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Showing posts from December, 2019

Super Endings and Super Beginnings! December 31, 2019

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What a fabulous day. 
What a fabulous year.
What a fabulous decade.
What a fabulous life.

I feel ready to start the new year and am excited to practice living my best life yet.



Today was full of food and art and family and anticipation. I made chicken & garlic mushrooms with garlic Parmesan dutch baby. I get all the mushrooms to myself because no one else likes them. I made cranberry salsa in case we decided to get festive tonight (obviously we didn't - going to bed at 10pm is kinda un-festive)


My sweet niece from Alaska messaged me today and we had a long message chain back and forth for a half hour. We rarely get to connect due to family weirdnesses and these few times per year that communication opens is just the best. I kinda wish she was my kid... (sorry Beth!)


After my chat with the niece, I got to work on my art for a while. I'm still stalling doing anything real by organizing and preparing. Oh my goodness - I can prepare until the cows come home. There's always some o…

A Minute of Magic- December 30, 2019

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I finally started on my new Laura Horn art class. I thought I was beyond swatching,  but guess what? YOU SHOULD SWATCH ALL THE COLORS!

Moonglow and Mayan blue are heart wrenchingly beautiful.
I stayed up too late last night and remembered that there's no way to make up for that the next day when I started dragging at noon. It's off to bed now. 

The Best Day So Far - December 29, 2019

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It's funny how one day can hold so much wow in it.

This morning I went to a church service for another denomination. My husband's son, Alex, attends a foursquare church here in town and plays in the worship band. He invited us to listen to him perform today and I accepted on behalf of the family. We walked in and sat in the back row - just like visitors do in our own church - haha on us.


I listened to the worship band and watched the words to their songs on the screen over their heads. I heard the prayers of some of the congregation as they uttered them aloud. The congregants were very kind and engaging during "stand up and introduce yourself to the people around you" - we need that in our church!!! Alex was wonderful to watch as he played. He really loves belonging to this church.
The pastor spoke about the story of David and Goliath. His words spoke directly to my heart - it was truth I needed to hear and I needed to hear it in the exact way he put it. I love that …

Motivation - December 28, 2019

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It's funny how one thing you read a million years ago sticks with you and informs so many of your daily choices.
A long time ago I read an article in Martha Stewart's Living about collections. The author of the article (maybe even Martha herself!) said something to the effect of one item is an item. A mass of the same item is a collection and it has gravitas. I find this to be true, which might be why it sticks in my mind. It may have something to do with a body of work that an artist produces - one painting is meh, but a bunch of paintings is a portfolio. :)
I started painting these little hearts in September. I've done about 25 of them so far and only one was so bad that I turned it over and used it for something else. Tonight I stuck all of them up on my closet door to see them together.
The effect was astonishing to me. One heart is boring, but as a whole, this set is delicious!
It makes me want to do more.
But I am suffering from malaise of the worst sort. I want to …

End of Year roundups - December 27, 2019

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I like end of year roundups and this one made me smile. It's an analysis of the colors I most "used" on my Instagram account. I like that it's mostly people-colored. That means I had lots of company this past year.


Organization pt. 1- December 26, 2019

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Today feels like the actual first day of my vacation because is the first day with NO PLANS. I only had one thing I wanted to accomplish today - label my watercolors.
It's  hard to admit,  but I've been hesitant to use my label maker for months. To make a long story short, I figured out how to use it and got cracking. 
Three movies later (the only unit of time while on vacation) I finished! 

I'm a sucker for beautiful organization. These are labeled ON the pan and underneath in the well. That way, I can take out pans for each painting and make more room. I love my Robax palette,  but it's big. 

Tomorrow I have two options: clean my art room (it's turned into a "pile it" room) or start my newest watercolor class.
Luckily I don't have to make a decision until tomorrow.  I'm on vacation!

Merry Christmas!- December 25, 2019

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This year the decorations were minimal but festive. I love this little pink tree we bought years ago at Walmart. It's still going strong. I keep the little paper stars on it when I pack it up every year. It saves time.

I try to get a new decoration each year that encapsulates one of the high points of the year. This time I picked a Captain Marvel/Iron Man (not shown) ornament. I love that movie.
There's so much I want to change in the upcoming year. As I lay in bed, I'm thinking how my art and my home and my heart can improve...

Christmas Eve - December 24, 2019

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Christmas Eve is actually my favorite day of the year. All the anticipation reaches a crescendo and all the planning and work comes to an end - either it's finished or it isn't! 
It's tradition to go over to my in-laws' with the rest of the family and have a grand gathering with food and presents. Each year we've tried to make it easier and easier since the burden falls on the women to provide food. (Anger doesn't help and I want to eat) This year it was decided to have soups and breads. For some reason,  my chicken tortilla soup just didn't taste right, but with enough cheese and sour cream,  I ate enough to be satisfied.


My MIL is a great decorator,  but I think she's starting to slow down a bit. This year, we put up my little pink tree and left it undecorated.  I love lights and bling, but it hasn't been something I've had energy for in a few years. I need someone to help me, but my almost-13yo just isn't that person.  Maybe Brian will t…

A Christmas Cold - December 23, 2019

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It was the last day of work before Christmas break (our county gives us the days between Christmas and New Year's off with pay instead of raises 🙄 😁) and a cold that's been sniffing at my heels for a couple of days has a bigger hold on me tonight.


That being the case, I'm reminded of a story Alexandra Stoddard related in one of her books (she has lots).  When she'd work herself a bit too much, it would catch up to her in the form of a cold. Being sick forced her to slow down. I think of that on those rare occasions I get sick - I have no choice but to relax! 
The problem with that is that I'm not heading off the illness proactively by taking more downtime. 
This coming year I think I will be actively trying to simplify. I've already started by sharing the cooking duties at home and not having such high standards of cleanliness that I'm constantly cleaning.  I've gone through several of my books,  weeding them out. The job of minimizing is a process and I…

Attack of the Killer Art Room - December 22, 2019

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Every day my art space gets more and more cluttered. I officially can't concentrate in there anymore. Good thing I got a week off starting on Tuesday.

Christmas Baking- December 21, 2019

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I only had one thing I wanted to do today:  make cookies for my family Christmas presents. We didn't get home from errands until after 2pm (where does the day go?) and everyone was mad at everyone else - I have trouble keeping my mouth shut. 
But the mood eventually lightened and I got into the kitchen, cleaned it for the first time all week (I'm not really sorry) and made 1, 2, THREE batches of cookie dough and two batches of candy. It was like magic. 
I watched TV (I never really sit down to watch, but I get distracted when others are watching) and then drug myself into the art room. 
I made hearts. I'm a bit lost with watercolor right now and practicing with these pre-drawn hearts, using 2-3 colors helps me feel like I'm doing something.

I Still Have Stars In My Eyes - December 20, 2019

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Last night we had an opportunity to attend one of the first showings of the new Star Wars movie. (No spoilers) One of the vendors who work with Brian's company rented an entire theater and gave him 4 tickets. We invited Kiff's best bud and the four of us made an evening of it.
I was 9 years old when the first Star Wars movie came out in 1977. My parents made me and my sisters guess the surprise they had for us that started with S and W. I was BESIDE myself with excitement! 
Forty-two years later I was NOT excited to see this movie. The last two did nothing to get my motor running and I rebuffed Brian's hints that we should go to this one in the theaters (yes, I was THAT disappointed with the other ones) (But I loved Rogue One). The only reason we went opening night was because of the free tickets. I had zero expectations. 

And this is how I looked when the movie ended. My 9 year old self was very satisfied! 

I'm still so sleepy that a couple of small projects are the best …

Heart constellation- December 18, 2019

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Yesterday I went to the dentist and got my problem taken care of permanently. I was so relieved to be out of pain (& only in a bit of residual pain), that I was showered and in bed by 5pm. I made myself stay up until 830pm and then conked out. I woke up this morning refreshed and relaxed for the first time in months! I even wore MAKEUP! (I have worn makeup every working day of my life from 12 years old on until a month or so ago when it was all just too much) Relief is simply the best feeling in the world.

The Invisible Hot Mess- December 16, 2019

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My phone is dead, dead, dead. I can't show what is on my desk which is just as well since tonight's endeavors ended up being a lot of nonsense!

It's easy to get down on myself when I have nonproductive art nights. Recently I read this quote in Josie Lewis' book The New Color Mixing Companion:

"When you do something, anything, habitually, you will get very good at how you do it. Like a river finding its course, you will find a unique path to your own expression. This is a highly satisfying journey. However, no water: no river gorge. You need to turn on your tap by working (or, if you prefer, playing) to get the flow. When you first turn on the spout, your water will be running across a flat plane with no distinct quality or identity, picking up mud and debris until all you have is a hot mess. This is normal. The only way to clean it up and start to create an adorable little trickle that turns into a creek that turns into a brook that turns into a river is to keep m…

No Art-ing Today! (but here are some pretty pictures) - December 15, 2019

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Try as I might, not every day has art-making in it. On the third Sunday of each month, I play organ for our church congregation. Today we sang Christmas carols - it's my favorite month of the year! I enjoy singing them more than playing only because I'm still nervous each time I play in front of everyone. One nice thing about growing up is that I'm not as embarrassed as I used to be when I make a mistake.


Every other week we have a standing appointment to go over to Brian's dad's house and visit. I really like my in-laws! Ken and Barb (yes, their real names) are kind and fun. Their home is beautiful and clean (aaahhh....) and decorated for the holidays. I love the feeling in their home.


We still haven't put our tree up yet. Maybe I can bribe the 12yo to do it after school tomorrow... (how much Dr. Pepper would that cost me? Is it worth it?)

After visiting the in-laws Brian and I went to Martin Hansen's house for gospel study. Today we were studying Revelat…

Art Date at the Getty - December 14, 2019 (with rainbows!)

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Some days you don't do art, you take a day to appreciate art! It's been a couple of months since my hubs and I have been to the Getty down in Santa Monica. It's one of our favorite places to visit because 1) it's free to get in and 2) it has a lot of places for my hubs to play Pokemon Go while I wander around.

We told the boy he could stay home if he got his room clean last night. Needless to say, he came with us today. Look at how moody he is! So handsome... :)


We drive over some mountains between Bakersfield and LA and this time we actually passed through a cloud! There's been mist & fog other times we've driven here, but this was the first time I really felt INSIDE A CLOUD...

OOoooOOOOOoooOOOO

When we came out of it on the other side, I told my husband that everything we ever see can be a metaphor for life. Sometimes we're in a cloud and there's darkness. Then we come out of the cloud and it's clear and beautiful. Like life.


We used to hang around…