Sunday, October 5, 2014

I'm Back!

For better or worse, I'm back. Someone asked this week what was with the blog and I have to say that I don't quite know. Suddenly I wasn't drawing or blogging either one. I was reading, so maybe I can blame it on Louise Penny, whose ten books I read in about a week. I also went to Tullahoma and to the doctor with Dean and I have done some work on the house, changing things around once more and...the time just flew. 

What has been done, though, is this. I moved dishes and other stuff around in the kitchen. It seems to take living with things for a while before their best places can be found. When we had the family over for DH's birthday I discovered that earlier in the summer I had put too many glasses up way too high to be used so that cabinet was rearranged. The upper and lower cabinets on the other side were also rearrange slightly so that now the pantry is a little easier to work in. 






















I also took another shot at getting the living room better. This required the Vicki and Caro Decorating and Furniture Moving Company, and I think it is finally right. I need to buy or make some pillows (cushions) for the sofa backs, but at first I thought I was going to have to buy a new sofa! My partner in crime  decorating had a better idea and we moved a table and the sofas and voila. here it is. DH says that it looks bigger and I agree. If not really larger, at least more open. 

Hint: try moving your furniture around in the show room and don't buy anything as heavy as mine!





I am sorry that these are so dark. I took them at night and evidently without flash.  If you are just dying to see another view let me know and I will reshoot these. The pictures/paintings still have to be hung. 


Our painting class has formed a group called MMIA - Mixed-Media Inspired Artists- and we are having a show right now in Dalton GA. We also have shows planned for next spring and the following spring as well, both of those in Chattanooga. We each have three pieces in the present show and I hope that this time one of mine sells from the gallery. Of course I took one of them off my wall to enter it so if they don't I will just put it back up. 
























DH returned to the doctor yesterday and will go Tuesday for an MRI then see the doctor the following Tuesday to discuss what is to be done. The consensus at this time is that surgery will be required followed by a month of healing and then physical therapy. Unfortunately the porch wasn't finished when all this happened but fortunately there is flooring in front of the door so we can use the front door. Finishing the fence is back on the back burner for a while, though. So yesterday we were talking about screen doors and DH found one - that he plans to build. Maybe after the kitchen windows promised last winter and still not done. which are in line right after the porch and the fence and the dust collector for his shop and...I think that I will be talking to Ka-Ching (our pet name for our builder) about the kitchen windows.  There are only storms in the space over the sink. Thin storm windows. 

Still, all is well and all is well, and all manner of things will be well.
XOXOXO
Caroline



Saturday, September 13, 2014

Coolness and Chocolate

When I read about the summer snow in the northwest I hoped that we would get some of that cool air and today we did. It is such a welcome break from the hot and humid days that we have been having. It was so nice, in fact, that I cut the grass and did not pass out from the heat! I also went to the grocery store for a few items, put a quilt on the frame, did some laundry, finished a book and took the car through the carwash. For me that is a busy day. Tonight I have opened windows (the ones we have gotten open) and I am looking forward to a cool night's sleep, smelling the air scented by the Mars plant. I think they are baking the cookie part of TWIX.

About the book I finished. I read a mention of author Louise Penny and have since then been devouring her mysteries. The hero is Superintendent Armand Gamache who has thoughtful brown eyes and non of the brashness usually associated with crime solvers. Set in Quebec, the stories are peopled with a variety of characters who develop throughout the series. Ms Penny also scatters poetry within the stories but not too much and very well written.  She doesn't write it herself, and in the fourth book she tells who the poets are that she is quoting. The poetry  is good enough that I will be looking for their books, too. 

Here is Bella after her recent haircut. The poodle has come out. She was so knotty and matted that the groomer had to trim her rather closely. Without all the usual hair hanging in her eyes she is seeing the world anew!



Here in Cleveland we have some of the most industrious spiders I have ever seen. The webs don't radiate from a central point but are almost knit. There are often two layers and they are so dense that they look like fabric - something like chiffon or silk organdy. AND, they are everywhere .If you tear all the webs down one day they are back the next. The front and back porches have loads of them and one spider even had the nerve to send a silk strand down to my paint brush! While I was at the table (but not using that brush)!! Nervy girl. I have walked through so many of those things that I am almost resigned to it. Now that's sad.

Something else kinda sad. About two weeks before Jackson left us I ordered raised dog beds for both dogs. They were delivered yesterday.  I hope that Bella will use hers and we will find someone else to use the other one. 

All is well and all is well
XOXOXO
Caroline

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Grass cutting and other stuff

 The big boy dog is gone. According to the poems, etc. that we got from the pet crematorium, he is waiting for us at the rainbow bridge and when we get there we will all cross together. It is kinda sweet, I guess. And it is kinda hokey, too. It can, if I think about it, make me tear up, but I no longer cry. 
This box is labeled so no one will accidentally open it!

I can't decide what to do with it. Eventually we will bury it in the back yard but a lot of work has to be finished there so the burial will have to wait. He is now on the end table. 

Would the coffee table be a better place? I would like to plant a box of grass and put him in the middle because he like grass so much, but I think that might not work too well for very long. Decisions, decisions! Maybe a box of grass on the back porch until it gets too cold. DH suggested the mantel but I vetoed that. 

Our painting class this last time was looking at the impressionists and doing a painting somewhat in their style. Here is a cabin I was always stuck by when we passed it on the way down the mountain when we went to Sylva. Up close it looks like a lot of dots and splashes but from a distance I like it. 

Do you know about gurgle or glugging pitchers? When you pour from them they make gurgling noises as the liquid leaves the tale and is replaced by air. Lots of fun. I couldn't resist this one. 

I should warn you. Do Not go cut the grass after giving blood when the temp and the humidity are both over 85. I did it and ended up fainting and being hauled to the hospital in an ambulance. After blood tests, x-rays and rehydration they let me go. Here is the truth. The grass can wait

Bella, Dean and I are hanging in there. We are getting accustomed to being just three, but I think we will always miss Jackson a little (or a lot). 

All is well and all will be well
XOXOXO
Caroline

Friday, August 29, 2014

hard days

Back to the real blog soon. Jackson has not recovered and he is being sent on tomorrow at 10:00. It is hard to say goodbye to what our neighbor called "such an amiable" dog. Tail always wagging, ready to play with anyone, person or dog, no matter what size. Always gentle although sometimes rather stubborn, Jackson has been a beautiful, blonde baby. He is sometimes aggravating as he wants to be petted constantly, but I never heard him growl. When he was awake, his tail was in motion but now it is still, he is skin and bones, and it is time. When I get my feet back under me the blog will start again. 

All is well, and all will be well, 
XOXOXO
Caroline

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The week that was

It has been well over a week since I have posted. Two weeks? I really don't know and I don't even have any photographs to illustrate what all had been happening. 

Sara came here and helped her dad with the fence in the back yard. We now have fence all around although on two sides it is only horse wire heeled to metal posts. That will all change, but at this time I am just so glad to be able to let the dogs out in the yard without having to be there holding their leashes that I do't even care about how beautiful the fence is. I see it as lovely!

Jackson also had knee surgery, began a nice recovery, had a failure of the surgery, had more surgery with its associated risk of infection, opened the wound, and refused the 10 horse pills a day without a real set to between the two of us. At that point I began giving him injections of antibiotic every day, trying to keep him from licking, etc. That guy can lick a would even with a cone around his neck and can remove any bandage devised by man. He is now at the Vet's home until tomorrow so he can be restitched. For a while he couldn't walk and had to be carried up the porch steps (only four in the back)  and escorted around the yard. He frequently fell over, necessitating hauling his rear up again and washing him off. I was very tired. I have never spent so much time with my head down and my rear in the air!

Meanwhile, pictures for the church directory were being made and DH and I were the lock up people when they finished at night. Unfortunately, at this time, DH also had a trip to Columbus OH and to Greensboro, NC which meant that Vicki had to come over twice a day to help with Jackson. She was a life-saver. 

Things are better now and I will be taking some photos and sharing some more and better things with you during the coming week. 

Jut remember this:
All is well 
XOXOXO
Caroline

Monday, August 11, 2014

A busy week

It has been a busy week. Sara is here helping DH with the fence.  There have been a few problems so not as much has been done as they hoped would be by now, but they continue to work and hope to get it all done.

I have been drawing as well as working in the house and taking another painting class. I try to get one thing or group of things put away/taken care of/hauled off every week. Today I made a trip to GoodWill with several bags of things and also trimmed some more bushes and some small dead limbs out of the dogwood. If I do a little every day or week, it will get done.

A little drawing for Liz Steel's online class at Sketchbook Skool. 

A sketch of the bell tower of our church. I had never realized how detailed it is until I started to draw it. Obviously I did not use a ruler. The line in the upper right sky is a detail of the bricks. I think I will be drawing this or parts of it for a while. 
Following a suggestion to use pictures of yourself to draw facial features I took some photos on Photo Booth and drew myself. You should try this!


Last of all, this is a necklace I bought from Sara's online jewelry shop. They will be having a sale August 15 through 25. They (Sara and her mother-in-law, Mary ) have estate pieces, precious stones, watches, and others, in all price ranges. The things I have bought have been very inexpensive but lots of fun to wear and I have gotten compliments on all of them. Please check them out hereGandB Jewels.com





















Wednesday, August 6, 2014

CBerk: artist and furniture mover


After moving all the furniture I decided that I missed the table in the kitchen so I moved it all again - by myself this time except for some help from DH with the big table.  I THINK that I might leave it this way for a while. DH and I decided to give up the cable TV ; that gave us more room in the living room. We have a small antenna that we can place in the window upstairs and there is a nice but small TV up there (in fact the larger one is there ,too) so I think that we will be able to go up there and watch anything important. Tornado warnings, Downton Abbey, you know what important stuff is.
Here is the end where the TV used to be. There is seating for six and there are lamps for reading and a coffee table.
At the other end is my work table where I draw and a chair where I read. It is more or less my office when I am not in my studio. 

This table has been replaced in the kitchen. I moved the rug in there for Jackson who is having more surgery for his knee. The stitches from the first time didn't hold and he is limping even more than before. Getting up on the slick floor is very difficult for him. There is a little bag under the table with my art stuff ready to go to class Wednesday. 
DH brought these flowers home when he last went to the grocery store. They have been sprayed with purple dye before they were open it appears. Some leaves are green and some are purple. I put them in old silver tea and coffee pots and I think that they look very nice. The table is a sofa table at the sitting room end . 

And, we can now use the front door again. There is enough of the porch to get to the steps. Sara came tonight and she and DH are going to get all the stuff that is on the steps and in the front yard up on the porch and organized then they will start working on the fence that was supposed to be finished before Sara's wedding. Yea!

When you just don't know what to do, sharpen your pencils then draw the pencil sharpener (in ballpoint pen) and then draw the pencil (in pencil and ballpoint). 

I also drew this collection of soap bars (sorry that it is sideways) Collections are interesting things to well, collect and draw. I am working on a key collection and thinking about others. 

I am having so much fun drawing. Give it a try. Look closely at what you want to draw and make those lines - just what you see. Don't worry if it isn't star quality the first time or the tenth or whatever. If you keep at it you will improve and as a bonus you will train yourself to look more closely at the world around you and that is a good thing. 

All is well, 
XOXOXO
Caroline