Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Talk about a hair cut....

What a shock!!!  We are getting our street repaired and of course, there are many trucks and worker bees outside our door.  However, we did NOT expect that they would give our glorious Blue Spruce a haircut on it's bottom half.  Seriously, there were two 4 foot piles of branches left, when they were done. 

I will say, that trucks have had a difficult time turning the corner with all the growth that had taken place in the last 6-8 years.  However, we loved the look, and now it looks.... well.... naked!

We will plant bulbs and try to make it lovely for the coming years, but honestly, I wept a little bit for the lost glory (and humiliation) of this grand tree.

The branches of our Blue Spruce
were actually touching the ground.
You can tell how far they went out
because of the pile of needles underneath.

With all the extra space underneath
the tree, we now have room for plantings.
What would you put there?

Monday, August 22, 2011

What I have been up to around here

I am back..... whew, last week was a rough one.  Too many obligations and not enough time.  Throw in a bit of stress, and voila.... migraine!  By Friday, I was down for the count and it took several days to pull myself together.  

However, before I was struck in the head.... I managed to do some work.  I finished the piece that I was working on.... actually it's in the 'resting stage' for a few weeks.  I have moved on for a bit, but will come back to it.

I took two photos and I just thought that you might enjoy seeing how the flash vs non-flash works.  I can't decide which one I like best, but photography can really affect the work.

taken with a flash

taken without a flash

This week is hectic, as well, so hopefully, I can get into the studio and get some work done.  I promise to have something to show, soon.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Odd's and Ends today...

As you can see, I am finally getting my photos back on line.  We had nothing but trouble yesterday....but eventually (after heading to the Computer Store.... thinking it was fixed .... and then coming home and spending two more hours on the phone....) managed to get everything to work.  Sometimes, computers take up too much of our lives!

Well, it's fixed and that is good...... 

I love the bark of an Aspen Tree.

Other bits of news that probably  will not be important to you but is to me....  I heard from my son today.  He was 'on the road' and is going 'on the road' again..... visiting NYC, and then moving from the Bay area north to Portland.  I don't think our kids realize just how much it means to know that they are happy, healthy and doing okay.  It doesn't have to be great all the time, but okay is good...and knowing that they are okay is even better. Kids do not like Mom's to 'bug' sometimes, we let them "be" for a while (and believe me, it kills me to do that, as I am the best "Helicopter Mom" on this earth!).

To me, a beautiful flower

My other son wrote about me in his blog.  He actually listened to a suggestion, tried it and liked it.  Here is what he had to say:

The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Great book recommend by my mother.  I wish I would have read it earlier, but then again it was recommended by my mother and I thought it would be too sappy.  Not true at all.  I love my mom but the sure way for a man not to read something is for his mom to recommend a book.  Even if my mom was Daryl Hannah.

That brings a smile to a Mom's face.  I know.... it has nothing to do with Botanical Illustration.  My life is filled with Art and I love it..... but nothing.... NOTHING.... comes close to the love and passion I have for being a Mom to the two best kids around.

So, lastly, here is my quote from "The Help" which I loved reading and I plan to see next week with two girlfriends.  It is a quote, from the book and in the movie.... and it is meant for every child out there, but, most especially, mine.

"You is Kind.   You is smart.  You is important."  

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Computer Glitches today...

Hello, friends.....

Today we took our computer into the store for a checkup.  See, the photo part of my computer is NOT working and it needed to be fixed, before I could show more photos, etc.

We just arrived home and I was quite excited to get back to blogging with you.  However, NOW.... nothing works!  Arg!  Everything was fine when we worked with the computer now, why is my photo program NOT working?  Sweet Hubby is not happy and not sweet right now.... nor am I.  Grrrrrrr.... 

So, I am going with "patience" this week and will patiently take my computer back to the computer geek to solve this problem.

I promise.... I will be back.....

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Hiking at Caribou Ranch

 Hiking at Caribou Ranch is a favorite thing to do.  We usually get there just in time for the wonderful wild flowers, which pop up in July.  However, this year, we headed to Jackson Hole, WY, which put us behind on our Caribou connection.

Off we trundled on Wednesday, for a lovely morning of walking, talking, sharing memories of our many years together.  It was a quiet respite in an otherwise crazy busy week.

I share some photos with you, in hopes that you can find a quiet moment of calm.

a pop of color in the soft meadow

We found one Mariposa Lily on the entire hike
(in July, the meadow is filled with them)

It is the season of yellow.... Fall can't be far behind

Our Anniversary Photo
Still together after all these years!
(and we are grateful)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A few days off...

Hi.....   I will be hiking, and schooling for the next few days, so I don't plan to blog for a bit.  

Wednesday is our Anniversary....and we plan to hike and enjoy the day together.  That is something that we could not do in the past because of work.... but retirement affords us the luxury of enjoying a day in the mountains to celebrate 42 years of marriage.

Thursday is a school day.  Just like the kids, I am heading off to class at the Botanic Gardens.  I can't wait.  I have all my pencils and paints in my pack and I am ready to learn new things.

And I choose..... "Life is Good"   How about you?  Choose to be happy today...and maybe we can change the world.

Quince - idently.....

Last Friday, I started sketching the fruit of the Quince bush outside our front door.  Last year, there was very little fruit, but this year, the tree is filled with these very hard little treats.  So, I continue to work on it.... and I thought you might enjoy a peek.  I will photograph it again, when it is complete.

As you can see, I am working on
several things at the moment.
The original Quince dried up,
so I continue to add as I go along.

I have finished a bit more
since this photo was taken.
I am also working on a color sample
for my next piece.....
Cabbage, scallions, and beets
Oh, my!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Onward and forward....

Here's a completed drawing from several weeks ago.  I heard from a reader, that it's nice to see the work in progress, but sometimes I forget to put it on the blog, when it's done.  

I will share that the reason that I don't put it on the blog again, is that something has either gone really bad or maybe, just semi-bad, and I don't like the piece anymore.  However, that is not so fair to the readers, as they should know that some work ends up in the circular file (and that is really old phraseology for the wastebasket).  This one was heading there....may still be.  I haven't decided.  But, I will share it with you, all the same....

A watercolor pencil sketch
completed with colored pencil
from a Friday Art Group session

Have a great weekend!  Stay cool!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

From a sketch to finished work...

Remember the sketches that I did in Grand Teton National Park (with crayons and a steno tablet)?  With notes and the sketches, I worked on the piece below.  I did manage to complete something this week.  It's getting harder and harder to find time in my studio, but I continue to give it my best shot.  This week, I did manage several days of work.  First piece today.... another completed one tomorrow.

Okay, enjoy......

L. to R.:  Arrowleaf Balsamroot; Dogbane; Indian Paintbrush

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Time to work in the garden!

It's time!   Our window boxes are starting to literally fall apart, and we have never had any trim on them.  Several, were also starting to rot, so the wood needed to be replaced.  My husband has been measuring, sawing, repairing  and painting for the last week or so....and I can tell you that the window boxes are looking much better.... Terrific comes to mind.

We still need to paint the shutters.....(notice I say "We" .....when, in actuality, my husband is doing all of the work...while I trim up the garden and weed.  But, It's a pretty good trade off).  So, here's a peek....

the old window box with new trim
before it was sanded & painted

This one was almost a lost cause
but amazingly, sweet hubby
put it all back together, better than ever!

There was more than one window box
that needed a lot of repair.  

Ta Da!!
Don't these look a lot better?
Now, scraping and painting the shutters begins.
It just never ends.....