Showing posts from 2015

Doodle Jewels

There was a perfect storm this long Thanksgiving weekend; a bunch of tangle artists with extra time on their hands discovered several  'Jewel' tutorials that started popping up in Facebook Groups last week...Voila! There was a 'jewel storm' on the boards all weekend long, and the results were amazing! I had such a good time looking at everyone else's work, that you know I had to try it myself! I suspect this is exactly what caused the storm!
While I love color, I'm not very good with it... but I gave it the old college try. I drew a bunch of circles and just started trying the different techniques and color combinations. I'm still not satisfied. I have wicked 'jewel envy' from looking at other's work, but it was fun. 
Practice Sheet (tone on tones)
 Practice Sheet Two:Sakura shadow technique (Note-paper was two thin and it totally warped)
Practice Sheet Three:Trying to throw an odd color in every now and then. 
Have you tried Jewels yet?…

Guys On Ice

As a present to myself, in celebration of my 50th successful mission completely around the sun, I bought myself a ticket to see the play Guys On Ice in the Stackner Cabaret at The Rep in Milwaukee.
I saw this play about a year ago in Madison at the Barrymore and fell instantly in love. It's a sweet, simple story about two guys who go ice fishing, but it has a deep current of philosophy and life lessons running underneath.  I can't really fully explain my fascination with this play, but I feel a deep connection. It makes me happy and homesick all at the same time. It evokes happy memories of snowy, Northern Maine afternoons spent in the smelt shack with Daddy and Poppie and makes me long for those days where we were all together and times seemed so much simpler. I had never been to The Rep before and won't drive in Milwaukee for just any old reason so you know it has to be pretty special!

I found the theater with no problem and even bumbled into the right parking place com…

Diva's Challenge: Hollibaugh


Thanksgiving for The Turkeys 2015

I was lucky enough to be able to volunteer at this year's 'Heartland Thanksgiving For The Turkeys' on Sunday. It snowed on Saturday and when I got to the farm it was a balmy 15° but gorgeous at the farm!

These three little pigs were not interested in leaving their snuggly bed!

The goats were in coats.

But the turkeys were all excited about their Thanksgiving feast. 

They even invited some of their chicken friends. I wish I had gotten a picture of Reggie (the larger chicken in this pic) when he was standing dead center in that 'pie' looking all proud of himself!

After Thanksgiving was over and the mess cleaned up, I fixed a Thanksgiving feast of cranberries, stuffing and sweet potatoes for the new mini pig, Percy. He is the dearest, furriest little thing. He tucked into his dinner like it was his job; making the cutest little grunting and chomping sounds!

Since it was so cold, I dug out my box of woolies for the first time this season and rooted through it for appro…

Diva Challenge #244: "Tripoli Triptastic"

Two weeks in a row! Now that summer and autumn are winding down, I have a little more tangle time on my hands. This week's Diva Challenge was to use the tangle pattern : Tripoli.  This isn't one of my fav tangles. I want to make it way more perfect than I have the ability to draw it. It's a simple concept-a grid of triangles, but I lose control of it very quickly-especially if I draw it small, so I thought I'd make it big for this one, Didn't make a difference-still got wonkey triangles.  But I had fun anyway-doing something different with it that using it as a filler.

Thanks for another great challenge, Diva!

Hornet's Nest

I've been watching this beautiful wasp's next all summer. It was in a tree outside my office window,

As soon as we had had a few cold nights, I checked to make sure it was empty.  Yup! Nobody home. [As a side note, I KNEW it was empty, but when I was cutting it down, the tree showered down all these little leaves and when the first one hit me, I admit I did the light fantastic, flailing and slapping, for a minute.]

So I went out with my pruning shears, a trash bag, and an elastic, I put the bag over the nest, clipped the branch , and wrapped the elastic around the top...just as added insurance that there weren't a few sleepy stragglers in there.  Oddly enough, when I unwrapped it later, there were no hornets, but there were numerous Asian Ladybugs. Kinda felt bad about commandeering their winter lodge. 

I find nests like these miraculous. Hornets and wasps just have an overall bad attitude, and yet they create this delicate paper structure, in beautiful blues and browns. …

Northern California

I was fortunate to be able to visit with family in Northern California recently. I've been to central and southern parts of the state, but the northern part was an a wonderful adventure in new flora and scenery
You know you're not in Wisconsin any more when the palm trees start showing up...

And the prickly pear cacti are more than a foot high and bear huge fruit...

This looks like desert, and it is I suppose. Because of the drought, this part of the American River Parkway biking and walking  system, which is usually under water, is dry.  The river's levy is more than a mile away from the river's edge right now. 

And the next two photos are of Folsom Lake. This is usually a huge thriving lake with boaters and swimmers.  Now it looks like a big puddle. The water normally comes up to where you can see the earth tone change in the bottom third of the photo.

If we had had more time, I would have loved to go stomping around on the lake bed. The DNR out there has posted sig…

Diva Challenge: Just a Tiny Taste

I haven't done a Diva Challenge in a gazillion years. Life has been moving pretty fast around here this autumn, but now, as winter approaches, maybe I'll have more time to sit a spell.

This week's challenge really intregued me. It's called Just a Tiny Taste because the goal is to leave the majority of the tile blank. This is a real challenge for me as I tend to fill up every available millimeter of space available to me. But I gave it a shot; a couple of times really. I like the concept but they just feel unfinished. Baby steps.

The first one doesn't leave enough of the tile blank and it still looks 'naked to me.

This second one is more in keeping with 'the rules' and it's killing me to not add more pizzaz somewhere! LOL!

It was a good challenge because I need to leave more space in my work for the eye to rest.  Here are some of the latest doodles from my sketchbook.  See?!?!? Every inch of space.  Way too busy!

There has to be a happy medium somewh…

Butterflies Are Free

Always on the lookout for new experiences (and ways with potential for getting lost, hurt, looking foolish, ending up on 'Cops' or any combination of those things) I saw an ad on Facebook for 'Monarch Butterfly Taggers'. The Madison Audubon group was asking for volunteers to go to the Goose Pond Sanctuary in Arlington to capture, tag and release Monarchs for the folks at who track their migration to Mexico each year.
Goose Pond is gorgeous and the fields were blooming with goldenrod and fall asters. It was a little breezy, but warmed up quickly. Couldn't have picked a better day for capturing the Wee Beasties.

After a short how-to on how to capture, tag and release we were off!
That's 'Capture' (see the net??)...

'Tag' (that little sticker on the wing)
And 'Release' You'd think for sure they would just fly in circles with that sticker on their wings but they don't. Experiment complete. You're welcome.
There …

I Saw This Thing on Pinterest: Baked Pumpkin Doughnuts

I saw the same ads you all did a while back; the ones for the baked donut pans and accompanying paraphernalia for making a 'healthy' alternative to the fat-laden breakfast treats. I thought it looked cool but wasn't willing to pay $19.99 for them because nothing EVER works like it does in those infomercials. My Momma's so proud she din't raise up no fool!  But then I found the whole kit and caboodle, still in the box, a couple of summers ago for $1 at a yard sale. Well now. I won't ruin $20 worth of ingredients on a $19.99 pan but for a $1..... Maybe my Momma should reconsider,
They've just been sitting in my pan cupboard since then. I KNEW they would be awful so why bother! (I know, don't try to figure out the wonky thought process. I've long since given up.) But then I poked around Pinterest. Dog help me, but some of my greatest successes AND failures have started with the phrase 'I saw this thing on Pinterest'; a phrase that's the fe…

Molly Bee and The Really Really Big Mushroom

While out and about last Friday, I saw this peeking out of the tall grass under a big tree over by Farm and  Fleet. I suspected it was a giant puffball.  I had seen several from afar and lots on-line, but never gotten up and personal with one, so of course I trudged across the field and picked it.  Here it is in the trunk of the car.

As I approached it in the field, I thought I had been mistaken. This is the top and it looked like a giant blog of that liquid insulation stuff...we were by Farm and Fleet, a giant hardware and farming equipment store,after all.
But the minute I touched it (and smelled it) I knew it was the real deal.  It grows on the ground so it took me a few minutes to evict the myriad of creepy-crawlies that lived on the mushroom's underside. 
I brought it home and set it on our patio table, It was significantly larger than a basketball, and a solid, fleshy 5.7#!  I knew that the scuttlebutt on my Nature group on-line has said that they were edible but I wasn'…

Diva Challenge 253 Stripes

This week's Diva Challenge was to just draw stripes across the tile as a string. Never one to follow directions, mine are curvy instead of straight but there you go. This was definitely a therapeutic tangle for me! Thanks for the challenge, Laura!

Molly Bee and the Very Very Scary Thing

I got my safe, secure, little world rocked to its core this week. I stopped at a local gas station to get an iced tea and a bag of peanuts on my way to work. I had been working at home all morning while a handyman installed our new storm door and had rushed out afterward forgetting lunch.

As I entered the store, I heard a loud gentleman, with a pronounced Southern accent, talking to some people on the other side of the store. The only reason I noticed was because of the strong accent, not that they were yelling or fighting or anything. I got my iced tea and nuts and proceeded to the front of the store. The man with the accent was now alone. He grabbed my arm and asked me if there were any restaurants around here within walking distance. I pointed out a few, while trying to gently extricate my arm. He tightened his grip and said that they were too far away for him to walk, and that he wasn't from around here, and that I would be driving him. Still trying to be reasonable and half t…

Meditating on Meditation

I took an Intro to Meditation class at the local library tonight. I've meditated a bit in the past but wanted to get an overview of some of the different methods available. The class started at 7PM.  The room was so heavy with patcholi incense that I wasn't sure I was going to be able to stay.  My nose plugged up and my eyes watered, but I finally lost my sense of smell and then it was somewhat OK. But by 7:15 I had failed the course completely. My mellow was so thoroughly harshed that it's lucky I didn't hurt someone.
In what universe do you sign up for a 7PM MEDITATION course, show up 10-15 late and then enter the room, gabbing loudly on your cell phone,  asking people to move so you and your equally tardy and talkative friend can sit together, and asking what you missed?  And it wasn't just one or two people. It was about ten, one or two at a time, spaced in intervals that exactly matched when we'd just got calmed down from the last idiots that crashed the …