about the artist

Archive for December, 2012

All Wrapped Up

Thursday, December 20th, 2012

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I am trying so hard to stay calm and organized and to enjoy the holiday preparations. Yesterday and today, I accomplished some goals. I was late, but I mailed my cards and Christmas letter yesterday. I also started work on creating personalized bags for each family member.

I stenciled their names on the bags, first. Then, I stenciled a design over and around the names. I used metallic silver paint on some and white on others.




On the back of each one, I printed a heart because I love them all so much.


These are the stencils that I used.


Stephanie’s name is the longest so, I finished printing it on the back.



Each bag contains the same thing, which I can’t divulge now. I wrapped each gift in tissue paper.


And here is a grouping under the tree.



Paige and her mom and dad are arriving Christmas Eve by plane. Lisa and Clay are driving up on Christmas Day, staying in Ashland, and then driving the rest of the way on the 26th. We are really concerned about the nasty weather and road closures and hope so much that they will be able to make the trip, safely.

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Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

WW 12-19

Busy, Busy

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

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I am busy, busy getting ready for Christmas. I have phone calls, e-mails and text  messages going back and forth with the California peeps so that I know what to have around for the vegans and the baby. I have been finishing my Christmas shopping. Tomorrow, I am going to personalize and decorate brown bags for gifts that every one will be getting from us. I am looking forward to getting messy with some paint.

I thought I would share this poem that was written by a member of Trinity and was read at Lessons and Carols last week-end. I love all the artsy references.

God Uses Everything

On the stout slanted trunk of a great tree
God is painting with shadows and light,
with dry and damp, moss and bark,
falling needles and swaying boughs
set against dark poles and slivers of sky.
Beside the trunks low bend,
half-naked shrubs with slender stems
lift their few tattered red leaves –
remains of autumn glory
still useful to God the artist.

It’s been rumored that God’s an Impressionist
who savors iridescence, a Colorist
charging blue into shadows and gold into sunsets,
a master of rainbow reflections
enamored of shimmer,
glazing with dazzle and sparkle.
That’s true as far as it goes,
but actually God’s the founder
of the Ashcan School.

God sees the beauty in everything:
rusted iron and peeling paint,
faded cotton and wrinkled silk,
curdled milk and spilled ink.
Everything’s grist for God’s mill,
everything’s paint for God’s brush:
galaxies and electrons,
horses, seahorses, and horseflies,
wheat and chaff,
the blazing and the burnt,
trees like poles and trees that are bent.

It’s easy to brighten a canvas
with scarlet and crimson and ultramarine,
but God creates color and splendor
from smudges and stains, streaks and spatters
that I’d leave out or scrape off or cover up.
God omits nothing.

I’m one of the pigments God chooses;
I’m a patch in the pattern God paints.
I contribute my all to the vast composition –
my very few talents and many mistakes.
Although I can’t see the Big Picture
and frequently salt my small corner with tears,
God cheerfully scumbles in even my fears.

— Ames Dee, Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Portland, OR

A Birthday

Monday, December 17th, 2012

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Mia is officially a teen-ager – thirteen!! She really wanted a Wacom Bamboo tablet. I had one that I have never used so now, it is hers. She was really happy.


Isn’t she a beauty? In this photo, she looks so much like her mom when she was younger. Miles came over and spent the day with us while Mia and Steph had a girls day out.

Tonight, we went to Papa Haydn’s for dinner. They are known for their desserts. Mia chose a pecan brittle cheesecake for her treat.



We had a great time with the family. Only one week until the rest of them show up! Look at this sweet child! I can’t wait for her to brighten our home.





Sunday, December 16th, 2012

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A week-end of mixed feelings. So much sadness in my heart for those children and their teachers. I have cried many tears. They won’t stop, but after a nice week-end with Mr C, they are coming less often and I have a feeling of hope creeping back into my soul. I have tried to understand my deep sorrow and it helps that I know I am not alone. Our church was filled to capacity today. There were many people not normally there on a Sunday. Facebook has been rather quiet except for the outrage over what happened and the call for stronger gun control.

After too much TV time yesterday, Mr C and I went out to buy some Christmas cards and wrapping and then we went out to dinner at a new restaurant. Today, at church, I helped with the Sunday School art class. It was such a joy to be with these children. This afternoon we went to the annual Lessons and Carols at Trinity. It was a beautiful service. Tonight, we watched a rebroadcast of the interfaith service with Obama. I was happy to hear him say that he will use the full power of his office to do something to end the horror that keeps plaguing us with one mass shooting after another.

I am hopeful that this horrible event will be the turning point for our country. I don’t want to be a Pollyanna so I admit that it is going to be tough, but if you don’t have hope, what do you have?

On another note, I saw the Physical Therapist on Friday. I have no knee problems and no hip problems. My pain is due to a nerve in my left hip that gets pinched when I am in a forward flex position such as sitting, walking up stairs or up hill, or carrying something heavy. The fix is to bend my spine the other way. I am doing gentle stretches on the floor or standing, when I am away from home and can’t get in a prone position. I do ten reps twice each time, repeated every 2 – 3 hours. It is working! I have to go back in a couple of weeks to see what comes next.

Here is proof that I have always been sort of crafty. My cousin’s wife sent me this photo and wondered if I had made the two angels that are on the left and right of the photo.



Well, yes I did – way back in the early 70’s, before we moved to California. She has kept them all these years and gets them out every year. I love how I worked with that paisley fabric!!

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Tomorrow is Mia’s 13th birthday – hard to believe. Miles is coming to spend some time with us while Steph takes Mia out for some girl time. Then, we will go out to dinner.

Hope arouses, as nothing else can arouse, a passion for the possible.~ William Sloan Coffin