The Best Day

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Yesterday, for my husband, ranks up as one of the more memorable days in his life and I was along for the ride. We have a small season ticket package for the Detroit Tigers and with that comes some perks. Our ticket organizer Michelle called Tom in July to see if we would like to attend a batting practice on the field. We said “of course”, and coordinated a date that worked for all of us, August 27th. Tom had attended a game in July and snapped a picture of someone that he wanted them to autograph. I printed it off and here is Tom, organizing his picture and book he wanted to get some autographs in.  This is our parking spot in the parking garage. Would you believe I had to ask Tom what floor we were on when coming in to go home? I really paid attention didn’t I, and I even took the picture? That was about 6 hours later in my defense though.

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Great view from the parking garage. Ford Field in the background (Detroit Lions Football), Comerica Park (Tigers) in the middle and the the revolving Red Wings Hockey puck in the foreground. It belongs to the Hockey Town Cafe.

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This is where the new Detroit Red Wings hockey arena is being built. It is going to be a fabulous complex of apartments, townhouses, restaurants, shops, etc. What used to be there was a very, very blighted neighborhood. It wasn’t a safe place. One time Tom and I were waiting in traffic to get on to the interstate on a street in this area. There was a female and two males going into an old abandoned gas station. One male would come out, then the other male would go in. They had a brown bag they were drinking out of and it was just not good. We knew what was going on and it really bothered me.

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In 2010 we had been watching the prices of these condos. The real estate market was tanked, the prices in Detroit were really low and we saw these get down to maybe $58,000 and we really considered buying one. Especially since it was two blocks from Comerica Park. After witnessing the gas station incident I didn’t want to stay around that area. We could kick ourselves now! Look at the prime area they are going to be across from! We didn’t have a crystal ball…it would have come in handy though.

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Coming down the elevator, the side of the Fox Theater building. I loved the ornate carvings.

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I also liked this sign. I made me wonder just how good those seats were.

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We were to be there by 10:45 so we made our way up to Comerica Park, which by the previous pictures, was just a few blocks away. We got there in time to see one of the Los Angeles Angels bus drive in. Tom could kind of tell who they were and he thought is was the pitchers. So that was fun.

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We were to check in at the Administrative Offices. Go through the metal detector and say who we were here for.

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We loved the pictures in the office. Tom was just in Heaven just being in this office. My job is to document. I am enjoying myself also, but not like my husband. It is like he is absorbing it in.

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Players important in the history of the Detroit Tigers.

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A very historical picture with Babe Ruth in the middle.

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Everything has the Old English D on it. Even the hand dryers in the bathrooms.

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A picture of Kirk Gibson hitting a home run in the 1984 World Series. I have included the video of it...it was great off Goose Gossage. Kirk Gibson went on to hit another in 1988 playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He then went on to be the manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks until recently he has come back to the Tigers and is a radio commentator. At the beginning of the season he discovered he had Parkinsons Disease. I truly believe it will not get the best of him and the disease has a good strong opponent. An interesting note….the Tigers Wives, this week, had an online auction, as they do every year. Kirk Gibson sent a baseball to Goose Gossage to sign and write “I should have walked him” and then Kirk also signed the baseball and it was in the auction. You really need to watch the video to understand this.  I don’t know how much it sold for.

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This sweet little girl was keeping her grandpa busy while he was waiting for someone else in the same area. Even the carpet has old English D’s on it. So Michelle came down and said that batting practice had been cancelled. This didn’t surprise us any…that’s the way things go with us. For example: 1. When we went to Virginia we drove to Chincoteague Island to see the ponys….the road to the ponys was closed. 2. We went to Indianapolis for a weekend and the room down the hall from us caught on fire. 3. We went to Chicago and had a weekend from hell because our car kept breaking down on the freeway. 4. I went to a ballgame in Chicago and a vendor was throwing peanuts to the guy behind me and the package hit me in the side of the face. 5. Again the vacation to Virginia Beach resulted in changing hotels because our hotel was under a loud and uncomfortable renovation. So we were not surprised that this happened and we have learned through the years to prepare ourselves. Also they had a night game the night before and Justin Verlander almost had a no hitter, so they probably whooped it up. Maybe they should have had batting practice because they lost the game 2 to 0…and the pitcher did a great job! So Michelle was so sorry and told us to reschedule and that she would get us a signed baseball and so we were happy. She said she would bring it to our seats. Believe you me….we were still just tickled to be there!

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We left and just started walking around because we had some time to kill. Look at this view down the street. Ford Field on the left, the GM headquarters straight ahead and Comerica Park on the right.

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When we go to a football game, we spend time here in the Bud Light Party Zone. It’s great, they have food and drinks, and I think they are complementary.

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This plaque I had not noticed before on the side of Comerica Park. It was interesting. There is so much to see, I am not surprised I missed it.

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Just a good close up of the pregame screen. The graphics were really good because that A looks like it is popping off the screen.

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We were going to go eat at Cheli’s who is a hockey player for the Red Wings. He used to play for the Blackhawks also and I don’t know who else. But before that next door to the restaurant is an sports apparel shop that we looked around in.

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It was neat because it had actual items from old stadiums.

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Close up you could tell this was old and worn. Such memorabilia!

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Also old and worn. 20 years old.

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Walking back to Cheli’s…I liked this old doorway. Cheli’s then was full and the line was out the door so we moved on and went in to sit and have a drink before the stadium opened at 11:30.

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Doing a little people watching while we are in the stadium waiting for our autograph person. Friends have taken a day to come to the ball park.

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This guy is hoping to catch a fly ball or a foul ball.

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Tom has spotted his guy and he is showing him the picture. He is telling him about it and it’s a good sign that he is smiling.

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I see he is now talking with his hands and it looks like they are starting to move.

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John Keating says that he would be glad to sign it but “Hell, we can get you a better picture than that”. Come on up!

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Tom says, “I have my wife, she will take the picture” and John Keating says “bring her up too, she can be in it.”

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So here we are, and look at Tom….just loving it. He is having such a great time!

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Here is Michelle, our ticket organizer, she has just delivered our signed ball to our seats. She said, I got J.D.Martinez to sign it, I thought that would be a good one. I agreed, she picked a good one. Let me tell you friends, he is on fire. He was a great acquisition for the Tigers. The fun just keeps on coming!

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Our signed baseball by J.D. Martinez, No.28. He hit a triple which was great! Nobody could get him home though.

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To end our day at the ballpark, Paws was talking with a lovely elderly lady and giving her a t-shirt in the aisle beside our seats. It was a fun day! Thanks for sharing it with me.

New Print in Etsy Shop-Mixed Media Cape Hatteras

Hatteras with Watermark

A fun new picture that I finished tonight. A mixed media painting of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse and seashore. I have many elements in this as in a sea turtle with his tracks in the sand. This was done with Goldens fiber paste. The trees have torn paper and the lighthouse and birds also have paper. Acrylic paint, ink and oil paintstiks were also used.. This was a fun painting to do and a print can be purchased in my Etsy Shop. Etsy.com/Shop/HeresMyHart. Thanks for stopping!

More than peas in a peapod

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The other night Tom came home with this little package from our friend Darwin who is an agricultural specialist. He must have picked this up at a farm show where Brodbeck Seeds were doing a little marketing. I thought this was quite cute!

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Here the hidden product was a T-shirt still retaining the shape of the pea pod.

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Unfolded now and the both of us grabbed each end and pulled. This is supposed to be an extra large. Darwin said it’s kinda hard to get the wrinkles out and I do believe him. We will see what a washing can do to it.

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I picked up two new succulents at IKEA a couple of weeks ago. Eventually I will plant them but I am still just learned how to take care of these kinds of plants. I was given a lovely container a couple of months ago and didn’t do a good job at all. So I am trying again and educated myself a bit more by going to the site succulents and sunshine. The name and the cuteness of the site won me over. She looked like someone I would like. That’s what it’s all about!

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Shelves #2 and #3 were put up this weekend. I am sure I can figure this out but I let Tom do it because of the holes that get drilled into the wall. If something happens I don’t want that on my shoulders! I have learned a few things in 35 years of marriage! He looks at my bag of shelves and says with a raised eyebrow “you have a lot of shelves in there”…. yep…he will just have to go with it. There was a little grumbling…but all in fun.

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I started a new mixed media painting of a beachy, Cape Hatteras lighthouse scene. It is on a 24 X 24 canvas. I first started with a coat of gesso to give it tooth, so everything will stick to it. Now the canvas I use has a coat already on it and it would be fine but I do it more for me. You have a blank canvas and by putting something that drys clear it helps getting over the trepidation of starting a blank canvas.I then put a wash of blue that will have some runs and spots that are darker over the whole board. I then drew lightly where I was going to place my scene. In 1999 they moved this lighthouse because the ocean was getting too close to it. It is not at the waters edge, it is really in the middle of a forest now. I wanted it to be the prominent focal point and to stand boldly and tall in the painting. I wanted to get the subject out of the way first. I drew it in, got the stripes positioned the way I felt they were correct. I then decided to paper piece the lighthouse in. I have heavy, outdated wallpaper books. I used tracing paper to get each stripe right and so they would piece together exactly. I didn’t need to trace the bottom, I was able to just cut pieces of wallpaper for that area. I painted the top, or the lantern part with black acrylic paint. The other elements that will be on this painting is the ocean, the beach, sand dunes with sea grass, trees shore birds and a sea turtle. I will not only be using acrylic paint but fiber and molding paste, ink and torn paper to name a few.

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Saved the rest of my wash to be used at a later time. Little jars work great. Please check back for updates on the cape or you can sign up with your email to automatically get the blog post in your mail box. The sign up box is on the first page of the website.

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See that says October of 2014? That’s when I signed up for this course. I had not been able to get to it and it will all disappear in October of 2015. I have downloaded all the lessons so I can do them at my leisure and I started the first one this week. The very first lesson I did a very long time ago which was to make this note book. All it is is one of the composition books that has the hard back. It has gesso and ink brayered onto it and then stamps pressed into it. I used washi tape and liquid pearls and printed off the picture of the class for the front. It was fun to make and I even made a few for my friends.

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I started taking notes on the first video and also just showing that it is just one of the school composition books.

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Now the reason I decided to sign up for this course was because I needed major help on drawing faces and I wanted to get better. The first artist was Jane Davenport and the title of the lesson was the nymph. In this lesson she was using the work of John William Waterhouse which focused primarily on beautiful women. So I chose my picture and just started in drawing it. Now in my defense on the top one I was using a china pencil, which you can’t erase and I was just trying to get shapes from the face first. BTW a china pencil is one that marks tires to see if the car has moved. They write on everything. The top picture looks like a mean, mad, old woman. I just used a #2 pencil on the bottom lady and it’s better but it still doesn’t look like my chosen picture.

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The next thing we were to do was take some gesso and acrylic paint and spread it on a journal page. She had a really neat antique book that she wanted to draw in but I had none of those available and just put it in my sketchbook, and it is to dry completely. We used colored pencils for this area and drawing on the substance it really grabs hold of the colored pencil and felt good. Also generally colored pencil cannot be erased but on this substance it can. My top lady has kind of a Richard Nixon nose and my bottom lady has a Gaston chin of Beauty and the Beast. I am going to watch her video again and try a third face on here. The old adage….back to the drawing board!

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Here is my lovely lady that I chose and you can also tell why I want to work on my faces. Practice, Practice, Practice! The one problem I see that I need to do is tilt her head forward a bit.  The title of this picture is “Destiny” and I found an interesting site called Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood that gave description about this picture. Thanks for stopping by!

 

Love this Little City

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While I was walking the two blocks of Downtown I took some other pictures also. I like that one could walk several feet and come across these Huge planted pots. They were really lovely and I will be showing several throughout this post.

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The iron ornate bench and the plants looked like quite an inviting place to sit.

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This vintage light pole had much going on, flags, banners, lights.

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The flag you see in here is not on top of that building, it is on top of the courthouse which is later in this post. I liked the way it was standing up there so tall and proud.

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There was much to look at in the courthouse square. Not only sculptures but memorial items also. This is for all the conflicts and the men and women who served in them. WW I, WWII, Korean, Vietnam and then it was added later….all other conflicts. It looked like an eternal flame in the middle. I couldn’t discern if it was lit or it is just noticeable at dark.

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Another huge pot full of zinnias this time. One of my favorite flowers.

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This is a memorial of the soldiers who lost their lives in the Vietnam era from Adams County Indiana. It is the other half of the Conflicts Memorial.

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A plaque in front of a huge pine tree that was planted in 1936, 79 years ago. It was in honor of the 1936 centennial court of honor. It goes on to name Miss Decatur, Miss Adams County, Miss Indiana and then the ladies on the court.

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It has grown a lot in those 79 years. It has also seen much progress past it’s branches.

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I was really delighted when I found this plaque on a huge rock. It is in memory of Gene Stratton Porter, Author of nature storybooks. She came to Decatur as a bride and lived in Geneva, IN in Adams county where she wrote her first 10 books. Here home and grounds can be toured in Geneva at Limberlost Swamp and also the Cabin at Wildflower Woods in Rome City, IN. It is very well maintained and they are two of my favorite places to go.

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I enjoyed this brick path that was made to walk by the memorial rock. Isn’t the rock just huge?

Indiana Woodlands with watermark

I painted a botanical poster of many specimens that I took pictures of from the Wildflower Woods  grounds. It can be purchased as a print from my Etsy shop.

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The colors on these plants just stood out and I had to include them.

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I liked the ice cream cone on top of the sandwich board for the ice cream shop. I love the ingenious way they added sprinkles with colored electrical tape.

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Here is the very tall courthouse. The earlier picture of the flag is what is missing here. It’s a very nice building and I saw many people going in and out, it’s a busy place. Hope you enjoyed this small tour of the downtown. There really is more to see, good restaurants, shops, antique mall to name a few. Thanks for stopping.

 

Sculptures

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I visited Decatur, IN today to get some pictures of the Sculpture Tour. There are sculptures all over the town but I just chose the 2 blocks of the downtown area and there were many to look at. First the title then the sculpture.

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This one didn’t wow me at first.

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I then went to the opposite side and saw that it had a solar panel. It must light up at dark, which i then thought was pretty neat.

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DSC_0827 I totally could see the upset birds. Sculptures are neat because it takes alot of work and physics to get everything to balance out and stay put. I thought this was very interesting.

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Closup of the Avians

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This was my favorite. It took a lot to make this look like a porcupine out of rebar.

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The side closest to the road.

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His face, very clever!

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Another favorite

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Little problem with my pictures. This goes with the soldier above.

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Where the brochures are kept telling where the sculptures are located.

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Another favorite

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Looking very close it is mainly made of knives, forks and spoons.

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The eagle

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Not sure why it is called “Seats Taken” but it is nice.

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So sorry that my pictures are not working together. Some days are like that. Hope your day is better.

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Nature

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This week we had a leafhopper check in with us. I also saw him on the pool fence too. I am sure he was the same fellow. Why wouldn’t he be?:)

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At the end of May I took a snapshot of the neighbors pine tree. I was amazed at all the new pine cones it was growing only on the upper half.

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Here it is last week. The pine cones are turning brown.

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This Great Horned Owl is so cool. My brother-in-law Keith took this picture. It was sitting on the fence behind their house. To me it looks like his head is turned around because those have got to be his tail-feathers. Such a wise and serious face.

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This Luna Moth decided to stop by for a few hours and hang around. It lost the two long hangy wings so I wonder if it has a harder time flying. Those decorations on the wings look like they are painted on.

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I follow a blog that does much journal drawing. She is always stopping and drawing the pods left over from the flowers and they are very neat. So here I snapped a photo of daylily pods and I think I got an extra bug on it for good measure. They are interesting and the blog is Dispatch from LA…dispatchfromla.com.

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Different daylily pods.

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Zinnia blooming from my planted seeds. They were called giants on the seed package….they are kind of tall but I was expecting a much bigger bloom. Still pretty though.

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Thought I would get a shot of my ornamental grass by the dryer vent. See all the lint on the ground? It is nice and full this year.

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The bloom looks like a fuzzy catapiller.

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Late season poppies. Pretty but a little worn around the edges. Have you had any interesting nature creatures or blooms stop by your home? I am very interested, tell me about them and leave me a message. Thanks for stopping!

 

New Stuff for Art

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This last weekend myself and three other friends went to Cincinnati and made a stop at IKEA. My friend Michelle said have you seen the the rolling cart that is popular? I said no, but please show it to me. She said that she bought one in December and the price had dropped on it. It came in three colors and the turquoise seems to be a favorite. I was quite taken with it and picked one up. This is how it was packaged and I was getting ready to assemble it.

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Here it is, 45 minutes later. Rolls well and is nice and sturdy. When I have a project going I am having the supplies in the top at my fingertips, that way it will leave more room on the desktop.

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I ordered this bundle, which had golden paints and 3 DVD’s and a new Cloth, Paper Scissor magazine. These are a collaboration with Carrie Schmitt and Amy Jones. I am excited about using these different paints and some of the substances I have not tried before. I like to keep learning all the time!

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Carrie Schmitt has a story in the newest Cloth-Paper-Scissors magazine and that is why it is included in the bundle. I look forward to watching these and making more flower paintings.

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I had picked this hand printed canvas container at a museum of art and decided to move my watercolor tubes so they were more easily accessible. They are so little and do not take up much space. There is even room for more.

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I needed some large letter stencils for a painting I had in mind. I found this bundle at Meijer. They came with eight background stencils that I just love. I was floored that it was only $12.00!

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Not that great of a picture but here is the name of the stencils if you were wondering.

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In the mail this week I received a big, fat, Dick Blick catalog. That is just heaven!

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Also while at IKEA I picked up the iron holder. My husband put this up for me today. It frees up space on the counter and looks to neat and tidy. Picture ledge #1 was installed at the same time. I bought several to put throughout the room to store paintings that I will be selling. The Love picture with the heart is for sale in my Etsy shop Etsy.com/Shop/HeresMyHart. The other picture is one my sister Linda picked up for me. It is an older Papyrus print. I wanted to see how well a couple of pictures fit on the shelf. Lot’s of fun stuff!! Thanks for stopping by…..

Book Review-Billy Joel The Definitive Biography by Fred Schruers

Billy Joel

I love the Kennedy Center Awards and when I watched them in December of 2013 Billy Joel was receiving one along with Carlos Santana, Herbie Hancock and Martina Arroyo. When I saw Billy Joel I thought, what has happened to him? Where did his hair go? Then I was amazed to realize that he was 64 years old! I was trying to think where the time went. I lost track of him. I remember watching M-TV in the 80’s and his Uptown Girl video along with Innocent Man and then my life must have taken over. After watching the Kennedy Center Awards I was totally infatuated with Billy all over again. I couldn’t find out enough information about him. Early in 2014 my husband had gotten an email from The Palace at Auburn Hills announcing that Billy Joel was coming there for a concert, would I like to go? I gave a resounding yes! There were songs I had never heard before, And So it Goes for example. I thought that was one of the prettiest songs I had ever heard. When we got back home I downloaded on my phone all the music I could find from Amazon. I would listen to it going to work every morning. I was amazed at all the styles that he wrote in, blue grass, doo wop, and was again amazed. I ordered this book and am glad I did because it filled in blank spots for me. He is a genuinely caring person and a bit naive where he thought the best of everyone and he was taken advantage of.  I love his New York slang, especially the words chutzpah and schtik. The book ends with he and his newest romance of which he got married to on July 4th of this year. He just became a new father yesterday with a little girl, Della Rose. He is now 66 years old, has had a double hip replacement and is touring to sold out crowds. I was glad to see that he is open to collaborating with other musicians to make some songs and, to maybe write some music for movies. I personally would like to make a trek to Madison Square Garden to attend a concert there before he decides he doesn’t want to do it anymore. And that’s what he says in the book, he can make that choice. When it is not fun or if he doesn’t think that he is doing it well anymore then he will call it off. Thinking about it makes me sad. I can’t imaging a world without Billy Joel.

New Print–Love

Red Heart with watermark

I just finished this vibrant painting. It is named “Love” and is done with mixed media. There are two quotes written in the flower: There isn’t anyone you couldn’t love once you have heard their story…Mary Lou Kownacki Love means to love that which is unlovable; or it is no virtue at all…G.K. Chesterton. The mediums that I used are paper, acrylic paint, oil paintstiks, canvas, glaze pen, white ink, printer, rubberstamps and ribbon. This print is available in my Etsy shop: Etsy.com/Shop/HeresMyHart.

flat art

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This last weekend my gal friends and I made our usual August trek to Cincinnati for the Stampaway rubberstamping convention. We stopped at a Chuys Tex-Mex restaurant outside of Dayton and the interior was so interesting I wanted to share. This is very flat and colorful art that adorned the walls in our dining room. The single portraits all were actors and had their names at the bottom. That was good because some were not recognizable. I would recommend this restaurant, the food was very good but I especially loved the ranch/jalapeno dip they brought out with the salsa and chips. I could not stop eating it!!

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Another art piece on the wall behind our table. My friend Theresa there in the left corner. The tiles on the walls were just so lovely.

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Yet another painting, I was not sure it those were hands or feet reaching above the sitting women. We all took a consensus and decided on hands.

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The waiting area was full so we decided to step out into the vestibule and that’s when I decided to share the decorating. Loved the door handles made of wrapped tortilla 3-D art.

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Gotta have a selfie, whether they turn out decent or not. Theresa and myself.

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My other two gal friends waiting patiently, L-Toni, R- Michelle.

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The tiles on the floor were fabulous. In the quilting world those patterns are tumbling blocks and flying geese.

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Better picture of the stars and Theresa shoes.

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The walls were painted with so many decorative designs and colors.

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Another area of design. My only complaint was that with all the hard surfaces, the accoustics were not good and the music was too loud. It was hard to talk between each other.

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I was standing in line at the Gary Burlin booth admiring all the different colors on the displays. I was sad that they were a bit fuzzy but you get the idea, I probably had too many items for purchase in my hands.

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So many lovely and colorful markers. It’s heaven for crafters and artists.