Friday, June 28, 2013

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Picture With Me...

You have to use your internal peepers for this one. Let me set the stage for you and tell a little tale. 

One day a woman was driving home from her violin lesson. Traffic for some reason was pretty much insane. Inching forward, stop, inching forward, stop. Finally, she reached the on-ramp for the interstate and found that not only was traffic there, crazy, it was moving right along. She merged and then played the get-in-the-right-lane game. It was then that she saw him, two lanes over.

A bright blue pick up. Mid-seventies, possibly early 80's...the kind that you just don't see on the interstate very often. Beat up, of course, it's put some serious time in. The bed is full of lumpy peach colored items. The woman, intrigued now, cranes her neck, one eye on the traffic, one eye trying to figure out what fills the pickup bed....

And then, she spies it. A well-formed, completely obvious swell of a buttock. And there, next to it, is a complete set, standing proudly, leaning against the inside corner of the truck. A load of mannequin buttocks? A truckful of butts? A buttload of mannequin parts? 

Yes. And the woman, battling crazy traffic, all alone, wished for a camera. 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Painting Party Tutorial ~ Day 2

We were at Step 4: The stems and leaves. Finish your leaves, leaving half of each leaf blank. 

Step 5: Yellow centers, aka blobs. Use the same technique you did for the small flowers. Mix up the bump outs on the yellow blob to make the flower more interesting. And black rings. Ditto. Don't fill in the black ring because the blue will be going there. 

Step 6: Outline the flowers, leaves and buds with a thin brush dipped in black paint.  (Or use a Sharpie)

Step 7: Blue. Fill each black ring with a blue blob. And then pick which leaves or portion of leaf you want to paint blue and fill it in, or highlight it over the green that is already in place. 

Step 8: Add yellow highlights to the leaves and buds. 

Uniquely same art. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Painting Party Tutorial ~ Part 1

& found a poster and liked it's looks. I liked that it looked easy to duplicate.

Blank Canvas. Ha. Ha. We used 8 x 10s and 11 x 14's.
Step 1) Dry brush/stipple yellow (or color of choice) onto the canvas. Or paint the whole background whatever color you want, or plaid, or stripes....go crazy. I didn't do this step with my example, I did it after I got done with the painting and decided the pre would be better and cut down on any smearing.

Step 2: Decide how many big and medium flowers and how many buds you want on your picture. I went with  3 buds,  2 small and 1 large flower. Simply paint an amoeba like blob with 4 rounded bump outs. 

Continue with the small flowers. The buds can be made by placing your brush perpendicular to the canvas and spinning in a tight circle.  

Step 3: Stems. With a tiny tipped brush or green sharpie, draw stems. Start at the base of each flower and bud and pull the stems off the canvas, intersecting where you want. Draw them as thin or thick as you want.  

Step 4: Begin adding leaves. Add them close enough to the flowers that they look natural, and connected to a stem...if you need to add a stem, do so. Add leaves onto white spaces. Fill in half of each leaf with solid green. Leave the other half blank. Leaves can be shaped like and eye or squished oval or rain or tear drop. 

More, tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ In The Eye of the Beholder

The painting example....
& and her friends had a fun night at a painting class a few weeks ago. The class is designed for friends to chillax and toss back a few glasses of wine (hmmm, seems like an interesting possible bad idea, but whateves) while a professional teaches the group, one step at a time, to paint. 

The four participants had both similar and radically different results and it was pretty cool to see the inner artist come out of each of their paintings. So, somehow, & volunteered me to teach a homemade version of this class at a friend's birthday party. Apparently, & likes how I paint flowers. No pressure. 

So we went to Hobby Lobby and took some pictures of flowers and pictures of pictures of flowers. And then she picked the one she liked the most. Fortunately, it was one I thought I could "teach". I changed/modified it on one of the canvases we bought. AND, as instructed, (did I mention I didn't go to the class with her and that I'm not exactly trained in the arts?) took stages pictures and wrote out the instructions. (I'll actually do a tutorial soon.) 

The party grew. From possibly 6 people I did know to 11, half of which I didn't. The first question after people started nibbling on the vodka soaked Swedish Fish (apparently, vodka soaked gummy bears are all the rage, but gummy bears are not vegan. However, Swedish Fish are...I tried one. Since I don't care for the lovely after burn of alcohol and hate Swedish Fish, one was enough....more than enough!) ...I digress...was "So are you an artist?" Gulp. Fortunately, my gig was volunteer and they were just covering materials. 

So, stay tuned. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Scraps and Snippets ~ Lemon Chia Bars (Vegan)

Lemon Bars

8 x 11 30 to 35 minutes 350

1 1/2 Cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 flax eggs (4 TBSP water, 2 TBSP milk)
1 Cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/3 Cup lemon juice
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 Cup coconut oil
Zest of one lemon
1 TBSP chia seed

1 Cup powdered sugar
2 TBSP milk
1 teaspoon lemon juice
two drops almond extract

additional chia seeds, 1 tsp or so.

Bake 30 minutes, or until set up. Pour glaze over bars and let cool. 

Friday, June 21, 2013

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Safari Zoological Park

When Rob, my hubby, and the group from church went to Oklahoma to help with tornado relief they made a side trip on the way back to Iowa.

Fox News Story 2008 
I remember this story from 2008. The mama retriever raising tiger cubs. How sweet. And one of the sweetest parts is that this viral story kept this small zoo, Safari Zoological Park, functioning. 

Our family history includes zoos. Our kids loved animals, wildlife and museums so some of our fondest family memories include zoo visits. Since we live in the shadow of one of the world's highly rated zoos, the Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo, our zoo bar is high. Rob happened to be on this Oklahoma mission trip with our son and daughter-in-law and this trip was indeed memorable. 

They paid for the VIP tour and got every penny of their money's worth. From the tiger catch-the-carcass display, and the nuzzling bear, to the hand's-on once-in-a-lifetime moments, they were able to pet a few critters and see behind the scenes. If you are in Kansas this summer. This little zoo is highly recommended by Iowa zoo lovers. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Scenes from Oklahoma...

A Lifesaving Storm Shelter. The flood plain is too high to allow for basements. 


Rob and the copperhead.
One thing I didn't know about tornadoes even though I live in tornado country. Apparently, cars are extremely dangerous. 

If a tornado sucks up a car and it remains in there long enough it becomes crushed into a large rolling ball and can shoot out create secondary damage to homes, structures and even people. 

Our crew found a copperhead snake which unsettled the whole group. On a good note, they found some lost treasures and heard stories that reinforced their faith. And they were able to bring blessings to so many people and were blessed in turn.  

One family told them about a litter of kittens born the night after the tornado. The little girl carefully named them. 

One was named tornado. Another stormy. A third one was named destruction. And number four, she named hope. 

Faith, in spite of it all.
The team we sent went through an organization,  Service International and had a good experience. The organization was efficient and organized and the people they worked with were a blessing as well.  Service International provides equipment and work with local churches. 
Metal driven into a tree.

A found treasure

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Where the Wind Blows...

My hubby just returned from the Moore Oklahoma area. 

This picture is of a survivor. One site that they cleared had dozens of bouncy balls scattered amidst the debris. 

He brought one home to remind us of the blessings we so often take for granted. 

Our home, the forever work-in-progress stands. Our health, though we feel the creaks of middle age, is good. Our family, though imperfect in all it's glory, is family and easily touched during our busy days and nights scurrying around trying to get things done. 

A portion of the affected area in Oklahoma is called the land of the Forgotten Tornado. Much of what my husband and his co-workers did was clean up in areas hit by a tornado the night before the one that rocked the news waves. 

The first day our church group worked hit 105 on the temperature gauge. And each day thereafter didn't drop below 90. The work was overwhelming. Hundreds of people scrambled around site after site, hauling, moving, sorting. Our team wondered about the difference they were making in the miles and miles and miles of broken dreams and homes. They reminded each other that they were making a difference to that one family. 

The work is in such early stages that they would tackle a huge pile of broken lives and sort them into four smaller piles by the roadside so those items could be disposed of properly. 

Every victim's entire household was able to be sorted into brick/concrete, wood, metal or miscellaneous trash. Very few items were intact enough to be placed into a container for rescued treasures. Our team found a few pictures and some kitchen items. And a whole bunch of bouncy balls that came from who knows where and saw who knows what while they rode the angry wind currents. 

My prayers go out on behalf of these victims who've lost the physicality of what was their lives, and to those in Colorado, and even more so for those touched by the deaths in the various tragedies that seem to crop up way too often and way too close together. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ When I'm 85...

Some of my patients crack me up.

Elderly does not mean demented or grumpy, drooly or frumpy.

I actually believe that some of my older patients are some of the most entertaining people I encounter. One little lady flounces in and looks like a million bucks. Seriously, I wish I had her style. Nothing she wears says grandma-wear, let alone great-grandma-wear.

Yesterday, I had a nice conversation with a octogenarian while we were waiting for a room to open up. I asked her about her summer plans. She smiled and said she was going to be in the area most of the summer. She babysits her great grandchildren every once in awhile. I asked about that, told her that I thought that could be kind of challenging. She laughed and she told me that her great grandkids don't come over that often, that she's kind of a last resort. I asked why. She said she'd spent years as a principal in a school and that was back in the day when a stern look or the threat of calling a parent whipped a kid right back into shape. "I'm kind of no nonsense." Then she laughed in the most delightful way and her eyes lit up.

"People asked me why I was a principal so long. and I told them I just loved it." Her eyes twinkled. "Every day was different and I never knew what to expect."  She laughed. "Those kids. So inventive and creative."

And that is what I want to be like when I'm 85. Loving people, thinking that folks are a real kick, worth a little corrective action when necessary, and creative. With a twinkle in my eye and a quick sense of humor.


Monday, June 17, 2013

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Inspiring

My pastor played this video Sunday. I, of course, cried through it. I've seen the story before. And it's so inspiring. To me it is such a picture of a God who loves us. 

Friday, June 14, 2013

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ B and B for Cats...

Random flower bush thingy growing in the woods at the edge of my yard. No idea what it is but it's pretty. 

And. H.C. aka Harold Crick, aka the "new" cat is no longer hanging around. 

I think he may have been passing through. I have a feeling our porch was advertised on Airbnb. I haven't been compensated. But, I did provide a bed and breakfast and a light dinner several nights. Also friendly interaction. So I'm expecting great reviews. I think he must have been in town for the art fair last weekend. 

Or. Oh no. Maybe he was scouting things out for College World Series which starts this weekend. I better look for my listing on airpetbnb. I want to see what I'm offering. I only picked up dry food today. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Proof Positive

Spent the afternoon at the organic farm. This year she added strawberry plants.  

As we were picking the luscious beauties I decided that strawberries might very well be evidence that there is a Creator God Who loves us very much. 

organic Iowan grown strawberries and sugar snap peas

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Settling in and Slither no More...

H.C. or D-MEC or Ono
Our friendly little porch kitty is still just that. He sleeps in a laundry basket, curled up on a towel. Then every afternoon when the sun shines directly on the porch he finds somewhere to go where it's cooler. Then he comes back for dinner. So very friendly.

Apparently, I have a new cat. I've decided that since our indoor cat is named Feral Will, that we should think along the Will Ferrel path for a name. I think I'll call him H.C. for Harold Crick. Stranger than Fiction. Which, if you have not seen it, you really should. Such a good movie. I digress.

I did think of a couple more names. D-MEC. Don't Make Eye Contact and Ono as in oh no!
Feral Will...not amused.

We'll see. I'm wondering if someone is missing him.

And our church Facebook is posting pictures of the Moore clean up project. In the batch is one of my husband holding a dead snake. A dead Copperhead.

Not enough words or exclamation points. Ya know?! (Be glad I didn't include that picture!)

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Drifting

Since my mom was concerned about my moment of melancholy...someone else might be, too.  It was just a small dark cloud that only left behind a poem...

Darkness sighs at 2:00 a.m.
Tendrils of sulphur tinted sorrow waft over me.

I sink further into my slumber

Midnight velvet weeps. Witching hour past.
Ebony shards, shattered slivers of brittle coal tears

I toss and dream

Lightless eternity shrieks at 3:45.
Moans scented of hopeless decay.

Ghouls shimmy, unseen, behind the curtain of life.

Senses, skin alert, I awaken. Startled. And drift, dazed, into blessedly dreamless sleep.

Shadows, sorrow, fear play hide and seek in my mind 

Night clutches. Holding me until it's grip weakens. One spindly finger at a time, ground lost until it's grasp slips into gray. 

And then the sun. 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Weekend Shenanigans...and Stuff

Every year we have a large five block art fair where folks from all over the country line the streets of downtown Omaha with their fine art offerings. 

We attend most years. The fair was this weekend. And this put it succinctly...stunk. 

Our plans were to hit the farmer's market then walk over to the event. Several of us started out with coffee and headed on over to meet the others. And then it began to rain. We ducked into tents to avoid some of the water. And then it began to pour. 

Since Rob wasn't keen on wet feet, or rivulets coursing down his back, and Toad Boy and the Mrs were neutral, I hitched a ride home with Rob and skipped it. However, I had already entered drowned rat territory. And we decided to make a quick stop at Hobby Lobby to find more frames to finish our picture wall. I got a few looks when we walked in, me looking like I'd fallen overboard. 

I think Feral thought the confusing black dots were bugs. Yep. They kinda resemble bugs. 
I feel really sorry for the artists. That's gotta be a costly loss for them. Sunday wasn't much better, finally clearing off at about 4:00 p.m.  

The rain brought some other interesting things. I discovered a robin nest on the light. Good thing we don't use that one very often. And a cat showed up out of nowhere and decided to camp out on our front porch during the two day deluge. It's a friendly little bugger and, of course, we did the one thing you are never supposed to do with an animal....we fed it...and set out a warm, dry towel in a basket for sleeping comfort. Sigh. 

This is our travels window. I love the screen. We've got collages and picture art from New Mexico, Wyoming, Montana and Seattle/Portland. 

one more large frame and it'll be done.

one of the frames full of fun memories.

Friday, June 07, 2013

Scribbles and Scrambles - Violin Tales

Yesterday I had my....let me see... about 17th somethingish violin lesson. 

I'm still in book one. Almost finished with book one. I've learned the 5 notes on each of the 4 strings = 20 notes. I've "learned" whole, half, quarter and eighth note and the approximate timing of each. cough.cough. cricket. I'm playing segments of symphonies. By playing segments I mean like 25 notes. 

Anyhoo. So with all these skilz you'd think the lesson was stellar.

A few months ago I asked for stickers for when I had a great day. Yesterday I got a sticker. 

Backstory. The sticker is part and parcel of a package of stickers I bought and gifted to my frustrating/adorable/sarcastic/funny/talented/taskmaster/teacher. I figured if I bought the stickers he couldn't use the old excuse. "I don't have stickers." Direct quote, by the way. 

So what amazing thing did I do to get my sticker?  Wait for it. Wait for it.

Failure to stick in the upper portion of my bow to make for successful bowing technique that utilizes proper posture, hand usage and pleasant tone versus sqwackage type crapola. This is a paraphrased quote.

Note that the sticker is a skull and in death to those who cross here. I feel intimidated to practice this week.

On a lighter note. This adorable drawing was done by a five-year-old student. Likely, he is way more advanced than me, in violin skills, as well as art. More good news. I get to move to a new book. Bad news attached to the good news? A different company's violin book. Book number 1. Yes. I'm getting a new Book 1. I'm pretty sure the five-year-old artist conquered it when he was three.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ It Can Only Get Better, Right?

Odd day. It seems I either pass out for 10-15 minutes at a time and startle awake to the reality that 10 or 15 minutes has passed and I've moved at a snail's pace, or been frozen in time. Seriously. My 20 minute bathroom routine took 40, making coffee and two sandwiches seemed to take a lifetime and while I was thinking how I could be clever and quick about this blog post I heard a noise. 

Because I apparently have one speed, molasses on a January day, it took me a few second to place said noise. That of a cat eating. Since the cat food bowl is in the bathroom, I pondered and considered, what is Feral eating? 

My oatmeal. Thank you very much! 

Strange day indeed. One wherein time seems to be anti-magical and I share my oatmeal with a cat.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ What I've Been Up To Lately

Guest room remodel....mostly done. Four pictures to hang.

Family picture collage on the progress

My bedroom redo. I need to put all the finishing touches (and close that drawer on my dresser!!!!)

Totally a blank canvas. I have burlap curtains to hang. I'm excited that those turned out the way they did. And I need to paint on my window. And add some bolder "seascape" colored accents to pull everything together. I think this is my weekend project. Bare walls are intimidating to me.