Sunday, March 7, 2021

Fooling Around

What with keeping Josie, getting a haircut, and having friends to lunch, I've not had a free morning (when the light is good) to fiddle with the watercolors till yesterday. And fiddle I did.

The tulip was another exercise from my last venture but I decided to outline it--I've always liked the combination of watercolor and ink.

More from the exercise book. I realize I'm still putting on color too heavily--this isn't like oils.

Once the feather dries, I may give it an ink outline... I also know I need some masking fluid for cleaner edges.

And this last exercise-- a night sky--was fun because it involved sprinkling the wet paint with salt for the mottled effect. 

So much to learn. I'm also checking out some free videos of easy water color projects.  Will be making some happy little trees, ere long! 

But the important thing is how one loses oneself in paying attention to the work, the mind slows down and thinks only about the painting--I suspect the blood pressure drops. Another benefit is that, even away from the paints, one begins to look at things more closely, seeing more and thinking Now, how would I paint that? There's the highlight and look at the delicate shading on that side . . .

Friday, March 5, 2021

Fully Vaccinated Social Interaction!

Oh. the excitement! Friends to lunch!

A Mexican mini-feast--Fish tacos with jicama/cabbage slaw, spicy garbanzos, calabacitas (summer squash and zucchini, sauteed with onion and red jalapenos,) Mexican farmer cheese, guacamole, sour cream, salsa verde . . . and spritzers of bubbly water with pomegranate juice. Mixed strawberries, pineapple, and blueberries for dessert, along with coffee and chocolate truffles.

And conversation! Wow! I could get used to this.


Thursday, March 4, 2021

Josie Works, Tends to Her Children, and Gets Ready for a Ball

So much to do!

While I eat breakfast, Hamsie and I play the piano.

Then I have some tracing work to do. I get a sticker to put on a page when I finish. I am getting pretty good at staying on the dotted lines, except when I am in a hurry to finish and get a sticker.

Then, after reading some books and doing some drawing. we go back to The Room. I have to snuggle with Margot to get her to go to sleep.

Finally the kids are asleep and I can ride Philly.

Then they both wake up. Margot has to go potty and Dolly wants pancakes.

Being a mommy is a LOT of work.

Sometimes I get frustrated. . .

And I have to hide under the dining room table.

But tonight I am going to a ball with my sister Cinderella. I have on my dancing slippers and my purple scarf.

There is a way to wear a scarf so you look fancy. I am especially good at flinging it over my shoulder. Now I need a long dress. . . Meema says she will see what she can do.


Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Righteous Reading for Miss J


A while back I was expressing some chagrin at the lesson taught by Jack the Giant Killer and Puss in Boots--that it's okay to steal the property of innocent giants and ogres. And some readers made some suggestions for other stories that might better align with my bleeding heart sensibilities.

And I listened. My DIL Aileen suggested Yertle the Turtle, saying that it had radicalized her at an early age. Well, it's a delight. Dr. Seuss is always fun to read and the story of Yertle , the King of the turtles who commands the other turtles to make a throne of themselves so he can be the monarch of all he surveys had me thinking of the 1% today, whose wealth depends on the exploitation of others. Yertle is undone when Mack, the ordinary turtle at the bottom of the stack, has had enough. And in the end, Yertle is dethroned and all the turtles are free. Now there's a story I can read over and over (three times yesterday) and feel good about.

Another recommendation was The Paper Bag Princess. (I think this was Andree.) Another great little story. A dragon destroys the princess's castle and steals the handsome prince she was meant to marry. The princess's beautiful clothes are all burned up but she finds a paper bag to wear and sets out to rescue the prince. After outwitting the dragon, she saves the prince who turns up his nose at her dirty face, messy hair, and paper bag. 

She tells him he's a bum and goes her merry way, happily single in her paper bag. 

Now just yesterday, Josie was talking about Perseus and Medusa. Claui tells me that Greek myths are a new obsessions so I'm going to have to look for some children's versions. I wonder if they'll be righteous.

Monday, March 1, 2021

Hellebores Are Ready for Their Closeups--and a Winner!

With thanks to all who left much-appreciated, reviews, I announce that the winner of the mug is Marsha Hubbell!


Sunday, February 28, 2021

New Beginnings

For years I've wanted to learn to paint with watercolors. About twenty years ago I played around with acrylic and oils and really enjoyed that challenge. I wasn't especially talented, but I had fun and was better than I'd expected.

Still, watercolor really appeals to me--even though the technique is almost the opposite of what I became comfortable with back then.

So, thanks to a recent gift card, I ordered a book on watercolor technique, suited to the meanest understanding, and a beginners set of water colors.  Reading the book Friday night, I began to feel the excitement of striking out into new territory. And Saturday morning I began with some of the easy projects.

I'd almost forgotten the very real pleasure of painting--the colors, the attention to detail, the challenge of making a picture. It's a perfect meditation--no room for anything else.

A banana, a pumpkin, a tomato, and lots of free form doodles in the extra space as I faff about, seeing what the  difference is between putting color on wet, on half-wet, on dry. 

It's been a long year of a kind of malaise with almost nothing new in it--I'm embarrassed I didn't think of trying this earlier. It may be the effect of the approach of Spring (I find myself also doing bits of long overdue cleaning.) 

And thanks to the vaccine, we had dinner last night at friends' house--the first time in a year. Before and after a fine meal, I caught up with what's been going on in our circle of friends and the guys watched basketball. To make the evening perfect for the guys, Carolina won and Duke lost. 

2021 is beginning to look up!


Saturday, February 27, 2021

No Hats on These Cats

The sun did not shine; it was too wet to play.

 So we stayed in the house all that cold cold, wet day.

Too wet to go out , too cold to play ball. 
So we stayed in the house and did nothing at all.
And all we could do was to sit, sit, sit;

And we did not like it, not one little bit.

Except for Madame Angeline. 
Sitting inside suits her fine.


Friday, February 26, 2021

Josie Is So Excited

On Wednesday it was warm and sunny and Meema said we could go down to the park at the river. Can we take a picnic? I said and Meema said Yes! So we packed an apple and a banana and six almonds and some leftover pancakes and some little tomatoes and some grapes.

Then I had to pack my rainbow bag.  I put in Hamsie and Blue Elephant and my binoculars and my piano book and my book called The Phantom Tollbooth.  Meema said I probably didn't need ALL of that but I told her I probably did.

The river is called The French Broad and it runs very fast. Meema said I had to stay away from the very edge and not fall in. It is also very cold, Meema said. 

The park is mainly for grownups--paddlers putting in their rafts and kayaks. There aren't any swings or slides or monkey bars but I found some stuff to climb on.

And I drew in the sand.

Lots of pigeons live around the bridge and we watched them flying.

I wanted to bring a blanket to have our picnic on but Meema said No way because she has trouble getting down on the ground and even more trouble getting back up. So it was a good thing that there was a picnic table for us.

It was a very good adventure.