Friday, February 27, 2009

Mixed Bag

These past two days have really been a 'mixed bag". I've jumped around from creating jewelry to decorating for Easter, to babysitting my granddaughters, to pampering myself. But what I was really wishing for was to go lay out by the pool in the hot sun. Just ran out of time for that!
I had a special request for a soldered necklace so I have been digging through my supplies looking for just the right items to create it.
It's fun to dig into all these goodies. It really stirs up the creative juices. I'm trying not to get too carried away with starting too many necklaces since I will be leaving shortly for a weeks vacation to see our grandsons.
After realizing that it is the end of February and time to take down all the Valentine decorations I started putting out Easter. Here are a few pics of some of what I have gotten done so far.







After all this I decided it was time to pamper myself. So I headed off for a much needed pedicure and then a haircut. I just love getting a pedicure. I finally found a place that really does get rid of all the calluses and gives an awesome and long massage on the legs and feet. I was trying to read my book for March's book club meeting but I found myself dozing in the pedicure chair as I was so incredibly relaxed. I was so bummed when she told me I was done and needed to go sit with my toes under the dryer........get out of that comfy massage chair and WALK!!! Was she kidding???

My feet were not ashamed to show off in sandals last night at the dinner party we were invited to. Good thing since it would have been too warm for closed toe shoes.
This morning I was hit with the disappointing news that the Curves where Rosie and I go to exercise is closing their doors due to the poor economy. DANG! Now what. I will need to have a pow-wow with Rosie to figure out where we will go now.
The good news is that Frank won our Men's Golf Club Championship this week!! Very exciting!

Tonight we have our oldest granddaughter, Hanna, spending the night. We are giving her parents a little break and hopefully a chance to sleep in tomorrow.
Hope you all have a nice weekend as we say good bye to February and hello March!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Glue, Glitter, Brushes and Camera

Frank and I really need to get our "karma's" in line with each other.......when I have to get up at 5:30 am to exercise, he can sleep in. When I finally have a day to sleep in, he has a golf game at the crack of dawn!! Ugh! Guess you figured out that this was suppose to be my day for some extra sleep....NOT!! So why not get out the glue and glitter and make the best of it. I decided that I wasn't that fond of the original butterfly paper clay wings that I had originally put on my angel music box, so I took them off and put on the feathers. But first I covered the top and sides of the box with glitter. What do you think? Better, or not?

Then it was off to paint at Art Group. I was such a dork though, I got up there and all set up to begin to paint when I realized I had left my paints at home......so a quick trip back to the house to grab my watercolors. I had already sketched out this picture. This would be my first attempt at painting a whole picture without the help of a teacher. This is how it looked when I left the group at noon today.


And here it is after I finished it up this afternoon.

Tonight we had Jami and her family and my mom over for dinner on the patio. Again we had awesome weather. Arizona has such incredible sunsets. The sky turns these vivid shades of yellow and orange with the dark outline of the mountains against the skyline. Then when the sun goes down out pops these bright stars in a crystal clear dark blue sky. So beautiful. That's when I light all my outside candles around the patio, our solar pool balls light up in a continuous color changing show and out little twinkle lights surrounding the roof of our patio come on. This might be my favorite time of the day, warm and peaceful. Well, that is, IF our little granddaughter isn't talking 90 miles an hour as she was tonight! Oh, heck, we wouldn't have it any other way! Except to have our 2 grandsons joining in. LOL!!!
I snapped this pic of Sofia this evening while she was enjoying the warm, outside air. Such a serious look!
Now I must get some paperwork done. Then it's off to bed.......bye!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Beauty Is In The Eye Of The Beholder

Our granddaughter, Sofia, turned a month old last weekend and a sweet friend of Jami's gave her a photo shoot as a shower gift. Christine Lowell of www.giggleboxcreative@hotmail.com did an awesome job. It's going to be hard to pick just a couple out of so many good shots. We think Hanna looks so pretty in these pictures with her sister. How lucky are we to have such darling grandchildren! You can take a peek below.

video

Yesterday was our 9-hole couples golf game. It was the first time I have had a golf club in my hands in 12 years! An hour before our tee time we headed out to the driving range and putting green to see what I could remember. I was a nervous wreck. Even though the weather was perfect and it meant getting ride around a beautiful golf course with my hubby for two hours, all I could think about was what excuse could I come up with to get out of doing this. I finally started to calm down when I found out that we were paired with our good friends the Smiths. Sue has golfed about as much as me so the pressure was off..........a little, anyway! Needless to say, we didn't embarrass ourselves too much and managed to have a very nice time. AND we got to eat dinner out too. So we are thinking that this is going to be a nice way to spend our Sunday afternoons.
Frank and I hosted 8 friends for a chicken enchilada dinner on our patio this evening. We drank Frank's delicious, fresh strawberry margaritas and ended the evening playing Scattagories. Our weather continues to be so nice and warm....in the 80's.
I'm off to Art Group to work on my watercolor painting in the morning. Hope all of you had a wonderful weekend and a good Monday. Time for me to hit the hay!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

CUPCAKES AND ANGEL FACES

As I rub my dry, chapped hands together I realize that this is part of the price you pay when you love to be creative. Broken off fingernails, tons of little hang nails and small cuts are just remnants of creative bliss! But man, it sure would be nice to have pretty nails and soft, smooth hands. Oh well, at least I get to take pleasure in looking at what I have made and the knowledge I have gained spending two days at Blissful Living Studio. Not to mention the eye strain from looking so hard at all the wonderful items in the studio. Take a look for yourself.......it's truly like eye candy!!



this is just a little taste of the studio.....there are so many wonderful things tucked all over the store, the walls, on the floor and hanging from the ceiling. It just makes you smile to be able to create in this colorful atmosphere. And the best part is that it is constantly changing with the seasons and artists that teach there.
Anyways, on Thursday I took my niece, Jenny, with me to learn how to make cupcakes out of sweaters. This is Katie who taught us how to make them. Isn't she a doll. And a sweet teacher.

The two in the background are Katie's samples and the one in the front is mine.
I was happy with the outcome. These are so cute and not hard to make. Now all I need is to find wool sweaters that I can cut up! So if any of you are intending on getting rid of any please let me know and I will pay for the postage to send them to me! Might even thank you with a cupcake of your own!!
On Friday evening I went back for another class with the amazing, Julie Haymaker Thompson.
She is a darling mixed media artist with a bubbly personality and lots of positive patience. If you haven't heard of her you really must check out her incredible creations on her website:
www.juliehaymaker.com. Taking the class with me was another talented artist, Mai Lepore. So that was an extra special treat for me.
Here is a smaller sample of the little angel music box that she taught us how to make.
We began with a heart shaped cardboard box, added a music box, glued the lid shut and covered the box with mod podged torn pages from an old book.
The really fun part for me was learning how to work with paper clay. We formed our faces and wings out of it and put them on heaters to dry. Meanwhile, we painted the ball legs and glued them to the bottom of the box. Then we did some aging with stabela pencil and paint. Acrylic paint was used to paint the face and wings. The pearls were strung into a small circle and crimped off and glued around the face. We embellished the box with ribbons and.........
..........TA-DA!!! The finished product! My angel has butterfly wings with crackle paint and glitter.

I think I could have spent the whole day playing with paper clay. There are endless ideas for all the things you can create with it. Oh dear, another group of supplies are on my shopping list for Michaels. I might have to sneak this bag of goodies past my hubby. We are suppose to be tightening our belts with the economy crunch, but I am finding it so hard to pull back on my art supplies. This was such a fun way to end my week. I hope to make several more cupcakes and angel music boxes soon.
We said good bye to my niece and her husband and son today. It was so nice to have them here for the week. Little Zachary is darling and we will miss them.
Now I must head to bed to get some sleep as I will be playing in a little 9-hole couples golf tournament tomorrow after church. This will be the first time I have golfed in years! YIKES!! Something tells me it won't be pretty! But at least I will be out in the 80 degree sun all afternoon. Nightie, nite everyone!!!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Playing Catch-Up

I have so many things to share with you after being AWOL from my blog for so many days.
It's probably best to start from last weeks activities and work forward, especially since that's the way I happened to post all my pictures!
I finished the last of my 3 painting classes and here is the final product of my first watercolor attempt. I learned several clever techniques and some I was able to reproduce and then there were some that, well, I didn't quit get! Most importantly I loved the classes and truly enjoy painting.

The last half-hour of class I tried some free hand painting. I had printed a bird picture and decided to see if I could paint the birds head on my own without tracing it first. This is how it turned out.....I accidentally touched my brush to the paper right under the birds chin, so don't mind that.
On Saturday we were blessed with the arrival of our long-time, dear friends, Judy and Bruce Biddle from our hometown in WA. They have been our close friends for over 30 years. They lived just down the street from us and we raised our kids together. Frank and Bruce taught together for over 20 years. We have been trying to entice them down here ever since we moved in and they finally made it. AND they even dressed to match my color scheme in the house!!

While enjoying Margarita's out on the clubhouse patio, we were visited by a curious Road Runner. He jumped up on the fireplace right next to where we were sitting to check things out.

Earlier last week our Art Group participated in the Trilogy Farmer's Market. Here we are setting up.
This was my table. Next time I hope to have some watercolor pictures to show.
We have also been enjoying the company of my niece, Jenny and her husband, Tom and son, Zachary. They flew down from WA for a week's visit with my mom.
Zach really liked our little Sofia. He wanted to hold her the whole time. Hopefully he keeps that same attitude when his new brother arrives in early June!
Since I never wished everyone a proper Happy Valentine's Day, I wanted to do it now.
Hope all of you had a special day.
I think that takes care of all the catching-up. We waved good-bye to the Biddle's this morning as they head home. I plan on heading up to do some painting tomorrow afternoon with the Art Group and on Thursday will be taking two different classes with my niece, Jenny. So stay tuned for those pictures. For now, adios amigos!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Blow'in in the wind

I feel like a leaf that has been blowing in the wind and hasn't yet settled to the ground. It's been a good flight, but I feel badly for neglecting my blog. I have several pictures that I need to post in order to get you up to date on what's been going on....but it will have to wait until tomorrow when I am free. I have had art classes, participated in an art show, picked up relatives at the airport and spent time with them and then welcomed some dear friends to our home for the past few days. It's been lots of fun and I will fill you in on all of it soon.
We will sadly say good bye to our company tomorrow morning as they head back to Washington state and our old hometown of Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island.
Have a nice evening!

Monday, February 9, 2009

YIPPEEE!!! I WON!!!

Gosh, I am so excited! When I opened my blog this evening there was a comment waiting for me telling me that I had won a prize on "Tip Junkie." I just never win anything so this news really made my day. Not sure yet which prize I won as there were several items being given out to 4 winners. There are all these giveaways on these blogs that I read just for leaving a comment about their post. So I always leave a comment.....just in case I might win. And TA-DA, I finally did!! I spend lots of time (too much time) reading other people's blogs. I can't help it....it's addicting. Infact, I think I may be looking for a BA meeting soon (blogger unanimous).

Any-who, I wanted to show you some pictures from my watercolor paint class. This is our teacher, Valerie Toliver, giving some students a few helpful tips. Truthfully, she is sitting in front of me trying to show me how to get the right amount of water on my paper, with the right amount of paint, in the right spots! Not that easy, believe me.

Here's Valerie letting us know what mistakes we keeping making over and over! She really is very nice and so incredibly patient and positive with us. Not to mention very talented.


These are her examples of what she wanted me to paint.
And here is mine, so far.......good thing I am going up to paint with the Art Group tomorrow morning. I need the practice.

OK, I slipped the latest pic of my little granddaughter, Sofia in again. She is growing too fast. But it is fun to see her follow us with her eyes and smile. Of course, we have her "sporting" another one of my headbands. I think she might have one for every outfit now.
So I had such a nice weekend. We spent Friday evening with our kids and grandkids. Saturday we went to the movies and saw, "He's Just Not That Into You" and "Slumdog Millionaire." Both were enjoyable. We met some friends for dinner and listened to Kristi Dee sing and play guitar. She's great...has a beautiful voice. Then it was to church on Sunday and out to breakfast at Joe's Grill (actually the little coffee shop of his next door) with all the family. We filled out stomachs with delicious egg dishes and then came home and plopped on the couch for about a 2 hour nap! I love Sunday's when I can curl up on the couch with my pillow and black velvet and satin blanket, knowing that I don't have anything else I have to do the rest of the day. Thankgoodness for leftovers in the fridge!!!
Today was a cold, windy one. So spent it inside getting my messy studio cleaned up again. Man, I have the worst time keeping it neat. I'm really missing our sweet grandsons up in Washington. Talking to them on Skype is great but it doesn't take the place of holding them in my arms. Just a few more weeks until we get to see them in person.
I'm off to bed for the night. Hope all of you had a good weekend.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A Wonderful Day!

We woke up to a beautiful, sunny day this morning. I quickly got dressed, made my daily Mocha and headed over to Jami's house. She is suffering the after baby exhaustion so I went over to help her with her laundry and a few other odd jobs that needed to be taken care of. But first things first!! Hold my darling new granddaughter...who happened to be wide awake. OK, she has got to be THE cutest little doll ever. She loves to hold her mouth up by yours and have you kiss her around her tiny, soft lips. Then she lays her head down on your shoulder for a moment, then picks it back up, mouth wide open and waits for the next round of kisses. What a way to melt my heart!
After helping Jami for a couple hours it was time to head to my Book Club for lunch and discussion.

Judy (on the right) was this month's hostess. She served us a scrumptious chicken and rice salad with these yummy crackers. For dessert she had made little individual cheesecakes with cherry topping and brownies along with this lip-smacking sparkling Zinfindel wine. Sue (on the left) is a dear friend and one of the "bookies".

Judy (on left) and Rosie (on right) look terribly serious after finishing off two bottles of wine. What's with that?? Actually, I caught them off guard with this picture and they were in the middle of filling in their calenders for the next monthly meeting for the club. You can see the 80 degree sun shining in.

This month we had a special guest. She's Rosie's neighbor from Philadelphia who flew in for a week's visit with Rosie and her family. Her name is Jenny and she is 94 yrs. young! She is darling and full of life. I want to grow-up to be just like her!


Yesterday was Art Group. Since I haven't purchased any watercolor supplies I decided to take my soldering to work on. This is a picture of our group leader, Erica. She is a very talented artist and an incredibly nice person. Did I also mention funny?


I wanted to get a few pics of some of the rest of the talent in this group. Aren't they amazing.



This is my friend, Terry, who got me started in this whole painting thing. I love her work. Maybe because she likes to paint animals and you know me and animals!!

I just love her painting of this little dog.
So it's been a full two days of activity and fun. Late this afternoon Frank and I took a long walk around the community (or compound as all us Trilogy residents call it) in the warm sunshine. Frank ran to the grocery store and brought me back a dozen long stemmed soft yellow roses. Holy Cow!! What a great surprise! They are so pretty. For dinner he threw some chicken and salmon on the BBQ and we ate out on the patio by candlelight. It was just a perfect ending to a Wonderful Day!