Friday, January 31, 2014

siren song

OMG, it's Friday already. Maybe I should have done this selfie thing once a month instead of once a week.

The days have been cold and dry and the hair doesn't want to curl so it's flat, thin, and wispy. I'm about ready for a haircut but I won't get one til spring and then I'll get my summer cut. I get a second hair cut in the fall but not as short. In the meantime, I keep it pulled away from my face with combs or my glasses.

I don't like it in my face or on my forehead and I do not understand how people can stand to have bangs.

But today is very temperate, overcast, might be trying to break up a little, or not. I've strolled around the yard a couple of times poking under leaves and such. Things are sprouting out of the ground. I'm having a physical pull to the outdoors to do STUFF!!

purple ground orchid

day lilies

the silly maple tree is coming out, fooled I'm sure by those warm days last week

Which I'm trying to ignore. I have another drawing that l need to start and would like to finish today which means no play time outside. It's still too early, really, so my urge is best resisted.

And this drawing needs to be done before next week. Next week we have to spend a couple of days in the city, getting ready to start fabrication on some of the glass.

So, like Odysseus, here I am lashed to the mast and contemplating the blank piece of paper for today.

Sunday, January 26, 2014


So, I did sort of make a New Year's resolution this year. I resolved to finish the Botanica Erotica pieces. That means I'm going to have to get focused and not let myself get distracted. Especially on nice days.

And I think I'm going to have to abandon this most recent model. I've spent more time on it than any of the other small ones, I think, and I'm still not happy with it. I love the picture but I just can't seem to get it translated to my satisfaction. I'm trying to make it too 3 dimensional maybe.

I think I mentioned that I decided to expand the series. From 3 large ones and 10 small ones to 5 large ones and 15 small ones. Large being 6" x 6" and small being 4" x 4". So that means 4 more small models and 2 more big ones. I think that's very doable as long as I set some goals and stop screwing around.


Ha. I wrote this right after new year's. I have been busy with three commissions, trying to advance them all instead of sequentially. Though I've hit a snag on one. Or two really. Shit. I'm not really sure where I am exactly or what is up for this next week. More sketches, intermediate, and full size art work.

If January is any indication, I'm not going to succeed on the resolution.

I keep casting my eye over at the cast but not finished pieces. I still have to do the finish work and figure out how to mount them so as to be hung on a wall. They are heavy and thick. 1 1/2 – 3 1/2 lbs concentrated in a small size.

I've been holding them back, wanting to wait til they are all done before I show them but I have been invited to participate (2 pieces) in an exhibition at a museum in Texas and while I have the newer boxes, I will have to recall them from a gallery for the show. I'm thinking I might choose one box and four of the botanicas as a group, one large, 3 small.

But I have to decide soon as I need to get my images in and the pieces finished.

Friday, January 24, 2014

freezing rain, crunchy ground

I did take the day off yesterday, moving to the couch after I made my post, snuggled with a book and a blanket, snoozing off and on. Next thing I knew it was 7:30.

The freezing rain started in ernest at some point. Before dawn this morning the cat came and wanted out as is her wont. I opened the back door. Nope. Opened the front door. Nope. She decided to go back to bed. About two hours later, she was letting us know that, OK, now I really do have to go out, and she did. For as long as it took her to do her business.

This morning I took a foray out in the yard. Everything is coated with ice.

the northeast side of the cedar tree is weighted down

this gerber daisy was confused by the temps in the 70s earlier this week

my Friday selfie...surveying the frozen crunchiness of my yard

Thursday, January 23, 2014


That's how I feel today. Ugh.

Woke up with a headache. I hate that. But that's how I get them, when I get them.

Waking up with a headache is not a good way to start the day and although they go away within about 30 minutes of taking some ibuprofen, the ughness tends to linger. And even though I got a good night's sleep last night and didn't wake up til 8 AM, I am still feeling like I haven't really woken up.

As if that isn't bad enough, I never got the order confirmation for the glass I ordered on Monday and was out of town for the last two days, in the city doing work stuff. When I called this morning to inquire I found out that the machine that fabricates the glass I need is down and my delivery date got pushed back 9 more days. I could do the whole damn job between last Monday and Feb. 12. but they can't get me the glass I need.

Checked on the garden and all my tiny cauliflowers have started to bolt. Checked on my neighbor's garden and his cauliflowers are huge and not bolting. My puny kohlrabis are about 3” - 4” in diameter. My neighbor's are 8” in diameter! My puny broccolis are about the size of my kohlrabis and my neighbors are 8” - 10” (about the size of his cauliflowers) and I swear he has a head of cabbage that is at least 12” in diameter!

And now it has started sprinkling, the forerunner of the icy rain and freezing temps for the next several days.

I should be going to the gym today. I should be doing the revision for the last proposal. I should be working on the full size art work for the second job.

I'm doing none of that.

I'm thinking I'm going to take my day off today instead of tomorrow.

A 'couch and TV day' as my daughter put it.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

it's a freakin' miracle

I bought a pair of women's jeans last Friday that fit...everywhere. Straight leg but not toothpick, off the waist (but not at my flippin' pubic bone), and, the most miraculous part of all, the exact right length! Perhaps someone has finally figured out that not all women wear 6” spike heels with their bluejeans.

I haven't been able to buy a pair of women's jeans that fit since I outgrew skin tight size 7 junior. Size 7 junior is now size 3 junior I think. Gotta love the fashion industry.  Don't like that size 9 tag? No problem. Voila, 9 is now 5!

Anyway, after I snagged my man and quit going to bars and clubs I decided comfort was the highest criteria. No more skin tight skinny jeans for me.

Actually, what happened was that I had kids.

That'll kick you out of the junior department faster than you can blink.

It also kicked me out of the women's department as far as jeans went. Or pants of any kind.

Cause I have certain requirements. Like not cinched at my waist. I hate things at my waist cause my waist has never been as small as the fashion industry thinks it should be. And not tight. I want to be able to breathe and move and bend over and sit...comfortably. And I want them the right fucking length! Is that too much to ask for?

Apparently, it is.

So for the past 30+ years I've been buying Levis 501s in the men's department. They hit me at the hip and I can buy them by waist and length, (hear that women's fashion waist size and length). The only problem is that they are a bit baggy in the front and thigh.

I have, over the years, made forays into the ladies department looking for jeans and have always come away empty handed.

My last purchase of women's jeans which I bought several years ago were a compromise. They were only about 2” too long, being a 'short' (I am not a midget, at 5'4” I'm actually rather average); they hit below my hip bone, which was a little too low, but at least they weren't at my pubic bone; and they were a little stretchy for the comfort factor.

I couldn't keep them up.

I finally had to sew two strips of elastic onto the back inside waistband because after wearing them, with the legs turned up into cuffs, for an hour or so, I was constantly pulling them back up in place. Every time I stood up or walked more than half a dozen steps, they would have slipped down an inch or so.

I have high hopes for these. Granted, I haven't worn them beyond just trying them on and the denim is not as heavy weight as the Levis, but they should be fine for spring and fall.

I doubt I'll abandon my men's jeans altogether but it's nice to have a more feminine alternative for a change.

Friday, January 17, 2014

our small effort at improving the economy

We went on a little shopping spree today but only came back with about half the things on our list.

things we didn't get:

pavers so I can work on my back patio some more
place mats and napkins
shower curtain
men's lounge pants
women's shorts

things we did get:

men's and women's pants
men's shorts
unfinished 5' cabinet and counter top

Here's my future cold work station:

It's going to be on wheels so I can move it outside when needed.

We also stocked up at the liquor store and the grocery store (for items our local store doesn't carry).

Got back in time to see this:

Before we left to go to the closest shopping plaza we made a quick trip to the library. I'm reading The Book Thief and I've had it for over three weeks I'm pretty sure and I'm only about 3/4 of the way through but I want to renew it and pay my fines. So when she scanned the book she told me that she couldn't renew it because there was a wait list for it.

I scooped it back up. “I'm not going to turn it back in then,” I told her.

Uh oh. Too late. She had already scanned it in and the computer knew it was back but she did something and gave me til Tuesday (an extra day since they're closed Monday) since I assured her I would finish it this weekend.

In my eternal optimism, the same optimism that makes me continuously tell people they will have their work sooner than they ever get it, I convinced myself that I will finish it sooner rather than later and I should pick out another book as long as I was there.

Here's me trying to pick out another book:

I ended up with Bel Canto by Ann Patchet. My main criteria was that it not be 550 pages which seems to be a length I've been stuck on.

next post: it's a freakin' miracle

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

blah blah work blah and some dead foliage


I had a productive day today and it's still early and I should be finishing up these last sketches which I'm mostly pleased with. Especially since I am juggling three jobs and so far, nobody's pissed off yet.

But they will be.

Before it's all over with someone is going to be unhappy with how long their work is taking.


I did finish up and sent the images off to the client. Now I'm ready to start the full size art work for one job, the intermediate size for the second job, and the intermediate size for the third job if they approve the drawings. Earlier today I zipped into the city and got approval on the revisions for job #2 and did a field measure of the doors for job #1.

So now I have my work ready this week.


I went to the gym last Thursday and for the next two days I was so sore I could hardly move (it'd been a while). The CW says I should have gone back on Saturday but I worked at the antique store that day. Sunday. I was going to go back on Sunday but I had sketches to do and next thing I knew, the day was gone.

I didn't finally get back until Tuesday. My reluctance in going is not about the workout but about the big chunk of time out of my day because when I go, I'm there for almost two hours. I did get the full size art started for job #1 when I got back.

1/3 full size for a pair of doors (the architect did the initial sketch and then I cleaned it up and made it look like this)


Today! Today, I'm going to get the full size drawings for the pair of doors for job #1 finished she says in the small fine print.

In case you haven't figured it out I've been immersed in art work for the past 4 weeks getting proposal sketches done, doing revisions in between holidays and grandkids, and now starting on the full size art work. Eventually we'll get to fabrication and be spending half of every week in the city again.

Something not work related:

We are having our December weather in January. Either that or we are having our late February/early March weather in January. Whichever, the days are warm and the birds are being mighty chirpy. Everything in the yard is still brown and dead though.

yellow and white butterfly ginger that was so beautiful last year

It will all come back.

Friday, January 10, 2014

just a memory

Cold weather? What cold weather? Did someone mention cold weather? It's 68˚ and humid outside and I'm barefoot. I don't get it. 68˚ is what we keep the heater thermostat on when it's cold outside and when the heat is on and I've got on twice as many clothes, I'm still cold. Now, it's 68˚ outside and I'm barefoot.

I have another job consisting of two good size windows that I'm working on sketches for now. These will be shipped to Maryland when we're done. They really like this piece we did for Oak Bend Hospital using native flora and fauna so I'm working with images for the Chesapeake Bay area. Most of the plants and wildlife is familiar.

I've been trying to be very good this week and curtail my internet time, well, my internet time wasting as I do a lot of image research on the web, and get these sketches done so I can move on to all the full size art work I need to do next week.

Since it's Friday, here's a selfie of me pretending to work:

I'm already having second thoughts about this selfie on Friday thing as I'm having to take over a dozen shots before I get one that I'm not too horrified at.

Tomorrow is one of my days at the antique store and I'm going to organize all my bird drawings into a binder instead of the folder where they currently reside while I'm there. It's supposed to rain so I don;t expect too many people will come in.

Thursday, January 9, 2014


For all those who asked about Big Mama turtle during the hard freeze here, she was hunkered down in the bottom of her pond. I expect she'd be out today if it wasn't raining since it's supposed to get up to 70˚. Yes, Tuesday morning it was 25˚. That's living on the Gulf Coastal Plains for ya.

And the garden made it through. In fact everything looks like it grew while under the tarp.

One last picture...our future bluebonnet patch. I think it's going to be the biggest this year since we have lived here.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


Last night was supposed to be our coldest night so far. They were predicting 25˚ but that's what it was when I got up this morning so I'm thinking it got even colder. Went out this morning to replenish the bird feeders and to see if there were any good pictures.

Polypro long johns, fleece pants, fleece socks, leather moccasins, camisole, flannel shirt, sweatshirt, fleece pullover, fleece fingerless gloves (fingers, just no tips), and new crochet hat from Ms Dana Bug.

OK. Fingerless gloves are a bad idea in 25˚ weather. By the time I came in, the exposed ends of my fingers were red as a holly berry and hurt like hell. Had to run the hot water to warm them up.

We got the garden covered Sunday.

Nothing to photograph but a carpet of leaves and frozen stuff.

the natural water filter for the water lily pond which had a crust of ice on it – frozen

parrot feather on the left, swordleaf on the right – frozen

elephant ear (oops, should have covered that) – frozen

birdbath – frozen solid

night blooming jasmine – frozen

I know, what a whiner, right? Not even any snow, just a little frozen water. Many of you are having to endure days of -25˚ and worse.

It's actually not so bad out there now. This morning was the end of it for us and it will begin to warm up quickly. The sun is shining and already all the ice has melted.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

cold weather, garden, selfie

It's cold out (well, it's been cold out, very nice today, supposed to get up to 67˚). They are saying we had the coldest December on record and I believe it. Not that we had the coldest temps on record, but the average temperature throughout the month. It was a very cold month. Days have been overcast and windy as well.

Of course, we got the garden in late so combined with the unseasonably cold and overcast days it's not growing well. I got my carrot, lettuce, and spinach seeds in even later. The carrots and lettuce sprouted weeks ago but that's about it. Some of the spinach is growing albeit very slowly.

And Monday night it's supposed to get down to 25˚ so I think we are going to have to cover the garden. And then, they are predicting a high on the following Thursday for 72˚. We've always had extremes of weather here but climate change is making the extremes even more so.

Large groups of geese have been heading south the last couple of days, fleeing from the arctic front headed this way I suppose, the one that's dropping temps all along the Canadian border to highs below zero. Fahrenheit.

The grandgirls go home today, it's my one Saturday off of the month from the antique store, and today's weather is making me want to do stuff outside.  

I decided I was going to take a selfie every Friday this year. Here's the first one. We'll see how long this lasts.


Thursday, January 2, 2014

easing in

It's the second day of the new year and I still have the three grandgirls but the two boys are gone. Yesterday, I fixed a big breakfast for everyone...eggs, bacon, blueberry pecan pancakes, and mimosas for the grown-ups...cleaned up afterwards and that was the last thing I did all day that didn't involve sitting on the couch.

We watched movies all day.

Today I worked on a couple of the revisions I have to do while the girls put together a jigsaw puzzle, listening to music. Not putting in full days the rest of the week, just tending to the easy tasks.

Easing into this new year.