Friday, September 30, 2011

Loving it!

Hey there!  I'm back home after a very long day....not ended yet.  But also a mixture of disappointments and blessings.  I went to school to do my painting and photography.  I figured I would start with the quick stuff (ha!) and went to the photo lab first.  I needed to print my 5 photos.  The lab was empty except for the lab director, so I figured I had plenty of help and time.  So I asked for help with my photos to put shadows and other finishing touches on them.  The director was so helpful, and aside from my being a little brain dead, the instruction went well....the second time she showed me:)  Anyway, I got everything all done and ready to print and she had disappeared!  Into thin air I guess because I couldn't find her anywhere.  The problem with that is we are required to use their paper and printers, and she is the dispenser of such valuables.  So although things are all ready to go, I didn't finish because I had committed to visiting teaching today at 1:00.  Which was great.  I go with a sister that has a long history of super activity, but has decided with her husband not to come any more.  But she is still very committed to visiting teaching...which is amazing I think.  I am glad for this opportunity to get to know her better.  She is a really sweet lady...a little older than I am.  She has suffered with illness in the last few years, so maybe it is hard for her to sit through church.  Anyway we had nice visits with all of our sisters and plan to get out earlier next month.  It is hard with our schedules to match up, but we can do this!
Now I am home for a few minutes, then we are going to Chuck E. Cheese's for a birthday party for my sweet little granddaughter who is turning 4 today!  That is into the "city" so while we are there maybe we can swing by and see if anyone is in the photo lab.  I didn't even get to my paintings!  But I feel like I will get the help I need somehow to get everything turned in by Monday and not miss conference doing it.  I had thought I would get it all done today, but oh well.
So that is the exciting day I have had.  How was yours?  That good, huh?  Isn't life wonderful?  Even with the roller coaster effect it is still pretty amazing!  I learned so much in photoshop today despite the missing lab director.  It is an amazing technical world we live in.  I can combine photos and images now.  And it is very cool.  I think I will learn to do even more if I just practice.
Well, I hope things are going well for you!  Take care and keep smiling!!!  I am laughing on this side:)  And HAVVVGE!!!  Melody
P.S.I still will post paintings....but probably not til later tomorrow or Monday.

Painting Today

Good morning!  I am off and running!  Just thought I would wish you a wonderful day!  Enjoy the sunshine!  I hope it is sunny where ever you may be today!  I will take some pictures of my paintings and post them later:)  HAVVVGW!!!  Melody

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Keeping my eye on the prize!

Good evening!  I love writing that.  It makes me grin!  The other thing that made me grin today was the sign downtown.  It said, "Minimum - a tiny English mother."  I guess it just struck my funny bone.  Which was a good thing, since the first class today was illustration and I need all the funny I can get!  We went around the room while the teacher told us each how bad our thumbnail sketches were.  His main criticism was that we were not thinking outside the box.  That we need to come up with ideas that are not so obvious.  So good....I will try hard to do that.  And he really got after all of us for the same reason.  He just seemed to dwell on the fact that I would be extra challenged because I am already pretty set in my ways.  Yeah, I did not like being told that.  Stiff upper lip and all of that.  So more thumbnails by Tuesday:)
Printmaking was a work day so we sat around and talked while we worked on making a collage print type.  That was fun.  Except I am sure I am not coming up with anything very creative.  I think perhaps I am a little worn down.  So....I think I will not push so hard tonight, and hit it hard again tomorrow.
My paintings are coming along well I think.  That is really what I like doing best.  Perhaps I would like the illustration better if I were painting things.  I really did enjoy painting the quiet knife picture.  What I don't seem to enjoy is the pressure of having to come up with different creative things for each class.  But don't get me wrong.  I am still enjoying school:)
One of my collages
So today I have been thinking alot about my memories of California...the Sierras, the foothills, the valley and most of all the ocean.  I may be reaching my maximum limit of how long I can be without the ocean.  I notice that my collages for photo class are mostly ocean scenes:)  I will probably have to work on changing that:)  But it seems to help curb my longing.
Today I stopped to get some milk at the grocery store and a young high school age kid approached me and said he was homeless and hadn't eaten for days and could I help him.  I felt sorry for him....sorry if he was telling the truth, and sorry if he wasn't.  I wish the world was a kinder place.
Well, I am sure this is boring at best.  But I hate to let a day go by without sending friendly greetings out into cyberspace!  I hope things are great where ever you may be.  Take care and keep smiling!  I am definitely smiling from this side.  HAVVVGE!!!!!  Melody

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Stirring the Pot:)

Good afternoon!  I am home again and feeling a little tired.  But good too.  I am getting things accomplished!  And I am learning stuff in the process...so that is a bonus.  I learned how to scumble today. At least I think that is what my painting teacher called it.  It is where you go back into a painting with shades and highlights and sort of stick it on top of the painting.  It looks pretty cool and gives the painting depth and interest.  I forgot to take a picture:(  But it does look super.  My teacher is really into 19th century painting techniques and I am excited to be learning some of it.
And in digital photography I am making major headway!  I am learning to use photoshop more and more, and it is really fun.  When I finally get something worth looking at I will post it.  I have to turn in 5 photo prints by Monday....along with three oil paintings.  It is just the stuff I have been working on, but I will be working hard til then.   Sigh!
Tonight I need to draw some thumbnail sketches for my illustration class....fear of cats is what I decided upon.  I still am not sure which magazine I want to illustrate this for though.  I am still looking for that.  And in printmaking I have a break of about a week before anything more is due.
So there is lots going on here.  Julie called to say that her girls will be coming from Ghana about the middle of the month!  That is sooooo exciting!  It has taken a few years to finally get here.  We will have to plan a trip to see them when they arrive. I think they will all be moving back to Idaho before the holidays, too.  So lots of good changes.
Kim has a new boyfriend we are all very fond of, so that is also great.  Our family seems very happy right now.  I like these times better than the times full of worry and stress!
Well, I hope things are going well in your part of the world.  I almost wrote "pot".  I don't know why I think that is so funny to all be in the same pot of soup.  It is my rather strange sense of humor I guess.  Anyway I am wishing you all the best!  Take care and keep smiling!  Melody

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Bunnies and Such

Hi again!  I know I blog tooooo much.  But I really did have to share this!  My illustration teacher, Bill Carmen, gave a demo today of using charcoal with gesso on cardboard....adding a little pastel at the end.  It was funny that he chose to draw a vampire rabbit....someone in the class suggested it.  Anyway I thought you might get a kick out of this:)  He did it very quickly...maybe in 40 minutes.  I thought it was a little interesting.  He is certainly talented.  His show opens in New York on the 22nd of Oct.
Bunracula
   School went pretty well.  Besides illustration my printmaking class was interesting.  We did our test print today.  Mine turned out OK.  I think it is the best one yet.  I should have taken a picture of that.
So just sharing a little fun.  Hope this made you laugh!  Melody

Good Tuesday to You!

Good morning!  I hope you like these cat photos.  A friend sent them in her email.  There are a few more that I will post later.  I guess they are especially nice to look at this morning when I am wishing I could sleep like that!  Have you ever thought how strange life is?  You get the most sleep as a teenager....when you need it least!  And then the rest of your life you are wishing you could sleep like that again!  First there's kids up at night.  Then the kids stay out and keep you up at night.  Then the kids leave and you stay awake worrying about them all night.  Then when everything has calmed down and you ought to be able to sleep well, you hurt too much:)  At least that is my story.  Although last night I felt like I was coming down with something....I felt feverish and weird.  This morning I feel fine...just exhausted!  I worried about phobias and which one to go with all night!

 Silly me!  I will go in a little early this morning and go to the university library and look through their magazines.  Maybe that will help.
Well, I hope your day goes swell out there in cyberspace!  I am still pulling for you!  Keep smiling.  I am laughing this morning!   HAVVVGW!  Melody



Monday, September 26, 2011

The Red and Green Show:)


Howdy!  I am posting my red and green painting as promised.  I am not totally done with this one yet.  But  our teacher gave a new assignment today so I guess I will have to work on it on my own time.  I like it so far.  But I have to add a piece of an extension cord on the bottom right:)  I saved it for last!  So I will make it green with red to shadow things.  It is an interesting method.  Apparently the post impressionists did this sort of stuff...like Cezanne.
So school went pretty well.  Except now I am feeling crunched for time.  Both of my classes today want everything turned in by Monday.  I hope tomorrow's classes don't do the same.  It's possible of course, and usually it seems like it happens a lot that every teacher decides on a certain day for things to be completed.  Sigh!!
He looks awfully comfortable!
I am still debating on which phobia to choose for my illustration class.  I am really thinking I may do a fear of cats one...because it might be fun to draw a cat:)  I haven't done that for a very long time.  Depending on which magazine I can find articles in, it might be very challenging too.  We shall see.
Well, I best get at it.  Homework waits for no man...or woman either.  And so it goes.
Oh, I also want to wish everyone a very happy Family Home Evening!  I may spend mine at a bookstore that has lots of magazines (with Mel of course:)  Keep smiling!  Melody

Pressing Forward

Good morning!  I am all ready for school, but it is too early to leave...so I thought I would send a great "halooo!"  out into the world of cyberspace.  It seems like I do this a lot:)  But I suppose it is a good thing.
Today I am supposed to finish up my red and green painting and start a third in the series.  Our teacher said they would all be due on Wednesday, to which he received a lot of groans and complaints.  He hasn't explained the third painting yet so maybe it won't be so difficult.  We shall see.  We are also supposed to receive instruction on how to stretch our own canvas.  We won't be able to use the ready-mades anymore.  Which is fine with me.  I really don't like them very much.  I am not sure I could do the stretching without Mel though.  He promised to help with the ones coming up.  I think one will be a 4'x4'.  That will be interesting!
I am feeling a little bit more prepared for my photo class.  I even had Liz show me how to use this little flash drive I have had on my key ring for the last week or so.  I wasn't really sure how to load it.  But now I feel a little more confident.  I have some stuff I loaded from this computer to take to school for that class.  It isn't too great, but I am learning how to cut, paste and merge in photoshop.  Also how to use the magic wand and pen tools. Oh and the move it around tool.  And I am figuring out how to correct color and balance things pretty well.  So now I just have to do five photo collages by next week...or maybe it is Wednesday.  We shall see.  I am such a newbie at all of this, but I guess everyone starts at the beginning.  I have to remind myself that there are no shortcuts!  And even if there were, I don't want to take them.  I want to learn all of the foundational stuff while I have the opportunity.
I am discovering all of the time how little I know about drawing and painting.  I am amazed at the skill of so many of my instructors.  I guess they have a few years of practice that I am still lacking.  Also most of them went to an art school of one kind or another and were forced to learn all of the rules.  I wish I could do that!  Maybe someday.  I keep reading and studying and trying to catch up.  But I am finding the doing is the most important part.  I do see myself improving though, and so I will rejoice in the small steps I am taking forward.  I find I am still thinking of Pres. Uchtdorf's talk all of the time.  I really like the idea of never giving up on our goals.  I think that is what I am doing right now.  Even though logic would say I am too old to be back in school, and pursuing something that takes decades to really perfect, I feel good about what I am doing...most of the time.
The other really important things in my life I am not ignoring.  We had a lovely family dinner last night.  It was fun and of course I love having grandchildren here.  They are the best!  And I think I am setting a good example for them.  So it is all good.
Well, I had better get going!  I hope you have a lovely day today.  Take care and remember I'm still pulling for you!  We're all in this together!  I am smiling!!!!  I hope you are too!  Melody

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Forget Me Not

Forget Me Nots
Shalom!  Once again it is the Sabbath day...a day to rest from every care:)  I like that.
I have included some beautiful little flowers in my blog today....forget-me-nots.  Last night for Women's Conference, Pres. Uchtdorf featured them in his talk.  It was an unforgettable talk...one I will carry in my heart.  He talked about this little flower, not big and showy like a rose or a lily, but small and delicate and perhaps easy to overlook.  He told of an old German legend that said that when the Lord was naming all of the flowers, this tiny one got overlooked.  And it called out, "Forget me not!"  So the Lord said, "That will be your name, 'Forget-me-not'.  Pres. Uchtdorf then went on to talk about how the tiny flower has five petals and each one could represent something that would help our lives.  The first petal reminds us that we should be patient with our own weaknesses...that the road to perfection was a long one, and that we should realize we will not be perfect in a day, but to joy in the progress we make on that road, even the little steps.
The second petal represents how we should prioritize things...putting the most important things first and not sacrificing foolishly for the things that matter little.  He gave a couple of funny examples of that...a parent staying up with a sick child in the night was a good sacrifice...a mother staying up all night to sew some extra little thing onto her daughter's Sunday outfit might not be such a good sacrifice.  A teacher sacrificing time to read and study her lesson was probably a good sacrifice, but staying up all night to prepare some intricate handout may not be.  I guess we all have to learn to prioritize!
The third petal was to remind us to be happy now.  He talked about the story of "Willy Wonka" and the golden ticket...how everyone wanted the golden ticket so much that they lost sight of the delicious candy bar.   And he compared that to overlooking the blessings we already have because we want something else.  Goals and dreams are good of course, but don't be miserable because you haven't achieved them.  Look around and count your blessings!  That is one I can work on.
The fourth petal was to remind us not to overlook the "why" of the gospel.  He said to look up and see the beautiful landscapes of the physical and spiritual world.  I liked his thoughts about that.  It is easy to lose sight of why you are doing something.  I have to remind myself of that with school.  It is easy to forget why I am taking all of these challenging classes!
The fifth petal was my favorite!  He said that it was to remind us that we are not forgotten!  No matter how dark your days, or how insignificant you feel, or how overshadowed by the burdens of life, the Lord God knows you and loves you.  Think of it....you are loved by the King of Heaven!  You are his child and His love for you is eternal.  Pres. Uchtdorf said to allow God's love into your life and it could heal any hurt or loss you might have.  I love that!  And I know it is true!  How grateful I am for His love!  And forgiveness!
Anyway, now you know why I put that picture on my blog.  I hope this day finds you well and happy, and that you know you are not forgotten!  How amazing the gospel of Jesus Christ is!  It is a message of love and remembrance and I am forever grateful to Him for the opportunity to be here in this life. And I am learning how to live by faith.  I look forward to the day when my faith is done away and I will see Him as He is and know that I am His daughter!  In the meantime I will think of this little flower and smile!
I hope you're smiling too!  Take care out there and remember...."We're all in this together!"  I'm still pulling for you!  HAVVVGS!!!  Melody

Saturday, September 24, 2011

It's a great day for singing!!!

Good morning!  It is a beautiful sunny fall day today, although our temperatures are a little warm still.  But the days are shorter and there is that wonderful fall feeling in the air.  It is my favorite time of year!  I love the fall colors too!  Almost as much as the spring colors.  Nothing comes close to that really bright spring green in my opinion...but I love the orange and red of the leaves on the opposite side of the color wheel.  Heavenly Father really is a most magnificent artist!
So today is a very nice day for me.  I don't feel pressured today!  No pressing school work, I am all caught up.  Liz came over yesterday and explained some of the mysteries of photoshop...at least what I need to know for my photography class this week.  I am feeling much better about that.  And a little excited too.  I can finally see why people think it is fun!  Up until now it has only been a source of frustration.  But I can see the possibilities now...and it makes me happy.  I will eventually be able to use this in my artwork I think.  The program she gave me is an illustration program, so there is a lot on it.  Although I think I may always prefer actually using paint and getting my hands a little dirty.  It must be a carryover from kindergarten.  I still remember the joy of finger painting!  And I always loved painting with thick tempura colors at the easel!  No wonder I love painting still!
So today I think I will clean a little and tag after Mel as he does his work outside.  It seems like he is so busy with his work these days that we have little time to just be together.  And of course I am off at school a lot too.  I can't blame it all on him:)  He is usually busiest at this time of year...and then there is a scary lull between December and March.  We are hoping this year that that changes.  He has been promised more work by one of his customers.  Of course it is all dependent on this scary economy staying afloat.  It scares me with all of the political debates making it sound like doom is just ahead!  I hope things are not as bleak as they make them sound.
So I guess I had better get on with my day.  I hope yours is wonderful!  Take care!  Keep smiling, and I will continue smiling too!  Life is wonderful!    HAVVVGW!!!  Melody

Friday, September 23, 2011

Getting my Head on Straight

Good morning!  I am feeling very amazing today!  First off, I slept in!  All the way to 7:30!  That doesn't happen very often.  Then I cleaned my shower...unfortunately that doesn't happen very often either:)  I had breakfast with Mel, read the paper, did the dishes, sorted and started the laundry, and put the final coat of varnish on my "test collagraphic print"!  See?  It is like I am super human or something....and it isn't even 10 am!  I tried to talk Mel into a weekend jaunt....but that wasn't so successful.  He has the lock-up-the-chapel duty this week:(  Oh well.  I will plan some amazing date night tonight:)  Maybe we can go fishing at the lake or something completely different.
So now I have the rest of today to do all of the things I have been putting off all week....like bills, laundry, sorting and cleaning, dusting:)  Why does dusting always come last?  Maybe because I need to reward myself for doing it.  I remember someone saying they hid coins under things so that their kids would dust better looking for the coins.  I never tried it, but it seemed a little lame to me.  I think things might get broken with kids frantically looking for their allowance under grandma's antique lamp.  Instead I had a chore chart, and they got rewards when all the chores were done....usually a trip to the library:)  or the swimming pool.  Maybe I can reward myself like that.  I don't know.  Maybe I will just do the dusting and be glad it is done!  I also need to take a trip to the library and look for magazines with articles on phobias.  Seems like there is an index to periodicals or something.  I haven't used that in years!  Do they even have one still?  I guess I will also be looking on the internet for answers to my questions.  I also may go get Liz and have her show me around her illustrator program.  I am still struggling with all of the buttons and gadgets.  And it would be a wonderful excuse to see my sweet baby grandson, Alex.
Well, I guess I have my head organized.  It is amazing to me that writing does that.  I try to talk to myself, but it isn't as effective....and people think I am muttering!  :)  I hope things are great in your part of the world.  Take care and keep smiling.  I am still smiling over here!  HAVVVGW!!!  Melody

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Evening Post

Good evening!  I am home and soo glad to be here!  I love school....but I am old:)  By this time each day I just need to put my feet up and relax a while.
Today went pretty well.  My critique in my printmaking class went well....at least by my peers.  It still will get graded by the teacher.  ‎She is very nice, but I don't know how hard she grades.  I suspect fairly hard but I don't really know yet.  I am just glad the critique is over!
I found this quote from a friend's facebook post.  I don't know who said it, but I really like this quote!  I wish I had had this when I was raising five daughters!
"We need to teach our daughters the difference between a man who flatters her, and a man who compliments her .... a man who spends money on her, and a man who invests in her .... a man who views her as property, and a man who views her properly ..... a man who lusts after her, and a man who loves her ..... a man who believes he is God's gift to women, and a man who remembers a woman was God's gift to man. "
Well, I hope your day has gone well.  I am not sure what to write to make it any better:)  Oh, the sign downtown...."Junk - Dad's stuff"....."Inkling - a baby fountain pen".  Yeah, I didn't think they were all that funny either:)  I hope your evening is peaceful!  Take care.  I am still smiling!  HAVVVVGE!!!  Melody

Rivers and Classical Music:)

Hi! I am sitting by the Boise River listening to a duet of Ave Maria by Yoyo Mah and Bobby McFerrin...vocal and cello. It is very unique! I have a little time to spare before I meet my daughter Kim for lunch. Then I have my printmaking class. We have a critique today. I am a bit worried, but oh well.
We got our assignment for illustration today. We are supposed to research a phobia of our choosing in magazines. Then we are supposed to match our illustration to the magazine style. Sounds fun but challenging.
Well just wanted to send warm and happy greetings! HAGW! Melody

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Post Script

So I am writing once more today because I wanted to share a funny youtube video.  I hope you like it!  Be sure to watch it for at least a minute.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NA-ST8nXl4U
Well, nighty night!  I am going to bed!!!!  Melody

Good Day, Sunshine!!

Good Day!  I am having one of those!  I went to my oil painting class this morning with a little trepidation, not sure how to proceed.  Thank goodness for a wonderful teacher who came over and gave me a little coaching.  Now I have a pretty good picture, although with the red and green it is making me think of Christmas carols:)  I will take a picture of it tomorrow and post it.  I was in a hurry today to get out of that class and into my next which was photography.  Once more I was feeling very incompetent with the photoshop collage we are supposed to be doing, but I figured I would just mess around with it until I figured it out.  Meanwhile, a girl sitting next to me got me started right, but I was not sure what to do next.  About then, my very nice teacher came by and asked how I was doing.  I told him I was really struggling!  So he sat down and showed me a few things.  Luckily his desk is right next to me,(no, it's not because I talk too much:) so I asked him for more help until I understood what to do.  By the end of class I had a simple collage of pelicans flying by a beach with a little girl playing in the sand.   It is not great, but I liked doing it. We are using images off of the internet.  The hardest part is finding images with enough pixels.
So now I am home and I just printed a list of phobias from the internet....fifteen pages worth!  Do you know what allodoxaphobia is?  A fear of opinions!  Ailurophobia is the fear of cats!  So is felinophobia...I guess they needed two for that one:)  Oh wait, here is a third one..galeophobia.  Oh and a fourth, gatophobia:)  This is kind of funny.  I don't see the one about fearing dogs though.  As I am looking I see another fear of cats...elurophobia.  Do you think a lot of people are afraid of cats?  That surprises me.  I am not sure how accurate this list is...or if it is approved by the medical powers that be.  It is kind of fun to read through.  Lest you think I am phobic, this is an assignment for my illustration class tomorrow.  I am also supposed to come up with some kind of hard sided portfolio for my printmaking class.  She said we could make our own, and since I couldn't find anything at the bookstore or the art store I am making my own.  It should be interesting.
Well, this writing is probably not too interesting.  But at least I am faithfully writing my blog.  I guess I like sharing my day with the world:)  I hope your day is going well out there in the great beyond of cyberspace.  I certainly wish you the very best!  I'm still smiling!  Take care and HAVVVGW!!!

Brief Note

Just a quick hello out to cyberspace!  I am in my photo class, but the teacher is a little late, soooo.....  fun, fun, fun!  Ha, ha!  Remember those days?  If the teacher wasn't there the whole class would turn chaotic!  Of course I never participated in any of that:)
Today is going well.  My painting is turning out pretty cool.  And I am enjoying the journey.  Good combo!  And did you know?  I am going to go to class now:) Melody

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Good Day for Chocolate!

Hola!  I am feeling much better now that I am back home.  I left today in a hurry and I forgot....my iphone! It seems like a small thing, but I was totally lost without it!  I couldn't check on facebook, or call my daughter to meet her for lunch, or check in with Mel, or any of the things I have come to depend on.  It was really strange to realize this.  And you can be sure I will not leave without it again!
My critique went pretty well....except my teacher said I had made it a little tooooo creepy:)  I told him I had to have some fun with the concept.  I am not sure he agreed.  But he didn't criticize composition or technique!  So that was good.  And seeing my stuff next to everyone else's was good too.  I thought I came out ahead:)  That makes me laugh.  My watercolor teacher...Bob, used to say that you should go around the room and look at what everyone else is doing, and then you could come back to your own painting and feel better about it:)  There is some truth in that.
I have decided I like my illustration class now.  I really wasn't sure at first, but I think I have worked harder for this class than I thought I would.  And he promised to teach us more technique in the coming weeks.  We are supposed to come up with a list of phobias before our next class though....maybe another creepy illustration is coming:)
In printmaking we watched a demonstration of sorts on collagraphic printing.  I am not real clear yet on how this will work.  I did take a couple of photos of my prints that we are turning in this week.  I wish I could use ink to outline things in this.  I probably will after we get them back.  But here are the prints.  It is a monotype printing.  This means that it will only print once and then a second time is a ghost print...much lighter.  It's kind of fun, but I am not too good at this yet...obviously!
So anyway, I got home and had to leave almost immediately to go back to meet my dad and Barb for dinner.  We had a nice dinner.
Now I am really tired and I am headed for bed.  Just wanted to share a little art:)  I am enjoying this time in my life.  Who ever thought I would go back to school?  I am so glad I am!  Even with the crotchety knee I am still having fun.  It's hard work of course, but work I love.  So it is a good thing.
Well, I hope your day has gone well out there in cyberspace!  I'm still happy and smiling wide!  Take care and sweet dreams!!!  Melody
P.S.  Just as we were coming in the house, Mel bent over to pet the dog and dropped his iphone out of his pocket!  It shattered the glass.  I guess he will learn how much he has come to depend on this little machine too.  Oh well.  It is only money:)  My folks liked to say that one!  Good Night!

This is a ghost print

Another ghost print

Geese Flying By My Window!

Good morning!  I have a long day ahead of me, so I thought I should start it out write:)  I am a little nervous about the illustration critique this morning.  I hope it goes well.  I like my pictures....I don't know if that is good or bad.  But it is what it is.  No more changing at this point.  I did mount them nicely...professionally:)  That should count for something.
I just saw a flock of geese fly by our window!  We are so lucky to live here where it is so beautiful.  I will miss it if we ever move.  Mel likes it as much as I do.  But it is a large yard with a lot of upkeep.  And we are growing older.  So we toy with the idea of moving into a smaller domicile.  But I don't know if we ever will.
Well, I have got to go.  I hope your day goes well!  I'm still smiling!!!!  HAVVVVVGW!  Melody

Monday, September 19, 2011

All Quiet

Good afternoon/evening!  Or Buenos Dias!  I am feeling quite proud of myself!  I finally figured out a problem on photoshop!  It has taken me a couple of hours, but I did it!  That feels very good.  So now I have a quiet blue knife photo.  I was going to share a copy, but the uploader says it is the wrong format.  I can show you the regular version.  I kind of like it:)  We read this in my senior year.  I did a corny essay and signed it with a cornier pseudonym.   I will think on it and maybe I can remember what it was.
Oh yes....A. Maude Urnpoet.  Ha, ha!  I remember the book really effected my thinking about war.  It was sooooo sad!
So today has felt a little stressed.  But I enjoyed it anyway:)  My oil painting class was extra hard!  We are painting with red and green only, and it is so challenging!  Every time the teacher would come by he was encouraging though.  I sure appreciate that!  It is hard enough to paint with a big group of people....all of them so much more experienced in this stuff!  So it is nice that the teacher gives good comments.  I would have taken a picture, but it is not worthy of that yet.  I hope it will be before it is done.
My photography class was a movie....Waste Land.  It was really an interesting documentary about an artist in Brazil...Vic Muniz.  He went to a landfill in Brazil where there are people that actually live in the garbage dump and filmed and worked with them.  It was a very eye opening film.  It made me realize how valuable each soul is.  I would recommend it.  It is a DVD.  I suppose you can get it from Amazon.
Well, I am exhausted!  But I would feel weird not writing my blog.  I hope things are well with all of you out in cyberspace.  Take care.  I'm still pulling for you...and smiling!  HAVVVGFHE!!!  Melody

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Family - not always a Circus!

Shalom!  A happy Sabbath day to you!  We had a lovely stake conference this morning and last night.  Last night's meeting was just for adults.  The topic was the Family Proclamation and it was very insightful. A young couple talked about life with four little boys.  It was pretty humorous.  She read from her journal about how they had spilled the flour all over and drawn on the couches with a greasey football under-eye makeup.  Then the same week someone had plugged the toilet upstairs and it had leaked through the ceiling into the downstairs...YUK!  Her comment was you wouldn't understand if you hadn't lived with four little boys....hahahahahaha!  I think boys are no worse than girls!  But it is all about timing.  Living with five daughters and two sons had its moments too.  Further complicated with cancer!  Not that this is a contest, but I didn't throw spaghetti on a whim! :)
Seriously they did talk about how important it was to have family time together...eat together, pray together, play together (my personal favorite!) and to worship together.  I know it is hard when kids are small, but it doesn't get any easier as they grow older.  It is better to set patterns that everyone expects, and then there are no brawls about whether we have to do this or that.  Although I do remember one daughter complaining that we did too much stuff as a family:)  That was music to my ears!  Now that they are all grown I miss those times together!  We still get together occasionally of course, but I wish they were all still close and easy to summon!
Right now I am making some homemade ice cream.  I invited Mel and I over to my sister's for dinner:)  So I thought the least I could do was to make some yummy dessert.  My dad and Barb are going to be there and I wanted to visit with my dad.  I don't have much time to do that with school.  He really wants to have a Phillips family reunion, so I guess we will discuss that.  It would be fun to get everyone together!  We haven't done that since my mom died 7 years ago.  So I guess it is definitely time.
Well, I hope life is treating you well.  Things are pretty good here.  Remember I'm still pulling for you!  We're all in this together!   HAVVVGW!!!  Melody

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Shhhh!

Good morning!  I have been up a while touching up my repainting of the quiet knife.  I must admit I will be very glad to get this one behind me.  Even though it has been fun to work on, I think it is keeping me up at night!  Last night I was thinking I should throw out the whole thing and start over with a new idea:)  But this morning things don't seem so dismal.  In fact I may go with my first painting.  I worked on it a bit last night and this morning.  And now I kind of like it.  I am going to work on the shadow a bit.  I added that to establish a ground.  But I don't really know how it should look.  And I think I had better look into core shadow stuff in my drawing book.  Seems like I have done it wrong:) The edges probably shouldn't be so dark.  Am I boring you yet?  Here is a photo so you can judge for yourself:)
So Mel is working this morning.  Then it is stake conference this weekend.  He is conducting the music for stake priesthood meeting.  Then we have the Saturday evening meeting.  I don't think we have a visiting authority.  I think that would be hard to be a seventy or something where you had to travel and speak all of the time.  Even a high councilman would be hard I think.  I am not that fond of speaking!  And I usually say some off the cuff remark to embarrass myself.  Not that I plan it.  I think I am missing a filter or something because I often say things I should just keep to myself.  Not usually mean or malicious things generally:)  But things that sound odd.  And I wonder to myself, "Self, have you always done this?"  And I have to answer, "Yes."  I think it started in sixth grade.  I was talking to a bunch of my friends about a substitute teacher we had....Mrs. Markowitz.  I told them that I thought her real name was Mrs. Markowitch!  I laughed thinking I was so funny, but no one else did.  Then I realized the teacher was standing right behind me.  And that is the feeling I have when I make odd remarks...like everyone is looking at me with incredulity!  I guess I haven't said a bad one since the loser remark last semester.  So one is probably due soon:)  How did I get off on this tangent?
Well, I had better get going.  I am wishing you a happy day!  I am still laughing!!!  Gut wan!  Melody

Friday, September 16, 2011

Taking a break!

Okay, here's the first draft.  Looking at it is painful for me.  But I am posting it to see my errors and then I can refine the next one.  Like fixing the nose and the eye.  Also the cheek:) And the arm!  Oh and I need to back off on the darks a little I think.   This one is watercolors....I am going to do this another time or two.  I am also going to try acrylics.  I am having some fun with this.  Just dreading the comments from my professor:)  But see the humor I have added to your day?  I am sooooo thoughtful!  HAGA!  Melody

A Day for World Peace!

Good morning!  Here's wishing you a good day...and me too.  I have that watercolor painting to do for the quiet knife illustration.  Why am I so nervous about this?  Probably because my teacher is ruthless!  Well, maybe that's an exaggeration.  But I know I feel a little like I did when I was young and getting teased by my brother...it isn't kind generally.  I want only good comments from him, and I am sure to be disappointed.  So it is not the best motivation probably.  And I feel a little like no matter how well I do it won't be good enough.  Sooooo...what do I do to change that?  I guess I have to not care what he thinks.  That is hard for me, but I will try to paint for a higher cause...like world peace or something:)  It should prove interesting.
I am glad for a day of no school.   Fridays I generally go in and do lab work for some class or another.   But today I can just stay here.  I am very glad for that.
Well, I think my visiting teachers are coming this morning.   I'd better get on with my day.  I hope things are going well in cyberspace.  Take care!  Keep smiling!  TTTL  Melody

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Comical, Endearing, Original!

Hi there!  I am home again!  What a day!  All I did was printing for my printmaking class, but I feel like I hiked the Sierras or something!  My eyes hurt when I close them which is a sure sign of not enough time closing them!  And my knee feels like.....ouch!  But oh well.
I have a very cool thing to brag about!  I bought the hardbound copy of.....get this.....The Autobiography of Mark Twain!  It was on sale at the student book store and I just couldn't resist.  I have been reading it very very slowly on my kindle app, but it is frustrating because I can't flip the pages ahead or back and it is impossible to figure out where I am in the whole scheme of the book.  But I think it is fascinating!  I just noticed it says Volume 1.  I wonder how many volumes there are?  And do I have them all on kindle?  These mysteries will be solved eventually.  I am excited to have a real book made with paper!  It is really thick though, maybe three inches!  I suppose I like the advantage of not having to lug a huge book around. But it will be nice to have by my bedside to read at 4 in the morning!
So nothing much to report.  My prints turned out pretty good.  I didn't get my quiet knife painting finished.  I have been craving donuts all day though:)  I hope your day has gone well.  Take care out there.  I'm still pulling for you!  HAVVVGE!!!  Melody

OAO (Old and Ornery!)

Good morning!  I hope it is today.  I have a lot planned.  My illustration class is canceled today because my teacher is giving a lecture at BYU, so I am staying home to work on my final drawing of the quiet knife.  I may post it later if I like it:)
Then I am going in to school a couple of hours before my printmaking class starts to see if I can make bell peppers and apples look artistic and presentable.  It is hard in there to get much done during class because everyone has the same goal to print and there are only two print machines.  They are very cool though:)  I like this class, although I don't know what you would ever do with it except teach it to someone else.
I hope I am not coming across as grouchy.  I am a little:)  More tired I guess.  I woke up at 4 again only I couldn't fall back asleep.  At least I don't have to drive into school during rush hour.  Maybe I can take a short snooze before I do have to go in.
Well, I mostly wanted to send a grand "hurrah!" out to the world.  I can do this!!!  I hope your day is glorious!  HAVVVGW!!!  Melody

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Deep Cyberspace and Beyond!

Guten Tag!  It has been a good day!  It started early....I woke up at 4!  I finally fell back asleep about 5:30 and slept til the alarm went off at 6:30.  I guess I should be used to this crazy non-sleep by now.
Classes were good today.  Although we did critique our paintings in oil class, which he said we wouldn't do for a couple of weeks.  So I got criticized for stuff I hadn't finished yet.  Oh well.  At least I got some constructive criticism on how to finish it.  We got a new assignment today.  We are painting the same still life....different section....with red and green.  We mix the colors to make warm and cool.  I haven't done this before, so it should be very interesting.  I enjoy all of these new approaches to painting, even though I feel very amateurish.  But then I am an amateur, huh?
Photography was a long critique of everyone's work.  It was really interesting.  And made me realize I had better learn photoshop quick...and get a better lens!  Some of the photos were really amazing!  Especially this one girl's.   She had taken closeups of a mausoleum with very old doors.  The wood grain was beautiful.  The rule she was breaking was ...not to take pictures in cemeteries.  I didn't even know that was a rule!  She had a really nice macro lens that really showed stuff up close well.  And she had good color sense.  I wish I could share her photos with you:)
So tonight I got home late cuz I stopped and got my hair cut short!  I will include a couple of photos if you promise not to blackmail me with them:)  It's getting harder and harder to look young and thin!  Editor's note: Sorry, today I can't bear to look at them, so I erased them:)
So the rest of this evening I am going to watch a video on the photoshop version Liz gave me for my computer here at home.  She had it from her graphic design class and she isn't using this version because she got a newer one I guess.  Anyway, I thought it would be easy, and I am finding it isn't!  So I figure this old dog has got to learn some new tricks!
Anyway, I hope your day is going well.  My teacher today was explaining to the class how he had lost two of my photos into deep cyberspace:)  Maybe you'll see them!  Take care and remember I'm still pulling for you!  HAVVVGW!!!  Melody

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Breaking the Rules

Taking pictures of Pets
Taking pictures of Feet
Taking pictures towards the sun
Sunset pictures
Another Sunset picture
Wow!  What a day!  It seems like centuries ago that I wrote hola this morning!  But I survived my illustration class.  I volunteered to go first with the critique on our roughs.  My teacher liked the concept...just not my drawing:)  He said it was very "high school".  Actually that made me feel great, as I didn't take any of this stuff in high school, so maybe I am progressing!  I knew he wouldn't like the pencil rendering.  But a good thing happened.  He went and got a book...got right up and left the classroom to get a book called  "Birds and Bees", just for me ;)   The illustrations were phenomenal!  The artist is Dugald Stermer...I guess he is pretty well known in the illustration world.  He has a technique using pencil and watercolor that is very precise.  Anyway, I may attempt to do my illustration copying his technique.  I can only give it a try.  Certainly can't hurt.  I guess for me that is the hardest thing....giving myself permission to try new things and being brave enough to fail.  I guess my whole life has taught me to try to succeed.  So it is probably good to fail, fall down and try again.  I also have this fear of not getting straight A's, which of course is silly.  I just have to do my best and try my hardest, and let the grades fall where they may.  It's funny the mentality of school.  It's hard to explain, but it is really present.  That feeling that you've got to be best.  I don't think it is a good mentality.  I think it is better to try to help everyone to do their best too.  Oh well.  I am philosophizing again.
At lunch I got all of my prints done for my photography class.  Three are pretty good.  The other two are pretty average:)  But until we have a critique tomorrow I am not really sure what I am doing wrong.  So it will be interesting to see what the teacher says.  He promised he would be very honest.  In case you forgot, I have put the rule I am breaking as a caption on each one.
Printmaking was not so good.  I printed a really tragic threesome of bell peppers.  Each layer I kept trying to make it better....so tomorrow I will have to try again....or Thursday.  I think I didn't realize I could mix the colors to make better shades.  The green is sooooo bright.  So I will take my time and do it right.
Well, that's my day so far.  Lots of hard work:)  No, it isn't so hard.  In fact I love most of it.  I just get impatient with my lack of skill and experience.  But I figure what I don't master in this life I will work on in the millennium:)  Do you think there will be time for art in the millennium?  I hope so!!!  I hope it is the good stuff!
So once again I leave a fond farewell as I go to fix dinner for Mel and I.  I hope your day has been jolly! Take care out there!  Keep smiling!!  And HAVVVGE!!!  TTTT  Melody

Hola!

Good morning!  I am up early so I thought I would send a great big "Hola!" out into cyberspace this morning.  I am kind of dreading my illustration class this morning.  We have to present our "roughs".  I really should have done mine over, but with the family home evening group last night I didn't have time.  The house is clean though:)  And I had lots of fun with the group that came.  It is nice to be getting to know people better.  We have been here ten years now.  So hard to believe!  We watched a couple of short church movies..."Just a Stonecutter" and "The John Tanner Story".  They were both very well done.  And it was good to talk about them with others.  Then we had home made ice cream and brownies.  I didn't eat the brownies....:)
Well, I better get going.  I have a long day ahead.  I hope your day is inspiring and happy!  Take care out there in the great beyond of cyberspace!  I'm definitely pulling for you!  HAVVVGW!!!  Melody

Monday, September 12, 2011

Extra Chilly!

Less than original
A Lovely Good Afternoon to ya!  I am having a pretty good day if you don't count the stress.  I have been to school and now I am home and once again it feels like the greatest place on earth!  Maybe not the cleanest though, and there lies most of my stress.  We have company coming at seven for our empty nesters family home evening.  I did clean the bathroom:)  And I will get out the vacuum soon!  I just thought it would be nice to take a short break and write a little of my day.
This painting is the one I am working on for my painting class.  It is nearly done.  My teacher came and sat and painted on it for a while....right here I am shaking my head.  I guess it is a good thing because I learn from watching him, but it takes it from being an original to being...?  Oh well.  I am trying to learn things, and so this is a way of learning. He didn't change the painting much...just added warmer shades where I had painted it too cool.   He said that sometimes he has students switch paintings so that they can learn in a different way.  It makes things less "precious" I guess.  I am learning...slowly but surely.  I still love oil painting!  It really is very satisfying.  And I taught my teacher a new word..."dorking".  He was asking if I was dinking around with my painting.  And I said, "More like dorking around!"  He hadn't heard that before and thought it was really funny.  Seems like it was a common expression at one time.
My photography class was also interesting.  I have mentioned that we work on photoshop most of the class time.  Today we were printing photos.  Trouble is that there is one printer for 14 students.  I was lucky and got in the front of the line, but then the teacher said he wanted to see our photos before we printed them. That meant that I didn't get anything printed because some of the students jumped in line ahead of me.  Oh well, I guess tomorrow I will go in there and get them printed between classes.  I kind of like my photos....I hope they print well.  We have a critique on Wednesday.
So am I boring you to death?  Sorry.  That is kind of what my day was like....hard and not too exciting.  But even so I am enjoying it.  I am not quite sure why.  I think it has something to do with being an overachiever and a people pleaser:)  Oh, one exciting thing happened today.  When we went into our oil painting room, the thermostat had been set to 45 degrees!  It was sooooo cold.  Usually the classes in the art building are way too warm, so it was quite a notable event!  (See?  Not real exciting!  But very cool! :)
Well, I hope your day has been more exciting than mine!  In a good way of course.  Take care out there in cyberspace!  I'm still pulling for you!  HAVVVGFHE!!!!  Melody

Sunday, September 11, 2011

1002

OK, one more.  I don't know how you feel about the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, but regardless, this is amazing.  I just thought I would share.
http://youtu.be/Bb3gInJAY6g
Oh, and I just noticed I hit the 1002 mark!  That's how many postings I have done so far.  I guess I just can't say enough!  Ha, ha!  Melody

P.S.

This is the link to the 9/11 tribute with Tom Brokaw and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  It is worth watching!!
http://byutv.org/watch/event/48546045-ad33-4226-ad2d-c657e891e18a
HAVGS!  Melody

Charity is the Pure Love of Christ

St. George temple
Have I mentioned I love Sunday? And today was another example of just why I do. At church today I was sitting with Mel when we noticed our neighbor sitting in the pew nearby. He was not wearing his usual suit and tie. Instead he was wearing his uniform. He is a fireman...actually the assistant chief fireman here in Nampa. Mel said whispering, "Why do you think Richard is wearing his uniform today?" "I whispered back, "Because it is 9/11!" "Oh, right." His expression changed to a more sober one as the meeting began. And my thoughts also turned to the meaning of this day. After the sacrament, the bishop stood up and talked about the many sacrifices made by so many people ten years ago, and how we should never forget the lives that were given. Then he asked our neighbor to stand and say a few words. Richard really is a man of few words, but a good man with high moral standards. He is the one who grows the corn on our lot:) Anyway, he explained that he had been to a memorial held at the fire station this morning and didn't have time to change out of his uniform before church started. He hoped people would understand. I think most people were grateful, like me, of the reminder of all the brave firemen and policemen, and all of those who tried so hard to save lives, and lost their own in the process. It is a real example to me of charity....the pure love of Christ.

Then our lesson in Sunday School was about Corinthians 11-14. It was a good lesson about spiritual gifts, and how the greatest gift of all is charity. My favorite scripture in the lesson was from the Book of Mormon. It is at the end where Moroni is quoting from his father Mormon:

47 But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him. 48 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen. Moroni 7:47-48

I love that scripture! And I try hard to do what it says...although admittedly I have a very long way to go.
I am so grateful to all of the charity that has been shown to me! 
I forgot to mention that the closing song in sacrament meeting was "My Country, 'tis of Thee".  I could hardly sing it.  Especially the verse that says, "I love thy rocks and rills, thy woods and templed hills."  So that is why I am including a temple on a hill.
Well, I hope your Sunday is going well. Take care out there. I am still pulling for you! We are definitely all in this together! HAVVVVVGW!!!!! Melody

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Roughing It

Well, here is the rough.  I may redo it a couple more times.  It helps to put it on here where I can look at it from a distance.  I kind of like the idea.  Not so much the execution of the idea.  But I don't have to have the rough til Tuesday, and then we have another week to do the final illustration.
We went to the ward party tonight.  It was really nice!  It was at one of the members' backyard, which is very nice.  And for dinner they had a choice of rib eye steak, prime rib, or chicken breast!  Can you tell we have beef ranchers in our ward?  The meat was extraordinary.  Then they had corn and baked potatoes and everyone brought salads and desserts.  It was way too much food.  But I was good and skipped most of the carbs.  I did have a dessert though....just a smidgen.  Yum!  It was fun sitting out in the smokey air visiting with friends.  Yeah, the air quality is terrible.  There are a few fires in Oregon and one near Salmon, so it is very smokey in the valley here.  I have been taking allergy meds and staying inside.  But tonight for some reason it is really, really smokey.
Mel is off taking the chairs and tables back to the stake building.  He is such a great guy!  I opted to go home.  I guess I have had enough fun for one night.
Well, I hope things are going well for you.  Take care and sweet dreams!  TTTT  Melody

Decisions

Good morning!  I am feeling pretty good today....just overwhelmed.  Mel took me to breakfast (since we were out of milk:) and mentioned we are supposed to host the empty nester's family night on Monday night.  I had totally spaced that one.  I also have stuff due this week for three of my classes.  I am starting to feel that crunch thing.  My knee is still very sore.  Someone I was talking to thought maybe I had torn the meniscus again.  I didn't think that was possible.  And I am not going to believe that yet.  I have too much else right now to be going in for any more surgery.  So far I can still walk, and I will hope it doesn't get any worse.  And it is wonderful incentive to lose weight...which I am doing very slowly.  Maybe it will stay off if I just change habits....like not eating:)  
I am getting kind of excited about my quiet knife illustration.  I did a couple more sketches last night with my beautiful model Hailey, and they look kind of cool....like a Nancy Drew mystery or something.  Now I have to size it and make a better rough.  I am still not sure what medium to use for this.  It is supposed to be black and white with one color.  I know that my teacher favors acrylics for his paintings.  I prefer watercolor...but what's the point if there is only one color?  I could do a gray scale with oil or watercolor, but that seems like a little overkill.  So that leaves...pen, ink, pencil, charcoal, conte crayon, chalk.....I'm not sure what else.  I may just stick with pencil.  But it is fun thinking about.  It is actually fun doing!  I am glad.  I wasn't having fun with this at all until I got cute Hailey to model for me.
Well, I best be doing stuff.  I gotta make these experiences as rich as possible!  Take care out there!  I'm still pulling for you!  We're all in this together!  HAVVVVGW!!!!  Melody

Friday, September 9, 2011

Friday Night

Hi!  I thought I would put in a few photos from the shower last night and our lunch out today.  I love to see other people's photos, so I thought you might like to see a few.
I am drawing quiet knife illustrations.  It is beginning to sound like a comic book to me...."The Adventures of Quiet Knife!"  I had Hailey pose for a picture I am attempting.  I am going to give the knife a face and maybe some hands and feet.  But I thought a child in the picture might make it more interesting.  When I finish it I may post it.  We shall see.
Mel is off helping with the setup for a
ward dinner tomorrow night....hauling chairs and tables over to a member's house.  So I am hanging out on the computer:)  And folding laundry!  Such an exciting life:)  Actually I am enjoying the peace and quiet.  I must be doing pretty good if I can admit that!  HAWE!
Melody

Beautiful Liz

Barb was excited to see the baby

Barb holding the baby

Amy with Hailey and Alexander

My quiet knife model

Looking to see if she did it right:)

Feeling Good Mostly

Good morning!  I have been reading old blogs this morning realizing that I have learned a lot in a couple of years about art.  And I am grateful for that!  Yesterday my illustration teacher came through with a good lecture and presentation about illustration.  It was inspiring!  Is he reading my blog?  Who knows?
Anyway, I feel better about that class.  So maybe now I can make the roughs I need to have done by Tuesday of my quiet knife.
A very nice thing happened yesterday.  I went into my printmaking class early because I needed to tear some paper to size.  I asked the teacher that was in there if he minded, he said no that it was fine.  Then he came over with a smile and introduced himself.  He was one of Liz's friends from high school that I used to know pretty well.  It was fun catching up with him.  I knew he was teaching at BSU, but I haven't seem him in about 12 or 13 years.  He has grown into a very nice young man.  And it made me feel good on a stressful day.
Liz's baby shower was really nice.  Her ward's relief society president and her visiting teacher helped to put it on.  I was pleased that so many nice people extended a hand of friendship to her.  She certainly received a lot of nice gifts.  And that baby!  He is a sweetie pie!!!  11 days old today.  She and I are going to take him to visit his great grandpa today.  My dad is anxious to meet him....and Barb is too.  And Liz is ready for a drive into Boise.
Well, I hope this day is a happy one for you!  Take care!!!  I'm still pulling for you!  We are all in this together.  HAVVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Fruits and Peppers

Good morning!  I am up and at it already today.  Mel and I have been trying to get to bed earlier so that we don't wake up so tired.  I guess it is working:)  I'm not sure yet.  I still tend to wake up in the middle of the night for a while.  But last night it was productive.  I have been trying to come up with an idea for my printmaking class.  We are starting on our own project today and we have to have an idea of what to print.  We have to have two different prints that are related.  I couldn't think of anything.  And I pondered over it in the middle of the night.  And this morning I woke up with a very clear image of bell peppers.....green, and orange and yellow:)  Funny, huh?  But I think it will work.  Then I may put fruit in the other print, banana, green apple, and orange, or maybe three apples of varying hues.  I have to draw it out first.  But it sounds good to me.  And yummy too!  I haven't had breakfast yet:)

Maybe I can make the one in the back green:)
So today is going to be a busy day with school, and then a baby shower tonight for Liz.  I hope I can make it through.  Mostly I am worried about my knee.  It is very achey lately.  And yesterday I had to take some stairs because the elevator was busy.  Stairs are a killer still.  And silly me, I think it will be fine and so I don't worry about it.  Then I feel it all night long.  Sigh!
So enough about me and all of my silliness.  How are you?  I hope you are fine and having a wonderful morning!  Take care out there in the great beyond of cyberspace.  I'm still pulling for you!  Keep smiling!  And HAVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Soul Surfing

We just watched a movie I would recommend to anyone...."Soul Surfer".  It is a wonderful, inspiring story of  a young girl facing incredible odds.  Anyway, it made me think I should stop complaining!  So a few more things to add to my gratitude list.
51. I have two arms, two legs, two eyes....the world is mine:)
52. I have a family who loves me....and I definitely love them!
53.  I have a Savior who is always there for me.
54.  I have talents that I am able to pursue!
55.  I have faith!!!!!!!
Hope your gratitude list is growing too!  Take care!  Sweet Dreams!  Melody

Wednesday's child is full of woe! (My mom used to tell me that since I was born on a Wednesday:)

Good afternoon!  I had such a super day at school today!  I love painting!  And my first class today was three glorious hours of painting in oils.  I should have taken a picture I guess.  It probably wouldn't look all that much different from the last photo though.  I worked on cool and warm grays.  It is so therapeutic.  It made me feel better about my skills as an artist too.  I had several classmates come by and say how much they liked it.  That felt sooooooooo good.  I guess because somehow in the process I put me out on that canvas.  I am not sure how to explain that.  If you are an artist then you understand what I am saying:)  I really am in a zone when I am painting.  I don't have that same feeling about all the art I do.  But that's OK.
I spent the rest of my afternoon in my digital photography class trying to figure out photoshop.  I am getting better at it.  And I think I have some possible photos.  They are due next Wednesday.  I think I will go in tomorrow during my break and see if I can print some.  I want to see if any turn out OK.  And I had better find out before they are due.
I went by to see Liz and little Alex on my way home.  She and he are both doing great.  I guess I should mention that my brother's surgery also went well.  He will have quite a few weeks of recovery though.
Well, I wish I had some clever, fun thing to share.  We did watch a funny youtube video in my photo class.  It is by the same guy who directed "Good Will Hunting", but I can't find it.  It was kind of a sarcastic little film about doing things right.  I wish I could find it.  Oh well.  The director is Steve Miles I think.
Does this look silent enough?  I might use this as inspiration....or not:)
So I hope you are having a wonderful, delightful day.  I am going to go put my knee under ice and watch some silly relaxing thing on the tele.  Then I suppose I will work on my silent knife illustration.  Take care out there!  Keep smiling.  And I will do the same!  HAVVVGE!!!  Melody

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

What a Day!

Good evening!  Today has been quite a day.  First I was a couple of minutes late for my illustration class...not a good thing.  But I overcame the embarrassment of being teased about it in front of the whole class:)
I was met by emails when class was over about my brother having emergency surgery at noon today.  He fell and hurt his spine, and so they felt they had to go in immediately and fix things so that he didn't end up paralyzed.  The doctor felt he was very lucky to not be paralyzed.  Poor Norman.  My thoughts have been with him all day since I heard the news.  I still haven't heard how it all went.
I spent my lunch hour with Kim and we sat by the Boise River.  It was so peaceful.  I really needed a break from all of the craziness of the morning.  And that did help to sit and contemplate the river and how beautiful it all is.
My printmaking class was fun.  We went to see an art show by a BSU graduate.  It was interesting.  She had done some prints and sculpture based on her experience on the Santa Cruz roller coaster....the old one.  I kind of got a kick out of it.  But it made me realize you really can make art about anything.  It was very abstract.  I would not have thought it had anything to do with a roller coaster if she had not said so.  But the colors were pretty and the design was interesting:)
So now I am home....I can't tell you how nice that feels today.  I love that I have a place to come where the craziness of the world does not come too.  It is pure peace here today with just Mel and I and no distractions.  Well, I guess I had better go see how the dinner is coming.  I hope your day has been a wonderful one.  Take care.  I am still pulling for you!  We're all in this together!  And yes, it feels a lot like a big boiling kettle today.  So I had better add to my gratitude list.
I am grateful for:
47.  Electricity!
48.  Microwaves!
49.  Supermarkets!
50.  Faithful friends:)
HAVVVGE!!!  Melody

Monday, September 5, 2011

A Morning Note

Good morning!  It is a beautiful sunshiney day here today.  And I know because I have already been outside watching little boys ride skateboards, bikes, cars, and wagons up and down my driveway.  Now they are watching "Word Girl" so I have a break:)  They are pretty cute.  And they are a cohesive group.  Jacob is usually the one in charge, with Nicholas right behind.  They care about each other, and monitor each other's behavior.  It is fascinating to observe!
So I guess this morning I will be pretty absorbed in watching this little group of my grandchildren.  Then they will be on their way home to Utah after lunch.  So I will have a half day to catch up before school starts again tomorrow.  I am still struggling with the quiet knife illustrations.  I have a list of possibilities and a few thumbnails that are OK.  But nothing I am too happy with yet.  I am not sure that having so much time to think about it is a good thing.  And I am not sure yet how to draw it....pencil, charcoal, ink?  Oh well, I will solve this one too.  It just helps to think out loud about it all.
So I hope things are well with you.  And that you have a wonderful and glorious day out there in cyberspace today.  Take care!  Life is pretty amazing!  TTTL!  Melody

Sunday, September 4, 2011

And the List Goes On!

Shalom! I am thinking today about gratitude again. It seems like there is a blessing associated with it that I hadn't really thought of before, but that is really significant. It is found in the LDS scriptures...Doctrine and Covenants 78: 19 "And he who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto him, even an hundred fold, yea, more." So I am thinking today about more of the things I am grateful for....and the thing that comes to mind right away is peaches! We have a small orchard, filled mostly with peach trees, and this year is the first year we have gotten very many. Unfortunately we have been so busy this last week that we kind of forgot all about them. Last night I went with my daughter Julie to check on them and the birds had beaten us to most of them. We still were able to pick a large bag full, but I must admit I was very disappointed. The ones we saved were soooo sweet! I guess birds need to eat too:) But next year I will be more watchful.
Picture from NASA


Another thing I haven't thought about for a while are stars. Last night the sky was very clear and the stars were beautiful! Then my son in law said that one of the stars in the Big Dipper had exploded and it would only be visible for a week or so. I couldn't believe it. So I looked it up:) There is an explosion....it actually happened 21 million years ago....but it is not actually in the Big Dipper. It is in the pinwheel galaxy not far visually from the last two stars on the handle of the Big Dipper. I guess it will be brightest next Thursday night, and you can see it with a small telescope....a supernova. It is interesting to read about. But it made me think how unconnected I have become to the night sky. I am resolved to take a look up there more often. It has always been a source of delight and mystery to me.

So this list could go on for a while. I am so grateful for so many things. But they all tie into my faith in Jesus Christ and my Father in Heaven. I am so grateful to Them for the amazing opportunity that my life is, and for all the wonderful blessings I enjoy. I feel especially blessed today on a day when my thoughts turn to the spiritual things of my life. And I just have to say, "My God, how great Thou art!"

Well, I hope your day is going well. Keep smiling! I'm still pulling for you! We're all in this together! HAVVVGW!!! Melody