Monday, November 25, 2013

The "Catch-Up Queen"...

Hello, All!
Once again, catching up...
So much going on here, so many changes...
Still not used to the "new normal" empty nest ~
We have also lost two family members
 in the last few weeks, one human, one "fur"...
My brother-in-law Charles, first  ~
Charles was a father-figure for my husband and my SIL (their own dad had passed away)...
they were practically still babies when he married their older sister, DeeDee.

Charles got not only a wife, but a whole family...he was their rock for 57 years.
♥ ♥ ♥

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"Uncle Charles" was a good man.

Then yesterday, my daughter Mandy's kitty, Basil.
She explained it best in her Facebook post, which I will borrow here...

"My sweet Basil died in my arms this morning.
Six years old - heart failure, blood clot.
 I've known the end was coming for about a month, but I had no idea when,
 & I guess one is never really prepared.
 I am so thankful it was quick, at home ...
& that I was with him.
 He was a sweet, crazy boy from day one,
& life will never be the same without him.
So, now it's just me & two tabbies.
It's not quite right for BlackCatPratt to not have a black cat..."

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As for me, I've been trying to get some things accomplished...

(Can you believe a month from today is Christmas?)

a beading project is in the works...

Kitties love beads, I've found...

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Cyrus is guarding the beads...

Sitting on them like a dragon...

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When I kept snapping pictures with my phone,

he turned around...

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When Cyrus wasn't helping, Leo was.

Look how he lies half-on/half-off the table!

Graceful, that fellow "Bull in the China Shop" here...

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"I caused Mom to have to re-string an entire necklace after I swished

it off the coffee table with my work here is done...for now." ~ Cyrus

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That's it for now...

Check back in a day or so and I will post step-by-step instructions

for my animal ornaments...


I'll be back.



Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!
I wasn't on the ball enough this year to join any Halloween blog festivities,
but here are a few pictures anyway!
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I really had fun combining Halloween and Dia de los Muertos themes...

Next year I want to find some Day of the Dead and Saint votives...

and I really want to order some sugar skulls...

I hope I remember in time!

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Here again is my sweet little pumpkin that Grandma Collier

gave me on my second Halloween...

So glad my Mom took good care of it for me, because I would have

used it year-round for collecting things...

Tadpoles in spring and other critters the rest of the year, probably...;^)

(The cool Edgar Allan Poe art card is from Susan of Flutter Before You.)

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My dear friend Elaine made the lovely Halloween "make-do" for me,

and also sent the sweet little Mousie-girl with her bucket of candy corn...

(She also made the Kitty-girl last year!) ~ ♥

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Fun planter-shoes and Marigolds ~

with a pink Chrysanthemum tucked in for good measure...

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This pretty cone is also from Susan at Flutter Before You...

I was the lucky winner of one of her Halloween drawings last year ~ :^)

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A flock of Vultures adorn my tree!

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Black licorice "Crows" and Halloween Ghostie Peeps

I couldn't resist!

I think they should call them "Boos" or something, though...;^)

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This plastic candy dish is from the early 1960s

(also well taken care of by my Mom),

a Woolworth's purchase...a whole 29 cents!

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And lastly, cupcakes...(and marshmallow Skulls) ~

Don't worry, I checked first before adding the Marigolds...

(They're edible and have vitamins, but can be bitter!)

Since I can't have any goodies right now ~ I resisted, not even a tiny taste ~

Jonathan and his dorm-mates got the spoils of my photo-shoot!

That's all for now!

Have a fun rest of the evening, this All Hallow's Eve!



Dia de los Muertos Pumpkin, Step-by-Step

Hello again!
Here's how I did the Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) pumpkin...
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I began by folding a piece of typing paper in half and cutting out

a simple skull shape. I folded it a little to fit the curve of the pumpkin

and lightly traced around the pattern with a liner brush,

then base-coated the skull background with white acrylic ~

(I used Golden Liquid Acrylic).

While that was drying, I sketched my design on the paper pattern,

this time cutting out the eyes, mouth and nose shapes.

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I placed the cut-out shapes on the pumpkin and used a liner brush

and pink acrylic (thinned) to trace around them...

(I used pink paint instead of black as it would be easier to blend into

the finished design ~ also easier to cover up any stray lines later.)

I used the brush to free-hand "sketch" in the different elements;

Swirls, flowers, hearts ~ the more the merrier!

It looks pretty messy at this stage...but it all comes together!
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I filled in the main shapes with bright, light to medium colors.
Now for the fun!
Using slightly thinned black acrylic and a liner brush, I outlined all the shapes ~
I then used a small round brush for the larger areas and the negative shapes around the eyes.
I got "dotty" with a brush handle dipped in various colors!
You could just go wild with details...I had to keep reminding myself that
this was just a (perishable) pumpkin!
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Even though it's not going to last all that long, I wanted the skull to have a

nice gloss, so I put a coat of water-based sealer on the painted design only.

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It's a good thing the sealer was dry, Leo!

He has to check everything out.

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Now, this part is really short-lived... (Aren't many really good things fleeting, though?)

but it was fun ~ I had oodles of marigolds, and they are such a significant part

of Dia de los Muertos that I had to do it.

Just a tiny bit of hot-glue holds each flower-head in place.

And they did last until the next day!

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Leo didn't know what to think about this part...;^)
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Leo does love to pose! (This is his "Lassie" look.)
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And that's it!

Join me for Halloween tomorrow night!



Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Dio de los Muertos...♥

Hi, everyone!
I apologize again for being MIA...
I do love blogging but you would think it was such a chore, wouldn't you?
It isn't.
  I will get straightened out soon!
I wanted to show you my Dia de los Muertos pumpkin, though...
Check back (hopefully later this evening) for steps on how I did him!
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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Happy Fall, Y'all! (Just a Little Late...)

Hi, Everyone!
I have been a baaad blogger...
How can a person suddenly have too much time on their hands,
yet accomplish so little?
That's what's happening with me here.
Empty nest.
My children will tell you I spend too much time checking on them...
(I worry!)
Sweet little Cyrus has been sick...
(More worrying, especially since he can't tell me how he feels...)
He is well, now, thank goodness.
Everyone is in place for the moment.
So what happens now?
I decided at the beginning of summer that I was going to lose weight ~
(the weight I gained when I ate and then didn't die after breast cancer in 1999) ;^)
...and I did!
Well, I still am...not quite at my goal yet.
But you know what?
I have learned (first hand)
that when a woman "of a certain age" loses a lot of weight,
it makes her gall bladder very unhappy...
Who knew?
Not me, that's for sure.
But that's what happened.
I get to take medicine for a little while
 and eat unsweetened applesauce and Jello.
Then surgery, probably.
(Much preferable to gall bladder attacks.)
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Sweet Cyrus...feeling much better now.

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Did I ever think I would say "Too many tomatoes"?


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Marigolds to decorate with!

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Heirloom okra, destined to become Vultures...

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Ready for drying in the oven...

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Leo has taken to sitting on the okra vultures like a hen.

no matter what stage they are in...

even with still-wet sealer on them!

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And finally, Cypress Vines...


Like last year, if any of you would like seeds,

I would be more than happy to send you some ~

just leave me your address in a message ~

it may take me a little while,

but I'd be glad to share!

And how is your Autumn shaping up??


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

September 11

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(Photo from
Yes, I actually have two posts today...and this is my 200th.
It didn't seem right to combine a tribute to the heroes and victims
of that tragic day with a post about my little paintings...
It is so clear, it seems like it could have been last week ~
 it's hard to believe it's been twelve years.
It was one of those times when you'll always remember

where you were when you heard the news...
I called my mom, then I called my dad.
He turned on his television while I was still on the phone
 (one channel, CBS, just like it had been at the farm since I was little),
then he didn't say anything for several long minutes...
I was beginning to wonder if he remembered I was still on the line.
When he did speak, he said "Well, I've expected this for a long time...
just like during "War Two" (Daddy was a WWII veteran, Army Air Corps),
many other countries have dealt with atrocities like this
...we couldn't be exempt forever."
I wish we could have.
Bless all of them.

Still Painting...

Hi, everyone!
 Happy Wednesday!
I'm still in Atlanta with Katie and her kitties,
but I'm working on some new little ACEOs ~
No distractions here, right?
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Five little paintings, all in various stages...
I work best this way, whether it's Fairy Houses
or paintings...
Rarely just "one at a time"!
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Sometimes it's difficult to come up with new ideas,
and other times I have so many I have to write them down...;^)
I have started a little "nature" series here,
with Tallulah spying on various little creatures...
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One little cafĂ©-scene, though...
I think I'm going to call this "Blue Plate Special" ~
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Of course, I have "kitty help" here, too...
(Kitties are such helpful little things...they excel at holding down books, papers, etc. for you!)
This is Kensington, Katie's big Ragdoll boy...isn't he handsome?
That's all for now...hope your week is going great!