SABINA visit (5)

SABINA visit (2)

IMG_4870SABINA visit (3) SABINA visit (1) SABINA visit (6) SABINA visit (4)

As Usual, It is very late by my standards.  My cousin Sabina from Germany forced me all over Manhattan today on a crazy art tourism mission!  I can barely keep my eye s open!  It was non-stop fodder for creative eyes.

I have a couple of photos of today I am going to throw into the bottom of this blog.  I also wanted to mention the word “QUEER” which is written in the pages above.  The Fashion Institute in NYC has a special exhibit going on right now dedicated to lesbians, gays, bisexuals and trans-genders in fashion.  It was quite interesting actually.  The main focus was on how men and women constantly flip back and forth deciding what sex can wear what, what is feminine, what is masculine and what is gay.  They decided to title the  exhibition Queer, for the record, not I.  Here is a link to FIT:

With that said, we had a fun-filled eye-opening day! Now I just need a little shut-eye!

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I’m working feverishly on my outdoor shower, however I have decided not to give anything away until the big reveal.

Here are some more supplies I was working with today:


All sorts of goodies I’m digging up from the shed, garage, & basement.

Top Secret!

I’m such a dork.  Obviously I watch too much HGTV!

Onto Art….







Today was a tweaking day. 

I re-sketched a new bouquet of dahlias.

I want to try again painting them again.

Learn from some mistakes.










Next, I drove over to pick up some butterfly bush blooms from my girlfriend’s house.  I had a 30 foot butterfly bush in my yard and I accidentally killed it.  I didn’t think it was possible since they grow like a weed, but I manage to do it.  I cut it back to hard and it didn’t come back this spring.  Total sadness.  We are on the Monarch butterfly’s path to Mexico, so I got hundreds of butterflies on the bush.  I bought a new bush, but I won’t get butterflies this year.

Anyway, I sketched and began to paint Buddleia, the Latin name for the butterfly bush.




Lastly, I added a few more leaves to the rose bud vase.  Every time I walked by, I kept thinking it needed something.  Whether it needed it or not, it got it!  No un-doing that one. Luckily it was a quick fix otherwise I’d be adding it to my long list of re-dos!

This is my final day without the kiddos.  They come back tomorrow.  It was quiet while it lasted!  I’m looking forward to seeing them.  I haven’t laughed as much while they were away.  Tonight my husband has prepared a feast.  I’m off to enjoy it!

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#125 - The BESTA FIESTA1 (1)

Happy Cinco De Mayo!!!

If you ask me, it is one of the best excuses for a holiday I’ve ever heard of. This was our invite:

cinco de mayo 2013 just us

From what I understand , Cinco de Mayo is way more American than Mexican, which probably goes along with what we serve as well!  Today we had a build-your-own taco & burrito bar, 7 layer dips, red & white sangria, margaritas, salsas, guacamole, Mexican wedding cookies, home-made margarita cheesecake and the piste de resistance – Choco-Tacos!

Oh yes so very Mexican indeed ;)

Ok. really it is just an excuse to get outside for the first season’s party, drink some cerveza, hopefully eat a little queso and hang with friends!

I am at that stage in my life, that if you don’t have kids, you probably don’t want to hang-out with me, so I hang with everyone else in that same boat.  Let’s have a party and oh yeah, BRING YOUR KIDS!  Oh yes, the kids were brought let me tell you!


First I had the kids race around the house with jelly beans on spoons – I called it the “Mexican Jumping Bean” game.  They thought that was ridiculous, but they sure didn’t mind the jelly beans!

Next we did a little limbo. It is amazing how low those kids can go!  Funny, no adults participated in that one…

And for the finale, we had three different piñatas.  One was designed for tiny kids by my girlfriend.  It was wonderfully clever. She perforated a garbage bag with strings coming out of the bottom.  When the very little kids pulled, the candy was in little party bags and this way they all evenly received  a treat.   There’s a picture above.  Great idea.  The other piñatas were classic piñatas which were gifts from some of the families.  Last year I had one piñata for 50 kids….yeah, that didn’t go too well.  It was like Lord of the Flies!  So this year we broke into smaller groups and had enough piñata for every child to get a few turns.  Yeah, it was still a little Lord of the Flies!  It cracks me up to see what lengths kids will go to, to collect a few Smarties and fireballs.  Oh, and they were all fighting over who could keep the carcasses! Serious kid stuff. I love it.

It was an awesome day with awesome weather…THANK YOU. THANK YOU PARTY GODS!

As my creative project today, I thought I’d show you our little garden room we rehabbed for the party.

Here is the before:

#125 - The BESTA FIESTA1 (2)

And here is the after:

#125 - The BESTA FIESTA1 (3)

Ta dah!

We’ve only lived at this house for one summer.  Needless to say, we didn’t do anything last summer, so I wanted to make sure my kids had a fun little place to play.  As I removed the mulch that was placed there by the old home owners, I found a groovy little stone floor.  The rest is the magic of a coat of paint and some second-hand finds off of Craig’s List.  We are going to put some toys in there like an old doll house to play with too.  But for today, all the kids had fun playing with the beaded curtains and pretending it was their house.  Gosh I remember how much I loved playing house as a kid.

So my creativity came in the form of entertainment today and I had a lot of fun.

I am wiped out and with this, I must bid thee farewell.

Buenos noches mi amigos!

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#96 - THE BLUE JAY (1)

The blue jay has such a bad rep.

  Anytime I talk to bird enthusiasts they say the same thing.  Blue jays are a pain in the neck.  They are so aggressive, they scare all the other birds away and they eat other bird species eggs right out of their nests.

Ahh, the blue jay in my yard isn’t that bad. In fact, they are primarily vegetarians.  Granted, I don’t see many birds sharing the bird feeder with ’em!

Call the Blue Jay what you’d like, it is still very exciting to see one.  I mean look at its feathers, they are gorgeous.  They look like a blue mosaic.

I looked up another interesting tidbit of information.

Blue Jays perform a strange ritual called “anting”.

The birds find an ant colony and lay themselves on top of it.  Sometimes they pick up the ants with their beak and spread them in their wings.

Why on earth would they do that?

From what I have gathered, they do this to enable the ants to remove parasites from their plumage, or to force the ants to secrete formic acid which could act as a bacteria and parasite repellant or they force the ants to unload the formic acid which is distasteful so they can eat the ants.

Either way, strange phenomenon.  I will be looking for this activity.  Once and a while I catch my little boy spread eagle on the driveway…I wonder…is he anting or just sunning himself?

So the blue jay may not be the world’s favorite, but again I always like the underdog…or in this case the under-bird!

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I have so much for show and tell today!

First off, three of my bowls were finished. Yay!  I went a little crazy hoping to use the glazes in a non-traditional way.  I think I learned not to do that.  I’m humbled.  I think I will take a more traditional approach next chance I get (we’ll see how long that lasts!) Primarily, most people dip their vessels in 1-3 different glazes.  I have been painting them on and using way more than 3!  I’m sure there’s a happy medium, I just haven’t found it yet :)

Next, my mother-in-law gave me this beautiful doily to use in my pottery class.  By rolling the doily with the clay through the big slab roller, you can create texture in the clay; basically an imprint.  The glazes look awesome as they settle in the indents and crevices.  I created a bowl and a platter using this similar method.

Finally I worked on my darling boy’s mug. I created a cobra to wrap around the vessel, I under glazed it and even added the blood-shot eye-ball to the bottom.  This will then get bisque fired and when it comes out, I will add the blood dripping down the inside of the mug. It should be really 6-year-old-super-cool!

Pottery class is so much fun.  I apologize to my viewers if it is like watching paint dry.

But truly, you should try it some time!

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Here is a secret.  During this 365, my crock pot and I have become BFFs.  I had dinner made by 8:30 this morning.  It took me about 15 minutes which is about what I feel I can handle these days!

#35- Dawn thru the tree

Today I decided to paint one of the trees in my front yard.  I picked a color scheme and went to work.

#35- Dawn through the tree

I love this tree.  It’s really big and practically hollow.  The pink morning sun shines through it,  filling my room with reds and gold, while the tree stays cold,frigid and blue in the snowy winter. Every time we have a wind storm I look outside my window at this tree and think “hold on tree -don’t fall today!”  I would be sad to see it go.  Trees are awe-some and so inspiring to me.

I omitted black from my paint palette today, which brought me to these wonderful blues, however I used brown in this palette which again is still too life like.  Next painting I will omit brown as well and see if I can get my palette to pure color pigments.

I’m feeling like a productive member of society today.  I’m showered, dinner is made, my creative project for the day has been accomplished.  I may even have a minute or two to myself.  Maybe with a month under my belt, I’m slowly gaining control over this 365.

Ha. Who am I kidding. It’s just a lucky day!  I better take those few extra minutes and try to figure out what I will do tomorrow :) Oh yeah, pottery.  I sure hope one of my pieces of pottery are complete.  That would be awesome.

Check me at Plum Pottery Studio tomorrow. I think I am going to create a slab bowl and maybe some face jugs if time permits. See you then!

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Today I woke to a quiet house.  The kids were away. I had plenty of hot coffee by the warm fire.  A beautiful morning to sit and paint.

By the way I am absolutely loving my paintbrush holder.  It is super-duper functional!


 I knew I wanted to do a landscape this morning, but I felt like every time I do, I hardly consider the paint palette enough, I just paint.  I have amassed a good-sized assortment of my favorite color paint chips from my local paint shop and  today, for the first time, I created a color palette before I started painting.  In this way, as I started each new area of the painting I considered the palette a little more carefully than normal.  It worked quite well actually.

Here is the final painting:


The colors are still a little too true to life.  I’d like to venture into the wild color schemes of Paul Gauguin and Pierre Bonnard.  So, I will continue on the path of landscapes for a few days until I lighten and brighten up a little more.  I will use the paint chips to explore some more exotic color schemes and we’ll see what I come up with.

Until then AU REVOIR!

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For those of you new to my blog, check back to POST # 6, the original FLY ON MY WALL (hint there is a fly to find in the pictures with this title).

So As a fly on my wall, you gain access to my bedroom.

 I only moved to my current home one year ago.  In my last home, every room was painted a wild color.  This time around I painted every room white.  I especially love my all white bedroom.  It is like a blank slate.  Whenever, I get bored with the room I simply change my pillows and duvet and I have a whole new look.

 This was my Christmas bedding.  Up close the print is actually snowflakes.  It is calm and tranquil which was what I needed around the holidays, but now, I think I’m ready for a pop of color.  Hmm, I sense the opportunity for another creative challenge!

 This is a contour drawing which is very freeing.  You just let the pen flow.  No worries about measurements, perspective, composition. You just look and draw. I also added my kitty cat Pina to the drawing.  We lost her in the last hurricane.  She never returned home.  I didn’t think I’d miss her, seeing as how she hated people, but after 10 years of having her, I do.

Well, today was a relaxing day.  I needed that after pushing myself to try to finish acrylic paintings all week.  They do take longer than the time allotted.  I need to make at least two more of those 10×10 canvasses though.  They look awesome lined up along my dining room:)

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OK. Up an at it.  It is 9am am I am going to try to focus again on finishing a painting in 5 hours (3 pm is my kid’s pick up time). I didn’t select fewer items although I should have.  Instead I am going to try to really loosen up and only use large brushes.  Large brushes=large strokes=faster?  Not sure, but I will try.  I really do have to learn to loosen up.  Everything I do is more literal than gestural ….this should be good practice.


I did it!  I did it!  I finished the painting by 2 pm!  Wa Hoo!

I’d say it was a little rushed, which threw some of the perspective off, but it forced me to be decisive and swift.

I titled this painting SPRING CHICKEN in honor of the forced spring flowers arriving at the super market.  When I see primroses in the supermarket I know hope springs eternal.  I will make it through the winter!  And I have pretty little reminders on my window sill that the day will come when green pokes through the earth!

I also used some of my favorite tchotchke, from around the house a vintage white glass hen and one of my tomato salt and pepper shakers.  Also, vintage Pyrex in one of my favorite colors, aqua.

I only used 3/4 inch paint brushes and up.  Forcing me to abandon a lot of detail and decisively create permanent broad strokes.

It’s a rather sweet little vignette of some of my favorite things.  I shall hang it up to remind me of spring.


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