Saturday, March 31, 2012

Enjoying Conference

Here's the live feed to conference.  It is really good:)   Conference  HAVVVVVGW!!!  Me


Good, good, good, good!  And morning too!  The sun is out and bright and wonderful!!!!  And it is conference!  So what more could one ask for?  I am smiling and plan to all day long:)  HAVVVVVGW!!!!  Melody

Friday, March 30, 2012

Not a Total Waste

Good evening!  I am feeling very proud of myself:)  Well, not that kind of proud....the good kind, when you've accomplished something despite yourself.  Which is what I did today.  I really was not kidding when I said I just wanted to crawl back into bed....maybe I wasn't that explicit, but it is how I felt.  With Mel's help I got the canvas stretched and the first coat of gesso onto my canvas (Yay!....and double yay!)....I also called almost everyone in the ward to invite them to an impromptu bridal shower tomorrow:)  Jodell's daughter is getting married in a few weeks, and because of miscommunicated shower arrangements the shower ended up being tomorrow instead of a month from now, which had my sweet friend Jodell feeling rather frantic!  So I feel like I didn't totally waste my day, which is really how I was afraid it would end up today.  I think all of the gray weather is starting to get to me.  Anyway, I feel good that I didn't give into the dark side:)  I also cleaned the bathrooms and did some laundry!  I know....I am amazing!  Ha, ha!  And maybe a little light deprived.  I am so glad tomorrow is General Conference!! I am hoping for some extra light to recharge with tomorrow!!!   If you haven't ever watched the LDS General Conference you are really missing out!  Here is a link.  Info page  It starts on Saturday at 10.  You should be able to link to the live broadcast from that link.
Well, I guess I have shared my difficult day enough.  I really hope the sun shines soon!  I will have to stare at those broad spectrum lights soon if it doesn't.  I think I have one for growing plants somewhere:) Anyway, I am still smiling...thanks!  I know blogging helps, too.  And art!  I did do a little drawing today.  Although not nearly enough.  And I think the thing that helped the most was talking to Taylor and Gabe on the phone.  And having an at-home-burger-watching-the-TV-movies-date night with Mel.  We were both too tired to leave the house:)  Yeah, we are really getting old!  Oh well.  I don't know how to grow younger, so this is going to have to do:)  Take care and have a wonderful night!  Melody

Trying to Make It Great Today!

Good morning!  I hope it is.  I've got my smile on straight:)  It seems there is still lots to do before Monday...most of it for my painting class.  I told Mel this morning that I wish I could begin my mirror painting all over again.  If I could I would try to paint it more like Donato's method....would that be allowed?  I have been thinking I could do it if I just put matte medium over the original sketch on the canvas.  Because that is where I seem to lose it. I usually start with a pretty good drawing, but then it washes away with the paint and I feel lost trying to get it back.   And this one has been especially hard because I don't have a good reference photo.  I should have set it up to begin with and taken some good photos.  Oh well.  I will figure this all out eventually.
So today I am going to work on getting my ocean wave started.  I still haven't stretched the 4'x4' canvas onto the stretcher. So I will get that done and then start on the gesso.  And why was I excited about this?  Just kidding.  It is just seeming like a big project at the moment.
I kind of feel like crawling back into bed today....and I would if I thought I could sleep:)  Oh well.  I am starting to sound like a whiner:)  And you are saying, "Just starting?"  Ha, ha!  I will get on with my day now.  I hope I can find a positive attitude around here somewhere.  Actually I just need to find Max.  He is such a trooper!  I know he must hurt everywhere, but he still wags his tail and bounces around like he is still a puppy.  This dog is amazing, and I feel a little sorry for him.  He misses Mel something terrible now that he is not here all day.  He sits by the door just waiting for his return.
Well, I hope your day is going well.  Have a very, very, very gut great wan!  I'm still pulling for you!  We're all in this together!!!  Keep smiling, and I will do the same!!!!!!  Melody

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The End of the Day

Good evening!   I have had a very nice day with daughters and grandchildren and my dad and Barb.  But I guess I wore Gabe and Taylor out, because they were sooooo angry at me for ripping them away from the rest of the grandkids.  Taylor told me he hadn't really wanted to come and he hadn't had any fun!!!!  And Gabe said he deserved to stay at my house all night long and it wasn't fair I was taking him home!  I know they hate to leave their cousins, but everyone else was headed home too and I am just too tired to keep at it any longer today.  We did have fun, despite what Taylor said.  The first half an hour as we drove to meet Michelle and her kids, Gabe told me all about why you forget all the stuff from when you were really little.  It is because the memories just pop out of your brain:)  If they didn't there wouldn't be room for any more!  And Taylor told me how he  still could remember learning to walk.  That one was hard to believe, since he was only 9 or 10 months old.  But I went along with it anyway.  It kept me giggling.
We had fun at the outlet mall picking out some new jeans for them.  Michelle found some cute things for her kids, and I thought it wouldn't hurt to get some jeans for Taylor and Gabe too.  Then we met Kim and her kids at the pizza place and stuffed our faces with all you can eat salad and pizza.  I couldn't stuff too much, but the kids made up for me.  Then we all went to my dad's.  He was quite surprised it wasn't just me.  We had fifteen of us by the time we arrived there.  A very noisy fifteen of us.  So after a while we thought we should move it all to the bowling alley at the Student Union Building on campus.  We were there for quite a noisy while, until Gabe was going a little ballistic.  He gets so wound up!  Anyway, that is why Taylor was angry....he hadn't quite finished his game of bowling.  But I was beginning to fear for Gabe's well being.  He was literally throwing the bowling ball, not just down the alley.  So it seemed like a good idea to leave.  I am sad that I stayed just a tad too long.  Sometimes it is hard to make those judgement calls.  Oh well.  I think Taylor will forgive me...eventually.
So now I am home and it is soooooooo quiet!  I will be glad when Mel gets home.  He works kind of late right now.  I will be glad when the new shop is more routine.  But things are busy there and that is good.
Oh, I forgot to mention I saw 8 pelicans yesterday:)  They were flying over the lake.  Just thinking about them gives me a very happy peaceful feeling.  I am so grateful for God's beautiful creations....especially pelicans!  And after that funny youtube video, I think I like manatees!  Every time I think of it running into the side of the tank I giggle.
One more thing....the other side of the sign.  "Gardener - plant manager"  I like that, and I feel so silly I forgot it completely yesterday.  I told my dad how forgetful I am getting, and his comment was..."You ain't seen nothin' yet!" meaning of course, that it only gets worse.  Sigh!
Well, I hope your evening is wonderful!  I am still pulling for you!  Take care and remember to keep smiling!  Me

A Little Sound Humor!

Ha, ha!  I just have to share this!!!  HAVVVVVFD!!!!!  Honk!

Aack!!!! Thursday Already!

Good morning! Still smiling.  Although, I had a good cry last night.  We watched, "Incredibly Loud and Extremely Close" last night.  It is a really good movie.  Mel thought so too.  But of course it is sad.
 I am off to see the wizard today:)  Well, almost.  I am going to meet Michelle and then we are going to visit my dad after lunch.  He doesn't know we are all coming though.  He couldn't hear me last night when I called to let him know:)   He will know soon enough:)   I think that should make for a nice day.  I probably won't make any progress on paintings or drawings today, but I think I am far enough along that I can make it up tomorrow. And I really need a break.  And I am hoping to stop at the art supply store and pick up a few things on the way back.  I should also wander around campus and figure out where to do my site specific sculpture....I really can't think of anything yet.
Well, I haven't anything more to report.  Just wanted to wish you a very lovely and happy day today.  HAVVVVVVGW!!!!!  Melody

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Sitting on my Tuffet

Good evening!  Well, it's almost evening here.  I am feeling kind of weird.  I was really excited because I finished my illustration know the one where I pretend I am Donato Giancola:)  And I was feeling very good about it, and then I decided to fix the eye....bad move.  I think I have fixed it enough that it isn't too bad, but it is pretty hard to fix something so fussy.  Oh well, it will have to do for now, I am tired.  I do like little Miss Muffet despite her failings. I am just not sure how picky I need to be with this.  The thought of starting again is just too daunting.  Anyway, here it is.  I like it until I look too close:)
I hope I can just let it go now.  My teacher said we should pick a simple subject and try someone else's method and not worry about getting graded on it, cuz it was just for fun.  And I did have fun today trying to get it right.  It was nice to have a guide under the painting, but mine did not hold up as well as Donato's.  I think I will have to practice transferring another image because it was pretty washed out by the time I got it on the board.  Chalk it up to experience!  I do think practice would help this method a whole lot.  I will definitely try it some more.
Well, the sign changed downtown today.  Do you want both sides?  OK! The first side was..."Gardener -ooooh, I forget:) Some kind of a planner...plot planner? Maybe I can remember later...  and the other side...."Sailing - mast transit".  That one made me giggle.  Sorry my memory is so bad.  I think it is getting worse.  It's good I am in school I think so that I can keep making new pathways in my brain.  It is supposed to help ward off Alzheimer's!
Well, I guess that is all I have to write.  Here's wishing you sunlight, roses and good weather:)  And lots of smiling!!!  Take care and HAVVVVVVGE!!!!  Melody

I Can Smell the Popcorn!

Good morning!  There's a smile on my face:)  And I am ready to face the day!  I am planning to select or take a photo for my illustration project.  Then I will trace the outline onto my medium hued drawing paper, and enhance it with gorgeously artistic lines of many weights:)  After that I am going to scan it onto some drawing paper and glue it onto my painting surface with matte medium.  Then I will sand it and coat it a couple of more times and hopefully it will be smooth and ready to paint tomorrow:)  I hope this all works and turns out beautifully.  And in the meantime, while I am waiting for coats to dry and such, I will work on my Jungle Book drawing.  And I also need to take off the painting and roll it up from my 4'x4' stretcher and stretch on a new canvas and gesso it and get it ready to paint a wave.  And no I am not really getting to do much of any relaxing or taking a break for Spring break.  And the funniest part is, all of my teachers said they hoped we had a wonderful break....ha, ha, ha!
I am planning to meet Michelle and her kids tomorrow for a little fun.  And Monday I did have lunch with Amy, so I have had a few fun moments.  Yesterday I stopped to see Taylor and Gabe and took them some treats from Costco:)  I do love Costco!  Liz and Alexander were napping, so I didn't get to visit with them.  Liz's husband Adrian is working the night shift right now for Mel, so their sleep schedule is very crazy.  I hope it doesn't have to continue like this for too long.
Julie and Randy didn't get the job here in Boise, so they will not be moving here after all.  I was so hoping they would.  But Randy hasn't given up.  He is still looking for some way to move back.  They have a house nearby already that they are renting out.  It would be so nice to have them back close.  And of course then I could see all of the kids more often.  They all grow soooooo fast!
Well, I guess I had better get to it.  It is hard to stay motivated, when what I really want to do is pop popcorn and watch a movie and invite all of the grandkids over.  Maybe I can finish things and we can do that for's hoping!!!  And I hope you have a great and good day out in cyberspace today!!!  Keep smiling!  Melody

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Done for Now!

Hi again! I think it is time to quit straining over this painting.  I have been working on my mirror painting today.  After watching that painting video I figured I could really make some great strides.  Instead I am taking little baby steps into things I am only beginning to understand.  Painting faces is really difficult!!!  But it is also very fun, and absorbing.  I am going to have to watch the video until I have it memorized, and then I will still not be where I can paint faces well.  But maybe I will be a teeny bit closer.  At least I hope so.  I think it will help to paint on something that is in better proportion than my mirror painting.  I think I will do that tomorrow.  I got all the supplies I need now.   But I am glad I worked on this painting today.  Each time I do I feel like I am approaching it a little bit better.  I guess I should share...but only a portion:)  And no, it still doesn't look like me, but at least it is starting to look a little human.  At least I hope so.
In a couple of weeks I may move some painting out to Mel's old shop.  He still has machinery out there now, but it will all be over at the new shop before long.  It will be nice to be able to set up oil paints and not worry about dripping on the carpet:)  And also to have enough elbow room:)  I just have so much going right now with all of the painting and drawing and it is beginning to feel a little claustrophobic in here.  Funny, I just had a flashback of when I said I would like to paint large murals like Minerva Teichert.  I still would like to paint like that....and I may still.  Who knows?  In the shop I would certainly have the space:)
It's funny, but sometimes I get so I wish I had never tackled is so hard!!!  But most of the time I am very glad I did.  I think I just have to accept the fact that I may never really reach a point of perfection:)  And I suppose that is really OK.
Well, I guess I had better get back to it.  Although I am definitely done with the painting for today...I am tired!!!  But I think I will try to find tigers in interesting poses and little boys from India.  And maybe even a big bear that looks like Baloo:)  I really am enjoying reading "Jungle Book".  It is definitely a children's book, but then I kind of have a passion for those!  I hope things are going well for you today.  Keep smiling!!!  And HAVVVVVGE!!!  Melody

Finding My Way!

Good morning! I am laughing!  And I am excited for today.  I watched the painting portion of the instructional video yesterday and last night, and it is all amazing and wonderful.  So today I want to try doing what I watched.  I have been sooooo struggling with the flesh tones in my mirror painting, but Donato laid out his whole palette and used colors I would not have dared to use.  So I think I will test it out and if I can get it to work, I will try it on my mirror girl.  I have to admire Donato's honesty.  He is so forward with his methods.  I really appreciate that.  Greg Manchess mentioned how a group of them (illustrators) were trying to take the mystery out of painting, and it really is helpful.  They have a sight, Muddy Colors, that is all about doing that.
And I have been reading Jungle Book.  I guess I have never read this before.  I was certain I had, but apparently not.  And it is actually very entertaining, and I think it is giving me some good ideas for my drawing.  I am thinking of putting a tiger on the path, and a boy behind the panther.  I am still figuring out how to do this and trying to find good references.  I hope I haven't colored in too much to make it possible. And I hope my instructor doesn't mind my leap into illustration.  He may not like it, but if I just go ahead with it....oh well:)  I think at some point I am going to have to assert myself.  I just don''t like doing that much.  I like everyone to be happy....which of course is not always possible.
I realize I haven't talked much about Mel's move into his new shop.  I think it is going well.  It sure looks nice.  He is not all crowded up into a small space anymore, and it looks tons better.  Now if he can just keep all of the machines running 24/7.  That is kind of a trick.  Yesterday the heater went out on one of the machines.  He doesn't have new machines, so he is generally fixing something pretty regularly.  His new, replacement machine arrived yesterday.  It is not new...'94 I think, but it is in good shape we think. He will know today when he hooks it up to the power.  I keep driving by and running in to look at how things are coming.  It is an exciting thing.  But I do miss having him here at home.  I am glad I am involved with school, or I might be sad.
Well, what else?  I feel like I am so obsessed with school work that I don't look up much.  But that is a good thing.  I like being occupied and I definitely am.  Although somedays I do wonder about it all.  You know those voices that say, "What in the world do you think you are doing?"  But I largely ignore them now and just go forward.  I like what I am doing and whether I ever influence anyone for good with it remains to be seen.  I hope I do.  I guess I hope I can write children's books....especially for children stuck in the hospital with chemo treatments.  And of course I would love to learn to paint beautiful pictures to hang in the temple.....but if I don't reach that goal, at least I am trying, and that is a good thing.  It gives me purpose and direction, which I was definitely lacking when all of the kids left home.
Well, I hope your day is happy and inspired out there in cyberspace.  I am still pulling for you!!!!  We're all in this together!  Ain't it grand?  Take care and HAVVVVVVGW!!!!  Melody

Monday, March 26, 2012

Sweet and Beautiful Image!

Good afternoong!  I thought I would try an experiment...what if I ignore spellchecker?  I will not try to spell bad, but I always mistype:)  So we shall see what happens.  If it is just silly I will ifnore it if course:)  So far so good!
I feel like I have become enlightened today watching my instructional video.  All of my wonder and awe has suddenly been swept away as I realize that there is technology involved!  First off the photo model poses, the artist snaps disillusionment there.  However when he phoroshops all of the poses he likes into one, and then traces the photo onto his final sketch...I was just a bit surprised!  Of course I do it some of the time (and have terrible guild over it), but this guy is a professional!  The best step yet it that he then scanned the sketch and with matte medium flued the image onto masonite for his final painting.  Somehow it kind of took the awe out of it for me.  But it also gave me ideas....maybe I could do this for my painting class!  No, I think I would get a lecture on "real" painting.  But it does seem sensible to use the technology available.  There is stil plenty of ard studff.  I will definitley try it in illustration.  Boy, this spelling is getting bad!  It is really making me laugh!  I am always a little amazed when people ifnore spellchecker:)  And it makes me think of Shakespeare who spelled his name at least 12 different ways.  Spelling did not become standardized for yeats after that I guess.
I had a nice outing with my daughter Amu and her little cutie, Hailey this afternoon.  Hailey is sure growing up fast.  That is the way it is I guess, but it does seem like someone pushed the fast forward button.!  Everything speeds by anymore, and I am left standing in the dust on the sidelines while it all whizzes by.
Well, I am going to watch another chapter from Donata.  This one is one the actual painting.  It should be fun.  And I am hoping he tells what he uses in materials and colors...and vbrushes!  It would really be helpful.  I hope you are laughing!  I only audited a typing class in college, so I have never been very fast or very accurate.  I did have a summetr job typing in '69 that improved it somewhat, but I think my top speed was 40 wpm.  Have a fun and giggly FHE!!!  I;n still pulling for you!!!  Take care and keep smiling!  Life is fun!!!!  HAVVVVVVVVVVHE!!!!!   Melody

Monday Morning Greetings!

Good morning!  It is really raining here, but warmish...45.  Not too bad for morning.  I have lots to do today.  And I get to watch my video.  I took a sneak peak yesterday and I think I have already learned a few new things.  It will be fun to watch.
Well, nothin' much to write.  That's probably a good thing.  I do feel very happy and well for the most part anymore....just the ol' knees bothering me anymore.  But I can take that.  I'm still pulling for you!  HAVVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Heavenly Ballet

Good evening!  I wasn't going to write, but I just had to tell you the fantastic news:)  I saw pelicans today!!!!!!!!!  Twelve of them flying from the lake towards the Snake River!  So Spring is really here!  And it did get up to 65 today, but it is gray and tonight it is raining.  Still.....pelicans!  They were so beautiful, all flying together in turns and somehow they all know to turn together.  It is like ballet in the sky...perfectly choreographed!  I guess that it is like they hear music together and fly to it.  Anyway, I do think it was worth sharing.
The other thing that happened is kind of funny.  Mel and I were called as a shepherding couple for the mid-singles and we went for our first meeting today at 5:30.  Anyway, we ended up as the babysitters for the fireside at 7:)  I guess they are struggling a little with getting enough help.  The kids were cute, and then a couple of mutual girls showed up about a half an hour later:)  Pretty interesting:)
Well, I hope you've had a good day today.  Take care!  I'm still pulling for you!  HAVVVVGN!!!  Me

A little mariachi music

Good Sabbath morning!  It is supposed to reach the mid sixties today!  Maybe Spring is really here.  I am a little tired this morning.  First off we stayed up late listening and watching a mariachi band last night with my dad and Barb and my sister Diane and Rob.  It was really good!  They had four trumpets, six violins, and a guitar and bass guitar!  That is a lot, especially when squeezed into a small little restaurant.  But it was lots of fun.  Everyone in the band took a turn singing, and everyone had good voices!  Of course when you are singing in front of four trumpets you'd better learn to project!  I took a short video I will try to upload when I am through blogging.  One of the violin players came and sang to my dad.  It was sweet.  I wish I spoke Spanish!  But even without understanding the language I am pretty sure it was a sad love song.
The other thing I am very excited about is a video I downloaded....all through the night!  It is by Donato Giancola..."The Mechanic".  It is a five hour instructional video on his painting methods.  He is one of the most fantastic illustrators, and usually this video is $60, but they are having a special, so it was only $6.99.:)  But since it is such a long video it took more than forever to download, so I kept getting up to continue with the download so I could watch it later today.  Now I am thinking I will probably wait til tomorrow, but I am soooo excited to have it.  I am hoping I can learn some things watching it.  And also it will give me a good method for my illustration project that is due when school begins again.  We are supposed to imitate someone we admire, so this fits the bill....or the Bill, which is the name of my instructor:)  Anyway I am kind of excited about this.  I know...I am obsessing again.  But every little bit of instruction is so welcome!
Well, I am going to try to figure out how to upload a video onto here.  I hope you have a most wonderful day out there in cyberspace!!!  I'm still pulling for you!   HAVVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Break me off a piece of that Kit Kat Bar!

Hi again!  I have been working on this for a couple of hours.  I am not sure what to do probably nothing would be a good idea:)  I am at the point where I feel like I have ruined a perfectly good photo:)  Of course, I still have the original, but I just know I could learn something here if I had a teacher who knew what comes next.  Or if I should just trash it!
Sooooo, not much to write, I just wanted to look at this from a different perspective and take a break.  Ha, that reminds me of the other day in art class when one of the students was eating a kit kat bar, and another student started singing that awful jingle...that you can't get out of your head!  Sorry:)  TTTL  Melody

Saturday Morning

Good morning!  And that is all I have to say:)  Amazing, I know!!!  HAVVVVVGW!!!   Melody

Friday, March 23, 2012

It's NeverToo Late! - I Hope!

Good evening!  I have been somewhat sidetracked today, trying to catch up on things.  I had a little fun with some new crayons I bought yesterday...$60(!) crayons.
This is the original photo I took in Oregon

This is the photo after photoshop and crayons.  It isn't finished.
They are called Conte crayons and they are kinda cool.  I bought a set with 48 colors I think.  It is like pastels only better.  Anyway I am very cautiously beginning my new drawing with them.  We are supposed to draw over a printout we did in class on the computer.  Yeah, more methodology, or process.  But it is good for me, since I have never done any of this before.  Some days I feel like I am back in elementary school learning how to use crayons for the first time.  Today was a day like that.  I like the way this sort of feels like an illustration.  I added a panther, a bear and a snake, thinking I would do something about Jungle Book.  I still don't know what.  I had originally thought I would put some children on the path, but it feels too dangerous to me.  So far I have put scared little beady eyes in the front left foreground.  This is the sort of stuff I love, but it also makes me a little crazy because I get so obsessed with the idea.  Oh well.  Maybe that will be a good thing some day:)  I do think this is fun.
Oh, I had another bad luck thing happen...not that I am keeping track...but I lost my debit card.  I know it is not a big deal, but it kind of is.  I guess it is more of an inconvenience.  I do not usually lose things, but every once in a while....  I even remember how I lost it.  I left it in an ATM machine at school.  So I ended up going over to campus today to see if anyone had turned it in.  But no one had so I had to cancel it.  Sigh!  It was good though, because I brought this drawing home so I wouldn't have to keep going back and forth to school all week to work on it.
And no, I have no wonderful stories or funny anecdotal happenings today.  But I can remember the sign downtown.  It just isn't too funny, and I think it is a repeat.   "Salt - something useful in a pinch."  It sounds familiar, huh?  And "Misfortune - well, do you?"  That one got a giggle out of me.  So I hope you have a good night!  I am headed for bed!!!  SD Melody

No naps today!

Good morning!  I think my day is busier when I don't go to school!  My visiting teachers just visited.  And next I am taking Max into his doctor.  Still I wanted to send a happy greeting out into cyberspace this morning, so here it is.....HAPPY, HAPPY GREETING!!!!!  I hope your day goes well.  I will write more later on....after the vet and the shopping:)  Take care and HAVVVVVGW!!!!!  Melody

Thursday, March 22, 2012

One Last Blog

Here is the link to my favorite song in Les Miserables.  Bring Him Home  This is the one from the 25th anniversary of Les Miserables.  It is such a beautiful story.  I read the book first, then saw the musical, then the movie, then whatever I could get my hands on.  It is one of my favorites!  The story is so noble.  Anyway, I hope you enjoy this.  And if you like this one, you'll probably like this one....I Dreamed a Dream.  :)
Well, just had to share:)  Nighty Night!  Me

This little light of mine!

Good day!  I can't decide if it is afternoon or evening, but it is sure nice out....and getting nicer by the minute.  It continues to warm here until just before the sun goes down on nice days.  I can almost feel Spring, and I have seen many signs of Spring.  For one thing we have babies all around in the cows, and baby sheep, and baby pigs, and baby birds... nearly....I have seen robins and killdeer out so their nests can't be too far away.  So soon there will be .....pelicans!!!  I can hardly wait!  Just thinking about nice weather cheers me right up. is officially spring break!  I am soooooo excited.  I do have a few things to do paint a huge wave, finish the mirror painting, write a final abstract on the wave painting, make an illustration - copying someone famous we admire, draw a new drawing, and lastly I have to design a wire sculpture that is site specific.  So I think to do all of this I will have to do something each day, and hope that I can get it all done.  At least I don't have to drive into campus.  That should help!  I do wish we could take a vacation, but with my schoolwork and Mel moving his business it just isn't a possibility.  But maybe we can do a few fun things close in.  My dad thought it might be fun to go hear a Mariachi band on Saturday.  I did buy tickets today from another student for Les Miserables and War Horse.  The Broadway productions are coming here in June and September.  This lady had season tickets, but they have moved and she lives too far away to come all of the way in to Boise.  So I got a very good price.  I am excited about that!  But it won't be for this week.
Something interesting happened in our class presentations today.  We all had to do a power point on a different artist on the list that my teacher handed out.  I picked one I could deal with...Wangechi Mutu. But some of the artists were really way out there morality wise and I was glad I didn't have to choose one of those.  But anyway, one of the young ladies in my class was reviewing images from her artist and the last one was pretty sexually explicit.  She apologized to the class, and said she was really hesitant to have to put this image up, especially knowing that Melody would be in the classroom.  The class laughed, but it made me feel good.  I worry that I don't say enough about what I believe in for anyone to even know that I care.  So it was good to see that apparently I do:)  Of course the image still went up, but it made me think that a lot of the images she could have shown did not get shown.  So maybe I am being a little bit of a light in Babylon...which is what Mel teases me with each day as I leave..."Remember you're the brightest light in Babylon!"  It really is not too bad most days.  But there have been a few instances where I just cringe and close my eyes.  The morality of this generation is very compromised by the immorality that is so pervasive in the general culture of our times.
Well, I am feeling very good.  I don't have anything due for 11 days!  That is so nice!!!  I think tonight I will just relax and watch some television. We recorded the PBS "Les Miserables" when they were having their fund drive and I haven't had time to see the whole thing yet.  And maybe we can even order a pizza!  That would be kind of nice.
I hope you've had a fun and productive day today.  I wish I could remember the other conversations between Taylor and Gabe.  Maybe when Mel gets home I will ask him.  I know there was another funny one. Take care and enjoy the balmy breezes...if you happen to have any.  I am still pulling for you!  Life is grand!  HAVVVVGE!!!  Melody

Smiling Again!!!

Good morning!!!  It has warmed up here considerably, and I am anxious for Spring Break, which starts officially for me at 4:10 P.M. today:)  Of course that isn't really true, since I have painting and illustration I need to work on over the break.  But no classes should give me some time to do that!
I have my four page paper ready for drawing,  a flimsy excuse for an artist statement ready for sculpture, and I am almost ready to present my power point....actually keynote presentation....for drawing.  It is a busy day for the last day.  Wish me luck!  I will need it!!!
So have a happy day out there in cyberspace!  Keep your stick on the ice!!!!  HAVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Post for tonight

Good evening!  I just got back from taking Taylor and Gabe to a cub scout pack meeting.  It's weird to go to one of these and not be responsible for anything.  For years I was a cub leader of one kind or another.  On the way there, Gabe and Taylor were talking.  It's cute the way they talk because Taylor as the older brother always has the last say, whether he knows what he is talking about or not.  Here's a for instance:
Gabe: Why are Grandma and Grandpa taking us to pack meeting?
Taylor:  Because mom is sick and you absolutely have to have a parent with you when you are at a pack meeting....unless you are a stray kid or something.
Gabe:  A stray kid?
Taylor:  Yeah, a kid without any parents.  You know, some kid who goes to church on his own without his parents cuz they banned him.
Gabe:  Banned him?
Taylor:  Yeah, it's when parents are so mean that they ban their kids from their house.  If that happened to me I would just sleep under a tree with a sleeping bag that I got from home.
Gabe:  Cool!
That is an actual conversation they had on the way to the church:)  I had a hard time not giggling.  They had another one about gay marriage that really had me laughing...and kind of crying inside that they are exposed to things so confusing at such a young age.
School went really well today.  Especially my critique for my painting class.  The panel was sooo nice to me and my work.  I kind of expected them to say how awful it all was.  But they only said nice things.  Well, except for the obvious perspective problem I am having with the girl in the mirror.  But even that was said tactfully.  I guess I am struggling with it so much internally, that I expect comments like, "Where'd you learn to paint?"  or, "that color is all wrong", or "I think that is a crazy idea for a painting".  I am glad people are kind.  I am hard enough on myself I think.
Well, I have a three page paper to write on Wangechi Mutu, then an artist statement for my Half Dome sculpture.  So I guess I'd better get writing.  I have some of the research done for the Mutu paper.  I am just so tired that my brain hurts!  I hope I can make sense of all of it.  So I hope things are good out there in cyberspace.  I sound hungry I think:)  I will eat dinner and then tackle the homework.  Take care and have a most wonderful evening!  Melody

Breaking things up

More good morning! Our class got out early so I am at the Egg Factory getting the breakfast I missed this morning. I am not fond of eating at restaurants by myself so I decided to blog. Does this mean I am really a writer and not an artist? No. It just means I left my sketchbook in my locker at school. And my excuse is that my knee is still aching and I don't like lugging around my backpack...
Wow. My breakfast is here. That was fast! TTYL. Me

On the Lighter Side

Good morning!  I am ready for a new day!  It is supposed to warm up today, and I am counting on it.
And I am giggling again.  The world is a joyous place!  At least it is today:)
Well, gotta go!  Take care out there in cyberspace.  I'm still pulling for you!  We're all in this together!!!  Have a very, very, very great wan!!!  Melody

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Still Smiling!!!

Hi again!  This has been a good day!  I am still smiling:)  Classes were good.  I got all things turned in and I think I am doing well...I did get back some evaluations on my drawings in my drawing class.  I'm not sure about any of my grades yet though.  So funny.....soooooo subjective!  Not like chemistry or math where you get what you earn from homework and test grades.  Things were correct or incorrect.  Art is more like my English classes...minus the grammar.  Even in English we had tests...but they were often essay questions which are also very subjective.  In art it is more about what the teacher thinks of you and how hard he thinks you are working.  And of course how much he likes your work.  The frustrating thing for me is that I want to become a better artist...better at drawing accurately, better at using the right color of paints, how thick or thin,  better at sculpting, etc.  But what we are taught is more about theory...modern theory.  And I must confess it is mostly about concepts.  I have seen fabulous artwork down graded because the concept wasn't what the teacher thought it should be.  Maybe I will get used to this, but I doubt it.  Oh well, enough about me.  Oh wait...this is a blog:)  I almost forgot.  So more about me...or at least about life as I see it.
Max is doing better since his second surgery.  He is getting to be an expensive dog!  But I am glad he is getting better.  I was very sad when I wasn't sure that he would.
Well, I have another research paper to do on Wangetchi Mutu.  It is due on Thursday.  She is an artist from Kenya who went to school in the US.  I like her work, except for the names she gives things.  But she is a feminist so what can I say?  I am just reporting on her work.  I hope all is well with you!  Take care out there in cyberspace!  I'm still pulling for you!!!  We're all in this together!  HAVVVVVVVVVGN!!!  Me


Good morning!  I am definitely laughing out loud! :)  And I am excited for a new day.  And a little overwhelmed with painting and sculpture, drawing and illustration.  But next week is spring break.  So that will be a welcome reprieve.  I hope you have a most inspired and happy day out there in cyberspace!!!  TTYL  Melody

Monday, March 19, 2012

Monday Night Again!

Hi again, good evening, Buenos Dias....I hope all is well.  I am doing pretty good.
My critique for illustration went pretty well, except my teacher said I am a texture junkie:)  What he meant was I will have to learn to use texture in photoshop more effectively...which I know is true.  But hey, I think I did well just getting something printed in photoshop!  It is not an easy program!  Anyway, he did like my poster for the most part...even the printing, which he was particularly critical of for most of the posters.  Of course, with the exception of the graphic art majors in there, we were all pretty new at this.  But he is pretty encouraging these days, and I feel like I am learning a lot.
In painting we only got through half of the critiques.  So mine will be on Wednesday....which I think is good because I have a couple more days to work on things.  I thought I would post my mirror picture.  It is getting better, but far from finished.  And it doesn't look like me still.  But that is OK according to my is the idea that counts apparently.  So far in the background I have painted in my mom, my grandma Duffin, my uncle Norm, my grandpa Phillips, my great grandpa Riding, and Tommy...and a faint Aunt Ida, or grandma Phillips...I haven't decided:)  It's funny how family resemblances carry through as I am painting this.  I do find this painting pretty fun, despite the frustration of just not being very good at it.
Well, tonight I will be reading and writing.  I have a paper due in drawing class tomorrow on the introduction to the book.  And in sculpture I am supposed to know what a site specific artifact is.  Sooooo, I guess I'd better hit the books.  Mel is not home from work yet.  He went in kind of late, but it is FHE tonight, so I hope he is home soon.  And I hope he doesn't think he can work late every night!
Well, I hope all is happy in cyberspace today!  Take care!!! I am still pulling for you.  And HAVVVGFHE!!!!!  Melody
P.S.  I kind of like this:)

Gut Wan!!!!

Good morning!  I am giggling this morning!   It looks like it will be a good day.  Although why I say that is a mystery to me.  The sun isn't even up yet.  But I am happy and even kind of excited for my critique in illustration and painting today.  Yep, two critiques in one day!  That is a record I do believe.  Of course I am also nervous.  That just goes along with the territory.  But my painting teacher says that we should be grateful for critiques.  He says it is the only time in your art career where you will get honest appraisal of your work.  I don't think that is always true.  But it is a good ideal.  I suppose we should help each other by being brutally is soooo subjective!  What one person thinks is fabulous another may think is horrible.  And often I think it is like the Emperor's new clothes....everyone wants to think like everyone else, so they are afraid to say what they really think.  I find I do that less.  Maybe it is my age, but I find myself speaking my mind quite often anymore.  And my tongue gets sore from biting it so much, trying to keep from saying what I really think:)
I have been thinking of ants this morning:)  So I guess I really am getting old:)  No, it is just that I was thinking about what my dad said, and Mel about torturing the ants, and it brought back a very clear memory for me.  I remember being in the front yard of my grandma and grandpa Phillips' house in Oakland.  They lived on 66th Avenue.  Anyway, my grandpa was watering the front strip of flowers and there were all kinds of ants swimming and struggling with the water.  I must have been quite small to notice those poor ants.  Anyway, I remember my grandpa smoking, and I must have said some precocious thing like, "Why do you smoke?"  And my grandpa's answer was something like, "Don't ever smoke!  It is so bad for you.  I started smoking when I was really young, and I have tried quitting and it is soooo hard to quit.  So don't ever start!"  I was very impressed with that.  And I believed him and never wanted to even try smoking....even when I was offered a tiperillo ( a weird little cigar type of cigarette) on a band trip:) (And that is a whole other story!) He had a big influence on me in that regard, and I am grateful!  He did stop smoking before he died.  So in the end he won his battle.  He wasn't LDS, but he was a good man who lived a good life.  And he was always so kind to me.  I miss you Grandpa!  I have tried to paint him into my mirror painting, but so far I can't seem to make any of the faces resemble his...even with a photo as a reference.  All of the other ghostly faces do look like my relatives....but I think I felt very close to him so that I want it to look just so.  Sigh!
Well, I had better get going.  I have miles to go today!  I hope things are good for you today out there in cyberspace!  Take care and remember I'm pulling for you!  We're all in this together!!  HAVVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Big Brothers

Good evening!  I have been thinking of church today and especially of an event that was really special.  We have a few kids with autism in our ward.  Two of them are deacons:)  And they do an amazing job of passing the sacrament.  One of them, Eli, just started today...and it was quite an example of love within a family.  His older brother, Jessie, stayed near his side...coaching him and helping him to do it right.  I was very touched by their example.  And glad that Eli has that opportunity to learn.  And it made me think how each of us has challenges of one kind or another...not all of them so apparent as Eli's handicap, but apparent to ourselves.  And that each of us also has an older brother, anxious to help and assist and to encourage us in learning to do things right.  Of course I mean our older brother Jesus Christ.  I am so glad He is nearby to help and assist us through life's challenges.  And I am grateful.
So an update on Max, our dog.  He went back in for a second surgery yesterday.  They kept him at the pet hospital yesterday and today.  They called today and said he would probably be able to come home tomorrow.  He is doing better, but he had all kinds of infection.  That is why they think he probably got into a fight with coyotes....because they carry more infection than a domestic animal.  Anyway, he will probably be fine once his wounds all heal.  The house seems awfully quiet without him pitter patting around on the wood floor.  And I miss his cold nose nuzzling against my hand trying to get me to pet him.  And I even miss the annoying way he comes and sits in front of me when I finally get a moment to sit down...begging me to take him outside:)  I'll be glad when he is well again!
Well, that is all.  I mostly wanted to write about Eli and his amazing accomplishment today of passing the sacrament.  And my realization of what it means to have a loving older brother.  Take care!  And remember I am still pulling for you!!!  HAVVVVVGN!!!  Melody


A merry morning and Good Sabbath to you!  It is snowing here today.  We are having an interesting March.  From very warm to very cold in just a few days.
So I am sharing my progress of my wave painting.  I am really kind of pleased with it:)  Don't laugh!  It probably doesn't look like much yet, but it has all kinds of interesting color I think. Of course you probably can't see that in this photo.  It should make a good foundation for the rest of the painting....and that's my story and I'm stickin' to it!  It does feel good to have something to show in class tomorrow.  I won't work on it today.  I made a promise to myself that I would not do homework on Sunday, and it has been a good thing.
So I suppose I should share the rest of the bad luck we've had lately.  I wrote about the machine falling, and Max being attacked by coyotes. Did I write about the cars yet?  Mel took the Explorer into the dealer to see what was wrong with the transmission....they said we need a new one:(   Well, that is bad enough, but when he went to start his wouldn't start!  So now we are a one car family:( At least until we get the Explorer back from the dealer.  Mel said the Explorer will run for a while, so maybe that will give us time to fix the truck. But that does seem to be the way it's never just one bad thing that happens but a whole slew. I feel very blessed though. We have water and food and shelter and one car that runs great. So we are fine. I think it helps to have some knowledge of how the rest of the world struggles to put it all into perspective.  I just need to count my blessings to realize how very blessed we are!
And that is a good segway into my mini sermon for today:)  And it is to myself.   It is a poem I have that inspires me when things seem a little dismal.  So here goes:


When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all up hill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must---but don’t you quit.

Life is strange with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don’t give up, though the pace seems slow---
You might succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up.
When he might have captured the victor’s cup.
And he learned too late, when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out---
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt
And you never can tell how close you are,
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit---
It’s when things seems worst that you mustn’t quit.
Author Unknown

Well, I hope this day finds you well and happy with courage to keep going forward.  Life is strange with it's twists and turns!  But I am enjoying the ride for the most part.  Take care and remember....Jesus Christ is really the Son of God.  And Joseph Smith really did restore His gospel to the earth.  It is all true!  And I am so glad!!!!!!  HAVVVVGS!!!!  Melody

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Saturday Evening's Post

Good evening!  I hope St Patrick's Day has been a joyful one for you.  And a big apology to all of you who thought you were finding an Irish site today, and instead ended up at my blog:)  I got 488 visits today:)  Most of them went to my blog titled "A Bit of the Irish".  So funny!
So I have accomplished so much today....but none of it painting.  But the laundry is mostly done, and the floors are vacuumed and I visited my dad who is back in town.  So for the rest of tonight I am going to throw paint at my 2'x4' canvas.  I think I am going to try to use it as the bottom of a huge wave....and use a 4'x4' canvas for the top and slant it forward just a little so it feels like it is rolling over you:)  Or not.  I am still working this one through in my mind.  My dad said, "Why don't you just paint a beautiful seascape?"  Good question.  I sure would rather paint beautiful seascapes.  But apparently that is not done in art classes anymore.  Don't ask me why because I still don't really understand.  But it has to do with post modernism and a whole lot of silliness that I really don't agree with.
So some funny stories:)  At my dad's....he and Barb were talking about how you notice things differently when you are ants.  I said, "Well, I notice complicated they are."  He said, "Yes, but not only do they know that something is chasing them?  Or do they get frightened?"  Mel piped in with, "Are you torturing ants again?"  That made me laugh.  It's fun to see my dad again.  I am glad he will be close for a few months.  He and Barb both own homes, so they go to her house near her family for a few months, and then they come here near our family for a few months.  It's a good arrangement, but they are both getting tired of it.  But so far neither one is willing to stay in one place for very long:)
Well, I guess I had better start painting.  I think I will start with a dark coat of blackish blue.  I sure wish I knew if this was a good idea.  Oh well.  I just have to have this painting started for Monday's class.  Take care out there in cyberspace!  I'm still pulling for you!!!  We're all in this together.  HAVVVVGN!!!  Melody

Irish Blessing

Happy St. Patrick's Day! It seems like a fitting time for an Irish blessing! So here goes:

May your pockets be heavy- Your heart be light
And may good luck pursue you
Each morning and night.

I think I may need that one myself.  I don't have much time for writing this morning.  Just sending good wishes your way!  HAVVVGW!!!  Melody

Friday, March 16, 2012

Friday Night!

Good evening!  I did it!  I finished the poster...and took it to Costco for date night to get it printed:)  Of course this is a fake poster.  That particular production was done in 1965.   The print looks better than this is on luster type paper and the colors looks much richer.  Anyway, that feels really good.  Now if I can just let it go.....
The next thing I have scheduled for this weekend is my mirror painting.  It is coming along.  I really do need to fix a couple of things before I continue too much further on it though.  It has one of the people in the background whose eye is crooked:)  My teacher said that if I emphasized just one part of the face it would make it more interesting....and it definitely did, but not in a good way.
So now I am going to just relax....until bedtime.  I am so tired of pushing so hard.  And I deserve a break:)  Ha, ha!  Those advertisements that say, "You deserve this or that" are really appealing to that selfish part of me that says, "Why yes, I do!"  I guess that is why they are effective ads.
Max has an appointment with the vet again in the morning.  I hope she can remove the drains!  He is a really stinky, sick smelling dog at the present time.  But he is so much better than he was.  He is up and active again.  I can tell he hurts, but he is not mopey anymore.  So that is good.  Mel said he would fix the fence so that Max can't get out anymore.  And that makes me glad.  Dogs roam quite a bit in this part of the countryside, but I think Max is done with that.  I don't want him losing any more battles with coyotes!
So, I hope you have a lovely, fun-filled Friday night.....and if not, well, tomorrow's another day:)  Take care and HAVVVVVGE!!!!!  Melody

OCD - Over Committed...Dazzelingly!

Good morning!  I am up and obsessing about Don Quixote:)  I keep redrawing him and recoloring him.  I seem to be able to get the ballerina just fine, but ol' Don is giving me fits.  And it is probably because I am not very good at photoshop.  Sigh!  Oh well.  I am getting better each try.  And last night I kept having dreams about layers:)  Layers of cake mostly, but also layers of Max and layers of school papers.  It was weird.  In case you are unfamiliar with photoshop, there is a bunch about layers of images.  It is really very cool, but complicated in a way.  I keep forgetting to switch layers.   And yes, I am obsessing!
So how's your morning?  I hope good.  It's weird to write a blog.  I always feel a little me centered.  And I really think it is odd.
Well, I had better get hopping.  I have visiting teaching this morning.  And I need to go back to the school when I get this DQ done and reprint it.  And I should paint!  I brought home my mirror painting, and I should start in on my wave painting.  I may start with a large canvas and a mop....still thinking that one over.  I am having fun just thinking about it though.  Remember I am pulling for you!!!  We're all in this together:)  Take care!  And HAVVVVVVGW!!!!  Melody

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Losing Track

Good evening!  I am feeling a little tired.  But I got through today without any mishaps.  So the latest on Max.  Ooooo, he looks awful since being at the vet's.  She shaved his hair on one side....and he is covered in bite marks and lacerations...poor thing.  I guess he got into a fight with other dogs or coyotes or something.  No car would make these kind of marks.  I had no idea he was so hurt.  I guess having an abundance of fur is not all it's cracked up to be.  Anyway, he will eventually be fine, but it is going to take a while.  I will not include a picture as I doubt Max would forgive me.  He is a little vain that way:)
My sculpture critique went quite well this morning.  And I got my research paper back in there and I did well on that too.  So maybe I will get through this class.  I actually really like sculpture....our next project is wire:)  I could do wirewoman:)  That would be funny.  It is supposed to be a site specific sculpture, so I could do the lady in the lounge chair and say it was site specific for the beach:)  It sort of tickles my funny bone to think about it.
I printed my Don Quixote poster...and it will do if I don't finish the revision that I have been working on all afternoon and evening.  It is kind of fun.  But I am very slow at it.  I did discover the paintbrush tool.  It saved me from having to redraw things over and over.  I suppose I will figure it all out eventually.  And I do get kind of into a video game.  It's maybe a little too absorbing.  We didn't eat dinner until 8:30 because I lost track of time:)
Well, I hope things are going well for you in cyberspace.  I think I will head for bed.  HAVVVGN!!!!  Melody

Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows!

Good merry morning to you!  I am avoiding school for a minute.  I have to go back to a critique for sculpture this morning.  I felt beat up last class and they didn't even get to my sculpture, so I am kind of dreading it.  Oh well.  This too shall pass.
I think I need a vacation!  Last night I redrew all of my Don Quixote poster....only in my head.  But I like the first poster better...even with the mistakes.  So I got up this morning and really did redraw things.  But it is still not to my liking.  Is this the mind set of art?  Always looking for perfection, but not ever really finding it?  Or maybe that is just mortality.  I am not quite sure.  Or maybe it is just me...the perfectionist...always trying to outdo myself.
At any rate....that makes me laugh.  I thought of money.  I am kind of silly this morning, can you tell?  I'd better zip my mouth and get to school.  Take care out there.  I'm still pulling for you!  And HAVVVGW!!!  Melody

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Final Draft

Well, here it is.  I still have to take it into school tomorrow and use their photoshop program.  I can't get the lettering big enough on mine.  It needs to be much bigger.  And then I need to put lots of little print in too, about choreographer and such.  But I do like this poster.  And I have definitely learned a whole lot of stuff doing it.
Well, I guess that is all.  Just thought I would share.  It feels so good to be almost done with this project.  I hope my teacher likes it:)
So nighty night!  Melody

Home Sweet Home!

Good afternoon!  I feel like I need to write and let the world know that my world is feeling a little better today.  After a dark beginning I drove into school and worked on my research paper for my drawing class. It felt good to get a book on my artist.  Now I at least have a physical reference for my report.  We have to do a power point presentation and a paper.  I told the teacher I had never used power point before, and he told me it was an easy program....and I still don't know how to access it or how to use it....sigh!  Oh well.  I have all the way until a week from Thursday before I have to have it done.
In my painting class today I think I made major progress on my mirror painting.  I signed up to talk to my teacher first thing.  He is such a fabulous teacher.  Today he talked to me about how to mix paint to make a cooler flesh tone....and then went and got three different books to show me how other painters did what I am trying to do.  I told him I felt like such a beginner...and he said, "But that is a wonderful place to be!  You are learning something new each time you paint!"  He really does have such a marvelous attitude, and I always learn something from him.  It is so inspiring to have a teacher that really cares about your progress and is willing to teach you whatever you need to know.  I am so glad I am taking painting from him.  My illustration teacher is pretty good too.  And my drawing teacher.
So tonight I need to do homework.  I need to work on my Don Quixote poster.  I found a reference photo that should help to make the dancers look better.  And I think I have learned enough photoshop to be able to get good colors and textures.  But I really have no idea about fonts.  I had a stencil font on the mock up, and my teacher said that I needed something more like Bo something...and then went into all of these reasons why.  Then he said it would be great to take a few graphic arts classes, but that the department won't allow it....unless you are a graphic arts major.  So who knows?  Maybe I will major in that next:)
Well, I had better get drawing.  Oh, I almost forgot....Max is spending the night at the animal hospital.  I took him in this morning because I couldn't stop worrying about him and he was starting to get a strange infection.  It was a good thing I did.  The doctor found a laceration we had missed under all of his fur that was festering and pretty bad.  So he is on antibiotics and they are watching him tonight to be sure he is fine.  The doctor said that he may have been in another coyote fight or something...not a car wreck...although the only one who really knows is Max.  Anyway, I guess living in the country is hard on little dogs.
So I hope you have a good evening!  Take care and remember I'm still pulling for you!!!  We're all in this together!  HAVVVVVGN!!!!!  Melody
P.S.  This is a pretty cool video....if you like electric violins:)  Andrew Bird

Dark Beginnings

Good morning! How are you? :). I am sitting in a dark room in front of my silent computer. The power is off. It went off while I was in the shower! I hope this is not an indication of how the rest of my day will be! The sun is beginning to light things up but I can hear sirens...unusual for way out here in the boonies.
My first class is cancelled this morning. I had planned to work in Photoshop but I guess I will have to go into school to do that. Or maybe the sirens mean help is on the way. They just zoomed by our house headed on up the hill. Exciting:)
Well I hope all goes well out in cyberspace today. Take care. I'm still pulling for you. HAVVVGW!!!! Melody

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Venting a little

Hi there!  I am sitting here at the computer after a very long and trying day at school.  Can you guess what I am eating?  Of course not, because no one in their right mind would eat like this.  I am eating a chicken thigh with potato chips and clam dip:)  I know....not the best choices.  But when what I really feel like eating is lots of chocolate and sweets, I guess it isn't so bad.  I have lost 15 pounds so far on my no sugar or white flour diet.  But this last week's stress has taken a toll on my will power.  Sigh!
So you ask, what was so terrible about my day?  And I would reply....nothing... because I don't want to gossip about anyone.  But know that I am seriously considering talking to the head of the department about one of my teacher's conduct.  Enough said:)  Probably too much said.  Oh well.
I did have a wonderful computer session in my drawing class.  That teacher is exemplary of what a good teacher is....calm, polite, strict yet kind.  And I learn things in that class because I am anxious to learn...happy and open minded and eager.  Today I learned more about photoshop.  I think it is helping my self esteem to learn this program.  It is very extensive and hard to learn all of the ins and outs.  But I think I am really making progress.  So that is a good thing.
Mel is traveling today...a quick flight to LA and back to check out a machine to replace the damaged one.  Unfortunately the machine he looked at isn't what he needed.  So kind of a bummer day for him.  But at least he didn't buy the machine first before he found out it was a lemon.  He will be home later tonight.
So what else?  I did have a nice lunch with Kim today.  I am glad to have sweet daughters.  I am very blessed. And you ask, "How is Max?"  And I answer, "Much better.  He actually gets up and walks short to the front door.  But he is not peppy or very enthused about life at present.  I hope he gets better soon!"
Well, I guess I will go watch the news and take a short break from homework.  Then it will be back to the grindstone.  I really do love learning and school.  It has just been a little stressful this week.  So maybe a break for a couple of hours will be a good thing.  I hope things are well out there in cyberspace.  Take care and keep smiling!  And HAVVVVVGN!!!  Melody

Monday, March 12, 2012

Night Time

Hi again!  I am feeling much better now that I have things done sculpture...and reading for my drawing class.  Here is a link we watched in illustration class today.  My teacher thinks that Jean Giraud (Moebius) was one of the best line drawers in illustration.  He died yesterday.  So we watched this.  Moebius  It was entertaining.  Although I wish I spoke French:)  And once again I feel I have so much to learn....I didn't even know who he was.
I finished my sculpture so I thought I would share.  I know it looks like I am taking a wood shop class:)  I think Jake will be pleased at his design.  And I will be excited to see mine all done tomorrow in class.  I also had a couple of pictures of Jacob and Josie and Naia from Saturday.  Enjoy!   HAVVVGN!  Me

Zippity Do Da

Good afternoon!  I am still picking myself up after a couple of days of bad luck.  But things are looking illustration teacher only had minor criticisms of my Don Quixote poster:)  And that is amazing!  And that is the good news:)
I wrote about the rest of this last night, but it sounded so depressing I quickly erased the post.  Things are fine, but last night I wasn't so sure.  Max, our little dog, got hit by a car yesterday.  He had a tough night, but he seems a little better today.  He must have gotten hit pretty bad because it is hard for him to move very much.  Yesterday he just laid around and it seemed difficult for him to even wag his tail.  Today he is able to get up to drink water and move around a bit.  But he makes me hurt just watching him.  I feel so bad!  We dressed his wounds, but they don't seem too serious.  I think mostly he is bruised.  Poor doggy!  I was feeling bad anyway, but this sort of sent me over the top.
The thing that got me feeling bad to begin with was the machine that Mel accidentally dropped on Friday.  He and a couple of neighbors were loading this big 5 ton machine onto a trailer because he is moving all of his equipment to an industrial space downtown.  I happened to be walking nearby when it fell and at first I was afraid it had fallen on someone.  Even though it didn't, that panicked, horrible, dreadful feeling stayed with me.  I kept worrying about it all day Saturday and Sunday, so when Max got hurt, my feelings really felt raw.  Anyway, I am fine, the dog will be fine, and we have insurance for the machine.  But I feel like I have been on an emotional roller coaster the last couple of days.  I wish I had more stable emotions.  Sigh!  I feel like such an old lady!
Well, I am thinking it is time for something a little light hearted...comic relief.  Soooo...did I tell you that Saturday when Liz came, she brought her three boys...the baby, Taylor and Gabe.  Taylor and Gabe had new glasses:)  Taylor was quite happy about it, but Gabe said, "Grandma, I have glasses now 'cuz my eyes don't see what they are supposed to see.  It is from sitting too close to the Xbox!"  I had to laugh at that.  I can remember being told I sat too close to the TV and it would ruin my eyesight.  But of course, you sit close because your vision is blurry to begin with.  It just sounded funny that it was no longer the TV that was causing this, but video games.
Well, I have quite a bit of homework....I am putting together my sculpture project.  I'll take a picture and post it later.  And I have to come up with something digital for my drawing class.  And I should edit papers for painting...and fix Don Quixote.  So I hope your luck is going better than mine.  Take care out there in cyberspace.  Life is wonderful!  And yes, I am trying to stay positive:)  HAVVVVGFHE!!!  Melody

Sunday, March 11, 2012


Good morning!  I think I am ready to teach my lesson this afternoon.   I have all of my pictures gathered, the outline printed large enough so that I can see it, the handouts for people to read...also large so that people can see it....but no chocolates.  I just didn't feel good about that today.  So I am trying to come up with a handout.  I think I have found one that will work.  I feel strangely calm about it all at the moment.  But as the time approaches I am sure I will be a little more anxious.  It's one of those inevitables.  But who knows?  I may be calm and nonplussed...I just looked up nonplussed to see if I was using it right.  And apparently it has opposite meanings.  The way I had intended...calm and unperturbed is not the real meaning.  That surprised me, as it is the only way I have ever seen it used.  You can explore this on your own if you feel so inclined:)  I think I am beginning to feel the real meaning of the word just thinking about it:)
Well, I just wanted to wish you a worshipful and happy Sabbath Day out there in cyberspace.  Keep smiling!  And I hope you have a lovely day.  TTTL   Melody

Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Saturday Evening Post

Guten Abend!  I am finally done with my illustration least with the rough.  It has taken me three days to get here.  Liz came over and helped me a little with photoshop, but she had to rush off, so I did the last bits by myself.  I am hoping that my teacher will like this design.  If not....oh well.  I think the final is due a week from Monday.
Julie and Randy and the kids have gone:(  It was fun to see them and to visit...although I had to keep working in here...but I invited everyone in and they gave me pointers that really did help.  Julie is good with color, and her son Jacob likes to draw and so he sat here and drew stuff while I fiddled with the composition.  Julie worked on braiding Josie's hair:) While Liz was here she sat at the computer and I held the baby:)  It was fun to work with a crowd for a change.  I am usually all by myself struggling with ideas.
I did have some interesting little stories that took place here.  The first was yesterday when they got here.  Caleb (6) kept handing me stuff...the ceramic hummingbird, the pine cone decorative figurines.  I asked him why?  He said, "You like those don't you?"  I said, "Yes, very much."  He said, "Well then you had better put them up out of Matthew's reach!"  Ha, that was funny.  He was policing the joint to make sure nothing of value was in his little brother's reach.  And it was a good idea, but I was surprised he thought of it.
Another thing that happened was...I had found an art kit at D.I. a while back.  It was really nice...a wooden box with acrylics, watercolors, pastels, and colored pencils.  Anyway, I have been saving it thinking I would give it to someone serious about their art.  And I have been puzzling which of my grandkids qualified.  Well, the whole time he was here, Jacob (11) was sketching...books, and flowers, and was really cute.  So I told him I thought I had something he might like....and that he would probably have to share it with his siblings...since there are seven kids now, and I know how it is better to teach sharing.  Anyway, you would have thought I had given him a bag of pure gold!  He was really excited....and so were Josie, and Nicholas!  I think they will have fun pursuing color!
Well, I guess that is enough stories for one night.  I hope all is well in your neck of the woods.  I am going to go prepare my Relief Society lesson now.  It is on the Priesthood.  I like the topic!  And I think it will be a fun one to teach.  Take care and keep smiling!!!  We're all in this together!  HAVVVVGE!!!  Melody

Friday, March 9, 2012

The World is Back in Sync:)

Good evening!  All is well.  I went to hear the most wonderful presentation tonight!  It has put my world back into perspective.  Thank you Greg Manchess!  It really helped to hear that one of the country's greatest illustrators still feels like he is learning the craft of painting!  I needed that today.  I asked him how he knew which color goes where and he said it took him 30 years and he was still figuring it out:)  But he did talk about how he started slowly and then gradually learned to do things quicker and practicing music, which I could really relate to.  Anyway, I guess I will keep at it:)  Earlier today I was ready to throw in the towel...or the paint brush:)
Julie and family are here and it is wonderful to have them!  And I don't feel so stressed and worried knowing that I can do this thing at a time.  Right now it is time for nighty night!  TTTT  Melody

Up for Air

Hi again!  I had to take a break...and found this:)  If this doesn't warm your heart....well, you're not a dog lover for sure!  puppies  Back to Don and the gang!  It is right about now that I wonder, "WHY?"  I always seem to get to this point where I wonder why I ever thought I could draw.  Sigh!  I can draw....but it takes a few drafts and reruns before I get it right.  And I just remembered I have company coming tonight...Julie and Randy and their seven kids:)  I'd better get working hard!!!!  Breathe deeply!  Me


Good smiley morning!  It is a sunshine day here today.  It's supposed to reach 65!  I am excited about that.  And I am excited about the day ahead of me today.  Of course, Friday is always too busy.  I try to use it as a homework day, and a catch up on the housework day, and today it is also a finalize my Relief Society lesson day.  Luckily there is Saturday, which is my backup day for everything I didn't finish on Friday.  So I've loaded the dishwasher and I am doing laundry and sculpture at the same time this morning, and trying to fit in illustration.  Actually I think I will devote the day to illustration and fit the laundry and sculpture in between.  In one of my organizing your life books (I have a whole shelf full of these) it says you can dovetail your work.
A complicated puzzle of my life!
So on that theory I am going to push the button on the washing machine, stain the wood (I didn't do that last night), and then while the washer is washing and the stain is drying I will draw Donny Quixote and his ballerina to scan onto photoshop.  By then it should be dinner time:)  Ha!  I hope it is only lunch time though.  Because I want to switch loads of laundry, glue boards together, and then magically change ol' Donny into something beautiful, and breathtakingly artistic.  Good luck, huh?  It could happen:)
I am really looking forward to date night tonight.  I love to go see other artists' work, and tonight we are going to see three.  At the college there is a Raymond Pettibon exhibit which opens tonight at 6 which I plan to attend.  Then at 7 there is a presentation by Gregory Manchess at the new Yanke art gallery a few blocks away.  And in the same building is an exhibition by a couple of Japanese artists...Ryosuke Kobayashi, a photographer, and Toyotsugu Itoh, a graphic artist.  So it is kind of a cool weekend for Boise art.  And I am very glad to be able to attend.  I just hope there is ample parking:)
Well, the day is marching on...I may have to run to catch up!  I hope things go well for you today!  Keep smiling!  And remember I am still pulling for you!  We're all in this together!!  HAVVVVVGW!!!!!!  Melody

Thursday, March 8, 2012

I think my muchness is really back!

Good evening!  I have had a most productive day today!  I have my sculpture all ready to stain which I am going to do tonight, and then tomorrow I will glue and screw it all together.  It is coming together well.  And my sculpture design of Half Dome is also coming together well.  (Thanks, Jake!)  So despite no working jig saw, or filter masks, or the right size spindle on the spindle sander (yep, it's all true!) I was able to combat all odds and get things done...being extremely creative:)  I do feel good about that.
In drawing class we got a new assignment...and it is all about photoshop and illustrator.  This teacher seems to have a better knowledge of it all, and is quite clear in his instructions, so I think this is really good.  I think eventually I am going to conquer these programs and be able to use them to my artistic advantage.  At least today it seems hopeful.  Yesterday's demo was helpful, but not enough.  So today's demo will perhaps take me to the place I need to be for my illustration poster.  I have already been testing my new knowledge and it really is helpful.  Now if I can just come up with a good enough sketch to scan into photoshop:)
In other news...Mel started moving his machines to the new shop!  It is very exciting I think.  He should be all moved in by next Monday when it will be full steam ahead.  He has lots of new work and his business is very busy at present.  So that is good.  I stopped by on my way home to see the progress and the electrician was there.  He said his wife knew me from girl's camp.  She was the stake young women's president a few years ago when I was up there too.  Such a small world!
Well, I suppose I could tell a joke....the sign downtown:)  "Hula - welcome waggin' ".  Ha, ha.  Anyway, here's hoping you have a great night.  I am counting on it here!!!  Take care!  I'm still smiling!  HAVVVVVGN!!!!!!!!!!  (I love exclamation points!!!!!!!!)  Melody

Scatter Smiles and Sunshine!

Good morning!  I am off and running!  But just thought I'd send a cheery hello out to the world of cyberspace.  It's funny.  One of my teachers always seems a little grumpy in the morning, so I say, "Good morning!"  He always looks at me funny and sort of scowls and says, "What's so good about it?"  Anyway, Monday I said, "Good morning!", smiling and cheery.  He said, "You always say that!"  But then he smiled.  I guess I say it more to cheer myself up than anyone else.  Anyway, I did not say it yesterday, just to see his reaction.  And actually he seemed to be the one that was cheery.   So maybe it is helping:)  Who knows.  When I was a MIA maid teacher I challenged my girls to smile at everyone they met all day...even in Walmart.  And then we talked about how fun it was.  I like smiling!  So off I go to smile at everyone...within reason of course.  Keep smiling!  I'm still pulling for you!  We're all in this together!  HAVVVVVGW!!!!  Melody

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A Little Night Music

Good evening!  It has been a good day today.  I finally got approval on my Don Quixote design, so now I can go forward and actually make a poster:)  I keep singing, "I am Don Quixote, the man of LaMancha" in my head.  I don't know enough of it to stop....just the one verse and it is circling around and around and around.  Aaugh!!!  But this is good...  I found out we are getting a visiting illustrator this Friday night...Greg Manchess.   He is pretty fantastic and I am excited to hear him and see some of his work up close and personal.  Here are a few of his illustrations from off of the internet.
I think they are very painterly.  I like that he works in oils and I hope I can learn to paint this well eventually.  I guess I just have to keep at it.  He seems to have a very good command of color, which I am currently struggling with!  It seems so simple in theory, much harder to actually blend colors and get them to match and contrast and do all that good painting can do.  I think when school is out this summer I am going to copy some of the better artists and see if I can learn a little doing that.
Painting was a struggle again.  I have painted in almost all of the faces in the background in my mirror painting, but the faces in the foreground are still giving me fits.  SIGH!!!!!  I think if I had a better reference photo it would help.  I will have to search my photo albums.
So what else to tell you?  I guess there isn't much.  I am going to tackle photoshop tonight.  My teacher gave us another demo and I am hoping I can put it into practice tonight.  Anyway, I hope things are good in cyberspace tonight.  Do you like the astronaut paintings?  They are perfect, huh?  Well, have a gut wan!!!  Melody


Good morning!  The wind has calmed down somewhat.  It was noisy most of the night, but I slept pretty well despite that.  I am feeling pretty rested and ready to tackle illustration and painting today.  I don't have more to say except.....Have a most joyous, pleasant day out there in cyberspace!  TTTL  Melody

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Tuesday Night

Hello!  It is sure howling outside my window tonight!  Not coyotes or owls or anything...just wind whistling and bumping into things.  I guess we are getting another front going through.  The forecast is for warmer weather again starting sometime tomorrow afternoon.
Balancine with Suzanne Farrell

Balancine again

I am busy drawing Don Quixote in different poses with a ballerina.  It is not too easy, and I am becoming more and more discouraged with this assignment.  I wish I had picked a play or a musical instead of a ballet.  It complicates things.  One of the guys in my class picked "Damn Yankees".  It is full of cool music and lots of things I could think of to draw.  I love the music..."Whatever Lola Wants", and "Hernando's Hideaway", and "S-s-s-steam Heat".  What's funny is that this guy hasn't seen the play:)  I saw it many years ago with Shari Lewis as Lola....the one who used to do the "Lambchop" puppet.  It was really good.  I think that is kind of funny to draw a poster for something that you haven't seen.  But then I think that I have only seen portions of Don Quixote:) So once again I am doing what I think others shouldn't.  Kind of funny.
School was good today.  We had fun in sculpture as they were trying to put my mountain together.  It is turning out very cool I think.  It is quite big and I like that.  And the one I am doing for my partner is turning out good too.  I like this assignment, and I think I am liking sculpture a lot.  I like seeing things in three dimensions!  And of course I have a special feeling for mountains, and especially Half Dome.  I may try making this on my own in better wood with more sanding to get the angles right.  I am not having my partner do any sanding as it is due next Tuesday and there just isn't time.  It will look like a very jagged and rough version of Half Dome.
In drawing we had a wasn't too bad.  The teacher in there is very positive, and I think he accomplishes more that way.  People are more willing to risk doing things they are not too sure about because they don't get slammed.  I don't like negative comments.  I don't mind being told how I could do something better, but just being told something is not good is not constructive.  Most of my teachers are pretty positive this semester so I am grateful for that!  And students are almost always kind in their comments.
I am pretty tired still.  I hope I can sleep better tonight.  I am not sleeping too well lately.  I think I am a little stressed with school and all of the deadlines looming.  I keep telling myself it doesn't matter, but I guess it does inside my psyche somewhere no matter what I tell it:)
Well, I guess that is all....except for the sign downtown..."Courage - a fear extinguisher."  Ha, ha.  I like that one.   Well, have a lovely evening!  Take care!!!  Melody