Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Home Improvement - Or Not

A man named Stuart Hamblen was out hunting with his friend, John Wayne (the actor), when they came across an old tumbled down shack out in the middle of nowhere. They opened the door and discovered the place was a broken down mess inside as well. They also discovered a body. The guy who lived there had apparently died alone, in that old house.

The experience inspired Mr. Hamblen to write "This Old House," - or so the story goes.

Some of the lyrics:

This ole house once knew his children
This ole house once knew his wife
This ole house was home and comfort
As they fought the storms of life
This old house once rang with laughter
This old house heard many shouts
Now he trembles in the darkness
When the lightnin' walks about

Ain't a-gonna need this house no longer
Ain't a-gonna need this house no more
Ain't got time to fix the shingles
Ain't got time to fix the floor
Ain't got time to oil the hinges
Nor to mend the windowpane
Ain't a-gonna need this house no longer
He's a-gettin' ready to meet the saints

This ole house is a-gettin' shaky
This ole house is a-gettin' old
This ole house lets in the rain
This ole house lets in the cold
On his knees I'm gettin' chilly
But he feel no fear nor pain
'Cause he see an angel peekin'
Through a broken windowpane

This ole house dog lies a-sleepin'
He don't know I'm gonna leave
Else he'd wake up by the fireplace
And he'd sit there and howl and grieve
But my huntin' days are over
Ain't gonna hunt the coon no more
Gabriel done brought in my chariot
When the wind blew down the door

This song has been going through my head for days, instigated most likely by our recent hiring of a plumber to fix a couple of leaks that were causing huge water bills (like, $200/month).

I remember it well from my childhood, many years ago. Back then we lived in an old house and my Dad was always making repairs. But even as a 10 year old I got it that the guy wasn't just singing about a house.

And I definitely remember a man singing it, although Rosemary Clooney is the singer who made it famous.

I like the simple faith expressed in this song, and it's tone of cheerful acceptance.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Yes, You're In The Right Place

How do you like my new header?

It's symbolic of my tendency to escape into fantasy whenever I get the chance. That, and, Caroline brought home these kits for making cute little fuzzy critters. Here's the whole crowd:

I chose the lady in the tutu, but I do so love the doggie with the green eyes! The following picture would have made a good header, but it was too long - took too long to load, that is. It suggests, though, how I feel about housework:

I'm way too little for this big job!
Over the weekend Beth and I watched "The Incredible Shrinking Woman." I think it stuck in my mind....!

Or, it could be the fumes. You see, today I started staining a book case. When it's done, it will sit in the kitchen and hold about twice as much as our old "pantry" did. You may notice the stacks of canned goods, etc. on the table; it's been like that for a week and I'm sick of looking at it. The book case this stuff came out of is actually a book case again, in our spare bedroom / office.

We do this every summer - move stuff and re-arrange everything.

Caroline says it's the best way to clean.

To which I say - why clean?

If it weren't for her, I'd just sit in the dust and draw. Here you go:

Trying To Keep Up

And, I bought some nice PENCILS at the art store the other day. My first effort:

Growing Like a Weed 2
"An' that's all there is 'cause there ain't no more,"

Says Faith.

Gotta feed her.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Trade Secrets

Not really.

It's just that I said I would talk about the backgrounds of my drawings, in case you're interested.

It's been fun.
  • I made a collage from bits of construction paper that came home from Caroline's first grade classroom.
  • I dabbed paint.
  • I took a picture of a flowering bush.
  • I glued yarn - and bits of ribbon.
These were the raw materials. I scanned them into my computer and played with the Photo Shop application, changing the colors, shades, sharpness. Cropping the design and enlarging it. Changing the printer settings, etc. etc.

Here are some of the results:


And, one drawing with - and one without:

Growing Like Weeds

Sail or Swim

Now I'm working on adding a little color to my drawings without allowing the color to dominate. For me, the line's the thing - and always will be.

Hope you're having a wonderful day!  Bye for now!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Found Treasures

Look at this beautiful Oscar de la Renta dressing gown:

This is a size small gown made for a tall, thin rich person, but I got it at Goodwill for four dollars. The photos don't do it justice, but I think you get the idea. It's in perfect condition - maybe never worn.

It's missing the belt, but that's no problem for me, since I will be shortening the gown for a very short size small person. The fabric I cut off will be enough for a belt and a few other things besides - makeup bag, slippers, whatever.

It's a lot of fun shopping for "finds" at Goodwill.

The stuff I donate to Goodwill is usually so worn out they probably sell it for rags. But other people's donations are sometimes just wonderful! And Goodwill gets the money to continue their programs. Some years back they provided job placement and training for Beth, helping her work at Publix Grocery for awhile and then Wendy's Restaurant for about six years. Love those people!

Speaking of people helping people, a certain young lady has shared with me two excellent projects:
I don't have personal experience to report on, but the premise - people sharing what they don't want free or next to nothing - is a wonderful way to go.

Reminds me of the 60's. Guess I'm really just an old hippy after all....!

So, for all you old hippys out there, and non-hippys, here's another drawing:

Hope you're checking out all my prints via the link in the upper right corner of this blog. They're all for sale (hint!). Even if you're not shopping, you can have fun playing with different color mats and frames, and how they affect the pictures. Oh, and there's other artwork on there too, including photography....

Next time I write, I'll talk about the backgrounds on my drawings.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Last Day of School (Whew!)

So today was the last day of school and now Caroline gets some well-deserved rest for a while.

Only people who have spent time in a classroom can appreciate how stressful the job is, especially at certain ages.

Kindergarten and first grade teachers have tremendous physical and emotional demands put on them.

Teachers of adolescents - well - do I have to explain the stresses involved there?

Bottom line, though, is that kids will learn what they need to learn if they are in the presence of a good teacher in a safe environment. That means that they come to school rested and fed, and someone at home has taught them that they matter.

The teacher only needs respectful supervision and the physical and emotional supports necessary for the job.

All the rest - curriculums, committees, tests, buildings and so on - take second place to that all important relationship between the teacher and his/her students.

If governments and school boards ever get that straight we will see an explosion of knowledge and creativity like nothing this nation has ever seen.

And it won't cost a lot of money, either.

To the teachers and kids, and parents and grandparents, congratulations on completing another school year and enjoy your summer vacation. You earned it!

Here's another one of my critters for you:

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Following myself (and meeting myself on the way back)

Well, now I've gone and done it. I was attempting to "follow" Dee's blog and I signed up instead to follow myself.

Gotta be somewhat dissassociative to do that. So now my crowd of followers is up to - yes - four!!!

Anyway, I'm trying to fix my mistake, and I'm sure I'll figure it out eventually. In the meantime -

here it is -

another drawing!!!!


So - be your own fan today - even if you think no one else is!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Memorial Day - Part 2 (Picnic)

One week later, and I finally get around to this:

We had the best picnic on Memorial Day. It was an ordinary menu - ribs, dogs, burgers, 'tato salad, beans, grilled veggies, etc.

Thing is, Caroline wasn't feeling well, and I am not into this grilling business, especially things like - ribs?

But lookee:

Here's my marinade recipe. Easy to make. Do not measure (I didn't):
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2-3 tablespoons minced onion
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2-3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1-2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (I'm not rich, so I used 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
Marinate as long as you like - 2 to 24 hours - and take out of the fridge about an hour before you cook it.

That's it!

Oh, and the veggies - yellow squash, onion, green beans, and a few spices "grilled" in a pan in a little olive oil:

More drawings. Believe me, I never know what's going to happen when I put pen to paper!!

Hearts and Flowers

Great Outdoors

Hearts & Flowers Number 2

In the Garden