Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I Promised . . . .

YES, I said I would and I really couldn't go back on my word no matter how tired I am tonight.
Here are the prints of the pictures Julie Fillo painted. I won them by commenting on her blog and I still can't quite believe it. I've been so fortunate lately. But then I have been secretly doing helpful good deeds in order to increase my this-worldly karma.
Aren't these pictures great?!!
I got my hair "touched up" today and all I wanted to do was sleep in the chair -- probably with my mouth hanging open, snoring. I was so antsy! If you could hire someone else to sit there and get their hair done in your place (and it would then appear on your head) I would have shelled out the money quicker than you could say "Shazam!"
I guess I felt sort of like a kid in church on a sunny June day when everyone else my age was down at the creek catching frogs. I wanted to be down at the creek.
Somehow I managed to sit through it and got it done, but I skipped the haircut. It's short enough already. So, I'll see you tomorrow. (In back of Julie's prints is paper I've been painting with bubble wrap. Talk about fun!) - femminismo
p.s. I made myself a special "paintbrush" with Gimp open source photo editing software and then embellished a self-portrait (taken a couple weeks ago) to make myself a crown, "diamond" earrings and necklace. (I just had to share this.)

Monday, June 29, 2009

Thanks to Those Who Dropped In.

THANK YOU for the nice comments on the cupcakes and the strawberry punch. The tea party was fun and I'll surely try it again next year. I'm worn out now, however, and I wanted to show you a picture of the prints I won by commenting on Julie Fillo's blog. They are wonderful!
I promise I will take a picture tomorrow night. Thank you, Julie.
I have been standing at the art table playing with combinations of paint, using bubble wrap to "paint" with and just having the best time. Each page is a different combination -- and this is just a thought, but have you ever found yourself running out of colors? I got a great turquoise combination just by happenstance; sort of a gray sky/blue sky kind of mix. I wonder if I could ever come up with it again?
The fairy picture was a coloring book page I found on someone's blog yesterday when I was catching up with tea parties around the world. There were certainly a bunch of them on A Fanciful Twist's list. (I should be more careful about whose work I "select" and copy. But I thought it was probably an older color book illustration. Enjoy using it yourself if it works for you and I'll try and find out where I got it - or maybe they'll find me! - femminismo

Saturday, June 27, 2009

No Mad Hatter - But Broken-Hearted Daisy.

FOLLOWING the lead of Fanciful Twist, today I'm having my very first "virtual tea party." If you stop by, please leave a comment and take a cupcake. (Don't drink too much of the elixir! You may get to feeling too good.)
Have you ever noticed - of course you have - that there's always someone who turns up before the time of the actual party. It's not crazy enough already - frosting, chopping, mashing, whirring and blending strawberry elixir - but then you have to have an early guest show up. It was so warm in the sunroom too!
But Daisy thought the invitation said 2 p.m., not 3 p.m. Actually, I think she wanted to talk. She was in an awful mood. Her boyfriend, Prince Charley, has joined the circus. He works on the trapeze with Gilda, the Flying Temptress. She seems quite nice to me, but Daisy doesn't trust her. You can see which Hearts card Daisy chose (Broken Hearted, if you can't read it) from the table setting. Great! A broken heart. Just the thing for a happy, sappy tea party!
You can imagine how relieved I was when Cupcake Galore knocked on the window of the sunroom. She's small but mighty, filled with genuine, bubbly good spirits ALL the time. You would think that would get old, after a while, but not with her. She had to sit on two pillows to reach her tea, and the cupcakes were nearly as big as her head. She was in eighth heaven, she said!
We heard rustlings in the flowers beds outside the sunroom, but no one spotted the Mad Hatter. After just half a glass of strawberry elixer Daisy had forgotten her troubles and Cupcake was in an even better mood. Giggling her head off and talking a mile a minute.
The ice cream sandwiches were an absolute hit. I saw some glorious ones on CollageDiva blog and thought they were the loveliest things I had seen in a long time, so I picked some up this morning especially for the party.
For the tea party we used the Mister's mother's tea pot and cups. They were made in Japan a long, long time ago. The pink glasses were hers also. The Mister said they were always kept in the china cupboard and if one of them was ever broken (which sometimes happened) it was NOT a good day in that house.
They are perfect for the strawberry elixir, don't you think? And the whole strawberries, scattered on the plate are perfectly delicious. I always feel sorry for anyone who has never tasted a field-ripe Oregon strawberry.
I can not wait to see what ideas people come up with next year for the tea party A Fanciful Twist will have for her third annual.
The third time's a charm, they say, and perhaps the Mad Hatter will show up for me next year - femminismo

Friday, June 26, 2009

Tea Party Thyme . . . and a Mad To-Do.

Well, guess what? Fanciful Twist is having a Tea Party on June 27 and I have decided to join her in the fun. I wanted one more cupcake binge before serious dieting begins - for sure.
Besides, decorating and shopping for a party always produces lots of calorie-eating exercise. (Don't you think?)
It's supposed to be a warm and sunny weekend here so what better time.
You can join the tea party fun by visiting her wonderful blog (click above on "Fanciful Twist") and following the simple rules.
Stop by for a cupcake or two and don't miss a glass of the exotic strawberry punch infused with thyme. It's an elixer you won't want to miss.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Now Look What the Mailman Brought . . .

I AM SO LUCKY! I "attended" Robin's "Happy Birthday to Me" party and was sent my party favors in the mail.
What a wonderful haul, and I'm going to use the handmade postcards to get in touch with friends and spread the love.
Thanks, Robinsunne in Maine. As a girl, I always wanted pen pals in other states and countries and now I've got them.
I'll have to write back. After everything I've been lucky enough to receive, I will be staging my own giveaway one day very soon.
I have furtively logging on to Seth's Altered Page blogspot to view more on Barron Storey. I am just totally fascinated with his drawing, and at work, while I was waiting for something to proofread I drew a couple of pictures. I don't have Storey's "scratchy style" down, but I'm sure that takes years of training and experimentation.
Well, better get to bed. Tomorrow's another day full of adventure and thrills and life - femminismo

Monday, June 22, 2009

It's A Really Good Thing We Have A Big Mailbox!

LOOK what arrived today! The giant plane load of misplaced packages finally landed in Portland and this delightful gift from Candace in Athens, Ga., made its way speedily straight to me. I thought it was an awfully large package in which to deliver a paper doll.
You can imagine my surprise when I opened it up and found layer upon layer of wonderful, delightful bubble wrap. (I love bubble wrap because that's what I most often "paint" with.) And inside the bubble wrap was this most beautiful thing: a specially bejeweled dragonfly picture!!
It wasn't one of her paper doll girls that I thought I won; it was this lovely beauty. (Do you think she knows I collect dragonflies?) Can you see Candace's picture in the upper left hand side? What a nice touch. Thank you so much, Candace! I have been very blessed lately, winning Julie Fillo's giveaway of prints and then this. Too much! But thank you, all.
It's been a good day. I got an X-ray today on my hip that's been hurting lately, but to tell you the truth - after all the exercise I got camping - I've been feeling much better than I did. I think sitting around at a desk too much in front of a computer is seriously bad for the body.
So with that, I'm going to shuffle off and move around a bit. Got to write a thank-you note tonight, also - femminismo

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

THE CAMPING trip was a success, with just a few showers to make us appreciate the sunshine even more.
Scouting trips for photographic subjects were also successful and lots of family time was good for the soul.
Some good news awaited me on my return home. Unbelievable. I'll have to figure out a way to return my good karma blessings. Julie awarded me with five free prints of her great work. My name or number came up and I am so grateful. This is a wonderful start for the week.
I hope you enjoyed the longest day of the year. I know I did and I wish all fathers everywhere in the world the best father's day yet.
And I don't think I could have planted sweet peas and daisies and had them come up in a better arrangement than these. Enjoy - femminismo

Friday, June 19, 2009

Awesome Movie!

LAST night I had time alone and watched the DVD of "Revolutionary Road."
Wow! I was in another world after the movie ended. (Don't even think of watching this one if ... .) Well, I can't say anything. I just hate it when folks give away what the movie's about.
So, suffice it to say that Kate Winslet, Leonardo DiCaprio, Sam Mendes and the screenplay author - Justin Haythe - based on Richard Yates' book, did a great job. In my eyes, anyway. I sometimes go and read Rotten Tomatoes Web site and see what others liked or objected to. Surprising. I am still thinking about the movie and the dialogue and the ideas it presented.
Tomorrow we're going camping in the woods and it's been raining off and on all day today (Friday). Things don't look promising, but we'll go anyway. Build a big fire and toast our toes. Bring the waterproof tarps and laugh at the weather - femminismo

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Co-Workers Who Drive Us Crazy.

GOT one in your office? Want mine? Can easily be shipped to any destination.
Just kidding. Besides, Pee-Wee says no.
Ever have one of those days? One of those days where you were glad you had a hearing loss? No? Didn't think so. But some days I count that as a blessing.
Did I mention, ever, that I have a hearing loss. It's quite significant, and also with the hearing loss is tinnitus - the constant roaring of sea waves and chirping of birds and rhythmic metallic echo of my own heartbeat. The hearing aid I wear helps with the tinnitus, since it makes other noises loud - or their normal volume - and it drowns out the shushing and roaring. Along with the tinnitus is the vertigo and a feeling of fullness in my ears. This is something I've been dealing with ... let's see ... about 30 years! Wow! So I guess I should be used to it, but not a day goes by that I wouldn't trade something precious for my good hearing back again. Guard yours well, my friends, OK?
However, if you've got an irritating co-worker, you can always turn your hearing aid OFF!
Still working on my tree. I've painted over the quoted bits from Genesis and then sanded them. I like them better obscured. Then I repainted the person (see earlier blog posts). Don't like "him" and will try again when "he" dries. Do you think God had these sorts of problems? (Sorry to offend anyone, but there it is!) - femminismo
p.s. Almost forgot Self-Portrait Wednesday and had to sneak back in to place this.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Time Flies on Busy Wings

THE weekend is nearly over, but it was sure packed with things to do. We made a foray up to the property to do some work. A son, daughter-in-law, and two granddaughters helped, along with a friend with a Bobcat. While my daughter-in-law and I got to talk a bit, and pull up weeds from a possible camp site for next weekend's planned getaway, the friend with the Bobcat came in and made short work of any of the weeds we missed. Haha! Like every weed is gone there! Let's hope the coming weekend is dry, because if not, it will be muddy camping.
The goatsbeard is growing along the creek and is very tall - over 6 feet. The berry above is a salmonberry, I think. Can't find my native flower book right at this moment.
While we played around down below on the road, the Mister and his friend with the "weed picker" went up to the top to put down plastic and spread gravel. This will be where we put our little travel trailer - that still is NOT painted - when we go camping next weekend.
It poured rain right after we started a fire to cook lunch. Rain, rain and more rain. I ducked under a fir tree that kept me fairly dry, but not by much. The kids had to change clothes. Smart mom had brought an extra set and everyone's jackets - just in case. We went home very damp, with no s'mores in our tummies - thinking at least we wouldn't have to water the garden but everything at home was dry as a bone. The squall had completely missed our part of town.
I worked on my tree picture some more and am thinking perhaps I won't leave the Bible quotes on the left hand side. Not sure. I can paint over them. Thought about doing that, letting it dry and then sanding a bit to reveal a few words. I feel as if it's lost some mystery.
Maybe I'm just getting tired of looking at it. But I want to finish a project and see how it feels. Know what I mean? femminismo

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Tree of Good & Evil.

SO HERE I AM, working away on my tree this afternoon and tonight. I seriously wanted to run out of work as soon as possible and get home to do this. By some force of extraordinary effort, I went grocery shopping first. (Yuk! I used to enjoy shopping for food, many years ago, because it was the only time I could spend money. This was when I had two very small children in the cart also and added everything up with paper and pencil to see that I didn't go over budget. It still was fun. Now it's just a chore and I have to be really out of "meal material" before I can force myself into the melee of other shoppers.) Well, enough about that!
It's odd to look at "the tree" like this. I can certainly see it better. The sky seems to stand out too much, but I've gotten a better shape on the tree. Unfortunately that meant sacrificing the man's head, but it's sure to come back any day now.
I decided I wanted leaves on the tree and I went out looking for the right size leaves from real trees. That didn't work and then I noticed some white tissue paper on the art table and decided to use that. I cut out leaf shapes and started sticking them in place with green acrylic paint. Then I thought: Why not use matte gel? That added a nice dimension. I put a little paint over them when they were glued on.
I got to thinking about the man and the tree and remembered the tree of good and evil because I've been reading the current issue of The New Yorker and R. Crumb has a large section in there with his illustrations for Genesis. Very interesting if you get a chance to check it out. It might be online.
Soooooo ... then I decided to photocopy Genesis from the Bible and cut the first two pages up into "leaves." After I stuck them on I didn't like the way they stood out a little too much, so I cut more tissue paper leaves and glued them over. They sort of dulled the writing a little. Some of them I left uncovered.
The trunk of the tree looks hollowed out a bit, doesn't it? I sort of like that. And I couldn't resist some X's here and there. Most don't show up, so only I know they are there, but you can see one pretty well.
I added a moon also. Perhaps there should be a sun on the other side. Good and evil. Night and day. It was the best of times. Soon to be the worst of times.
I've put in details of the painting. Hope you enjoy it. I'm sure having a good time - femminismo

Daniel Huot

Daniel Huot - Too totally hot of an artist. Love this! -Jeanne

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Fresh From the Garden to You.

YOU can't get much fresher than this. "Or-e-gun" strawberries picked by hand and delivered to you, from the bucket to the camera to the computer. I have a dish of them right now next to me with ice cream and I am happy!! Thank you to my neighbor Sylvia for sharing with us.
She also shared a picture of her air plant, which is blooming right now. I don't think I've ever seen one in bloom (don't the flowers look sort of like fuchsias?) and these small things amaze me. Sylvia's little horse planter is very cute, too!
When we were outside in the garden, Sadie came around with her Frisbee. She wanted so much for someone to throw it for her so I did and almost hit Sylvia. But Sadie is an older dog and doesn't really need to be running around showing off any more. Ah! Yes, I think I know how Sadie feels. (You want to but you just can't.) My sister and I were talking about how we used to run so fast and now there are certain body parts that just don't want to do that anymore.
Sylvia and her husband Dave live west of us, down the street, and there is a lot of sky. I was remarking on how I loved these evenings of light, which soon will be turning back the other way. I think the summer solstice is sort of a sad time, when we begin saying adieu to a little bit of light every evening. But right now there are still magnificent sights to see at 8 p.m. - like this western sky.
And here is our little garden, pulling along without a lot of sky. Trees to the east and trees to the west, there is only a certain amount of full sunlight it gets each day. But we will be happy no matter what. The Mister put in more beans so they will continue growing throughout the season and there is a full tray of basil seedlings. Many, many seedlings. Makes me smile thinking of the pesto it may be one day!
I worked on my tree painting tonight (see earlier post). I'm making additions and "corrections" and desperate to finish it up the way I've envisioned. Thanks for all your comments - femminismo.
p.s. Late addition: self-portrait Wednesday!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Off On Another Exciting Journey!

I HAVEN'T worn green fingernail polish since the 1960s, but tonight my fingernails are every color but red!
I pulled out a heavy piece of Arches watercolor paper - I was "saving" it for something important - and now that time is here ... I guess. I've been having fun since Sunday gooping on the color and rubbing around with my secret "paintbrush."
It's been very therapeutic and strange things have emerged. Up at the left is the beginning with my shadow foreshadowing the happenings. (There would indeed be a figure in the painting, albeit smaller.) And those lumps around my middle in the shadow? Apron pockets stuffed with paper towels - I swear!
And so the swirls of paint begin to accumulate and blend and get mixed and remixed. (Again with the shadows, due to the western sky coming through the window full of plants.) Hmmm. Greens, browns, yellows.
The only color I haven't added so far is red. I've put in purple and there is a lot of green with all sorts of browns.
And then the man comes forth!
See him again down below where the sky has emerged? There is a green circle next to him. A circle of confusion? A circle of entry? Uncertainty? I stamped other circles using the top to a big plastic bottle. Circles are also easy to swirl onto the canvas from the bottle. The "o's" are one of my favorite forms.
And now to get real earthy, I added browns of all hues and they suddenly began forming a tree trunk. And then the greens wanted to be added in all sort of leaf colors. Well, tree trunk, leaves ... soon there was a tree. But it was just leaves. I thought I might ruin it, but I decided to give it some form with branches. I just "drew" again with the bottle of paint and then a bamboo calligraphy pen. I'll let it dry and then paint over it again, but the thickness of the paint should give it a bit of a skeleton.
Like I said, it's been fun and who knows what will turn up next in this picture. It's gone further than I ever thought it would and like a story, it seems to have a mind of its own - femminismo

Friday, June 5, 2009

Friday and No Pictures.

CAN you believe I'm posting without a photo - ready, at hand? Me neither. (Here, I found this one on the computer. I used pinking shears on the peony! Ha ha. No, I took ithe picture at the end of May and then "rippled it" in photo editing.)
Yesterday's windstorm was all people were talking about today. There were branches and tree limbs down all over town and our yard was a mess. The Mister got most everything cleaned up.
After work today I went to New Leaf Greenhouse, my favorite plant place. I got dill, thyme, basil, another rosemary, and two tomatillo plants. (Yum! Tomatillo sauce coming up one of these days.) I also got some begonias for the front planter at a great price.
Our corn is on its way and the beans too. Peppers look the best and the tomatoes have flowers.
Planting a garden made me remember my first one, on my own. (Not planted by my parents, who were magical gardening people. They really knew their stuff!) My parents - at the time I planted my own garden, after I was married - were laughing and secretly pleased. Laughing because they had tried so hard to get me to do something in their garden and it was like pulling teeth and pleased because they had passed the gardening gene on.
(By the way, isn't pulling teeth fairly easy with the right tools? I've always wondered about that saying.)
(Yes, I know I use parentheses a lot!) - femminismo

Posting from Blackberry

Posting from a mobile device takes patience, perhaps more than I have. Yesterday we had a crazy storm here. Winds were clocked south of us at 72 mph. Lightning. Thunder. Wowee! Femminismo

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

It's Very, Very Late All of a Sudden!

GEE, you run a few errands, buy a few plants, cook dinner, play with paint, haul a few wheelbarrows of dirt, take a few pictures, dig in a couple of plants and water them and all of a sudden it's 10 o'clock! What next? Probably roosters crowing real soon.
Well, it's self-portrait Wednesday and I see Judy Wise has been busy. Not everyone has such photogenic feet however, although mine are cleaner now, after a shower, than they were in the dirt earlier. (Our grandmother wouldn't let us get into bed with dirty feet! Lessons learned when young stay with you.)
Today our little trailer, that's been patiently waiting to be made into a pretty home-away-from-home, got a bath. Now we need to paint it. I am trying to coax the Mister into turquoise with some flowers. Tell me what you think, but realize I got tired of "painting" in Photoshop. Here you have the before and after. Perhaps it's too colorful. It's probably going to be sitting up on the property. The Mister wants to paint it camouflage, but that seems too terrible to me. Maybe a nice fern green with some small white trilliums around the base? Hmm. We might be getting somewhere.
The moon came up tonight and when I was finished planting my flowers - after a brilliant sunset of all sorts of purples and pinks in the sky - it had reached the top of the sky and finally broken through the haze and clouds. I like the moon when you can almost see the other half of it - if you look long and hard enough. It is like reaching a sort of meditative state.
Here are some apricot rhody flowers. It was hard to get the color right. I aimed overhead at the sky for a light reading and then took the photo. I think I tricked the camera into not letting in a lot of light and washing out the color. Bye for now. See you on the flip side - femminismo

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Another 'Stranger' Page.

The Anticipated Stranger does not feel like himself. These are not the real colors in my art journal, but after I took the picture I tried an interesting effect in some photo editing software (that's not Photoshop). I'm finally getting a chance to use this a little more and finding my way around a bit.
Well, actually, you'd better tell me if I'm finding my way around. There's a really cool "aging" feature, so don't be surprised if you see that soon too.
I got myself some new hair color today and I'm feeling a teensy, tiny bit "new" and radical. On self-portrait Wednesday (tomorrow) I'll give you a peek and you can tell me what you think.
I was also going to recite this for you:

To sing old songs to little children in
A foreign language made intime thereby;
To pose a riddle, putting one more spin
On words to make them twitter as they fly.
To make words be themselves, taking time out
From all the daily work of meaning, to
Make picture puzzles of what they're about
And thereby keep the constancy in true;
To feel the quivering figure in the rock
Of fact, to know the thrill of the absurd,
Cutting the key with which you might unlock
The chambers of the heart of any word -
These in their faith and hope remain as much
The works of love as all the plays of touch.

- the poem "En revenant d'auvergne by John Hollander
- italics by author -
From femminismo, who loves to make picture puzzles

Monday, June 1, 2009

Anticipated Stranger Redux.

YOU may remember the previous post on this annual report folder I have transformed and recycled with paint and collage. The subject of this "book/journal" just sort of happened, but I must tell you that it involves - all of it - a very personal episode I am undergoing in my private life.
Private? Hah! Some would laugh at a tell-all blogger being "private" about anything. But that is part of the mystery of the Anticipated Stranger.
More of the just-begun pages are on the left-hand sidebar. These two pages I've finished in the last day or two. Actually, the page that says "Lost" comes first in the book. Then the lovely orange Buddha. I adore travel magazines for their lovely photos. I have so many waiting to be used.
I don't think I would ever like to be lost. Maybe there is more to the page and it's not just our hero who's lost. Maybe it's me a little bit too. But I always have this place to come to and feel "at home" and with friends.
Did you know I won something from the lovely Candace, my correspondent pal in Athens, Ga.? She is the best and has lots of fun drawing her adorable ladies who like to hang out in the gardens of Athens.
I also must note that I am making a little progress on my Library Card Project, getting the story together with the pictures. There's just so much fun and so little time! - femminismo