Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Sunshine

Peter and I used to ride our horse through the Idaho country-side, and sing, "You Are My Sunshine". A sunflower seems like sunshine one can hold in the hand or arrange in a bouquet. Maybe that's why I like sunflowers so much, and why they remind me of Peter, and the wonderful days on our horse.
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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

People Scenes

"I love Paris in the summer when it sizzles... " That was Paris during our visit one July.
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One of my favorite places is Amsterdam, and The Netherlands. There's a spirit there that makes me feel free.

The Delft is a quaint old city that we visited on our way to Scotland. There is an amazing number of bicycles in The Netherlands.

This painting of Islay might be classified more in the seascape or harbor category, but children playing on the beach is too irresistable.

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Monday, November 17, 2008

I've been tagged

The photo was one of a few taken for a newspaper article. These people were instrumental in making the entrance to 'der Wall' safer and easier to manage.
I tag Tami. 3rd file, 3rd picture

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Velcro

The woman at the store showed me some velcro and asked if that was what I wanted. I said I wanted something a little bigger so it would be strong. Bad idea! Velcro is very dangerous. To begin with, I could hardly pull the two pieces apart so that I could sew the soft part onto the fabric for my roman blinds. Wearing a sweater was an additional problem. The loopy one kept flying to the sweater, and I was afraid of becoming a velcro mummy. I usually avoid using the stuff, and as I was putting the loopy section one onto the piece of wood, trying to measure the two parts without them touching and becoming forever one crooked piece, I thought - this is why blinds are the only reason I use velcro. Immediately, about five ideas flashed through my mind of what I could do instead of using velcro. Hmmm.... It's possible I might never use velcro again. But this time, I won. The blinds are hanging up, and I'm not.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

In Germany, my husband and I like to pack a picnic and go find a spot to eat, paint, draw, and take pictures with a camera. When we're driving for picnics or on business, we often stop and take pictures, collecting impressions.
The barns and pastures are different in Ostfriesland than the western United States. The older ones are made of brick and attached to the houses. There's more a problem of getting water out of the fields than in to, so the pastures are quite green.

Monday, November 10, 2008

My daughter and I love to grab our cameras, jump in the car, and ride around looking for pictures waiting to happen. We drive around the neighborhood, and out onto small dirt roads. *

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Heart and Soul

"The kitchen is the heart of the home." I always thought so, but there have been times I wanted to hide the kitchen that might have a sinkful of dirty dishes, and busy (or messy?) counters. It's not so easy to keep it presentable, when there's a lot going on there, and everywhere else.
I really do miss having five busy, spirited children running around. It's supposed to be easier to keep the kitchen clean now, but when my husband and I began talking about plans for our new kitchen, I was still a bit concerned about having it so exposed. Did we really want people to be able to see into the kitchen from the front door? It's the tail end of the kitchen, but then if they come into the house, and go into the front room, they go through the kitchen. And there it is in all its glory. (The sink happens to be tucked into a not so visible corner.) The alternatives would be to close off the rooms more than we wanted to.
Putting my beliefs to the test, and deciding to actually live the saying that the kitchen is the heart of the home, and actually be willing to invite people into the heart of our home, dirty dishes or no, we began the remodeling.
The walls are not straight, the floor slants towards the frontroom, which caused grief to the men putting in the countertops. But we love it! My husband and I both like to cook, whether together or by ourselves, and with the arrangement of our kitchen quite a few people can work comfortably with us.
We've spent enjoyable hours with those who have come for tea, a meal, and maybe to stay a night or two, and look forward to more. The kitchen is the heart of the home, with food for body and soul.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Barn

One of the best things about my daughter moving to Idaho, is that she moved into the house across the road from a wonderful barn. There are now three paintings, one drawing (by my husband), and many photos (with and without kids, dogs, lawn mowers, horses, in the foreground) of this barn. The painting with the view from my daughter's front yard is called "Gegenueber" (opposite side of the road).

"Gegenueber" is a small painting.

"Barn"

Saturday, November 1, 2008

This isn't usually what I picture as fall harvest, but when it was time to trim the rose bushes before winter, I decided to collect the last roses for my own rosewater, and harvest the rose hips. The timing wasn't perfect for either, but I decided to at least learn how to do it. I bought a pan and made my still. The rosewater is mild, but it's rosewater.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Raving Reviews?

Anyone in the art business knows they must face reviews - from teachers, newspapers, clients, etc. But the reviews start at home, and they are sometimes the most difficult to deal with. At least for me. I had finished a painting of some flowers, and my husband asked me, "why do you paint so much of the pot?" "Because I like the pot, and this is how the whole thing looks to me", I answered. I admit, that I do love to buy pots for plants and flowers. Shortly thereafter, he saw me taking pictures of the pot outside our front door. As he started down the driveway with his bike he called, "try not to get too much of the pot!" "I like this pot. That's why I bought it!" He smiled and waved as he rode into the sunset. (It was convenient that the sun happened to be setting at the time so I could say this.) We made a game of it. This painting is "A Little of Both" When I painted the white geraniums on our terrace, he said, "The thing that saves this painting is that there are two pots". I can't figure out why. "Two In One" *
As we walked into a concert hall one night, we saw a huge bouquet of flowers on stage. My husband said that THAT was what he was talking about. "And I don't have my camera" I said, properly sorrowful. "You have a pen, a program, and you're an artist. Where's the problem?" So while he took notes to review the concert, I sketched the flower arrangement and made notes.
"On Stage"
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When we went to the New Years Eve concert, I thought the bouquet was striking with silver, black and white.
"On Stage Too"
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This arrangement is adapted from a package of seeds. My husband really liked this one.
"What Seeds Do"
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In this painting, the flowers and pot are part of a scene. There were no comments about the relation of pot and flowers for this one.
"The Dresser"To be funny, I painted our little cactus, with hardly any of the pot showing. He loved it. "Got the Point?" I see his point, but the game's not over. I'm determined to paint a picture of some of my favorite pots without flowers. Maybe someone will like it.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

TRANSFORMATION

The teacher in my German class announced that we would have a party with international food, and that we should each bring something to give away. The way it was explained to me, I thought it was like a white elephant. Just something around the house. I decided to take one of the small teddy bears I had.
After we ate wonderful food cooked by people from all over the world, everyone picked a number, then went to find the gift corresponding to the number. I watched a young boy go to claim his prize. He got the small teddy bear. He was very unhappy about it, and told his mother, and I don't know who else. I saw him later with another present. This one had a teddy bear also, but in addition there was a small lamp, maybe something else, and everything wrapped gloriously in cellophane wrap. He was thrilled. I felt about as small as the small teddy bear.
I don't know what happened to that particular bear, but I had 23 more at home. I hadn't yet figured out what I was going to do with them. Then one day I was knitting a sweater for my granddaughter's new Barbie. I wondered how it would fit the teddy bears. With some adjustments to the pattern, it worked.
My husband looked at them and said, "They need shoes." Shoes? This is why women have husbands. In another story, we know why husbands have wives. I happened to find a store that sold leather scraps, and made shoes. It took a few shoes to get the right pattern, but they got shoes.
I made the buttons on the sweaters from Fimo because I wasn't satisfied with any I could buy.
They aren't just teddy bears anymore.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

This time I can't say "My daughter made me do it". She just did it. She gave me a blogspot.
There are certainly many stories and memories of time we all spent together. Like the time my young son wanted to help me make brownies. Somehow, the flour, eggs, etc. ended up on the floor. Yes, we had to clean it up. But we started over and enjoyed the brownies. Now when I visit my children in their own homes, they cook for me. Or I cook for them. Or we all cook together.
Sometimes the adventures of today transcend the homes. My daughter told me how she had decided to put the bouillon in a bottle. She didn't add a label, so her husband, thinking it was brown sugar, added bouillon to the peach cobbler he was making. I thought it was a good idea to put my brown sugar in a bottle, and I did. But the very next thing I did was give it a label.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Lady of the Arts

I have the honor of making the first post for my mother's blog. My mom has been painting since she was in High School. There was a time when she was raising "the kids" where she quit painting on canvas, but I think she held on to as much of the artist in her as possible while devoting most of her time to motherhood. I always say, however, that she raised me with a paint brush in my hand. I have many memories of painting ceramics, pieces of wood and doing craft projects on the kitchen table. It is because of the many messy and enjoyable hours that we spent together that I have grown up to enjoy all things with paint, sewing machines, and many, many more things. I am sure that at the end of the day, it was quite a chore to clean up from all of the crazy projects and adventures that she undertook with five children. Thank you mom for all of that work. Thank you for being the woman that you are, and for all of the adventures that you undertook with your little people right there at your side. Thank you for the adventures that you undertake with me, and my children right by our sides. You inspire me, you teach me, but most of all, you love me- and I love you! Love, Red

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