Monday, February 28, 2011

Black Fawn instead of Swan

A friend sent me these photos of a black fawn!  I had never seen or even heard of one before.  I thought it was pretty special so I thought I should share.
I will have to write in the morning.  I have a little sleeping to do now:)  HAGE!!!  Melody

Good Monday Morning to You!

Buenos Dias!  I am feeling pretty good this morning.  I woke up before my alarm, but only 5 minutes before, so I am feeling well least as well rested as I ever feel anymore.  I am anticipating school with a bit of trepidation this morning.  I developed the negatives on Saturday for my egg roll (har, har) and I wasn't too pleased with them.  I also used the last of my light sensitive print paper and the only store in town that sells it was closed by the time I left school.  I do have a package of paper from Kim that is about 12 years old:)  I hope it works.  If not, I guess I can figure out something else to do in class besides stand around and look busy.  It will be an interesting experiment to use old photo paper.  Maybe the stuff I printed on Saturday will look better today....not.  Oh well, such is life.  I could have gotten paper on Sunday, but it didn't seem like much of an ox in the mire.  I will just have to do my best and remember to have faith.  A way will be prepared to get through today.
I also have my drawing class.  I am thinking I will take an object to draw today.  We are still doing ball point pen, and I would like to try something interesting to me, instead of the strange still lifes they have in the room.  I don't know who arranges them, but they are not very interesting.  I suppose that is why I end up drawing and painting table corners and such.  I have the same room for drawing and painting.
I also am planning to stop at Costco some time after school.  We are out of everything.   I haven't been doing very well in the homemaking side of my life lately.  I like Costco so that should be fun.
Well, have I bored you to tears yet?  I really haven't much to write.  I suppose I could tell you about the wonderful talks in sacrament meeting yesterday.  One of the speakers was our Primary president.  She is a sweet young lady.  Her dad was in our last stake presidency so she comes from a very nice family.  She is married to a farmer and I think she is loving the experience.  She was raised in town so farm life is all new and exciting to her.   She has three small and energetic children.  I like to hear how she is trying so hard to raise them right.  It is a struggle for us all I guess.
The other speaker is a young man who has triplets.  He gave one of those amazing talks that sound memorized, and yet he spoke like it was from his heart.  His topic was Joseph Smith and the translation of the Book of Mormon.  It was really well done.   The stake presidency was in our meeting because we also had a young man speaking before leaving on his mission.  So I would anticipate that perhaps we will see this other man called into the high council at some future time.  I can imagine they look for people who seem comfortable speaking:)
Well, I'd better be on my way.  I have miles to go before I sleep.  Take care out there in cyberspace land.  I am still pulling for you!  We're all in this together.  Stay well and happy!  And HAVVVGW!!!  Melody

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Good Sabbath!

Good morning!  I hope your morning is going well.  Mine is so far.  Of course it is early yet.  I have a lesson to teach on family unity.  I think it is a wonderful topic.  I just hope I am prepared enough.  We shall see.  There is no chocolate with this lesson.  I have been trying to put more into the lesson in spiritual ways.  I hope the girls don't mind too much.
Since the lesson is on family unity I thought I would include this photo of our family.  It is from 1987...a while ago. I included it in a Christmas letter a few years ago.  It was taken the summer after we moved to Idaho.  I kind of like to see everyone back then.  I still had so much energy!  And life was very good!
Well, I best be on my way.  We have choir practice at 7:45 this morning.  I wish it was later, but this way we have most of Sunday here at home.
Take care!  I hope you have a peaceful, inspired and restful Sabbath Day!  Melody

Saturday, February 26, 2011


Good morning!  I just finished taking a roll of film...36 pictures...of the incredible, edible egg:)  I drew a few faces on them after the first 18 photos.  I think it will be fun to see how they turn out. I am going over to the school to develop the negatives.  I think I will spend a couple of hours painting and then the negatives will be dry and I can print a picture of two and see how it turned out.
Mel is over at Kim's old trailer house helping her to move big heavy stuff into a storage unit.  I decided I had better get my homework done since I am no good at lifting anymore.  She sold the trailer, so that is a good thing.  She is hoping to pay off some bills with the proceeds.  The kids are with their dad for the weekend, so I have no kids to watch.
Well, I am off to enjoy the day.  It is really sunny today.  I am so glad for that.  The last few days have been so gray.  I plan to take a walk by the river.  Have a very wonderful day!  Keep your stick on the ice and keep smiling!  Melody

Friday, February 25, 2011

OAO (Old and Ornery!)

Good morning!  I am feeling a little tired today.  I used to hate it when I would ask my kids how they were and they would answer, "Tired!"  But that is what I would answer today.  I woke up at 2:30 and tried until 3:30 to go back to sleep.  I finally got up and wrote a paper on the extra credit lecture I went to last night.  So I didn't totally waste the night.  I just feel totally wasted this morning.  I have Sebastian here today or I would climb back in bed.  I may do that anyway if I can find something very safe and absorbing for him to do.
I meant to record the sign downtown yesterday.  Going into town it says, "Mandate - a rendezvous with a man."  Then coming back home it says, "Wrinkles - something other people have."  I liked that last one.  It is so easy not to notice how you are aging, but so easy to see it in others.  I guess that is like a lot of things. I can always see what other people need to fix, but not so adept at seeing my own frailties.  I think there was a story by Edgar Allen Poe about that....Dorian Gray.  Only somehow he only aged in the mirror.  I guess he must have sold his soul or something.  I haven't read it since I was really young.  I used to love to read his stories.  I think they might depress me now.
So today I am going to write another critique comparing two works of art from the museum.  I have been working this around in my head and making notes for a couple of weeks now.  So I should be able to write it without much problem.  Then I also have a small acrylic painting I am supposed to do for my foundations class, and three drawings I should be working on for my drawing class.  I also need to photograph an egg in a precarious or funny situation.  I have thought about staging Humpty Dumpty, but it seems rather complicated.  I do have an egg beater I could use for a simpler photo.  I will have fun figuring out something.  The main objective is to make at least one egg look very white.  It has to do with metering on a gray object instead of the egg.
So that is my day, or weekend.  I probably won't get it all done.  But somehow it doesn't seem as hard as last weekend.  I do have a lesson to teach on Sunday, but I will work on that in between homework.  I kind of like working on lessons.
I hope you are doing well out there in cyberspace.  Take care and remember I'm pulling for you!  We're all in this together!  (Have you seen the Red Green Show yet?  Maybe I need to come up with a new sign off!)    HAVVVGW!!!  Melody

Thursday, February 24, 2011

And Now for Something Completely Different!

Well, maybe not completely different.   I know three blogs in one day is a little different.  But I thought I should write down the nice comments I got in my painting class.  First of all, I have not ever had my work critiqued by a whole class before.  And mine was the last one in the class to be talked about.  But only nice things were said, even by the teacher!  The comments were especially nice about the table in my painting, and how the wood looked so real, and the box under the table being an interesting detail.  The teacher talked about how I had taken a not very interesting and even uncomfortable view and made it very unique and interesting.  So, not bad huh?  I feel very good about it.  We are starting a new painting now.  I am a little worried about it.  We are taking a building with lots of perspective lines, etc. and then putting a political statement in the foreground with a still life.  I asked if I could use a window as a transition and she said that would be great.  I hope it is.  I have something in mind, but I am not sure what she means by a political statement.  Do I put Egyptians in my picture?  Or a can of oil?  Somehow I don't think that is what she had in mind.  I hope she clarifies it.  We will be working on the building next week, so I have some time to figure it out.  As class was over she mentioned we could get extra credit if we went to a lecture by an electronic sculpture artist at the university this evening.  I said, "Oh good, I need all of the extra credit I can get."  She said, "No, you really don't."  Another positive statement!  I know I am a hopeless case of not feeling good enough about my abilities.  But what can I do?  I like hearing that it is good enough.  And I did go to the lecture which was very interesting.  I didn't know that what this guy does could even be considered art, but he has stuff showing in Europe and the US.  It is kind of fascinating stuff about our reactions to simulation.  He had a lot of different examples.  I just learn so much that is new every day.  I guess I am lucky to be learning so much.  I hope I can use it all somehow to improve my own art.
Well, I guess I had better get some rest.  I have been up a very long time.  I hope your day has gone well.  Take care.  God Bless you!  Pleasant dreams!  Nighty night!  (as Shirley Temple used to say:)  Melody

At the 'Brary (Kinda like "in the hood":)

Good afternoon!  I am at the university library.  It is a far cry from the library I knew so well back in my Y days.  This library has computers everywhere!  I was lucky to find one though.  They are quite popular!  I feel a little guilty blogging instead of writing my next paper.  But I have been working on that already and I need a break.
I am still hobbling around, but it is much improved from yesterday.  I think it really helped to ice my knee and to take enough ibuprofen to subdue the pain.  I am not taking anything at present though and it is not too bad.  So maybe I won't have to go on a crash diet after all:)
I am pretty tired today.  I woke up at 4:30 again.  I really have to stop doing that!  It is especially hard to stay awake during slide presentations like we had today in my first class.  It was pretty interesting, all about contrast and balance in composition.  I did manage to keep my eyes open most of the time, but when the lights go off, I really struggle to stay awake.  I still have my oil painting class to go to.  It starts in about an hour.  So I may just go to the photo lab and develop more pictures.
It is snowing here today, big, white, fluffy flakes....the kind I love.  Usually the snow is wetter and not so pretty here.  But it usually doesn't stick around very long either, so that is a plus.  I think it is supposed to snow all weekend.  I wonder if that groundhog knew what he was talking about!
I took a short drive to get some lunch and drove a little by the river just to watch it snow.  It really was pretty.  A big blue heron went flying by, and I also saw some very fat looking quail.  I thought about getting out my sketchbook and drawing a little, but it was too cold for me.  I am becoming such an old lady!  I suppose I should keep a blanket in the car....actually I have one.  I just forgot I did.  Darn!  I think those quail might have made a good picture.  I didn't think to snap a picture.  But that probably wouldn't have worked because they were a bit out of range.
Well, I can tell I am rambling.  I guess I had better practice my swagger and get back to the art building.  I am excited to paint some more.  I really am enjoying my oil painting class.  I feel like I am more in control of this medium.  I hope I can keep learning and improving.  Take care out there.  I am still pulling for you.  We are all in this together.  Happy, happy!  HAVVVGW!!!  Melody

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The 5:00 (almost) Evening Report:)

Good afternoon!  I have a few minutes before I fix dinner.  So I thought I would report in:)  I am glad now that I got up early and redid my essay for my drawing class.  We had to give a report on them in class today. So when it was my turn I told the teacher I had written two.  He said I could only turn in one and he would rather hear about someone new:)  Anyway, I think it was a more thoughtful essay.  I finally got a grade in that class....I think an A- or a B+.  It kind of depends on the curve.  But at least I am not failing.  I had no idea at all about how I was doing.  We started a pen drawing with hatching and cross hatching today.  It is challenging, but I think I am learning a lot.  He came by my seat and gave me a few pointers and then asked if I would like to see an example.  I said yes of course, so he went to his office and brought back a demo he had done for another class.  It was really good and I learned so much just from seeing what he had done.  As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words!  I feel encouraged in there now though.  It is important to get feed back I guess.
My photography class went well also.  I was able to come up with a photo that incorporates all of the gray scale....from black to white.  I keep coming up to that gray scale.  It is way important.  And I kind of like it anyway.  It really helps me to see values and tones.  I think it will help with painting and already has.  And this pen drawing stuff we are doing is really supposed to help with drawing.  So I am just bound to improve:)
Tonight I am staying home from mutual since they are going ice skating and my knee is acting terrible.  I plan to ice it a few times and just stay off of it.  I hope it gets better soon.  I may have to lose weight to really get it to heal.  I keep trying, but I guess I like chocolate and ice cream too much.  I think there should be a way to lose weight by eating chocolate and ice cream.  Maybe if that was all you ate!  I am sure it is as unbalanced as most of the diets out there:)  I do feel bad not to be going ice skating.  It used to be one of my favorite sports!  I can even skate backwards and do twirls.  But probably not anymore.  We used to go to Sutro's over at the Cliff House when I was little.  I have a pretty cute movie of my parents and brother and I walking in front of Sutro's about 1953.  I will have to make a clip and put it on youtube.  It is very historic if you pay attention to the background and ignore the adorable children in the foreground.
Well, I guess I had better fix dinner.  The kids come home from school and eat everything that they can find.  Yesterday they ate a whole loaf of bread, so I put the kabash on that and told them to have a small snack and fill up at dinner.  So I guess I had better make something yummy!  I hope your day is going well.  Take care out there in cyberspace!  I am still pulling for you!  We are all in this together!  Keep smiling and I will do the same.  HAVGE!!!  Melody


I have been up rewriting my essay for class today.  I guess I need to let it go:)  I picked a different artist and I like the work better for what we are doing.  Anyway, no time to write. Gotta get going!  Hope your day goes well.   Melody

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sharing a Still Moment

Before class

Finished painting (I think)
Good afternoon!  I love painting!  It really does take me someplace so peaceful and uncluttered with worry.  Anyway I thought I would share my still life.  It is kind of done I think.  There are a few things I would like to fix, like the pumpkin lines being too thick, but I wanted to get home to finish the essay for my drawing class tomorrow.  My morning class was cancelled this morning, so I spent an hour and a half reading up on Rembrandt's life.  It was interesting.  I think it will help with the critique, since we are supposed to write a little about the artist first.  And then I am supposed to critique a drawing of his.  I have two books full of his drawings and I have to pick one.  I may pick the one he did of his wife when they were first engaged.  She looks so young and sweet.  She died after having four children.  All but the last one died within a couple of weeks of being born.  That would be so difficult to lose 75% of your offspring!  I don't know if I would have survived that either.
I also got a roll of film developed this morning.  I am excited to see some of the photos developed.  I still have to figure out someway to scan them into the computer.  Maybe if I get enough of my homework completed I can figure it out.  It seems like I do homework and housework continually.  I don't think I am keeping up with the latter.  Oh, and I've done something to my knee.  I am hobbling around like a genuine old person.  I got an ice pack thingy to put on it.  I hope it helps.
So I've almost made it through today...yay!  I am very tired, but I feel very good about my painting...and I got my sketch book turned in.  So all in all it has been a grrrreat day.  Now I just have to finish this essay.  So onward and upward!  I hope you're also having a grrrrreat one,too!    Take care out there!  TTTL  Melody

Guten Tag!

Good morning!  I am rushing a little this morning.  I finished all of the homework due today, so I am relieved about that.  But I still have a couple of due tomorrow and one due next week.  And I am sure there will be more assigned today and tomorrow, sigh.
Today is Tommy's birthday.  And tomorrow is Kenny's.  Tommy would have been 34, Kenny will be 32!  How did my kids get so old?  I guess I am glad, just wish I didn't age.  I would love to have the mobility and freedom of my younger body.  Oh well.
Well, I have nothing important to report.  Just wanted to say hi out there into the great beyond.  Take care and have a gut wan!!!  Melody

Monday, February 21, 2011


I just saw this on Facebook and thought I would share.  It is an anti-depression video....very effective.  You must watch this!

Happy President's Day

Good morning!  And happy president's day to everyone.  Tomorrow is really a birthday for a president...George Washington.  I think it is a little weird to lump two days together and not have it even coincide with either birthday...Lincoln's was the 12th.  But I guess that is so people can have a three day weekend.  I am not opposed to that I guess.  Tomorrow is also Tommy's birthday.  I usually plan something fun to keep me distracted.  But I have school tomorrow and plenty of homework in the meantime, so I suppose that will have to do.  I am feeling pretty rested so that should help.  And I suppose I wouldn't be human if I didn't miss my little boy on his birthday.  So it is all fine.
Today I am working on sketches.  I still haven't done those imitating different styles of artists.  I am not sure exactly what is wanted.  That is the trouble with my painting teacher.  I can't understand all that she says.  Her accent is strong and her language is a little different.  She uses slang I am not familiar with.  It must feel like that to people visiting our country.  What does that phrase mean?  Anyway I will work it out.  I am also supposed to come up with different palettes....muted, intense, primary/secondary, etc.  I visited the paint section of the local WalMart and got a lot of paint sample swatches.  That should help.  We are also supposed to find examples in magazines.  And it wouldn't hurt to go and visit my painting again today.  I didn't finish it yet.  But we have tomorrow if I don't get over there.  I just have a lot of details to paint in still.  I want this painting to look finished.  I am quite happy with it so far.  I think I nailed the table corner I am including in the painting.  And I am happy with everything else so far.  There is a wooden pineapple candleholder with a lot of detail that I haven't finished that is kind of worrying me.  I drew it so that I would have a better idea of how to paint it.  I will include that for your viewing pleasure:)  It has a lot of shapes to paint.
Complicated pineapple

The other thing I need to do is an essay.  I have been studying for it and I know pretty much what I want to say, but I have to actually write it down.  Sort of like putting your hands in the dish water.  It's much easier once you actually start in.  I am glad I had to do dishes growing up.  I think it taught me to persevere when I really didn't want to continue with something.  How do kids learn that today?  There is so little work they actually have to do anymore.  When you read about the prophet's lives, they all learned early how to work hard.  I tried to keep my own kids working hard.  But with dishwashers and washing machines and electric everything, most of the work is pretty easy.  I am not complaining.  Just noticing the difference.
Well, I hope your day is joyful.  I wish you the best.  Take care out there.  I'm still pulling for you!  We're all in this together.  And HAVVVGW!!!  Melody

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Thou Shalt Not Do Any Work

Good afternoon!  It is a good day here today.  It started out with church of course.  The high council speakers were especially good this morning.  The first good brother talked about having an eye that sees the good in other people.  He quoted Sister Theresa as saying that we don't have time to love others if we spend it all judging them.  I liked his talk a lot.  Then the second speaker talked about how each of us has trials in life and that instead of asking why we have trials, we should ask "how".  How can we handle this trial so that we learn and grow?  Pretty optimistic, but good of course.  He has a child with severe handicaps and he said it took strength to decide that they would make things work for her best good.  It was an emotional and well thought out talk.  I am amazed always with the things people are challenged with, and more amazed at how well some people cope.  I think it takes more than faith.  I think it takes a good attitude, and a whole lot of hard work, and trust in the Lord.
Today the other Mia maid advisor was supposed to teach the class.  During Sunday school class I realized she wasn't at church, so I read the lesson on my iphone:)  Then a few minutes before class was supposed to start I was informed that our class would go in with the Laurels.  So it all worked out, although I think it was stressful for the Laurel teacher.  There were 18 girls in class...lots of visitors because of the holiday.  I am glad I didn't have to teach it without any preparation though.  I don't like that feeling.  And I like to make it very special for those sweet young women.
The rest of today I plan to rest.  I am catching something I think.  I feel dizzy and nauseated and really exhausted.  I will try to get some reading done for my foundational art class if I feel up to it later.  I shall see.  I would rather not do homework on Sunday, but I am feeling like there is more homework than time to do it in.  But I should have more trust, right?  OK, no homework:)
I hope your day is going well.  I think my mood comes out in these blogs.  Sorry about that.  I am really fine.  Just kind of sick.  Take care out there.  I will do the same here.  TTTL  Melody

Saturday, February 19, 2011


Ocean City by Wayne Thiebauld

Hi!  I just watched an interview of Wayne Thiebauld on UCTV.  Apparently he gave an interview to Kenneth Baker of the San Francisco Chronicle back in November.  I wouldn't have known who he was back then.  I like his work.  It is very unique and interesting.  He is in the oil business (his joke not mine).  I also watched an interview of James Taylor yesterday on youtube.  It aired a couple of nights ago on the Charlie Rose show.  Then tonight I also watched "The Social Network" with Mel.  It was so interesting.  I had no idea of the history of facebook.  I am sure it is fictionalized somewhat, but I still thought it was interesting.
Well, just thought I would share my TV and internet watching.  I think you could catch the interviews on the internet for both celebrities.  UCTV has their own website.  And James Taylor has a facebook account:)  It sure is something how connected things are any more.  I am amazed.  TTFN  Melody

Here I Come to Save the Day!

Good Saturday morning!  Remember Saturday morning cartoons?  It was such a special day when I was young.  There was no cartoon network then, and Saturday was the only real time to get your fill of Tom and Jerry, Mighty Mouse, or Roadrunner cartoons.  Only of course you didn't get your fill and so you were left wanting for more.  And so you would look forward to next Saturday morning.  I think that was better somehow.  Kids today seem to get too much of cartoons, and video games and Wii.  What has happened to imaginary play?  I see it in my youngest grandkids, but it has disappeared in many of my older ones.  And I think that is sad.
So how did I get onto that tangent?  Oh yeah, it's Saturday.  And I have another busy day planned.  I got quite a bit done yesterday, but not everything.  So I have to finish that.  And then I am off to the campus at BSU to paint.  I have a painting that needs to be finished by the end of class on Tuesday.  Oils are hard to transport and a little messy, so it is easier to visit the painting rather than bring it home.  It is turning out nice I think, but I have quite a bit to do before it's done.  Then I still need to shoot the rest of the film in my camera.  It clouded over yesterday before I could finish the roll.  So I will work at that, and then if I can get it done this morning, I could develop it while I am over at the school.  I may just stop at a barn along the way and take pictures.  I only have 10 left.  It kind of depends on the clouds.  I hope there are none:)
We attended an interesting show last night that my niece was in...a junior miss pageant.  It was interesting and she was so cute.  It is sort of like a mini Miss America pageant minus the bathing suits.  It was fun to see all of the talents of the contestants.  But I have to admit I am glad I never participated in one.  There is something about them that is a little fake...beautiful girls smiling til their face hurts.  I guess it is all about putting on a cheery face.  And the scholarships were nice for the three girls who won them.  I just thought they should have spread it out to a few more girls.  Oh well.
So the day is moving forward without me.  I guess I had better get hopping.  Just wanted to send a greeting out there into the atmosphere.   I hope you have a lovely day out there in cyberspace.  Remember I'm pulling for you!  We're all in this together.  Keep smiling!  HAVVVGW!!!  Melody

Friday, February 18, 2011


Good morning!  I hope it is for you.  I am working on homework...what else?  The kids are cooperating for the most part.  My faithful visiting teachers came by this morning.  They are such good women.  And I love a good visit:)  So all in all the day is shaping up pretty well.  I did a color wheel for my art foundations class.  I think it is OK.  The colors in the blue range look a little muddy and I am wondering if I should start again.  But I don't think it would help.  I am starting oil painting next.  I have quite a bit to do in there...mostly my sketch book.  We have five artists we are supposed to critique two paintings from and then two sketches for each artist in our sketchbook copying their style.  I keep putting it off because....I don't know why.  But as soon as I write this I will tackle it.  Then I need to critique a drawing by Rembrandt using art language.  I didn't know there was an art language, but I am slowly learning all about it.  I have another critique to finish for the museum pieces, but I have until the first of March for that one.  Then I am going to take a walk to that old house down by the canal and snap the rest of my roll of film.  We are supposed to come up with new negatives by Wednesday.  It is a beautiful day here, though somewhat cold and windy.  Yesterday the ice on the road out here was terrible...very thick and slick.  There were a few slide offs and the freeway went about 35 into Boise.  I hope that is the last of the bad weather.  But it may not be.  It is only February.  The days are still whizzing for me though, so I suppose spring is just around the corner.
I keep wondering if I should register for summer classes.  I would love a break if Mel has time to go anywhere.  But he is awfully busy with work and it doesn't seem to be letting up.  I could take just one class and in six weeks it is over.  I am still thinking what would be best.  If I stay here I will be watching kids, so that is also something to think about.
Well, I really have nothing much to write today.  I am still pulling for you out there in cyberspace.  Take care and HAVVVGW!!!  Melody

Thursday, February 17, 2011

On the Sunny Side

Good evening!  Since I wrote such a downer of a post last night, I thought I would counter with a cheery one tonight.  Like you need more to read right?  Anyway.....I got an A!  My oil painting teacher handed out our grades for our first painting and I got an A.  I was kind of shocked.  But really glad.  It is sort of like she said that my painting is OK.  I guess I need the reassurance that this is not silly.  Some days it seems silly for an old lady to be trudging around campus with a very heavy load of books in a back pack.  And I wonder if I am just doing one more foolish thing.  But then I think how happy it makes me feel to draw and paint and photograph and that I am learning to do it all better.  Especially the...I can't even decide because I love it all.  And it is a whole world opening up to me that I only guessed at before.  Of course the world is unfortunately polluted, but I am keeping my goal of wanting to paint things worthy to hang in a temple some day.  It keeps me focused on the beautiful and wonderful things that are really the finer things of life.  And I am supposed to seek after those things.
Oh, before I forget once again...the other side of the sign.  Show off - what someone else's child is who is more talented than yours.  I think I've heard other versions of that before.  But it is still a funny thought.  I just got back from orchestra.  I have a hard time getting there but I sure enjoy it when I do.  The other clarinetist is pretty nice.  Last time we were comparing who was busiest, since he is doing student teaching.  I said I was so much older and that even though he had homework, mine was harder since my mind was going:)  He said, "You're not that much older than me.  How old are you anyway?"  I said, "61!"  He said, "Oh.  I would have guessed much younger."  That made my day of course.  I just wish I could feel younger.  Oh well. One of the songs we are playing is "Danny Boy".  It is one of my favorite.  I like having it in my head.
Tomorrow I have no school, but lots of homework.  The kids have no school either though, so I will be watching them and trying to do homework.  I hope I can get stuff done.  It is hard to keep them entertained some days.
Well, I hope your evening is cheered now:)  Take care out there in cyberspace.  I am still pulling for you!  We're all in this together.  Keep snoring:)   Sweet Dreams,  Melody

Still Hanging in There

Good mornin'!  I am feeling much better this morning I am happy to report.  Last night I was too tired, even with the good night's sleep from the night before.  I have got to pay attention to that.  I really must be a little sleep deprived.  Anyway, today looks like a good one.  I have been up a while already...I had a color wheel to do and some color scales to finish.  I am not too happy with the color scales.  My teacher is very finicky about exact one inch squares.  Knowing that- I cut them very carefully I thought.  But they still don't look exactly right.  Oh well.  I left my paint at school yesterday, thinking I had nothing more to paint last night.  It is good I suppose since I would just stay up all night trying to get it perfect.  I probably will not get an A.  But it is OK.  I am doing this for me...I have to keep reminding myself of that!  I tend to try to please all of my teachers and fellow students....which has its place I suppose.  But my main goal in going to school is to learn to be a better artist.  There, my lecture to myself is done.
Oh, I wanted to share the sign downtown.  Yesterday it said, "Nitrate - different from the day rate."  I forget what the other side said:)  I forget a lot these days.  Sigh!  I hope I can remember the important stuff for a while.  I am not looking forward to being any more forgetful than I already am.  And I have a midterm coming up.  A real test with multiple choice questions.  I think I can do that OK.  It is when you have to come up with your own answers that I get stuck.  I get a kind of a mental block that won't let me think around it.  Like yesterday when I couldn't remember amphitheater.  It took me quite a while to come up with that that I am quite familiar with.  I guess I will just have to do my best and smile a lot!
So I am being a little boring I know.  It is hard to think of interesting stuff to write.  I could tell you about the interesting discussion going on in my drawing class yesterday.  The teacher left the room for a while and the kids around me started having an R rated discussion about drugs and sex.  I am not kidding.  I was a little surprised.  They seem like such nice young people.  I am a little shocked at the lack of values and standards.  But I guess it is to be expected.  I wasn't sure if I should lecture them or not:)  But since I already called them all losers (I still can't believe I said that) I decided I had best hold my tongue and wait for a more opportune time to teach.  I am learning,
Well, I hope your day out there in cyberspace is productive.  Take care and remember....:)  See... I have taught you something:)  HAGW!!! Melody

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Good evening!  I am writing in here to put things into perspective.  Somehow it helps to write down a little of my day and then I start to see more clearly.  I think I am starting to feel that yearly thing I feel each year as Tommy's birthday rolls around.  He would be 34 on next hard to believe.  I still miss him like he left yesterday.  And it is hard to keep positive even though I know all is well with him in the spirit world.  I just wish he could send a letter once in a while:)  Oh well.  I suppose I will get through it all one more time.
Today has been a pretty good day.  I developed a few more negatives and this time they turned out well.  I still have not figured out how to get the scanner to work with this computer though, so I guess I can't share. Just know that they are award winning photos!  I am sure to get wonderful rave reviews when I do figure out how to post them:)  I really like developing pictures.  When you first put the paper with the photo on it in the developing solution it's white, and then it slowly begins to turn from light gray to darker shades of gray until you can see what you took.  It only takes about 90 seconds.  It is pretty cool.  I learned a couple of new techniques for making the photo look even better...called blocking and burning.  It helps to darken or lighten a small part of your photo.  I was able to bring out some shadows that didn't come out in the original photo.  I wish I could post it.
Then in my drawing class we continued our last day of pencil shading.  Next week we will do pen again with shading.  I am not looking forward to that too much.  I miss having an eraser when I work in pen.  We are also starting a synthetic drawing...where you bring in different drawings into one composition.   We can use a lot of different things for that one.  It should be interesting and fun...and time consuming!
Well, I am feeling better.  I guess I just needed to focus on art again.  It sure is good therapy.  I hope things are going well for you.  Take care and have a good night.  Melody


Good morning!  I got a good long night's sleep last night.  I went to bed around 8:30!  I woke up at 11:)  But then I went back to sleep and slept the rest of the night until my alarm went off.  I was really tired!  But now I feel pretty good.  Isn't it amazing how our bodies can regenerate themselves?  Of course I am still old, but I feel energized and ready to tackle a new day.
So today is photography, drawing and mutual.  Mel goes to the temple on Wednesdays, so I think I will stay at school and try to get some more stuff done there...oil painting and photography and research at the library.  My drawing teacher keeps telling us to go there, but I really have a hard time finding time to do that.  It is one more place to be, and I already feel like I am running to keep up.  I think I will not take so many classes next semester:)  But I am glad to be taking these.
In painting class yesterday I did something right!  We are working on a new method (for us) of painting...first gray scale and then local color.  The teacher had us line our paintings up for the class to see, and then she asked which paintings used all of the values in the gray scale from black to white.  And mine did!  I got a nice critique.  But then we started in on local color.  That is a horse of a different color:)  I struggled trying to match the browns in my still life, of the table and the brownish cloth.  I thought I had matched them pretty well, but the teacher came by and said I needed to gray it down.  In doing that I kind of wrecked the stuff I had already done.  I am glad it is not watercolor!  At least with this I can scrape off paint or paint over what I already have.
In photography we turn in a photo today...and develop more.  I took about 20 pictures yesterday of one thing...a cement outdoor theater in the round...I can't for the life of me think of what it is called...amphitheater, that's it!  But it was kind of fun trying all different stops and circling around the circle.  I have sixteen more shots to take and then I can see how it all turned out.  We are supposed to get a high contrast photo for our next assignment.  It takes bright sunlight.  I hope I can get it while we have sunshine.  The weather is supposed to change here in the next couple of days.  It has been windy on our little hill again.
Well, I had better get on with things.  I am wishing you a wonderful day.  Take care out there.  Thanks for the inspiration and encouragement.  HAVVVVGW!!!!   Melody

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

It's already Tuesday? How did that happen?

Good morning!  I am running a little late this morning.  I have been doing homework since 5:30!  I stayed up late doing it last night too.  So I guess I am burning the candle from both ends.  I don't mind as much now as I did when I was younger.  I don't sleep well anyway, so I might as well be doing something to improve my mind.  Although cutting out 1 inch squares of different colors to make a color scale is not all that mind improving.  I guess it keeps my hand eye coordination good though.  I really enjoy doing all of it except studying terms.  But that is coming...slowly but surely.
Today...hmmmmm.  I have foundational art with a couple of things I need to turn in today...notes from the museum and a drawing in shading, form and volume:)  I would take a photo, but it is nothing special.  It merely fills the assignment.  Still, every exercise helps me to learn a bit more.  I think I will spend my lunch break in the dark room today.  I am having fun developing my negatives.  They are turning out pretty good.  And I like the process.  It is very therapeutic.  I must admit the dark room is a little creepy when you are the only one in there though.  Hopefully other students will be working in there.  Then I have my oil painting class which I am learning to love.  It is still hard, but I am learning the techniques better and better.  And I like that we made a drawing first this painting.  I think it will turn out better.
Well, I'd better scoot.  I hope you have a lovely day out there in cyberspace!  I am still pulling for you!  We're all in this together.  Keep smiling, and I will do the same.  HAVVVGW!!!  Melody

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy, Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day!  I love this day.  When I was little I loved making valentines...big lacy ones with hearts and kind words.  It was fun to pass them out in school to all of my classmates.  And it was even more fun to receive them back.  I guess most of my life I have appreciated the wonderful people around me and I have felt so connected to them.  I was not always sure that they felt the same and a bag full of valentines was an affirmation that I was included in the group.  It's too bad that everyone doesn't still pass out valentines to everyone.  It might make the world a little better.  Anyway with that thought in mind here is my valentine to all of my cyberspace friends.
Today should be a good day.  I finished my bottle drawing for my drawing class.  I am not sure if it will get graded.  It is more an in-class learning project.  But I feel better about it.  I am learning a lot about drawing with graphite.  I think it is an amazing medium now that I have discovered sticks.  And I can use the paper stubs and other tools I have only used with charcoal before.  It is helping I think.  I am not too objective with my own drawings.

We are finally going to develop our negatives in my photo class today.  I am really anxious to see how they turned out.  I hope I got the pictures I thought I was taking:)  We shall see!
Well, I had better get going.  I leave early on Mondays.  I am still pulling for you!  We are all in this together, so keep your stick on the ice and keep smiling!  I really mean that:)  HAVVVVGW!!!!!  Melody

Sunday, February 13, 2011


Rembrandt's lion
Good morning!  I hope you like this famous lion.  He was drawn by Rembrandt a few hundred years ago.  And he is everything I am supposed to be learning in line drawing.  Of course today I am not doing homework, I just thought I would share a picture of the king of beasts.
And then another of the King of Kings....since it's Sunday.  He is in the doorway in this picture.  He is drawn in shadow.  I love this painting!  I think I already wrote about it when we went to see the Carl Bloch exhibit.  It represents so much of how I feel.  I hope someday I can paint with so much feeling.

Jarius' Daughter by Carl Bloch
But I have today to seize, so I am working on my lesson for young women.  It is on always being a teacher...through our example and precepts.  It is a good lesson.  I have a handout for them of a real apple with a paper leaf that reads, "Always a Teacher".  I think that is a little healthier than chocolate, but not so impressive.  So I am thinking if I hurry I can still make sugar cookies with a little bit of red M&M's.  It was something I had planned to do yesterday, but with Friday's fiasco I was just too behind with homework.  Anyway what ever I can accomplish will be fine.
So I hope your day out there is peaceful and happy and filled with the love from our Savior.  Take care and keep smiling.  We're all in this together!  I'm still pulling for you!  HAVGW!!!  Melody

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Morning After

Good morning!  It feels wonderful to be home and to wake up in my own room without a blood pressure cuff on my arm!  Those things are soooooo annoying!
Well, I have been given a second lease on life....what a weird saying!  Anyway, I am feeling much better today than yesterday.  I think not having to worry about why I am hurting is a relief.  And I have already got the laundry going and the dishes cleared (not in the dishwasher yet:)  So I can continue with the things I started yesterday morning.  Mostly I am going to pay bills and work on homework....and go to Home Depot for some sort of a bulletin/story board kind of a thing to hang above my work area in my art room.  I am constantly taping things to the wall of ideas or things I am drawing or painting.  It would help to formalize this space a little, and it might save the paint:)  I also need to get a few organizing things for the top of my desk so it doesn't get so cluttered with all of the different gadgets I use for each different medium.  It is funny to me that I am doing all of these different things at once...painting, drawing, photographing.  And a whole lot of glueing for my foundational art class.  I am not fond of rubber cement!  It is something I was totally unacquainted with before this semester.  I guess I have never had a need for it.  Now I am constantly glueing things down with it.  It seems particularly messy to me.  But I guess most glue is.  Do you remember the school paste we used to have in elementary school?  It was way before Elmer and his glue.  It smelled and tasted (!) wonderful as I recall.  No, I don't know why I tasted it.  I used to taste everything.  One of my earlier idiosyncrasies I guess.  Anyway when I think of that glue I can still kind of remember that, and I get a warm feeling.  But when I think of rubber cement it makes me grimace.  And I am sure it wouldn't be wise to taste it!  And you probably shouldn't sniff it either:)
I am feeling a little silly this morning.  I suppose it is because I don't have to take cumadin.  I had to take it the first time I had a blood clot in my leg a few years back.  It is a blood thinner.  But it makes you feel really, really, really tired.  My sister said it is rat poison, and I believe it!!!  I kept thinking yesterday that I was probably going to have to take it and I was so worried about how I would do school.  It already takes all of the energy I have to keep up.  So I am especially grateful today.  I know, I keep going on about this, but it really did scare me.  I guess I had better let it go.  I will try.  There is no try...only do.  Where did that come from?  You see I am really feeling silly, so I'd better quit this and get on with my day before I write something really silly.  I hope you are happy and doing well out there in cyberspace!  I am still pulling for you!  Keep smiling!  And HAVVVGW!!!  Melody

Friday, February 11, 2011

My own ER

Gute Nacht!  I have been at the hospital all afternoon.  I had this ache or pain in my left side and so I called the doctor about it to see if he thought I should be seen.  He thought I should go to the ER for an evaluation.  After an EKG, blood work, CAT scan, ultrasound, and x-ray...and a whole afternoon and evening of laying around in a hospital bed, they decided I am blood clots, pneumonia, heart attack or anything else life threatening.  I probably have a viral something or other in the muscles near my chest wall, or something like.  He said I might have even strained a muscle carrying around my back pack.  But he said it was good to come in.  There was a lady that came in last night with the same exact symptoms, but when they did the CAT scan they found 5 blood clots in her lungs!  Better safe than sorry I suppose.  I am taking an anti-inflammatory to see if that helps with the pain.  It did give me time to think and be grateful for my health!  And it surprised me to realize that except for having children I haven't ever been in the hospital or emergency room for me.  I have certainly spent plenty of time in hospitals and emergency rooms over the years...for various children and even Mel a few times.  But I guess I have been pretty lucky to avoid having to be in one myself.  I don't make a very good patient I'm afraid.  All I can think of is how much longer do I have to be here?  Anyway, I am home and fine, and I think I may have gotten inspiration for a drawing I have for homework!  So some good has come from this.  I also can stop worrying about blood clots in my lungs!  Yay!  I was a little worried about that.
So, that is my adventure for today.  I hope your day was less eventful!  I didn't get all of the things done I had planned to do today.  I am glad for tomorrow!  Sweet Dreams!  TTTL  Melody

Short and Sweet

Good morning!  I am feeling kind of lazy today...and I can't!  There is too much to do.  I have to clean everything!  And I have to paint and draw and analyze other paintings and drawings for my homework.  And I need to shoot another roll of film sometime this weekend.  And in between all of that I am watching Sebastian today.  He is not hard to watch when it is just him though.  He is a pleasant little person when he doesn't have to compete with his siblings.  And he is so original!  I think he says the funniest stuff right now, but you kind of have to lean in to hear him.  He has a very soft little voice.....unless he is screaming.  He doesn't do that unless his big sister or big brother is teasing him though.  Thank heaven!!!!
Well, I think writing this has already got me thinking I have no time to write just now.  Maybe I will later after I have painted a masterpiece:)  Ta ta til then!  HAVVVGW!!!  Melody

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Thursday Evening Post

Good evening!  I am feeling pretty good this evening!  I got three A's today!  I wasn't expecting them, but it was so nice to find out my work is acceptable.  It was for homework assignments in my foundational art class.  I don't know if I have posted them.  Let me check.....yep!  I think it is nice to feel like I am doing well.  The other thing that oil painting is in the hall posting at school:)  They always hang good work out in the hallway for other students to see.  It made me feel kind of special.  And today we started a new painting in class.  I really think I am going to like it.  We had to paint it in gray scale to start.  I am painting a few still life objects on a table, and I am painting the table too (in my picture).  I really am enjoying the straight lines and the power of the shadows underneath the table.  Next time we will add local color and more detail I think.  Maybe it is the smell of the paint, but I really love oil painting.  No, I think it is the way the paint responds.  It is much more forgiving than watercolors.  Which reminds me that I promised to paint my dad a painting to go along with the one I painted him earlier.  I suppose I will have to make a trio.  I don't mind since the first one is an ocean scene with him flying a kite with a few of my grandkids.  I took some nice photos in Carmel, so I may use one of those to paint a nice sunset beach scene.  And I suppose I will have to come up with dolphins or something for a third painting....maybe a whale:)
Lucky for me today...the homework assignment for my foundational art class was due today, but I had done it wrong...and apparently there was some confusion among the other class members, so we don't have to turn it in til next week.  I am relieved!  I realized I had misunderstood as I looked around me at what other people had done.  It's nice to be saved from a bad grade!  There are so many really talented young people in my classes!  But I am feeling more confident as I learn the skills.  I just need to remind myself that I am only competing against myself.  I want to be the best that I can be.
Well, enough about me!  How are you?  Really?  That good, huh?  Ha, ha.  I just think blogging is so egotistical in some ways.  But it is fun, so I won't quit yet.  I guess I like telling the world about what I am doing.  And with school it is good to write it all down.  Otherwise I may not remember it:)
I thought I would include this still life by Jean Baptiste Chardin.  At least I thought it was until I read the writing on the cup.  Pretty funny.  This guy lived from 1699 to 1779!   It gave me a little chuckle.  I hope it brightens your evening!  Well, I guess that is all I had to say.  I hope your day has gone well out there in cyberspace.  Take care!  TTTT  Melody

Guten Tag!

Good morning!  I am off and running again.  I am glad it is Thursday, the last day of classes each week, and that I had the good sense to give myself Friday to catch my breath...and do my homework.  I had forgotten how much homework teachers assign in college.  At least this is interesting.  I can remember trying to grasp concepts in my organic chemistry book and my head hurting from trying to understand and memorize all of the stuff in that big fat book!  I loved studying literature of course.  That is why I switched my major to English back then. But I think I like art even more.  It is fascinating to me and keeps me thinking.  This morning I woke up from painting big turquoise rectangles in a Dibenkorn painting I was doing.  Ha, ha!  I guess I have got it bad.
Well, I better scoot.  I have a little pasting into my sketchbook still to do.  Take care and have a most wonderful and glorious day.  I'm still pulling for you!  Melody

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Checking In at the End of the Day

Guten Abend!  Not nearly so satisfying as "good evening"with a Boris Karloff accent.  Anyway I hope your evening is going well.  I have a bit of homework for tomorrow that I am procrastinating...not much really.  I just need to print out some pictures for my sketchbook and analyze the composition, style and such.   Then I have to decide which two artists out of five I will imitate with a little something in my sketchbook.  I am not too sure about the last part.  I have decided on Thiebaud and Diebenkorn....both of them at least painted things I am not embarrassed to copy.  I love the colors that Diebenkorn used in his Ocean Park paintings.  I think we are only supposed to draw these in pencil though, so I am a little confused.  I figure with Thiebaud I can draw cake or pie...or bubble gum.  And I like the bright colors he uses too.  I think I will sketch it in and then see about the paint in class tomorrow.  We don't turn in any of the homework for a few weeks.
I was a little disappointed in my photo class today....not that it wasn't wonderful, but we ran out of time.  We did a composition of objects on light sensitive paper.  We didn't get around to doing the negatives into prints.  But I guess we will do that next time.  We were supposed to bring a few objects to put in our composition...I forgot along with about half of the class.  Anyway, I improvised.  See if you can tell what I had on hand:)

Iphone, keys, glasses, ring, scrap of paper

All of my glasses:)

Then in drawing class we worked a little a whole lot more...on our shaded drawings.  I think I am doing OK.  I am not so sure about the one I turned in though.  The teacher came around and critiqued everyone's stuff.  He spent a long time with me...maybe not a good sign.  But I did learn a few things I think.  He seemed to think I needed to tell more of a story with my drawing.  I told him the story I was telling and he said I should give more hints....not hit people over the head with it, but clue them in a little.  I guess I will have to work at that.  I thought I had to keep it to myself:)  Uploading the still life helps me to see where it needs work...everywhere!!!

Not finished!

Well, I best be getting on with things.  I like to write all of this down so I don't forget from one day to the next.  It does seem to help organize my thoughts.  TTTT  Melody

Conversion Story

Guten Morgen!  I am feeling pretty darn good this morning! (My favorite Idaho expression:)  I have another convert!  That's right... two in one week!  To the iphone!  When I came home from school yesterday, Mel started in about how his phone battery had gone dead.  So he went to Radio Shack to get a new battery and it was $40!  I said, "Mel, you could get an iphone for that much!"  And he smiled, kind of sheepishly, and said, "I did!"  So now we have two in our family!  I am excited he has one.  He was worried I would think he was being extravagant.  Funny, because the only time I have thought that is when he bought a $4000 machine without consulting me first.  Yes, I have gotten over that....sort of.  Anyway he has been playing with his new toy ever since, except when he was sleeping of course.  He is downloading Kindle as I am writing this.  They just asked him to set up an Amazon account and his comment was, "It feels like I am getting ripped off."  He is really very much more cautious with money than I am, and that is a good thing!
When I woke up this morning I was thinking about children's literature.  Mel and I watched "Alice in Wonderland" again the other night...the one with Johnny Depp.  And I have been thinking about it a lot.  And then yesterday when I was redrawing my drawing for class today ( 6 times?) I put in some detail into the open book to make it look like writing along side of an illustration.  And I thought,"This is my book."  I think I would like to really write something worth Alice and her adventures through the looking glass and down the bunny hole.  I just don't know if I really have it in me.  I think I might.  I am going to start now to come up with a story line......nope, nothing:)  I will have to keep notes on all my brilliant ideas.
Well, right now I think I need to start putting things in the car for the long voyage over to Boise.  I actually find I enjoy the commute most mornings.  It is nice to have time to think and ponder.  Today I am making my first prints from my negatives...proofs or contact prints.  Anyway I am very excited to see what my photos look like and if I took anything worth printing.  I will post any later that turn out good.  I also have my drawing class today and I bought some graphite sticks to try.  I really had to search to find any, and they only had three sizes...2B, 4B and 6B.  It might help with shading more evenly.  My teacher suggested I try them.
So I hope your day is fun and inspired and happy.  Take care out there in cyberspace!  I am still pulling for you!  We are all in this together, so keep smiling!  And HAVVVGW!!!  Melody

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Progression-it feels great!

Good morning!  I have wonderful news!  I didn't ruin my first roll of film.  I probably filled it with lots of cool fingerprints, but I didn't drop it on the floor of the dark room, or roll it the wrong way onto the spool of the developing tank.  And...I think I am hooked.  That was soooo cool to actually have negatives turn out from a roll of film that I shot!  I think I may be taking upper division classes of this stuff.  But for now I will be happy learning the basic process.  My daughter Kim loves photography and now I know why.  Of course I haven't made a print yet.  But even if nothing turns out super, I am still hooked on the process.  It is a little like magic!
My drawing class was fun too!  We are finally doing shading.  Of course I have a lot to learn there too.  My instructor came and sat at my easel and showed me a few things to help.  I am such a newbie at it all.  Figuring out black and white values is hard for me.  But I think the photography will help with that somewhat too.  And it will certainly help my painting!  I finally did my pen/line drawing last night.  It is too light to photograph, and too big to scan.  Sorry!  But it took me five tries  to finally come up with a good picture.  I wish I could add shading!  But that is not the assignment.  It is due tomorrow, so I maybe will have time for orchestra tonight...we'll see.  My other class tomorrow is photography and we are printing our negatives...or at least a  contact sheet.  I can hardly wait to see what it turns out like.
Today I have foundational art and oil painting.  Did I mention I love school?  How could I not?  It is all about the things I love!  I keep asking myself...why did I wait so long to take art?  Silly me!
Well, I should hurry and make a breakfast for these cute kids.  I think they like it when I make pancakes or French toast.  I hope your day goes well.  Take care out there in cyberspace!  I am doing so much better myself, I want the whole world to feel good!!!!  I'm still pulling for you!  We are definitely all in this together!!  HAVVVGW!!!  Melody

Monday, February 7, 2011

Happy Birthday Dad!

Good morning!  I am up and ready for school.  It is an exciting day today.  First off it is my dad's official birthday.  Our celebration yesterday was really nice...a house full of people that I love.  And my dad was really happy and glad to be well.  He and Barb spent most of January sick...and Barb really sick with pneumonia in the hospital.  So I think it was especially meaningful to them to be well and together for his birthday.  We had about 25 people, which was a lot.  I goofed and forgot the paper plates and cups.  But we managed with paper towels and real glasses.  Dad found a few paper plates to dish up the cake.  So it all went well.
Today I have my photography class and we are developing our first roll of film.  I am just a bit nervous about that.  I have been practicing rolling an old piece of film onto the reel of the developing tank.  I really don't want to ruin all of the fabulous pictures I took:)  Ha, ha!  I hope I got at least one that is good.  Saturday I finished the roll in my dad's backyard.  He has a beautiful yard, and I love all of the unique things he has there.  I took pictures of flower pots and wind chimes and the bird bath....all in different shutter speeds, just to experiment with the film.  It should be interesting.
Then after my photography class is my drawing class.  My pen drawing isn't due til Wednesday, thank goodness!  But we will still be doing practice drawings in there today.  This is a little frustrating to me.  I guess it is supposed to help us be more confident in our drawing.  I hope it works.  So far it feels like I just draw bad.  There is no erasing!  And of course the instructor is all into line weights and expressive lines, which I am just beginning to understand.  But it is all good.  I am not complaining....well, maybe just a little.  Why is it so hard for me to learn new things?  And why am I resistant to it?  I keep telling myself I am going to school for this very thing, so just do it!  Sorry, I am giving myself a bit of a lecture.
The rest of the day I will probably meet up with my dad.  He is wanting to buy an iphone for his birthday.  Yep I get my love of technology from him, and he loves my iphone.  He asked me yesterday if I would teach him how to use it:)  I think he will catch on pretty fast.  And I know he will love it.  He was very impressed yesterday as I was showing him how he could access his email and facebook with the phone.  I didn't show him too much.  I figured they will show him at the apple store.
Dad taking pictures
Well, I guess I should get on with my day.  It promises to be a gut wan!  I hope your day is too!  Take care out there in cyberspace!  I am still pulling for you!  We're all in this together!!!  Keep smiling!  Melody

Sunday, February 6, 2011

On this Day of Joy and Gladness

Rachel beaming in white
Rachel and her daddy
Good morning!  I thought I would share a couple of cute pictures from Rachel's baptism yesterday.  She was sooo excited to be baptized!  That makes me happy too.
Today is Sunday of course and after church we will be going over to my dad's for a birthday party.  I have everything done and cake, so it shouldn't be hard.  But I think it will be a nice gathering with four of my children present and their families and my sister Diane and her family...except for Jamie who is in the MTC.  I rather enjoy all the commotion of a big crowd.  But we will have to be sensitive to my dad and Barb.
My latest still life setup
With all of the business of the last couple of days, I haven't made any headway with my ball point pen drawing, except that I got a still life setup.  The teacher talked about how what you pick to draw tells something about you.  So I thought, "What do I want to tell?"  And I thought of books and reading.  So I got out a few of my favorite.  The open book is my Shakespeare book from college.  I really do love that book.  And I have a collection of Mark Twain.  I have been reading his autobiography some more.  I think it is really interesting, but it is hard to find time to read anything lately...except the scriptures of course:)  I wonder if I will ever have lazy days again.  Of course I will.  And I will probably wish for busy days when I do.   That is the nature of the human condition I think...always looking for something better or different.  The trick of course is to just enjoy the passage of time and to savor each moment.  Something I am working on.  I do seem to wish for warmth when it is cold, and cold when it is too warm, crowds when it is lonely, and solitude when it is too crowded.  Lately the thing I seem to be working on is being happy with who I am now and not wishing for a younger me.  I think it wouldn't be so hard if I didn't ache:)
Well, I can tell I am wandering off into the silly side of my thinking.  So here's wishing you a lovely Sabbath day.  Take care out there in cyberspace.  I'm still pulling for you!  We're all in this together.  Keep smiling!  And Have a Very Gut Wan!!!!  Melody

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Greetings on a Saturday morning

Good morning!  I am excited for today.  First my sweet granddaughter Rachel is getting baptized.  We are up early getting ready to leave for Twin Falls.  The other nice thing today is that my dad and Barb are coming back to Boise.  They went to visit her family and both got very ill.  Barb spent a week in the hospital and then has been recuperating.  So it has been a while since we have seen them.  My dad wanted to be here for his 88th birthday on Monday.  It should be fun!  And I am excited they are coming home.  I will go over to meet them and make sure that all is well for them today.
Well, I don't have time for any amazing insights or hilarious stories.  But I'll be sure to jot them down for future reference!  Have a wonderful day out there in cyberspace!  Take care and keep smiling!  TTTL  Melody

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Unveiling!

This one is distorted slightly.  I had the camera at an angle I guess.
Good afternoon.  I thought I would share my oil painting with ya'll.  Unfortunately the class I took on taking photos of your artwork came after I had taken these.  But from the class I learned that the angle plane of my camera did not match the angle plane of the painting.  So everything appears to be leaning.  But still you get an idea of the paintings.  There are actually three.  The first two are together in the top photo.  The orange cup and blue block with the blue sheet are one assignment.  We were supposed to use complimentary colors and kind of experiment with the medium.  It is the first that I did.  Then she had us add another grouping in impasto style.  Or it may
This one is also distorted.  I was leaning over to take it:)
be impesto.  I can't tell with her accent.  Either way you glob on paint...sort of like Van Gogh.  We were also supposed to change the compliments.  The second photo is actually the third painting:)  It is a glazing method of painting.  The bottle is not really tipped over like that.  But you can see even the side of the painting does not look square.  Oh well.  I like the colors!  It is very freeing to use bright compliments and then also I like that I can go back and "fix" things.  My watercolor teacher would give me a lecture on that I suppose, but I really do like being able to put on layer after layer.  If you make the picture large you may be able to see the different layers of color.  I think it is very cool!  I am really enjoying this class!  Last class the teacher was answering someone's question about glazing and she said, "Look at Melody's painting...blah, blah, blah."  I don't remember what she said exactly, but it was good.  She says my name so crisply, with a long o and the accent on the last syllable.  I am beginning to really like her accent.  And I think she likes my painting at least a little.  I do have to work on drawing better though.  That is my assignment for tonight....drawing in ballpoint pen.  I still have to set something up; I am not sure what.  Perhaps a few cups so that I get some practice on elipses.  I need to get better at those!  And getting all of the proportions right.    I tend to make things too little or too big.  I am learning though.
Well, just thought I would share.  I do feel so egotistical blogging.  But I suppose I write things here and then I don't have to chew everyone's ear off around here.  Hope your day is going well!!  TTTL  Melody

Thank Goodness for Friday!

Good morning!  It's supposed to be a little warmer today, but cloudy.  I am glad it will be a little warmer.  Those cold temps are hard to walk around in.  At least we don't have deep snow.  The snow looks pretty fun in the rest of the country.  I heard on the news that in New England they were having a fourth snow day.  My grandkids would love that!
Today I am getting my hair done, going to lunch with Kim and Amy and then I am attending a free class at BSU on photographing artwork.  In between all of that I have the rest of a roll of film to shoot, an oil painting to finish (it's almost there), a ball point pen drawing to start, and a whole lot of reading and studying.  So even though I technically have no school today I will still be doing school.  Tomorrow my granddaughter Rachel is getting baptized in Twin Falls.  So we will be going there.  That should be fun.  She is such a cutie!  Taylor wants to come too, so we will make a day of it.  Mel has to give a talk...on baptism I think.  I am glad it is not me!  Mel doesn't get too nervous speaking.  It was his major at BYU after all...speech and drama.  It's funny to think about.  I am not sure what he planned to do with it....probably teach.  He would have been a good teacher.  But he is a good tool and die maker.  All of a sudden he is very busy again.  So I think the dry spell is over.  I am glad of that!  But sad too.  I like when he is not so busy.  He is up early every day now...and I do mean early.  Yesterday he was running machines at 4 am.  He needs a couple of more machines so that he can run more things at once.  Then he could keep regular hours when he is busy. Now he has to finish one job before he can start another in certain machines.  He has four plastic injection molding machines. Oh well. It is all good.
I was thinking last night of a really funny something that happened.  This morning it is completely gone.  I remember thinking I certainly will not forget this!  But I have.  Maybe it will come to me later.  In the meantime I hope you have a wonderful day!  Keep your stick on the ice!  And keep smiling! You look better with a smile.  And you feel better too!!!  HAVVVGW!!!  Melody

Thursday, February 3, 2011

PNB's Cinderella Pre-Performance Lecture

Thought I would publish this post of my nephew Seth dancing the lead as prince in Cinderella.  If you enjoy ballet you will like this!  If not...well, you really don't have to watch:)  It is just one more form of art to me.  And I love it!  Melody

Museum Day Today

Good morning!  Today is my last day of school this week....and I am going on a field trip for my painting class.  We are going to the Boise Art Museum:)  It should be fun.  I love museums, and even though this one is quite limited, there is always something interesting.  Yesterday I discovered a wonderful website.  It is called and it is wonderful.  It will take me a long time to see everything on there.  Apparently some guy at google got this idea to use the google map technology to take tours of a bunch of art museums.  You can zoom right up to a painting to see the brush strokes...and even the cracks!  It is amazing and wonderful and I suggest you explore the sight if you have any time today.  I heard about it on npr yesterday.  I told my drawing teacher about it, and his reply was that he is not a computer person.  I was surprised at that.  I thought all young people were into the computer.  I will tell my painting teacher about it.  She will be thrilled I think.  She is always having us look up painters and paintings for our sketchbook.  I am thrilled to have found it.  I think it will help my work to see what the masters have painted.
Last night for mutual we had a night of sharing baby pictures and videos and playing a new Wii game...a Disney song karaoke game.  The girls had so much fun playing it.  And it made me realize how young they really are.  As a mother I was surprised at how really young a teenager is.  They are still little children in so many ways.  And yet they are growing so fast in so many ways.  It is a confusing time of life I think.  I am glad we had a night where they could still be little kids for a while.  It is so few years before they will be married and having children of their own.  And it seems to go faster in these latter days.  I think of that scripture where it talks of the days being made shorter before the coming of the Lord.  I used to think that it was a figurative thing.  Now I wonder if it isn't literal.  It seems like the time just whizzes.  It may be that I am just old and feeling it more, but even my grandkids talk about the time going fast.  I always thought it went very slowly at their ages.  It is a thing to ponder...if you have time:)
Oh, I meant to share the sign downtown...if I can remember.  One side said, "Children - what men become when they have the flu!"  And the other side..."Archive - a place where Noah kept the bees."  I love that sign!  I wonder where they find the definitions.
Well, I guess I had better get on with my day.  I hope yours is fun filled and inspired and that all things work for your good.  Keep smiling.  I am still pulling for you!  We're all in this together!  And HAVVVGW!!!!  Melody

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Getting Centered

Good afternoon!  I am home and it sure feels nice.  But it is also empty!  Mel is at the temple, the kids are at school still and Kim is at work.  So it is just me.  And it feels kind of nice:)
I turned in my drawing.  We did a class critique.  I think I fared pretty well.  My teacher is still trying to teach me about line weights.  He said I am getting better, but I am not there yet.  I could have told him that, since I really do not see any rhyme or reason to it.  But after today I think I understand a little more.  I guess it not only has to do with distance, intersection and turning, but also with volume and space.  Who knew?  Anyway, he was fairly pleased with my drawing.  So I will probably get a B.  I couldn't get a good photo.  Sorry.  Next time maybe.  Several of my class mates liked it.  Does that count?
We are drawing with ball point pen now.  That is very challenging.  We have a project due next week, sort of like the last one....a drawing with pen of something in our environment...still life I assume.  We have to have at least three objects.  So I will begin today to come up with something.  Maybe this time I will draw something more personal.  We'll see.  I really would rather draw an ocean scene:)
Well, I can start in on homework now.  Just had to write a little and get centered.  Take care out there!  I'm still pulling for you!  We're all in this together!  Keep smiling!!!!  Melody
Hi! I am sitting in the art building waiting for my drawing class to start. I have a few minutes so...blogging. It will make the time whiz by. Not that it isn't already!
In photography class we went over the procedures for developing negatives. It looks like it will be an adventure. The hardest part will be loading the film into the canister. It has to be done in the dark room... And it is very dark. Our teacher gave us some film to practice with over the weekend. I hope I get it down. It would be very disappointing to ruin a whole roll of film!
I am turning in my first drawing for my drawing class today. I guess I am a bit nervous as I was up at 4 reworking the little holes in the colander. I hadn't drawn them quite right and I was just going to leave it. But I couldn't sleep anyway so I did them over. I will try to take a photo but it is very light and probably won't show up. Friday I am going to attend a class on how to use the equipment here to photograph artwork. I think it will be fun.
Well I hope your day is going well. I'd better eat some lunch so I don't get shaky during class! HAGW!!! Melody

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Evening Edition

Good evening!  I am feeling very tired, but I wanted to write about my first day of shooting fantabulous photos:)  I had a break between classes so I drove over to the municipal park because they have old trees there and I thought it would be fun to photograph.  But it has been extremely cold today.  It was about 26 degrees at noon.  Anyway I was driving along a one way street and passed a beautiful fountain at the Washington Group building.  And as I passed I could see it was covered in ice, and I thought, "Wow, what a great shot!"  So I circled around the block and parked my car near the fountain.  Good thing, because it was a little bit breezy too.  Anyway, I have to record the aperture and shutter stop settings for each photo.  So I was a little distracted by that, and I realized about the fifth shot that it wasn't really in focus.  So I ran back to my car because by this time I was freezing.  And I drove over to the municipal park to take tree pictures and eat my tuna sandwich.  I decided I had better read the owner's manual for the camera and see if I needed to do something special to focus.  Apparently I did, because after pushing the suggested buttons I was able to focus the pictures I took.  While I was reading about it all, a fantastic photo flew above me.  If I had been ready for a photo it would have been a fantastic one of a huge flock of geese rising up through the trees.  But I missed it of course.  Then when I got out of the car there was a cute little squirrel posing for a photo, but by the time I set the aperture and shutter stops, he disappeared.  Anyway, I did get a few nice shots of trees silhouetted in bright blue sky.  But these are black and white photos.  So hopefully it will be a nice contrast shot.  I am not sure how it will turn out.  After I was too cold to be outside I got back in the car and warmed up again.  Then I drove back to the fountain and tried a few more shots in focus.  It was really very fun.  I think I would enjoy being a photographer....wait, I do enjoy it.  Anyway, it was a lovely noon time in the parks of Boise.
After all of that I went and worked on my oil painting before class started.  When the teacher came in she came over and said, "You've worked on this!  It is looking really good."  Then she gave me a few pointers of things to do to improve the painting.  I am really starting to get the hang of it I think.  I like how you can go back in and fix things.  And I love the glazing effect and building layers of different colors.  It is really fun!  But it is also so messy!  I have a paint shirt I wear to minimize the damage.  But I still manage to get paint on myself.  Oh well.  It is worth it.  I think I will learn more and more and I am excited.
So that is all I have to share.  I know I am silly to blog so much, but it helps to keep me positive and also to remember how much fun I am having:)  Hope your day went well too.  TTTL Melody

Hawks, Herons and Dog Barf

Good morning!  Can you believe it is already February?  Happy February!  It started out great for me:)  I have already been up cleaning up dog barf....twice.  I suppose if I was highly refined I wouldn't mention it, but I suppose a good writer can write about anything...even dog barf.  I love Max, but I wish he would learn to use a toilet when he is feeling sick.  Mel fed him some food scraps last night, and I guess they didn't agree with him.  He sleeps in our room, so....
Anyway, he woke me up at 3 and then again at 5.  I just put him outside.  Seems like the sensible thing to do, but also a little mean.  It is cold and windy today.  I could hear the wind for a while last night.  I guess I haven't been sleeping too well again.  I keep wondering how to improve my drawing, and my painting.  I even dream about brush strokes and lines.  And my back is hurting.  I pulled a muscle yesterday and it really hurts.  Wah!  I am complaining big time this morning.  But that is good.  I will complain here and then I will avoid calling other people losers or worse in my classes today:)  I still can't believe I did that!
So I have been meaning to write a little about the road into town.  It is a long and fairly straight road that passes by a few farms.  One field is always interesting to me.  Every day there are hawks and blue herons in the field.  I am not sure what the attraction is...rodents?  There are many fields that I pass, but for some reason they really like this one.  The other day I counted three herons and four hawks...big red tailed hawks.  They are beautiful.  We are next to the lake so I am sure they come from the wilderness area that surrounds the lake.  I love all of the wildlife that I see just driving into town.  It is quite common to see deer and lots of different birds.  My favorite is pelicans.  They are gone for the season, but I hope they will come back in the spring.  They seem like a bird of hope to me.  I love how they fly and how white and pure they look.
Well, I am rambling and I should be getting ready for school.  Today I have my foundational art class and my oil painting class.  I am totally prepared for my foundational art class....unless he gives us a quiz on terms or something.  I have been making flash cards for those.  I know what the terms mean, but I think we have to know them in book know: "an artform is a kind of artifact, such as a painting, drawing, sculpture, textile, photograph, product or graphic design."   I think I just have to memorize the language in the book. interesting word.  It makes it sound easy:)  And it is...not.
So my alarm is going off.  It must be time to get up.  I hope you have a wonderful day today!  No dog barf or anything nasty interfering with your day.  Take care and HAVGW!!!  Melody