Sunday, October 30, 2016

Do you Halloween?

I know it should say do you celebrate Halloween but to me it is do we do Halloween?   Well we use to do Halloween.   Costumes, tons of Fall/Halloween decorations and the "whole nine yards".  I even dressed up as a Clown when I had my Halloween special, I didn't realize some kiddies were terrified of clowns,  I had to do a lot of talking fast and bribing to get them in a happy mood.  When I had my photography business I would offer a free Halloween package of photographs of the little people in their costumes.  In exchange they were to bring a new and I had to say NEW and not used toy.  Then I would donate them to the Optimist club  and their Toy Drive.  It was always so cute, all the costumes and such imaginations my Mom's would have with the costumes.  When the children would bring in the toys they were so excited to donate the toys to other children.  I would have a giant stack of toys and was a win win for all involved.   The toys, the free photographs and my heart felt so good during that time.  

I suppose I should look up Halloween and it's history but I am lazy today so one year I will do this.  How does that sound?  The weather is wonderful for here in the 80's.  Perfect weather  for the trick or treaters.    I remember in particular one year it was cold and windy and raining but I had my candy by the door to give out just in case any came by to say TRICK OR TREAT and lots of giggles.   A few came to the door and then I heard a tiny voice saying trick or treat.  She might have been 5 ish.  Well I thought this little goblin will be happy and can go home .   I told her, with her Daddy beside her, to open her bag big and I emptied all and I mean all of the candy into her bad.  She just giggled so big.   I loved it.   So then they could go home with a full bag.  

We had lots of fun memories of this Holiday.   So now we turn out our porch light, a  polite way to say no candy here and just be scrooges I guess   This is my only decoration for Halloween.  A witch we bought one time in Branson Mo. She is kind of piggy backing on our Fall wreath.  We did have to do a little surgery on her like gluing her hat on but she did survive it.   


  

I just finished a little Annette project, yes something for me.   I have this picture of both "Grands" and wanted to put it in my art room  AKA a room that you have to be strong to come into.  It is very full.  No Really !!! It is full.   I could use the basement but nope I couldn't be close to Mr. Graves while we watch the same TV Program.   I am just a few steps away.  I mean he might see something wonderful on the TV and I miss it with my back to mine.  I guess I use my "Mother eyes" and watch while in the Art room.  We do have eyes in the back of our head don't we? 


                                    I created this on canvas and just kept adding things to it.  

 Now I have just finished a giant project of painting.   Lots of time on the ladder as well as not.   To me Mr. Graves did the hardest part of the project.  He took all of the doors off the cabinets and took the drawers out.   Then he put it all back together.   I started in the back garage with my painting project.  We will call it Operation White.  OW.   I prepped all the doors front and back and the drawer fronts.   I used special cabinet paint and some wonder  liquid called flotrol   Oh my maked the paint go on like silk.  The paint was drying on the doors before I finished one coat.   Mr. G said you know it is 109 in here don't you?  Well we moved every thing to the basement.  Great, it was a large clean area and cool with the vented air.  I had it made in the shade.  Welllllllllll, I guess going up and down the stairs played it's toll on my knee. So Mr.G moved everything up top to the dining area.  The new work area for me.   So after a couple of weeks I was back to painting.  I had to stagger my ladder climbing to only a couple of days a week, the knee you know.   I love to paint and now will show you the before and after of them.  I also did the Master Bath white also.  The other bathrooms and utility room sported white cabinets but now we all are in harmony.  I am not finished with what we are doing with the MB but soon that project will be finished.     I did over 353 coats of paint, counting several coats on each surface.  Some got 3 coats and some got 5 coats.  I don't like thick coats and it pays off.  I was proud of it and a painter accidentally came by, wrong address.  We get that a lot out here and he looked at the cabinet fronts on the work area and said who is doing this?  I said I am and he looked again at them and said I can't do this good.  So you don't think I was a happy camper?

We have a  very open concept design in our home, I love it.  I can be part of the world while playing in the kitchen.   In the house before this one we had a giant kitchen and I didn't like that so this one is perfect for us.  


                            Brown cabinets are just not our thing.   I want some life in here. 

 


 Here you go nice and crisp white we love the cabinets. The paintings of the back splash  have lots of color and personality also.  I think I showed you Ellie a few posts back.  I repainted the turquoise with a black glaze on it and passed the bar stools down to be reused for years to come.  We didn't use them at all.   I did try no plants etc on the top of the cabinets for a while but nope had to have some pretties up there .  So there you go it just sings now and we are quite happy with it.  We had added the pendant lights a couple of years ago and I painted the little caps that go up to the ceiling to match the finish on the chains so it is good to go.   Thinking about new granite but just on hold for now with that idea.  This top doesn't bother us right now. 

Well there you go on what we have been up to lately.   Thank you for stopping by and seeing what is going on in my world. 

                                                                  XOXOXO
                                                                 ANNETTE
 

Sunday, October 16, 2016

The Redrawing of prizes story

Hello dear hearts, well it is Fall and have been "work a rella" lately my word for working like Cinderella.  I do make up my words and titles sometimes.   I just wanted to post this now.  Several months ago like March,  I had a give a way and drew a Karen and a Talking Horse Arts as the winners.   I did knot know them or have their address.  Sooooo after several months of begging for the address I am just going to have a redraw.   Congratulations Denise Shortway and Lynn Novay you are winners and thank you for commenting and following the blog.  The drawing was on my other blog just in case y'all go over there some also.  It is basically a carbon copy of this one or visa versa   .

Now off to my Bunny trails of visiting with you.  I have been doing Cq of course, what a wonderful way to watch Baseball games of our beloved Texas Rangers and just spending time with hubby with the other ball games.   I do admit though when football is on sometimes I wander into my ART room and play with my paintings.  We won't tell him that is what I do though.   Our secret.

First I better show you the October block of Alice in Wonderland.   Right?


Here she is, my favorite part may be the little white rabbit and a friend sent me the door knob and key.   I had to find a way to add it to this mad house of colors and doings on the block.   I think I have 18 pages of these, 13 I did and then 5 that other artist's did from all over in a Round Robin I did.  I can't wait to show you the finished book .   I am going to use the front outside cover with the wonderful Dodo bird my friend Kathleen Klein made for me and of course I added pretties on it.   I am from Texas you  know and we do like bling.  Or at least this Texas gal does.   

Course you know I am not really really from Texas but did get here as quick as I could.   Like when I was 8 so that counts and I talk like a West Texan and proud of it.   


I do have to share one of the photographs I took forever ago.  These little girls are probably all grown and married.   I did enhance it big time with Photoshop and Painter but still a photograph under there.  I was so lucky to have clients that just let me play and do what I wanted to do and just create.  I did have a nice selection of clothing, hats and just general pretties and we did have this wonderful old fashioned porch built just for photography.  I did have fun with it and used it sooooooooo many ways.      In fact it all looked so real one of my wonderful clients came back to the door of the porch and knocked and knocked on the door.   Actually it was a big black oval I painted and then Danny, the one who built it for me, put the screen door over it.  I did feel bad when she called and told me I wasn't home for her appointment.   She did live out of town and luckily was still in town.  She came back and I did give her a free camera session for the mix up.   So the porch and all looked pretty real.


I did have to add a little fall splash here and here is ours for this year.   I think I change every year.  


                                         A close up of the banner, I did make it this year.  


I am adding a close up of each banner flag aka cardboard and paper.  I just used what I had  




I happened to have a little stick thingie with seeds etc hanging from it so that went well with the A.


 And lo and behold I had the word FALL in sticks and wire.  I would have spelt out Autumn but I only had 4 banners.   Ok it was confession time I guess.

Well dear hearts, this is short but will have the next post, soon, very soon with pics of what I have been doing.   

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

                                                               XOOXXO
                                                                Annette




Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Fall is in the Air

Hello just a note to say FALL IS HERE OR PRETTY CLOSE TO IT... I can safely say that because right now when it should be in high 90's it is about 78 degrees.    I do love fall with the warm colors the trees give us.  Well less color in the trees here in  our part of Texas  than back East but we still enjoy them.  I always get so excited about Fall.   Everything is still basically green and pretty and no scorching heat to cook us.   I enjoy when we first get our first cold  front for maybe 20 minutes  into the cold I say OK enough of the cold weather for me and please be back to our 90 degree plus weather.  I guess you would say I am a wishy washy patron of the weather.   

I do have to share a couple of the digital paintings I did several years ago of fall.  Well actually it is just a quick photo of our fall wreath outside and then I played with it digitally.   I did so enjoy the digital painting with all the "brushes" being like the traditional brushes.   Something in me though nagged at me, you know that little voice that keeps you straight and narrow.   It had been such a long absence that I painted traditionally so the voice said get your goodies out, meaning brushes and paints, and play with them Annette.  Get those hands dirty and some paint on your clothes.    It would be a shame not to  have paint on my clothes now. 




Now this little print I did have to add Grandaughter's beautiful eyes.   It is kind of mysterious but loved it.    Do I have prints of these, well of course not.  It is one of those things you think you are going to get around to.   Right?



 Now speaking of getting around to things you are going to do and then dilly dally around and not do it and finally do it and your body is screaming at you?   Weehave been in this home for nearly 8 years, I have painted and repainted many things in it.  I love painting walls and don't mind climbing ladders.   We have thought about me hanging on to the ladder and Eldon just dragging it around to the next spot but figure that might not be the safest thing we have done.  What do you think?    Our Master bedroom I know I have painted 3 times so far and probably will get another coat or two when we can move the furniture again.   Long story on that one.   I have hated, well maybe not hated that is a strong word, some of our cabinets and thought OK Annette it is time.  I think it is getting close to a month that I am working on them and can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Almost!!!!  When finished I will sharepics with you and the professional advise and praises I got and then I know I am finished.  Every day my body is telling me "why didn't you do this years ago ? Do you enjoy punishing me everyday" ?    I will post before and after pic.  What I am trying to say don't put off giant projects,  DO IT!!!!!
 
Alright,  the bunny trail back to Fall.   It is sad when we trim the bougainvilleas to go into the sun room.  We are going to be meanies this year and just move them to the back garage.  It is heated but we are getting tired of sweeping up all the blooms when they die.  So back garage they go.  It always seems a waste  to trash these blooms.   I guess just the woes of Old Man Winter coming.   

 I have not painted or sewn to much while the cabinets are getting tired.   I did stretch my wings on this little painting and did a figure of sorts.    I save my magazine ladies, as I call them, to paint and use as subjects.  The pretty ladies that are showing off clothing or jewelry.  They make great models and I add hair pretties and usually different clothing.    


I do have to make a note to myself and remember not to do faces smaller than your thumbnail.  Well if you were a giant I guess you would have big thumbnails.  It is hard to do those tiny little faces.   Most of this painting I use my watercolor crayons, Tombow pens and a little bit of white gesso for the dots and fairy sparkle.   I also glued some oat pearls on her dress and head piece.   AND it is about 11x14 ish on Water color paper.  

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

                                                                XOXOXO
                                                                  Annette

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Rain Drops and Faeries and Crayons

 Hello and hope all are doing great.   We have been so fortunate to have gotten rain, sadly some have gotten more than what is called safe.   Evey time it rains I think of when we were little kids and run outside with an umbrella and stomp around in the puddles. I loved doing that, did we ever think of lightening hitting us?   No way, it was just an fun thing to do.   I also think of the little song in Bambi with the drips and drops of rain when he was asleep in the woods.   It just makes you feel good about rain. Bambi's rain song     There are so many little songs about rain--"Rain Drops Falling on My Head " is another song I think of. 
               
 Now when grown and farming we loved the rain also.  Well, except when it rained and rained in September when the crops  did not need water. The Cotton and Peanuts were getting ready to mature to be harvested.  No no no , not rain now.   The Cotton getting ready to pop the boles open and show off the pretty white fibers We would always say--it is good for next year.   Peanuts in the ground getting read to be turned up and dried out.  One time when our daughter was teaching I sent her a box with some dug up peanuts in it.  How the dirt as still on the peanut hulls with the goodies inside them, the leaves were dried out and really a pitiful looking inside of a package.   When she opened it the janitor said who would send a package like that?   " My Mother" she told him.  I do believe though the kids in the class liked it, seeing how peanuts really came and not from a tree but from Mother Natures good sandy soil. 

I have been busy painting, not Faeries, well some Faeries, but cabinets.   Will have to share that one next.  


This first Faerie I did have fun with it and added lots of color.  The subject was a lot younger than this little pixie turned out but some ways I like it.   She is in a tree just thinking about what mischief she can get into.   I always do their faces first, just to see what and where the painting will take me.  I used some water colors for the background using Caran D'Ache Neocolor II crayons.  They are such fun and look like a crayon but are water soluble.   When I finished her I thought she needed a butterfly and some birds just to add some more life to the painting.  I love the strong colors in this painting and the little castle in the background.
 

The crayons, not pretty anymore but they work great for what I am using them for.  I am not, I repeat, I am not a water colorist and just do what I do and run with it.  Just in case I have some purest out there.  They work great with one of the water pens while I am watching TV.  Yep that is my artist's loft in the evenings.  



This next Faerie I really tried to do soft colors, do you realize how hard this is for me?  It is very hard.   I can't remember but thinshe was a magazine lady.   You know the pretty ladies in the magazines?   I just sketch their sort of features and go from there.  Now this little pastel Faerie is showing off her new home in the tree.  I forgot to leave enough room on the left for her wings.  I mean she had beautiful hair, not the magazine lady but this little faerie.  I did mostly the watercolors for her just pale.   BUT no beige had to have some color .    She was going to be black headed but somehow evolved into this color.  They have a mind of their own.  No really, they do. 



Now a quick look of the other September block that is for CQJP 2016.   For some reason I did  2 for September but I guess September needed two?   I have got to get started on the book I am going to put these in.  Our Granddaughter will have a giant book when finished with this.  Most of the blocks will be what I created and 5 of the blocks will be embellished by some other ladies in a Round Robin I was in.  Can't wait to show it all to you.  



This block has some Brazilian roses  and some vintage Sari trim.  Talk about world wide little bunny.  I can't remember who gave me the red frog, I just thought he fit the story.  Hope red frogs aren't poisonous from the Amazon or anything like that.   Oh well the Queen of Hearts would cut his head off wouldn't she?   


Now here is the second block for September.  I did go outside the lines with the tree.  The ciggie was brown tones and I thought why not leave it that way?  It is a kookie  little story and it could happen. 

   

Well there you go for today and thanks for stopping by and seeing what is going on in my world today.  Besides mowing  some backyard grass that had gotten almost as tall as a giraffe's knees because of the rain.  It is now just hoof tall.   

XOXOOX
ANNETTE 

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Early peek at September with Tweedle Dee and Dum

Hello there, well here it is the end of August.   Just had to share September's block of the CQJP early    Jumping the gun so to speak.    Thanks for looking and more soon

 I thought the sepia tones would be just right for these two guys with little Alice looking on.   I just had to grow the tree out of the picture, just seemed right.   I had fun doing this block  and trying to get the whole book together. It is going to be a fat one but fun I think.  

 


Thanks for stopping by and seeing what is going on today

                                                        XOXOXO
                                                          Annette

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Alice in Wonderland, A Dragon Fly and Cowboys and Indians

Hello and hope you are just enjoying the Summer or Winter, depends on where you are right this very second.   You might want to grab a cup of tea, coffee or iced tea  for this post.  I fear I am going to wander ( AKA bunny trails ) a bit.   When I start these posts to say hi  I never have an idea and "just shoot from the hip".   That is a funny expression isn't it?  When I was doing my professional photography and I would go to a competition and such, some people would come up to me and ask me how I did this or that or what setting did I have the camera on.  I would say don't know, I just create what I feel with my photography. What kind of vibes I get from my client and how we connect.  My clients would just let me play and I was so blessed with them for allowing me to just create .   One of my best friends was a photographer ( she is in Heaven and I know she just grins even now at what I do ) and she would say she "shoots from the hip" and just beam ear to ear.   They would just walk off and shake their heads.  I was not a technical person at all and did drive some of the technical photographers nuts.    I still do that with my painting and stitching.   No plans of what I am going to do and when I get up in the morning I try not to plan just play-just do.  It is less stressful that way and of course when we mow  the yard that is planned and a given.  I guess I am still  shooting from the hip. I think it is easier that way.

Now I know a lot of you wonderful people probably planned what you wanted to do when you grew up.  Me?  No way, I figure what will happen will happen.   I guess now I sound like Doris Day  in her song   Que Sera, Sera  ( be sure and let the video open to the one it wants to )   with what ever will be will be .  So now you know what makes me tick?  Maybe.  It is kind of like when we were kids playing cowboys and Indians, some days I was a cowboy and some day an Indian.   Those were such fun days in the Summer with our pretend bows and arrows and guns.  Sometimes our guns were pistols and sometimes rifles.  It all depended on what size sticks we found on the ground.   OR when we played mud pies or with our dolls and made their houses out of cinder blocks.  The boys didn't play dolls but the mud pies?  Oh sometimes those were the best mud fights ever.   No planning just doing.

Ok back to my wanderings or bunny trails.   I have been working on Alice in Wonderland  Crazy Quilting blocks.   I have them all done but just teasing you with August's block today.   I love the whole story of Alice in Wonder Land.   I can't remember if I told you what prompted me to do this project?   Hubby got a book of it when he was young, very young like in 1944ish.  I thought how fun it would be to do a CQ project with the wonderful  drawings.   So here is my August page.


I loved the spider, they are suppose to bring good luck.  I figured in the wacky world little Alice was in she might need a lot of luck.   Now the Dragon Fly are just a few dagger beads for the wings and then some smaller beads to finish him off.  I do have to tell you about our Dragon Fly's here in Lubbock Texas.   When I mow the back I always wear goggles because they come so close and sometime bonk me in the head.  I know they don't mean harm but I figure to protect my eyes while they are flitting around and following me every inch of the yard.   I mean every inch.  Remember we have an acre and that is a lot of inches.

  Gerry Kruger suggested to me to do some stitches outside of the "box" also know as the ciggie or silkie and of course that was right up my alley.   There are several versions of the drawings and I did choose the older drawings because they seem to have the most character about them.   Now on one of the blocks I did use a newer version drawing but it just called for it.



This was the newer version of Alice's drawings.   I added the Rabbit, of course the Cat and a close up of Alice and did what Gerry said go out of the "box" with the stitches.    It is fun to challenge myself and try different ways to do the stitches and be inspired on the stitching from Facebook and Pinterest.  Wow there is so much information out there now.  It is mind boggling . That is another subject. 

Now I have to throw in a few drawing/paintings in here also.   You just have to keep learning and doing.   One thing I did learn on this next one is when you wander around your sketch books and find something to enhance and just doodle around with.   FIRST make a copy of it on nice thick paper, watercolor paper or something that is sturdy.   Why you may ask?  Welllllllll if you could see really close this poor girl has some holes in her eyes and around the piece.  Seems like thin thin sketch paper will only take so much abuse and erasing and then it just disappears  into nothing.  Thank goodness her eyes are in the shadows isn't it?    I had forgotten about this girlie and had sketched her a long while back.  I cannot remember what the stuff coming from her neck was suppose to be so hair it became.   She is probably saying" hahahahah I got to get out of the sketch book" to the other girls.  Holes and all.   

    

Now this faerie is several years old and found her in a stack of paintings so she gets to come out and show her stuff.   I know she is at lease, I think I know, 2 to 3 years old.   Well in painting world that is.   You may ask, or not, why do you spell Faerie the way you do instead of Fairy?   My cousin Juanita had written it that way and it is an old way to spell it.  So I thought that I had to spell my Faeries that way.   Nothing original that I came up with.   I do remind myself that there is nothing new under the sun.   Nothing!!! It has already been done.  

 

Alright I am not going to wear your eyes out today but will try and try hard to write another piece in a  few days.   Thank you so much for stopping by and seeing what is going on in my world    

XOXOOX
Annette

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Post with No Name

Don't ya love my title?   I do remember a song "Horse with No Name".  It was a cute song and  coe to find out it made it to the states in 1972 and in Europe in 1971 and became a gold record.  Here is the link to the song.  I liked the one with daily motion the best because I guess it had cars and horses in it.                                              Horse with No Name .

Sometimes when we mow, which we did this morning before it gets so blue blazing hot, I think.  I know that is scary at times but it just feels good to be outside on the lawn mower and just enjoying life.  We have chosen to divide the mowing duties into two days when it is so hot.   Good choice I think.  What came to mind you may ask?  I did think about my painting and my artsy things and looking at the clouds and all their beautiful shapes.   Of course the Horse with No Name also.   I guess it was just a summer day to enjoy.  I hope you all are enjoying the moment and just taking in what the day brings.   I have always tried to live in the now and Hubby does tell me that I do live in the now more than any person he knows.   So in my book if Hubby says so it is good for me.

There is a little quote I like and if OK I will share it with you.  Pretty true I think.   Worry does not take away tomorrow's troubles, it takes away today's peace.    So there you go my "Lawn Mowing" thoughts I guess.

I have been busy and oh did I say busy?  Being Relaxed Relaxed Retired is just pure hard work.  I thought it would be eazy peazy but no WORK it is.    A sweet friend did send me a link on Facebook and said Annette you might like this. Wow did I ever it was a pastel portrait by Cuong Nguyen originally from Vietnam.  He had an e-book and I purchased it.   It is teaching a method called Verdaccio that has been around since the 15th Century.  Now folks that is older than I am .

Here a couple I did with that method, now I warn you there are some boo boo's here on the drawing but I wanted to show you how the skin tones just pop.  I do want to go back and finish one of them and correct some things.  I was to lazy to drag out my soft pastels.  These are both done with pastel pencils.   I did these while watching the baseball game well two baseball games on TV so just a break from doing CQ.






What ya think?  He is an awesome teacher and I can remember being exposed to this method and I was not ready to receive it  and thought how is that going to help the skin?   You know  sometimes when you are learning things they just don't sink in until you are ready for it.  You can hear it and hear it and it just doesn't sink in and when you are ready wham it is like where has this been all my life.   

Well I won't overwhelm you but will be back soon with some Crazy Quilting how is that for a deal?  
Thanks for stopping by and seeing what is going on in my world.

XOXO
Annette