Saturday, December 26, 2015

Merry Christmas

Christmas day was wonderful! We stayed home, all my kids were here, some family and friends joined us, and we had a great time eating, talking, laughing and just being together.  The Spirit of Christmas was with us all yesterday, and I hope it was the same for everyone out there reading this.

When I was a very little girl I used to carry around "George", a stuffed monkey that I loved dearly. Yesterday, one of the gifts that I recevied was a new "George", from my youngest son. I think he is cute, and I'm keeping him on my night stand. I do love all that I received from my family, and I apprecite the love and warmth that family is all about.
                                                                      George

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

sweet treat success!

I took off a few a days from my day job, using up my last vacation days to spend time with my kiddos and finish up my Christmas shopping.  I decided that the first batch of spiced roasted pecans were not going to get the better of me. So I tried again it was deliciously successful!

1 pound shelled pecans
1 egg white slightly beaten
2 cups brown sugar
1 tablespoons cinnamon (you can add more or less (I love cinnamon!)
a pinch of clover

preheat oven at 250 degrees
moisten the pecans in the egg white
mix the brown sugar an spices
then toss the pecans into the sugar/spice mixture covering them well.
place on foiled cookie sheet
bake in oven for 30 minutes and your done!!!

In addition to the pecans, I roasted chestnuts, and made homemade toffee covered with chocolate and walnuts.  It was sweet treats all the way around!!!
The toffee came from a two minute video off of Facebook and I couldn't resist making it!

                                         The toffee tastes like a heath bar, but better!!!!!

I hope everyone has finished their Christmas shopping and will get to spend time with their loved one! Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

not so great sweet treat

I love roasted cinnamon sugar pecans this time of year, so I decided to look up a recipe on line (with good reviews) and make some myself. I bought a bag of shelled pecans, and had all the other ingrdeients in the house; brown sugar, cinnamon, a pinch of clover and an egg white.  I always wondered how the spiced sugar stuck to the pecan, egg white, of course!  The recipe I followed said to whip the egg white a bit, then add the pecans to moisten them throughly before tossing them in the spiced sugar. It also said to line a cookie sheet with foil for easy clean up. Bake for 40 minutes at 350 degrees.  Easy peasy..... Well, I thought the temperature was a bit high since other recipes had 250 degrees with the same cooking time, but I went with it since so many people had great comments.  While it was cooking, I didn't check them, so when the 40 minutes was up I took them out and they smelled great!  However, the pecans were overcooked and dried out, not tender at all.  I am so glad I used foil because lifting and folding the foil was the only way I could get them apart and get them out of the pan.  My husband said all he needed was milk because I just made dried, sweet pecan cereal, it tastes like cinnamon toast crunch,  but better.  Oh well, now I know how they're made, so the next time I cook them, I will set the temperature lower and check it occasionally .

Today, with the help of my husband, my "Ocean morning" stained glass panel has been hung in the studio window. It look pretty good there, but it doesn't make as bold of a statement as it did in the window it was originally made for.   With the panel hung, the studio is coming together nicely. I have been having so many thoughts and ideas that my mind is bouncing everywhere. I needed to get my ideas down on paper or I will forget them, and have a need to prioritize. The first thing on my list is mounting the finished pieces I already have, so I ordered silicone today and will be working on that once it arrives.




Friday, December 18, 2015

Almost there

In my mind I needed a creative space NOW, so I decided that the office can double as a drawing/painting art studio. Yesterday, I started moving things around making a space for myself. I brought up an industrial shelving unit that will also be used as my drawing station. I set up my easel in the corner by the octagon window (with an unfinished painting sitting on it). The window by the way, clearly needs a stained glass panel. I hope it doesn't take me anywhere near as long as the bathroom window I created in my old house did. Which by they way, when I moved out I took the stained glass panel with me since I had only installed it in front of the actual window. I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it, but I found a perfect window in the "studio/office" to hang it in. I still have things to arrange and rearrange, but at least now I have my corner in the house to create.


                                                          (my own creative corner)


On anther note, my younger kids are both home from school, and it was nice to see my oldest son come by with a pizza and fried jalapeno's to share with his siblings. It felt good to have all three of them home just hanging out together.

Christmas is almost here and I am trying to enjoy every minute with my family. This weekend will be filled with baking cookies and Christmas movies. We have the classic's first: "It's a wonderful life", "Scrooge",  "Miracle on the 34th Street", and of course  the animated classic's " It's a Charlie Brown Christmas",  "Rudolph the red nosed reindeer", "Frosty the Snowman" and whatever else pops up.

I hope everyone out there in the blogger sphere is enjoying their holidays with loved ones.
   



Saturday, December 12, 2015

Tis the season

A few days ago I posted about being glued to my computer and ipad. I was able to shut down for a few hours, read a book, and came right back on without regret. I was e-invited to the San Antonio Glass art guild's Christmas party. Debating if I wanted to go or not, I sent in my rsvp, went out bought a (glass related) gift, went to the party and had the best time! The hostess and her husband have a beautiful home filled with artwork from all different types of artists. Her own glass art work was amazing. I spent the evening talking, laughing and eating all in the company of some the most creative artists around. I'm really glad that I went! I participated in the gift exchange game and brought home this upcycled bottle made into a cheese tray with knife, and the artist even included a cowboy boot pendant, I aboslutely love it! If you want to see women "steal" gifts from each other, just put a tool in a gift bag and the game is on!!! We all LOVE TOOLS!

Friday night afterwork work it was dinner and a movie with a bunch of girlfriends. I honestly don't remember doing anything like this in the past, but I had a great night, two nights in a row. Pinacolada for me with Nacho chips and I was pretty full by the time my dinner came to the table.  The restaurant was located in the same area where the movie theater was, so we walked over and we were a little early so I just HAD to have a scoop of the chocolate gelato..... I was really full after that! We watched the movie The Coopers. It was funny, and kinda sad, and then really funny! It was a perfect family Chrsitmas movie.

Today, I made my "list" of all the things I needed to do and did just that today! Feeling accomplished!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

computers

When I am at work, I sit and work in front of the computer all day. When I come home from work, I sit in front of my computer..... or ipad......  all evening..... I must disconnect and stop wasting my time....... I need to get productive.......  clean house....  read an actual book..... paint a picture....... something other than SOCIAL MEDIA!!!!

Addicted Graphic #22

Have a good night everyone!!!!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Questions????

I'm not affiliated with a specific political party. However, I lean towards the democratic party because of certain beliefs.

I am trying to understand the Republicans and NRA. The right to bear arms.  Ok. fine. but really? assault rifles??? Guns that are made for war, legal to buy and own.  I wonder if they are setting up the U.S.A for a civil war? Preparing the people that live here to "fight" for their country by having these guns legal to purchase. Why else does a civilian need to own guns that are made for the military? Are they preparing us blindly for something we don't want? A war on our homeland?

On January 1st, 2016 Texas law will take effect that allows people to walk around with their guns on holster NOT concealed.  What does this mean?  Is that person who walks around like they belong in the wild west on a power trip?  what if they get angry and lose it?  will they shoot first, then ask questions?  How will we know who has the permit and who doesn't??? When you go to gun shows, people don't have to go through a paper work process if you're buying directly form an individual, which doesn't give me the warm and fuzzies..I'm not sure but,  I don't think this is turning into a very pleasant society to live in.  Maybe the Mad Max movie is right on target for our future.


Just a bunch of questions today that are running through my head.....




Wednesday, December 2, 2015

It's December already?

I have been neglectful to my blog, unsure of what to write. The house is decorated and I have been to the mall, bought a few things, and it still doesn't feel like the Christmas season.  Maybe I need to get back to the religious aspect of Christmas and not so much of the overly marketed, shopping like crazy for gifts that may or may not be appreciated.  

On another note, Thanksgiving was absolutely wonderful! All my kids were with me and we celebrated Thanksgiving together, and I was very thankful for that.  My mother in law cooked for Thanksgiving day, and I cooked Friday and Saturday before my younger two had to leave back to school.  It was really nice to have my oldest son spend Thanksgiving with us since he usually has to work.

Yesterday, my co-worker brought us each a cookie to work to bring December in, and I thought it was too cute to eat, until late afternoon when I couldn't help myself.


I don't like the icing on cookies, but the cookie was great! That's just how the cookie crumbles! :)

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Hopeful

The house is coming together and I only have a few boxes left to unpack. I still feel sad about my studio at the old house, and my husband knows it.  He told me we can probably build a studio on the side of the house, either an 8x10 or an 8x12. We are going to go out and measure the area this morning. I hope an 8x12 can fit there sine every square inch is a plus! It's going to be an expensive, long process since I will also need electric, water and permits that go along with building a structure like this.  I want lots of windows too!

For now though, while I save up money, and dream about what my future glass studio is going to look like, I'm switching gears. I am pulling out my water color paper, paints, pastels and preparing a small corner in my office for creating art. It's funny how creating art keeps me happy and sane.


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

a funny thing....

As I'm settling in my new home, and my new neighborhood, I've been feeling a bit unsettled. It's one of those feelings that a major change needs to occur personally. Not that buying a new house wasn't a major change after living in the other house for 19 years.  I'm 46 years old have never felt an attachment to a structure, like a house.  While I lived in different places, it was always my "home" but I don't miss my old homes. However, I do miss the people that were in my life, especially family that is now gone.  My favorite place that I lived was in Rockaway, NY. It was mostly because of my Aunt, who passed away many years ago, but was also because of the friends I had there too. I also knew people just because they lived on my street or people that just walked to different places. The feeling of community had escaped me the entire time I've lived in Texas. Now I live on cul-de-sac, and as I drove home and turned on the street I live on, about a dozen young kids were playing in the street. When I got out of my car, the kids all started to say hello to me, by my name.  I even had one that was on his scooter pull up and start talking to me. It's a funny thing, because that hasn't happened to me since I lived in NY. Not only that but, I know the names of most of the neighbors that live on this street.... Maybe I will have a new favorite place here.

Now I just have to figure out why I'm feeling a bit unsettled in other aspects in my life. At times, I still feel like I don't know what I want to do when I grow up... and am considering going back to school for something....
The view from the upstairs game room where I can see the neighbors dogs play.
The view from my upstairs office. It's early so all the kids are in school right now instead of playing in front of my house.





Sunday, November 8, 2015

Art stroll

Today was a beautiful day, sunny and in the low 70's. It was perfect for the Art Stroll.  Last year, I was a participating artist and had fun, but I didn't get to go to all of the other homes to see the     artists worrk. This year I didn't want to participate, I wanted to stroll! I spent a good two hours venturing in and out of artists yards and homes, amazed at all the different types of artwork. Pottery, painting, fabric and glass artists. The first stop on my route was Imogene Lurman's home where I found her sitting in the front yard painting on a porcelin seashell, surrounded by her all her other artwork. She did regognize me from the watercolor class I took from her over the summer, adn we chatted for a bit before I continued on my way. I stopped by Lousie Craig's home where all the of artists from the San Antonio glass art guild were showing and selling their art. It was nice to see people I know and all of their great work. On my way back to my car, I stopped at Imogenes house to find out if she was done with the painting on the shell. Sure enough she was about to take it out of the kiln. She was surprised that I wanted to buy it and she hadn't signed it yet. It required a second firing for her signature, but I told her I would do the second firing.  It's a simple painting, but I love the colors and the seagull.


O

Sitting room

Yesterday I finally put  my china cabinet together in our sitting room. Dusting and cleaning all the nic-nacs before putting them back in there designtated spots was a task.  The nic-nacs all represent something special, and I have the cabinet split in 6 sections. The top left is a Christmas section, the middle left is for swavorski crystal florals, the bottom left is for Mexican, Central and South American items. On the top right side I have Italina and Middle Eastern items. The left middle are items from Greece, and the bottom right are Japanese and Chinese items.

Now after all these years, my husband just thought I had a lot of stuff and never realized how I had this divided and was surprised when explained all this to him last night.  I think he just thought I had a lot of "stuff". I tried to take a picture of the cabinet up close, but because of the mirror backing a picture does look good with my face in it.

Here's a peak into my sitting room. I think it's just a cozy room, perfect for my hubby and I to sit and chat, or watch TV (If we can agree on what to watch).  I still need to put up curtains, but I'll get there.

                         

Thursday, November 5, 2015

He's gone

 I would run up the stairs as fast as I could when they would yell down at me from the window to tell me he was on th phone, just to say hello.  The excitemnt I felt when he would pop up for a visit is beyond words, and only in a childs heart. The visits would happen maybe once a year, if I was in New York, maybe twice a year. Up until he went to prison.

I was turning into the most rebellious teenager, I resented my mother, and loved my absent father. I was turning into my mothers worst nightmare......   We were living in Greece and by the time I was 15 my mother couldn't handle me anymore so she sent me to New York to live with him. He was fresh out of prison, working in  an all night diner and living in the apartment above. It was located on Flatbush avenue across the street from a police station. The noise was 24/7.

I learned a few thing about him while I stayed with him. He liked to cook, and he cooked very well. He liked Charles Bronson movies and was amused by Boy George (hey, it was the early 80's). He wrote poetry and loved to take photograph's, and he still loved his guns.  The one thing that annoyed the shit out of him was that I smoked pot so he would bring me packs of cigarettes and tell me to smoke those instead....  He really didn't know what to do with me, and I got bored. I left after a couple of months and headed out on my own.  I still loved him, and when I would get in trouble I would call and he would take care of things.
 We would lose touch with each other for  a year or two, and then get back in touch, but in 1998 he disappeared for 11 years and didn't know what had happened to him. I honestly thought he was dead back then.  Then through people he got in touch with me and that's when I found out he was living in Kosovo.  I was forty years old and when I told my half sister (from my mother side) that I was in touch with him again, she yelled at me as to why I even bother with him when he was abusive to my mother and didn't help raise me.  That made me think really hard......

This is the only picture I have of him and me when I was little, and it isn't blurry in realty, but I guess this is how it is meant to be shown on here.  He died today at 6:15 am our time, so mid afternoon in Kosovo.
May the lord forgive him for his sins and I pray he rests in peace.




Sunday, November 1, 2015

Sunny Sunday

It's a beautiful Sunday afternoon. The sun is shining and with all the rain we got the last few days, the mums I planted around our mailbox have bloomed.


All of our remaining possesions are finally out of storage. My living room, office, and the kids bedrooms are stacked to the brim with boxes.  I donated a truck and a car full of items at the local goodwill. I will keep sorting, putting away, and donating as I unpack.

I also feel a bit sad as all of my art supplies, tools and kilns are lined up along the walls of the garage, up on shelves and stored away with no studio to go into.  My 10 sheets of Tekta completly shattered in the move today.  I think any glass artist would be upset about that. I truly miss my old studio...... I will just have to brush it all off, and think of a scheme to get a studio again.






Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Death Bed

There is a man on his death bed at age 84.  He is dying of terminal lung cancer.  I'm surprised he lasted this long smoking three packs a day.... He was a mobster, gun runner, convicted murderer and my father.

He was in my life for brief moments at a time.. and then years would pass before I would hear from him or see him. He was always in a shirt, tie, slacks and dress shoes. He was charismatic and spoke seven languages. He once told me that I should learn all the languages I could so people wouldn't be smiling and talking in front of me while they planned my murder in their native tongue.
He was Zois Shuttie's nemesis and blamed him for the destruction of his entire family. He was my father.

I'm not sure how I feel about this news, or him... he's on his death bed in the mountains of Kosovo.


Sunday, October 25, 2015

Fall day

Depsite that the weatherman predicting rain through the weekend, ending Monday or Tuesday, it was mostly sunny today with the best temperatures. It felt like a real fall day in the 60's with a high of 70.

I took advantage of this beautiful weather by turning off the AC and opening the windows. I also spent the afternoon outside playing ball with my dogs Bentley and Pebbles. Pebbles loves to play fetch, while Bentley wants me to chase him while he has the ball.

Between playing ball I also helped my husband put the shed together!

Bentley
                                     
Pebbles jumping up for the ball in my hand


Bently's waiting for me to chase him

She looks happy!

Litle Kitty

partial view from my upstairs back window

Saturday, October 24, 2015

New City

Technically I moved to a new city when in reality I just moved on the other side of the highway. I always loved taking the kids to the Live Oak city park when they were little. We used to have picnics, go on bike rides, roller skate and just let them play on the playground. This morning I was looking on line for permit costs within the city and came up on the Live Oak City web page and thought I would share. I'm not sure what the population is in this city, but if you drive a couple of miles in a radious of any directions your in a different city, so Live Oak is very small.

Here is the city web page City of Live Oak. They even have their own art group, garden club and farmers market.

                                                        The lake at Live Oak city park

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Surprise on my doorstep

I came home from a busy day at work to a beautiful bouquet of flowers and a box of chocolates at my front door. What a nice surprise from my loan officer and friend!


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

New beginning!

Good morning world!

After 19 years of being in the same single story house, I am finally getting used to waking up in my new home.  It's ironic that over the last 19 years my husband had me convinced that not having neighbors behind us was a great thing. I beg to differ. I felt isolated and lonely. Now, I look down from my upstairs window and see into all my surrounding neighbors yards, watching the two little dachshunds running and playing, in another neighbors yard three little dogs are playing while my two dogs are stretched out on the soft grass.  I see kids playing on swings and people working on their gardens! I don't see farmland and cows behind me anymore, and I don't see single story rooftops in front of me anymore.  I always complained about living in the isolation of the suburbs, but it doesn't seem to be this way in this neighborhood.  I have already met several of my neighbors, and already borrowed a can opener. There is a true sense of community here and I hope that I make some friends here.

Now, the one thing that I am going to miss tremendously is having my own art studio. The Kilns and glass are stored away.  I think I will just need to adjust and just work on painting, maybe I'll get better at it. I would like to continue with my daily painting with little quotes and drop them off in different places.


Monday, October 19, 2015

September to October

Since I have been missing in action for over a month, I think two blog posts in one day wouldn't  be too bad.

Lets' continue from September 10th where I signed a contract to sell our home without any plans of where we were going to live.... It was the most stressful week in out lives! both my husband and I couldn't sleep, eat or function normally. our stress levels were high, our blood pressure was high and i couldn't keep anything in my stomach.  What a way to loose a few pounds, not good!  We didn't realize how bad the rental market was until we started looking. Let me say this, the bones of our house were broken (foundation), but in no means was my home trashy. Well that is all that was out there in our price range, trashy houses! The kicker was that the landlords wouldn't even call us back when we said we have pets. Within 24 hours we decided to purchase a new home. Hired a Realtor, looked at 30 homes the first week and by the following Saturday (9/19) we were under contract......
Now we had to pack, rent a storage, and do a garage sale. I called my cousin in New York freaking out, so she flew down and cooked dinner every night, packed and she organized my very first garage sale. ( I normally donate during spring cleaning). She was a blessing!

Meanwhile the contract for the sale was closing on 10/14. the contract for the purchase was 10/29. I truly feel blessed that I am in the real estate field and know some very good people. My loan officer, and friend, pushed my loan through and we closed on 10/14 for both sale and purchase and I was moving in that same afternoon.  My cousin was still here so not only did she help me pack, but she helped unpack. I love her! After two weeks of hard work, she finally flew back home this past Friday.

Today was my first day at work since the October 9. I took a nice lunch break outside in the 80 degree weather, and things are finally feeling like normal.




Spontaneous whirlwind

My last post was on September 9, and it was about Henry the duck. On September 10, he was no where to be found.  I should have known that Henry was a sign when he appeared and then disappeared. I had taken that Thursday off with a line up of contractors for bids to fix up my house. Cabinets, painters, and floors.  Everything was going well with the the bids until the flooring guy showed up. He doesn't make it past my foyer when he announces "ma'am, in good conceince I can't install floors in your house until you fix the foundation" Mind you, I had already "fixed" foundation 9 years ago and had a 10 year warranty. That warranty was null and void since the company went under. So what did I do that afternoon..... I signed a contract and sold my house to an investor without having a plan of where we were going to go and live...... Sometimes I am spontaneous that way. But in the end it all works out. I will continue in my next post the adventure I had. Now off to work.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Henry

Even though my kids are grown and the younger two are in college, by no means are we alone in the house. Jake, Bently, Tiger, Little Kitty and Pebbles all live with us. Plus we have  a VERY lagre tank full of fish. Now, I also have my daughters dog BamBam for a few weeks while she works on a project for school that is requiring her to go out of town.
Even with all of these animals that are part of my family, sometimes other animals just come around and adopt us. This wouldn't be the first time this has happened to me, but it is a first to be adopted by a duck. The first time I saw him I thought my husband bought a new yard decoration until it started quacking at me! He's not afraid of us and just hangs out in the front yard. He likes it when my husband waters the lawn and he gets sprayed, flapping his wings like he's taking a shower. I provide him with water to drink, and corn on the cob. I now call him Henry. I don't know if he is someone's lost pet or if he has lost his flock, I just know that he is here in my front yard. Who knows how long he will be here, but he is welcomed to stay as long as he wants.



Thursday, August 27, 2015

night out

When I was a kid, most of my Saturdays were spent in a roller rink. I loved roller skating.  I knew that my husband also enjoyed skating when he was a he was a kid, but the last time he was on skates was when we first met and I had bought him a pair of rollerblades.  I think he used them a total of one time. As for myself  I have always owned a pair of skates and occasionally would my kids skating in the park, but over the years my skates have done nothing but collect dust.

Last week my co-worker told me that there was a roller rink that had adult night skating, and it wasn't too far from my house.  Well, I asked my husband if he was willing to go and I got an automatic "no" followed by a "yes".   That's all I needed. When I got home last night I cooked the quickest dinner possible and was ready to go :) I think he was reluctant at first, but when we got there and started skating we had a great time. My hubby was a bit of a show off skating backwards and all :)

It was also nice that the majority of the skaters seemed to be over 40 so we fit right in.




Monday, August 24, 2015

#3 of 6

This one came out of the kiln this morning. I'm not sure if the picture is fuzzy or the art piece itself is, either way I'm happy with it.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Soon to be an empty nester (again), but before you go....

I have been trying my best to spend as much time with my younger two kids before they back to college this weekend.  I took the day off from work yesterday to take them shopping for some basic necessities, and helped my son go through some things he never unpacked from last semester.

I also have been telling them that I was going to take them to the new location of Tip Top cafe since the place opened in our neighborhood this summer.  This is their 2nd location (the original opened in 1938) and the cafe is known for great food, especially the chicken fried steak, which is bigger than the plate it's served on! The desserts are to die for! You have to place your dessert order when you order lunch or you might risk the chance of them running out of  their famous ice box pies. My daughter and I split a lunch just to make sure we had room for pie! I think we all had a pretty good tin time together.

All summer long I had the idea that I wanted my artistic daughter to create something with glass. Her response has always been, "but Mom, that your thing..." Well last night she was reluctantly persuaded to come into my studio and create something in glass.  For her first time shuffling around powders using  the sgraffito technique, I was pretty impressed.   I'm glad that she worked with me in my studio before she leaves to go back to school, it was nice having her company while we created art together.

my daughter's work on glass 7"x9"

Sunday, August 9, 2015

#2 of 6


I got up early today looking forward to working in my studio. This is the second piece that is still cooling in the kiln. I opened the kiln just long enough to snap a quick picture. I'm not sue how I am feeling about the leaves, but overall I do like the way it turned out.  



On another note, I have been practicing with watercolors in the evenings and over my lunch breaks during the week.  It's a very difficult medium to work with and I have come to the conclusion that I must practice a LOT to try and achieve that natural flow. It seems that I can create beautiful backgrounds and mix the paints to look like water or sky, but when I try to put a specific image on the paper/canvas I have the hardest time. I hope that over time I can learn how to make things flow.

Friday, August 7, 2015

#1 of 6

Sometimes, even when I have the knowledge I just don't think things through.  For example, depending on the thickness of glass and how high the temperature goes up, the glass has different levels of shrinkage or if it is very think it levels out to 1/4 of inch if the glass is not dammed. 

The six 7"x9" "blank" canvas's are 3mm thick and I took them up to 1425 degrees, which is a full fuse.  Now they are not 7"x9" anymore, they are slightly smaller.....  They are too small to fit in the standard 7"x9"shadow box.  It was a mistake because I just didn't think about it. Now I am thinking about a custom frame that would allow light to come through the sides and still have a painted background.  I need to collaborate with someone.

This is the first of six designs. I am pleased with the outcome of this one.  I am still going back and forth of what I am going to title this series, but I will wait to see how the other five turn out before I decide.    Can you guess what plant this drawing represents? 






Thursday, August 6, 2015

Kindness

This little watercolor of a yellow flowering bush was left outside of Press Cafe.

The message on the back:

"Kindness is a language that the deaf can hear and the blind can see"~ Mark Twain

Blank Canvas

I have been working in my studio, throwing around ideas, and finally decided to create six 7"x9" blank canvas.  I had bought a bunch of colorful powder glass a few months ago and wanted to test them out.  For each piece of glass I used two to three different colors and full fused them into the clear Tekta glass.  When I opened the kiln I was pleasantly surprised how they came out.  In the picture below you can see all the colors applied, but when I lifted them off the kiln shelf the colors were very subtle because they are transparent.  The most vibrant one is the orange and yellow.

Over the years I figured out that it is easier for me, and more pleasant, to design directly on the glass versus drawing something out and then applying that idea to my glass. Don't get me wrong, I am always sketching because I enjoy it, and use sketches for my stained glass, but I rarely use my sketches on my fused glass.

I currently have the green tinted canvas in my small kill cooling off. I created a design on it last night and I will wait till this evening before I open the kiln to see how it turned out.  

    

Thursday, July 30, 2015

The park in July

To come to terms with the heat of the Texas, I have been sneaking away during my lunch hour and going to a park nearby.  The first day I went, there was only one other car parked in the parking lot which belonged to a young mother that left a few minutes after I arrived. It was was little eerie knowing that I was totally alone in the park, in the mddle of the day.  I sat at a picnic table beneath a large oak tree that provides plenty of shade and decided to paint a small water color of the trees and the grass. (I always carry around my sketchbook and a small set of traveling paints). I didn't finish the painting that day, but I went back to the park a couple of days later and finished. I decided to write a quote on the back by Andy Warhol "Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art." Then I signed and dated the front. As I walked towrds my car I casually set it on a differnet picnic table and put a rock on in it so it wouldn't blow away. I left it there. Maybe when someone finds it, they will either appreciate it or throw it away.

Today I went back to the park, the painting from the day before was gone. I sat down at the same picnic table under the tree. This time I painted some flowers that were a bright orange. They were from a flowering ivy that had wrapped itself up the large oak tree and the flowers were protected by the shade of the leaves. When I finished this little painting, the quote I wrote on the back was from Dalai Lama " There are only two day out of the year that nothing can be done. One is called yesterday and the other is called tomorrow. So today is the right day to love, believe, do, and mostly live."  I signed and dated the front, and again, casually placed it on a picnic table and put a rock on it as I walked towards my car.  I guess I should take pictures of the little paintings before I leave them there.

It's interesting that while I am painting in the park I don't feel the heat. Also the other days that I had gone to the park, bedsides that first day, there were people there having lunch, and kids were playing on the playground. It was actually nice to be outside.


On another note, for the last month I have been working on my new website. I had taken the old one down a few years back feeling that it was stagnant and I wasn't producing enough art at the time to keep it fresh.  Now that I am working on more art I felt it was time to to create a new website. So check it out dritaharris.com .


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Good read!

Ever since I can remember, I always loved going to the library. The nice thing nowadays is that the library is open seven days a week minus a few holidays. So on Sunday afternoon I decided to go to the neighborhood library and just browse with nothing specific in mind. I came up on a cute and quirky little book by Summer Pierre titled "The artist in the office".  It was a quick fun read that inspired me enough to actually create some lists that it recommened, and spend some time during my work day doing something creative (during my lunch hour of course ;) ).

I am still thinking about getting a small group of like minded people for a monthly creative session. My problem, I am a little lazy to get it together. Hopefully I can get past it it and just put it out there and see what happens.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

One step at a time

I mentioned in previous posts how hard summer is for me. The weekends away from my job are the hardest. Not because I love my day job, but it keeps my mind off the misery I feel when I am at home and it's so hot and humid outside.I was considering counseling, but I decided to try and help myself.

After an absolutely miserable, horrible day on Sunday, I went and bought a calendar book. I am a list maker, so I decided to write down what my task or goal would be for the next day. I wrote one thing for Monday, "go to the gym". Per the Seasonal Affective Disorder site, exercise will make a person feel better. I don't remember the last time I went to the gym, but I went and walked fast on the treadmill. I listened to heavy metal and I sweated. My mind did feel a bit better by the time I was done. Last night I wrote two things down on my list for today,  print a picture and write my artist statement. I have been carrying around transparent paper for a couple of weeks without printing anything on it. It's for a project that I have in mind and it needed to be printed on a laser printer. I finally printed it today, so I felt like I accomplished something. I am still working on the artist statement.... For tomorrows list, my calendar has "go to the gym",  I just have to get out of the house and move my body so my mind won't suffer. All I can do is take it one step at a time.




Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Crow~ Sgraffito July Challenge #1

About 9 tonight, I decided to participate in Kelly Crosser Alge's  July Sgraffito challenge. One challenge per week. At first I wasn't going to participate because of how I was feeling, but I changed my mind tonight and did a quick little drawing on the leftover 4"x 4" glass I had from the January challenge.  I'm a few days late for the first week, but I got into my studio and did it. That's what counts tonight. Thank you Kelly for taking time out yet again, to challenge us.  I appreciate your positive energy and your selflessness.

Crow 4"x 4"

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

It's not just me....

After 22 years of living in Texas, and never getting used to the heat with high humidity, my mood declines every summer. After my creative burst Friday morning, I fell into a deep depression.  To me the heat was too oppressive to go outside. I didn't budge from the house all weekend. My husband kept trying to coax me into my studio. He tried to get me to go to the park. I couldn't budge. By Monday morning, before work, I broke down in tears wondering what was wrong with me, and why after all these years, can't I get used to this climate. Why do I go through this depression every summer? I HATE it.  It's very ironic that my favorite time of the year was summertime, until I moved to Texas. I always knew that people suffered from depression living in places like Alaska where its dark 24 hours a day during winter, but I had no idea that it happens to  people in in hot, humid climates. Nor did I know there was a label for it. I googled to see what would pop up for summertime depression and behold SAD was right there.  When I read the article about Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) I finally felt I had an answer and finally didn't feel like I was the only one that goes through this. Now that I know I am not crazy, I need to figure out a plan to be able to leave my home at least in the summer months, if not move altogether from here.

Well today's post is way more personal than just sharing about an art project, but maybe, if someone out there feels the way I do, I want them to know they are not alone.    

I will get through this,like I do every summer......
It's a hot sun

Friday, July 3, 2015

It's noon on Friday...

Wow, two posts in one day, I broke my own record!

Had to share my sunset painting. It hasn't even dried completely and I've hung it on my wall! I'm excited that I started and finished within a couple of hours. The inspiration for this painting came from a home that's for sale in Freeland, Washington (my dream home) located on Whidbey Island. Even though the sunset from their living room is so much better in real life (or in pictures) I decided to bring my version of it into my house. (remember, I live in suburban sprawl, all I see is houses and roof tops...)




Friday....

My alarm went off this morning as usual, but I didn't have to go to work today. I had to decide if I wanted to roll over and sleep in or get up and decide what I'm going to do today.  I tried to stretch a bit this morning but my cat's took over the yoga mat.  I easily gave up so I moved on to Facebook, and to the blog to catch up on my fellow bloggers posts.

I have several things in mind for today, but I need to decide which one art piece I really want to work on. A colorful "blank" canvas is waiting for me on my easel, then I still have a multitude of ideas for glass projects.  I also put together a canvas that is 18"x 36".  This one is going to be for a sunset that I would like to keep in my room.  I guess just by writing this post, I'll be painting this morning while my cats relax on the mat.