Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Strawberry cake ACEO

Today is my birthday.  Believe me I am not fishing for any “Happy Birthday” wishes.  I come from a long line of birthday denouncers.  It’s not that we don’t like Birthdays, the gifts and all; it’s more like we don’t really care for the age advancement.

My mother, god rest her soul, was 60 for at least 20 years.  When she passed away, no one really knew her actual age, not even her doctor.  Even better according to her age at the time, my Aunt, mom’s way older sis, was only about 3 when she had her son.  At another older sister’s funeral the remembrance cards listed her age as many years younger than my mother.  Sound confusing?  Well that’s the idea.  If you confuse enough people, no one will be able to agree on the actual age.  And more power to them all for pulling it off!

Forgive me for I digress.  Today is my birthday.  No years will be announced, no cake with an overabundance of candles, and probably no singing. Mom and her siblings had the right idea.  If you actually say the age aloud, you might start to feel it.  So my birthday will have no mention of chronological age.  Today I celebrate the day that I was born, not the year. 

 So if anyone should ask my age (And didn’t your mother tell you never to ask a woman her age or weight?) I have but one thing to say…Old enough to know better but too young to resist.  :-)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

"Don't it make my brown eyes blue?"

Pencil drawing "Blue Eyes"

If you really want to know someone and I mean really know them, then all you need do is to look into their eyes.  Eyes pretty much say it all.  They can show surprise, anger, and sadness and most of all, love. Even Fido knows to use his deep brown eyes to get a biscuit now and then.  Songwriters and poets are aware of the fascination and attraction that eyes evoke and use them often in their lyrics.  The list that follows is just a sampling of songs that pay tribute to “the widows to the soul.”

·      “Brown eyes,” Destinys Child
"Grand Canyon" ACEO
·      “Brown eyed girl,” Van Morrison
·      “Brown eyes,” Lady Gaga
·      “Behind blue eyes,” – Who
·      “Blue eyes cryin in the rain,” Willie Nelson
·      “Judy Blue eyes,” – Crosby, Stills and Nash
·      “Blue Eyes”, - Elton John
·      “Behind these hazel eyes.” Kelly Clarkson
·      “Green eyed Lady,” – Sugarloaf
·      “Green eyes,” – Coldplay
·      “Green eyes,” – Barry Manilow
·      “Grey eyes you know,” – Waylon Jennings

And lets not forget….”Don’t it make my brown eyes blue?” by Crystal Gayle

Monday, September 27, 2010


Mexican wind pastel

Next month I will be going a cruise, again. There is no better vacation value than a cruise.  For those of you who have never been on one or are considering one in the future I have assembled a list of what to expect and suggestions to make it even better. (if that is possible)

1.     Check out the various cruise lines and choose one that fits your personal taste.  I like the casual atmosphere of Carnival but there are many lines and styles from which to choose. The following lists are based on my Carnival experiences.

2.      Large cruise boats have stabilizers that make the ride extremely smooth.  I was on a cruise during hurricane Frances and although it rocked more than usual, it wasn’t that bad.  When I was a kid I would get carsick if I rode from my house to the corner and I had to carry a cone made of newspaper with me, but I have never gotten sick on a cruise.  If you suffer from motion sickness, however, it is best to be prepared.  You may obtain a patch for motion sickness from your doctor.  I carry Dramamine and acupressure bands (sold in dept. stores) called sea bands, but I have never had the need for either. 

3.      When you get on the boat you will have to participate in the safety drill.  There is no getting out of it so there will be no hiding in your cabin.  They will find you.  So just go ahead and put that dorky life vest on and follow the crowd.  Everyone looks as dumb as you feel. If this drill were mandatory on the Titanic perhaps history would look a little different.

4.     Wait to book any excursions until after you have been on the boat for a while. Ask others who have taken them before which are the better value.  You can get a lot of suggestions and hints from your fellow passengers.  Just because the cruise lines arrange a trip does not guarantee an enjoyable time.  We once took an excursion to a glass bottom boat, in a rickety old, un-airconditioned bus to a beat up pier where the boat was so overflowing that we had to sit on the second story where I finally did require Dramamine…

5.     Make sure you bring your buffet pants.  Buffet pants are what my husband calls his expanding waistband pants.  Trust me you will need them. 

6.     Smile!  They will be snapping pictures while you are doing everything from staggering back to your room after partaking of a few too many Bahama Mamas to singing karaoke.  Some of them will be rather, shall we say, candid.  Relax.  Go to the wall of shame where they display them, get a good laugh, and either remove to the trash or purchase them as desired.  Honestly some will be keepers.

7.     Be aware that your health insurance may not work on the boat.  You may have to pay out of pocket if you need to see the doctor.

8.     Keep abreast of all that is going on aboard ship by checking out the daily newsletter.

9.     One night at sea is a dress up night and you will need to bring one dressy outfit.  Anything goes from tuxes and gowns to whatever you would wear for a night on the town.  After dinner you can have your picture taken (when you are actually prepared) at one of many photographic backdrops set up around the boat.  You are already dressed to kill so you may as well take advantage of it.  As with all photos, you don’t have to buy any unless you choose.  Unlike photo studios on shore, you don’t have to pay sitting fees.

10.  Skip the buffet at dinnertime; the sit down restaurant is an enjoyable 5 star experience.

Honestly, there are so many more little hints to note but I am trying to keep this list down to a minimum.  If anyone is interested I can always write a “Cruise anyone, part 2.”

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Sky is falling

My yard is full of tall, majestic oak trees.  I love my oak trees; I really do.  In fact when I was house hunting I made sure that large trees was one of my requirements. They shade the yard from the summer heat.  They provide homes for birds, and other wildlife.  Every few years though, the trees go into acorn producing overdrive. Perhaps there is a scientific reason behind this abundant harvest. Maybe it’s nature’s way to provide for the advancement of oak trees worldwide.  Maybe it’s just accidental.  Whatever the case, this is the year.

Now I don’t have a problem with acorns per se its just that heaps of them spread out in my yard make walking from point A to point B a rather harrowing experience.  I teeter and sway like a drunk as I try and maneuver my way around all the while ducking the hundreds of hard oval projectiles raining down upon my unprotected noggin.

At night I wake up from the sound of the acorns hitting the roof and the deck.  The cat jumps, the dog barks and everyone is thinking the sky is falling. 


The wind blows.

Thunk, thunk!

It rains.

Thunk, thunk, thunk!

In just a few more weeks it will all be over.  The last of the acorns will be on the ground raked into piles with the leaves.  All is right with the world—until the next time.  Thunk!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

KIDS CRAFTS--Instructions to make Hal the Halloween pumpkin eraser

When I was a kid play Play Doh was one of my favorite things.  Opening those little tubs that contained chunks of colored clay was always a highlight. In your hands this simple lump of clay could become anything your heart desired.  And then if you wanted to keep it you could just let it air dry.  The salty smell and taste, oh yes, I know you tasted too, brings back many happy memories.

Since those long ago days, molding compounds have grown by leaps and bounds.  There are air-dry paper clays, clays that must be oven baked, flexible clays and even clays that become erasers to name just a few.  Today’s Wednesday kid’s craft utilizes the clay that can become an eraser.  Amazing, I know.

Eraser clay is available in craft stores and there is enough clay in the kit to make several erasers.  Watch this blog for more Halloween/fall eraser instructions.  This craft is for children over 6 years old.

Pumpkin face eraser
You will need:

Sculpey Eraser Clay.
 Kit is complete with several colors of clay and tools

Pan lined with foil

Oven set at 250 degrees F

Piece of wax paper to work on

It is important to warm each piece of clay and knead in your hands to soften to a workable texture.

1.  Prepare the clay. Remove the cellophane wrapping from the yellow and neon orange package of eraser clay.  Using the plastic tool provided in the kit cut the orange clay in half.  Cut the yellow in half, then in half again making two quarter pieces. 

2.  Make the head. After the pieces are softened roll into three balls.  Place a yellow ball at each end of the orange ball of clay.  Roll together to blend slightly.  Roll the combined clays into a snake shape.  Twist to combine and then roll into a ball.  As you roll put pressure on one end making it into an oval.  Flatten bottom (thicker end) on the work surface. This is the pumpkin head.

3.  Attach the stem and vines.  Break off 3 small pieces of green clay and warm and soften as you did for the other pieces.  Roll into thin snake shapes and press to attach to the narrower end of the pumpkin.  Curl as desired as you place on top.  Break another small piece of green and roll into a thicker tube and place in between the curled green pieces for the stem. (See photo) Press in some vertical lines using the tool provided.

4.  Make the opening for the pencil. Using the sharpened pencil end make an opening in the bottom of the head with a drilling motion. Remove the pencil and place the eraser end in the hole to make sure the fit is good.

5.  To make the eyes break off two small pieces of yellow and roll into a small oval shape and flatten onto front of pumpkin.  Attach two small pieces of purple at the bottom corners of eyes and flatten as before.  Take another small piece and roll into an oval.  Flatten onto front of face under the eyes for a nose.

6. Finish your eraser. Line a pan with aluminum foil and bake the eraser at 250 degrees F for 10 minutes. Do not use microwave oven.  

Follow the directions on the package.  Do not bake too long or at a higher temperature.  Do not use cooking utensils with the clay.  Designate these items for clay alone. Note: Not recommended for children under 6.  It requires adult supervision.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Where are my glasses?

I used to have perfect eyesight.  And then it almost seemed as if I woke up one day and just about everything written was as tiny as the fine print on rip-off contract. At first it seemed to help if I held the material a bit further away, and away and away.  Pretty soon my arms just weren’t long enough.  I finally I had to admit, if only to myself that I needed--drat, reading glasses. 

So I went the way of drugstore readers.  You know the dorky glasses from the display by the prescription counter.  They seemed to work ok, but since I can’t really walk in them I never could seem to keep track of those slippery little devils.  So I decided to actually go to the optometrist.  Contacts are nice but difficult to put in and if you can see well at a distance, they will cause your distance to be blurred.  Being an artist, I just wasn’t too happy with that trade off.  The doctor suggested progressives.

Progressive lenses are in actuality no line bi-focals.  Just like the ones granny wore when she did her knitting, except now the line is invisible.  They take some getting used to but after a while it becomes easier.  You just have to get in the habit of looking out of the right area. 

After the exam I had to decide on which one of the 300 frames on display I would like. First of all, glasses are not my favorite kind of fashion accessory. I mean unless you are Elton John, what can you do with two lenses and a frame.  It’s kind of like a bikini, yeah you can change the color, maybe put on a bow or a button,  but how different can you really design them, when all they consist of are two tiny pieces?  I chose the first one.

For me, it’s still not like good old regular eyesight.  Sometimes it’s just more comfortable to take them off when I am walking around.  That is where my problems arise.  I can never remember where I put my glasses.  I go upstairs, not there, I go downstairs still not there. I look on the main floor and give up and then I realize that they are sitting right on my head where I pushed them up.  Even one of those chains that my husband keeps suggesting wouldn’t work because I know I would just forget they were hanging there.

My solution is to have a pair upstairs, one downstairs, one on the main floor and finally one in my purse.  Now that may seem a bit extreme, but after about 10 years of glasses and my eyesight changing only slightly, I have amassed quite a collection of glasses.  They even sell reading glasses in dollar stores so I can buy another for my glove box, one for the deck, the front porch, my work,…..

Friday, September 17, 2010

Diary of an insomniac

"Night comes" Pencil sketch

What keeps you up at night?  Its two a.m. and you are wide awake, tossing and turning.  You felt tired when you first got into bed and then, well, you just couldn’t shut your mind off.  You were planning your day, heck you were planning six month’s into the future and what you weren’t doing was sleeping.

As you lay there in the dark hoping for that elusive 8 hours you watch the glowing green number on your digital clock as it changes.  Every so often you count…

”If I go to sleep right now I will be getting one, two, three, four, five, hours of sleep before the alarm goes off.”

 In what seems like seconds you are counting again…

”One, two, three, four hours before the alarm goes off.”

Those 8 hours are becoming harder and harder to imagine.

So you start to get desperate and decide to try some remedies that you may have laughed about previously.  Sleep deprivation makes us do strange things.  You count sheep.  Come on now, whoever thought of counting sheep must have been a bit of a jokester.  Why not horses, or cows or even greyhounds?  It doesn’t take long before you realize whatever animal you imagine will be the only one getting tired. So you go to the kitchen to warm up some milk.  Seriously?  After a couple of swallows between gags you come to the conclusion that warm milk is just gross.  I mean, what the hell is that gooey skin?

“If I go to sleep right now I will be getting one, two, three hours before the alarm goes off.”

The alarm goes off and you shuffle into the kitchen for some coffee hoping that someone else has already made it.  There’s not enough coffee on the planet for this kind of morning.

So the next night you are intent on making up for the lack of sleep the previous night.  I may not be an expert but I have few suggestions that work for me.

Take a warm bath and grab the most boring book you can find. Leave the planning for tomorrow. Don’t try and figure out where you are going to seat grandma Ruth at your next party so she won’t be near Aunt Edith to whom she hasn’t spoken in six years. Your mother was right; you can’t solve all the world’s problems.  Leave the economy to the politicians. Try not to eat anything before bed. Don’t exercise at night because that’s just going to rev you up.  No looking at the clock, and absolutely no counting…”if I go to sleep right now I will be getting one, two, three….

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Dr. Doolittle's Mom

When my daughter, Mary, was a little girl, I couldn’t put frilly pink dresses on her without a fight. Oh, yes she put them on and she looked angelic, but underneath that perfect little princess exterior was a tomboy that couldn’t wait to get out.

Ellie Mae Clampett had nothing on her and any critter that crawled, trotted, waddled, hopped or flew eventually landed in my back yard.  Somehow she could always talk me into yet another pet.  I only had a few rules; they couldn’t have a long, hairless pink tail, slither or have eight legs.  I have learned a lot being the mother of a mini Dr. Doolittle, though, and I am more than willing to share that knowledge with other parents. 

In order to keep this post at the usual blog reader 90-second size I will not, at this time at least, discuss the creatures larger than say, a breadbox.  So there will be no dogs, cats or horses today. So here goes…

Did you know that it’s really hard to tell the sex of a rabbit and the males can be a bit, shall we say, difficult?  The rabbit cage stayed in the dining room till brownie decided he wanted to back his little bunny butt to the cage and pee horizontally.  I won’t even go into Bunny whose feeding required a pair of welding gloves.

Cotton Ball, the Hamster was sort of cute, but hamsters are itty-bitty night owls and run all night long on their squeaky little wheels.

And honestly, the lifespan of Rusty the Goldfish was rather long in comparison to other goldfish won at the fair. And for the record, substituting fish does not work on kids even if they look exactly the same to you.

Eddie the box turtle became Edwina after he laid an egg.

Tadpoles put in little plastic aquariums all over the back porch will soon become tiny frogs. 

An Anole is a type of lizard that changes color much like a chameleon.  He eats crickets.  Yes, I said crickets, little hopping bugs and if your not careful they will hop right out of the aquarium. 

If you're smart you shouldn’t allow your children to sleep with ducks.

Even though Mary is now grown she hasn’t changed all that much.  Recently she brought home a baby wild rabbit whose mother had taken her final trip via a lawnmower.  Several days later we said a little goodbye as we released the critter in my rabbit infested back yard.  Then she went home to feed her tree frogs--crickets, of course.

Eastern Box Turtle ACEO

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Kids Crafts--Instructions to make a Creepy Halloween Spider

This creepy little spider is an easy Halloween craft to make with your children. 

You will need:

Black Felt and red felt

Black craft fur

Tacky Craft Glue

Four Chenille Stems

Two wiggly eyes


Cardboard and white chalk pencil


1.  Use the cardboard to cut a circle as a pattern for the size spider you desire.  (They can be made in various sizes and displayed in groups)  For the size pictured I traced around a masking tape roll.  Cut one circle from the fur and one from the felt.

2.  Cut an hourglass shape out of the red felt.

3.  Glue four chenille stems across the black felt circle and let dry.

4.  Using a generous amount of Tacky glue attach the fur circle onto the top of the black felt that you have glued the chenille stems.  Make sure they meet at the edges.  Let the glue dry completely.  Trim the fur if needed.

5.  Glue on two wiggly eyes and the red hourglass onto the top of the fur.  Bend the legs as desired and enjoy.

Occasionally I will offer free craft instructions on this blog on Wednesdays. (Hump day) So please check back often.  These are original designs created by me, so please give credit where it is due.  Most of my designs are kid friendly and simple projects that can be created quickly with a limited amount of supplies.  I would love comments and it you need any help please feel free to contact me.  Thanks and enjoy.

Monday, September 13, 2010

A rose by any other name

The Artist's studio at Belmont
Pastel painting

I have lived within the same 20-mile radius in Virginia for most of my life.  The Rappahannock River separates Fredericksburg city from Stafford County, which has always been my home.  George Washington grew up right here along the banks of the Rappahannock.  In fact although legend says that he threw a coin across the Potomac many historians believe that it was, in actuality, the Rappahannock. 

Stafford County is about 277 square miles with 65% still pretty much forested.  This county consists of 9 separate communities.  One of these communities is Falmouth.

It was here that the renowned early 20th century artist Gary Melchers made his home.  Although I lived, for many years, less than a mile from his estate, I only recently discovered his art. I am not alone. Although internationally celebrated during his lifetime, he is pretty much unknown by many today.  That is truly a shame.  His art is amazing to behold and when and if you are lucky enough to visit this area I suggest you go to see his former home which is now a museum and gallery of his art.

So if you visit Falmouth, Va. be sure to check out Gary Melcher’s Studio.

Oh, I almost forgot, I bet when you were reading the name Falmouth you were hearing it pronounced Fowl-mouth.  I know-- I have amazing powers of ESP.  A rose by any other name is still a rose, but trust me, you wouldn’t stand out so much if you just say Fal’-muth.  :-)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

A Horse of a different Color?

"Wearin O the Green" ACEO

The thing I love most about horses is the fact that there are tons of different breeds, and many, many colors and variations.  I won’t try and venture a guess as to exactly how many breeds or colors exist, but I will say it’s a lot.

Now as an artist who likes variety and color, I am, most of the time, on cloud nine.  There are spots and stripes, snips and socks. There are duns, which have a dorsal stripe and the similar Buckskin that does not.  Some horses have two colors and sometimes even three.  There are rare colors such as gruella, which I have personally never seen in the flesh and the oft seen chestnuts and bays.  There are Grays, which to the uninitiated appear white and true whites. 

When you are talking paints, you have Overos and Tobianos.  Appaloosas can have blankets with spots or be leopard spotted or even just snowflaked.  It makes ones head spin to try and figure out all the combinations.

You wouldn’t think that with all this many horse colors to choose from I would be unsatisfied.  It isn’t often but occasionally I like to create some of my very own.  So like on The Wizard of Oz there are times when I enjoy painting a horse of a different color.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Cricket Hunt

Mini canvas "Road less traveled"

Last night while working in my basement studio I saw a cricket working its way along a wall.  I know that my cat Olivia will probably stop it dead in it’s tracks since she prowls the basement constantly.  As I sat watching this poor little insect I remembered another cricket a few years ago and the mayhem that it caused.

 It went something like this…

Each year, in the eastern portion of the United States, starting in early fall and continuing until the first frost, the great Cricket invasion begins.

That night I got about two hours sleep, total.  It seemed that one rather tenacious cricket had taken up residence somewhere in my bedroom. It’s incessant chirping had invaded my personal space, and I have always been cursed with being a light sleeper.

I tossed and turned in the area between sleep and awake finally admitting to myself that I would get no real rest unless I could stop the annoying sound. I decided I had had enough, so I went on a Cricket hunt.

Have you ever been on a Cricket hunt at three in the morning?  Arming myself with a flexible flashlight and a tissue, I tracked the sounds. Alas, wherever it appeared to originate, I’d always seem to end up on the opposite side of the room.

I decided to try a different approach.  Quietly, I lay down with my hunting tools in hand, waiting, but whenever so much as a toe would touch the floor, the incessant chirping would stop. Do Crickets laugh, I wondered? If they did, I am sure that this little fellow was rolling on the floor.

What a sight I must have been at that odd hour, stalking a tiny black bug, snake light wrapped around my head like a deranged coal miner. Suddenly I found her, and yes; it turned out to be a she.  You see, helping my daughter with her 4th grade homework had not been all in vain.

I raised my tissue-covered hand and dove, only to be disappointed and come up bugless.  She had somehow gotten away.  Damn they are fast. Suddenly the chirping stopped. Exhausted I drifted into a light sleep dreaming of chasing crickets over hill and dale.

Six O’clock came and so did the offending song. I leapt out of bed like a woman possessed and started tossing things aside in desperation. Meanwhile, my daughter awoke to the startling sight of her disheveled mother throwing things around without regard to placement or order. After moving half the contents of the room, I asked my bewildered child if she knew the length of a Cricket’s life span?  She didn’t.

 “Do I look like a Cricketologist or something?” She groaned.

Then I saw it.  It was crawling along the wall in the corner. I called for my daughter, because she had assured me that she could pick up the thing.  She couldn’t. While she was screaming I pounced. I had captured the cricket in the folds of the tissue. Quickly I headed for the door and threw it outside tissue and all. It was the old “catch and release” for the lucky little songstress.

I knew that the invasion wasn’t over yet, and wouldn’t be for a little while. I hoped that I wouldn’t have any more midnight visitors but if I did I was confident I could handle the situation.

My daughter has since grown up but I am sure she can fondly recall the days of cricket hunts, her mother wild-eyed and focused on one thing—returning this small unassuming insect to its proper habitat, and waiting although not too patiently for Jack…Frost that is.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Pony scarecrow ACEO

When my daughter was little we always brainstormed costumes for her each Halloween.  Many times we also made costumes for horse show fun classes.  She has been a scarecrow, an angel, a devil, a cheerleader, and the list goes on.   Although many people shy away from homemade costumes, they can be the most original and best ones.  It is easier than you think to create a costume from scratch if you just use a few materials and a little imagination.

To make a scarecrow costume you will need:

A plain hooded sweatshirt in a buff color
A hank of raffia (sold in craft stores)
Sweatpants in a darker color (hunter green is nice)
Some fabric scraps (the wilder the colors the better, old cotton clothes are a perfect source)
Some face paint (Snazaroo is a good one)
Fabric glue
If desired some dimensional craft paint in black
Straw hat
You can also make a lightweight black crow from Styrofoam and black feathers or you can purchase one from the Halloween section of the craft or dept. store.

Cut the fabric scraps into 4-inch squares.  You can, if desired vary the sizes of the squares. 

Using the fabric glue, glue the squares randomly onto the sweatshirt and sweat pants.  Vary the placement. Let dry and if desired, draw stitch marks on the squares all around and let dry.  Let your creativity soar.

Make the raffia wristlets and anklets.  Braid two strips of raffia to fit around wrist.  Make sure it is long enough to tie in a bow. Do the same with two braided lengths of raffia to fit around ankles.  Cut lengths of raffia and loop around and knot onto the braided pieces.  Do this for all four braided lengths.  Add as many strips of raffia as desired, the fuller the better.

When putting on costume attach the wristlets and anklets of raffia and tuck under the cuffs of the sleeves and the cuffs of the pants.  Let just the strips of raffia poke out.

With face paint, draw a stitch line down the center of the face and at the corners of the mouth.  Paint the nose brown in a triangle shape.

Attach a crow to the straw hat and put on.  Done.


For the horse you will need glue that is sold in craft stores called “Tack it over and over”.  Apply this glue onto the back of the fabric squares and let dry.  This way you can attach it to the horse and take it off easily.  You will also need to make anklets for all four hooves.  Remember to measure the braided length to tie around the hooves.  Add a straw hat with a crow attached to complete the ensemble.  Please feel free to contact me for any extra instructions or suggestions.  

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Empty Nest

"Rebirth" ACEO

Today is the first day of school.  Today marks the first day in many years that I don’t have anyone going to school.  I am almost an empty nester.  I say almost because the last of our progeny has decided to join the Air Force and is waiting for his call to Boot camp.

Soon the day will come when my husband has gone to work and I wake up to an empty house and I am not looking forward to it.

I have discussed this irrational fear with many of my friends who have preceded me with their own empty nests. Most of them laugh at my unnecessary worry.  With their help I have made up a list of the unseen benefits of an empty nest and they are as follows:

You will regain control of the television.  You will only have to watch ESPN or Spongebob if you want to.

You can fix all sorts of meals that don’t include nuggets or fries.

You will, for the first time in a long time, have privacy and you can walk around the house any way you want.  This will make you want to go the gym, which will increase your lifespan.

Your grocery bill will decrease and you will actually be able to afford a manicure.

No more bank of mom or dad.

You won’t have to drive a mini van any longer and you can get that two-door sport coupe.

Eventually you will become a grandma, nana or memaw and you can smile as you hand the candy filled grandkids back to their parents along with the new drum set.

You won’t have to teach anyone to drive or use the potty. Those chores will become someone else’s responsibility.

Vacations will be easier and cheaper, and you won’t have to plan them around places that include mouse ears.

You will be able to pass by fast food places without someone asking for a “joyful“ meal.

These are just a few of the benefits that have been pointed out to me.  I am sure there are others.  I have been told that it takes about two weeks before you embrace your new status. All joking aside I sure hope so.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

No Kitty, don't scratch the furniture!

When you first get a cat, they purr and rub against you.  They meow and greet you when you walk in the door.  They jump on your lap.  They are warm and fuzzy and they make you feel the same.

And then you discover some not so cute habits…  “No Kitty, don’t scratch the furniture!”

When my former orphan cat “Olivia” started this behavior I freaked.  So I went to the pet store and purchased one of those kitty contraptions that have little nooks and crannies and scratching posts for the cat to enjoy.  She gave it a glance and then casually walked over to the sofa and…well you get the picture.  The next item was pretty much an overpriced piece of cardboard supposedly scented like catnip. Up with her tail and nose in the air she sashayed past it as if it wasn’t even there. 

I bought scented sprays and sticky tape and discovered that my cat was unfazed.  After she re-upholstered an antique chair, kitty style, I realized that I needed to come up with a solution. 

I called my vet.  Now, don’t get all in a tizzy.  I found out exactly how they declaw cats.  Lets just say that I was as shocked as I was to discover that mousetraps don’t catch mice by their tails.

I was at wits end. It was starting to look as if I was going to have to redecorate my living room with cheap plastic lawn furniture.

Again to the pet store I ventured.  My head was down and my spirits were low. One last try in desperation I asked a sales person who just happened to own a cat if there was a solution that I hadn’t tried.  He told me to put rubber tips on the cat’s nails.

I can hear you laughing so stop it.  I bought a package. There are several brands out there but basically they all do the same thing.  Who would have thought they have fake glue-on nail caps for cats.  And they come in all sorts of girly colors. (Clear caps for Tom)

The first application is a little tricky.  I will tell you that it helps to have two people and a very large towel.  Perhaps the cats would be a little more cooperative if they knew you were saving them from starring in a “Saw” sequel.  Trust me, it gets easier and the only thing you will have to deal with are visitors making comments about your cat's manicure.

Now after 6 months I only have to replace one nail here and there, and I can keep the lawn furniture outside where it belongs. ;-)

Calico ACEO

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Good Cris and Goofy Cris

When I was a kid I loved Highlights magazine.  Are they even still in circulation? Anyway, in this magazine my favorite column was the “Goofus and Gallant” article.  Goofus was exactly what the name implies, always complaining and not very nice.  Gallant was every parent’s dream child.  Gallant was courteous, always Mr. nice guy.  So I thought why not a nod to two of my favorite kids?

In Autumn Good Cris loves...

Piles of multi colored leaves in all shapes and sizes

Goofy Cris says…
Yuck, piles of multi colored leaves that need to be raked and removed.  Especially ones from the neighbors yard who don’t feel the need to rake and remove

Good Cris loves…

Crisp fall temperatures in the 50’s that require light jackets

Goofy Cris says…

Good Cris loves...

Goofy Cris says…
Just leave me alone, that darn leaf raking can just wait till the Football game is over

Good Cris likes...
Halloween, Trick or Treaters and hand made costumes

Goofy Cris says…
OMG, not the doorbell again!  Really now, bed sheets?

Good Cris likes...
Fall Festivals and Fairs of all types and sizes

Goofy Cris says…
Hot dogs, French fries, cotton candy, kettle corn, Alka Seltzer

Good Cris looks forward to...
Craft shows where holidays start early

Goofy Cris says…
No I don’t want to have a makeup party, I'm pretty enough thank you very much

Good Cris loves...
Carving pumpkins and the Pumpkin Patch with miles of various sized pumpkins

Goofy Cris says…
What the **&&^^ is wrong with three triangles and a circle?

Good Cris enjoys...
Back to school sales and big yellow school buses

Goofy Cris says…
Honestly, this can’t be the supply list for 4th grade; it’s the size of War and Peace.

Good Cris loves...
All the multi colored mums

Goofy Cris says…
No doggy, not there!

Good Cris likes...
Halloween leftover candy

Goofy Cris says…
Can we say, Jenny Craig?

Just to be perfectly clear, I am not Goofy Cris and any association to persons alive or dead are purely coincidental.  Honestly, I’m not Goofy Cris.  If you think about it I could be Gallant Cris.  I mean she’s kind of nice and I’m nice.  Oh just forget it, it’s a parody lighten up…
Gourds ACEO

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Miniature art

Since I am the oldest of four kids, my parent’s budget would sometimes get a little bit taut when we were growing up. 

When birthdays would roll around my mother would ask us kids what we wanted as a gift.  The others would ask for toys, me, I would ask for art supplies. We always shared most of everything but a birthday gift was yours alone. 

Art supplies were the ultimate gift for me.  When I wanted charcoal to draw I fed on the belief that necessity was the mother of all invention. So I sat in the backyard and burned the tips of twigs with the matches I wasn’t even supposed to have.  If I wanted clay, I went to the edge of a creek by our house and dug some out of the ground.  Sometimes it was actually clay, other times, maybe not. Drawing surfaces could be anything from sidewalks to brown paper bags.

So you see I developed a thrifty edge to my artistic endeavors.  When I got any new art supplies, paints, pads, brushes, crayons, pencils, etc.  I was very frugal with their use.  I found I could use my supplies sparingly if I worked small.

So began my love of miniature art.  As an adult I can be as wasteful with supplies as I want, but the child in me still wants to conserve.  Miniature art has become a passion.

Recently, while on an errand to purchase some art supplies I came across some mini stretched canvases.  I couldn’t resist so I purchased them.  Although the photography is not the best, I present my first mini stretched canvas original.

Create on,

Mini Canvas Paint Horse

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