What Have I Been Doing

Christmas Gifts

It’s that time of year where we look for the perfect gifts for the ones we love. Perfect gifts are hard to find. If you are like me I buy what I want rather then wait for someone else to purchase it. I’ve been told I’m hard to buy for, but I don’t believe that’s true. I love colorful and unique, which I think provides a pretty big spectrum of things. I believe that a gift does not need to be new. In fact some of the best gifts I’ve ever received were homemade or gently used.

I say “I don’t need anything” when asked what I would like for Christmas. It’s a true statement. I need for nothing. There was a time in my life where I needed to keep track of every penny. My checkbook was balanced to the nearest dime. Never anything extra. I think we all should experience what it’s like to struggle in order to appreciate good fortune. I now have so much to be thankful for.

At this point in my life what I really want can’t be bought in a store. I want good health for my husband. I want time with those I love and who love me. A prefer a phone call rather then a text message and to simply be “in” the pictures I see on Facebook.

Sometimes those we love don’t live close by. We still can be creative in showing our love with a gift just for them. I painted this German Shepard, who is clearly enjoying the sun rays on his face, as a holiday gift. A father wanting something special for his daughter who lives very far away. It’s nice isn’t, that a dad wants something special, something unique? I’m glad he asked me to paint her dog. I believe she will forever remember this gift.

Years ago my father gave me the gift of fishing. He taught me how to bait a hook and cast a line. Gifts don’t always come in a box or from a store. I hope my client’s daughter loves her painting. I hope she loves that her father wanted her to have a gift that was from his heart. ❤️

“Enjoying the Sun “ 16×20 Acrylic

Art in the Backyard

We noticed on Pinterest that pinecones can be turned into flowers! We thought this was a cool idea and we decided to try it. So off we went walking and gathering our supplies. We did need to make a pit stop at Michaels for some craft paint and now we have what we need.

Sometimes all you need is a spark of an idea. That described my granddaughter and I, we had a brilliant idea. We decided to make art from pieces that we found in the neighborhood. In her neighborhood there are a lot of pinecones, acorns, leaves and sticks. Surely we could make something creative with that. I know my granddaughter has a glue gun so anything is possible. We went hunting and gathering.

Painting and glueing was the fun and easy part. The challenge came when we started to cut the pinecones. We wanted to turn pinecones into flowers using only the bottom portion of the cone Has anyone ever tried to cut a pinecone? It isn’t too easy; in fact it’s almost impossible.

Here’s what we did and here’s what we learned: *craft scissors don’t work * mom’s scissors from the kitchen drawer doesn’t work and we knew we would be in BIG trouble if we used the sewing scissors* dad’s saw didn’t work but it did get the feeling you might actually be making progress-not *tried a saw with deep teeth which only scared us at the thought of losing a finger….*we then tried wire clippers which only cut the pinecone petals like toe nails which now were flying everywhere in the garage * finally we learned that clipping the petals and twisting the core with pliers finally got us a pinecone that looked like a flower!!!

We painted and glued and glued some more. In the end we liked what we created. Each backyard is full of possibilities so go and be creative. Make something that has never existed before and have fun.❤️

Feel the Love

Nothing is more heart warming then seeing two people in love. You see it in their eyes, you hear it when they talk, it really is quite infectious. We all smile back at young lovers perhaps remembering the beginning of our own love story. Yes, there is always a story that goes with love. There is a story when he or she proposed and there are stories of their big day.

My story begins with meeting my husband, before he was my husband, at a crossover on the interstate. This is an unusual place to meet, but not so unusual if you are state troopers. 🤪

I now kid him that I thought he dropped a fork when he got down on one knee to ask me to marry him. It was a fast drop and I had to be paying attention. He was sure people were watching us. We decided to get married outside at a beautiful botanical garden.

At the time we were saying our vows to each other, someone, outside of this peaceful garden setting, decided to burn some rubber with what I imagine was a souped up car. All we could hear was the roaring of the tires. I am not sure if anyone heard a word we had said to each other, but we did.

We actually got married on a Sunday, went on a honeymoon and came back to have our reception on Saturday. Yes there were people confused on when we actually got married, and yes we had a very logical reason for doing this. Just got to trust me on this one.

We arrived early at the reception wanting to personally greet every guest. But fate stepped in. My mom, who was very excited about the wedding and very excited to have out of town guest coming, got suddenly very sick while at the reception. So sick we had to call her an ambulance. My father, my new husband and I followed the ambulance to the hospital. She was ok. She was diabetic and her levels got too high. She needed to stay overnight for observation.

We went back to our reception. The food was all gone, but the cake still needed to be cut. Photos were taken and I got to dance with my dad and my new husband. It was a long day. If I remember correctly we took a bottle of wine home and killed it. All that had happened was crazy stressful. But I now had someone by my side to help me get through life’s many challenges.

We’ve been married 34 years now. We have lost family members, dealt with health issues, went to college, travelled and did our share of moving. Now we are retired. Now we enjoy grandkids, family and friends. It has been quite the journey.

But our journey started with just a look. With a simple cup of coffee and a lot of laughter. Just like this painting full of love and possibilities. I wish them both a lifetime of happiness and great stories.

“She Said Yes” 11”x14” watercolor on Arches