Unconditional Love

Last year I painted this mixed media picture of a cat with all different designs and colors, because cats come that way. This cat is lying in the grass and batting at a feather. There is a monarch butterfly and a bird, all the things that cats like to chase. It is titled “Cat Love” and the inspiration was about all the cats I have had in my life. My first cat I remember…Tutor…when I was very young….to the six cats we have now. Yes….six. My sister Linda bought the original but so many look at the print and sing the words, or other cat lovers just go awwww, because they understand and feel it.

Pavel….came to our porch one cold March day. Hungry with an infected bite on his back. He is named after a Detroit Red Wings hockey player,

Here are the other five, (from bottom left) Pookey, Sophie, Lily, Mama and Miggy. Each one has a story. They were all interested in this new toy and see that sock? Lily is always dragging them out and doing her special sock meow. We find them all over the house.

When I was at the Louisville show, October 2017, a customer asked when I was going to do a picture for dog lovers. So this is the dog I used for the painting to complement the “Cat Love”. Her name is Mackie and she is in our cousins family. She is a Labradoodle and I love this picture with her nose so close to the camera. I bet she was interested in some snacky snack.

I also used her on a postcard to benefit Artlink here in Fort Wayne. Artists donate a handmade postcard that patrons can buy for their fundraiser.

Very early stages of the painting. It is on a 10 X 10 stretched canvas. I am using pieces of textured wallpaper and attaching them with gel medium.

The elements that I want to include have been added to be painted. Texture has been added through stenciling and paints. The nose and eyes have been painted in.

The completed painting, “Unconditional Love”. No matter who you are, your dog loves you. This dog has adoring eyes, a squirrel to chase, a leash to go for a walk with, a spiffy red, white and black ball to play catch with. Along with all this she is thinking about dog treats. Dogs are your companion, they need to be treated kindly and we need to take care of the animals. This is why I decided to donate $5.00 to the Fort Wayne Animal Care and Control for every print that I sell of this painting. I am only making 2000, so they are a special limited edition group. Fort Wayne Animal Care and Control have many good programs in place to take care of the strays and animals relinquished to them. Just recently they treated a dog with a bullet wound, many animals get adopted through retail rescue, they have a community cat program that spay and neuter cats and then put them back in the area they were found and make sure they have shelters and food. This way the cat population gets under control. These are just a few programs and I am sure there are many more. I do know that they will always need food and veterinary care. So if you would like to help, a print can be ordered in my Etsy shop. If you would like to see the other programs that are going on at FWACC click here. I know they take volunteers too.


Organize and Maintain

The words of the year…..Organize and Maintain. It may take me all of 2018 before I accomplish my goal. I am working on organizing my photos on the computer. I have 12,000 and I started moving them around and it was not going smoothly then I (AH HA) remembered my photoshop elements program that has a photo organizer on it. I got them all copied into it (that’s how I knew I had 12,000). Now researching how to tag, categorized, save to an external drive also, so I don’t lose them. It has been a real joy looking at pictures that I forgot about, like this one. I painted this for a religion class-Religions East and West-for extra credit. I believe the word was beauty and this may be a Chinese Robin on a Dogwood. This painting must be in my portfolio folder.

I took a black and white photography class where we used the darkroom and developed our own film. The assignment was to take a photo that was not good and color it using different mediums. My husband with his sports and teams that he likes. I think I used marker, pen acrylic ink.

One year I bought these vibrant geraniums to sit in front of the garage. I love this red.

Red tulips from our garden.

This was for a 2D class. We were to do a color wheel in an unusual way. I took fabric I had and made a small quilt. I need to find this also, I don’t think I quilted it! With the color wheel then I put neutral borders. It was fun….now where is that quilt! Oh and other items on my list to organize….email messages, I started out with 32,000 emails. I am making new folders and the sweep button really works well. I have basement storage space I want to utilize better, a pantry that needs organized and my side of the closet needs a lot of attention.

Violet Grace and From the Garden

Earlier I did a post on this painting. It was a commissioned painting for a friend, Melody. Instead of flowers she asked to have memorial painting for her friend Laura who had a grandchild pass away. They have been friends for nearly 50 years.

Because of Laura’s long hours she works as a nurse they were able to finally get her and her painting together at the hospital. I understand that she was very touched with her Violet Grace. She looks like a nurse that I would love to have take care of me, what a lovely lady. Thank you Laura for your dedication! To read more about this painting look at the post A Memorial-Violet Grace in November 2017.

I wanted to share this beautiful frame that Melody found to put “From the Garden” print in. It is just perfect and breathtaking. Melody worked with my husband at the Indiana Department of Revenue and has been a huge supporter of my art. Thank you Melody. Both the painting and prints can be found in my etsy shop.

Artlink Regional Artist Exhibition

Last night was the opening reception for the Regional Exhibition. An artist could submit 5 entries and one of mine was accepted, “From the Garden”.

Here is is on the far right. It looked pretty on the wall with the other two.

The next pieces are ones that I thought noteworthy. This one is called “Blacklist”. The subject matter is the Holocaust. Inside the little doors on black paper are names. Up close the children were very mesmerizing. Not a light picture but done very well.

This is called “View of Florence”. It is done with very thick oils. It took everything I had not to touch it. I was wondering if all the layers of oils were even dry.

This one is called “Fungal Bloom IV”. It is made with Fungus, gold leaf, birch plywood, spray paint.

“Moon Garden” on a 36 X 36 Canvas. All Acrylic Paint done beautifully.

You understand as well as I do. That’s all I know.

Beautifully done with Fabric.

“Twister” acrylic paint and PVC panel.

My husband renamed this piece-Mob taking their work home. It was just sitting on the floor…Quirky, but a definite conversation starter.

This is a woodcut, that was hand colored and glow paint was used for the light coming from the flying saucer. It is called “I want to believe”.

Burning – encaustic and mixed media. I thought these pieces were noteworthy and I feel honored that a painting I created is hanging with many other artists in a gallery.

Best Buttercream Frosting and Cat Shenanigans

The Christmas Baking is underway. I have used this cut out recipe for 37 years now. We received it along with others for a wedding gifts and it’s the gift that keeps on giving. This is a triple batch. They are so good you could eat them without frosting and they do not need cooled before I roll them out.

This is the best tasting homemade buttercream frosting I have come across. It is not too sweet, it is smooth and I love the different flavorings that it calls for.


RECIPE: 1/2 cup Vegetable shortening… 4 cups powdered sugar… 5 Tablespoons water…. 1/2 t. salt…. 1 t. vanilla…. 1/2 t. almond flavoring…. 1/4 t. butter flavoring.  Mix it together until smooth and creamy.

I was trying out some torn paper flowers that I am going to use in a painting soon. They turned out fine and are fun to make too.

The next few pictures are the cat shenanigans that have happened this week. If you saw these on facebook, please bare with me.


She was stealth. Plugged in the iron, turned my back and turned back around, there she was. 

Look at me, look at me. Just keeping everyone company up there.

I pulled this from the archives. It’s amazing to me that this little kitten in June.

Has turned into this big guy a few short months later.

I love this picture! We have this tree in a box window that looks out over the front of the house. It’s a favorite of the cats.

This little guy is the cat above and below. They stay kittens such a short period of time.

I am invisible.

He needs to be careful, he is growing so fast he might not be able to get out!

Love to see this big tree it makes the room so warm. I have a time getting the angel on top though. I have to remember to attach her to the top first before we add the last set of branches. Yesterday watched the classics, Rudolph, Frosty and then Elf. That one always makes me laugh. I am going to put in : It’s a Wonderful Life today. Gotta get those cookies frosted! Hope your preparations are coming along well.


Katherine Hepburn

In Bar Harbor Maine this summer there was a second hand book store right next to the library. I spent a little time there and discovered some really good finds. This book is one of them- Me…Stories of my Life….by Katherine Hepburn. I find I am drawn to books about real people. After finishing the book I then decided I needed to revisit some of her movies.

So I rented The Philadelphia Story, which on a scale of 1-10 I give a 7. It kept my interest and was humorous and fun. I just didn’t finish it with, Boy that was good!!

The next I watched again was On Golden Pond. In fact we even had the DVD. This is always one of my favorites. More so now since Katherine wrote about the story and characters.

The last two I had watched with my Mom a long time ago, she has been gone 20 years! Guess Who’s coming to dinner with Spencer Tracy. He passed away a few weeks after the taping.

The African Queen which was an exciting movie. The leaches still stand out in my mind. She did so many different movies. She was such a strong women and I give the book a rating of a nine. I learned a lot and it kept my interest.

2017-The Year of the Cat

Revisiting the year….Way back in April, Mama had a litter,somewhere but we didn’t know where. She must have shown up very soon after she had them because she was still showing signs of birth,and she was so, so hungry. I knew she had to be in one of the neighbors bushes and she would make her way over briefly 3 or 4 times a day to eat. Then one day we found the group in the hole by the automatic pool cover. It was dangerous there and one of the kittens got caught in the rope. We were very broken up about that. She took them away again somewhere. Then one morning they all were laying on top of her in the porch chair, all four of them. She looked like a possum. They stayed in our bushes after that. See the little guy in the back, I was never able to catch him so I couldn’t find a home for him.

Here are the three, the one who is missing is in the bushes. I front two I found homes for and the back one became part of our clan.

This is the big guy as of this morning. He is six months old and just got neutered yesterday. He is doing fantastic. His name is Miggy and he has a voracious appetite. We kept his claws because he goes in and out to be with his brother Pookey, who finally came out of the bushes and can be cuddled and loved, but can still be skittish and scared.

This is Pookey’s place that Kevin built. It is on our covered porch. The roof is on hinges so I can open it.

It is insulated and it also has an electric heated pad, that warms up with their body temperature. We made it large enough so that Pookey, Miggy and Mama can fit in. I am sorry I don’t have a picture of Pookey, he is big and handsome like his brother and he also yesterday became neutered and received all of his necessary shots. I have a swinging door for it but I am afraid he won’t go in if it is on. We have to tighten it up a little more with spray in insulation and glue some on the roof too. But he is getting used to it. If it gets too cold, he can come in the house but he seems happier outside. BTW, the black spots on the heated pad cover are little tiny burrs that will not come up easily.

So I wasn’t fast enough to get Mama spayed after that litter and she got pregnant again. I put her in the sunroom near the end of July so we would know where the kittens were at. She was not happy about this the first week. But then she became accustomed to the Bed and Breakfast. She had the kittens August 10th and it was an awesome experience for me. We now have a very special bond. She has come such a long way since January when I first met her on my front porch. She was skittish and scared and kept looking behind her like something was chasing her.

Here is Mama and the kittens maybe 3 days old.

Here they are at 3 weeks old. They were as much of a joy as the first litter. Easier because I knew where they were at.

From 7 weeks on I have been introducing you to the people who have given the kittens their forever homes. The last two left on November third they went together to my friend Joan. She has named this little boy Dooley.

This little girl is name Lacey. They are so funny because they do everything together, sleep, eat, play, poop. If one does it then the other does it. They have a wonderful home as all of the kittens do. I am so grateful that our friends, family and friends of family have given them their forever homes. I am also happy to say that Mama has been spayed. That woman had a workout this year and we are taking care of her, she can go inside or out and gets lots of love and food.

So we had our sunroom empty for two days and this little lady is occupying it for a couple of weeks. She can’t be more than four months old and she was found in the neighborhood. One of our neighbors who loves cats was fostering her then they couldn’t keep her anymore. We found a wonderful family that will be moving into a new home soon and they are giving her a forever home. She is a sweetie! Such a happy story.

So I made this painting this year and it says it all. I have seen Pookey eating a frog, Miggy with a mouse and a Vole and who knows whatever else they find in the surrounding yards. They are a treat and we love them. By the way, this print can be purchased in my Etsy Shop.


The beauty of Maine

Here it is, August 2nd and I have hardly shown my pictures. We returned home on Saturday the 22nd and boom, we have been trying to catch up since. We had a great time on vacation, so many good memories, and I brought back tons of inspiration. This picture is the beauty of Acadia.

I woke up at 4:15 one morning and thought I should see if there is a sunrise. No filters, this is actual.  It was breathtaking.

The moon and something. Could it be the International Space Station??

The shine on the water is fantastic.

We took a scenic nature boat ride and started out with mallard ducks. Not so different from Indiana.

I loved this schooner raising the sails to take off. 

Can you tell I am quite taken with the sun? We had so much fog for the first three days here and seeing the sun was a treat..

This is a beautiful picture!

Egg Island Lighthouse. No one except the Coast Guard is allowed on this island. Beside the little building on the right is a solar panel. The seabirds and seals are the real owners of the island.

The sea lions rest and bask in the sun during low tide and swim and eat at high tide. They have to keep their body fat up because the water at its highest is 55 degrees.

Our boat threw a fish in the water to get the eagle to come down and I was just clicking my camera hoping to get one good shot. You don’t get to see an eagle like this but once in a lifetime.

The wings in flight are so impressive. It will end up in a painting.

A close up, love the ripple effect on the water. I have so much more to show, along with the treasures I brought with me. Please stop back again.



Some favorites

The day has been pretty foggy mostly with peeks of sun. It is supposed to be more sunny tomorrow. I would like to see farther out to sea.

The loons were right in front and it was fun to hear them and watch them dive and pop up in another area.

This seagull was doing a flyby and had something in his beak, possibly a crab? I liked how I was able to capture his wings in flight.

Just a pretty planted yard in Bar Harbor.

A stone fence is beautiful.

Just a different view.

Lobster boat heading out.

A hotel had this planted, such a wonderful array of posies.


A yard full of lobster traps.

Window boxes full of geraniums. We are having a great time and having some R and R. We will see what tomorrow brings and I will share.Thanks for checking in.

It’s Been a Great Day

I buy only Bath and Body works hand soap because I find it doesn’t dry my hands out and the scents I just love. I usually buy 8 to 10 at a time so I don’t have to run to the store often. I just opened this one and I highly recommend it, Sweet Mint Mimosa. It makes hand washing a pleasure, not just something you have to do.

The day wasn’t too hot or too humid and the skys tonight are just gorgeous!

The sunset through the tree, pretty! It was even brighter than this.

I have two pretty burgundy hollyhocks that grace the back of my garage. I love how dark they are.

I never get tired of the daylilies. Each year they keep putting on a better show. These are Betsy Ross’s.

I have a show coming up this weekend in Fort Wayne, at Freiman Square. I have this new piece finished to add to my booth. I was thinking one day how many cats we have loved and lost because that’s the way it is. I put in all different patterns to represent them. They all held a special place in my heart.

This pool brings such pleasure for me. I had to take a picture because it was so blue and nice. We swam in it and just enjoyed the day off. I hope you had a great 4th of July too. God Bless America, Land That I Love!