Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Back at it again

I think I took a bit of hiatus from art over the holidays, but really I didn't- I just didn't produce anything spectacular. I made some paper ornaments, and did some sketching, I made a few handmade journals, and started on a new art Journal for the 2014 year, which I started working in a few weeks ago. I seem to find it easier to post to Facebook than I do here on my blog, so if you want to check out what I am up to on a regular basis, that would be the place to visit me.
So what has happened since my last post here on the blog?

In September, my washing machine blew a gasket- well, not really a gasket, but the pump sprung a leak, and I am WAY too cheap to pay a repairman $75 an hour, so I got on the internet, and learned how to fix it myself. Ordered the part, and $28 and a few hours later- it wouldn't have taken most people that long, but whatever- I got it fixed, and we were back in service. Well, for a few days, then we discovered that we had a major backup in our waste water pipes, and that the City's main drain had a major blockage from roots at the joint to the main drain where our waste water is supposed to exit our pipes.  It took the repair man 2 full days to grind through the build-up of roots, but then he was able to get us back in service. Luckily, he was good and cleaned up after himself, and we didn't have any damage from the back-up. Just a puddle of water on the bathroom and laundry room floors, but they have linoleum, so so worries- easily cleaned. :)

We actually had a quite rainy fall, which is a nice change from our usual desert in the mountains. We even were graced with some beautiful lightening storms, and our grass was greener than it has been in all the years we have lived in this house! (4+) My flowers even bloomed later than usual, which is awesome!

At the end of September, my mom, daughter Quincy, friend Amanda and I all went for a girls' day, and had pedicures! It is the first professional pedicure I have had. I was practiced on a few times in Beauty school, but that doesn't count- it was also Quincy's first, and my mom's first pedicure- can you believe my mom had never had a professional pedicure in all her years? She loved it, and it was so fun to see her enjoy having someone take care of her for a change. She is always making sure everyone else is taken care of, and this time it was her turn, I hope she will be able to take that time for herself more often.

In October we got our first big storm of the season- I had to go over to Powell to take Quincy the car so she could get to and from her CNA Clinicals, and on the way home, it was a major blizzard. We took it slow, and braved it, but it was a long trip home at the speed we were going. I noticed that we were the lead car too, and wondered if we might get passed because we were going so slow, but I think the drivers behind me were just grateful to not be the one trying to make a path for everyone else. I am grateful that the Highway crews put those cuts in the road on the right side, so if you "fall asleep at the wheel" it will wake you up. It made it quite easy to know right where I was on the road, when I couldn't see a car length in front of me.
I also did quite a bit of baking- not a big variety, but several loaves of both banana bread and zucchini bread. We filled the freezer, and have had homemade treats all winter.  :)

November brought some challenges for our family. Quincy seemed to have some trouble emotionally, and so I spent almost the whole month driving back and forth from Powell to get her to and from her classes. She just needed that break from the "real world" and have her family wrap their arms around her and know that she can always count on us to help when things get hard. She is doing great now- she did awesome in her classes first semester at college, and is very excited to get going in her new classes this semester. She loves college, and I know she will continue to succeed.

The end of November and all of December has brought us lots of snow- I love to see it fall, but really don't enjoy driving in it. We have had several big snows, where we normally get little snows. I am hoping we will not have a dry summer next year, as I just don't like worrying about wild fires. It looks to me like the mountains have quite a bit of snow pack, so maybe we will be in good shape for the summer months. We had a big stretch of frigid temps. Several days in a row of way below zero. We are not used to getting -14 degrees F for days on end. (When we lived in Glasgow, Montana, it was the norm, but not here)
We survived it, and are no worse for the wear. We just stay in and bundle up :)

So onto the new year--- January has been good so far... I am back into the swing of getting artsy more often, which is so good for my psyche. I really usually get extreme holiday blues, and have trouble getting out of the funk, but I feel refreshed this year, and have actually spent the last 2 weeks organizing- DEEP ORGANIZING, all, I mean ALL of my scrapbooking/art/craft supplies, and purging the things I know I will never use, and finding a proper place for the things I want to keep and use. It is a slow process. I have spent the last more than 20 years making a huge unorganized mess, it is not going to get fixed over night, but I am diligently working on it, and am actually starting to get past the point where is gets way worse before you start to see progress, so there is hope!  You can already start to see the progress :) YEAH!!!

I am still trying to have a good balance, several good strong hours of work, then a reward of me time for art. I am attempting to do the Journal 52 art journal prompts and also taking a Derwent Art Academy class... I thought it would be pretty quick, but there is more to learn than I had initially thought, so I am enjoying the slower pace, and am really trying to learn something from the course. Here are the sketches so far:
Class 1: 3D objects
Sorry the picture is so grainy and dark- it was taken at night with my webcam- not ideal for picking up the details of artwork.

Class 2: Perspective
I had a little trouble thinking ahead with where the perspective was going to land, and ended up squeezing it in at the top, but at least I understood the instructions. Perspective is not my strong spot.

Class 3: Basic Sketching
This sketch was supposed to be done using only dots. That is so not easy- I found myself trying to make little lines, but I think I understand the point, in that the closer together they are the darker the area, the farther apart, the lighter the area.

Class 4: Color and Tone
I started with the rooster sketch, and it turned out nothing like the instructors example, but then she said we could try the bluebird, and that was much more successful.

So now I wait for the instructor to evaluate my drawing before I get access to class 5. Hopefully I will remember to post here on the blog before July! LOL
Whew- got through that update of my life... see you soon, hopefully :)

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