Wednesday, December 26, 2012

i hope all your christmas' were happy

my latest painting
i know i know...i have been away
but we've been very busy getting bernie ready for his trip
(make that plural TRIPS- back to back all over the USA)

christmas here was quiet, i can't quite tell you how we are right now.....
we are both starting to miss each other very badly....
even though he's not left yet
i am worried about his safety on the road and he's worried about my safety during the worst of the winter here
i intend on painting almost around the clock.......
he will be calling every chance he gets .....which is going to mean some pretty odd hours too
but when he's been gone for a while in the past on business trips, i end up in a weird sort of 4 hours on with 3 hours or so sleep periods around the clock... especially when he's been gone in winter
summer is a bit different but during the winter i was on a different clock entirely
so it looks like he and i will be on the same schedule but just in different states
i told him that this will be good cause he won't worry about calling me

he's got a new cell phone, neither of us wanted it but he was so worried about being able to call home so we got it
he was so enjoying NOT having a cell phone
and i may have to get one too but i am still holding out
there really are not many pay phones around anymore

now today we are to get a huge storm
tons of snow and ice and rain and all that
bernie's bringing in wood right now
we are going to have to stack a lot out on the deck
and bring a lot into the house too (a weeks worth in the house at a time)
IF bernie can get back weekly it won't be too bad, but we aren't counting on that
so i get to bring in the wood on my little cart
let's hope for a warmish winter ok?

in other news, i am about to start planning our spring/summer garden
which should be in pretty good shape as we left a few beds fallow and then dumped a TON (which is what it felt like) of manure on the beds too
so i am going through stuff and pulling out the seeds now

so that's what we've all been doing..... just busy.... not too much knitting going on, mostly premie and baby hats from the yarn susan (thank you so much again) sent....
my latest painting is at the top of this page..... i need to cut paper again
and pick up another roll of blue tape....
OHOHOH, i got 'mr clean magic eraser' ....... WOW, it picks up watercolor off a paper surface like NOTHING else i've seen!
my new tool!

cool huh?
now i need something to spread white mask in large drops not small like the toothbrush does
and i'm set for a while

happy new year to you all

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

things i would still really like to do in my life

the end of the year always brings out lists

top ten of the past year
worst ten
best books
best movies
and life lists, bucket lists.....
goals and reckoning

i have a few myself of course....especially after this past year
bernie got to achieve a goal he had for a while.... something he wanted to do but never really was in a place where he could or needed to.

me a few of my dreams and wishes are:

1) botanical illustration: now i found out that there are really GOOD courses out there for this, as well as scientific illustration...... but that they are far away, expensive, don't have placement services and at this point are way out of range for me..... some courses i can do myself with a text book, but i would have really loved to have done this....
and along with this......
1a) get more work out there ........i really want some licensing contracts now... and i have a plan!
1b) finally do egg tempera

2) build that red house: i love that house and can't stop thinking of it's got a farmhouse kitchen and porch, an open room plan, ample windows and real closets...... i adore stone houses but if i could have that red one i think it would be ok

3) expand my garden and add an orchard: that is self explanatory no?
i would like to add chestnut, walnut, and filbert trees, along with cherry, apple, pear and peach.... and elderberries, cranberries, blackberries, raspberries and more blueberries...

4) sew more: i miss sewing clothing but really i don't need much as i don't go out enough to justify an extensive wardrobe

5) more bookcases: or thin out my current bookcases...... this one is a huge stress-er for me....... i don't want to give up my books, and i am a voracious reader- i devour books at a rate that really isn't good for our finances, add to that a preference to owning the books i read....just in case...of you know.... a desperate need to reread a passage at 3am on a sunday morning during a snowstorm.....(don't laugh, it's happened more then once)

6) i wish i could say things like 'be a better person'....... but right now, i have just learned a very solid NO......... and i don't want to go back to being a pushover so ......i'll take the not so good but maybe more realistic person i am now

7) reorganize our house: yeah like that is going to happen....... can't someone wave a wand????

i really should pick one or two and work on them...... and talk to my friend bess who is the queen of stuff like this

so folks? what's on your list?

Thursday, December 06, 2012

it's december......

and there are insects flying around outside!
it's a very warm (so far) december.
we'll get a few days of temps hovering around freezing and then it warms up
some days this week i didn't have to start the woodstove in the morning as it was almost 50 when we got i am hoping our wood lasts out the winter, as i used the balance of the winter heating money to pay for the generator!

and it's about 2am....i'm up and downstairs
upset stomach
a bit of stress
some concern about jury duty for me this week
(as in getting there and back- as the timing is a problem)
plus i got some bad news about a close family friend, who is starting his decline.
he told me that the doctors don't think he'll be with us much longer
and that makes us very very sad.
right now it seems to me that all sorts of losses surround us

and it is the time of the year that any loss no matter how minor affects us worse.....and losing friends are major losses

now to brighten up a tiny bit....lillianna is almost out of her molt
today (yesterday? as it's after midnight) she didn't rush shrieking ............or what passes for shrieking, out of the night pen into the yard and on to the day pen-
i rigged a half ass door on the chicken pen (there was actually going to be three pens together..... so i just separated one from the other) and put falstaff on one side with lilli on the other,
i figured that those two would be the easier of the pairs..... as the young girls AND phoebe climb
and lilli doesn't..... neither does falstaff
it did work out....falstaff ended up just sitting in the middle of his pen....not even running the fence or anything
lilli did her lilli thing
(gees i love that duck)
so peace of a sort was restored in duck heaven........
and with sleep for me

night all

Sunday, November 25, 2012

on being creative

i'm a person that needs to make things...with my hands
i need to see things in my brain and bring that out- down my arms and through my fingers
it's a real need 
like breathing
even eating will take second place to creating
when the muse descends i can forget (and do forget) everything
i forget to do chores (except animal chores) 
i forget to eat
to take breaks

all that matters is what is coming out.....the struggle of something new being born
once born i am interested in it for a short time
but then put it away for 'later'

when 'later' comes, i am more often then not surprised at what i see!
i don't remember all the little details although i was THERE 

i don't remember!

i have often wondered if that is part of the process...... as it comes through a human?
it's also why i am beginning to think that it isn't all me doing it

somehow something, which i will call the muse, works with me and through me
and a lot of times something amazing happens

it's almost like an addiction as well, because when i haven't been creating for a bit (like right now) i get unsettled, bored, depressed, life seems to lose it's luster, it's meaning and it's purpose.
i rattle around, unsure what to do with myself
my fingers need to be doing SOMETHING
my mind needs to be challenged 

and i get into a very bad bad mood
now all this being said...
i have work to do 
i am going to get off the laptop and wander over to my drafting table
i may draw
i would like to make some thing too.....maybe an ornament?
maybe an object?
i wouldn't mind bookbinding, that is always fun
making a box out of fabrics and cardboard is fun too
or possibly a pop up paper theater?
a cloth doll? with a trunk and wardrobe?
a tiny candy house made out of clay?

the possibilities are endless and fascinating.......

the hard part is choosing and starting

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

i's been a while

we again have been visited by the plague...this time stomach plague...
bernie was so sick sunday night.... he was vomiting and we were up all night cleaning up after him
monday he was so sick he couldn't go to school
today he went, and so far (2:30pm) he's still not home so i am thinking he's ok
not me however
i am getting very dizzy and very light headed and have a terrible taste in my mouth
so i am trying to eat very light...dry toast, jello.....water
i took the ducks out and brought the wood in

then discovered a FLEA on thaddeaus!
almost ten years i've had these cats, they not only do not go out....but we don't have carpets in the house and i find a FLEA
so i need to get a comb and some DE to spread around
and i could really use a vacuum (which i don't have)

meanwhile thanksgiving is on hold pending both bernie and me having the plague...
if he's ok, he'll cook
if i'm ok, i'll cook
if we're still both sick
well.....maybe then we'll cook sunday

and here we were saying how this would be the first year since 2006 that we wouldn't be on the road for a road call on thanksgiving!

meanwhile, today is gray and overcast, i can't get a good fire going in the woodstove, i am thinking we need to clean the chimney again
probably over the weekend
either way, due to pending plague, i'm freezing

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

rain, snow, sleet, ice, freezing rain........ grasshoppers....

what a mess
i took bernie to school today up in the mountains....we got there just as that delightful mess of weather decended....
and then i was to drive home!
i did make it!!!

to be greeted with a breakfast of fresh coffee and homemade yogurt

today i will be going to town, i have to do a few things. i had wanted to do a lot more cooking but that's ok- i'll get what i have to do done and paint more today

i still need to bake pumpkins and make cran sauce for the big holiday...... i can do that really any time prior
our feast has been carefully put by over the past few months as things came on sale.
so we're doing ok with that
i believe i even have a turnip in the freezer, already chopped and steamed
(gotta have turnip with turkey, and a bagel for the turkey the next day)

meanwhile i have been having an array of interesting dreams.... every single night
last nights involved a wheel chair, and pretty embroidered cotton voile blouses......
and a furniture store!

well there isn't too much else to say i just wanted to remember the bad weather...which turned into rain as soon as i got out of the higher elevations (i was going to say mountains but we sorta live IN the mountains sooooo it is the HIGHER mountains!)

oye again

Sunday, November 11, 2012

catching up after sandy and the plague

we got hot water back this week...... bernie did the laundry for me as i was exhausted with the flu/cold/ lifting all the stock pots of boiling water before we got the hot water back, sort of really did a job on my shoulders
i did however get the kitchen squared away
for the most part
melting the butter
and i even made chicken and dumplins yesterday --- which came out so perfectly that there are NO leftovers -- and there should be! i made a huge soup pot full!
it came out perfectly (that is my le creuset soup pot i got at an unbelievable price, as it was mismarked! i love that pot and recommend both staub and le crueset totally)

onions, celery, and carrots chopped
this was a simple classic chicken and dumplins....and the dumplins were a down and dirty fast bisquick type.....

ok fast, chop celery, onions, garlic and carrots, melt the butter, saute, then cover and simmer a while.
sauteed in butter then put the lid on
add the chicken, i had sliced frozen (remember that 120 pounds of chicken i did before rhinebeck?) boneless skinless chicken- i browned and cooked it for a bit then added something like three cups of my homemade chicken stock- covered the pot and let it simmer for a while.....until the chicken was done.
adding the chicken

i took the chicken out and cut it up into bite sized chunks.... more or less (about 1/2'' pieces)
put it back in and threw some salt and freshly ground pepper, and parsley

then made the dumplins,
chicken cooked and cut into cubes, stock added and simmered

a bunch of bisquick, some onions powder, dash of chili powder, some parsley and some milk and beat it up

when the stock was simmering nicely i dropped the dumplings in ...from the center out
let it cook for a bit then turned down the heat a tiny bit
and covered it for 15 minutes...... to steam the tops

it was out of this world
bernie had two HUGE bowls
i had one huge bowl and a second dumplin

finished chicken and dumplins in a bowl
sadly there is no more (there should have been another meal but.......ahem...........we ate it)
ok so there you have chicken and dumplins....i think it took no more prep time then about 15 minutes spread out over about 1.5 hours.....

oh and i painted too......9 crows is half way done

Thursday, November 08, 2012

and we were far

the storm appears to have bypassed our area
which is a very good thing
and we have hot water again
which is also a very good thing

now after all the hoopla of the elections
i am very happy to see that slowly we are inching towards equality
i was very fearful that women would have their bodies legislated! and the next step.....the vote taken away and any other rights we had to be free and equal
i still can't phantom any one even remotely thinking that they can have a say over the body, health and reproduction rights of another person!
or who they love and marry
whatever happened to 'free will'
and equality in the eyes of the law?
or america ......a democracy where all men are created equal?
and a biggie for me
separation of church and state

and to say i am dismayed by the gop which USED to be a true moderate voice, sort of the wise elder voice....... and is now something more akin to a fanatical fundamentalist freak show

now we the people have spoken
and we are inching toward equality.......

and we are inching towards maybe government as sort of a clearing center for all the people
we pay our taxes, and we collectively benefit from things like fema, the armed forces
and even the 47% (no mitt i will never forget that one....EVER) pay taxes....... they buy goods and services with thier money don't they? (and i don't want to hear that it isn't their money..... we take care of everyone else in other countries..these are our own.... and they don't want to be dependant either)
and they vote

is it a perfect
but it is a free system........... we are still free to disagree
we are still free to have our voices heard
to vote
to try and make a difference
to work towards a more perfect union.......

and i am very proud of our country......
things ARE changing... the face of america is's getting more diverse and more colorful
it's slow....but there are quite a lot of folks here......and this type of change takes time
and it also may take trial and error.......
and remember..... our nation is a GRAND experiment in self government.....
so everyone
we continue
and we try
one day at a time
we try to see where we can meet across our differences......and work it out

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

why .......6am, we meet again!

the good news......we have electric
we have no hot water
i have the plague, courtesy of bernie.....

oh and it's pretty f*ing cold out.....
and we are getting another storm tonight!
stick a fork in me cause i am so done

now storm notes...... the gen worked very well...... we got the food in the fridge and the freezers through no problem
i contacted our electrician about putting in the transfer switch
and we are still planning on a standby generator down the road

we need led lanterns....... with the budgies i didn't feel comfortable with oil lamps and candles..... or with bernie sick (he had the plague through the blackout period)
we need one for each of us and one for the chickens and ducks

hot water......we need it
i'm not sure how yet we'll get it figured for off the grid but we will

meanwhile we did do pretty well...... we were warm and had food
we did run out of duck/chicken water on sunday as well as flushing water but that was because i planned on a few days worth of rain as per the news people.....
(note to self: news people lie)

so we'll be putting by a lot more water for next time
today''s storm no....
i am way too sick to do anything more then i've done
i will put my ponds out to get rain/snow though
and hope for no loss of power

everyone stay safe

Sunday, November 04, 2012

post storm update

we got electric on yesterday...and lost internet
we also blew the heating elements of the hot water heater

meanwhile bernie's got a bad cold, and his school is pushed back three days.... to december 7th
i have taken a sponge bath today and feel better
not as good as a shower would be but better then before
bless my homemade soap as it is ok if you don't rinse it all off........ i love my soap!
i love my generator
i love my woodstove
and my little human/feather/furred family

i already started to cook for the next storm...which is next week
and we replenished some supplies....
mostly water.....
flush water we ran out of and yesterday we ran out of bird water right before the electric came back on
(the flush water was my fault.......i sort of react to crisis with gastric distress....)

we're not putting the extension cords/power  bars away yet however.... and i am sort of thinking i need to get a few more buckets for birds and flush water
although the full ponds sure did help me out with filling buckets (at least until the ducks had to go out and they jumped in the ponds)
this week after the election and all i will no doubt get out there and scrub my ponds very very well then refill them again

my emergency book has a lot of notes in it now
good ideas for alternate water storage etc
cause even with a transfer switch, we are going to need to store water
and we are going to look into a backup hot water system to run without generator power

ok now i have to do work again

be well everyone

Friday, November 02, 2012

still no electric-- BUT!!!!!!!

i started the generator ALL BY MYSELF
(and i think i threw my shoulder out doing it)

ALL BY MYSELF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

now i want to mention staten island..... those folks got nailed...... and they weren't getting the help they needed..
a 72 hour emergency bag wouldn't have helped either as they got slammed and a lot of the people totally lost their homes
one woman actually went hiking across the marshes LOOKING for her home
so no matter what we're going though
we have our little house...our animals
our food stores

we are truly blessed and very very lucky
a lot of folks were

jersey got creamed.....staten island.....brookyln...ny
so many folks were lost, so much suffering

there by for the grace......... go i

ok we are doing ok.... we are getting low on animal water and flushing water as i planned on using rainwater...... but we didn't get the rains (thank goodness) that were predicted
so tomorrow we're going to have to go find water for the birds if electric isn't restored.... i have conserved as much as i can ........
today everyone is out with the ponds
the ponds are a mess...... i can't scrub them until we have actual water running again
ditto on the buckets
falstaff dumped his bucket and i am bringing him our drinking water ....however he's only going to get a 1/4 bucket which is a half gallon...and it's got to last him
the chickens are drinking out of a duck pond (it's the only clean one so i let them use that pen)
food of course we're going well on
bernie found out his school has been extended a few days at the end...instead of saturday classes

meanwhile i am putting the woodstove to good use cooking
(last nights burgers were great and tonight's chili is most excellent)

i even was able to paint a tiny bit today.......when the skies got brighter..i saw patches of BLUE! but it's clouded over again now

ok folks i hope you are all safe and warm, fed and your loved ones are accounted for

Thursday, November 01, 2012

miracles great and small

well we have survived sandy........
by a weird miracle we not only got a generator on SUNDAY
but there was some sort of unusual temperature inversion thingie that kept the 70mph winds about 1000 feet in the air over us
we did lose electric
(we are still out of electric right now but i was informed we'll get it back tonight)

we are stinky a bit.... need a shower
but fine
well fed

now the other miracle was....... while bernie's school was closed a few days, he was able to relax and then retest and passed with flying colors......
the testing center was empty! not like last time where the general public was wandering around in the testing room!
he passed......then the electric in his school was restored.....and school is back today

we are so blessed

and i love my generator like i love my woodstove......

now checks and minuses in our storm prep for this time

i cooked ahead so we could reheat BIG plus
i had a ton of drinking/flushing/animal water PLUS
did not have enough washing water......minus
one bundt cake baked prior  PLUS
not enough cold milk to drink with it...... minus
headband flash lights PLUS PLUS PLUS
one battery operated lantern.....nope minus...i forgot to get it
we did have oil lamps, oil, candles...... etc
but i don't like that around the budgies (or us)

i did forget to cook the veggies ahead..... minus...... but as soon as the electric is on we're going to have a few veggie meals
i missed my popcorn, i do'nt have a woodstove popcorn thingie

other then that .....not bad at all

this was bernie's first real at home disaster, as every other time he would stay at work
i don't think he cared for it
but i think overall as things go we are living in the lap of disaster luxury due to the miracles that happened for us

i'll take it

Sunday, October 28, 2012

we got a generator!

Briggs & Stratton 5500-Watt Portable Generator - Storm Responder

8250 w surge on it....
sweet huh

and we got it this MORNING.... how lucky was that?
i stood online at lowes most of yesterday while bernie did other prep and didn't get it...he ran to town this morning and came home with it!
so we figure.....we'll get some wind and some rain and never lose power since now we have this generator..
i still want the propane whole house generator so i can get a gas cook top as well.....but for now....i am very very thankful

we are as well prepare now as we can be....
there is only one other area, but that won't be now......that will be another time.....and that is and internet..... that's the next thing to tackle..... alternate communications

so everyone in the path of this one.....stay safe.....stay dry and good luck.... we'll see you all on the flip side

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

RHINEBECK .........gett yor rhinebeck photo's here

really foggy
okey dokey..... we started out at about 5:30am in thick pea soup fog, as soon as some light came up i took some pictures to show you guys...this is on a mountain that is overlooking a very DEEP valley...... couldn't see the valley at all..could barely see the other lanes--- as the sun came up..... slowly the fog started to dissipate
the sunrise was very pretty, and sometimes it highlighted the fog just like a painting..... it was wonderful to see the light change.

a big less foggy
i got a lot of pictures of trees cause i love the changing leaves, especially of maples.... so a lot of maples it is
trees, bernie and the kia
more trees
i even got a picture of the back of bernie's head and the side of the new kia!!!! which btw, made it to rhinebeck without any problems whatsoever!!!!!!! yeah for the new kia!

it promised to be a nice day........ although hot and boy was it HOT

hudson river
hudson river
some of the fog hung around the hudson river, it was hard to see the view when we went over the bridge, that is such a pretty view and a historic area, and since i was born in jersey, it's sort of 'home ground'
got a lot of the bridge trying to show you all the shores as the fog lifted, so you can sort of come with us to rhinebeck.

hudson river
hudson river

now i been thinking about the rhinebeck magic, and there is no doubt that rhinebeck is magical......i spoke to several first timers and even they agreed that rhinebeck was different from other fiber festivals...... it was 'friendlier'- the people were happier and more relaxed.
closer to parking

arriving at rhinebeck

muddy fields so we had to go around

MORE tunis



koi - i want to paint them

pretty koi wanted peoples to feed them

plant where i was sitting


koi pond, leaves, and little boy

blue skies over rhinebeck


more peoples

gees i love trees


more maples
oh yeah..... what a sky
early......not many peoples

sleeping puppies!

part of the rhinebeck magic

koi pond

Monday, October 22, 2012

rhinebeck photo's and report

as soon as i am among the living again

Friday, October 19, 2012

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

the annual pilgrimage to rhinebeck

is this week/weekend
we'll be going saturday
i will make my cream of tomato soup, and hot cocoa from scratch,
egg salad, deviled ham and chicken salad.
we will take bread and sit in the NEW van making sandwitches for lunch
i am just glad i am going
i look forward to this every year...there is something so very magical about rhinebeck
the crisp air..... the music
people dancing,
happiness is in the air there
it's overwhelming
and for a brief time........ i feel at one with not only the world/universe but other souls that are sharing this existence with me
seriously this is the most amazing experience, and like an addiction i am not willing to give it up
so we go to rhinebeck......
now this week i have been packing up 120# of boneless skinless chicken breast for the freezer... and then i start the rhinebeck cooking
i also hurt my hand
among other things...
i can also say i finally got the layout for 9crows in case anyone is's all roughed in but i am going to have to work it a bit more before i start to paint
i would imagine sunday or monday i will be painting
i figure my hand will be better by then as well

we are in 'indian summer' here.....we had a night or two of frosts and now it's warm again overnight
good thing i think before the onslaught of cold weather

maybe bernie is right....maybe we do need to think of moving to a bit warmer place?
but i told him if we did.....we'd still think (after the first winter there) that the winters were cold...
he means no snow i think
well maybe
i guess from his point of view yes....... he's the one that does the snow removal sort of
although he's got a troybilt to help him with that

anyway......i just needed to mark rhinebeck
and now i have to start my day
hope you all have a wonderful week

Saturday, October 13, 2012

the last minute preparations before winter

today was chicken day
i got my annual sale on boneless skinless chicken breast ($1.69 a pound for 120#)
so it's chicken days here for a few days
this year i am doing more slivered chicken for casseroles, stir fries and such
and also this year
i decided to start saving all the scraps, cooking them and grinding them up for the cats
so all the scraps went into a medium sized stock pot with water
it's simmering now
and we are having 'breaded' chicken tenders, baked lehigh potatoes, and steamed brussels

i plan on doing a few different 'stuffed' breasts
cordon bleu cause i love ham
maybe creamed spinach
and i am thinking of doing a regular 'bread' stuffing one like i would stuff a roaster
i wonder if i should also do a mushroom stuffing?

i am doing some 'breaded' breasts as well but not as many as i normally do
we're changing how we eat again so it seems better this way
i also want to do some pot pies- i got bernie that pie maker machine and i want to do some pot pies as he  loves them and we're going to need 'fast' food
cause you see.......on October 22 bernie starts school!
he is going to get his CDL
so he's going to be very busy and i want to make sure he's got homemade 'fast' food

on to the other preparations for winter
we already started the far mostly at night but today i also had to do it in the morning too
let it go out while i was in the kitchen- i think though i will be starting it up in about an hour
we have a few things of plastic to put up over pens and such (and one window)
bernie is getting the snow thrower set up for winter too
and of course my new woodshed
i can say that it is helping to keep my wood dry......what a pleasure to put DRY wood in the woodstove

meanwhile i finally got layout 9 for the crows series.....i figured sooner or later those birds would decide enough of the games......they wanted to be born into the world
and sure enough, last night they decided to show me how they really could be shown
so i will start that when i get the chicken packed up and in the freezer

i hope you folks are all ready for winter....(or summer depending on where you live)

take good care
til next tiime

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

busy busy busy

looks like we will be for a bit......
let's see
in painting news...... i am stuck on the layout for 9
i am pretty sure about 11, 12 and 13 but nine has me to the wall
and i am percolating a reborn 'out of the nest' project
i am also making lists for things that i need to put into place to do some of what i want to do

oh and i have got to do a bunch of make ahead meals for us
i think i am going to make some pot pies and freeze them
along with baked ziti,
and i would like to bread some boneless skinless chicken breast (i've posted about that here before)
i love when i have made a big batch of them and put them in the freezer....cause we bake them plain
or add sauce and mozzarella
or add cheese sauce or a cream of chicken with mushroom sauce...
they are fast to cook too

i am trying to think of what else i normally do...
meanwhile it's gradually getting colder here.....and rainy
it's almost time for classical music and pots of chicken soup
mugs of hot cocoa....... and plaid!
(rainy fall weather always calls for classical music...... wool flannel and challis and plaids....i don't know why)
something with violins and woodwinds.......and sort of spritely
the grayer more raw the day......the more spritely the music needs to be

anyway back to the make ahead frozen suppers
i have to make a list and then do at least 5 of each......
and i need about 8 different things
(left to bernie he'd say i can do pot pies most nights but that isn't good for him or me)

in knitting
i am continuing to test knit shawls for a wonderful young new designer in south africa....
plus i am knitting hats for winter (the never ending chore....hats and winter mittens)
i would still be knitting socks but thaddeaus has already eaten about 50 pairs
so i would rather not invest anymore time or money into that cat's fiber obsession..

ok well my woodstove is calling me
and i have to start some other stuff so til next time

enjoy the fall

Saturday, October 06, 2012

this weekend...

i SHALL finish the latest painting on the board...
yes yes i shall
i still have a few more to layout
my brain is already onto the next series
and i am cutting paper for it

i decided that i will cut all the paper needed for a series ahead of time..... and then that will be held just for that series....if there is leftover paper (because sometimes you just screw up a painting and have to start over- so i cut more) that can be put into the misc paper box for another series
and the box is full......
i so need a flat plan file
we are trying to figure out where that could fit into my studio.....
then i have to research the best ones for me....then .......well you get the jist.....

i'm really at the point i need a better filing system for cut paper, whole paper and finished paintings

if ANYONE has any ideas on this that at this point do not involve a flat file systerm please let me know
i use archival clam shell boxes now...... but thaddeaus likes to chew them

in other art supplies....i am thinking of architects velum and could use a sample to see which one of the many would work for overlays
i missed a great sale at blicks, so that and the yellows i have been thinking about will wait (we shall buy no art supplies without a

i am also going to have to pull my little watercolor corner apart..... in probably the next week or so...
it's got to be reconfigured so the woodstove can heat us all winter...while it's apart, i will take that time to wash the floor and clean the windows...
bernie is supposed to help me redo that end of the room, but he's been so busy
i can't move some of that furniture by myself.....
my NEXT studio is going to be twice the size.....i SWEAR and have closets.

and a tile floor with a drain in it so i can just hose the floor down!

ok enough talking about the studio
i have to get INTO the studio.... or at least that end of it

have a great weekend

Thursday, October 04, 2012

OH man..... i think a bus hit me!

and it's my own fault....
it would seem i forgot to my thyroid meds for two days...
i remembered today...
ok in other news...dick blick had a huge sale .....25% off and free shipping..
and i missed it
(i always need paper-i am considering buying a roll of watercolor paper now-if i can find somewhere safe to store it in the studio)
that's ok, there will be another one.....

days here are starting to really get fall like.... even though it's been humid and no frost yet, the leaves are all changing, falling, blowing... and nights are much cooler.
my silver fleece vine is blooming just in front of the kitchen window so i am enjoying watching that-
we will probably light the woodstove this weekend for the first time.
bernie cleaned it and did the chimney and after all these years....he's so good at it that it took him about 1 hour...not the whole day thing it used to be putting the stove pipes back together
 we got our potatoes in for winter too.....
i think we're ready
the only thing i would have liked to have done was gotten 120 pounds of boneless skinless chicken in ......but the good sale i missed when bernie was hurt from work....
we have chicken...... so i will wait for next sale

fawn was to the vet yesterday, she's doing well with her thyroid too.....she's got the opposite of mine...she was getting skinny, but we've managed to put a pound back on her. all in all not too bad for such an old girl.

the ducks are in the molt, phoebe is the most upset. she is so squeeky that everyone has to stay away from her. the little girls love mommy again.... thank goodness cause i was so worried that amelia would never come around again... prudence has gone so far as to crouch on my feet like lilli does to be picked up.
lilli is lilli.........gees i love that duck...... she is so resolute in where ever she's decided to go.....or whatever she's decided to do, and she marches off determinedly
watching that just kills me..... gees i love that duck

the budgies are STILL going through cuddle bones at an alarming rate, it's stella the yellow lutino budgie...... she isn't happy until she's chewed an entire cuddle bone up.

i really need to start getting them in bulk....and it's not like stella doesn't have mineral blocks..... calcium perches- tree brances, wood chew toys.....logs, paper, and shred toys to chew......
but she prefers cuttle bone.... so she's got another one in there YET AGAIN

in chicken news.....there isn't much. no one is laying because we're keeping the lights short for them..
we should probably get young layers but i am so attached to these four that no one is going to end up in the soup pot so ...................... we are running an nursing home for geriatric chickens.... dulcette is STILL here (one of our first chickens) she lost half her comb but she's still spry

and colette who is the smallest of our chickens....she's a speckled sussexXorpington cross who i just love to pieces. she follows me around like the ducks do

in painting.... as you may know the kickstarter didn't get funded this time.....but i plan on bringing it back, changed in late winter. i won't be getting the same cards...and i will be adding prints, and possible some other things.....meanwhile i am finishing up the crow series, the holidays, and starting work on the halloween stuff....which won't be out until next year
i am thinking of finally printing the paper dolls too.... we'll see how that goes

my friends who have been there with me every step of the way, and you guys know who you are, deserve no less then seeing this through with me

now in the meantime......i have to grow a network.....
this aught to be interesting.........
oh man...

so now you are all caught up pretty much....
the kickstarter took most of my attention up...and when i do it again it will take even more attention up
so i guess this time right now is for recharging and replenishing.....
and hopefully hitting another good art supply sale

Monday, October 01, 2012

the last 24 hours on my project

 we're down to the wire on this one. so if you want to help spread the word click on the photos and that will take you to the project page for out of the nest. --- i do realize that this project was only a two week project, not the month it should have been but that was the only way that we could make sure these cards if printed got to the backers in time for the holidays

now in other news.
the next series (the crows) is very close to being completed.
it's a toss up now between the halloween project and the botanical project
i may throw a poll up on FB to see what my friends all say..... although doing the botanical during the winter would be pretty difficult. as specimens would be hard or impossible to get. i would like to do some popular flowers but also some obscure ones as well.
orchids would be easier to get during the winter..... and a trip to longwood gardens would let me look at orchids to my heart's content
so after the crows, maybe it would be better to do the halloween project?
of course the holiday work continues, i just got my ink so i can get back to drawing paisleys

in knitting
i just finished one new hat, one felted hat, and i have a test shawl cast on for PINKHAIRGIRL (from ravelry)
my new knitted hat is purple and red..... !

ok i need to get going as i forgot some errands that needed running
so take good care

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

i updated the card project rewards list

go have a look!
please share the link if you like my work, there is one week left on this project.

now in studio/painting news. i am continuing to paint the crow series, right now, 8 is on the board. (i did 10 already- i am slightly out of sequence)
as usual i am at the stage where i figure it's a total mess...and i wonder if i am ever going to get it to look close to what i see in my head. everyone tells me i always do, but sometimes i do have my doubts.
i am starting to also think about the next project, after i finish the crows, and the holiday images.
i think i am going to do the halloween project after.
that should be a lot of fun as well.
then i may do a second song bird project.
i still want to do the botanical illustrations, i am keeping that in the back of my mind on what plants i want to paint.
i love iris, lilies, violets, lilacs, impatiens, petunias, four o'clocks, hollyhocks, mini roses, scented geraniums....etc the list does go on and on
i want to paint them from life not photos.
so that may take a bit of doing
i normally can finish a painting in a few days..... so maybe the live plant is doable next year.
or some stuff over late winter if i start the seeds now and grow them under lights, maybe the impatiens-
or even if i force some stuff.
too bad i live too far from longwood gardens or i could take their botanical classes and have a ready supply of plants to paint

anyway, today is cool and breezy, i have crows to paint
so i'll be getting back to it now

take good care

Sunday, September 23, 2012

it LOOKS like fall but feels like august

it's been warm and humid out there during the day, and raining a LOT
i had a lot of trouble breathing, and had forgotten my inhaler.
we went to the valley yesterday for potatoes, - the annual stock up of the potatoes for the year.
this year we got 50# of yukon golds and 100# of lehigh golds.
i prefer the older original strain lehighs though. we had them baked last night

bernie cleaned our gutters while i was making yogurt and laying out another crow painting.
today i'll transfer my layout to watercolor paper and start painting
i'll also put the yogurt up in the fridge.
i am trying to get around to making that no-knead bread everyone's been talking about, where you make the dough and put it in the fridge for a very cold long rise.
i don't know what has been keeping me from doing that!
i have every thing i need to do it but i am not doing it!

i still have to add more rewards to my 'Out of the Nest' kickstarter  project
the higher ones for the folks who've told me they want holiday card quantities.
If you like the project and the paintings, please share that link for this project. there are only 9 more days i believe on this. i realize that this is not a long time, but it is the only way i can get them printed in time for the folks to use for holiday cards, oh and if you are one of the people that wanted holiday card quantities, let me know about how many you'd need. i plan on shipping those in the one price 'if it fits it ships' box
so the shipping is reasonable.

in knitting, i am waiting for a wonderful new designer Pink Hair Girl this was her first shawl that is going commercial, and i was lucky enough to be a test knitter....... wow ....and i've seen a sneak peak of her next one - which i am hoping to also test knit..
meanwhile i knit and felted a victorian mob bonnet for me...... in leftover gray wool. (seriously like 6 different part balls of leftover wool)
i am going to do a color knit hat for rhinebeck as well.
i am hoping i get to go to rhinebeck, a lot depends on bernie's schedule in october.
rhinebeck is mecca for knitters and i look forward to it all year..... just the rhinebeck glow is worth the trip.
last year we watched people of all ages dancing to the peruvian band..... (i bought their cd and listen to it occasionally while i paint)

one or two other small things.......shhhhh don't tell bernie but i sort of started to whitewash the paneling in the corner where i paint, so far you can't see it as it's behind the storage units
but i intend on working my way around the entire studio..
it is easy to lightly sand it off if he really gets upset but i can't take the wood anymore, it's gotten so dark over the years.
i would also like to replace all these (16)  windows with two big ones....... on each wall...
we've gone back and forth and around on that one-
we are going to have to do something about the windows i think.....pretty soon too

ok, i've got to get back to work now, it's starting to get late and the ducks need to be put outside
have a wonderful weekend

Friday, September 21, 2012


first off let me remind anyone who may be interested
that is my card project at kickstarter....all the birdies and their nests

please spread the word about it if you wouldn't mind

now this post is about goals
 and here are some of mine
1) finish the crow series, as a book, calender and possibly... tees or maybe cards.. some prints
2) start the halloween black and white drawings
3) botanical illustrations
4) paisley holiday collection
5) find either a licensing company or an licensing agent
6) AGAIN redo the studio
7) i desperately need a plan file (flat architect's files- i would like 7 draws in wood) for paper and finished paintings
8) knit me a sweater that fits
9) sew a few things- i could use some tops for town, and stuff for curtains and such
10) get the house paid off fully * and a bigger studio * -  with a kitchen...... ha

and next year.....maybe another kickstarter project? i would like to do the halloween project - that too is a fun fun project for me..and if i go kickstarter with it....the top reward would be a set of black and 'white' prints that i hand colored.....

see fun!

today? well i am still working on rewards for the current project, plus working on layouts for more of the crow series
also i am contemplating a couple of hats that i need to knit
maybe a few more felted ones and a couple of color knit hats
i also want to make some no-knead bread ( the one you stick in the fridge and take out what you need over the week)
bernie is going to clean the woodstove this weekend as nights are getting chilly enough to light it
he also plans on cleaning the studio for me and reorganizing it......
i have one 7' workbench i am going to need total access to soon i think
i really do need a bigger studio......(put that on the goal list maybe?ok i just did -  with a kitchen?)

what are your goals ?

i know if i write them down i tend to work towards them
how about you guys?

i also do daily goal lists when i am under a deadline...

so anyway back to my layout now.....
i hope everyone is enjoying the fall