Friday, December 31, 2010

A Christmas Card in the making

I wanted to share on how I made our Christmas card this year.  All of the steps and what went into the making of the card.  I hope you enjoy what I did.  

I stared with, of course our fur babies.  Eldon and I went on a little adventure to buy the bandannas for Jewel and Libby.   I had an idea for them to be tugging and playing outside, now some of the snapshots we took might have worked but this one just caught my eye.  Eldon there on the edge with FOOD !!!!! The wonder thing that makes these babies pay attention, especially Jewel, the one with the stouter legs.   Let's not tell her though, her heart is bigger than she is and she thinks she is a really big watch dog. 

I loved it and choose to flip the image in Photoshop.   I then got the rest of the images together and went to Painter.  What a program.   Now I know you may be thinking, oh this is a program and you just push a key and tadaaaa it is painted. Well, I guess you could do that, but I was a traditional artist for years before becoming a professional photographer, now retired and finding what I want to do when I grow up.   You choose your media you wish to work with and I usually choose pastels and off you go, just paint to your little hearts content.  Stroke by stoke.  Best thing about it, you can just hit delete and start over.  No messing of the fingers or clothing, but I do love that also, but that is another story. 



Jewel and Libby all decked out with bandannas and I added the garland with the 'fairy dust' around it and on the tree.  Our tree by the way.


I also used a wonderful Santa that Tim O'Neil furnished us.  He is a great Santa.  Perfect for the fur babies to wish and hope that they are on the good fur baby list.   I bet they are and will get lots of rawhide treats during the year. 


 Here is the before and after Santa, I loved painting this ole guy.  I lowered the opacity so he would look like a dream or thought for the fur babies. 


I then added the window, which I drew in and added this winter painting that Karen Bonaker furnished the photo for us.  

The before and after of the snow scene, can't you just hear the sleigh bells here and the quietness of the snow and the crunching underfoot when you walk ?


Here is the final card, I took all the final images I painted and put them together and then in Photoshop filled in the background with red, added some stokes of color around the edges and flatten it all and sent it to my Miller's Lab to print it.  I also added inside a sentiment and of course on the back who it was created by.   I had it printed on linen paper which gave it a very pretty look.


There you go a quick look on how I created our Christmas card this year.  Thanks for stopping by and seeing what is going on in my world.   Looking forward to 2011 and an art adventure.  

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Paintings, Memories and Friends

You know sometimes when you stumble on a great find  and it is a pure prize ? 

 Wellllllll,

I stumbled on this wonderful site and I honestly don't remember where I found it.  It is Paper Paintings by  Elizabeth  St. Hilaire Nelson. She has a DVD for sale and of course I had to buy it.  I have a link on my side bar here with her blog, she is a very talented lady and has a heart warming story to go with it.  She is suppose to be here to teach us, I know in my heart and after reading her story you will know why.   My good artsy friends Cat and Colleen  also bought a DVD and off we went on a joint art project.  We all three did our first paper painting.   One lives in Arkansas and the other one lives in Colorado, even though we live a tad far away from each other we all tackled this fun and habit forming art.   We visited via e-mail and I think just had the best time.  Paint and paper flying all over everywhere.  Nope not snow here just pretty paper.   I have been hunting for something to do when I grow up after retiring from Professional Photography this year.  By Jove  I might have found it together with my pastel painting and digital painting and art journal and cooking and my blog.

I don't know what is more fun,   the painting or the tearing and gluing.  All were so relaxing and with music in the background just a pleasant experience for me.  My first project, oh what to do ?  Well, I have a Christmas wall that stays up all year.  So why not something Christmasy for it ?   It is funny about my wall, I also have a corner with Maxine in it that stays up all year also, people will say --Oh you haven't taken your Christmas down yet or you have your Christmas up early.   Nope, it stays up all year.   In it is a wonderful trio of  our grand kids cooking, a little promotion I did in the studio but went to their house to do theirs as a surprise for their mom and dad for Christmas.  We also have a beautiful needlepoint that daughter Vickie did for me, it is perfectly done and I will treasure this forever.  Also is a Christmas card I did of Jewel and Charlie the year before Charlie died, the bigger dog.   We inherited them and brought so much pleasure into our lives.  On the wall is also a photograph of grands holding Christmas lights.  Oh what a beautiful photograph but the story behind it is just also a wonderful treasure of a memory.  Maybe one day, if you want a good smile and warm heart, I will share that  story with you.   So back to my project, what am I going to paint ?   A Christmas ball.  




My Christmas wall, of all of the paintings and walls I have this one certainly has the most memories for me.    Notice the Christmas ball at the top.   The frame is not the perfect one for it but had to get it up on the wall . 



Here is the painted Christmas ball, just had to show you up close also.



The paper, now this was certainly relaxing just painting this.  I didn't have many acrylics when I did this but I do now, thanks to Hobby Lobby. That place is just wonderful and I am always in hog heaven when I go there.   I think Elizabeth has created a painting monster here with me.


There you go a problem solved, what fun this was and even Elizabeth liked it.   I think looks better further off so I have both here.  Now it proudly stays on my wall and I can always remember what fun it was with Cat and Colleen.


Now I have two photography friends that I have know for over 24 years, I know Ginger knows the exact years but me  ?  Some where in the  80's is when I first met she and Alexis.   Ginger was in town and she and Alexis came over for a visit.  They loved my Christmas ball.   They wanted me to show them how I did it, thanks to Elizabeth I could show them.   Well, I had two boards left and after a few seconds of hunting them and a subject they were paper painting also.  We loved the fellowship we had and they got to come back the next day and finish it.  Now they have a painting and we had wonderful memories of doing this together.  So now I have four friends that I got to do this with. I can't think of anything more satisfying than that. 

 
Ginger  and Alexis painting there snowman and I am on the floor looking for some great embellishments for them.  Scrap booking certainly has it advantages.


Alexis and Ginger, reluctant about photos but proudly show their snowmen.   The paintings are alike but different , their personalities show thru in the little snowmen.




Here we are   Alexis, Me and Ginger.  Eldon took the photo and we are proudly holding our art pieces.  Funny kind of reminds me of when you were in grade school proudly showing off your work. Hey, we are just as proud now as we were then.  

Thanks for stopping by and seeing what is going on in Annette's world.  This may be the last posting until after Christmas and if so please have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  Hummmmm, I may share my Christmas card though. 

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Memories

You know Christmas means different things to different people.  Some don't believe in it, some just don't chose to celebrate it traditionally and some love every second of it.   There are those in between each category I just named.  There are some wonderful people that thinks of it as sad and heartbreaking.  I certainly understand that, believe me.     Me ?    I guess I am somewhere in between.  I do certainly believe in Christmas and what it stands for.  Jesus birthday.  Yes, I know some say it is just a day someone pulled out of a hat, but you know I think Jesus just doesn't care what day you celebrate his birthday.  Just don't think he is that kind of guy.

Traditions are made and broken during one's lifetime but the memories you make are always there.  Always.  I can remember some when I was a child, yes that long ago.  One year in particular we had a blue tree, blue lights blue everything.  Kinda cool looking, if  you use that word anymore.  I remember one year, I was prowling in the closets,  if you can believe that and lo and behold found a whole closet of toys.  Guess Santa came early that year.  Of course I had to run and get brothers and sister to come and see, there were 5 of us.  We didn't care, it was exciting just as much as Christmas morning.   The wonderful department stores in the early fifties how pretty they were decorated and Santa land  with the elves and helpers.  The night parades with so much excitement .   Daddy was in the Army and we lived in Washington state for a while and this is where I remember the most.   The movie Christmas Story just brings back so many memories and how traditional things were back then.

When our children were young we did our best to make as many memories as possible, waiting for Santa with the cookies and milk.  Putting their socks at the end of the bed, we didn't have a fireplace, seeing the nativity scene and reading Christmas stories.  One year the girls and their Daddy went to the store and bought the ugliest cardboard fireplace.  They put it up and was so proud of it.  I guess I was like Scrooge though I made them take it down.  We still chuckle at that one though.  We use to always bake Christmas cookies and decorate them and funny-- kids all around would come to decorate with us.  Sometimes they would come in shifts there were so many to come and play with icing and yummy cookies.  Even when the girls were in high school and college they did this.  

Time has gone by and we were blessed with two grandchildren.  We continued as many traditions as we could.  We did change, to make a new family happy, from getting together Christmas eve to Christmas morning.  We were flexible and tried to accommodate however we could.  New stockings to hang on the fireplace were made and of course Santa cookies and milk were put out.  The cookie decorating was still done and we would make Jesus a birthday cake.  We still make candy, cookies, cakes and yummy not good for you food.   I think I got as excited as the grands Christmas morning, seeing their little sweet faces as they came into the room  where Santa had been.   We won't mention the hours we helped Santa putting together Ninja Turtle and Barbie goodies. 

I think one of the best parts to me is decorating the tree, well besides the cooking and all of it in general.  I know messing with the awful lights but pulling out all the ornaments and what memories they have to me.  

The Nativity scene we purchased at Sears and Roebucks.   It has a blinking blue light, a little music box and the sweetest memory is Addison's little face looking at it.  He and the girls use to love rearranging the animals.  He would just look at it and whisper that Baby Jesus was asleep






I am sure you all have some ornaments like these.  The kids would bring them home,  they proudly made these or the teacher gave to them.  I bet some of you even have some that you made.    Egg cartons and lifesavers have never been so honored.




Now there are these little treasures.  Way back in 1964, when we were not flush with dollars, I was in this little craft club by mail.  A whole maybe $3 .  Oh it was like Christmas when the kits came.  This was one of them and I have treasured them so.  They are getting a little ragged but reminds me of the times when we just enjoyed things to the fullest.



These  guys were certainly different Santa's .  Our oldest daughter got them for us as a gift in 2001.  Can you guess that they were from Hawaii ?   I thought they were pretty cute. 




A few more Santas.  The scooter one I bought when we went together and got Grandson a 4 wheeler and I was going to give this  ornament to him.  I give them an ornament every year.  Got some really pretty ones this year.  This little ornament didn't make it home in one piece so I just kept it to remind me of that year.   The Neiman Marcus Santas.  We were in Dallas and went to Neimans and again were not flush so I wanted to buy something so three of these little guys made it home with us.  One for each of our daughters.



These little guys are just to close to my heart.  The smaller cream one Addison sold to me with a school fund raiser, such a little salesman.    The little red guy is one of our Grandaughters favorite.  He has been all over the house at Christmas.   Always seems to fit in somewhere.



Of course we have Santa pictures, be them ever so bad and small I love them.  Just shows the magic of Christmas lives in these tiny little hearts.




We use to have even a bigger on but this guy just fits the bill.   Gone are the days when we got a real tree and all the needles fall of and such a fire hazard.   Now I could go on and on with snow globes, my Christmas wall and shelf that stays up all year.  Oh that can be another story.  I certainly don't want to wear your eyes out.  

There you go, just some of the memories that I have about Christmas and the wonderful little ornaments that I treasure.  Like I said the memories are just the best and things change in your life, good and bad, but the memories are always there to enjoy.    

Thank you for stopping by and seeing what is going on in Annette's world.  See you again.




Friday, December 3, 2010

Amityville Thanksgiving

Annette how was your Thanksgiving ?

(promise there are pics here )
Well, it started out with high hope of fun and visiting.  Addison's girlfriend Lane invited us to Ruidoso to eat with her family and meet some of her family.  Sounded like a great idea to us so we said yes.   Vickie has a friend with a cabin there and they said we could stay there.  We offered to pay but they said no way.    We drove up to it, pretty area and it was called Polly's Perch.  A cute catchy name for the cabin, the mother's name is Polly.   It was an A-frame cabin, two bedroom with a loft and beds also there.   We were suppose to wash sheets and towels before we left so I brought enough towels and sheets so we could just take home for me to wash on Monday when my 2nd new washer was delivered.  Remember the original one was struck with lightening and then bought one and was returning it.   

We changed sheets and got unpacked and then went to a Mexican food place and ate and visited with some of Lane's family a while then back to Polly's perch.   Now remember  this is in the mountains and does get a bit cold there.   We thought oh they will have heaters.  Ho ho , not so. There was one wood burning stove and Eldon and Vickie took turns feeding it with wood so we wouldn't freeze to death.   When I was around the stove I did help feed it, so glad now that we have gas logs at our home.   Addison had one bedroom and Eldon and I had another but we were fortunate to have electric blankets of sorts.   Vickie and Allex slept in the loft and the heat did rise a little to much but it did rise.

 When we got there I turned on a couple of lamps before we went to eat Mexican food.   When we got back they were covered in flies, hundreds of flies, big noisy flies.   We sucked up a lot of them with a dust buster.  Poor little dust buster, it certainly got a workout that weekend.  We turned off the lamps and left one on in the kitchen.   Well weren't we surprised when we got up in the morning, hundreds of flies, mostly dead on the floor, so I swept them up.  I got to do this little chore every morning.  Nasty things.  The sliding doors in the loft had hundreds of flies on the glass, just waiting to be killed.   Eldon and Vickie killed and sucked them up.  This was a little chore that happened several times a day while we were there.  All of the windows were full of them also.  A few wasps, which Vickie got stung.  she said she was glad it was her and not me,  I am very allergic to stings.  We did have some fingernail polish remover in one of the bedrooms and she put on the bite and that took care of it.     Amityville horror I believe.   This was Wednesday, if we would have even thought of a possibility of getting another place to stay we would have.  Especially if knew what we know now.

Thanksgiving morning about 3:30 am we heard someone throwing up and talking to the porcelain God.   Loudly and many times.  It was poor Allex.  She had gotten hot in the loft and thought maybe she was sick from that.   Oh no, tummy ache, throwing up, chills and aching body.   Vickie said I will stay with her while y'all go to Lanes grandmothers house.  So Vickie and I went to the store and got Gatorade and soup in case Allex felt like eating, also some pepto and Theraflu.  We did go to Lanes and had a very nice meal and visit.  It was good to be with a group a family at this time of year.  We use to do that but our family is so small now.   It snowed a little which was nice to see, if didn't stay long but was pretty.  We love to see it snow, for a few minutes anyway.   Eldon and I came back to the cabin and Addison stayed a while and visited with an uncle of Lanes that hunted with bows and they got to share stories.  Guy things you know.

  Vickie was a very good nurse and Allex was feeling some better.  Just a bad 24 hour bug.  Vickie had killed many many more flies.  Ok, things might be calm now, maybe.  We had figured the flies out, at least they didn't really buzz us and weren't interested in our food just the light I suppose to keep warm.

3:30 Friday morning, Vickie came to our bedroom door and we honestly thought she was crying out of control.  I thought what in the world has happened.  Has Allex died in the night and I slept in my frigid room and didn't know about it?  I couldn't imagine.    Well, she was laughing. She said I am calling it uncle, there is a bat flying around in there.  I asked her what time is it ?  she said 3:30. I told her go deal with it we are not getting up.  Eldon didn't make a move to get up so why should I ?  It couldn't have been to bad she was laughing.   We probably couldn't have found the little thing by now anyway.   The day before we were up at 3:30, we are not spring chickens we need some sleep, a little sleep to keep our wits about us to battle the flies.   I am sure the little bat was hiding by now.  She said I am ready to leave here this Amityville house.  I couldn't imagine why, yes the flies but they were to busy with the lights and a little bat.   Vickie's story about the bats---She and Allex got hot  in the loft and came down to lay on the couch and Vickie in the recliner.   She felt something swoop around and thought what is that ?  Is it a big moth that we sometimes see?   Oh no, it was a bat.  Yes a bat. She said it landed on the curtain, she saw it's little hands climb up the curtain over to the other side.  Then it flew to the other window and then finally up to the ceiling to the million and one flies on the ceiling.  Guess it was getting it's little tummy full of flies.   Now when Vickie told the owners they said oh there is a butterfly net to try to catch it.  Now wouldn't you have thought that when you saw a butterfly net in the mountains?  In the dead of winter? That you were suppose to catch a bat and not butterflies ?

Eldon and Addison went to see if we could get a room at the Inn of the Mountain Gods but they couldn't tell us until 9 that night so we thought ok we have roughed it this long one more night won't hurt us.  Everything  else was full. We had free rooms even little vouchers so they were going to take care of us.     So we did survive the last night.  cold but did survived it.  Allex got better and we did have a good time not counting the flies and the bats and the cold.  To me this was camping.  Addison said no Nana we have central heating then he thought.   Yep you are right we just camped didn't we?   Oh, and I forgot, there were wolves howling one night. Real wolves they sounded like they were very very close.  Not as close as the bat, but close.  Then I thought-----oh no, when they get the wood for the stove to keep us from freezing to death, the wolves will be out there and get them and then we would be all snuggled in our freezing bedrooms.  We would never know it until the next morning.  My imagination did go a little wild about that .  Were they really wolves or wearwolves ?  I mean come on it could happen. 

We loaded up, winterized the cabin and off we almost went.  Seems like Allex was messing with something in Addison's pickup and the battery ran down.  He had some nice jumper cables, for just in case, but he had loaned them out and the people didn't return them.  Eldon went to several houses around and everyone was very helpful and friendly but no one had any cables.  So off they went to the store and found some and we were good to go. 

Met again at Roswell and ate together and love loved seeing those grand kids and visiting with them and Vickie.

This was Saturday  when we got home.   Sunday Eldon was feeling bad like the flu but not and just felt like death warmed over.  A touch of "Allex "  I thought hey I am ok I don't have it.   HA !!!! a few more hours and I was talking to the porcelain God.  Sunday  was over and I just felt like a limp rag all day Monday.  But Tuesday, I thought ok I am going to live.  Eldon and  I put the tree up and started to decorate.  Well, he helps put it up and I decorate and he watches and confirms that it looks like a decorated Christmas tree.
That was our Thanksgiving. A good story certainly but the company was good and we did all suffer together. Vickie  thinks -- Hell actually froze over that weekend it was so cold.  She said it was all the fly wings flapping that made it so cold.  We did get to give hugs to the grands and Vickie and that was worth it  We are so thankful for them.  We only have the two grandchildren and so blessed.   You know, I think I know now why I like to stay at home during the holidays.  Probably the first time in years and I mean years we have gone anywhere to spend the night and I think probably that many more years again.  We love you Lane and did enjoy the family time with your family. 






Eldon, Vickie, Allex and Addison, still in good mood after the weekend.  Sorry crew about taking
your pics from down below.   They still love me, I think .


There you go, our story for the day.  Laughing tears are allowed with this story.

Love y'all more than Polly's Perch.
 
Thanks for stopping by and seeing what is going on in Annette's world. 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A second chance

You know some things deserve another chance to be useful and loved.  There is a saying one man's trash is another man's treasure, so before trashing this little love seat I wanted to recycle it or make it loved again.  When this little guy was first purchased with it's partner the hide a bed it was proudly presented to the world and sat proudly.   After two moves it had almost run out of places to be.  The hide a bed was donated to college students and now has, I am sure, a good time and has lots of stories to tell. 

We have the love seat in our bedroom and sit daily on it looking out the doors to our backyard.  Not that the yard is as lush as our old yard was but still quiet and comforting.  I got a wild hair one day and thought OK I can do something with it.  So on the Internet I got and found  IKEA and lots of slipcovers were to be found.   A neutral color would fit the ticket.  I found one that had separate cushion covers and thought this is the slipcover.  I ordered it and when it came I thought great.  Well, semi great when I opened it.  The slip cover and the love seat did not want to meld well together.   I got my trusty scissors and sewing machine out and got to cutting and rearranging things and TA DA .  A slip covered love seat.  I did have to go to the fabric store for some material to make a gusset and bought some fringe to jazz it up some. 


Here is the love seat before, I had to cut the back cushions off because they were the sewn on type and the slipcover wasn't made for that one.  At first I was going to send the slip cover back  but then thought that I could cut and sew and make them work together.  


Here it is after a little tugging and sewing it fits   I did rip off the pleated skirt the loveseat had on it also so now we are all happy.  This color is really really not one of my colors that I love but I thought it fits in here and will be happy.  

Now I have to add that I ordered a rug for the bathroom and when it came I loved it but the rug was to small for the place I wanted it.  I hate taking and sending articles of anything back and will almost take a beating before I will do that.  I will cut and sew and flat work to find a place for it.   Soooooo this little rug found a home and I like it so much have ordered another one for Eldon.  



I thought the rug just blends well with what I am doing here so a home it has. 

Thanks for stopping by and seeing what is going on in my world.  I do have some painty things and Christmas goodies coming.  

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Mica and Ink

You know I have  been scrapbooking for years, I really don't remember how long now.   I do have 22 or so albums done, many are to large and one day I will trim them down and put less pages in them.   One day I will do this.  I use to be a member of Club Scrap...It is a club, once a month you would receive the most beautiful papers and new "toys" on the market.  I loved it, I had the date circled on the calendar and always was like Christmas when I would get the package.  I had thought about making a perfect place by the mail box so the mail man knew what he was delivering to me.     I finally had to quit the club because I wasn't using any of the precious beautiful papers,  I just couldn't do it.   Well, the other day I did finally use something out of them, this was silly not to use it, was I going to take it with me  when I died ?  I do have a friend who always says whoever has the most when they die wins, maybe I am waiting for that?  So what  wonderful element did I use you say ?   Mica and a stamp.   Now I am not a stamper and usually give them away but this one just really caught my eye.   Mica is, you know I am not sure what it is, a thing pretty translucent type material.  You can stamp on it, write on it or even paint it I suppose.  

I am working on a scrapbook for wonderful grandson.  He got to go to Europe and study international business for the month of June.  He is not a professional photographer and I don't know if he has really take many photographs.  We bought him a very nice camera and off he went.  His photographs were great and the longer he was over there the better they got.    He went to Nice for a day or so and when I got to the water photographs I thought why not  use the Mica that I have.   Of course I had to find it first, remember it has been several years since I have even seen it and we had two moves thrown in there also. 

A little digging and I did find the Mica.  It was patiently waiting for me in it's little package.  I separated it into a few layers and then found the stamp that really caught my eye.   I then used embossing ink on the stamp, stamped the Mica and then sprinkled the embossing powder on it.  You then use a heat gun,  trust me it really heats up and it makes the embossing look great on whatever you use it on.  I used a copper in color.  Well, this led to stamping the paper I was going to use with it.  Just can't stop with one little play toy you know. 




The whole finished page.  The images were just to pretty to put a lot on the page.  I did the whole album in black pages to bring some continuity to the albums.  Yes, I said albums it did take two to capture the trip. 
   

The Mica is the pretty shiny element with the embossing on it.  It just really adds  just the perfect touch to this page.    I did ink the edges of the torn paper also.  A little extra touch.


There you go, what is going on in my world.  Just trying to get back into the swing of doing my thing.  Whatever that is.   Thanks for stopping by.



 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The 19th Amendment from Annette's eyes

August 26th 1920, the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States constitution became a law and women could vote in the fall election, including the Presidential election.  What a wonderful time this was for ladies to be able to be heard.

This beautiful image is from Dover Publications.   I thought it was perfect for women's right to vote, they have so many to choose from and are so generous with free samples and have lots of books to select and add to your bookshelves. 


Now I certainly remember the first time I voted.  I had turned 21 that year and  knew that I can  now vote.  I just bounced up to the voting place like I knew what was going on.  I don't even remember where we were then, I know in Texas though.   I had absolutely no identification with me at all, I thought you go, you vote that is it.  I had my $2 in hand and that was all I needed.  Yes, we had to pay to vote then.  After lengthy discussions with several people and  they understanding that I was a citizen even though I was not born in the United States and my father was in the United States Army,  a wonderful Judge came in and I remember him so clearly.  He said if she wants to vote take her $2 and let her vote.  I have voted ever since.   Now sometimes Eldon and I cancel each other's vote out but we vote.  Most of the time we do agree on issues and candidates.


The sticker we got when we voted.


We went to absentee voting last Tuesday and was going to comment on it then, but our lightening event got to be first.  It took us a few years to figure out absentee voting was one of the best things in the world and then if you do happen to be going some where-- you have voted.  Voting now days is certainly different that voting when I was 21.  You go thru a short line, they check your ID and where you live and give you a little sheet of paper with your number on it,   BUT------ you get a sticker that says I Voted.  I was very proud of that.   No pencil and paper here, nope, you have the machines  with sort of hoods on them and lots of  electronic pages to look at and can just punch a button and TA DA you a finished. The little sheet of paper is your code number so you may type it in and shows you are the real thing.  After reading and punching buttons  You have voted.   You know you have voted because at the end a wonderful American Flag waves on the screen.  


When I got home I was reminded of a waving flag I have on my refrigerator- it is a button that was made after 9/11.  I will always keep this on the refrigerator.  Just reminds me of how lucky we are to live in our country.  How united we are and a land of freedom.  Also reminds me how everyone stuck together after this tragic assault on our country.




There you go, thanks for stopping by and seeing what is going on in my world.

Friday, October 22, 2010

A force of nature visits us again !!!!

You know sometimes Mother Nature visits you and you think what is going on here ?  Is God trying to tell us something ?  Last night our home was hit by lightning again !!! No, not the same house but this is the second time we have been shown how strong Mother Nature is.    It all began by a simple thunderstorm and then turn into a giant hail storm with lots of lightning.  Eldon stepped out on the front porch to check things out and wham, it hit.  He came in and said his face was really tingling and mine was also but I bet his really was being outside with it.   Shook the whole house, knocked pictures off of the wall and then the fun began.  Like I said, this is the second time we have been struck by lightning and so knew what to look for.

The smell was awful- strong sulfur.  Now I try my best to live a good life, be kind to others and follow the golden rules as much as I can.  I thought, if this is how hell smells I certainly want to continue to be a good girl.  It was so strong, Eldon opened one of the wardrobes to check that TV and  the odor was really strong in there.   Some of the electric plugs had the little reset buttons and they were all popped out, the air conditioner/heater blowers were fried, the phones, the Internet and the cable were all toast. One television was toasted and one some of the ports ( whatever they are are toasted) . One light fixture was just blown apart.  Now the washer motor has been added to the list, so got to get a new washer also.   After calling all the repairmen most things are repaired now and I am so glad to get this behind us.  From past experience we will find little surprises for several months, things not working right and oh oh, what happened to this and that ?  We are very fortunate though not to have a fire and we had just unplugged the computer and external hard drive.  I mean just unplugged it.

We are very blessed that nothing worse happened, but it does remind us that something can happen so fast and catch you off guard.  If this all had happened in the summer with the heat we would have gone to the basement, there were just right conditions for a tornado.  The poor furbabies were certainly scared and we did let them in and be house dogs for a while.  They needed loving and to be reassured that all was ok.  I know some farmers probably lost some crops and I do feel for them but there are a lot that it didn't effect and we are thankful for that



I did want to share a beauty of Mother Nature though, she is not all bad but just has to clear her throat every once in a while to remind us that God is in control   Anyway, that is how I look at it. 

Well, thanks for dropping in and seeing what is going on in my world today.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Welcome Fall



Hello and happy Fall,

You know this is always the best time of the year, not to hot or to cold.  The plants are still good looking-not at their prime but not the dead brown stuff that is to come in winter.

This is a collage I did and as a size of Artists Trading Cards.   ATC are the official letters of it.   They are small in size but pack a powerful little message or not just whatever you want to do for the time.   I did this for Karen Bonaker's forum challenge.    Around this part of the world fall colors have not blessed us yet so I have a fall wreath outside and it gets to be my star for fall this year.  

What I did :   this is a combination of so many layers.  The photograph was used as a base, sort of and painted and played with in Painter.  Then texture layers over this-several to be exact.  Then painted again, not an auto paint but a real stroke by stroke with my little fingers and brain working.   Then the cute little fairies added, they do have to fly around with their fairy dust and make things magical you know.    I then added the girl, see her ?  Just a few stokes of selected color-fall of course and there you go.  I think I used the gel setting for her and  I did also add the little  snippet of words that Karen gave us to inspire us.  

I do hope you enjoy looking at a fall painting.  Yes, it is a painting and a collage of pretty things.

Thanks for stopping by and seeing what is going on in my world. 

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Chimichangas around our kitchen

Hello,

You know I am not sure what says Tex-Mex food.  Is it the spices of the dishes?  I am not sure.  It does have a taste of its own though.    Cat asked me if I had any recipes, well I do, but as you know I have altered them for Eldon.   No onions.   The Chimichangas can be served many ways but this is how I serve this recipe-today !   Some places fry them also.   I think on this one I am going to put as it called for and then as I alter it.   This recipe was contributed by Dedria our daughter for the family cookbook I put together.  Oh what a job it was and I enjoyed it all. 

You can use chicken but also sub any meat for it.  Hey, whatever you have on hand.  I mean with enough hot sauce, most meat tastes good doens't it?

                                              Chicken Chimichangas

2 1/2. cup shredded chicken     ( I used white meat)
3/4 t. cumin
1/2 t. salt
1/4 cup melted butter or margarine
2/3 cup picante sauce   ( I use chopped green chilies, tomatoe sauce and lots of
                                                    Cholula hot sauce,   Now this is not as hot as tabasco)
                                                    really has a great taste.  Can dip chicken in it makes a great chicken salad also. )
( I also add some  red pepper, but may be to hot for some, maybe 1/4 to 1/2 t. )
1/2 t. oregano
8 flour tortillas
1 c. shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack Cheese 
 ( I use Sargento Mexican blend cheese.  it is a 4 cheese mixture of Monterey Jack, Cheddar, quesa Quesadilla and Asadero Cheeses)


Combine chicken, picante sauce, cumin, oregano and salt in saucepan.  Simmer 5 minutes or until most of liquid has evaporated.   Now I soften the tortillas first in microwave, then brush one side with melter butter.  Spoon about 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture onto center on the unbuttered side.  Top inside with 2 T. Cheese.   Fold 2 sides over filling and ends down.  Place seam side down in pam sprayed baking dish.  I sprinkle a healty dose of the grated cheese on it before I bake also.   Bake  pre heated 475 oven til cheese is melted and dish is golden brown-maybe 15 minutes.    You may top with guacamole and additional picante sauce.  

                                      
Here you go, makes twice this much.    You can serve with queso over it and a side salad.  If you want you may add refried beans and spanish rice with it.  

A quick queso is Rotel tomatoes-one can- and Velveeta cheese melted together.  If you cut the cheese up in little squares it melts faster.  


Here it is plated, forgot to get guacamole but it was good anyway. 

There you go, hope if you try it you like it.   Thanks for stopping by and seeing what is going on in my world. 

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A young little heart breaker

Hello,

I wanted to share this painting of a photograph I did a few years ago.  Don't you know this little boy with that beautiful hair will certainly be a little heart breaker?   I did this photograph in the wrong time of the day according to the rules.   I loved it and the light so aren't rules made to be broken?   I think so.  It is highly recommended to do early in the morning or just before sundown.  This was basically high noon, before this little guys lunch and nap time.   You never know what kind of mood they will wakeup in.   A sweet little person or one that should have slept a little longer.  


I really liked the way the sun was making his hair shine and the way the grass just seemed to glow  around him.  The rim light ( the light hitting his little arms and legs) just made him pop.    I used a little fill flash for some highlights in his eyes and no raccoon eyes either.  You know the little black holes around the eyes if you  don't have some kind of light.  AKA   flash or reflector.  ( Now if you don't have either one, a easy way to make a reflector is foil on some cardboard., that makes a perfect light popper  )   I used textured brushes and smooth pastel brushes for this painting.   I wanted it to look like a painting but still have some photographic quality to it also.  

I posted on my face book but wanted to talk a little about it.   I know this was basically dead center but felt like the image itself was strong enough to handle it.   The beautiful hair and the greens are opposites and I think it worked.   I used some of the hair color in the background to make it all blend. 

Just wanted to share my thinking process on this photo/painting.     

Thanks for looking and seeing what is going on in my world today. 

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Our Birthday adventure

Hello there,

I know probably every one has a bucket list,  things that you would like to do either before you die or before you body quits bending like it should.  Our daughter gave us this adventure for our birthdays.  They are so close together that we just share one and after being married for 49 years it is just one big celebration.   I know our daughters will laugh at this, but we are just joined at the hip after all these years.  We even think the same things and often don't even have to finish a thought and we already know what is going to be said.  OK, I am straying off the subject.   LOL


Here is our set of wheels, oh if you could only hear the great sound and rumble it made. 

We love cars and what they do and have wanted to ride in a Nascar.  We are not what you call Nascar people, which is absolutely nothing wrong with that but we just aren't.   Love the speed and the sounds though and certainly admire the young men and women who drive these great machines and all their wonderful fans that support them.  We did use to go to the drag races a lot and just brought Vickie, our daughter, with us.  In fact she went to her first one when she was about 6 weeks old.  Oh my were we ever young parents, but she did survive.   Thanks Vickie.  

We arrived about 8:30 am for our 10 am "lift off" got signed in and of course you have to almost sign your life away that they aren't held responsible for anything, reminded me of when you check into a hospital.   Certainly did understand the reasons for that.  People being sue happy today.   We got our little tags for around our necks to make us looked signed in and like we knew what we were doing.  We then went to the  staging area, lots of helmets and little suits.  I called them costumes but don't think that was the correct word for them.   You know me and my terminology.  I thought how in the world am I going to get my body to twist and turn to get into the car with a jumpsuit and helmet on.  The gentleman helping us was great.  I told him that I did drive a riding lawn mower and he said it you can get into one of those things you can get into the car.  You can't just plop on one of them you have to kind of twist and turn to get into the seat.  Hey, I was seeing a pattern here.   Kind of like Chubby Checker to twist and shout maybe.   I was on a roll now.

Here I am, in my costume, in Dallas at 100 degrees, toasty warm. 

Eldon in his costume, thinking hurry and get the pic made it is hot in here.  He is a good sport though. 

We put on some little pellon type caps to cover our hair from the helmets that other people wore also and our little costumes on and ready to go our turn.  .  (Maybe this is how astronauts do it with the helmets.   I did always want to do that,ride up in a space ship, but don't think I will probably will.  I did work out like crazy one time when they were going to let a civilian ride up and be one, but I guess I am glad I didn't --that was the one lift off that exploded and killed all.  So I wasn't meant to do it and was in really good shape though, for a while that is. )  The helping gentleman helped me with the helmet and made sure everything was fastened correctly.   We found out that Texas is the only state that requires all the safety gear-thank you Texas.   Here comes the car, now you had your choice of driving or riding.  Our reflexes are not what they use to be and we didn't have to impress a soul so riding was our choice.  Please remember we are not spring chickens anymore.  We have driven my little sports car when it I had it 150 MPH so that was no big deal.   ( Our reflexes were a little better then),    

The inside of the car, now you see the little hole we had to climb in and wasn't the luxury of our Escalade but oh what a ride it was. 

Getting into the car--- now please remember I am vertically challenged, I went around to the passenger side and took a deep breath.  The opening in the window was on me, please excuse the expression--booby high.   Now how am I going to get a leg that high?  Well, I guess my legs wanted to cooperate because I got the ankle hooked in the window and it was down hill after that.   In went one foot and then the other and the rest of my body just followed my feet.  I did a little twisting and turning and ta da I was IN!!!!!  Now the gentlemen helping fastened all kinds of buckles and restraints---I WAS BUCKLED IN!!!!!   I asked, what do I do with my hands?  He said don't stick them outside because the driver gets pretty close to the wall.   How exciting, I am going to get to fly like the wind and bank  on the curving walls and I did and loved every second of it.  Loved it.   After being buckled in I turned to the driver and said hi!!  What's your name?  He turned and looked at me,  I could tell he smiled by his beautiful eyes, couldn't see his face just his eyes and bless his heart he was sweating like crazy and I was only the 5th one to go on a 100  plus Dallas day.  His name was Kenneth and off we went.  What a wonderful birthday present.  

Eldon after his ride, now he couldn't take my picture, the camera was in my pocket.  Oh well, we know I was there. 

Getting out of the car---for some reason my left foot wanted out first, I guess because it was the first one in.  I had it out and trying to lift myself out and the gentleman helping said I think you are getting out backwards.  Well, if you can imagine I had my self in a pickle, he finally said oik you have started  getting out  backwards just go and ahead and get out like you have started,  Well ta da again, out I popped.  Twisting and turning.  I was so glad I loved Chubby Checker's song.

Now Mr. Eldon did the very same adventure, he let me go first. Being the gentleman he is, but I did wonder one thing.  When we sometimes went to Mexico and didn't know what he was eating he would suggest I try it first to see if it was good.  So he had me wondering for a second.


Here we are, a little sweaty and hair not the best after the helmets, but here we are smiles and all. 


Again proof that we survived and standing up straight.  Yea for Texas Speedway.  The company goes to several destinations in the US. 

There you go, our little adventure.  There are lots more bucket lists we want to do, but we just make  up it as we go.  We did see Elvis before he died so hey it is great--anything else we do is just a bonus.

Thanks for stopping by and seeing what is going on in  Annette's World

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Sunflowers

Hello there,

I have been thinking how happy sunflowers are, always pointing their little faces to the sun.  They are the true sun worshipers.  Really!!!! They follow the sun, go down the road in the morning and they are facing East, at noon they are looking up to the sun and the afternoon----you guessed it, to the west.    It has been raining, which is a good thing, and so dark and dreary and I thought to paint some sunflowers.  I also needed another piece of art for the kitchen, so why not?

Here is the before photo.  I did tromp out in the dirt to take these.  Now the composition probably isn't the best but fighting the insects is not my form of pleasure.   So these little dancing dolls are lucky to get their photo taken.  I am allergic to bees so I do this quick.  Choosing which way to paint them and where to crop was a question.  I didn't want to hurt any of their feelings, they were just looking at me and saying take me, take me please.



This is one that I came up with.   I don't think you can ever go wrong painting these beauties.   I have it printed on canvas and am fixin' (Texas word for going to do this) to paint some more pretties on it with acrylic paint and then on my wall it will go. 

There you go.  Thanks for stopping by and seeing what is going on in my world.   I did do this digitally with Painter.  Not a run a filter program but a stroke by stroke painting program.  You still have to use your brain and think about what you are doing with it.   Enjoy and see you next time and enjoy the sun as these little dolls do. 

Friday, June 25, 2010

They are FREE as a bird after 25 years of being caged!!



Hello,

I am just so excited to share my pastels out of their cage.  Well, actually they were in their little boxes for over 25 years and just waiting to come out.   Now if you have a strong heart please go ahead and look at the photos.  Remember I never claimed to be the neatest pastel artist. 

Here we go!!!




I don't know if they even make Rowney pastels anymore, I will have to check with Dick Blick to see if they do. Notice the wonderful box or case?  You will notice that I love little boxes.  



The inside of the box,  this one seemed pretty organized and they are  waiting to be used.  I love these because they were so soft and after I filled the tooth of the paper of sandpaper they would just go right on top so smoothly.   Now, I know some spray the surface to give more tooth but I just didn't like the way it changes the color.  So Rowney pastels were to my rescue. 



The larger assortment of pastels.  They were in a little box you will see shortly but my collection grew and grew.  Soooo, I made this box out of cardboard and then a big  piece of foam over it and then the lid to the box.  I used two, actually suspenders, to wrap around the box and off I would go to classes.   Just made my heart go pitter patter to open it up and there they were.



The hard pastels in their cute little box.  These were perfect for detail--be it trees or eyes.  They worked perfectly, of course you could go over the top of the softs also for some layered color.   Sharpened them with a razor blade, watch the fingers please, or a rasp worked also.   Once I tried a pencil sharpened, man did that ever eat them up.  I only did that once. 



These cute little boxes all stacked together and originally held the first start of my soft pastels.  Now it holds my "neat" little pieces that I use as I paint and my extra sticks of the colors I used the most.   See the upper right?   Those are treasures also.



Now this little treasure of jumbled up hard pastels is really how I worked.  Guess I just like digging around.  Most of the time I just held the colors I was using in my right hand.  Well, sometimes I would switch to my left hand to change stroke direction.  I didn't ever use both hands at one time to paint, my brain just doesn't work that way.



The pastel pencils,  I almost forgot about those.  They came in a cute and colorful tin box but don't have a clue where it is.  Hopefully packed away in a little cubby somewhere.

There you have it, my stash of pastels.  I just had to share with you and thanks for looking at them.  I know they will preform nicely for me.  

Thanks for coming into my world.  Hugs to ya.