Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Have you ever seen the television show, "Snapped"?
I have. Not proudly, and only twice, but I have.
It's a show that profiles women that have somewhat lost their minds after years of being with less than wonderful men and end up murdering them.
I know, I know. Quality t.v. in that weirdly fascinating yet horrifying way.
Have you heard of Beanie Babies?
Those cute, cuddly, stuffed with beans animals that have names and birth dates?
They were a big collector item back in the day and my Mom was a B.I.G. collector.

I bet you are wondering where I'm going with this.
I've come to tell you that at one point during the clean out of our Mom's house, one of my sister's and I


We did not murder our spouses, but some beanie babies did come into some foul play.

It all began innocently enough. You know, hours and HOURS of sorting and throwing away, going on little sleep, not eating right. It all adds up. Plus being stuck in the house and garage on a gorgeous spring day didn't help. There were a couple of beanie babies throughout this whole process that just seemed to keep popping up.
They would move to a different piece of furniture.
One ended up on the dining room table for weeks on end.
One stayed in a corner of a bedroom. Staring at me. Taunting me to take it home or give it away.
Daring me, really.

We just needed to let off a little steam, that's all.
Before I knew what was happening, I had the beanies by the neck and was racing outside with a maniacal laugh, pulling my sister behind me and out the back door.
Oh, don't let her fool you, my eldest sister. 
If my middle sister had been there, I'm certain some beanie lives would have been saved.
But, alas.
We wound up our arms, breathed hard, and took a couple of practice shots.
Some would soar, some not so much.
Take a look.
(press arrow button in bottom left corner)

This one actually stayed on the ledge of the wall, forever to live in taunting memory.

Have you ever chucked something over a 22 foot wall? Please press the play button in the bottom left hand corner to live vicariously.

Watching the object sailing in a weird, slow motion kind of a way, then it disappears in an instant...

and with a shock, you realize what you have done.
You have sent a (treasured) beanie baby sailing over a wall, hoping against hope the embankment to the freeway is farther than you thought and that there are no CHP officers stopped there,
 laughing so hard you hope and pray you don't wet your pants.

Couldn't we be o.k. with just one beanie, legs akimbo, twirling head over tail across the great divide? No, not us. Lord help me, we went back for more.

Doesn't she have great form?

I can't say it was an easy journey for the beanies. I wasn't so hot at tossing them. Mine would splat against the wall and fall into the jade plants. 
Poor, unsuspecting thing.
Little did it know it was the impetus for letting off exhaustion, grief, anger and a host of other emotions.
Ah, well.
It's what happens when you snap.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

I'm here-really!

Spring has sprung while I've been emptying a house with my sisters.

We have worked over a week straight and the house goes on the market as of today.

A very strange feeling to say the least. All the familiars are gone.
Packed away, given away or sold.
I just had to have a brain made out of steel to not think about things going out the door.

I will say there were some great highlights between the three of us, which I'll share later.
I just wanted to give a little shout out to let you know I haven't dropped of the face of the earth.

Happy Spring!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A Few Ramblings

Turning 50 isn't so bad.
Of course, I'm only one day into it, but so far, so good.
Especially when a friend gives you a CAKE.

Fifty isn't too great for my knees, though. All though, to be honest, this started in my 40's.
I helped Brenna in track and field today after school, and well,
let's say I'm not meant to try the long jump.

I think I need to stick to walking on the beach. That's a much better way to usher in the fifth decade of my life. Did I really say that??? The fifth decade? sheesh.


Better go back to the beach.

My two sisters and I are in the throws of cleaning out my mom's house for an estate sale. It's crazy emotional.
My eldest sister called from work and said my sister and I are saints for tackling this before she gets here.

I don't think you get to be a saint by using the words I had going through my head after finding yet another drawer filled with stuff. I think you have to do something a little different. Maybe if I light one of the seven hundred candles I found and said a prayer, I would have a chance. Who knows.
Does it count if you light a red and green candle?

I know it would be good to get a lot more of this out in writing...
all this going through a house,
wondering why something was put where it was,
not being able to ask.

Feeling like a wretch for taking apart your mom's home.
Feeling like a wretch for screaming at your mother in your head for owning more purses than are in any given Ross Department store.

Grieving for what never was, nor what ever will be.

It comes in small amounts. Then it gets whisked away by track and field, home life, a longing for artwork to be completed, joy in seeing my daughter home for Easter...
But I know it will come back.
It's sneaky that way.

Friday, March 9, 2012


Go to this blog:

Harmony is my new friend I met at my photography class.
She is a doll and you will love her blog.
Oh, yeah...
I'm the featured artist for the week!

Blueskies is also going to get a makeover soon, be on the look-out.
Next week, stop by and I'll tell you some fun news about my artwork.
Today, though, I'm off to start celebrating the big
a little early.
Yep, it's here. Nothing I could do, so I'd better embrace it.
Have a great day, friends.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Paint and Doodle With Jennifer Mercedes

Saturday and Sunday I was able to take a class at Studio Crescendoh, hosted by Jenny Doh. The studio is located in the Artist's district in Santa Ana and is a warm, welcoming place to be. The class was "Paint and Doodle With Jennifer Mercedes.

photo courtesy of Cynthia Shaffer

Jennifer is warm, generous, a great teacher and her eyes sparkle when she laughs. Gotta love that in a person!

photo courtesy of Cynthia Shaffer

Jennifer had us begin with various exercises of doodling, free association writing and monochromatic painting. The second day we did 2-3 pages of free writing as explained in the book, "The Artist's Way", by Julia Cameron. I think it was my all time favorite part. My hand actually cramped, I had so much in my head to put onto paper. Not that I like rambling thoughts or anything...

photo courtesy of Cynthia Shaffer

Believe it or not, doodling is a challenge to me. I tend to make circles. That's it. Just circles. Booorrring.
The exercises we did helped in this area. I also loved listening to music while we doodled. It's also a little daunting to doodle across a 30x30 canvas.
That's where being blindfolded helps.

This is my friend, Harmony. She is brave and bold while blindfolded.
Being blindfolded made me dizzy. (seriously. what is up with that???)

Jennifer, in her kind and humorous way, taught us the art of not getting attached to what was on our canvas. Because once we put something on canvas...

It got covered up.
And if you didn't cover up 90% of it? Well, the blindfold came back.
As you can see here, I'm a fast learner.
Did I mention I get dizzy with blindfolds?
We got to cover those big 'ol canvases with house paint.
Which, by the way, I love painting with.

We learned about doodling on birch wood canvases with ball point pens, among other various writing utensils.
Then we covered it with paint.
The first day, I came home utterly exhausted, and the critical voices were shouting at me all the way home.
After getting a good night's sleep, I was ready to go back for more!
We had a challenge at the end of the day to finish one canvas in the last hour and a half of class.
Guess who likes to work under pressure?

photo courtesy of Cynthia Shaffer

We gathered to show each other our various degrees of finished canvases and had such a great time affirming each other.

photo courtesy of Cynthia Shaffer

If you are ever able to connect in some way with Jennifer, it will be an amazing experience, whether it's in person or through her beautiful artwork.
Thanks for a wonderful, wonderful two days, Jennifer!

Sunday, March 4, 2012


Always learning...
Today it's with Jennifer Mercedes at Studio Creschendoh.

Thursday, March 1, 2012


Hi, All!
I finished my large canvas.
And I'm going bigger...
I have this huge need to cover something BIG.
Maybe I'll tackle my living room wall with graffiti before we paint it again. 
Just 'cause I could!

Have you ever wanted to paint on something LARGE?

Maybe because you had something to say, or share?

Maybe to get you outside of yourself?

This was a very meditative process, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Laying all the paper strips down was great. I have had glue in my hair for days.

The full saying on this is, "What lies deep within her heart never dies."

For me, that means things like joy, passion, strength, faith, hope, freedom, dreams...

What lies deep within your heart? 
Does it need to be said out loud right now?
Does it need to be put into BIG letters to be heard, even if just by you?
Go for it.