painting gone the way of fire. Fire does terrible things to wood, paper, books, just about anything one can concievably have inside a house. Not a trace left of this acrylic painting inspired by a failed photograph my sister Susan took at the Omaha Zoo. I really liked this painting though.
In the sidebar of this blog I added the Grassroots Art Center link yesterday. This is the cat stone that is in the Post Rock Limestone Courtyard out behind the Art Center in Lucas, KS. Lucas is a town in love with its eccentric art community. Go check out the site and you'll see what I'm talking about. You'll find decorated, painted, sculpted toilet seats on that site! Visionaries most certainly abound in Lucas!
Another piece of artwork that went the way of the fire. This one is a pen and ink drawing of my mother's late cat, Chipper. Least that is what everyone who knew Chipper and saw this drawing thought! It wasn't drawn with Chipper in mind but it does indeed resemble him quite well.

A deer sighting. My sister, Susan, and I had gone for a drive to Phillipsburg one afternoon. We took the back roads home that day and saw 19 deer along that 13 mile stretch of backroads in Phillips County. This fella had a harem of four does with him. Not a great picture but we did capture him on film(?) that day. I am a magnet for deer along the road. I've hit five of them with vehicles over my course of living. This one was quite a long way from the road. We were stopped at a stop sign when we noticed him and his harem up on the hill to the north of us.
And there is sister Susan and me at Webster Lake in Rooks county on a rather blustery summer afternoon. Aren't we the gorgeous babes??? No? Alright I'll give you that one. We really aren't looking our best in this picture. I can't remember just what it is Susan is pointing at in this picture. Her son, Justin, took this picture. Seems to me we saw pelicans that day at the lake 8 miles from home. Could of been pelicans she was pointing out. Had to be a bird of some sort, she's pointing and we are looking skyward.
My sons, RJ and RW. RJ is sitting in the rocking chair wearing Courtney's sunglasses. Rhinestones really aren't a good thing for a strapping young man! Such goofy boys these two are! Love them dearly though, that I do~! This one was taken shortly after we moved into the new house after the old one burnt. That would make this picture about three and a half years old. Both boys still look pretty much the same. As this is an art blog (of sorts) I wanted to show you some art that is accesible to anyone driving down Highway 24 in Rooks county, Kansas. This metal sculpture is about a mile east of my house. See all that yucca growing in the field where this family is perpetually going nowhere? One doesn't usually associate the great state of Kansas with yucca, but it grows everywhere in the northwest corner of the state. Beautiful when it's in flower, useless the rest of the time unless you're inclined to dig up the roots for what some have told me is a nice root vegetable, similar to potatoes. And there's your cooking tip for the day that you gleaned from an art blog. Go figure!
A fella by the name of Pete Felton carved this draft horse that stand in front of the Rooks County Historical Museum in Stockton, KS. I've no clue who built the pedastle the horse sits on. The horse is life size. A fella by the name of Robert Wise did the etching of the Thomas Barn on the black granite plaque on the pedastle. I am associated with this statue as well. I worked for the monument company that made the plaque. I proofread the text on the plaque at least a dozen times before the plaque was sandblasted. I also helped to clean the stone once it was sandblasted. It is a very nice statue, the nicest one in Stockton. Not that there are many to choose from in Stockton, but this is a nice one!

The sumac is beginning to turn as you're reading this. There is a deer in the picture above. Good luck finding it though! This was taken at The Rooks State Lake in Rooks county. The lake has been dry for years now. I don't believe there was any water in it when this was taken a few years ago.
More sumac. It turns the most beautiful colors of red and rust when the weather changes to winter. Indians made a type of beverage quite similar to lemonade out of the berries of the sumac plant. I've never tried it myself but I keep telling myself that I should give it a shot. I've read about it in edible plant books and know how it's done. Lord knows there is plenty of wild sumac aroud these parts, I could make gallons of it and never put a dent in the available sumac berries!
Sunrise in Kansas

Here's that dog I promised you'd meet somewhere in this post. That's Fred doing what Fred does best...being lazy!
This is two does from the harem of the buck you saw earlier in this post. They were farther up the road than the buck, but still in the same field he and the others were in. Trust me when I say it is no fun to run into one of these gorgeous critters with your vehicle! It isn't any better on a peice of steel than it is on the deer. Probably worse for the deer! It's amazing all the hair that flies off a deer when struck with a car going 65 mph. It isn't good on mothers-in-law either!
I hope you've enjoyed the show today and will come back for another entry in the future. If you've been here please leave a comment for me.
Have a fantastic week ahead. Go out and see some wildlife, take a good look at the plants along the side of the roads you travel and take notice of those special people in your life. Nothing sticks around forever and if you don't pay attention today, tomorrow may be too late!

A Great Site to Check Out

I've added The Grassroots Art Center to my list of favorite sites to visit.
If you're an artist who loves art out of the ordinary, this is the site for you! Challenge yourself with some of the themes from years past and see what you can come up.

I haven't been active with the Art Center in Lucas, KS for some years now. An automobile wreck petty much wrecked my association with the Center as an active participant. You will find my name among the pages on the site though. I have two limestone carvings in the Post Rock Courtyard and a shoe entry in the If The Shoe Fits Contest. You can see a picture of my cat stone on the site but there is no mention of the squirrel stone. I don't even have a picture of the squirrel stone.

I did a demonstration of engraving on car windows at the Adams Apple Festival back in 2000. There is nothing about that on the site though...and the only remaining engraving I know of is the one I put on the back passenger's window in my van a couple summers ago. The car I was engraving the windows of was a little Chevy Sprint of 80s age. (I loved that little car! Wish I had it today...it got 42 miles to the gallon!) All told there were six engravings on the windows of that little gold 'rollerskate' (as my friend Robyn always called it!). The back window was a lake scene all the way across the lower half of the window. There was an eagle in one of corner of that window that was added after the lake scene was finished. A long stemmed rose graced the front edge of the driver's side window. A stylized flower was on the back driver's side window. A funky little lizard was peeking out from the lower edge of the passenger's side front window. And a crescent moon with a funny little man sitting atop it was on the back passenger's side window. The Sprint bit the bit one and went to the junkyard out north along with all its windows. They crushed most of the cars in the junkyard back in 2004 and the little Sprint, along with the windows went the way of the recycler. Easy come, easy go. What the devil would I have done with all those decorated windows anyway?

I thought you all would enjoy checking out the cool artwork and the weird artwork that you will find on the site. Visionaries abound. You've heard of Outsider Art. Well, this site is rife with it and I promise you will be amazed and delighted at the eye candy there!

If you visit the site from here, please let me know what your impressions were and what you liked best on the site. I have met a lot of the artists whose work is featured there. All are one of a kind people with visions in their heads like no one else's visions.


It's a Chunky Kind of Weekend!

Ok, I think I have this picture business figured out! I think! You all know how much trouble placing these pictures gives me. Maybe for once, I have my crap together and this will work out alright. Course if I add anymore pictures before I'm done here...well, we'll have a fiasco on our hands! So we shall go with the pictures I've decided to share this morning.

I've been busy making Chunky Pages for the First Ever Chunky Page-A-Thon over at atcsforall.com.

These things really don't have names as I don't generally name my chunky pages. The titles you see under them are more descriptions than titles. I'll just let you oogle the eye candy and we'll go from there...

I've always said I am not particuarly fond of the color pink but it appears in my artwork so much that I'm beginning to think that I haven't a clue about the color pink and subconsciously I really am fond of it. I don't however wear a lot of pink. Red seems to be the color of choice in clothing. I feel sexy in red!

This purple page with the butterfly was made from vintage wallpaper. I cut the butterflies (you can't see them, but there are two more butterflies on the back of this page) from the wallpaper and made the bodies out of wired yarn-like fibers.
Susan and I were going through that box of old wallpaper out in the garage cause she wanted to paper her breezeway. She wasn't fond of the butterflies and there wasn't enough of it to help her out anyway so it worked out great for art projects. That mesh you see behind the wallpaper butterfly is drywall screen, used for masking the cracks between sheets when they are applied to the wall. It is a good art supply as well. I have no idea where that roll I have came from. It is rather beat up but basically still usable. I like this page a lot and if it doesn't trade before the end of next week, I'm keeping it for my own purple chunky book.

There were favorable comments about this yellow page. It always amazes me what others like where my art is concerned. I really don't like this page much. The butterfly is not symmetrical and the colors are all faded out in my opinion. Not because of the scan, the scan does make them look rather pale, but in hand this page isn't all that impressive to me. I've a feeling it will take a flight to somewhere before the week is out.

This is an ATC.. I had hoped it would end up at the end of the pictures...but as usual pictures give me trouble! Sculpting is my favorite art activity (painting is second) and this one proved to be a lot of fun to create. Firstly I stole that copper wire out of the junk heap out on the patio. RJ and RW were out there one day tearing things up and I found this hunk of copper in their copper bucket. I used a small bit of the wire for this card. The scan doesn't do justice to the little stones woven into the design. They sparkle to beat the band in reality. I call this one Beginnings. Why? I really don't know...maybe because I really want to get back to sculpting and it isn't only wire I'd like to be sculpting. I'd love to drag out the sandblasting unit and get busy on some stones. But that isn't going to happen anytime soon so small wire/metal sculptures will have to suffice. The wire is woven to the posterboard that's been painted gold with acrylic paint. There are three layers of posterboard to this ATC. It is a sturdy one! A favorite of mine as well.

Brenton went to the Dane Hansen Museum in Logan a few months back and came home with a goody bag from that field trip. I got the shredded money from him that you see used on this page and the next one, as leaves for a tree. I've made a few money trees on ATCs but these two are the firsts for Chunky Pages. We shall see if they get snatched up like hot cakes at a Church Social. The ATCs took weeks to trade. I thought they'd be gone quickly... everyone wants a money tree! I guess money trees aren't in demand as much as I thought they were!

I like this money tree best but I like the back of the other money tree page better than I like the back of this one. Yes, I know you all can't see the backs, but take my word on this one, just this once.

DO. Those were the only two letters I had on brads that were black. I really like this page as well.. Actually I'm quite pleased with all the pages I've created since Friday evening. I will be keeping this one for my black book if it doesn't get traded before the end of next week. I particuarly like the danglies on this page. The round tag has a zentangle I drew on both sides of it. I just love that little tiny pair of scissors you see on top of the tag. The little scissors came from the Goodwill Store in a package of miniature sewing notions I got for 29 cents. The rest of the goodies on this page came from various other places. The sequined heart was in a bag of sequined patches I got at the Goodwill as well. Most of the other stuff except the magazine cutout came from RAKs from folks I've traded with. The ribbons and string dangling off the side were either picked up at the thrift store for next to nothing or given to me in one fashion or another. Black is a calming color for me. There's dignity in the color black as well. Something regal about it...

This one is called "I Promise". The little red tag says: "Do you promise?" she asked. "Yes, my sweet." he whispered, "I will always be here at your side." That's Henry and Francine on the front. They are cut out of construction paper and a picture from a calendar. There's other papers underneath the drywall screen and pink glue holding the drywall screen to the page. This one was traded for a beautiful green page with a butterfly on it. An excellent trade I think.

Then I got the paints out and took up the challenge of a fall themed page. The danged scanner took on a mind of its own and refused to scan this page like it scanned all the others. No clue why electronics have to give me such a hard time! I'm very pleased with the results and the scan does not do it justice at all! That orange blob in the fibers is a charm I made from a camera flashbulb. Do you all remember those? It is covered with orange tissue paper and then painted with orange acrylics. There's a jack-o-latern face painted on the side of it. I found 11 of these flashbulbs out in the garage months ago and brought them in the house. I drug out the soldering iron and soldered wire bales to the tops of all of them.

Yes, yes, I have been a busy girl!

It is raining as I sit here in the deskroom. I have no music going, only the sound of the rain on this tin roof. It is getting colder by the day and I'm in no way looking forward to winter. My old body does not like the cold at all! I will deal with the cold when it finally gets here though. Only because I have no other choice! Sure wish I could run away to a warmer climate for the winter months. I can only dream of doing that though. I'll be dressing in layers before too many weeks pass. I must find the controls for the electric blanket. Or rather find the blanket for the controler. I know where the controls are...in the bathroom dresser. Which blanket which control goes to though is a complete mystery till I find the blankets stashed in the closet with all the other blankets! I've already dragged out the corduroy patch quilt. It has been on the bed for a couple of weeks already.

I'm headed to bed cause I've been up all night...again! So you all have a fantastic Sunday and I'll come yak at you all again another day. Maybe later today. One never knows when I'll show up with something to share and something to say.