Friday, June 30, 2017

Summer fun, so far!

After returning from my father's funeral, I realized that I needed to slow things down a bit.  I found this Zen advice on Face Book, and thought I would share it.  "Em" created this for someone near and dear to her, and I took it to heart.  So, Thank you, Em, I pass this along to anyone who even sees this blog.  May it bring peace.

#11 is "Think about what is Necessary.

As we arrived home to "full on" torrential rains, for about a week, we discovered this in our bathroom.  It continued to grow and grow and grow until we had rain coming through our ceiling every day, with fear that the roof would cave in.  EMERGENCY!!  We called the roofing company to come out and fix it, which was not possible, since they could not find the source of the leak.

Believe me, this was just the beginning.
By the time we stopped the leak, it was bigger
than the entire square that is shown above.
Now, it is dry and covered in duct tape, until repairs can be made.

Well, You can guess what that means.....a New Roof.  It was not unexpected, but not exactly what we had planned at this moment in time.  So, we had to jump through some hoops to get the roof on ...Next up, was HOA approval...which came quickly (think they were sympathetic to the leak).  Then bids from the roofing company, and lastly, choosing a tile.  Which one would you have picked?  

Once that was complete, we moved on to the massive mess of stripping the roof of all tile.  I will spare you that photo.  Now, we are prepped for the new tile, which arrived today.  Within a month, we should look good as new.  We are also getting solar panels which will add to the expense, but will be a cleaner source of added energy.  

While I could not go outside (things were being thrown off the roof at regular intervals...a bit dangerous), I got busy in my studio.  I bought a new set of paints, which you can see on my instagram page: 

(on instagram) 

I used these new paints:  Kuretake 3700 paint set, found on Amazon.  They are rich and the colors are varied.  I created two miniatures, 3" x 4"      I have since, sent them to a most deserving young woman, who is a giver to all.  She has often praised my work and encourages me, though she is a generation younger than I am.  It's a surprise for her, but I hope it will be a nice one.

I found a birds nest in the bush
and did a quick sketch.

quick sketch from photo that I took many moons ago.

I did some quick touch ups with my small Winsor & Newton paints.
You can see all of the colors of the Kuretake set, straight ahead, along with
my hair bungee and eye glasses.  Yikes, I am a messy painter!

Last but not least, I started working on a wasps nest, that I carried with me from Colorado.
It is complete now, and I will show it to you next month.
It was done in graphite, with colored pencil.

If you can't wait, you can see this work completed on my Instagram page.

We are off on another adventure.  I will share photos next month.  I look forward to these adventures, but I also look forward to getting home for a bit and doing some much needed work.  August is a good time to get things done indoors, as the weather gets mighty muggy.  

I hope that you have a zen month, filled with all that you love and enjoy.  Take time to breathe.  Take time to honor some unsung hero, who encourages you or others!  There are a lot of them out there, and they could use a treat, or a hug, or any acknowledgement you can give.  Don't wait.  

See you next month!  

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Continuing Our trip....

There was still so much to share, that I will continue our trip, in photos.  The surprise of Ireland was the vistas....the grand views of green with cliffs or the ocean, or even serene mountain lakes.  The sheep were everywhere along the way.  They were not always used to our company...and their personalities proved the point.  They were used to having the land to themselves (unless, of course the sheep dog was called in to round them up).

We found places that were created before the Egyptian Pyramids.  No one is quite sure of their purpose, but Archeologists are working at trying to figure out just what might have been happening for these human beings.

Modern art work represents the opening of the caves
and the importance of the sun in the ancient times.

There were unusual trees that just might have housed small fairies.  See what YOU think.  Do you think that they might be tucked in among the branches?  I certainly thoughts so.

One morning, when visiting Cobh, we awoke to quite a surprise out our window.

We had gone to this small port town to study a bit about the great ships that left here for America  during the great famine, but also some famous ones left this port, with disastrous circumstances ahead of them.  Both the Titanic and the Lusitania left from this port.  Cobb (pronounced Cove) has an excellent museum to share these stories.

And then there are just the odds and ends of a trip, that sparked our interest:  Trinity College, in Dublin; Pubs along the way and beautiful doors and windows of many kinds;  churches and quotes , etc.  Enjoy the photos and I will be back next month with some artwork, I promise.



tea for your picnic

Fare Thee Well!

Sunday, June 4, 2017

An Irish Adventure

We had planned a trip for a year, and with my father's death, we were unsure of what to do.  However, after much thought and family chatter, we knew that we could go and come back before heading to his funeral.  He traveled everywhere in the world, and loved it....I think that he would have been pleased that we went.  So...

Are Lingus, here we go.....

We had a good flight to Shannon Airport and found ourselves bleary eyed, in Limerick.  It was the perfect place to start our trip.  Our hotel was gracious about our very early arrival.  What we would realize on this trip is that the Irish are always gracious, kind, helpful and warm.  We never met anyone that wasn't delightful.

We saw a little of everything on our trip.  There were:

Pubs on every corner - with delicious food and friendly chatter.

Sweet Hubby became known as "1/2 Pint"
He loved his Guinness!

Thatched roofed houses (business, in this case)

An old Sheepherders hut, made from stone.

a small beehive hut
used to house pigs.

Lots of ruins of castles.....

even some grand homes...

I mean....GRANDE!!!

We stayed in all types of places that we had found on the internet, and each one was lovely and unique, in it's own way.  We used trip advisor, and we will be recommending several places that were just outstanding.  I loved that we had city hotels, and country inns, along with B&B's with the biggest and most delicious breakfasts that one could imagine.  It was a good thing that we walked most every day and managed to top 10,000 steps easily, even when we had to travel (on the wrong side of the road!!!) for parts of each day.  We made a great circle around the Isle, and ended back in Shannon.

The beauty of the countryside, enraptured us.  There really is not a green as green as Ireland.  It is called the Emerald Isle, for a reason.  The biggest surprise was the variety of plants that we saw.  Fuschia grow wild and the hills were covered with Rhododendron, in every color.  Here are a few of the beautiful flowers that we found:

Calla Lilies, my forever favorites

Fuchsia growing everywhere

magical spots tucked in between the trees.

Even a Colorado Columbine

My thoughts, exactly!


Ferns of every description


There is so much more to share, but sadly, I need to get off the computer for today.  I plan to come back later in the week and share more about the Fairies that were tucked in the forests and glen.  I felt their presence and I know that they exist in Ireland.  

As you might guess, with all that has been happening with my life recently, I have not been drawing.  I do hope to get back to it very soon.  I started working on a piece in pencil.  I hope to be able to share a bit of that with you later in the week.

So, until we meet again, be kind, share the love, and peace be with you.  I will leave you with a bit of Irish verse, that I found along the way, in Ireland.