Monday, December 22, 2008

Meditation Knitting.

The green mittens are DONE! So, that means, time to start three new projects all at once! Last night I cast one for the leg warmers I want to do for myself, a hat for Bob and a hat for myself. I knit the last pair of leg warmers for a gift swap and have knit two pair of wristlets that have also been gifted away. So, the leg warmers could be just that or wristlets. We'll see what size they turn out to be.

I have been really getting to enjoy knitting and actually find it quite relaxing. I keep the patterns simple and the projects small and I'm sure that's part of it.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

December activity

It's been a LONG time since my last entry. I've just been so addicted to the rapid release of Facebook; but I really miss blogging, so here it is.

The right mitten to match the left that I started ages ago is almost done (see photo above). Gotta finish that before I start ANYTHING else. I hate unfinished projects! It may be done today at lunch or tonight at Jarod's Tae Kwon Do lesson.
On the subject of Jarod and Tae Kwon Do. Jarod will test on January 10 to be accepted to Black Belt camp classes at Chan's Martial Arts. He will then be taking Black Belt classes twice a week in addition to his regular twice a week class; that will make four classes a week! I'll keep you posted on this.
The Christmas cards are out and the presents are wrapped. Never did any projects out of that Christmas magazine; though I suppose there is still time. I may have to look that over tonight (yes, after the mitten knitting). There were some darling Candy Cane holders that I wanted to make. Still have four or five of the fabric hearts left that I may give out as small gifts. Not sure if I like them well enough anymore to gift them to anyone.
(Hanna, Don't read this next part if you haven't received and opened my gift.)
Finished the knitted leg warmers for the Free People swap. They turned out super cute! Gonna have to make myself a pair; just cast on five stitches for one of them this morning. I'm going to knit both at once again; that worked out really good. You don't get one done and then still have to knit the other. I want to knit one or two more pairs of wristlets; one for me one for a friend. I want to add thumbs to at least one of them; so the fit will have to be more exact. Ooh ooh ooh and I still want to knit that shawl out of Noro Silk Garden. Yes, even with my stash I may have to buy some more yarn. Online though, since the local store that sells Noro is staffed with screamin' meanies.

Got a commission yesterday to paint three dalmations for someone I did a dog painting for several years ago (See "Dusty" above.). But I really have to clean up my studio in preparation for that. Not sure when I'll get the photos to start. Does God have to speak so loudly to me sometimes?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Christmas tags.

These are tags for Christmas that I did for a swap. I really like how they turned out. I had to make 11 of each; 22 total. I should do a few extra before I bring them away, in case I want some for myself.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Return of the "Queen of the Office"

I've called myself the "Queen of the Office" on and off over the years; but this is the first time the "Queen" has had a crown. I made it in response to a challenge on Suzi Blu's website. It's not the kind of art I usually make; but it was fun to do something in mixed media again. My criteria for mixed media is that I have all the stuff in the house and that I don't have to spend a dime on it. A couple of years ago my friend Jean thought it would be a good idea to make artist's tiaras with wire and beads and such. This isn't quite that; but now that I've done one, I may need to do more.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Big Bang Theory

I'm guessing that this isn't going to be as funny as it was seeing it on TV; but this is Sheldon attempting to smile like he means it. I love this show! It's "laugh out loud" funny.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Pretty Cupcake Girl...

I did a few watercolor paintings/sketches while in Asheville, NC this past week. The other two are on my "other" blog; so if you want to see them you'll have to look there. :) Yes, that is my way of getting you to check out my "other" blog.

I had wanted to do a "pretty" girl like the ones that Suzi Blu does and this is my first attempt. I plan on doing the background, doing some layering, and adding something in the banner she is holding.

Let me know what you think. This was something fun to do aside from the "serious" landscape paintings I usually do.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Knitted Wristlets

WOW! I know what you are thinking; two posts in one day! But I have been the uber creative, busy girl this weekend. I painted the pumpkins in the previous post, filled my window boxes with fake flowers (Which I won't probably show you because they are, well, fake.), and knitted these "wristlets". I love this yarn.
A very generous co-worker friend gifted me with tons of beautiful yarn that I'm sure I would never have bought myself because I'm too cheap to spend that much on yarn. This stuff is gorgeous!
The wristlets here were knitted with Noro, Silk Garden. The yarn in made in Japan and is beautiful. It self strips and each skein contains many colors. These were done with one skein and look at the variety of color. Amazing stuff.
I have one more skein that I'm going to make a hat from. I also have at least two skeins from Noro of Kureyon. I'm really going to have to take a knitting class. I don't have enough skill to get through all of this.
(Thank you Marylynn!)

Pumpkin painting

Just thought I'd share my efforts in pumpkin painting this weekend. I painted the top two for a friend's children and the bottom one for my son; a Spartan fan. I thought they turned out nice.

Friday, September 26, 2008


Again, I'm getting a little slow with "popular culture". I just watched that new show "Fringe" this past week. I thought I'd only missed the first episode; but it looks like I missed the first two. It was the only thing on and my husband said, "Let's watch it." I said, "It's going to be just like "Lost", where you get hooked and after a few seasons, you're bored because it just goes on and on with no end in sight." (I'll watch it, but I'm not going to LIKE it!) But, I watch it and of course, end up hooked and loving it. What do these creators, producers, and writers know about me (and lots of other people) that hook us so fast to these new shows? So, now I'm busy trying to watch the first two episodes so that I can catch up on what's going on. Much more like X-files than Lost, but if you like them; you'll like Fringe.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Dearly Devoted Dexter

So I'm a little slow on the uptake. I heard last TV season about the show "Dexter"; watched a few minutes, but was so disturbed by the premiss of the show that I just couldn't watch it. Also, it was on, WAY TOO late; Sunday at 10:00 p.m.

Fast forward... I was learning how to download books from the library and came across "Dearly Devoted Dexter". Now, I knew that the series was based on these books and I'm really one to "see for myself"; so to make a long story short; I downloaded the book and started to read it.

I'm still not sure how I feel about a serial killer as the "hero" of a story; but I am really enjoying this book. I found out that this one is the second in the series; so when I'm done I'll have to read the first book. I guess you could best describe it as "dark humor" because it is "dark", but it's also really, really funny.

I'm not sure if I will be watching the TV series or not, probably not if it's on at 10:00 p.m. again, but if you are looking for something different to read, a quilty pleasure, I would recommend this one.
NOTE: I just got done reading the book and even though I thought while reading it I was going to read the others... I don't think I will because towards the end there was part of the story line that was really kind of disturbing.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

15.6 total lost!

I really worked the FLEX plan last week and was rewarded with a 1.2 pound loss. That's 15.6 pounds total loss. I'm now under 140. I'm sure you can do the math to see where I started. I'm only 5'2"! Now, I just need to do it again and again. I notice the difference and am so happy I joined. My husband said he was proud of me last night for losing this weight. I said, I just wanted to be able to wear the clothes in my closet and that's really the truth.

Check out the link to the right for the website "Fabulously 40". Lots of neat articles.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Here it is!

I think I mentioned awhile back that my new watercolor painting was going to be of a scene at Peggy's Cove in Nova Scotia; but I ended up doing this one first, which I believe is "Woods Island" on Prince Edward Island. I know for sure it's Prince Edward Island and it's right by where the ferry docks, but I'm not 100% sure of the name of the place, that just sticks in my head.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

14.4 lost so far...

I only lost .4 this past week, but it's better than a gain right? I didn't deserve it though, I ate above my points and more than all of my weekly points allowance. That's embarassing! I'm definitely going to do better this week. I only used 2 of my weekly points allowance yesterday. I just feel like I'm going to have a good loss next weigh in. It's hard to change your way of eating. It really is. Even after some success, it's still hard to stick with it.

Oh, and I still have to post that new watercolor painting...

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Two pounds this week!

I thought for sure, without a doubt, that I'd gained (or at the very least maintained) this week. I weighed myself on the scale a couple of times this week and either saw a gain or a maintain, But guess what? I lost two more pounds! That makes 14 pounds total in nine weeks or Weight Watchers.

Does Weight Watchers work? YES, IT DOES! I heard on NPR on my way back to work about online scams involving drugs, weight loss and other remedies and they mentioned that truely the simpliest way to lose weight is to "eat less and exercise more". I would add that for most people it would be "eat A LOT less and exercise A LOT more".

Portions are so out of control that we really have no idea, until we start physically measuring, what a portion size really is. It shocked me! It's no secret either; it's right on the back on the box, can, carton, or package. We just refuse to read it. I'll get off my soap box now! I'm not the expert here. I'm just so motivated by my success that I want to share it.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

September Card swap

The theme for this month's card swap was "circles" and I have this wonderful set from Stampin' Up that I love. It's just so versatile! I believe the colors I used for this were; River Rock, Soft Sky, and Groovy Guava from 2007's "In Color" colors. Correct me if I'm wrong. I left the white area blank to fill in with whatever greeting I need later and the card opens vertically. If I get a better picture, I'll repost that.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

"Get out of Jail FREE" card.

After last weeks total pig-a-thon, having chicken wings and pizza on Wednesday and Thursday, then going to the Taste of Saugatuck on Sunday... I still managed to lose .6 pound. For those WW folks, in the know, I do the FLEX plan, ate my 19 points a day, my 35 weekly points allowance, and 36 additional-totally-not-allowed points. I'm now down 12 pounds total. I promise I will be a much better WW girl this week. I think I used my "Get out of jail FREE" card at today's weigh in.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

One Vision

I love this song for so many reasons!

I weighed in at Weight Watchers today and lost another 1.2 pounds; so that makes 11.4 lost so far!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A post it note...

Following a week's vacation where everything I learned at Weight Watchers was left behind on the dock in Charlevoix; I weighed in today and still managed to lose a little more than 1/2 a pound (.6 to be exact). That makes my total weight loss to date (drum roll please) 10.2 pounds! Yeah! We did do a lot of biking for exercise; so that must have helped.

Clever t-shirt clip...

Members of my family are into martial arts (not mixed martial arts though) and I'm into crafts; so I thought this was pretty funny. This website has a lot of printed t-shirts and it's where I found this clip. I would love to have this shirt. Maybe someone will get it for me for my birthday? (Not so subtle hint!)

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Toy Museum

If you go to Beaver Island; you have got to go to the Toy Museum and Store! They are open daily from 11-4 and if you go at 11, they are packed! This is quite the place! The inside is packed with art supplies, jewelry supplies, old toy displays and then tons and tons of dime store plastic toys. I can't even begin to describe this. It's a definite must see, regardless of age and be sure to check out the huge supply of handmade buttons. I've got my "Obama Mama" one. They were out of the "Artists make terrible slaves" button that I was dying to have.

Leave it to Beaver

We just got back from a week on Beaver Island. Beaver Island is located in Lake Michigan about 25 miles north of Charlevoix; a two hour trip by ferry.

We rented a cottage and biked, for the most part, where we wanted to go. We did rent a Geo Tracker for a day. It was $50 for 24 hours and you needed to replace the gas; gas on the island was $5.49 a gallon.

It was a wonderfully relaxing week.

Oh, and I finished reading "Wicked" too. Great book! Definitely not for children. Has a few slow spots, but overall a great read.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

A quick check in...

I dropped all of my paintings off at the RCA office in Grand Rapids this past Tuesday morning. Feels nice to have them out of my basement and up someplace where someone will see and maybe enjoy them. There were six large pieces and three small ones.

The scales at Weight Watchers yesterday said that I have lost one more pound. Not as great as I would like; but it's one more gone and after eating all that great food on Friday night, I should be thankful that it was a one pound loss.

We are getting ready for our vacation next week. I'm trying to do some "mental rehearsing" for what I'm going to eat while I'm there and how I'm going to get through two weeks until a weigh in and still have a loss. Appears I'm going to have to psych myself up...

Like I said, we are getting ready for our vacation next week. We have rented a cottage on Beaver Island. We will be taking the bikes. We all have paniers and will be loading them up with our clothes etc. We are also each taking a small backpack.

Check back on Monday, August 11. I'll be back to work and should have pictures and more up then.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Another good weigh in.

I had another good weigh in yesterday. I lost 2.8 pounds over the last week. I'm amazed that I've had three good losses in a row. Last time, they seemed to drop off to the 1/2 pound loss per week, right away after the first week. I am exercising a half hour on the treadmill every morning and recording my points online. I think I might be overestimating the points sometimes, but I'm not sure how to remedy that. Better to overestimate I think.

I stopped by my favorite coffee shop this morning. They were slow, so I asked for the caloric content of the chocolate syrup they use in the Mochas. This way, if I decide to have one on occasion, I can, and I know how many points to record (It's six points for a 16oz. "why bother" mocha, by the way.) and yes, I did order one. I had 3/4 cup of Cinnamon Life Cereal for two points earlier, so, that makes eight points for breakfast today. Maybe zero point soup for lunch and two points worth of those All Bran Garlic Herb crackers.

I know, I sound like I'm obsessing over this, and to begin with, I do. I love the Weight Watchers program because when you are doing the program IT WORKS! Maintence is a whole 'nother thang...

Monday, July 21, 2008

Celebrity Collage by MyHeritage

I honestly don't think I look like any of these people. Maybe if I started with a better photo; this would've come out better. I didn't include the men that this thing says I look like. How incredibly wierd that was! You don't wanna know!

Something other than Weight Watchers

I made these eight cards yesterday for a monthly swap that I often take part in. The theme was "animals". When these swaps roll around, I tend to not have enough paper to make all the cards the same; so I used the "color combination" tool from and came up with lots of different combinations with the paper I did have. It's so much fun to try these different combinations. I think we all tend to gravitate toward the same ones over and over.
I really enjoy participating in these monthly swaps. I like the challenge of working with a theme you didn't pick. If you have a chance, participate in a swap or try the color tool above.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Incredible disappointment...

My son's tae kwon do master was just arrested this past Wednesday night for allegedly soliciting murder. How do you explain that to a ten year old who was taught by this person twice a week for three years within tae kwon do to honor and respect people? We've told him the basics and that he won't be returning to the school, we aren't even sure at this point if it will ever re-open, and that we do not want him being taught by someone like this. Sounds trite to say that, "He seemed like a nice guy. He didn't seem like someone who would do something like that." We knew something about problems with his ex, but because of his reputation in the community, never would've expected this.

(Side note: When I drove past the school this past Saturday, it was still open. I don't know who is teaching, but we won't be back. We don't need to be financing this individual. It sure would be nice to get a letter or some communication from someone at the school; but he was almost a one man show, so I don't expect that will happen. It may or may not change things, but it would be a step in a positive direction. Our son attended there twice a week for three years! I know, I know, innocent until proven guilty, but if it walks like a duck...)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Book Club...

I just started reading the book "Wicked!" which is completely unlike anything I have ever read before. I'm not sure what to make of it yet. I' ve heard lots of people say that they liked how it started; but that they tired of it later on. So, we'll see how it goes. So far, I would say if you are easily offended, this is NOT the book for you to even start.

I just found the paperback I lost, "Back on Blossom Street". I couldn't bear the thought of having to buy it again.

I'm not sure what I'll bring on vacation. I'd like something light like the "Blossom Street" books, but I don't have much left to read on this one. So, if you have any recommendations, bring 'em on.

Another 1.8 pounds gone, gone, gone!

Honestly, I will talk about something OTHER than Weight Watchers. Really, I will.

I lost another 1.8 pounds this past week. Now my daily points allowance has been dropped from 22 to 19 and that is causing me a little anxiety; but I know the program works and I will do it. I just need a day to adjust to the change. I've been exercising EVERY day and feel guilty if I don't do it in the morning, then I have to do it in the evening. So that is a good change. My son spends that half hour in the morning with me in the basement. Me on the treadmill and him on the futon either playing video games or watching TV. The distraction and company help the time go faster.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Four! Count 'em! Four pounds lost!

I just wanted to record that I've lost four pounds this first week back at Weight Watchers! My friend lost 4.8 and I'm so proud of her! I am so motivated right now. I even "kicked it up a notch" ( I HATE that phrase!) and pushed myself on the treadmill this morning to walk faster and on more of an incline. The other thing I'm going to do to help my motivation is to have a picture posted someplace that I always look at of me at my heaviest and me when I lost all the weight last time.

Yes, I will blog about something other than WW, honest.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Weight Watchers

Oops, (and) I (had to do) did it again!

I re-joined Weight Watchers after a four year absense and regaining all, plus two, pounds I lost five years ago. It's a great program. It worked for me before and I'm certain it will work for me again. I'm 154.4 pounds today and my goal is still set at 131 pounds. I'd love to be less than that and I really didn't want to have a goal, but since I'm a Lifetime Member, I think it's automatically set at whatever you first set it at. That screwed me up last time! I reached the goal, gave up and eventually it all came back. Hopefully, I've learned my lesson there. Again, I've joined with a friend.

I don't want to be this heavy anymore. I want to remember how I felt at this weight. I want to feel comfortable wearing anything in my closet; not just the elastic waist stretch pants. I want to wear the blue pants that are in my closet. I want my lower back and hips not to hurt anymore when I get up in the morning. I want more energy. I want ...

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

My Favorite "Summer Song". (Joe Satriani)

I just came across a blog where the author mentioned her favorite summer songs. This is mine and yes, it is called "Summer Song". It's quite a few years old now, but I still love it. I remember listening to it when my husband, then boyfriend, took me to the train in Chicago (December, 1992) and then again at our wedding reception (June, 1994). I still like Joe Satriani, but I must've really been going through a faze those two years. Enjoy it.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Paperback Swap

(I just signed up for this online book exchange and thought I would share the below info with you from their website. It's kind of wordy, but it really does tell it all. So far, I've sent out two books and have ordered one. So far, I really like the idea.)

Do you have any used paperback books lying around? I did, and I finally found a great way to share them with other people.

It seems that a few guys were sitting around one night talking about all the paperback books that they purchased over the years when they traveled on business. Each of them had a stack of books that they had read. So they decided to set up a web site that allows all of us to swap paperback books with each other. Now it's grown to include ALL books--hardcovers and audio too!

Let me tell you how it works because it is so easy. I listed a bunch of books on the site (you have to list at least 10 books to get in the club) and I got 2 free book credits to get me started. So you can order 2 books right away - free of charge and have them mailed directly to you. No strings attached. No gimmicks. No spam mail. Nothing! You just have to love reading.

Then when another member selects one of my books that I have listed, I mail it to them. Yes, I pay for the postage. But then I get a book credit and I can select a book that I want. So another Club Member returns the favor and mails me one of their books free of charge. For every book I mail out, I get another book in return - a true shared system!

And when someone requests one of your books, all you have to do is print a two page document on regular paper from your printer, and use them to wrap the book. The wrapper includes the mailing address and the amount of postage. Then drop the package in the outbound mail. Hey, most of the time you don't even need to go to the post office!

Right now the annual club membership is FREE! Eventually the founders will ask everyone to help contribute to pay for the upkeep of the web site, but for now the annual club membership is free. The annual dues will probably be between $10 and $20 based on the number of people in the club. But again, right now you don't even have to pay any dues for one year if you become a Charter Member.

You really need to check this out! And if you do sign up, please list my email ( in the referral section because then I get another free book. This is a great club

Wooden Bracelet

I bought this wood bracelet at Michael's the other day. They had them in their ad. I wood burned the design on it and filled it in with watercolor then coated it with some kind of triple thick, clear coating. I thought it turned out pretty well.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Drawing Day 08

Here are my drawings from Drawing Day. I got off to a good start; but didn't do as many later on in the day as I would've liked to. Oh well. This was a great exercise and I did draw more than I have in a long time. I also DID use the Moleskine book and it was wonderful. My son actually did a little drawing in it that day too.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

"New post" day and other news.

I haven't posted anything is quite awhile, so instead of spreading all these posts out over several days, I decided to share everything at once.

Please check out my "other" blog for a couple of new paintings too. There is an ATC sized one from a beach on PEI and one of "Lulu" that was done for a gift. I've started painting again since I've got a lot of photo reference material from our trip last summer to Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. I have a piece of 300# watercolor paper stretched on a board and will start the preliminary drawing soon. The photo I'm working from is the one from an earlier post of these lobster shacks on PEI (Prince Edward Island).

And...This Saturday, June 7 is DRAWING DAY! See the link to the right for more details. I'll be drawing in a Moleskine that I bought months ago and haven't touched because it's all nice and new and clean. But now I have this new idea (new to me at least) that I'm not going to save my sketchbooks, I'm going to USE them! What good are they if they are kept on the shelf?

Mom... Can I take apart my laptop?

Jarod came to me the other day and said, "Can I take apart my laptop?" This laptop was an old one that his grandparents gave him and really didn't work any longer. So, I said, "Sure." and take it completely apart he did. Above is a picture of the keyboard that now serves as a nameplate on his bedroom door; complete with his name spelled out. (Just his first name though, since there is obviously only one of each letter on a keyboard and we ran out of letters quick.)

Artistic License

I painted this license plate when I got this car back in 2002 (I think.) I wanted to say to the public that, "I'm an artist." I used to not be able to say that. I always thought that you had to be doing something full time and earning a living at it to say that that was what you were. I didn't want to show my art. I didn't want people to think that it wasn't good or that they could do better. I cared what people thought too much. To be honest, I still care what people think of me and my art, but it no longer stops me from saying that, "I'm an artist." See the video in the post below.

Mixed Media With Suzi Blu: yOu aRe an aRtist!

If you don't think you are an artist... watch this video.

Hooping update

This hula hooping thing is far more complicated than I originally thought. I've got my first hoop done and have been trying to practice and watch the videos on You Tube; but I still don't have it down. I guess I need to practice more.

We think we are going to get a video camera soon because we gave Bob a glider ride for his 45th birthday and he would love to take video to document this flight. So, if we do, I may be able to post my own hooping video or at least my progress. We'll see.

I still want to make a slightly heavier hoop when I can find the right tubing sold by the foot. I just don't want to buy a whole roll.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Coffee cozies and current projects

I came across this pattern for felted coffee cozies a little while back and with the help in the form of donated scrap wool yarn from a co-worker friend, I now have three done. They are so cute and the colors are great! Can't wait to use them myself. No burnt fingers from too hot cups and sometimes my coffee shop doesn't give them out. I really like the feel good idea of reusing these instead of throwing out the paper ones all the time too.
On a side note, I finally got my scrapbooking done! Last night! Current through May 16 too! Projects are finishing up. I've still got two scarfs in the works and would love to have mittens done before winter hits again; but I really have to start painting again. I seem to have lots of excuses to keep from starting again. It's just been a long time and maybe I'm a little afraid to see how rusty I've gotten with the paint brush. I really would love to show some new work too. If you want inspiration check out Suzi Blu's videos on youtube or her blog.