Straight Out Of Dickens

Merry Christmas Eve to all. Quite some time ago I posted about my orphaned paintings, work I started but never finished in fear of being judged. I pledged at the time to rescue some of the orphans and see them through to completion, I did a few, but then I moved on to other things. Today I have rescued an orphan. Consider it to be straight out of Dickens, a rescued orphan. You may also consider it my ghost of Christmas Past. My son is now twenty-three years old. The painting is of him…at eight or nine. It’s obviously been awhile. One could almost hear the cries from my studio, “Please Ma’am, won’t you finish me?” I have made a gift for everyone in my family this holiday season except for Dan. I had something particular in mind for him, but alas time hasn’t allowed me to do what I wanted. This painting was also for Dan. He has been waiting for many, many years to see it finished. Well, Merry Christmas Honey, it’s done. For Christmas Present, I’ll try to knock off something tomorrow, maybe something for myself. Christmas Future? I have been writing about moving ahead with my work. Getting ready to present my stuff to the world. I’ve been writing about it, but I haven’t been doing it. I had a doctor appointment this morning for the mysterious pain in my side. (I’m not dying or anything, graceful girl that I am it seems that in my efforts to stay healthy, when I walk I am not doing it right. I am pulling muscles in my thigh or something…only me. The doctor asked if I stretch before I walk. My reply? “Why would I do anything the right way?”) Back to the future…I began a conversation with a lovely woman who works for the doctor. She likes art, she has a friend who opened a gallery in nearby Escondido. As if it were meant to be.  Just last night when Dan and I walked I spoke of trying to sell my art…do you think maybe someone is trying to tell me something? I need to get there, I need to get somewhere. It’s time, and there’s no time like the present, and wouldn’t be wonderful to think about the future and feel cheery and bright.

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Rantings Of A Not Quite Hypocondriac

Dear Grocery Store Owners,

I am deathly allergic to those hideous scented pine cones that you insist on placing at the entrances of your establishment. The detergent aisle is bad enough, its like running a gauntlet for me. I have to try to get through the aisle picking up cleaning products while holding my breath. Does it ever occur to you that you may be asphyxiating the general public? Or maybe that’s the plan. Get them coming in the door, hit them with overwhelmingly intoxicating fragrance in order to dull brain cells so that they don’t notice that the mayonnaise jar is six ounces smaller but still costs the same, or that they will think the ever so slightly smaller box of corn flakes is an optical illusion. (I realize that the store owners themselves are not resizing the products, but they do have something to do with pricing) I’m just asking if it is possible to limit the “festive holiday aroma” to one door so I don’t need my inhaler by the time I hit the produce section.

…Sorry, I had to get that off my chest. I am admittedly guilty of ruining my own respiratory system with art materials, however between the pine cones of Christmas and the Star Gazer Lilies of Easter, I can barely walk in the store. Don’t get me started on the guerrilla warfare of the mall kiosks that sell perfume and hand lotion. Random people popping out as I walk by trying to slather me with some scented concoction. This is what Christmas shopping does to me. I get annoyed, and that is never good.

The funny thing is that what got me started tonight was a pleasant memory, so let’s go down that route instead. I’m not feeling great today, actually haven’t been for a couple of weeks. I went to the doctor today to get some test results, and you know because I am Irish that prior to my visit I was getting my affairs in order. You know the usual stuff you think about before you get test results, like how will my family go on without me? Who will remind Dan and Brian that we need milk and toilet paper? And of course my worst fear, how much will my family curse me after I’m gone because I have so much crap that they will have to dispose of? Good news, I’m not dying, yet. No actual answers for some unexplained pain, and I don’t get a follow-up doctor appointment for another two weeks, which will fill my days with thoughts of probable diseases. I’ll bet Dan is overjoyed.Wait, wasn’t I talking about a good memory? Yes, it’s this. I miss my Mom. She died six and a half years ago. I particularly miss her when I don’t feel well. She was an avid reader of the Star and Enquirer and probably could have added to my list of suggested diseases. Actually I think we all pretty much want to talk to our mothers when we don’t feel well. Moms just make things better, at least mine did. When we didn’t feel well my Mom made us tea and toast. A hot cup of tea with milk and a spoonful of sugar with a slice of hot buttered toast. It’s still my go to for a not so great day. It reminds me of her, it comforts me. It isn’t of course a substitute for a little motherly sympathy, but it makes me think of her and that always makes things a little better.

I was lazy today. Too much crafting, too much self-imposed worry, too much intoxicating pine cone. A simple little watercolor. I need to get back in the swing of things.IMG_3128

An Invite

So much to do, and running out of time. I continue to work on my fairies, my game board, and a couple of small wooden mirrors. The mirrors were unfinished wood. I painted one, and am thinking of adding a little decoupage tomorrow. The other I decoupaged with photos of vintage book covers. I’ve been photographing them at antique stores for art projects. They are really quite beautiful. I am now in countdown mode for my December 7th show. If anyone lives in the Temecula/Murrieta area in Southern California and cares to come by, I’ll be at the River Springs Charter School Holiday Show, Saturday, December 7th. It’s at 41866 Kalmia, Murrieta. I’ll be the one with the glitter trail. On Saturday, December 14th, I’ll be at Old Town Antique Fair at their outdoor Holiday Fair, 28601 Old Town Front Street in Temecula. If fairies aren’t your thing, I will have other items, and possibly some prints. There are so many artistic things I enjoy I never know what I will end up doing. This is my Christmas shopping money so I’m hoping to do as well as possible. Dan and I were both having a difficult day today, it seems these days that one of us is up while the other one is down. Today was the exception. Heading into the holiday’s worrying about our future isn’t the best feeling in the world. I thought about all the times that he was kidding and said that I should be supporting him because of how talented I am. The thing is he is right. I just never had the confidence, but there’s nothing like worry to motivate me.  I also believe, and again and again I say it, as long as we are together we are good.

Here are a few photos of projects in the works for my shows. Feel free to introduce yourself if you stop by.IMG_2659



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I thought a lot about what to write this evening. The night before Thanksgiving, except I’m not feeling very thankful. It’s been several months since Dan lost his job. It has been a roller coaster of feelings around here, but there’s nothing like the beginning of the holiday season to bring emotion to the surface. I really struggled at the grocery store today. This time a year ago I was shopping for food to donate to the food pantry. Don’t get me wrong, we are nowhere near that kind of problem, but it hit me hard that our life has changed so much inside this past year. I think I took a lot for granted. Not the people in my life. I make a point of telling and showing them how much they mean to me. I did however, take for granted that Dan would always have a job, that we would always be OK. So for now my plan is to focus on what’s right in our life. We love each other, we have good kids, we have a wonderful new son-in-law, who makes our daughter very happy, our families are for the most part doing well, and we have some really wonderful friends. I also have a couple of children in my life who have had tragedy strike their lives much too soon. Focus. Focus on what is good in life, focus on what is important, focus on what you have not what you don’t have. Tomorrow I will be grateful to be with the person I love most in this world, there are far too many people who don’t have even that.

My project for tonight is an ornament, but not a Christmas one. It is for Emily. Tomorrow she will be five. She loves mermaids, so a mermaid it is. Also a box to put it in, another of my painted soap boxes. Emily is one more reason to be grateful tomorrow.IMG_2625IMG_2627IMG_2626IMG_2628IMG_2632