Friday, September 30, 2011

CMOE benefit project & PPF 29

I'm killing two birds with one stone here. It's Paint Party Friday and I want to tell you about a project I've got started. I've been asked to participate in a benefit for CMOE, a local children's museum. I am decorating a pre-made wooden "piggy bank" shaped like a dinosaur that you can insert a coin into its mouth and it swirls around and ends up in his belly. It will be auctioned off for their 5th Birthday Gala. I am honored to be asked to help and hope that my dinosaur will fetch a good price to help out the museum. I'm not going for a childlike theme, more of a serious piece with attitude... haha at least in my head!

It stands a couple feet high but as I paint on it, I've discovered there really isn't much surface area. So far, I've gesso'd it and ink'd it with india ink in my random pattern technique and now I've just started to add paint... metallic of course. I have more plans for this other than just painting but you'll have to tune in later to see what I've got up my sleeve ;)



ink'd other side

adding the metallic paint
I've missed like 3 Paint Party Friday's and I'm just barely squeaking in for this one tonight! This week I've brought all my plants back into my greenhouse cause it's going to get pretty chilly tonight and it's time. Bringing all my plants in has turned out to be a big project (just like every year, how quick I forget!). I was hoping to be further along with my dinosaur by now, especially since the gala is this month... yikes! I'll make it, no worries.

Try to visit all the talent that is PPF! Til next time ;)
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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Putting off this post :(

I've put off this post for over a month now hoping if I didn't talk about it, he would return. Writing this makes it too real, sad and final. Lightning, one of my twin boy kitties, has disappeared and I'm heart broken. He and his brother Thunder occasionally would go out for an all-nighter but they always returned until recently. All too much like losing my beloved Banshee a little over a year ago.

The strange thing is that Thunder was usually my wanderer, not Lightning. Lightning was my lover cat. He loved to be held and petted. Asher could pick him up and drag him around and Lightning loved it. He would jump up in my lap if ever I gave him the chance. Lightning would always run in the house when I opened the door. I feel horribly guilty now that he is gone and most likely is not coming back that I moved them outside. I miss him terribly. They started out as inside cats but Thunder started to attack my 19 year old Queen of the house cat, Glove, so I moved them out this summer together because they were inseparable.

I still scour the sides of the roads, fields and porches for him everyday I take Asher to school. I can't imagine where he could have gone and hate to think of what my gut tells me happened. We live in the country and there are dogs and coyotes. My husband won't answer me truthfully when I ask him (about 6 million times) what he thought happened to Lightning. He tries to make me feel better and tells me maybe he got too far away from home and he's lost. Not likely.

I've called the animal control, they apparently don't pick up cats. Who knew? I've searched the animal shelter websites with no luck. Not likely again since we're 15 miles from the nearest town with a shelter. I even ask Thunder and Zoey all the time "Where is your brother?" they both look at me with their sweet innocent eyes, not a care in the world. Odd though... no grieving for them. At least not that I've noticed. How does a grieving animal act? How can they not miss him? Maybe they know something I don't. Maybe they're glad the brown-noser is gone. I'm kidding. Either way, everyone please say a little prayer that Lightning returns to me.
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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Swamp tour - last of Florida vacation pics

Last pics from vacation that I'll share, at least for now. These were taken at Black Hammock Adventures Air Boat Rides on Lake Jesup which boasts to have the most alligators in any lake in central Florida. This was such a fun day, I've always wanted to take an airboat ride and we finally found one that was a good fit for us. Actually in all it only took four hours from the time we left the condo to the time we got back. I would love to take a longer ride sometime.

I love the swamp. I have always loved spooky things and the swamp seems spooky and peaceful. One of my favorite movies is Passion Fish, it's based down south and has great cinematography of the swamps there plus I love the story. Now that I think about it there are quite a few movies I love that have swamps in them, like The Gift and The Skeleton Key. I know there are more.  I am also addicted to the show Swamp People and The Glades. Of course who didn't like Swamp Thing!

I was concerned about skeeters, since they think I'm a buffet, but honestly, I think we have more mosquitoes in Indiana than I encountered in the swamp or Florida for that matter.

We were posing next to these beautiful parrots and all of a sudden they screeched and I thought they were gonna eat us up! It was so loud and scared us all... lol.

So right away I could tell photographing the scenery was going to be difficult because of the railing but I managed to get a few good ones. The birds were beautiful and so diverse.

We got to see baby alligators in the wild. These were just born in July (it's now September). Captain Joel told us this was her 2nd batch of hatchlings this year.

This is a bird coming out of the water. I thought Daryl was gonna jump out of his skin when it surfaced! haha  He thought it was a snake but first it startled him splashing out like that.

Unfortunately, Asher was not a happy camper. He hated having to wear the life jacket and the ear things he had to wear to cancel the noise, they're not on him at the moment. I thought he was sea sick for a moment, but he's just pouting.

So here is "Firecracker" the baby alligator we got to pet and hold. I was thrilled but Asher refused to hold him. He did pet him though.

I wanted to leave you with a photo that I liked and altered a bit. Spooky, the way I see a swamp :) These trees were amazing. We have a cypress growing next to our lake but you gotta admit it's the moss that adds that special touch. I wish we had that moss up here, I love it.

Ok, no more boring vacation pics (for a while!) haha... thanks for playing along and reliving my vacation with me. Enjoy the day!
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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Florida Day 2,3,4 and 5!

Day 2, 3, 4 and 5 all neatly wrapped up here. We basically did more beach time but we did bowl one night and then day 5 we went to Disney World's Magic Kingdom for the first time with Asher.

 The hurricane that was way out in the ocean (Maria) had sent us lots of nice big shells that aren't normally easily found. I always take shells home, some day I'll do something with them ;)

 Remnants of sand castles...

Another fine beach day, lots of beautiful sunshine. Later in the week the jellyfish forced us away from the ocean.

 There was a funeral procession of sorts one day. I noticed people all lining up and walking into the ocean who were all in normal clothes and not swimsuits and then I noticed they were tossing flowers into the sea. I know it's kinda morbid but I was fascinated by it. I of course immediately thought of my mom and how she just loved the ocean. This would've been something that would have made her smile too. It was touching. Then my mind travels to so many dark corners and I had to direct my attention somewhere else.

Bowling turned out to be fun for the kids... and I swear the longest set ever.

So day 5 was Disney and Asher honestly wasn't that thrilled with it but he did like the roller coaster Thunder Mountain and the water ride Splash Mountain. He was too small for Space Mountain which was fine, because the first things we got on was Stitch something and he was scared to death when the lights went out. I kept telling him it wasn't real, but he was terrified the poor baby. The one thing I thought he would really like, Swiss Family Robinson, was closed for remodeling. We had about 4 rides stop on us, things just were quitting left and right. They are already celebrating Halloween there so they closed early at 7pm and you had to have a special ticket to get in for that (high dollar $$), so we missed the fireworks which we were really looking forward to, but we were exhausted by then anyway.

More for the last remaining days coming... Oh and if you're just reading this and wonder where the first day is, see it here. Thanks for visiting and reminiscing with me :)
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Monday, September 19, 2011

Day 1 of Florida Bliss

My vacations to Florida usually start out like this. Ocean breeze in my nappy hair and no tan on my face. Who knew that it was summer just a week before in Indiana? By late August/early September I suddenly develop a no care attitude for color on my skin. While I think I look better with it, I just don't care. Especially now, since Mom died of skin cancer almost two years now (gasp! 2 years?! wipe tears) But me with my fair skin knows that it's not safe and I always wear sunscreen and have little Asher accustomed to being slathered with it. He knows no other way, thankfully.

So this is Day One...
Ahhh... a tradition for us is to hit the beach first thing, even in the early evening as this was our first Friday and Asher is eagerly running to fetch a bucket of sea water for the very first sand castle!

So this is pretty much my view through out my beach side vacation... I love it. If only you could see the book in my lap, tea at my side and grin on my chubby little face =)

Soon, the cousins start to arrive. Bliss for Asher as I call this frantic happiness. Luckily, he has two that are right about his age, Emma and Abigail ~ two sweet little sisters. So far, we've all vacationed together for years here. What fun memories I hope they will have. At least I have a zillion photos if they don't.

Time for searching the sand to see what the sea along with the help of Hurricane Maria has churned up for us to find!

Exploring and still searching... running here and there. Squeals and shouts abound.

Treasures are quickly discovered. Happiness is found in a sleepy little town called New Smyrna Beach just south of Daytona on the east coast of Florida.

Stay tuned for Day two :)

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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Back and Ready to Yack!

I'm back and ready to yack! I am downloading 414 pictures from our Florida trip that we just got back from late last night. Actually, I'm surprised I only took 414. I kept thinking, I'm going to post something tonight while I was in Florida, but it just never happened. We kept busy and I was exhausted every night.  I apologize for just disappearing like that! I don't like to announce we're going on vacation for obvious reasons. I had all kinds of things I wanted to share, but it would in turn let it be known we were away.

It was an exhausting trip back, more than normal. We got caught in two traffic jams, one in Atlanta from roadwork and the other right before Chattanooga where there was a terrible wreck involving one truck hitting a bridge support. I'd say they added almost two hours to our normal 13 hour trip.

I've missed 2 Paint Party Friday's and have missed reading all my favorite blogs so I'm ready to get back in the groove refreshed and ready to create some art! I've read some art books and eye candy magazines to recharge my creative batteries. But, right now I've got a lot to unpack and loads and loads of laundry to do so I'll save my stories for now. But I'll be back with my Florida thoughts and pictures :)  I know it's just want everyone wants to hear about... hahaha!

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Friday, September 2, 2011

Paint Party Week 25

Paint Party Friday has arrived again. Today I have another work in progress called "Forest Floor" done with metallics and a couple pics of the now finished and framed "Water for Elephant".  See the post for Water for Elephant here.
Forest Floor stage 1
Forest Floor stage 2 work in progress

Forest Floor stage 2 close up work in progress
I was so inspired by one of the paint players last week that I had to go outside and pick up some leaves and create a painting with some natural stamps. I learned as I created and thoroughly enjoyed the process. I have lots more to do to this painting, it really started out as just playing but now I have more of a vision for the piece and will share it as soon as I finish it.
Water for Elephant - finished
Water for Elephant - finished and framed

Thanks for looking :) check out all the Paint Players for inspiration and fantastic eye candy!

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