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It’s A Beautiful Morning

I am up this morning just as the sun is slowly coming up and the sky is slightly brightening. I am a little later than usual because it is usually 5 am or before. It is 5:30 and that makes a big difference with the cat’s stomachs. They hear some rustling in bed and they are all rolling into the bedroom to see who is getting up. So, they get fed and new water put in their bucket and the boxes cleaned out for them to immediately use again. I pour my coffee in one of my favorite cups hand made by Kelly Pottery Design. I am very choosy about my mugs. The handles have to be roomy, nothing smalll. I like to have a firm grip on my morning coffee. She does wonderful, colorful and textured work and is also a delightful person. I became acquainted with her at a show last year and we had such a nice talk about almost everything! You can find her on Facebook at just Kellypotterydesign to find where her next show is.
Making my way out to the covered porch and it’s a little cool so I grab a towel that had been drying and slung it over my shoulders for the perfect warmth. Once the patio door is left open the cats gather around it and watch and sniff the air. They love it so. L to back…Sophie, Pooky, Lily.
Mr. Miggy usually first at the door. He is our largest, so much so that it is hard to have him on our lap and he is a real lap sitter. He is a lover, Pooky is his brother and we have Mama also (not Pictured) and Pavel (also not pictured.)
I absolutely love these kind of days, when everything is green and the farmers field is growing beans this year with the beautiful straight rows. The grass is green but if we don’t get more rain then it is on the verge of being brown. There is a wren singing loudly and in the distance is the soulful song of the morning dove on the neighbors roof. The robins are nearby doing their special chattering. The heron just took off to another close by pond. I love his stick legs straight back in flight. Of course there are the ever present sparrows on the ground looking for bug or moths. The killdeer just flew in over by the pond and I am wondering if there is a nest over there. There are rocks around the pond and would be a perfect hiding place for the nest. I hear the nonstop talk of the goldfinches. I need to fill my birdfeeder again and that would make the cats very happy because we have finches visit all the time. The road that goes through our little town is very busy. I can hear the constant movement of the cars and an occasional motorcycle with the radio turned up.
This is the third year that we have had the tree swallows build their nest and have their babies. We tore down the crappy one last fall and low and behold they showed up again in May. When we are out there they do a lot of swooping back and forth till they decide we aren’t going anywhere. Then they calm down. There are eggs up there and look closely you can see a little head sitting on the nest. Once in a while we find an egg on the ground like it accidently fell out or they dumped it out.
This one stopped by to see if the sitter needed anything, heck they might have even changed places. We often have hawks flying in the air, we have many that live in the trees. There is also a cardinal that flies from tree to tree with its signature song then Mr. Bluejay comes around too with his forceful cry. Well, I think I will end this because Tom has set up the sprinklers to give the grass a good soaking……tika tika tika whirrrrr. Think Happy
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Getting Outside

So I had my first surgery on June 8th and I didn’t get around easily with my walker. Using the walker throughout the house was ok I just kept bumping into doorways and getting through doorways to go outside. We had some good friends stop by last week, they brought a favorite Italian restaurant for dinner and homemade apple crisp. It was fabulous to see them and the weather was nice so that some swam and others sat around the pool. Thank you for good friends. I wheeled my walker out with the help of Tom, he has been the best through this.
Yesterday on Fathers Day I decided that I was tired of walking with the monstrosity walker. I tested the leg and it didn’t hurt so I practiced walking by myself. It was working ok but I got pretty tired. I had some food to make for the holiday, scalloped potatoes, double thick chocolate brownies, hamburger patties with seasoning, cut up melon with blueberries. Got that done and sat and rested, everyone else took care of what needed to be done. I decided to just go back to my cane for the moment and it is easier to go outside. It feels great to be more mobile. The hip replacement has been easier than the knees. I am having another friend come tomorrow to take me to the doctor. Its a big day because I am getting my 31 staples out. We are then going out for a nice lunch.
This morning I went out to take pictures of flowers that I love and are so proud that they are blooming. The first picture above, I was shocked that the tiger lily was blooming. I think I planted it two years ago and didn’t see it last year and thought it was a goner. I saw this bright orange color in the landscaping and was happily surprised. The next picture was the hydrangea I planted last year and was happy that it made it and it looks like it will be pink. The next picture of the blue flowers always delight me when they bloom. The next picture is my husband Tom yesterday just enjoying himself, sitting back and doing what he wants to do.

It was so nice to all be together and I love this picture of my guys. Sam -Tom-Kevin. I hope you also had a great Father’s Day.
The next two pictures are made with Acrylic Ink and High Flow paint.
I love the color in this one and doodles with Poska Pens and white acrylic ink.
The last is just imitating some Georgia O’Keefe. Her painting is on the right and mine is the left.

Thanks for checking in.

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All is well, making decisions

This morning was the first sunrise that I have photographed. So, so uplifting.
This weekend Tom and Kevin took a quick trip to Detroit to Little Cesars Area to choose seats. Tom is getting a small season package for the Red Wings next year. He chose some good seats for us and I am looking forward to it. There were all kinds of things to do and they also got to tour the Redwings Clubhouse. I wondered if is smelled like a clubhouse of sweaty players and Tom said it smelled good.
I thought this was a good one. He claims he is a Blackhawks fan. Ha!
This is the time of the year where my little iris bloom. They are doubling now and are so sweet. I have a perfect small canvas that I will paint these.
These have faded some, last year they were that dark purple all over, but still so pretty.
I have been doing research on my back problem and educating myself better. Since my knee replacement my legs keep swelling, not horribly but need to keep it under control. Our doctor prescribed a diuretic to help take care of this problem. There was something in it that my body did not like, a days worth of terrible GI problems. Kicked my butt. This was the second try and my body didn’t like the different med either, rash and itching that time. I have had an echocardiagram and a EKG and all is well there, so it is not a circulation problem. I am just going to have to wear compression socks daily. I am wearing them approx. four hours per day and it has made a big difference. I have ankles again. Here are my fashionable socks that look like I’m golfing. I am going to get more and after the hip replacement they have told me to bring tight work out pants to wear because they will help with the swelling. I am also picking out my walker. I just borrowed a walker with my earlier surgery but I will need it for two surgeries now so I am doing a purchase. Do I get double wheels or singles? How heavy duty should it be? (I won’t be riding on it for gosh sakes.) Do I pay for the easy releases to fold it up quickly? Such decisions. Where I am looking they are not coming in colors, just steel color. I think pink with flowers would be nice. I would paint it but I don’t want it to chip off and look tacky.

This will take you to an explanation of my back problem and a little video. You get an extra point if you can say the word. I stumble over it but the explanation is spot on. I can see why I cannot stand up straight. I have faith it will get better.

I can’t sleep on my back or my right side, just the side with the bad hip. It doesn’t hurt, unless I turn over. The suppressed nerve makes me yell out loud in pain. I will probably have to sleep on the couch, sitting up for a few days or maybe weeks after the hip surgery. I am not supposed to bend my hip any more than 90 degrees.

My hip probably happened because I had been compensating how I walk with the bad knees. The back has been coming on for a while, but I just thought a cortisone shot once in a while would take care of it. It took an MRI and an X-Ray to discover it all.

I will be having the hip replacement on June 8th, and I will be coming home that same day if all goes as planned.

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Some Sad News

The other day I went to the orthopedic doctor to talk to him about a pinched nerve in my back. I haven’t had a really good nights sleep for a few months. In October I had a double knee replacement and I couldn’t sleep well until they healed. I thought that because I had to sleep in a chair, and it wasn’t a recliner that my nerves in my back became inflamed and I may need a cortisone shot. I had an x-ray and MRI and went in to see what he found out.

So much more than we expected. He said I needed a fusion on my lower back and a left hip replacement, it is bone on bone. I have had a few days to let this soak in, I had pictured using my new knees this summer and happily walking all over the place. I have had more problems than I expected with my new knees, so I thought, my left leg limped and was weak and hurt so much when I slept on that side. I have had pain going all the way down my left side and I can’t stand up straight and can’t sleep on my back.

I have made the decision to withdraw from my shows and get the surgeries and take the time to heal and just begin to feel good. Going to shows and putting up a tent, being out in the heat, dealing with bad weather, all is hard work and I am not up to it.

I will still be painting and offering everything through my website and I hope and hope that good people will fall in love with my work and buy from me through my shop. I will still be involved in the Artist Studio Tour on October 1, 2022. I will have my studio open and will be excited to see everyone.

This has been coming on before my knee surgery and it took that to bring it to the forefront. I am saddened that I have had to withdraw but we will go on.

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Coloring Pages

A couple years ago I turned these images into pages that can be colored. I looked at them the other day to see if they were still working and realized I had to remember how to make them print. Since that time I have left instructions on how to do that below the pictures. If you print them off and color them, take a photo on your phone and send it to me along with your address and I will send you one of my cards, shown on the last picture. If you absolutely fall in love with one of these pictures they can be purchased in a beautiful and sharp reproduction. This one is titled “Barney”. It can be found here. Finding the coloring pages is very easy, they are on the home page.

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My Flowers and Birds 4/20/2022

I gathered the pictures of my flowers around the house. They bring such joy and would make a great painting. Scroll through and look forward to warmer weather.
Female Eagle
Tree Swallow
Kingfisher

Woodpecker

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The Colors of Vacation 4-18-22

I was in a little bit of a funk and started looking at last years vacation photos. The colors brought me out of it. The blues of lake Michigan.
The red roof of Point Betsie Lighthouse.
The dusky blue sky with the white lighthouse.
A closeup of the catwalk. Can you imagine walking along that to get to the lighthouse with the angry lake splashing water. Hang on tight to that rope! I showed a picture of the lighthouse with the catwalk and that word got me put on probation with Facebook. They just didn’t understand.
The white sand. Tom had an Achilles tendon problem and had to wear this boot for many months. When he walked without it, especially on the sand it really hurt, but it eventually worked. The boot stands all by itself in the closet now.
The golden sun starting to set on the lake. We were on a boat taking a lake cruise.
I love the cloud across the sun and the copper reflection in the water.
The copper color in the sky is breathtaking. It looks like marbling. We are planning on going back to this area again this year. Harbor Lights Resort in Frankfort, MI.
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Doodling

I came across an artist showing how she does doodling paintings and I was very enamored by it. They looked so fun and possibly easy but then she had it on time lapse which makes everything look easy. I started with an 8 X 8 gallery wrapped canvas to paint over on the sides. Grab some random colors and put them on the canvas. Then keep layering. After you are done with the backgrounds draw simple designs. Many times they can come from designs in your journaling pages. When you are happy with the colors then you outline everything in white or black and go over them a few times and add marks, dots, dashes and splatters. This painting is titled “Bluebird in Love”.
Here is “Doodling Christmas” and I made it the same way. Background, figures, painting, outlining and marks. This one sold right after I finished it.
“Oriole and Tulips” perfect for right now. A fun painting and I especially like the inchworm at the bottom. I am planning on doing many of these for the art season, I feel they will be a good addition to my tent.

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Animal Faces

I love animals and creating them in mixed media is great fun for me. For this post I am going to show a few that I have done. First off this is our cat Lily. She is a funny gal who drags socks and gloves around while meowing. This is the look that is given when it is treat time at 9 pm. It can be felt across the room and my husband Tom says that she would be a great interrogator with that face.
My animal pictures are not exact replicas, they are in my style. This painting is called “Lovely Lily’s Flower Crown”. This is done in Shiva paint sticks and acrylic paint.
This is my friends dog named Rocky. She takes him to nursing homes and schools. She doesn’t use social media so she won’t see this but I am going to surprise her with this soon.
A little 6 X 6 picture done in wallpaper and acrylic paint.
This is “Houndog” and I was going to do a workshop with kids and thought making the head and body with large wallpaper pieces would work well. The rest are done with acrylic paint. It was on a 5 X 7 flat canvas panel and a fork was used to make the design on the background.
This is our dog Gretchen who we acquired in 1987. She was part German Shepherd and part big black dog. She passed away when she was 12.
I made this for my husband, where it had wallpaper, Shiva paint sticks and acrylic paint. She loved being outside, taking walks, playing ball, begrudged when we were eating pizza and one time had her whole head in a bowl eating cookies.
Many times I go on the Animal Care site and save pictures of different animals. I wanted a black and white cat for a colorful picture.
This painting is titled “Bob’s Hideout” and this phase shows it is not totally completed yet. There should be something above Bob.
Here is our cat Pavel and I used his face and body for the next painting.
It is titled “Cat Love” and I used many different patterns of wallpaper because cats come in all different colors. He is sleeping in the grass and has things around him that cats enjoy like watching birds and butterflies, and playing with feathers. I made that painting thinking about all the different cats I have had in my life.
This is Rolf and his picture came from Animal Care. He is such a happy fellow but he chewed up his bed and he like to chew boots too. He likes to play ball and have sticks thrown for fetch. Many times he also had muddy paws.
Meet Frida, she did not turn out like her picture, this is what Frida wanted her painting to look like. People ask me if Frida is a dog or a skunk, and I said it is what you want her to be. A wonderful woman watched Frida all year and by the end she decided to give her a good warm home with lots of love.
This is Mackie and she was a dog of Tom’s Ohio cousins. I loved this picture of the nose closeup. I used her picture for a few things, a postcard entry for the Artlink show in Fort Wayne.
Here I was practicing drawing in my sketchbook.
Here I made a painting titled “Unconditional Love”. For every print that I sell I donate to Animal Care and control.

This is another dog from Animal Care. My friend Karen wanted a painting done with a white dog and mostly sunflowers but with other flowers too.
I loved the way it turned out and it is call “Puppy Love”. The size is 36 X 48.
I used my niece’s pets a few times. This is their French Bulldog whose name is Watson. I loved his bow tie and ears.
He is in a painting titled “Among Friends” that contains many different elements and is very fun and colorful.
Here he is with their cat Willie which it looks like they are quite good friends.
I think Willie has great facial features.
His painting is titled “Graffiti Cat” which found a home with this lovely woman.
Willie’s two brothers and mother live with us.
My friend Michelle’s family dog Kula made a painting. I had a picture with the close up of the nose and I decided to add a baseball hat that says Adopt. With the size of the nose, I titled it “Snoop Doggy”. She bought it for her son, Elijah, for his birthday since Kula is his very good friend.

All these paintings are available in my online store, click here.

or if you would like a painting of your own with your animal, please use the form below.

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Slow Stitching, knee update, 4-12-22

Slow stitching is adding fabric, felt, embroidery, buttons, lace…..anything that you can come up with along with various backgrounds. I follow House Wren Studio and watching her do all kinds of great things with just stuff we have at home gave me the itch to do this. I have made many quilts, and my mother was a quilter also and thus I have quite a fabric stash along with buttons and lace and you name it. Since my love of painting has taken over I haven’t been able to scratch the quilting itch. When I discovered slow stitching it has helped me scratch a bit. I just put together a 5 X 7 picture and matt it and then frame it.
I was selling these in my booth at The Shoppes at the Sanctuary in Columbia City. I closed it out because I just could not fill it like I wanted or like the owners wanted either. I think they were glad I chose to close it. Some things work and some don’t, you have to try. It is still a great place to go and shop and find wonderful things.
I am showing this for the framed slow stitching, but aren’t those bears cute too?
I also have old quilt blocks that I slow stitch on and bind them like a quilt. I love figuring out which embroidery stitch to use and what to make out of that piece of an old block.
I have quite a few of the geometrical blocks on the right, they have different fabrics and I just didn’t think they were pretty at all. But taking a piece of it and adding the embroidery just makes it come to life.

Last summer, House Wren Studio was giving an online workshop called My Indigo Kitchen. She put together a wonderful kit that include indigo dye and various beautiful fabrics and lace. I have not done any dying before and watched the videos and will be opening it up soon. With art shows and my knee replacements I wasn’t able to put my kit together, but it is on my list now.

My knees are good, I can bend them well and I am glad I had it done. My biggest problem is that due to sleeping on a chair for two months my lower back has inflamed nerves that go all the way down my left leg. I have gotten one cortisone shot and was due to get another, but the pain management company messed up many of my appointments. When I got the shot, it was wonderful!!! I will not tell who they are, but I would not recommend them if you ask me in person. A very poorly run business that did not manage my pain well. I am starting over with a new company which I will be seeing April 26th. I started addressing this pain in January. It is not easy getting into these appointments, a lot of people need pain help. I am looking forward to that appointment for sure, and will let you know how it took and if I am sleeping and walking normally again. .