Sunday, October 31, 2010

Giving All

Good morning! I am still waking up.  Last night Mel and I went on a date to see "Despicable Me".  It was at the dollar theater in 3D.  I love 3D!  And I thoroughly enjoyed the movie.  Mel had been reluctant to see it because it was animated and he thought it would just be a kids movie.  I told him it had wonderful reviews and I was sure he would enjoy it.  As we were sitting there watching the previews of upcoming children's movies he turned to me and said, "Are you sure?"  But Mel enjoyed the movie as much or more than I did.  I really liked the end during the credits, when the characters seemed to be climbing out into the audience.  I LOVE 3D!
And I am so grateful for Sunday.  It helps to bring me back to the center of the path.  I am so thankful for that.  I have been working on my lesson for today...."Self Mastery".  It is a wonderful message and especially the supplemental talk by Bruce C. Hafen.  I have always thought he was an amazingly insightful man.  He has given several talks I have really admired.  This one is called "The Atonement: All for All" from the April 2004 conference, Sunday afternoon session.  I like the line "If you're seeing more of your weaknesses, that just might mean you're moving nearer to God, not farther away."  It is a wonderful talk and I suggest you review it if you have the chance today.  This link will get you to the page...the rest is up to you:)http://lds.org/conference/sessions/display/0,5239,23-1-439,00.html
I have been thinking yesterday evening and this morning how much I have learned from painting the Woman at the Well.  Each time I have watched the "Finding Faith in Christ" video I have been moved to realize the wonderful and perfect life of our Savior.  It is a marvelous video.  The scene I painted from is where He is explaining to His disciples that He is "the way, the truth and the life.  No man cometh unto the Father but by me."  I have played that scene many, many times...and paused it and slowly moved from frame to frame trying to catch the right pose.  Anyway I find my understanding of Him has deepened and I feel closer to Him.  It is kind of amazing.  I wish I had the skill to paint the scene better, but it has planted in me a desire to acquire that skill.  I guess it has always been one of my motivators to paint better.  I think I have always wanted to be able to paint the Savior the way I feel Him in my heart.  Maybe some day!  In the meantime I can bear testimony of Him.  I know that He lives and loves us with a perfect love.  He is really there and able to help in any situation.  I am so grateful for His love and example!
Well, I had best finish cutting out my handouts for the girls and reviewing a few more times how to present this lesson.  I hope your day goes well out there in cyberspace.  I'm still pulling for you!  We're all in this together!!  Take care!  And HAGW!  Melody

Saturday, October 30, 2010

I Lied :)

Good morning!  I guess I wasn't really through with this.  But after working on the robe and hand some more and almost ruining the whole thing putting in another tree in the background I am definitely through :)  I hope anyway.  It is not really this pale.  But for some reason my camera won't take an accurate picture.  I guess I am obsessing huh?  Sorry!  I promise this is the last of the Woman at the Well, or as I call it in my mind, "I am the Living Water".
So today is Saturday and I am turning out to be the workaholic.  That is sad.  I made Mel promise not to turn on the machines so we could have a nice day together, and I am the one who has been working.  But now I am done.  Of course we have wonderful stuff planned today.  We are going to clean our closet!  And we are going to help Liz get her washer and dryer hooked up.  And we will probably do a little shopping.  Maybe for extra fun we will drive over to the art store to get a mat and frame:)  That actually does sound fun.  And spending time together is always nice.  I get to feeling like we hardly see each other even though we live in the same house.  So I am glad for a Saturday.
I am signing off now.  I hope your Saturday is cheery and bright and full of inspiring and wonderful new ideas.  Take care and remember I'm still pulling for you!  We're all in this together!  HAGW!!!!  Melody

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Last...I promise!

So I think it was Payne that said fixing a painting is like telling a lie, but I know my teacher, Mr. Fagan says it all of the time.  Still I like this better since I fixed it.  I painted in closer around the face and shortened the fingers:)  Are you tired of this yet?  I promise this is the last.  I am soooo done with this.  And it is still painful to look at.  I think in a year's time I may look back and laugh.  But now I just think what a lousy painter I am.
Good news though.  I went to the Administration Building today and found out I can get a senior discount for school.....only $10 a credit instead of $250 a credit.  So that is a big savings.  And I can go to school longer and learn more of what I need to learn to be a better artiste!  So that brightens my outlook.  I hope I can learn to paint with oil and acrylics so that I can paint people better.  And I suppose I will have to take a people drawing class so I can learn proportions better.  I am very bad at that!  But I never claimed to be fantastic.  I hope I have fulfilled the assignment:)
Tonight is the ward Halloween party, but we are staying home.  We are both too tired to go.  So I suppose we will just watch the tele.  I hope things are happy in your neck of the woods.  Take care and keep your stick on the ice!!!  Melody

Nuts!

Okay, here we go again.  I have fixed the arm and the other arm and the trees and the vase and the bushes and the grass:)  But I think I added someting to the face that makes him seem like he is laughing a little inside.  Maybe not the best thing.  And his hand looks too big to me.  I am feeling very nuts about this though, so I am leaving for Boise.  My grandchildren need me!  And I think I need them today.  I hope your day is going well.  Take care and don't worry about me:)  I am only slightly crazy today:)  Melody
Add caption

Keeping On

Good morning!  I can't believe I slept in!  But I did spend a couple of wakeful hours repainting things in my mind.  I do like the major parts of my painting, but the arm is too short on the Lord and the woman's arm is not quite right and the jug isn't dark enough and the trees in the background are too evenly spaced....should I go on?  I think I can solve most of the problems with a little more paint and some prayed for skill.  I just need to have faith that I can....or do it again:)  In the middle of the night I was thinking acrylics again.  But today it doesn't seem that desperate.  My counselor thinks I need to be less of a perfectionist and be a little kinder to myself.  But I don't think it is that I am not kind to myself....I just want it to be right!  I did just chuckle at myself as I was writing that.  I think what I want is forty years of experience....now!  I do have forty years of experience in other areas...too bad they are not transferable:)
Well, I do have a life besides painting.  There is drawing:)  I am currently struggling with a still life for my art class.  But there are also grandchildren.  I have a three year old that is such a cutie.  I have two saved messages on my phone from her.  They go something like, "Hi, gramma!  This is Hailey.  I love you!  Call me!  Bye bye" in a soft tender toddler voice.  Those messages are priceless!!!!  And they make life worth living.  I am grateful for sweet young voices in my life.  They help me to stay grounded and on the right path.  I wish that the world was a gentler kinder place for all of the children in the world.  I think that is the hardest thing in this life...to realize that children suffer.  I would like to change that if I could.  And so I look forward with anticipation to a day when the world will change with the Second Coming of the Savior.  I hope it is not too far distant.  Things seem to be worsening and we could use some help!
Well, I guess I had best be going forward with my day.  I hope this day finds you happy and well.  Take care out there in cyberspace.  Remember I'm pulling for you!  Don't forget your smile!  And pray for a better world!  HAGW!!!!  Melody

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Finished Product Number Two

Howdy!  I am feeling pretty good right now.  I think I have almost got it.  I see a couple of spots I need to touch up, but for the most part....it's done!  Hurray!  Anyway I thought I would share.  Hope your day is going grrrrreat!  Take care!  Melody


Moaning and Complaining:)

Good morning!  I am off to a running start this morning!  Breakfast is done and cleared....and I have already experimented big time with the projector I borrowed from my daughter.  I think it is going to help!  I am hoping to be able to sketch in the painting quickly this way and not have to struggle over perspective and such.  I have already done that in the sketch and it sure would be great to skip that step.  I also think I can correct errors quickly this way by seeing them more easily.  That may not make sense to you, but it makes perfect sense to me....and it is my blog after all.
Which reminds me I should be writing about interesting things.  So....last night at mutual we made straw rockets!  The boys' leader is really a great scouter and he helped the boys to come up with an astronomy night.  So we made straw rockets and the kids played various games with them.  Then we watched a really fun video of astronauts up in space in zero gravity.  It was pretty funny.  I was the only YW leader besides the president for most of the night though.  Oh well.  I suppose that is normal.  Next week we are doing baptisms at the temple, and I think it is me and one other woman for that too.  I am not complaining...just noticing.
Well, maybe I am complaining.  I can do that in a blog, right?  Complain and moan and cry out against the injustices of the world.  Of course it doesn't change a thing.  It just helps to feel heard. 
Well, I guess I had better get to work.  I have dishes to wash, laundry to run, and lots of drawing and painting and charcoaling ahead of me.  The night before last I made a charcoal rendering of the woman at the well....very modern and impressionistic and full of feeling!!!  I would post it, but I would embarass myself if I did.  It sure felt good though.  Sometimes it is a good way to get the feelings out on paper.!  I was feeling a little frustrated that night.  I feel pretty good today.  The wind is howling and blowing in a storm I think.  It is a good day for painting!  Take care out there in cyberspace!  Remember I'm pulling for you...in between the moaning and complaining.  I do sound kind of silly today.  Sorry!  I hope you have a great wan!!!  Melody

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wednesday's Child

Good morning!  Sleep helps!  I am feeling better this morning than I did all day yesterday, and especially last night.  After calming down about finishing the woman at the well, I realized (with a little help from Mel) that I needed to refine it some more.  And the stake R.S. leader said she would like it to have a well.  Sooooo....it is back to the ol' drawing board.  Last night I felt like I had nothing left.  But this morning seems much brighter and I think I can keep at it until I am happier with the finished product.  I think what it is ....I am feeling a little pushed from school.  So I suppose I should finish that first and then I won't have the feeling of having to rush through this.  Anyway, I hope that is part of it.  I think the scary thing is that I will never really feel finished.  I can always see one more thing to fix or change.  I hope this gets better as I get to be a better artist.
So today I think will be a gut wan!  I am hoping so.  I have school, then a quick trip to see Amy, then mutual tonight.  I have no responsibilities there except to show up, so I may stop for a time at the temple.  I feel like I need to visit there. 
Well, sorry for boring you.  I can't think of anything too interesting to report.  It is a little early.  Take care.  I hope your day is grrrrreat!   Melody

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Finished Product:)

Close Up
Hi again!  I am testing.  I think this may be it.  I kind of like this one and I would love to be done.  Of course I need to get approval from the stake relief society presidency.  I am not sure this is what they had in mind.  I sure hope so.
The amazing thing is I haven't stopped to eat or even take much of a break.  I get so absorbed in painting and drawing.  It is kind of nice.  But now I am HUNGRY!  So I guess I will eat now.  I hope your day is going swell!  TTTL  Melody
The whole thing....that's right....no well.

Courage

Good morning!  I am up a little later today than yesterday....and it feels good!  I was starting to feel like I was sleep deprived.  I don't do well without enough sleep.  I guess these dark mornings help me to stay in bed for awhile longer.  So maybe that is a good thing.  Although I already feel behind.  It is Tuesday so it is laundry today.  And I need to draw and paint.  My next portfolio for my class is due on the 10th of November and I have a few things I need to finish for that....mostly basic shapes done in charcoal.  Then there is that woman at the well painting.  I think I will concentrate on that today.  I am closer to accomplishing that.  Each new painting helps me to come a little closer.  I see what I don't like and then I can go from there.  Trouble is I usually add a new something I don't like.  Sigh!
So for a spot of humor...the sign down town.....miser - one who earns his money the hoard way:)  I thought that was clever.  I smile every time I drive by the sign.  Speaking of smiling I thought I should share Taylor's ant trails.  He told me he made ant trails at home....that his mom had taught him how.  So I asked him how he did that.  "Well, you take a piece of celery and you cut off each end.  Then you glob on the peanut butter really thick so it covers the whole piece of celery all the way to the sides and down to each end.  Then you take some raisins and you put them on the peanut butter like ants!"  He said they are very tasty.  I just thought it was cute that he was so excited about it.  Then Gabe told me how to make marshmallow surprises. "It's so cool, gramma!  You take a marshmallow and you cook it in the microwave and it gets really big and fluffy and....don't cook it too long or it will burn!!!!"  His enthusiasm is contagious.  It made me wish for marshmallows and campfires.  We are taking a trip to see our son Kenny soon, so maybe we can have a campfire at the beach!  I think I might love that!
I guess I am feeling a little melancholy today...wishing life did not pass so quickly.  It seems odd to be this old all of a sudden.  I guess it hasn't been sudden, but it feels sudden.  That's another weird word by the way...sudden.  If you say it very many times it sounds strange.  Oh well, sudden or not I am this age and life is passing quickly and there isn't much I can do about it but go forward with hope and faith and ....courage.  I never realized how courageous old people are.  It takes courage to keep keeping on.  So for all of you compatriots out there....we're all in this together!  And like it or not we just need to keep keeping on.  I'm pulling for you!  Keep your stick on the ice!!!   And  HAGW!!! Melody

Monday, October 25, 2010

Coming Down from McCall

Hallooooo out there in cyberspace land.  I am finally getting to the computer today.  It's almost 4!  But I did get a lot accomplished today I think.  Best of all I got started on my latest still life for my college drawing class.  We were given the option of doing it in graphite or charcoal and I chose charcoal.  I am the only one in the class who did.  But it is OK I think because the teacher is giving me extra time and instruction that the rest of the class is missing out on:)  The girls who sit nearby are getting to be friends, and they both think I am crazy to attempt it.  But....I just like the way the picture looks better in charcoal.  So to give you an idea of what it is supposed to look like here is the version by my teacher in charcoal, then in graphite.  And following that is my start on the picture.  I am surprised that I can even do this.  And happy that I really am beginning to sort of get it.  It's majorly exciting!!!  And that's saying something for an old lady:)  I am so glad that I am back in school.  It feels really right.
Charcoal

Graphite

My start-yeah it needs some work!
I got up very early this morning so I could get to school and use their computer to register before my class started..  If I had gone at my usual time I would have missed my appointment time for registering.  So it all worked out great....and I even got a nice early morning walk in around campus as I had to go to the library and use their computers.  I could have brought my laptop, but it would have been a hassle.  Anyway, I got into all of the classes I
wanted...photography, painting, another drawing class and art foundations.   That is twelve credits!  So I will be a full time student.  I hope I can do it.  I am no longer a spring chicken....or even a summer one.  But I suppose I can drop a class if it proves to be too challenging.  And I feel very excited at present, so I guess it is worth the high.
In my real life:) I am still a grandmama.  Taylor and Gabe are here today with Liz visiting and doing laundry.  They are suffering from no TV or internet-itis and so a visit to grandma finds them glued in front of the television.  Oh well.  I suppose that is to be expected.  I could pull the plug, but they would be very disappointed.  And we did have a nice lunch together and I got to hear how Taylor knows how to make ant trails and Gabe is learning to count by 100's.  They are so fun!  And so full of energy.  I get tired just listening to them.  But I was a little tired to start with today.
Tonight is my painting class.  I hope we can do something I am up to this evening.  The last few times I haven't done as well.  Last week I was late and so I didn't finish.  The two prior weeks we didn't have class, so I feel a little rusty with the old paintbrush.  But it is all good.  I just need a power nap before I go I think.
Well, I am babbling on.  Sorry.  I hope  your day is going well...lots of smiles and fun.  Take care out there and remember....we're all in this together!!!!  TTTL  Melody  

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Scary Faces

I like the teeth on this one!



The expression on this one is priceless!

I lay no claim to the cute little guy in the foreground.  He just stepped in front of the camera:)
Good Sabbath Eve!  You may think it funny for me to be adding these ghoulish faces to my blog on Sunday...I do.  But I probably won't have time tomorrow morning as I am registering for classes and I need to leave here at 7.  And I loved these pumpkin carvings!  They remind me a little of the old apple ornaments made at Christmas, but a whole lot larger.  I thought they were very expressive!  So I am sharing.  These were in the front of the Pancake House in McCall.  They also have a Christmas shop there and so they had some pretty cool Christmas ornaments and even a tree decorated with large sunflowers for the season.  I thought I had some pictures of the ornaments, but I can't find them on my camera.
Today has been a busy day, but I got through the lesson for the young women, and I think we had fun in the exchange of ideas.  They are sure sweet young women.  I love them more and more each time we meet together.  I think I am learning a lot from them.  I hope they are learning from me.  We talked about the situation in Haiti and about how disease spreads, and why it is so important to be prepared for disasters.  And I think they enjoyed my story about immunizations.  I woke up one morning with the measles.  They were everywhere!  I was a sight.  It was when I was 15.  I didn't feel too sick, but I definitely had a raging case of the measles.  And it was that morning that this young man called to ask me out on a date....my first such invitation.  And I had to turn him down!!  I was so upset.  And the worst thing was he thought I was making it up.  Anyway, I told the girls that the moral of that story was to make sure you were up to date on your vaccinations!  And also not to date before you are 16!!  Actually I may not have mentioned my age in my story to the girls:)  It would only have confused the story.
I was just thinking about my first date.   I went with a young man named Dan Romney to an Italian restaurant for dinner.  Did I mention that the whole scout troop went with us?  Yep!  Of course they all had dates too.  It was well chaperoned!  I even think it may have been organized by the leaders so that the young men could practice good manners.  At any rate I was thrilled to go and it was a good introduction to dating. My family moved away right after that though, and I didn't date again for a while.  At least 6 months...which sounds short now:)  But at the time was agony.  Everyone else was dating....or at least it felt like that to me. 
This evening I have been sketching in my next still life.  It is a hard one....apples and onions and a shiny pot in the middle of it all.  I hope I can do it right.  I am a little concerned about how difficult it seems already.
Well, enough silliness.  I am tired I guess.  I hope your day out in cyberspace has been great.  I am still pulling for you!  Take care and HAGW!!!!  Melody   

Writing with one digit

Good morning! It is raining here in McCall this morning. But it is still beautiful! So I figure that is a good sign. I love rain when all is well. But when it isn't, it feels like the heavens are weeping! I'm glad for happy rain:)
I have a lesson to give today and I am not sure how to present it.  It is on preventing disease. It seems a little odd, but I suppose it is a good topic. Sometimes I forget how young it is to be 14 or 15. The world was so new and fascinating back then. I took a field trip to USF and we met a man who had lost his right hand and he was learning to use his left to write. He was writing upside down and backwards trying to gain dexterity. I was amazed at his determination and that image has never left me. So I know how impressionable that age can be.
Well I am having a hard time blogging with one finger :). So I may add more this evening. I hope you have a wonderful Sabbath out there in cyberspace! Keep your stick on the ice! Melody

Friday, October 22, 2010

Enjoying the Mountains

Good morning! We are here in beautiful McCall, Idaho. It looks like we have beautiful weather for today at least and we're here with good friends so no matter the weather we are having fun. I'm not sure what is planned for today. It is a birthday for my friend Dianne. So I guess it is up to her. I am typing on my iPhone so I think I will be short. I just wanted to wish you a wonderful day out there in cyberspace. Take care and HAGW! Melody

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Sticking To It

Guten morgen!  I have a busy day planned and I am kind of off to a late start (sigh).  I guess the first thing on my list is breakfast....which is all made I am just waiting for Mel to come in to eat.  He is out warming machines and getting things started in the shop.  Then I need to wash a couple more loads of laundry.  But before I can do that I need to go to Walmart and get laundry detergent.  Or Costco.  I need to pick up some contacs there.  (Is that spelled right or does it need another t?)  Of course they don't open for a bit so I suppose I should do things here and make one trip to the store instead of two.  Or I could not pick up my contacs til Monday.  But I am on my last pair, and since we are leaving town today it might be wise to have an extra pair just in case.  Do you see my dilemna?  Such life altering decisions!  I am glad they are not.  We have been in that place and it wasn't fun.
Newspaper photo contest winner
I also have a lesson to prepare for Sunday on preventing disease.  I should also finish the initial drawing of the still life for my drawing class.  And it wouldn't hurt to work on the woman at the well painting.  Oh, and I need to line up my classes for school since I register on Monday morning.   Whew!  I am already worn out.  Oh yes, I also need to be packed and ready to go to McCall by noon:)  Like that's going to happen!  I guess I just need to take a few deep breaths and take one thing at a time in order of importance.  And then if I don't finish it all, at least I will have a good start on things.  I suppose I can prepare my lesson in the car on the way, and the drawing for class I can do in McCall if I have to.  So things are not as tight as they seem.
I found this portrait of a mountain lion from today's paper.  The photographer said he climbed a tree to get the shot!  I don't think the lion liked his company!  I liked this shot though because it is how I feel somedays when I am really feeling pushed!!
I have been thinking lately of portraits in watercolor.  It is all consuming lately and I seem to be puzzling over this constantly.  I think the trouble is that watercolor looks best a little loose.  So portraits are tricky.  I did get a couple books from the library that I intend to study over the weekend on the subject.  I especially liked the ideas in one of them and I thought I might practice the techniques before my next attempt at the woman at the well.  Or I can go back to my attempt at acylics.  My watercolor teacher said he would help me with that.  So we shall see.  I CAN do this.  Although my faith is waning a bit.  Last night I asked Mel if he thought all of this painting was just an old woman's foolishness.  Good guy that he is he assured me that I am doing good.  But some days it does feel like I am being old and foolish.  I will just have to fight those feelings off with a big stick...maybe the one I am supposed to keep on the ice:)  Well, have a good day.  I hope things are wonderful in your neck of the woods.  Remember I'm pullin' for ya!  We're all in this together!!!!  TTTL  Melody

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Is it still Wednesday?

White Still Life
Good afternoon!  I have been racing again just trying to keep up.  I went to class this morning.  I am feeling pretty good about things there.  We worked the first half of class on our white still life.  I am almost finished.  Then we started on another still life.  We are copying another artist's work.  It is kind of cool, and I am feeling like I have certainly progressed to even contemplate this one.  And the teacher said it will be easier than the white one.  We shall see.
I am currently making cookies...gluten free.  I am gluten free for more than a week now.  It isn't too hard, and I am feeling pretty good.  My daughter has celiac and she thinks I do too.  I figure it doesn't hurt me, and I may benefit from it....gluten free not celiac:)  I am also cooking hamburger for tonight's progressive dinner at mutual.  I am also washing clothes to pack for another little jaunt this weekend.  I am excited about that!  We are off to McCall with some of our friends from the temple.  It should be fun and full of fall colors.  Isn't machinery wonderful?  I can do so many things at once!  Trouble is I feel guilty if all the machines aren't working at once.  I somehow find guilt lurking around every corner.  I need to be a little easier on myself:)
Then after school I went to visit with my dad and Barb.  It was good to see them.  I have such support and love from them both.  Barb always has ideas of how I can do better at my art.  She taught art in her younger years and so I guess she is somewhat of an authority.  Anyway after chatting with them I had to rush to meet some friends for a birthday luncheon at Olive Garden.  It was hard to pass up the breadsticks, which is why I am making cookies I think.  But the soup I had was yummy and it was fun to visit with some of my friends I don't get to talk with much.  I guess I have lost some of my filters or inhibitions because I have had a few people comment that the thing they like about me is that I say things other people only think.  I don't know if that is a good thing:)  I will have to be more careful!
Well, I guess I had better get going.  I have a machine beeping at me to turn the meat over, and I still would like to draw a little before mutual.  Take care out there!  I'm still pullin' from my side.  Keep smiling and be happy...life is grand!  TTTT  Melody

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Once More

Getting closer
Good evening!  I thought I would post this tonight, since tomorrow is school and it is hard to get anything written in the morning.  I am making progress!  I found a way to use watercolors with more exactness and I kind of like how this face turned out....although it is not there yet.  Still, with a better sketch....I have sketched this now enough that I can almost do it blindfolded.  No, I suppose that is an exagerration.  I didn't get it right for this painting.  But I feel closer and it is kind of exciting to me.  Onward and upward!  I will have to figure out a better beard technique:)  And I think his face is a little long or something.  I think he would talk with a nasal sound:)  That is probably because I shaded his nose wrong.  I know I am a little weird.  I kind of feel like Beatrix Potter in that movie where her characters were all winking at her and acting alive.  But I do feel like I made some headway.  And I think I can do better with watercolors....I feel like I know a little of what I am doing at least.
Today has been mostly painting, and a quick trip to the bank and the art store.  Then sweet Mel took me to dinner at Red Robin because I was so worn out from all of that concentrating...it hurts my head after a few hours!  Anyway, I am off to nighty night land.  Hope your day was great and your night is too. Sweet Dreams!  Melody

Lighten Up

Good morning!  I slept pretty well ...thank you melatonin!  And today I am excited to work on the woman at the well.  I am dedicating my whole day to that pursuit....until I can't stand it anymore:) Oh wait....it is laundry day.  Good thing I have a machine or two to help with that.   I showed my sketch to my teacher in painting class last night.  He thought I should just do the sketch up in charcoal:)  He liked it so that made me feel good.  I would really like it to be colored though.  And that was the assignment I was given.  So acrylics here I come!!!  I was going to work on it yesterday, but I came home so tired from class.  I would rather be fresh and ready to tackle the world:)  And I want to enjoy the process:)
So I have been thinking about painting and art and how much it mirrors life.  Not just in subject matter....but in how you paint and draw.  It is really important to look for the light.  It is what makes or breaks a painting.  The lightest part of a painting is what your eye is drawn towards.  It makes me think how true that is in real life.  You need to look for the light and keep your eyes focused on it.  It is easy to miss it if you don't look for it.  But it seems to me that this life is geared towards teaching us how to look for it.  And then to share it.  I find I am constantly given opportunities to do just that.  And it makes me smile....inside as well as out.  I was praying about this painting of the well yesterday and my impression was that I must paint light into it.  Not just light from white and yellow paints, but light from the source of all light.  I think that He will help me to do that.  I am counting on it actually.  I am amazed that He will, and that I am important enough to Him that He even cares.  It really is amazing!
Well, I could spend my day here writing, but I really need to get doing.  I have set myself up now:)  I hope you have a wonderful day out there in cyberspace.  Keep smiling and remember the source of all blessings as you struggle through the day.  He is always there, waiting to help and encourage.  I am sure of it.  HAGW!!!  Melody

Monday, October 18, 2010

Monday is a Day of New Beginnings

Buenos Dias!  It is nice to be back home and into my routine again.  Class was good this morning.  I am getting to know the people I sit by better and I got some tips on some of the teachers teaching next semester.  But it puts me in the position of having to make another difficult decision.  Right now I am taking classes only on Monday and Wednesday.  If I take their suggestions I would also have a class or two on Tuesday and Thursday.  And I am not sure how much I can do anymore.  When I was young and taking classes I would load up on as many as they would allow.  I had lots of energy and a keen mind and I could handle it.  But now....I wonder how much I can do without jeopardizing my mental health....and physical as well.  And also I like having the other days of the week to keep up and do housework and laundry and be a grandma.  So I think I will take a less than wonderful teacher in favor of being a better than average grandma.  At least today that seems like a good idea.  I don't register til next Monday and I may not have any choices by then.  The classes fill up so fast.  But it is exciting.  I have a choice of taking painting, another drawing class or a printmaking class.  And then I have a required foundational art class that is the one they were advising me on.  It doesn't seem like it will be too hard.  They were quizzing each other on the midterm vocabulary and I already knew it all I think.  I have been doing a lot of reading in the art books suggested for that class already.  I enjoy the subject matter:)  so it is easy to study and learn all I can.
Well, today I have a house to clean, laundry to start and play do to clean up.  Kim and her kids babysat Max and the house while we were gone.  I think her kids enjoyed their stay.  I keep finding little clues that they were here.  It makes me smile.  I love those kids.  I think Ellie really likes my jetted tub:)  And Bassie must have played in the grass.  And I think Aaron is the play do master.  It is pretty cute.  Kim did do my dusting and vacuuming, so that was nice of her.  I have such wonderful children!  And even more wonderful grandchildren!!
I think we are finally having our painting class tonight.  At least I haven't heard any different.  So I will plan on that.  And in the meantime I am going to try another time to paint my woman at the well.  I guess I really think of it as my painting of the Lord, and that is probably why I feel so intimidated by it.  I want it to be as wonderful as He is.  And I really want people to feel His love when they look at my painting.  So I guess I have given myself a lot to do and it is why I feel so overwhelmed.  But "I can do all things through Christ which strentheneth me." Phillippians 4:13  I really believe that!  I just have to keep at it and not lose faith.  And the Lord will help me through it.
Well, I hope your day is going well.  Keep the faith!  And keep the smiling!!!  I believe in you!  We're all in this together!   Melody

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sunday Reflections

Good morning!  I am sitting here again by this 6th floor window and observing the beautiful colors of fall in the bushes and trees up on the mountainside and thinking how very blessed I am.  Coming up from breakfast on the elevator we met a man from Italy.  He was so excited to be here in America....only for a week.  I told him I wanted to visit Italy someday.  He smiled and said good luck as he was getting off the elevator.  It made me think about how excited he was to visit here and how I have been in this country all of my life and still haven't seen enough of it.  There is so much to see!  And so much of it is beautiful and amazing.  If I were here for only a week what would I want to see?  Perhaps the coastlines, or the fabulous mountains, or the pristine lakes and mighty rivers.  I think it would be so hard to choose.  I guess I would like to see more of the southern states since that is the part of the country I really haven't visited.  Or Texas.  I have only landed in an airplane in Austin and was there for the amount of time it took to switch planes.  My son went on a church mission to Houston and it was a wonderful experience for him....not just the people but the place.  Anyway, I feel so blessed to live in such a wonderful country.  And best of all I still have my basic freedoms.  I feel very blessed.
Today we will go to church with Julie and her family and then head back home.  It has been a good trip.  It has helped me to reflect and to look back on my life and feel good about it.  And to look forward with anticipation toward the future.  I am excited about my new paintbrushes:)  I really am excited to get back at the easel and try again to master that painting of the woman at the well.  And to get back to school and work some more at my "white still life".  I have been lining up my classes for next semester and found I can take a painting class.  I am excited about that too!  I really am lucky to have rediscovered this wonderful gift I have been given to draw and paint.  It makes life exciting and fun again.  I have something to occupy my thoughts and puzzle over instead of worrying about things I have no control over.  And I can truly say I am happy.  That is a good thing!
Well, I hope your Sabbath day is great.  Life is amazing and wonderful.  Keep smiling!  And remember I'm still pulling for you!  Take care out there!  TTTT  Melody

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Nightsong

Good evening!  I thought I would share some of the good feelings of today.  It was definitely worth it to travel here to the funeral.  And I feel so lucky to have been able to reconnect with some of my wonderful childhood friends.  Of course we have all grown up and changed in so many ways.  But underneath it all they are still the same wonderful people and it felt so great to be with them if only for a short time.   The service was very moving...almost all of the grandchildren gave a wonderful tribute to their dear grandma and I think it helped to strengthen my desire to be a loving and kind grandma.  And each of her four daughters took a part in describing her earlier life and it was fun to hear and to feel the love they had for their mom and dad too.  It really was a wonderful morning.  On the way back to our hotel we stopped for lunch and then went to a local art store and I was able to find some very nice brushes, so I feel very good about that.  Then we went to visit with Julie and Randy and boys.  That was really fun.  I was able to hear all of the noises of an active healthy family as each of the boys sat on my lap to play with my iphone harmonica.  They really enjoy that application...and the moustache application:)  Both great entertainment.  But I had to hang on to my phone pretty tightly as any one of them would gladly have taken possesion of it.
That reminds me of something....BSU's football team.  I am so impressed with their team this year.  They seem to be doing so well, and even I get excited about their games.  It is unusual for me.  I would much rather play the game than watch it...of course I can't really play it any more.  And I would have to play some form of powder puff football for old ladies.  I wonder if there is such a thing.
Anyway, the most I can do anymore is play a good game of cards...Apples to Apples tonight with my imaginative grandsons.  They are lots of fun!
Well, I hope your evening is happy.  Take care and have a wonderful night!  TTTT  Melody
P.S.  I almost forgot to post the other side of the sign this week....Tax - a fine for doing fine:)  I relate to that one!  Good night!

Getting Focused

Good morning!  I am sitting by the window of my temporary bedroom up on the sixth floor looking out toward the Wasatch range!  Beautiful and inspiring.  I feel better all ready.  I think I was getting a little stressed over the woman at the well painting and also life.  It kind of crowds up on me sometimes and I don't even realize it is happening.  I am an excellent stuffer:)  Anyway, it helps to get away and get a new perspective.
This morning I am going to the funeral of an old friend....Dorothy Winter.  She was a lady that lived around the corner from me in Castro Valley and she had four daughters who were some of my best friends.  She lived a good life and passed away peacefully with her family around her at the age of 94.  I feel like a little part of me has passed away with her.  She represents a large portion of my growing up years.  I know she laughed at some of my crazy growing up notions, and was there on more than one occasion when I needed a listening ear.  One experience especially comes to mind.  I often watched my littlest sister while my mom drove my dad to work and on this morning I was tending her for that reason.  But my mom didn't get back and I was late for school.  I think an hour and a half late.  Anyway I was a very worried 12 year old.  Sweet Dorothy came to the door looking worried and concerned.  She said my mom had been in a very bad accident....she had driven into a telephone pole....but she stayed for a while to calm me down and to give me some instruction before she headed off to her work.  I remember feeling calmer because of her efforts, and all turned out well for my mom...only a broken arm.  Anyway, she was a fun lady and a good person and she will be missed here on this earth.
The rest of the day is kind of open. We will visit with our daughter and family here of course.  And I am hoping to visit an art store and purchase better brushes.  And maybe we will go see some really good art painted by people who know how to do it right.  I could use a lesson or two!  And studying other people's efforts is a wonderful lesson.  I hope your weekend is going well.  Keep your brush in the paint!  And your smile going!  Take care and HAGW!!!  Melody

Friday, October 15, 2010

Failing to Triumph Today:)

Good afternoon I guess.  I painted for a while this morning.  Two failed attempts!  I tried colored pencils and watercolor once more.  Miserable failures both!  So I guess it is acrylics or oils.  Blahhhh!  I wanted to take an easier way out.  Oh well.  For now I am putting it all away and leaving!  Just for a day or two.  I don't know if I can blog.  We'll see.  If not have a wonderful weekend.  I am planning to do just that.  Take care out there in cyberspace!  Remember I'm pullin' for ya!  We're all in this together.  HAVGW!  Melody

Checking In

Good morning!  I am off and running this morning.  First the hair dresser, then the library, bank and Liz's.  Then I have to hurry back to clean and get ready for the weekend.  I never did get any more painting done yesterday.  The day just filled up with all kinds of errands.  It does that too often.  But it was still a good day and I am looking forward to another good day today.
I had lots of strange dreams last night....the strangest was that I went to the hairdresser and somehow while I wasn't looking she shaved all of my hair off.  It was a little disturbing.  I hope I don't have anything awful happen there this morning.  I am not going to my usual person....she was booked.  So I could end up with something new and different:)
Hope you have a good day.  Take care and HAVVVGW!   Melody

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Having a Gut Wan

Good morning!  It is sunny and gorgeous out.  I am feeling happy and anxious to get back to my painting.  This morning at 3:30 when I couldn't sleep I was repainting it in my mind and figuring out what I could do differently.  I may try a different medium like pastel pencils, or acrylic on bristol, or even watercolor once more.  I am not sure, but like I said a couple of days ago I am glad for morning and a new day.  Every time I look at yesterday's painting or even think of it I laugh.  It is so not what I want.  But then I think it will come together.  I just need to have faith and keep trying til I get it right.  I know I can do it....maybe not as well as Carl Bloch....but better than yesterday:)  Mel came home from the temple last night and I told him to go take a look and he came back laughing and talking about teeth whitening commercials.  So it wasn't just me.  I am my own worst critic of course, but it is good I think.  I don't have any illusions of grandeur  (megalomaniac I think...courtesy of Mrs. Denny, my 11th grade English teacher....or was it 12th?)
I also am going to do a million other things today....more laundry, pay bills, etc.  And read the newspaper!  We subscribed again after a long vacation from the newspaper.  I am really enjoying it.  I have always liked the comics best of course, but I also like the small little community stories.  Did I ever mention that my mom used to write a column for a San Diego newspaper during WWII?  She did.  I don't know for how long or what she wrote about, but it might be fun to find out.
Well, take care out there in cyberspace.  I hope you find lots of inspiration in your world.  The sign downtown is not as funny this week...but I still got a chuckle.  Ill will - sick Shakespeare:)  I think they may have come up with that one by themselves.  Hope you have a most wonderful and joyous great day.   And remember I'm pullin' for ya!  Take care!  TTTL  Melody

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Dumping

I am taking a break.  I feel a little funny posting this first painting attempt.  It reminds me of an add for a tooth whitener with George Harrison as the actor:)  But I am having fun experimenting with the paints and thought you might also get a chuckle.  The canvas is proving harder than I had imagined and the paint doesn't spread very well on it.  I may have to do a bristol painting after all.  I figured I would keep at it for a while before I give up.  I don't like the way the paint spreads on the cloth though, and it has been treated with something that is non-absorbent.  It makes it hard to hold a line.  And then there are my cheap brushes....have I complained sufficiently yet?  Mel is off at the temple so there is no one here but Max to complain to and he doesn't seem to care.  He just wags his tail and grins at me.
Aside from all of that I am having fun.  It takes all of my concentration to do this and I am enjoying the process.  I wish I was taking some instruction along with this, I think I have soooo much to learn.  Have I mentioned that my painting class has been canceled the last two weeks?  I miss it.  But my drawing class was good today.  I figured out how to make the lines disappear on the background of my still life.  It really is nice to have a teacher that walks around the class and offers suggestions as she does.  I sound a little focused, huh?   Sorry, I am dumping big time here:)
Well, enough of this.  I am going to make dinner and get ready to go to mutual tonight.  We are having a glow in the dark activity that the Beehives have planned.  It should be fun.  Then I can sleep!  I may have time for a power nap before our activity.  I will see.  Anyhoo....hope your day is going great.  Take care!!!  Melody

Painting Today

Good morning!  I have been up for a while.  It seems that I like to wake up at 4:30 again:)  This morning I was redoing my white sketch over...in my mind.  I finally got up at 5 and went to fix it and decided I didn't need to.  So back to bed for a half an hour before I decided it was useless to try to sleep.  But I am feeling better now that I am dressed and breakfasted.  I did read a little in my drawing book and realized that I didn't really have an understanding of the method we are using currently for my class.  It is called chiaroscuro and reminds me how I felt in chemistry the first time I heard stoichiometry.  Anyway, reading about it helped to solidify some of the finer points.  I also read a little about line drawing and got a few pointers.  So I hope it helps.  I am kind of dreading spending two and a half hours hunched over a fine line pencil drawing.  Mostly because I am old, and I get tired:)
I did make some progress on my woman at the well painting.  I transferred some of the sketch over to the canvas.  That is a trick.  And now I am not sure if I have sketched too darkly for acrylic painting.  I hope not, but experience will tell.  I think I will start into the paint this afternoon if all goes well.
Well, it's time for me to go.  I hope you have a wonderful day out there on the range.  Take care and remember we're all in this together!  I'm pulling for you!  TTTL  Melody

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Just checking

Still sketching
Hi again!  This post is for me.  I have to see how it looks.  Some how doing this I can see perspective better....like I need to fix her hand.  And I am going to drive around with Mel for a while delivering parts.  I am hoping for a lunch out of the deal:)  Then I can come back with a new slant and start another argument (with the painting)
I am also posting the progress of my white sketch.  That way I can catch any major errors before it's too late.  Thanks for the audience:)  Melody
White sketch:)

Over and Over....Again and Again

Good morning, Cyberspace!  Reminds me of Robin Williams saying, "Good morning, Viet Nam!"  Anyway, I hope it is a good morning for you.  Tuesday is almost always laundry day here.  And I am looking forward to a day at the easel.  I hope I can really do that.  I always have so much optimism in the morning about all I can accomplish.  I think it is good that there is a morning each day.  I can start again....and again:)
I found out Sunday I have until the middle of November to finish my woman at the well painting.  So that should be enough time to paint it over and over until I get it right.  I feel pretty good about the concept but I still have to come up with a fabulous composition.  And I have been looking at the canvas I bought and it kind of looks like someone sat on it:)  I will hope that corrects itself when I take it out of the shrink wrap.  I have always used a different kind of canvas when I oil painted way back in the seventies.  But I think it was treated with something, and I don't think acrylics stick to the treated canvas.  Anyway I will begin that adventure today I hope.  I plan to sketch it all out in a marvelous way on newsprint first and then transfer it to the more expensive stuff.  I may try painting on the newsprint too:)  Or at least on bristol.   I am such a cheap skate.  I really don't like wasting paper...or canvases.  But I guess I have been doing that for a while now, so I'd just better get used to it.  I keep wondering how did all of those starving artists afford the materials to carry on their art?  I mean the ones who were unappreciated until after they died.  It's not cheap!  Then I think of the paintings in caves and on stones and realize that you just use whatever is available.
Tomorrow is bookclub.  They are discussing a story by Steinbeck and I wish I could go.  I miss all of my good friends there.  But I know that what I am doing is important in my life right now.  So I will just keep at it and hope for a different schedule next semester that allows book club:)
Well, I am definitely rambling, or as Mel likes to say....flabbering.  Take care and have a very gut wan!!!  Remember I'm pullin' for ya!   Melody

Monday, October 11, 2010

Post Script

Class Handout
Hi!  I just thought I should put a picture of the handout I used for class, since it was kind of fun and the girls really liked it:)  I also read this little poem I found on the internet...."If for your handsome prince you search, Remember what you learned in church.  There's LOTS of FROGS who'll want a KISS!  But SAVE YOURSELF and give him this!"  "Don't kiss all the frogs while searching for your Prince!"   Hope all is going well!  Melody

Hopeful and still happy

Good morning!  I am up early and excited for school. Today we are starting a "white" still life.  It is supposed to be of all white objects and so it will be very light.  I kind of like that idea, but I don't know how successful I will be.  At least it is in graphite instead of charcoal.  I think the thing I don't like about charcoal is how messy it is.  But I do like how expressive it is.  It just expresses itself everywhere and by the time I am done using it I have charcoal under my nails and on my face:)  It reminds me a little of finger painting.  Do you remember that?  I used to love finger painting!  I liked the wet paper and the smell of the paint!  And I even liked putting my little hands together afterwards as we lined up to wash at the sink in the back of the room.  I liked so much about elementary school!  I have few bad memories.  It was a magical time of life for me.  I loved learning and all of the attention from teachers and making friends.  I was a talker though.  I often sat near the teacher by her desk at naptime in kindergarten.  I wonder now if I would have been labeled ADHD.  I don't think so, but I'm not certain.  I did like to talk.  And I can remember being so focused that the rest of the world went away....but I think that is probably the opposite of ADD.  I can do that still when I draw and paint....or read.  I like that feeling of being so absorbed in something that it's all there is.  I don't worry or feel sad or anxious or anything....just focused.  It is a nice break from the worries of life.
Yesterday's lesson went well.  The girls are so sweet and wonderful!  After the lesson they went on about how much they like my lessons....it made me feel good and so close to each of them.  They did like the handout:)  I guess a little chocolate never hurts.  As I was teaching them I remembered so much about how I felt at 14 and 15 years old.  What an amazing thing!  They are on the threshold of adult life and so innocent.  I just want so much to be able to encourage them and help them to avoid the pitfalls.  I hope I can.
Today I am hoping to be able to work on my woman at the well painting.  I haven't had any time to work on it this last weekend, so maybe after class today....before my night class.  It's hard to know what the day will hold.  I just never know for sure.  Is it like that for everyone?
Well, take care out there in cyberspace.  I am still pulling for you!  I hope this day is happy and fulfilling and inspired.  Remember we'll all in this together!  It will be worth it!  HAGW!!!  Melody

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Shalom!

Gute Sabbat!  I realized yesterday I have a lesson to give today:)   How I could have forgotten that....well there was stake conference and world conference and a fast Sunday thrown in for good measure, so I guess I just got out of the habit.  Anyway the lesson is on being virtuous.  So I have read a lot in the last 24 hours and I am putting together a handout this morning.  Yes it has chocolate:)  I think it will say something like "Don't kiss all of the frogs looking for your prince."  I have to refine that somewhat.  But I have cute frog stickers and Hershey's kisses.  The girls seem to like cutesey handouts.  And I think it will help reinforce the lesson.  Although the main thrust of this lesson seems to be to value yourself enough that you hold out for a better life.  I am hoping I can convey that message.
Right now Taylor is in the bubble bath.  He is singing away... interspersed with jet plane sounds...and lots of splashing.  He seems so happy.  I have really enjoyed our long weekend together.  But I must admit I am looking forward to a little alone time.  I have felt so drawn to painting, and haven't been able to do much with him here.  It reminds me of why I have put off my artistic pursuits for so many years.  Raising children takes almost my full attention.   And the rest of it goes towards cleaning messes made in the process:)  Yesterday he was asking if he could come here every weekend:)  I think his parents might object to that....and Mel.
Well I hope your Sabbath day is going well.  Enjoy the last warm days before the cold weather hits....unless of course you are reading this from the other side of the equator....or in a wonderful spot near the equator.  Take care and be sure to keep your stick on the ice:)  Or better yet... your head in the clouds.  Keep smiling and HAGW!!!!  Melody

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Organizing

Good morning!  And it is here.  I love lazy Saturday mornings when there is nothing calling you to get up early...when you can make crispy bacon and scrambled eggs and fresh juicy sliced peaches!  Yum!  The memory of breakfast is still very new.  Mel and Taylor and I tackled the kitchen work.  Then I vacuumed while Mel and Taylor scrubbed the wood floor.  I finished first, so now I am rewarded with blogging:)  I like to sit down here in my bedroom by my window and organize my thoughts.  It may not seem like that to anyone reading this, but it really feels good in my head.  I take time to reflect on yesterday...our temple shift party last night with friends we have grown close to, and the afternoon walking through the Zoo with Taylor.  Even the funny photo shoot with my daughter Kim dressed as a woman at the well:)  It was a good day.  And so then I wonder what today will hold.  Maybe a drive in the countryside....or a bike ride along the river.  Or maybe we will stay here and just enjoy a day at home together.  Tonight we have another party with the High Priest group.  Those are always fun.  We have an interesting and diverse group of people in that group.  I think I really like people.  I enjoy hearing about their unique experiences in life.  And it seems to me that older people are full of more stories of interest and experience.  Of course I also enjoy young people and little children especially.  I think I just like people of all ages. 
So I have had just a very short while to sketch from the photos I took yesterday, but I like what I have been able to come up with so far.  This is just a very basic sketch, but I will share now, so when I botch it later.....:)  I think it will turn out nice if I can just be patient and not let those negative voices get the better of me.   I hope so anyway.
Apologetic statement about poor sketch:)
I was just telling Taylor I need to figure out what to say to end this.  He said, "Then me and Taylor went home and went to bed."  The end.  Ha ha!  Here's the latest joke from the sign downtown...."Kiss - putting your honey where your mouth is."  I like that one.  Well, I hope you have a wonderful Saturday.  Take care out there in cyberspace!  Remember I'm pulling for you!  Keep smiling!!!!   HAGW!!!  Melody

Friday, October 8, 2010

Life with Taylor

Preliminary sketch
Good morning!  I have been having a wonderful morning already.  Taylor woke up and wanted to sing "Follow the Prophet".  Of course part of the reason is because I have the words on my iphone and he loves to use the iphone.  But he is kind of on a spiritual quest too.  Last night I was sketching from the "Finding Faith in Christ" video and he came out to see what I was doing.  He loved the picture I was sketching and then he wanted to watch the video.  He kept commenting about it and wanted to know more.  He is like a little sponge needing more of the living water:)  And as his grandma I am very touched.  It means so much to me!
Anyway, I am happier with this version of the Savior for my woman at the well painting.  The values are off and I still have a lot of work to do, but I think I have the concept now and the right expression for Him talking to the woman.  I think I am going to have Him sitting on the well.  I am still not sure how to place her.  But I am working on it.  I feel encouraged that I at least have some idea of what I want to do.  And also a face for Christ:)  I hope the actor in the video doesn't mind.  But it doesn't really look like him either.  It is more of a concept...and a facial expression.  I wonder if all artists work this way...struggling to find what it is they really have in their heart to put on paper.  I hardly ever just know.  But once I know it feels so good and I get excited about the work....instead of discouraged which is where I have been with this project.
Yesterday was fun.  We went to the library and Taylor got a lot of comic type books to read...mostly stories based on video games.  But he is loving them and he is a good reader, so it is a good combination.  We also went to the park for our picnic.  He seemed to enjoy that, and I especially did.  The weather was magnificent!  Sunny, breezy and absolutely perfect!  This morning there is more wind and a system seems to be moving in.  I hope the good weather holds for a while.  I am not really sure what we will do today.  I hope I can spend some time on my painting, but if not I will still have a wonderful time with Taylor.  He has a "snack list" he brought with his ideas of the perfect snack. 
So I suppose at some point in the day we will have to get one of his snacks on the list.  My vote would be apples.
Well I guess, I had better get going.  I hope for world peace and love and goodness everywhere.  But in the mean time I hope you have a lovely day with lots of smiles and sunshine in your heart.  Take care out there in cyberspace!  Remember I'm pulling for you!  And HAVGW!!!  Melody

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Cheering!

Guten morgen!  It has been so far.  Taylor asked what was for breakfast.  I told him French toast.  He said, "Grandma, when you say French toast it makes my stomach cheer because it's so hungry!"  He is so fun!  He's a slow eater though.  He is still working on his French toast.  But it gives me an opportunity to quickly go around and make beds, do dishes and ....blog!
Today is a "free day".  We can do whatever we want (as long as it fits into the economics of the household).  Of course Taylor wants to go on a picnic.  I would like to spend a little time in the art studio.  But other than that we have no plans.  He loves to play computer games, so I suppose I will allow that for a short while.  Maybe we will visit the local nursery.  Mel has taken out a couple of our dead trees that were so unsightly in the backyard.  I would like to get a couple of London Plains trees.  They grow quickly...and they remind me of San Lorenzo where I lived as a small child.  I think they are a kind of sycamore.  Anyway I love their big leaves and the interesting fruit they drop in the fall.  And they provide wonderful shade.  Our backyard gets afternoon sun and it can be kind of hot in the summer.  I think a couple of those big trees would be nice.  I wish I had a large budget for trees and plants back there.  I can get slips from friends for plants though, and that would save quite a bit.  My grandma used to do that.  She and her two sisters were very good at propagating plants.  She had a beautiful yard in San Leandro.  Up on the hill near the Oakland Zoo.  I think it was called Leeward Way.  Anyway, I should remember more of what my grandma did to conserve resources.  She was amazing!  She was so careful not to waste anything.  Even paper products!  She and grandpa would carefully fold their paper napkins after each meal and store them in the drawer...unless they were very soiled.  She had a dryer, but she preferred hanging the clothes out to dry....they smelled so much cleaner!  She was an excellent homemaker.  Every room was spotless....of course she had no kids at home:)  But she took the time to polish everything....furniture and appliances alike.  They all had a shine you could see yourself in.  And she was sweet and kind and had a wonderful laugh.  I loved to hear her laugh.  That was my mom's mom.  I was very close to her.  Of course my dad's mom was wonderful too,  but in a whole different way.  She was more practical.  She was the one who sewed all of our dresses and made candy and pies and rolls.  She loved to laugh too.  I think I was blessed to have parents and grandparents who loved life and family. 
Well, I guess you have wasted another perfectly good minute reading this.  I hope you can be more productive with the rest of your day:)  Take care out there in cyberspace.  Remember to keep your stick on the ice.  I'm still pullin' for ya!  We're all in this together!  HAGW!!!  Melody

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Post Script

So I don't forget....Taylor said, "I can stay up really late.  See?  My eyes aren't even red yet!"  And, "Hey, grandma, tomorrow we can go on a picnic.  Don't I have a lot of good ideas?"  I am happy having sweet Taylor here.  He helps to keep me happy and humming.  HAGN!  Melody

Cones and Cubes and other Nonsense

Good afternoon!  I am finally home again after a long morning.  Class was harder this morning for me.   I decided to try to draw the cone shape with the light coming from the front and it proved to be very challenging.  So then I drew a cube with the light coming from the back.  That was also challenging.  Then my chamois became so dirty that it was adding charcoal to the picture instead of taking it off.  Then I just felt like Zbukvic describes as losing faith.  And whenever that happens I draw terrible.  It starts with a few subtle little words inside my head....."You're really botching this up."  Then...."you really don't draw very well"...and other such nonsense that is definitely not coming from a good source.  So I got up and walked away from the drawing and came back determined to stay positive.  That proved fruitful. 
I was able to draw better until class was over.  I will still need to work on my drawings until they are outstanding and perfect:)  but I feel better in my efforts.  After class I went by my dad's and he showed me my horoscope from the other day.  It was quite funny and appropo...something about how I always expect to do masterpieces, but that I needed to go slow and be kind to myself on the journey.  It was kind of funny.  And it cheered me up.  I do always expect that I should be drawing and painting masterpieces, and I do need to be kinder to myself and enjoy the journey.  I think that was the topic of a talk President Monson gave at Women's Conference a couple of years ago.  I am still learning to enjoy the journey.  Some days it is so easy.  Other days it takes some effort.  I guess I am my worst critic and I hurt my feelings:)  I need to learn patience with myself.
So this afternoon...or what's left of it I am going to paint a little more with acrylics.  Then I am supposed to pick up Taylor.  Then he and I are going to go over to the church and decorate for a Halloween party the MIA maids are giving for the Achievement Day girls....they are only 10 and 11 year old girls.  It should be fun.  I have a bunch of pumpkins to contribute.  I had fun going out to my favorite farmer's market yesterday to get them.  It is a sunny little farm out by the Snake River that runs a little shop.  They still had peaches!  They said the season has been very late here this year.  They were just beginning to pick apples.  Usually they are all picked and mostly sold by now.  It has been a different year in that regard.  But it does give me a chance to get some peaches and apples put up.  Now if I just do it:)  I usually can peaches and applesauce because it is something we eat around here.  But they go kind of slow with just the two of us.  I may try canning pints instead of quarts.  Seems like a good idea.  That makes me smile because my painting teacher says that is what you always say just before you make a big mistake.
Well, I hope you are having a lovely day out there in cyberspace.  Things seem much brighter now that I have blogged.  Funny that.  I don't know why blogging makes me feel so much better....but it does.  I am glad for that.  And for all the blessings of today.  Keep smiling!   And BE HAPPY!!!   (I am working at it!  Puff, puff, pant, pant:)  Melody


Buenos Dias

Good morning!  Have you noticed how quickly time seems to be passing?  Seems like I was just writing good evening:)  Anyway I hope you have a great day.  I am leaving for school shortly, but just wanted to say......remember to keep your stick on the ice and HAVVVGW!!!   TTTL  Melody

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Takin' a Break

Good evening!  Ha!  That really does make me think of Boris Karloff.  Mel is watching Iron Man 2 and I am escaping on the computer:)  I guess I am not that fond of superhuman movies....except for Superman.  I really did love that one....and all of the sequels. 
Well, I walked today....and walked and walked....like the pioneer children I think.  No, I only walked for about 75 minutes.  But it was more than I am used to.  So I have been a little stiff and sore tonight:(  Oh well.  The trick is to keep at it.  At least I hope so.  We did have a good visit and saw lots of new scenery.  We went the other way on the canal.  We thought we could follow it around to the road, but it made an unexpected turn and so we had to turn around and go back, thus the longer walk.  It really was pretty walking along the canal.  The fields have turned golden and remind me of the hills in California.  And the views are of the whole Treasure Valley.  It was a nice break from same old, same old.
I did try using acrylics today and was pleasantly surprised.  I think with some practice I could get to like this medium.  I can see how detail is so much easier.  And I liked changing the expression over and over on the face I was working on.  I could never do that with watercolor because it is so hard to layer paint.  It is so transparent.  I liked that I can use acrylics in a transparent way, or more opaque.  Anyway, I will post something when I am pleased with it.  So far it is just doodling.
Well, I think Iron Man is almost over.  HAGN!!!  Take care!  Melody

Is it still Morning?

Good morning!  It is cloudy and windy here today.  The weather has definitely taken a turn toward Fall.  And my hip is talking to me again:)  I think it is worst in cold damp weather.  But the walking should keep me mobile ...and happy.  We didn't have art class last night.  The teacher bought a used van last week, and I guess it already is giving him problems.  He couldn't get it started to come to class.  I was a little relieved about that.  I was sooo tired and it was nice to have an evening to relax.  Mel was tired too, so we watched a movie together and then talked about the plan of happiness, so we could count it for FHE:)  I guess that we have been neglecting family home evening since the boys left.  And so we are going to be more earnest in making sure we do something each week.  We probably will have to switch it to Thursday evenings when we can both attend:)

Sphere

Missing Tooth
I did have my BSU class yesterday and we drew two shapes with charcoal...a sphere and a cylinder.  And we learned about value with light and shading.  It was so interesting.  I have always just guessed and observed in nature and pictures about this.  It was nice to learn there is actually a way to draw and plan for it.  We will draw a cone and a cube tomorrow and then Monday we will have to apply all of this to a still life.  I think it will be fun.  I also stopped at the art store and bought a canvas to try my woman at the well painting.  I have decided to try acrylics.  But I will have to practice first.  I have never done acrylics in painting before.  Liz was over this morning and giving me some tips.  She is a good artist and has a lot of knowledge about things.  I have such talented children....and grandchildren.  Taylor has school off on Thursday and Friday, so he wants to come spend a few days here.  I am excited about that!  I really miss him and his wonderful conversation!  He finally lost his loose tooth on Sunday.  I took a picture when we went to visit and take brownies.  He showed me his latest injury.  He has learned to ride a two wheeler, but I guess he lost his balance.  Poor guy!  I remember how that feels! 
Scabby

Well, I think I am boring you:)  Sorry.  Here's a joke from the downtown sign....a midwife is someone who helps other people out.  Yeah, it took me a minute to understand that one too.  I hope you have a lovely day!  Please remember to keep smiling.  I am smiling from my side of things.  I am glad I can see things that make me smile!  It feels good to feel good.  Take care and HAGW!!!  Melody

Monday, October 4, 2010

School Days

Good morning!  I am up and excited for school this morning.  We are starting a new unit today on value.  This is an area I really need help with in my drawing and painting, so I am excited and hope I can learn the lessons taught.  I don't ever remember being so excited about school as I am now.  And I have always liked school.  But it is wonderful to take a class that I have always wanted to take, and to find that it is still something I love doing.  I feel very blessed.
I have been thinking of Elder Eyering's talk.  He is one of my favorite general authorities in the church.  And I think it is because he speaks with the spirit and his emotions are very close as he speaks.  I was touched that he worried so much about what to speak about and what we needed to hear. And grateful for his talk on trusting the Lord.  I did need to be reminded and encouraged in that.   And President Monson also touched my heart with his stirring words.  What amazing men....and fantastic leaders.  I am excited to read their words when they come out on Thursday.
Well, I need to finish my morning chores before I head off to school.  I hope you have a wonderful day out there.  Take care and remember I'm pullin' for ya!  TTTL  Melody