Monday, July 30, 2012

Doing Some Catch Up

Well, I am sad to say we are not breathing salt air anymore.

The good news is we are on the road again by tomorrow, driving up North to be at a long time family friend's wedding.  One of those do-laundry-and-repack type of trips. Thank goodness I can watch the Olympics while I fold clothes!!
 We are so excited to go to this wedding. We have been through thick and thin with four other families over the last 20+ years and we are all gathering for this celebration. You say road trip to this group and the people are in their cars faster than you can blink.

On our trip to San Diego, Doug, Brenna and I met up with my sister to see the top ten from American Idol in concert. Oh my gosh. It was so stinking fun!!! Brenna was so worn out by the end of the concert I honestly thought she was going to fall asleep during the last song. 
While we were exiting the arena with a thousand others, we came to the parking lot and the fireworks from Sea World were exploding over our heads. Of course we stopped to watch and in so doing, heard loud bursts of screaming on the other side of the arena. What was up? WELL, come to find out that the singers were coming out and signing autographs.
That sleepy girl? No where to be seen. Her face lit up like a Christmas tree. The next thing you know, we were marching back into the arena to see what was what. Sure enough, there was a big crowd waiting for each of the top ten to come out, along with lots of security and the news crew.
I didn't think we could get a spot close enough for Brenna to see.

I was wrong.

skylar and brenna

We stayed for at least an hour and a half. Brenna found herself a little spot by a ramp, which my sister and I kept guard over the whole time.  Doug would wander up and down the line, keeping us informed of who was coming down the pike.
The news team came to our spot and interviewed the person next to Brenna. Being who she is, when the news caster asked the person who their favorite singer was, Brenna chimed in and gave her opinion as well. I think she ended up on the ten o'clock news. LOVE that kid. I just love her.

deandre and brenna

They just kept coming and coming!!!
Each one stopped at Brenna and gave her a HUGE hug (or two) and posed for a photo. It was incredible. I have never seen so many nice, considerate stage performers.

Hee Jun is Brenna's favorite, right next to Skylar. When he stopped to say hi, she blushed harder than I have ever seen. It was so cute. Hee Jun took the time to ask where Brenna was from, how she liked the show, if she was tired, was the show worth the drive out....Doug later reminded me that Hee Jun had worked with the disabled before American Idol. 
I think Brenna has good taste.

colton and b.

holly-and yes, she is as small as they say. brenna is 4'11 and i'm pretty sure holly is shorter!

elise..brenna's smile just KILLS me!

phillip-um, yeah. my favorite.

By the time Philip Phillips came out, the crowd was pretty intense. Brenna just about got shoved out of her position, but by then, we had made friends with a family smooshed next to us and their daughter helped Brenna get her last hug of the night. 

We hit the bed by 12:30 a.m., and I have to tell you, it was worth every excited grin from my child. 

Okay, gotta go finish packing. I have more news in the world of art to share with you when we return.
See you next week!!

Monday, July 23, 2012

A Natural Brave Girl.

Side note: ease forgive the lack of photos, I'm doing everything by my phone as I'm too cheap to pay $12 a day for Internet at the hotel! Which really should be free...

As I was riding the tandem bike with my husband today, I formulated this post. I had a lot of time to think, as we rode about 18-20 miles. And no, that's not surprising for him. For me, I'm glad it was flat and all along the coast!
I was reflecting about how yesterday, when Brenna marched her little self straight into the pool of dolphins with complete strangers, my husband turned to me and said, "now THAT'S a brave girl."

It made me think about both of my girls. My eldest has gone to and lived in several foreign countries, beginning at age 14. She has never batted an eye at going to sleep away camp, nor has she shied away from the stage. When we dropped her off for the first year away at college, her words to us were, "Bye! See ya soon. Love you!" I left in utter desolation and came to my senses the next day that if she was that happy, I shouldn't be that sad. I have learned so much from her.

Then there is Brenna.
Oh, that girl has never met someone she doesn't like. Including the stranger in the McDonald's when she was about 5. He was a man of large size and she ran straight up to him in line and gave him a big hug and told him all about French fries. It was more difficult to understand her back them and he looked at Doug with sad eyes and asked, "did she say I have large thighs??" Doug told home what she had really said about french fries. The man slowly began to smile and proceeded to tell my husband he had not had a hug in several years and he was very thankful for the one from our daughter.

She has gone to sleep away camps as well. Brenna had made several school changes, as well as learned to put up with blood draws and doctors all her life.

The first time on take off on an airplane, she threw here hands up as if she were in a roller coaster and yelled, "yahooooooo!" at the top of her lungs. She wanted to do it all over again as soon as we were airborne.

So. Putting On a wetsuit, shaking hands and introducing herself to her group of 5, walking into 64 degree water and learning how to kiss a dolphin, feed it a fish, give it hand signals and ride the back of it? Eh....piece of cake.

I've learned a lot from her as well.


Saturday, July 21, 2012

Where did the week go??!

Wow. What happened to the week? It has flown by.

We are in full-swing summer mode. Several road trips are planned, one being to Sea World so miss b can celebrate her 18th(!!!) birthday a few weeks early while dad has vacation time. It's a special year and we are celebrating by having her participate in the dolphin encounter-as in getting in the water WITH the dolphins!
Don't let that cute as pie smile fool you in the photo. That girl is tired from camp last week!!! But cherry slurpees help and we have our trusty lizard on the dashboard of our car, so all is well. Can you tell my husband is not used to being photographed while driving? Love it.
I'll check in soon...

Friday, July 13, 2012

Where Bloggers Create Party

Oh, I do love a good party!!
I'm so excited to have you over and participate in Karen Valentine's party.

Wouldn't it be fabulous if it were like a house tour and we could take a bus to everyone's home/studio? I would have welcome banners, lots of iced tea and snacks for all of you.
Let's pretend you have gotten off the bus at my house and Miss Party has barked with excitement 

 Miss Party is actually happy to see you. She's just not sure about cameras.

and Brenna has opened the door, which is her favorite thing to do when we have company.

Wander around, make yourself at home. Get some cold drinks and some yummy snacks and feel free to make new friends and be inspired...

 I was able to do some much needed cleaning up and sorting before the party..
I went from this:

to this:

At last year's party, I had to be honest and show the room as it was. It wasn't quite as bad as the before photo, but I was in the middle of a project....
The room is small, but it's mine and I'm in love with how it was bestowed to me.
About three years ago, I came home after a weekend of enforced vacation from my sweet husband to find his entire office moved upstairs and a wide open space for me to call my own and to be able to create. It's full to the gills right now, and I am in process of taking over my eldest daughter's room as she has moved out on her own. I am storing paintings in her old room, displays for shows as well as vintage books and different items I use in my collages.

This is just some of what this amazing room has inspired me to create:

 I have an affinity for color...

 I'm discovering I like open storage and organization, and storage I can see through.   I'm getting better at cleaning up after finishing  projects. As in, putting things BACK in their PLACE, instead of tossing  into a drawer. It really helps in the long run and doesn't come naturally to me in this room, but I like the end results. 
It's always good to learn new tricks!

 Plus, I forget what I have. Shoot. I forget what I had for dinner last night....do you do this as well? PLUS, it just makes me happy to SEE it all!

I have items that speak to my heart all over the studio
 that others have created,

(made by my sister, Sue)

...Or items I have collected and made over the years.

I love using vintage books and paper in my artwork,

as well as free motion sewing. 
I can't sew worth a darn, so free motion is the way to go for me.

A friend of mine gave me this great sewing machine!

My dream is to have a separate studio, full of windows and natural light.

Until then, I will keep working away in this sweet spot.
Who knows? Maybe visiting the others at the party, I'll be inspired in ways I never imagined and my husband will come home to new windows knocked into the walls...or find the GARAGE taken over.

Many, many thanks to our blog hostess, Karen Valentine.
Click on over to her blog and you will find the list of participants for this extravaganza.
Thanks for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed your visit!!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Journey of a Painting, 2

I'm skipping the rambling this week...
I'm getting a post together for the big PARTY on Saturday, July 14.
Please come back and join us to see tons of beautiful creative spaces!

Here is when I last left this painting.
It's been quite a process to take photos of it and really think through explaining what comes next.
In this case, the black lines come next!

Add some more doodling..

A little more color-
reds and some gold.

And then I went nuts with the most gorgeous Jade Green watercolor crayon.

By this point, I have turned the whole canvas around and am now working on it in a different position.

I have had an idea for a bird flying in the middle of it all for a long time.
I cut one out of some vintage sheet music and laid it down with gel medium.
It needs to be blended in to look like it's been a part of the painting, so that's where the fun comes in.

More color, inks and watercolor crayons are used in and around the bird, sometimes continuing the black lines, sometimes continuing a color from the back ground.

Here she is in all her glory.
I know I'm finished when I leave it on the table for a bit, walk away and do something else in another room and when I come back, I look at it and have a big smile on my face.

I hope you have enjoyed the process as much as I have and feel ready to fly free yourself in whatever you do today!!

See you Saturday for Where Bloggers Create!!!