Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

Keeping the spirit of the holiday season through out the year.....


How did the year fly by so quickly  .... And the New Year is upon us.... again!

My sister was born on New Years Eve - so today she celebrates another good year.  Have a grand day Sister Sister!  .... And, many, many more.

My resolution for the new year popped up to me when I looked at one of my decorations.  Charles Dicken's says it best (via a Mary Engelbreit frame)..... 

"I will honor Christmas in my heart,
and try to keep it all year long"

I hope that we can all work towards friendship, harmony, laughter, love and human kindness all year long.  It's hard to keep it going, sometimes, which is why we are in such a pickle right now.  Maybe, in 2009, we will recapture some of the "spirit" that brings people together on a continuing basis.

Best to Birthdays to all of you New Years Eve.... and New Years babies!   Best wishes for a happy and healthy and kind world in 2009!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Back to work

working on a rose in a warm studio

The weather has popped back into the 50's - which warms up the studio quickly.  Last night, the winds were roaring with 50-60 mile per hour gusts.  I really do not like it, but this morning, it has calmed down and the sun is shining.  I popped into the studio and the light was perfect.  I worked for about an hour on this piece.  It's good for me to photograph it, as I see all sorts of places that need work - that's a good thing!

The kids have left  :(
That always leaves me a bit sad and empty.
But we had a grand visit and it was filled with fun, so no complaints, for sure!

I am anticipating the New Year, New President, New Goals, and new hopes for happiness and good health to so many friends and family that have had real struggles this year.  I had a good year, with reasonable health, and goals met, along with the financial setback that most everyone has had.  However, in retrospect, that loss of dollars, helped me to focus on what really matters - family & friends.  I plan to make the most of that in the coming year.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Blumenschein Exhibit in Denver

A painting by Ernest L. Blumenschein, now on exhibit  at the Denver Art Museum

Several museums have coordinated this wonderful exhibit of a man who is considered to be the founder of the Taos Society of Artists.   The exhibit will be in Denver until February 8, 2009.  

One of the very special things that our family wanted to do together was to head to the Denver Art museum on Sunday.  What a delight to find that there were two special exhibits.
Our son & fiance fell in love with the exhibit of Daniel Richter, a German painter of extraordinary talent, who paints the contemporary world with great flair.  Actually, I fell in love with his work, as well.

However, we also went to the new exhibit "In Contemporary Rhythm", the art of Ernest L. Blumenschein, which rocked my soul.  He captures the true essence of the Southwestern United States.... land and culture.  What a surprise for me... as, embarrassingly, I was not familiar with his work.  

Well, needless to say, I am going back... I need much more time to view his collection.  

The Denver Art museum; Albuquerque Museum of Art & History; and the Phoenix Art Museum all have contributed works and insight.  It has also been funded by the National Endowment for the Arts; the Albuquerque Museum Foundation, The Henry Luce Foundation, & the Western Art associates of the Phoenix Art Museum.  Wells Fargo, Adolph Coors, and SCFD have also contributed on a local level.  I say all of this, because it takes so many dollars and hard work to bring an exhibit to life.  I so appreciate all of the efforts behind such a 'treat'.

I hope that we can keep funding the Arts in America.    So, if you are in the area, GO & SEE:
"In Contemporary Rhythm - the Art of Ernest L. Blumenschein" and the contemporary exhibit of Daniel Richter's works.  Let me know what you think!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Back porch serenity

The back porch is quiet now.... serene....It has it's own Winter's beauty.
I found this Haiku done by Matsuo Basho, which says it much better than I could.

I must also say that I have been enjoying the use of "Picnik.com", which is an amazing and fun site for creating with your photos.  Check it out!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas Everyone!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas......

Just a note to family & friends
As you celebrate Christmas,
And this year ends....

We think of you often,
We hope you know it,
'cause often the lack of calls 
and mail don't show it.

But... you are in our hearts every day,
with good wishes always going your way,
So, as you go about today
Know that we love you 
More than we can ever say!

Lots of love and Hugs from our house to yours!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Time's a flying...

Nutcrackers on the mantle in the kitchen

Time is a flying and there's much to be done....  but we have lit the candles for two nights and we are enjoying our celebration of Hanukkah.  Every day is a day closer to seeing the kids, so that is when the celebrating will really start...... just wish they ALL could be here.  One of these years, it will happen.  Until then, we are enjoying what comes our way.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Ho, Ho, Ho....

A touch of Christmas, too!

While catching up on blogs around the world, it seems that the snow is almost everywhere and it's definitely chilly in the air !  It's no exception here.... though we could use a bit more snow.  

I did try to get into the studio yesterday, which was a toasty 55 degrees!   Okay, it's not terrible.... but I have to tell you, my nose was running and my fingers were not performing very well, after an hour of drawing.  Today, it is in the teens, and sort of a very deep gray in the sky, so I am not even going to try to step in there..... art will have to wait for a thaw or two, before I have something to show you.   

We are definitely ready for the holidays and the two of the four kids (I include wife & fiance as my kids...) come home in a few days, which I am anticipating more than anything.  They will warm up the house and fill it with joy (it's just too darn quiet around here without them around).  Hope you are enjoying your holidays.... where ever you may be.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Happy Hanukkah!

Two of our three Menorah's await the lighting of the candles on first night of Hanukkah.

We celebrate Hanukkah tonight.  It will be a quiet evening, as our sons will not be present.  We are a mixture of many faiths in this home, so we celebrate Hanukkah and a more secular version of Christmas.  We always have.... and we find beauty in both celebrations.  At their source, they are based on miracles.  Hanukkah is really a small celebration in Jewish homes, but a delightful one, none the less.  Christmas has become a huge 'tra la', but at it's core is another miracle of faith.  It's the faith that I celebrate.... the sense that there is something greater than us, to be honored and celebrated.  We hope that you are together with friends and loved ones, to celebrate faith and hope and what is before us.... no matter what your personal religion is.  Light a candle tonight and share the faith.  It can't hurt and it certainly will create a bridge of love from one to another.


Friday, December 19, 2008

A Special Birthday!

On December 20, 1973
A Hanukkah gift came to me
My son was born on that day
a miracle, to me, is all I can say.

Tomorrow, he will be 35!
My goodness how he does thrive.
His gift is words, he writes so well,
His speech and words can cast a spell.

He lives, right now, so far away,
With the love of his life, he will stay.
With marriage and work, and all the rest
Happy Birthday, Son..... All our best!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Weather is changing..... again!

The weather is coming in over the mountains.  Change is in the air and the temperatures are sliding down that slippery slope...brrr.

It wasn't really expected to get colder.... but it is.  The roses sit there, trying to look dainty and bright... but it's hard when there are two inches of snow on their heads.    Still, I love their delicacy and elegance.

It's hard to be elegant when it's cold... with layer upon layer from head to toe.... but a smile on your face, is a good start.


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Hip Rose!

I was playing around with some colored pencils, while I was watching t.v., a while back.  The result was this rose hip.  It isn't really complete... needs some work here and there, but I wanted to share something with you, today.

I have been baking, cooking, shopping, cleaning, and stopping to take time out to see friends.  Really, the 'season' can get away from you, with lots of busy-ness... and it's much nicer to catch a lunch with good friends and visit.

So January will be a productive month, and there will be much work to do, and complete.  Until then, I plan to enjoy the busy-ness and savor time spent with friends.  Only part of our family will come after the holidays... but we plan to enjoy every moment of their visit.

Take time for those dear to you even if you have to put some of your work aside.  My Aunt once told me, "The nice thing about dust... is it never goes anywhere... it's always there for you to clean later".  She is 96 years young, living life fully, and not worrying about the little things.  Wisdom for us all.


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Anniversary!

Wow... two blogs in one day!

No photos... but I just realized that I have been blogging for six months!  What a surprise to me.
I have met so many wonderful people and it has been a good way to share work with family and friends near and far.  Thanks for your comments.... and I hope that the joy continues.

Thank you!

Keep on Tracking!




A friendly tracker skis on the golf course with dog in tow!

This is the view from my window... and it's so fun to see the cross country skiers out on the golf course (there is a trail around the course, which is a lot of fun!).  This person was happily cruising the down hill section, making tracks with their corgi.  

As I sit snugly inside, drinking my Fireside coffee, I think that I should put on my many layers and head out for some fun... (I do think about it... but it's so snuggy inside!!)

For those of you who might enjoy a nice warm drink... I will give you the recipe for Fireside coffee... a special treat at our home, and was originally a gift from my good friend, Jody.

Here it is:
FIRESIDE COFFEE
Mix together the following:
2 Cups instant Cocoa
2 Cups powdered cream
1 Cup instant coffee (I use de-caf)
1 + 1/2 Cups sugar
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg

Yes, it is a bit high in calories... but I put two or three teaspoons in an espresso cup and it is a tiny treat that keeps you warm on a cold Winters night.  Go make some and enjoy!



Monday, December 15, 2008

tracings in the snow....

My guess is a bunny rabbit  ???

You think this might be it???


Oh, it is so cold here.... in the minus temperatures.  Our hope is for a high of 17 degrees!  Okay, I shouldn't complain, but I am not a fan of the really bitter temperatures - it's just too hard to get around.  I feel like a child dressed in so many layers, all you can see is the eyes.

I definitely won't get into the studio ( it's not heated - just a little electrical heater that uses tons of energy :(    But I am busy doing other craft projects around the house... which I may share with you.  Also, my Art group will meet again on Friday, so I will be doing some journaling then (well, maybe I will have a chance to do that before Friday!).

I just signed up for more classes at the Denver Botanical Gardens - Illustration courses.  The teachers are so terrific and there is always more to learn.  It keeps me on my toes to continue the learning process.  

Stay warm today (and if you are in a warm climate... enjoy the warmth!)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sunday surprise!

Rodelsled in my herb garden....ready for the hills!

Yesterday, as we ran errands, it was 63 degrees and sunny.....no jackets, no scarves...hats or mittens.  SURPRISE!   This morning we woke to gray skies and several inches of snow and the temperature was 7 degrees!  yes SEVEN!  brrrr......  

In Colorado, what a difference a day makes!

So I put on my old boots (actually my son's old L.L. Bean boots - about 2o years old but just like L.L. Bean... they are still great!) , my down coat (the long one), my hat, mittens (the thermal ones that my son gave me - with the fingers that flip back) and scarf !  Okay... with my trusty camera, I trekked around the yard to catch some photos.  

I will share more of them this week, as my studio is so cold, it's hard to work in there.  I still may get something done (art wise), but not as motivated when it's so chilly out there!


Thursday, December 11, 2008

I couldn't resist - another bit of Maui

A view from Makena landing - an original port in Maui for cattle

Looking up at Haleakala volcano from the highway before Kehei
Paddle surfing out on the point of Napili (we get to watch this every day!)


I had to throw in just a few more photos of Maui.... the beauty, the people.... well, I just had to share a bit more of our visit there.  My mind keeps slipping back to this calming place, especially when I find myself with list after list of  "to do"... and not enough time "to do".  This is my break for today.... writing on my blog.  It will be enough for today... just to remember Maui!  If you are stressed out with the 'to do' list.... just think of your favorite place or activity - it will slow your heart beat and help you re-focus.  I am sending you hugs for today!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Textures of Winter

Lavender pops off the white snow - should have cut  this long ago!
Garden grasses grew all summer....in the Winter... nothing funner!
Berries, red and bright, catch the snow and Winter's light!

I went out into the garden this morning and found so many beautiful textures and colors of Winter.  They are often lost in the summer garden, but in the Winter, they pop out at me, against the snow.

If you live in a colder, snowy climate at this time of year, walk out into your garden (with your snow boots - crocs with holes in them do NOT work well) and explore the wonderful textures around you.   

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The last taste of Maui

    This is Napili Beach - one of our favorite hang outs
              We walk home to this view every day!
       Kapalua is a stop along our 3 mile walk each day! 

Here are the last photos that I will share of Maui.  We like to walk each day and this is our usual way of going from our condo.... in a big loop.  Then we like to hit the beach (or pool) in the afternoons.  

Now that I am home, and trying to decorate the house for the holidays; send holiday greetings; buy and send gifts; and do a bit of celebrating with friends, I find that I miss the calmer days on Maui.  Though, I love the hustle and bustle of the holidays.... it brings with it a certain amount of stress and deadlines.  It's just the every day reality that gets to me at times.

So, I am keeping a space in my mind and heart to remember the calmer pace of the islands, just to remind me to stop and breathe and enjoy each moment of life back home.

Tomorrow... photos of the fresh snow and the beauty of Colorado's winter.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Plumeria pink


       Plumeria's come in a variety of colors..... but I love the pinks!

As we take our walk every day in Maui, we come across a vacant lot filled with Plumeria trees.  One is pink, another is red and one is a more common white.  They seem to thrive on this lot, with minimum maintenance - only water and smiles of those who pass by each day.  Many Plumeria's are cut back, but these are growing as they please... and it pleases them to be free.

I love them.... and hope to use these photos to create a drawing and then a painting  of this unique plant.  

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Back from Paradise....

Sunset on a perfect day in Maui (note the surfers off our point!)

Well, I am back... and we were welcomed with snow and car accidents on the highway, coming home, after an all night flight.  Brrrr.... my body can't quite comprehend that yesterday, we were sitting on the beach, and today..... well, today is a snowy, winters Day in December.

We had a most relaxed, restful time on our favorite island in the world.  I still have more exploring to do, but nothing quite compares to this beautiful place that fills my soul - way down deep!

I thought you would enjoy a photo of one of the many sunsets that we took photos of over there.  We are forever grabbing the camera, to capture yet another sunset... an awesome end to the day.

I did not paint, draw or do any such thing whilst I was away.... really needed a break and so I took one.  Tomorrow... is a new day with much to catch up with around here.  I may be popping in a bit less often in the next week, while I try to catch up on stuff.

Off to nap!