Sunday, August 28, 2011

Goodnight Irene

Red sky at night sailors delight...I don't think so

First of all lets get this out in the open.  When they name hurricanes why would give one a name like Irene that literally means “peace.”  Sounds like a big contradiction to me.  They should be giving them names like Attila.  

Anyway, even though I live about 2 hours inland from the ocean the whole area was in an uproar yesterday.  You couldn’t find water or batteries anywhere.  Emergency workers were working overtime or on call.  I guess you could say here in these parts of Virginia we still haven’t recovered from the 2003 visit from a very nasty lady named, Isabel.  Incidentally, Isabel means “god of plenty,” plenty of rain, plenty of power loss, plenty of damage. 

During the pre-Isabel day I scoffed at those who feared her.  I had never really felt the effects of a hurricane; after all we were 2 hours inland.  My chastisement came the night she roared into town. The windows sounded as if they were about to implode.  The trees were downed everywhere one looked.  The power was out and remained out for two blistering hot weeks! 

The first thing I did after Isabel was to go out and buy a generator.  It’s been 8 years since Isabel and it’s still brand spanking new.  How is that for irony?  

Right before Irene arrived we took out Genny, (my generator) as shiny and new as the day she was born, from the storage shed, went to the gas station and bought a couple of gallons of gas.  We got out the battery powered lantern and put it on the kitchen counter.  We were prepared.  Nothing happened.  Not complaining, just saying.

Others were not so lucky and I hope that they will soon recover from Irene’s wrath.

Hurricane season is just starting and Genny may finally get her first use-- after all there are still…


Should I take it as an omen that out of the names that are upcoming three are my family members?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

All that glitters for PPF

"My Brass Horse"

Recently I found a large brass horse at a yard sale, it was huge, and must be at least 2 feet long by 2 feet high.  I couldn’t resist so I bought it. I knew it could be fantastic but it was dull with years of tarnish.  So I got out some brass cleaner and stole some of my hubby’s underwear (it makes the best cleaning rags) and scrubbed and rubbed and worked on it for hours.  I ended up with black fingernails to the point where I looked like a country auto mechanic minus the overalls.  I washed and scrubbed and scrubbed some more.  Finally, the horse was shiny, my fingernails were clean and my hubby was only short a few pairs of underwear. 

Well, it looked so nice that I figured why not take on the challenge of painting brass!  Never one to shy away from a challenge, I whipped out this little acrylic of “My brass Horse.”  He is shiny now but I know that all that glitters is not gold…only brass and if I keep him he may end up needing more upkeep than a French poodle.

Think I’ll go buy husband dear some extra underwear just in case.

Mother nature is beating us down…with a one-two punch, first an earthquake, and then a hurricane on the way.  I am supposed to leave for a much-needed vacation on Monday…we will see what comes of that.  Anyway, I will be visiting all the  PAINT PARTY FRIDAY  art and amazing artists (Providing I have power!)  before I leave and you should too!!!  

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Can animals sense earthquakes before they happen?

The aftershocks appear to be over now and after experiencing my first real earthquake in a non-earthquake area I have but one question…do animals know before an earthquake happens?

I’m still vacuuming up glass and my cat and dog appear to be back to normal.  Yesterday before the quake, they were not!

Seismologists laugh at the notion of animals predicting these catastrophes.’ And studies have failed since there is no way for us, only humans, to predict a quake in order to study animal behavior. 

I have heard that it is not uncommon for cats and dogs to behave erratically before a quake.  Many pets go missing as well.  And they don’t find a lot of animal bodies in the rubble.  Our four legged friends somehow know and prepare.

Early yesterday my dog was extremely antsy.  My cat, Olivia, disappeared somewhere in the house and I couldn’t find her in any of her hiding places, odd behavior for a cat that so loves her breakfast.  My stepdaughter was asleep and her dog woke her up right before the tremors started.  I had to go over to my brother’s house to help him look for his cat that went missing.  Olivia reappeared around 10 p.m. last night long after the last aftershock. Not exactly a study, I know, and I am aware that it has been 100 years since the last quake, but still just to be sure, I’m sticking with the pets… “Here kitty, kitty, kitty.”

Maybe not that one!  He looks a wee bit scarier than the quake!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


This afternoon I decided to do some chores around the house.  My car was in need of vacuuming and the day was pretty comfortable with no humidity so I figured it would be a perfect time.  I opened the garage doors to get some air while I worked. 

I started vacuuming and when I put the hose under one seat I sucked up a plastic bag by mistake…”Darn, I thought when the vacuum stopped working, I’ve broken it.”  At that very moment the shaking started which I am citing as the reason why I couldn’t comprehend what was happening.  We were experiencing an earthquake and I thought that I had done something that was causing some sort of explosion. 

My confusion turned to realization when the shaking got so loud that I was afraid the roof was going to cave in on me.  Terrorists?  I was dumbfounded, scared, and really at a loss. Ok, cut me some slack here, I have lived in Va. all my life and it is not exactly an area prone to earthquakes.  In fact they said on the news that the last time an earthquake of this magnitude happened here was in the 1800’s.

The phones were out and neighbors were out on the street, and I soon discovered that it was in fact, an earthquake—and a 5.9 one too!!!  I live probably 30 miles from the epicenter and while no one was hurt that I know of, there is a lot of minor damage and breakage.

At my store (where I wasn’t today) I am told the building shook and stuff flew off the shelves. My sister who was working at the time and four customers ran outside.  Fortunately no one was hurt, just a lot of picking up to do.

Guess I am pretty lucky losing just a few breakables.

All I can say is, how about a new catch phrase?


Monday, August 22, 2011

The infamous sock line and other discomforts

Argyle socks pencil sketch

I just put on a wonderful new top in preparation for a lunch date with my daughter.  After a few minutes I started doing the wiggle.  You know what I’m talking about-- the sticking tag in your back wiggle.  You can’t scratch it because it’s not really itchy, just uncomfortable.  Manufacturers, can you hear me?  Why can’t you use plain ole cotton thread or take a cue from men’s underwear and print the label on?  Why must you insist on using wiry type thread that feels like I am getting unnecessary acupuncture?

So what do I do?  I grab some scissors and cut it out, and now my pretty new top has a hole in the back, because it is practically impossible to get out the offending thread and tag without a consequence.  Thanks a lot!

It reminds me of getting my daughter dressed when she was just a tyke.  Every day, and I mean every day we had a sock war.  Her oh so delicate feet could not tolerate that infamous sock line.  No, I’m not talking about longitude or latitude.  I’m referring to the seam along the toes.  It bothered her to distraction.  As far as I could tell no other kids seemed to mind.

So one day I opened up her sock drawer and to my surprise she had cut the toes off of every single pair.  When I wasn’t looking she had taken my big sewing shears  (hopefully she walked and didn’t run thanks to my mother’s constant warning) and in her juvenile innocence fixed them all.  She happily wore them with the toes sticking out. 

So I went on a quest to find socks with no sock line.  As it turned out, only one store in the whole town sold them.  They were expensive and sometimes out of stock but since I didn’t want my daughter going to school with holey socks or god forbid barefoot, all throughout her early years, I would periodically go to this store and pay a premium price for socks without lines. 

Quite frankly I didn’t get it at the time, I do now!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Cold hands, warm heart and PPF

The temperature outside is still hot, hot, hot.  Inside in my air-conditioned studio, I paint of cooler things.  I think of my favorite of fall and winter holidays and although I am not usually one to complain about winter, (except when the rare heavy snowfall forces me inside for days) I know there are many who long for the warm, and sometimes hot days of summer.

ACEO in a card

To these beach babies I dedicate my series of snowmen…that have cold hands, but warm hearts. 

The snowmen are hand painted, after which I cut out a piece of a summer photo (preferably of a beach) and decoupage it onto his heart.  I finish with dimensional glitter on the icicles and around his heart. 

Please visit all the other fantastic creative artists and art at PAINT PARTY FRIDAY…I know I will! Thanks to our wonderful, hardworking, creative, fun, and beautiful hosts...Kristin and Eva!

And if you are not feeling cold just yet, check out Inspiration avenue!

Happy Summer…it is fading fast.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Hey diddle diddle it’s Creative Tuesday

"Moon Horse" ACEO

When my daughter was little she just loved for me to read to her.  One of her favorite books was a compilation of Mother Goose rhymes.  The other night, when the moon was full and the sky was a bit cloudy, the bright light of the moonbeams appeared and disappeared behind the clouds.  Into my head one of those old rhymes involuntarily manifested.  And as I stood there watching this celestial show, I recited to myself…

Hey diddle diddle
The cats in the fiddle
The cow (horse) jumped over the moon
The little dog laughed to see such sport
And the dish ran away with the spoon.

Okay, okay, I know that it’s supposed to be the cow that did the jumping.  I’m sorry to disappoint, but you can remember it your way and I’ll remember it mine.

The theme this week at Creative Tuesdays is the moon.  Many thanks to our host, Mr. Toast and please be sure and see all the other creative entries at CREATIVE TUESDAYS  

Thursday, August 11, 2011

How about a Horsey Name game on Paint Party Friday

"He's a Pistol." 11 x 14 Acrylic

So you think your pretty sharp when it comes to TV and Movie Land?  Let’s see if you’ve been really paying attention.  Take this quiz and see just how many horse names you know.  Yes, I said horse, you didn't think it would be easy did you?  So lets gets to it, scoring and answers at the end, so don't peek!

1.     What was the name of Zorro’s Horse?

2.     Remember the show that began with the William Tell Overture? Who was that masked man? I think you know who he was, but what was his horse’s name?

3.     And that Lone Ranger would be lost without his faithful sidekick, Tonto.  What was Tonto’s horse’s name?

4.     What was Wilbur’s Post’s horse’s name?  Hint:  He talked.

5.     John Wayne had many a horse but what was the name of the one he rode in the movie “True Grit.”

6.     The old cowboy star Gene Autry sang about Rudolf, but can you remember his horse’s name?

7.     Roy Rogers was a popular cowboy star, but his horse was even more popular. When the horse died Roy had him mounted in a rearing pose.  What was his horse’s name?

8.     What was Dale Evan’s horse’s name?  For those who don't know she was Roy's better half.

9.     Gumby, remember him? If you do, then you know he has a horsey pal. What was his name?

10.  On the show Mash, what was Colonel Potter’s horse’s name?

11. What was the Cisco kid’s horse’s name?

12. Before Liz Taylor married multiple times she played Velvet Brown in the movie National Velvet…. what was her horse’s name?

13.  What was the name of the horse based on Anna Sewell’s novel, “Black Beauty”?  Ok, that was a freebie in case you didn’t notice.

14. Xena, warrior princess named her horse after cornstarch?  Not really but what was his name anyway?

15. On the show “Seinfeld,” what was the name of Aunt Manya's imaginary pony?


1.     Tornado ,  2.  Silver,  3.  Scout, 4.  Mr. Ed,  5.  Beau,  6.  Champion,  7.  Trigger,  8.  Buttermilk,  9.  Pokey,  10.  Sophie,  11.  Diablo,  12. Pie,  13.  Black Beauty, 14.  Argo,  15.  Edmund


13-15 correct:  Fantastic, you get the blue ribbon and the loving cup.
 9-12 correct:  Good job, I see you’ve been paying attention to everything galloping on your TV screen
6-8 correct:  Time to hit Netflix for some old movies and shows
3-5 correct:  Seriously?  That’s all you could come up with?
1-3 correct:  Give it up-- guess the only horses you are interested in are under your cars hood.

Be sure and check out all the other fantastic art to be found at PAINT PARTY FRIDAY and tell em...Secretariat (Va. triple crown winner)  and Crystal sent you.  Thanks again to our wonderful hosts, Kristin and Eva!  

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Are you a Lucy or an Ethel…or maybe just a Porky Pig?

I adore Lucy.  I even have a signed photo of her hanging in my family room.  Ask any teenager who Magnum P.I. was and they will look at you with a dumbfounded gaze.  Ask them who Lucy is and they will know.  Now that’s staying power.

Lucy would have been 100 just the other day and I don’t think there has been a day since that show was filmed when “I Love Lucy.” Hasn’t been shown somewhere in the world.

The other day my dog, who, I might add, is totally housebroken, was having issues leaving puddles in places other than the great outdoors.  I figured she might have a urinary tract infection and took her to the vet where he prescribed antibiotics.  Until this remedy starts to work, I decided to barricade my dining room, living room, and office so she wouldn’t go in there when I wasn’t watching.  Since this was a temporary measure I piled up items in the doorways.  Does that sound like a Lucy action to you?

Well, rushing to get things done I went into my dining room, and forgetting the barricade was there, I tripped over the stuff, landed on my face, bit my lip nearly off, and twisted my glasses into a very weird shape.  As I sat there examining my injuries, I wondered, Lucy or Ethel…but what I came up with was….th-th-th-th-that’s all folks.

Have a great injury free day! 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

And the winner is....

The winner of the shaking hands all over the world framed signed print is Dolly Daydreams!  The second winner who will receive two handpainted boot magnets is Gail from Art by Gail.  Please send me  you addresses and I will send these things to you right away!  Have a great day everyone!

Friday, August 5, 2011

A question for PPF..Dragonflies--friend or foe?

The Antenna ACEO

Did you know that there are people who dragonfly-watch as a hobby?  It’s true!  They should come to my house. This year I’ve noticed an abnormal amount of dragonflies.  I open my front door and I am greeted with swarms of them sometimes landing on the bushes, alighting on the car antennas and even me!

Being of an inquisitive nature, I wonder what has caused this over-abundance and if any negative consequences will result.  So I search the Internet for the answers.  It seems there are as many theories as to why there are so many dragonflies as there are species.  And according to one dragonfly website there are over 5000 species.

Throughout the world dragonflies are viewed in many different ways.  In Europe a dragonfly has an evil connotation.  In the Native American culture they are revered and often used in decorations.  In fact, in many areas they are an inspiration for much fantastic art and jewelry.  In some Asian countries they are a food source and serve medicinal needs.

Dragonfly—the name itself is rather threatening, but is a dragonfly a danger to humans?  Relax, they don’t bite or sting even though they look as if they could.  They eat mosquitoes that do bite, which is beneficial.  And they are pretty cool looking with all the different colors and varieties.  My suggestion is to employ a few dragonflies in your life and art…I know they won’t sit still for very long but they do make a good painting.

Be sure to visit all the great art to be found at PAINT PARTY FRIDAY Thanks Kristin and Eva  and have a great weekend!

After my really bad day today, I just noticed that TODAY is my year in blogging anniversary--not tomorrow!  Is fate trying to tell me something???  How ironic it that??? Does this mean something?  At any rate I will draw the giveaway winners tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Venus and Mars

Since I have been blogging for almost one whole year I have noticed one very interesting fact.  There are way more women who blog about art than there are men!  I know there are many, many fantastic male artists, I guess they just don’t feel the need to talk, but rather are content to simply--create.

Some experts think the reason that men are the strong, silent type though has a lot to do with brainpower.  Relax girls; no one is saying men are smarter; they just don’t have the capacity for emotions as women.  We all knew that right?  Their brains are hardwired to think about um, uh shall we say other things?

When my husband and I were dating I would write him long emails professing undying love.  He would basically say the same thing in one sentence.

When I give him a greeting card, I pretty much add a long, book length sentiment in addition to the one on the card.  When he gives me a card, I had to pull teeth just to get him to write his name.

I guess it’s hard for me to understand, coming from a family of talker’s male and female.  So maybe it just has to do with writing it down.  Could the reason for husband dear’s (and perhaps other men as well) silence in print be due to the fact that he is a hunt and peck one finger typist?  I must admit that using a cell phone keyboard is a bit daunting even to me.

Whatever the case may be, this past birthday, my husband eagerly presented me with a card.  When I opened it, he had added an extra sentence.  There he stood with a big goofy grin like a three year old  waiting for approval.  He tries, and you gotta love a man that tries.

How about it, are there any men out there who would like to explain the reason for this unequal amount of art bloggers? Any thoughts from the women?

Remember just a few days till my blogoversary so be sure to let me know if you want to be in on the giveaway!  

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