Saturday, May 31, 2008

Last Day of May... again.

I don't have anything to blog about so I decided to just leave a footprint so it would look like someone lives here. (insert Big Foot outline here)

I'm going to go visit a friend today. That's always enjoyable. She called yesterday and when I answered the phone my voice sounded really weird. This morning it sounds back to normal. I hadn't used my voice box for a while... maybe it stiffened up from lack of use. (I just had to say something out loud to make sure its still working. hahaha It still sounds normal.)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


I thought I should put something up just to say 'hey'.

Its been a quiet weekend, although the boys came over Saturday and spent the night. They got their books out and I read a few to them. When Darius curled up next to be and got comfy, I knew it would be an early night for them.

"Time for bed, guys."

"But gramma... the moon isn't out yet!"

I explained summer to them. I got them in bed fairly easily. "Go get in bed now." And they went!! That was another clue as to their level of alertness. Darius gave a few weepy moans just as a token, but by 8pm he was fast asleep. Vyron (the younger one) was asleep by 8:30pm.

The next morning our day started at 5:30am.

Friday, May 23, 2008

A Tour of My Art Studio



That's it. A small section of a small kitchen, however, let me give you a formal tour.

To the left is a 3' wall that beyond it drops you off onto the couch and the living area. And the evil TV sucks you in to just one more program. The dark door way behind the painting is the bathroom. Handy. And the doorway beyond beyond is to the bedroom where the pc lurks and winks at me. "I wonder what folks are doing... maybe I should go check just one more time. Maybe someone has posted something within the last 15 minutes."

I'm using a tv tray to hold the butcher tray I'm using for a palette. (I never did find my paper palette pad.) 1' to the right of the tv tray is the stove. 1' to the rear of the chair (which doesn't slide but must be lifted a little to move it) is the kitchen sink. Once I sit down I am imprisoned and its not particularly easy to get out. First I must scoot the tv tray out to the right. Then I can stand up and move the chair back enough to get out. If I'm going to the bedroom I must move the tv tray back towards the chair area so I can get by, and hope my hip doesn't catch the edge of the palette.

My intent this morning was to dedicate today to painting. Its almost 4pm and I have yet to squeeze out any paint. I know if/when I squeeze out some paint (acrylics) I am sentenced to stay there and use it, otherwise it will dry out and be wasted. And I like to take a lot of breaks. 'Step back away from the painting. Step back towards the sound of my voice. Put your hands on the top of your head.' Oh wait... that's from a tv show, Cops. Got carried away for a second. Its the imprisoned thingy.

And all this (keying this entry) is doing is giving me something else to do instead of squeezing a tube. Sigh. I don't know what's wrong... why I procrastinate so much. However, I am feeling some anger build and that's a good thing. It would be good if I got really angry and just slapped paint around. I want to be done with this thing! I want the monkey off my back!!

But wait... its almost 4pm. Time for one of my regular tv shows to come on. I'll squeeze paint after its off. yeah, that's what I'll do.

How is your day going?

Added later: I did squeeze the tube and now I am struggling with getting flesh tones and shadows. Don't they make caucasian flesh tone paint? sigh. Why can't I just say 'no' when asked to paint something for someone else. Crap!
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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

I Like This One

I like how this person has formatted their art journal. (video is 3+ minutes) Its just a personal preference... I can't seem to get into a gazillion layers. Its possible my appreciation for a gazillion layers will change over time, but for now it just seems like a waste of art supplies.

Good News, Bad News (I'm ranting again)

Good news is that congress is grilling oil company executives regarding the high price of gas. Bad news is that congress may not be able to do anything about it right now.

The executives couldn't come up with a reason other than supply and demand. Don't tell me these brilliant people think we are going to believe that.... not when their profit levels are in the billions. Bullshit! (that's my toned down wording... and I want to say it again. BULLSHIT!!)

"J. Stephen Simon, executive vice president of Exxon Mobil Corp., said profits have been huge “in absolute terms” but must be viewed in the context of the massive scale of the industry.” He also said high earnings are needed “in the current up cycle” to pay for investments in the long term when profits will be down."

Can ya just smell the bullshit? Be sure to check your shoes. Its all over the place.

"He [senator] asked Simon what his total compensation was at Exxon, a company that made $40 billion last year. Simon replied it was $12.5 million annually."

"Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., said Exxon’s annual profits increased from $11.5 billion to $40.6 billion in the past five years and there was no explanation for “why profits have gone up so high when the consumer is suffering so much.”

The five companies earned $36 billion in the first quarter of this year."

The first quarter... that's just three months, folks.

There's talk of taxing excessive profits. That's not going to do it. We need regulations to stop them from making that much profit in the first place.

It doesn't say much more, but the full msn article can be found here.

And just one more comment on another subject... one area that is probably benefiting the most from the stimulus payments is the IRS. The payments will increase most people's taxes, not to mention all the payments they snatched outright. The government giveth and the IRS taketh. And its all one big happy family.

Okay... now I'm going to try to leave the ranting alone. We'll see how I do.

We're Getting Screwed Again!

Greedy corporate America is once again trying to suck everyone dry with the Orphan Works Bill.

Here's a site that can help you take action. And if you know of folks who love to make a lot of noise, please let them know what is going to happen. If we scream loud enough and threaten to take our votes somewhere else...if there is enough of us, we can stop this outrage!

And please post something on your blog about this. The more the information gets out, the more people we will have taking action.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A2Z Project - Letters W,X,Y, & Z

Can you spot what represents the letters? Take your time... I'll wait.

Did you spot them all yet?
Did you spot the zebra?
Well, that's because there is no zebra.
Need help?
W is for windy
X is for x-walk. (I know, I know... more than stretching, but it works for me.)
Y is for yellow
Z is for...
zipper! On her jacket. She has a zipper on her jacket.
Yay... I'm done. I finished it. That's a biggy for me. Trust me.
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Watercolor Practice... Sigh

 I had watched a how-to painting program with artist Mimi Sammis. Using my memory I tried to recreate what she had done.

 A quick sketch using crayons. I put very watery paint along the top and held the paper upright in an attempt to get it to run down the paper in streaks. I couldn't get it to work. Is there a secret to it?

 A dismal failure. I had a photo of a plant found in Hawaii. I should have left it alone.

I came across a small pad of wc paper and thought it would be good for practice. I think it is about 5 x 7.

Our Government at Work: (Oxymoron, huh.) The USDA spent around 90 million dollars sending employees to conferences throughout the world. Most of them were held in tourist areas... like Hawaii. The most impressive conference listed, to me, was the conference held in Australia at one of their surfing resorts. The conference subject? Mississippi crawfish. I guess it needed to be held in Australia because Mississippi doesn't have good surfing waves.
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Monday, May 19, 2008

hmmm... This Sounds Familiar

I was blind blog surfing (randomly clicking on other people's links) and came across this "momsense" video on

In fairness, here's a follow up for the dads.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

I Like Her Work (Olivia Pendergast) Video 5.5 minutes

(I couldn't help but notice the two times she wears a scarf around her neck. The artist's costume.)

I also like Paul Goodnight's work. I like the looseness of it.

How Do You Put On Your Jeans... One Leg at a Time?

Friday, May 16, 2008

The Boys Spent the Night

 They're still young enough so that there's a few things that will entertain them. As they get older, gramma's place will become very boring and will be considered a source of punishment. "If you don't stop that, I'm taking you to gramma's!! Mark my words!"
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Its Football, Gramma!



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Got Cake?




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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Warning... Political Rant

Ya know what really ticks me off? When I watch the news and some little junior flip is telling me how to save 3 cents. That's not the story I want to hear!! I want to hear how it is that Enron can make $10.9 BILLION profit in three damn months. HOW DOES THAT HAPPEN???? That's the news story I want to hear, damn it.

And I want to hear how congress is creating some laws to stop this kind of exploitation of the peasants. I want some mandates instituted. I want and expect the government to DO SOMETHING. Especially the Democratic MAJORITY. What the hell are they doing????? Nothing but sitting on their damn asses collecting money from the lobbiest and us stupid tax payers?? They are as bad as the Republicans.... or worse, considering all their lying rhetoric when they were running for re-election. THEY JUST DON'T GET IT!! WE'RE TIRED OF THIS BULLSHIT!!!!! We're not going to stand for it anymore!!!

And what the hell is up with so many people voting for Clinton. Gawd, please tell me they are not so frigging stupid as to believe what she is saying. She's a liar, for gawd sake. Both her and her husband lie through their teeth. Helloooooo... don't you remember him swearing in front of us all that he "did not have sexual relations with that woman!"

And now his mate is running from sniper fire, ducking and dodging bullets. Okay, so the first time she told this lie she said she got mixed up and was sleep deprived. Well... if she got mixed up, then where was she when she had to dodge snipper bullets? The arcade? SHE TOLD THIS SAME LIE TWO MORE TIMES!! And do we really want a president who makes these kinds of mistakes when they are sleep deprived? Not me.

But you know what the real kicker is about this particular lie. Did she really think she would get away with it when there were civilians, reporters, and a film crew on this very same trip? Are we really suppose to be that frigging stupid? Well... unfortunately, it would seem that there are plenty that are just that stupid. And what does she have to say about it when questioned? 'Oh well, no big deal.' WTF?!?

Another of the news stories I would like to hear about is all her and hubby's shady business deals. That's what I'd like to hear about instead of how to save a frigging ass penny at the gas pump. Where are those up and coming journalists who would like to make a name for themselves? Get with it, will ya.

And don't think I have purposely left out Obama from this rant. Its just that I am unaware of any mis-steps. Perhaps it comes from him not having as much experience as the other politians... but for me right now, that's a good thing in my book. I just hope those greedy bastards at the top of the pyrimid don't put a hit out on Barack like they did JFK and Bobby when they went after the fat cats.

(And the IRS needs to be revamped so they have don't have so much power. But that's just me.)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A Surprise Visit

 My two favorite boys stopped by for a visit. They, of course, brought 'mom' too. I picked up the camera and they started hamming it up. I couldn't get any good candid shots.

 Vyron seems to have this thing about putting his arms in some kind of dance pose or something. Jazz hands... only it involves his whole arm.

 This is the after effect of Vyron spilling a whole bowl of noodles on the floor. I should have taken a picture of the whole mound but didn't think of it soon enough. Fortunately for them, I stopped worrying about the rug a long time ago. It makes for a more pleasant gramma.

They wanted to spend the night but I wasn't prepared for them and I have to go grocery shopping tomorrow morning. Shopping doesn't go well when they are along. "Put that back. Come back here. Don't squeeze the tomatoes!!" They didn't want to compromise, but since mom and I are bigger, we got our way. They'll come over tomorrow afternoon and spend the night. Mom will pick them up the next evening. That will give us plenty of time to get on each others' nerves.

Now, if you'll excuse me... I've got to go start putting things up and out of the way of little fingers. And go turn out all my lights. When they come over the first thing they do is turn all the lights on... I'm thinking its one way they have a feeling of self-empowerment.

It sure was good seeing them.
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Here's a Better Blogger Interview

Several posts back I mentioned how crappy the Today Show's segment on mommy bloggers was and that it wasn't worth the effort to even watch it. Here's a much better one done by ABC for Dateline. It doesn't include the other bloggers, but it gives a fuller view of Dooce/Heather Armstrong.

Monday, May 12, 2008

A Real Fast Portrait Demo (2:20)

Be sure to watch to the end and be observant. hahahaha

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Boston Legal Says It So Well (video 10:19)

Mother's Day

I was pleasantly surprised today. I checked my mail box and there was a card from my daughter who is in Texas. She crafted the card herself which made me smile. These photos suck, but they're the best I could get.

 On the front it says "Sending My Love".

 Inside it says "Thank you for life. Thank you for teaching me to be a good employee. Thank you for my penmanship. These things are invaluable to me. Happy Mothers Day." It made me chuckle... nothing mushy for me. I'm a bit crusty, you see.

 And this last one.. you'll have to take my word for it because this photo is so bad. In the lower left corner she has her 'imprint'. "Tracy's Creations."

Another daughter, Candace, called to wished me Happy Mother's Day, too. Two out of five... not too bad for me.
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Saturday, May 10, 2008

For You Budding Watercolorists... a "Trick"

Don't think its a commercial for Mr. Clean, although.... The video shows another way of lifting out color.

Make a Video... Perhaps Win a Prize.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Oh... Look What I Found

My attempts at ACOs.

I've been trying to locate my paper palette pad (say that three times in a row) and I came across the ACOs. (Did I post them already?) I didn't locate the palette pad but I did come across these so now I have something to post. Yippee.

In case you were wondering, when I realized (accepted the fact) that my youngest daughter and her two boys weren't going to be moving out any time soon, I collected my art supplies and packed them away as best I could. It made for a better environment. Not so many "No. Put that down. Don't touch. Leave it alone!" And then, a couple of months later, they moved. Now I have junk all over the place... floor, tables, counters... and I still can't find anything. Who knew.
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Something... Post Something!!

 What can I say? Nothing. Thus.... no entries. See how that works. May your Friday stand its ground and keep its balance between Thursday and Saturday. Good Cheer.
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Wednesday, May 07, 2008

How Observant are You?

Thx to Sandy, I took the test.

Your Observation Skills Get A C+

You tend to notice the big things in life...

But the details aren't exactly your forte

Here's something kewl to look at....

Its a 1+ minute video of sewn portraits morphing into one another. You can find it here.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Big Time Bloggers on NBC's Today Show Tomorrow UPDATED

For those who may be interested, two very popular bloggers are going to be on the Today Show Wednesday, May 7th. Dooce and Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda. (I think there will be other bloggers as well, but these are two that I visit regularly.)

UPDATE AFTER THE SEGMENT: What a waste of time that was... at least for me. The segment was, I think, all of two minutes, and most of that was taken by the hosts, Kotda (oops, that should be Hoda) (?) and Kathy Lee. Has not anyone heard about shutting up to let the guests answer the questions?? (And Kathy is trying too hard. Too much 'forced fun'.) It was really a disappointment. No substance to it at all. I can't really say any more about it, other than Mir (woulda, coulda, shoulda) makes a great deal of money from hers. She is making 10% more than when she was a software engineer and they get paid pretty darn good.

And since I'm already being crusty, let me just say that nbc/today show web site is so full of stuff that's hard to find anything. If you missed today's show you can see the video of it but I'm guessing it will just be on there today. Listen... don't worry about it if you did miss it. Its not worth seeking out.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Just Stopping for a Minute

 That's my plan, anyway... to stop by here (internet)for just a minute before I start working on a much delayed painting. As a friendly warning, if you have a lot to get done its best that you don't stop at Sandy's art blog because you'll get sucked into link hopping. Anyway, that's what just happened to me. I clicked on a link on her sidebar. That took me to a wonderful site where I clicked again and went to flickr to see over 3,000 pictures of art studios. I didn't actually get through all of them, but I did get to page 15. I'll be back later to finish the tour.

Okay, okay... I'm getting off now. I'm shutting down. Yeah... ah.... that's what I'm going to do.
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Sunday, May 04, 2008

Someone's In The Kitchen with Dinah

I went over to a friend's house yesterday. We played Upwards and she fixed dinner. In case you are unable to make out the final score it was 445 to 437... (cough) my favor. (sly grin) She's out to get me now, because she's the word queen. (snicker)
Oh... and that's a piece of blackberry pie in the container for me to take home. It was good.
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Not So Good

I just couldn't get the 'tude' with these two. And they're not really "contour drawings", either.
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Saturday, May 03, 2008

Friday, May 02, 2008

Pastel Demo (10 minute video)

I found this to be very interesting considering how the piece began and how it ended.

Contour Drawing Definition

I became curious about the definition of contour drawing so I did a search and apparently there is contour drawing and then blind contour drawing. Here's a paragraph from

"Blind Contour drawing is a favourite with drawing teachers to develop hand-eye communication. Contour drawing is essentially outline drawing, and blind contour drawing means drawing the outline of the subject without looking at the paper. The end result doesn't matter - what is important is carefully observing the subject."

Here's the full article.

Several Versions

I took a picture of the drawing first, before applying any color. 

I used the backside of a piece of watercolor paper thinking the pen would flow smoother. It did. The watercolor didn't flow quite as smoothly.

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Brave enough...

Brave enough to show the bad stuff. Reference source is from some photos sent via email.  
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