Thursday, April 30, 2015

Throwback Thursday

Sometimes when I look back at my early work, I cringe. Not this time. This sign was one of the very fist things I made. I made it for Himself for his office at school. I liked it then, and I still like it. Forgive the poor photo. I was waiting for Himself to end class so I was loitering outside his office when I got the idea for a Throwback Thursday. The sign is at the top of the office door, way above my eye level. If that wasn't bad enough, the professor in the office across the hall suddenly decided to come out of his office. I snapped my pic and ran away.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Cleaning and Organizing Continues

Himself's Nana's hope chest now doubles as the scrap paper box and cutting station. Hopefully, the closed lid won't become a resting place for junk

Friday, April 24, 2015

The Friday Five Good Things

Five good things that happened this week.

1. Making progress in the studio clean. I actually have space to work.

2. Saw a male cardinal. Spring!

3. Some heavy downpours on Monday and no water in the basement

4. Started binge watching Downton Abbey (free!) on

5. Terminex came to make sure the carpenter ants don't come back. The Terminex dude also looks out for other pests. He noted on the report: No spider activity. Yay!

How was your week?

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

One Box To Rule Them All

In the Manuscript Illumination class I recently took, we were working with two color palettes. Traditional red, blue, green and blue, green, purple. Painting and shading colors were mixed in two 6 well palettes.  The instructor also gave us a sheet of other color palettes.

I wanted one box to keep everything in instead of having to carry 3 or more of the 6 well palettes. The 6 well palettes are nice, deep to hold enough color to work with, but they don't come with a lid to keep out dust.

My quest began with searching for an empty paint tin and empty pans to hold the paints. Happily, I found both at Dick Blick. by Schminke.

 I chose a tin that could hold 24 full pans of watercolor or 48 half pans. I chose the full pans. The tin is sturdy. Measures 4 1/2 in. x 9 in. when closed. It opens up in a gate fashion which provides two white enamel mixing surfaces. Everything I wanted. I have a paint tin that hold the colors I want to use, has a lid to keep the dust out, and isn't too large or too heavy to travel with.  That's the up-side.

The downside is the cost of the tin should have included a full set of paints. The only thing I can figure is the tin hinges must be made of gold.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Dance in the Rain

While surfing the Interwebs, I came across crayon art. Looked fun, so I thought I'd give it a go.

"You can't wait for the storm to be over; you have to learn how to dance in the rain."

Mixed media on 12 in. x 14 in. canvas

Saturday, April 18, 2015

New Purpose

Gilding supplies I ordered arrived last week. First thing I did was to make a batch of shell gold.

 I poured off the contents into this little tea cup to dry. The cup was just sitting in the curio cabinet. A souvenir from a trip to the United Nations many, many moons ago. A pretty cup, but not large enough for a decent cup of tea. Now, the cup has a new purpose.

 Perfect for holding the shell gold. The saucer can act as a lid to keep the dust and Ink out.

Friday, April 17, 2015

The Friday Five Good Things

Five good things that happened this week.

1. Little by little, the basement studio is getting cleaned and organized.

2. The gilding tools I ordered arrived. New toys to play with.

3. Himself and I went out to Sunday brunch at the Post Office Pub in Grafton.

4. I saw the first robin in my back yard. Hooray for Spring!

5. Grey gunk was spraying out of the shower head. Altogether, now: EWWWWW. The downside of owning a well with high mineral content (manganese). Himself had taken the shower head off the spigot, but no water. He left for work with a you'll have to call a plumber. I didn't want to call a plumber. Turned the faucet got a trickle of grey water and then it cleared. Turned the water off. Sometimes, the well gets stirred up and needs time to settle. Waited an hour, turned the water on another gush of grey water and then it cleared. Meanwhile soaked the shower head in a bucket of vinegar in case the shower head was clogged. Repeated the process a third time. This time I could see a muddy plug stuck in the spigot. Not really a Little Princess job, but I pulled it out. A washer and an aerator had gotten stuck in there! Clear water gushed out. Put the shower head back on. A nice, clean, full force shower without a plumber telling me a washer got stuck in the spigot. that'll be $300.

How was your week?

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Throwback Thursday

Life couldn't have been any better if you got a new box of crayons. Unless the new box of crayons happened to be the giant box of 64 crayons. There was the delicious new wax smell and not your ordinary colors. Exotic names like Midnight Blue, Forest Green, Magenta, Goldenrod. The box even had a sharpener in the back of the box to keep a perfect point on your crayons. Happy times.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Happy Little Time Waster

Google is marking the 155th anniversary of the Pony Express. If you need a happy little time waster today, head over to play their interactive game.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Almost There

View from the backyard. Warm temperatures this week should see the last of the snow gone from the yard.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Anniversary Card

Made an anniversary card for friends celebrating their 40th (ruby) wedding anniversary today.

Congratulations to Master Beef and the Grandmaster E. Wishing you many more happy years.

Gouache, Ziller Cardinal Red

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Save the Dates

Happy Buddha
I'll be offering a new class this Summer at the Worcester Art Museum.

The Art of Stress Relief, Tues., 7/7 - 8/11, 6 - 9 PM, 6 sessions

In this class, we'll combine Chi Gong exercises with art to relieve stress and tension. Chi Gong uses gentle movement and breathing to align mind, body, and spirit. You'll melt stress away and increase your energy. Art in the galleries will be the inspiration to channel creative energies. to create small works of art in a non-judgmental atmosphere. No art experience is required. If you have art projects you are working on, you are invited to work on those in class.

Friday, April 10, 2015

The Friday Five Good Things

Five good things that happened this week.

1. Hung out and went to lunch with my friend, Teague. I hadn't seen her since her Christmas party. Holidays, snow, illness, more snow, illness, and more snow, and more snow....kept us from getting together.

2. The Jamberry nail wraps ordered for The Eldest's Easter bag arrived. The Easter Bunny didn't have to write out an IOU. While she was applying wraps that looked like butterfly wings, I applied a sample the rep sent. Just to see what they were like. I'm not big into nail polish, but I saw Jamberry has a Doctor Who set.

3. Had a long overdue visit to the dentist. No cavities! And there was a cancellation the following day so

4. He could Bondo the front tooth I chipped.

5. For some reason the scanner decided not to interface. I thought it was going to be a long drawn out fight to troubleshoot ending with me having to buy a new scanner. Did an online search for the manual which brought me to the HP Troubleshoot site. Downloaded the guide. The program found the issue and the scanner was back up and humming in under a half an hour.

How was your week?

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Throwback Thursday

I'd like to throwback Thursday and start all over again. I overslept and that has put me off my schedule. The scanner is not working so it looks as if my day will be spent trying to troubleshoot the problem. The trees have a thin coating of ice from last night's freezing rain. There's also a dusting of snow.

With the help of Tommy Udo ( Richard <3 Widmark) from Kiss of Death, I'd like to give Old Man Winter the heave ho. And the scanner, too.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Back Door View

This is the view from my backyard. Still quite a bit of snow on the ground, but we're getting there. What's the view from your back door?

Monday, April 6, 2015

Spring Classes

Even though there's still snow on the ground, Spring has sprung. That means it's time to sign up for Spring classes at the Worcester Art Museum. There are lots to choose from.

There are still openings in:

Introduction to Heraldry, Mondays, 4/27 - 5/18, 6 - 9 PM, 4 sessions and

A Taste of Calligraphy, Wednesdays, 5/13 - 6/10, 1 - 4 PM, 5 sessions

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Easter Egg Bread

I had commented to friends I was making Easter egg bread, and I was asked why it was called Easter egg bread.

There are always certain foods, made at certain times of the year or for certain holidays. The foods may have a special significance or just make the holiday special.

The bread, Pane di Pasqua,  is an Italian tradition. It wasn't one of the traditions I grew up with. My mother was a great cook, but didn't bake yeast breads. I'd seen the breads and may have seen a braided loaf at my grandma's or one of the aunties'. Since I enjoy baking yeast breads, I decided to try my hand at it three or so years ago. It has now become a tradition in my home.

The bread is a sweet bread, like a Brioche. The bread dough is braided into a large ring or a loaf and a few, colored eggs are placed inside the braids. You usually see these breads at Easter because having goodies and sweets signifies the end of the Lenten season of fasting, and the colored egg is a symbol of renewal. Besides, it looks pretty.

The recipe I use makes six individual bread rings or nests. I liked the idea of everyone having their own bread nest and serve them for breakfast (unless I don't get up early enough and then the breads are for lunch.) The cool part is you don't have to hard boil the eggs ahead of time. Dye the raw eggs and then they "hard-boil" as the bread bakes. A big time saver. This year, I made the breads the day before. Just so I could sleep in. Or that was my thinking. Ink had other ideas, and I was up before first light touched the sky.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Tiger Sneeze

I was visiting the karate studio where the painting of the tiger now lives. The owner told me how everyone loves the paintings. My head swelled to a two cowboy hat size. 

"Some of the kids think he's sneezing." (everyone's a critic  )

I looked at the painting and saw how the fur on Fluffy's chest might look like sneeze spew.

"Tell the kid's it's a new animal technique they have to master. Tiger Sneeze

Friday, April 3, 2015

The Friday Five Good Things

Five good things that happened this week.

1. Himself went hobnobbing with the other Wizards. They went for their every couple of months dinner out. Himself brought all the Little Princesses dinner though one of the Wizards ragged on him. Couldn't even go out to dinner without being on a short leash.  Don't blame me! Himself offered to bring dinner home.

2.  To stave off going off the deep end with yet more snow, I enjoyed some point and click retail therapy. Bought some Easter trinkets for the girlies and art supplies for me.

3. Bough an Ott standing lamp for the painting corner.

4. Easter trinket arrived for The Young One. Sadly, The Easter Bunny will have to include an I.O.U.  egg to The Eldest

5. It's black jelly bean season!

How was your week?

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Throwback Thursday

Easter 1993, the Young One's first Easter. A visit with the Easter Bunny at the Hebert Candy Mansion.

Can you just hear The Young One? "What the hell?"