Friday, March 30, 2012

iPad is here

The email I received from Apple said my iPad3 would be arriving on April 3. Imagine my surprise and delight when FedEx pulled into my driveway shortly after I got home from exercise class this morning.

So far I've read a couple of chapters of a library book and am finding reading on this to be much nicer than trying to read on the small iPod touch.

I've also downloaded some really neat Apps and an trying them out. I will be sharing some digital art as I play with these Apps.

Meanwhile I am trying out the Blogger App and it appears to be working just fine.

Here is a photo I took through the front window.

I think the camera is quite good.

I hope you are enjoying your day and that you are finding time to play.


Thursday, March 29, 2012

Another Busy Day

I had an appointment this morning for fasting blood work and a mammogram and when I made the appointment, I almost asked for a different location because the one I've always gone to is on the far side of town from me. Boy, am I glad I didn't change to a closer facility.

This place is so friendly and so patient oriented that it was a distinct pleasure to be there. I met a new friend there and found to my surprise that an old friend who I worked with about 25 years ago was the technician who did my mammogram. When I was done with the blood test phase, the receptionist made me a cup of hazelnut Kuerig coffee. For the small amount of waiting time, I managed to begin a couple of sketches that I decided to do in ink, so I wouldn't be tempted to erase. I am so glad that I took a sketch book with me. As you can see, I didn't have much wait time, but I did enjoy sketching......

I went to my daughter's house afterward for a cup of coffee and a walk only to find that both her girls were home and that it was too cold to walk anyway. She made a quick breakfast of scrambled eggs with mushrooms and tomatoes and a toasted bagel and then we visited. She'd been given three pairs of walking shoes by someone who got them for practically nothing at an outlet store and had me try on a pair. They fit perfectly, so now I have a new pair of shoes. I've been putting off buying a new pair for quite awhile and am now happy that I did.

I got lots of hugs and kisses from the girls and found out that a house across from my daughter had just gone back on the market, so she called and I am going to look at it later today. The hubster just raised his eyebrows when I told him because he isn't at all sure he wants to move, but I don't think it ever hurts to look.

Miss Z is coming over later today to spend the night with us and rumor has it that she is beginning to take steps by herself - I am so looking forward to spending this time with her.

For now, I need to vacuum and sweep floors and pick up a bit before I go to look at the house across the street from Miss P and Miss M. They would absolutely LOVE to have us across the street.


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Time Keeps March-ing On

March is almost a memory already and what an unusual month its been here in southern Michigan. We did get a freeze a couple of nights and so the lovely white and pink flowers on the tulip are now quite brown. I am so glad I took pictures when I did. It is a good thing that many of the flowers don't mind a freeze too much. I'm pretty sure the tulips will survive.

Yesterday the hubster and I set out early in the morning and headed for Menard's to get some mulch and boards and look at refrigerators. We then went to the daughter's house where the hubster performed magic on her gardens. He raked and edged and then placed the mulch around her flowers and plants. Meanwhile, she and I got Miss M and her friend Miss E to preschool and then we went for a walk. It was quite chilly so we didn't do as much as we usually do - maybe a mile and a half or two miles.

We went back to her house for coffee, she made her Dad some lunch and then I went out to try to help him put together an adjustable basketball system for her. What a fiasco! There were parts missing, mismatched parts, and the instructions that I had to download had the word "corrected" in pencil on them. I've got to hand it to the hubster, he stuck with it and we got a lot done by the time the girls came home from school, but it was time for us to head home. We will go back another time to try to finish it.

We got home late in the afternoon and I decided to watch some tennis that the hubster had thoughtfully recorded. I did finally put pencil to paper and attempted to sketch a couple of players. It is so hard to capture their likeness, let alone their posture, but I am trying to do some kind of sketching every day, so here is what I have.

I'm off to meet my friend, Nancy, at the exercise class this morning and then need to do a bit of housecleaning before I get to watch more tennis matches. I will try to do a bit of sketching again today.

I hope you are finding time for yourself and your creative muse today and that all is well with you.


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Exercise, Tennis and Faces Sketch

The exercise class was different yesterday. My friend, Nancy, was there with her friend, Julia; and there was some talking at the beginning (good stuff, but it lessened the actual exercise time), which seriously altered the amount of exercising to be done. I know I'd get in trouble if I said this in class, but I really wish it lasted an hour and a half. It sure was nice to work out with Nancy and Julia, though. I hope they come again. I am hoping to get to this class three times a week.

There is tennis being played in Key Biscayne, Florida, and I caught some of it yesterday. I felt so sorry for Cibulkova, who was seriously beating up on Azarenka, but ended up losing. And it was sad to see Ivanovic lose to Venus (it was great to see Venus playing again, but Ana was playing much better than I've seen her play in a long time). I didn't see the Roddick/Federer match, but was pleased to learn that Roddick won. I'd like to watch the Na Li/Sharapova today. I just wish Maria would stop with the screeching so I didn't have to turn the sound down so much. At least she is not playing a person who also screeches - the match between Maria and Victoria Azarenko earlier was sure to ruin eardrums.

While watching the tennis and during commercials I spent a bit of time sketching faces from a magazine. The man is supposed to be Dr. Oz - the face is not long and thin enough. The other two are anonymous women in ads.

I am going to Menard's later with the hubster and then walking with my daughter. We will walk Miss M to preschool and then spend about an hour in the neighborhoods around school. We usually get about 3 miles in - a good workout and so much more fun than walking the treadmill.

I am going to try to get some tennis sketching in again later today and hope to have something to share tomorrow. It feels so good to be back blogging again.

Before I get in the shower and go off for the day, I need to open Google Reader and look at all your beautiful offerings. You who reside in my Reader really enrich my life.


Monday, March 26, 2012

Brr and Weekend Play

It is a very chilly 31º this morning and there is a windchill of 22º. I am so not ready for this. But since I knew it was coming I got my camera out and took some pictures in the yard yesterday before the freeze had a chance to ruin things.

It looks like we will be having rhubarb crisp early this year and I don't think rhubarb is afraid of a frost. Lucky thing I've been going to that exercise class (and am going again this morning), so I can enjoy my crisp without guilt.

I also got a shot of the tulip tree in all its beauty as it is very susceptible to the cold. I just love this tree and have really enjoyed it this Spring.

I also had to take a picture of the Jacob's coat. I don't know what its real name is, but I love that it produces different colors on the same plant, hence the name.

I also got some lovely pix of the Miss Z this weekend and then attempted to sketch her again.

I totally missed on the tilt of the head and therefore the placement of the eyes and the slant of the mouth, but I so love sketching her. I will just have to try again.

After sketching Zoë, I decided to play with watercolor again. I challenged myself to a throw down whereby I put some colors on paper and then added detail on top with pen. One became a cityscape and the other a landscape. I'm not totally happy with them, but I sure had a boat load of fun. Maybe I should try my hand at some boats next time to make it even more fun.

The exercise class is at 9:30 and I think I will have a bowl of cereal before I go, so I'd best get this show on the road. I hope to have more time to play this afternoon and will try to share with you tomorrow.

I'm hoping you are finding time for your creativity and must assure you that I am reading your blogs, but some days my internet connection is so slow that I sit and wait for the pictures to load and then am too frustrated to leave comments. Hopefully that will improve soon. I do so love all the blogs out there. You give me the incentive to keep at it and I really appreciate that.


Friday, March 23, 2012

Playing with Watercolor

I got up early today and went to an hour exercise class, then ran to the bank to make a deposit and am now home getting ready for Miss Z. She will arrive late in the afternoon and stay until tomorrow afternoon. If I didn't get enough of a workout in the class, she will be sure to work me out some more.

Meanwhile, I've been playing with the watercolors this morning, and have attempted a bird and a flower. I didn't sketch the objects first, just went in with watercolor and played a bit. What do you think?

I really need to watch Cathy Johnson's videos for the Strathmore class I am enrolled in and then try my hand at what she is doing.

I sent a check to reserve a spot in a still life workshop that is being offered by the Jackson Civic Art Association in mid-April and am really looking forward to that.

I hope you are finding time for yourself and your creativity today. It is raining here, which makes me feel like taking a nap. Maybe I will paint instead.


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Watercolor and Girl Tribe Art

It is expected to be in the mid-80s again today and the yard is full of color. The hubster has already mowed the lawn. He usually has to give the lawn its first cut in early April. It is such an unusual year. I just happened to have a lovely model to help me take pictures.

I also had a lovely indoor model late last week who I expect to visit again this Friday night overnight until Saturday afternoon. Perhaps she and I can get some outdoor pix as well.

Miss 9 made a little box with the hubster's help (she got to pound the nails) and now she is working to make it colorful with my acrylic paints. Here is what she has so far.

And last, and perhaps least, I have finally committed to playing more with the small square of watercolor paper. I added a line of trees (the paper was too wet, though, and so they are much more ephemeral than I wanted them to be) and then I added a bit of foreground trees (they are pretty lame, too, but I was at least playing with the paints). When the Tiger game is over (preseason baseball), I hope to begin a new watercolor and make this one a little more pleasing.

Meanwhile, I hope you are having some fun in this lovely weather and that you are finding time for your creativity and for those you love. I've been spending lots of time with my family and really enjoying them. Now if I can just commit to more creativity of my own.....


Thursday, March 15, 2012

PES and Bird Sketches

I love acronyms, don't you? I've decided to call my condition after doing new exercises to the max Post-Exercise Soreness, or PES. My thighs are burning today after doing three sets of very low squats yesterday. I love this kind of soreness because I think it reaffirms my belief that the workout yesterday was a good one. Now that the hubster has cancelled his out of town trip for this weekend, I may leave the baby with him and do the class again tomorrow morning.

Because I am expecting little Zoë this afternoon and overnight, I've vacuumed the living room and down the hallway. And while I was up and about, I also made my bed, picked up and swept the entrance, shook rugs and put some window screens up. Ah, fresh air.... Right now I have the first load of laundry in the dryer, with a second load waiting. Just one more load and the dishwasher to run and I will feel like I've really accomplished something housewifey (I know - I just made it up) today.

While the laundry is drying I decided to do a bit of sketching. I haven't sketched any birds in awhile and now that so many of them are around and with the windows open I can hear them, it seemed the thing to do. Here are three different ones. As usual when I get done I wish I'd used watercolor to sketch them instead of pencil. Maybe later I will have to use this sketch as a guide and do just that. Stay tuned.....

I am never quite happy with the picture I take. It is hard to adjust the levels to get both the whites and the darks to look good. I decided to use the invert option and really like how this turned out. Which do you prefer?

It is warmer today than it was yesterday. I am in shorts and a tee and bare feet and loving it. I think there is a chance of thunderstorms later in the day so I need to get out on the screened porch and enjoy this warmth and sun while I can.

I hope you are doing well today and that you are finding time for yourself and your creativity. Take care,


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Exercise Class, Mother Nature, and Sketches

My friend, Nancy, told me about a class she'd read about that was held in Munith in the former Katz Elementary School building that meets M, W, and F from 9:30 to 10:30 and costs $2. You don't have to sign up in advance; you can just show up. I was supposed to go with her on Monday, but I am extremely lactose intolerant and even though I am very cautious, I apparently got some and I was miserable. Nancy was unable to go this morning, but I went. I loved it. There were about 30 people there. We worked all the muscle groups, a few standing and many seated. We used exercise bands for resistance. I am looking forward to the next time.

I fully intended to come home and get right on the treadmill, but it was so wonderfully sunny and warm that instead I got my camera and headed out of doors. Here are a couple pix from the yard:

While I was walking around I noticed my neighbor to the north planting something near the road across the street, so I sauntered over and sat with her for a little visit. It is so nice to be out and about again, but it is awfully early for such springlike weather.

I did spend a bit of time out of doors on Monday even though I didn't feel well at all and tried my hand at a couple of sketches - nothing to write home about, but I am pleased that I got out there.

I have begun a small watercolor as well. There appears to be some blossoming in the sky  (they were supposed to be clouds) and I will have to decide what to do with that. I haven't decided on the middle ground or the foreground yet, but will share my progress as I go.

I had Zoë overnight on Friday and she was a joy. I have her again tomorrow night and am hoping for warm weather so we can spend some time out of doors. Here is a cute pic of her with a friend rocking.

That is all I have for now. I don't have a plan for this afternoon yet - maybe I will work on my little watercolor or try my hand at some kind of sketch.

I hope you are finding time for yourself and your creativity and that it is really nice where you are so you can enjoy Mother Nature and this lovely sunshine.


Friday, March 9, 2012

Posemaniacs & This and That

I am trying to get back into my routine now that I am back home and am having some difficulty. I may have to actually set myself a schedule so that I make time for art each day. I have many reference photos that I would like to try to use as starters for sketches, I am taking a free Strathmore class with Kate Johnson, and I would really like to finish up a couple of watercolor pictures that I was working on late last year.

Meanwhile, I am still trying the Posemaniacs sketches each morning. I try to do the 30-second drawing as a blind contour and then a 60-second drawing taking a bit more care and looking a bit. It is a great way to start the day even though I think some of them are downright hideous.

I still find it curious how my blind contours of people look so simian.

I had such a lovely day yesterday - I spent it with my dear friend, Nancy. We went to an antique mall in Howell and then had lunch at Ollie's (a lovely Lebanese restaurant) before browsing the Salvation Army store. When we got back to her house, we had a cup of tea and visited. It had been a long time since we'd gotten together and I really missed her. I always have such a good time when we get together, no matter how we decide to spend the time.

Baby Zoë is coming this evening to spend the night with us and I am so looking forward to it. She has changed so much in the past month while we were gone. She is a year old already and becoming quite the little person.

I need to go get on the treadmill and then get out my hand weights this morning. That is another routine I need to get back into. It is a beautiful, sunny day, but there is this white stuff all over the lawn. I didn't think snow was predicted for today. With the sun shining brightly the grass won't be covered for long.

I hope you are having a great day wherever you are and that you are finding time for your creativity. I look forward to visiting your blogs and plan to take the time to connect with you instead of just lurking.


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Home Again and Right Back Into It

I feel unbelievably lucky to have made it home through Kentucky and Indiana without mishap. My heart goes out to all those who were devastated by those tornadoes. We actually spent Thursday night in Sellersburg, Indiana, just 10 miles south of Henryville, the town that was destroyed. What is going on with this unusual weather?

We arrived home early Friday afternoon and after a stop to see the grandgirls, we came home and turned up the heat to get the house warm. After leaving it at 50º for a month, it took a really long time to get it to 65º. Miss M, who is four years old spent the night with me on Friday and did some art for me.

On Saturday night, Miss P, who is nine years old spent the night with me and she made me some art as well.

On Sunday afternoon, we celebrated Miss Z's first birthday. Her birthday was actually on the 25th of February, but both her parents had to work and we were still out of town so this worked for all of us.

Not sure if she is just thrilled to see Papa or if he was telling her funny stories.

She was surprisingly neat with the cake until her Aunt Autumn "helped" her.

This morning I got up, ran a mile on the treadmill, did a bit of weight training, cleaned the bathrooms, did the laundry, and then decided it was time to get back into the Posemaniacs sketching. Here is today's offering:

It is good to be home and the sun is actually shining today - it makes my heart sing.

I hope you are finding time to make your heart sing and that you are well. I must say I've missed you all, but I did follow you with Google Reader. I didn't leave many comments while on vacation, but I did really appreciate your postings and your art.