Friday, November 30, 2012

Tripping over my own words

Guten Tag!  I am struggling today.  I just can't seem to draw anything, or paint anything right.  Sigh!!!  But I haven't given up yet, I just thought I would take a break, complain a little, and then get back to it. I am trying to paint with acrylic again.  I want to learn this, but it is hard.  My teacher said to treat it like water color and paint in layers.  And I do, but it doesn't look right.  Soooooo......  Anyway, I will keep practicing.  I hope I can get something to turn in on Monday morning.
In other news, I have caught a cold.  It's not too bad, just a scratchy irritable throat, and some laryngitis. I usually catch something about this time of year.  I hope it doesn't get any worse!  So far I can still function.
So, you know how I say dumb things every once in a while?  It happened again yesterday.  A teacher came into one of my classes, and at first I didn't recognize him.  He used to have a really full, long beard.  But without it he looked very different.  When I finally realized it was him I said hi.  And then I said, "You really look different without your beard.  You looked much younger with more hair on your face."  Yeah, I can't believe I said that either.  He laughed and said, "Thanks for telling me I look old!" I felt really bad, but it wasn't possible to correct things at that point.  I guess I still have "foot in mouth disease."  One more sigh!
Well, I guess I will get back to painting.  I hope all is well in cyberspace today.  Take care!  And HAVVVVVVVGE!!!  Melody

Thursday, November 29, 2012


Good evening!  I did it!  I made it through a whole week of classes.  Now I only have two more weeks to get through and this semester will be over.  It's funny how I get so anxious to take classes, and then how anxious I get for them to be over.  I think I have learned a lot this semester.  I have certainly felt challenged and had to stretch.  So that is a good thing.  But I am feeling the pull back to family and especially my kids and grandkids.  So it will be good to free up my time.  I think this has been the busiest semester so far.  Next semester should be tons easier as I will have only one lab.  I hope it will make it possible to be a little more involved with my grandchildren.  Not overly involved...but able to go to school programs and the like.  And an occasional sleepover here.  They like to do that.
I got a lot done in my drawing class today.  And also in ceramics.  I am kind of excited in my ceramics work right now.  I am glazing cups and I think they are turning out nice.  Then I will get to do something to the bell I am making next time.  I hope it all works.
So I could post a progress picture on my still life drawing.  Wanna see?  OK.  It still isn't finished though.  She gave us one more class period to work on these.  So that is good.
 I have a lot of lines to straighten and things to blend.  But I am liking it more and more.  I guess it is good that I am beginning to enjoy my own art.  I am not sure that means I am getting better, just that I have learned to accept my limitations:)  I like all of the colors of this still life.  It is fun to compare what I have done with the real thing. We are not allowed to take a picture of the real thing....but if I could you would see my picture is not as accurate as real life.
Well, I guess that is about it.  I am tired!  And I am so glad it is Thursday.  I have homework, but what is new about that?  Yeah, it's really the end of the semester!  I hope things are good for you tonight!  Keep your stick on the ice!  And have a most wonderful night!  Take care!!!  Melody

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Little Inn of the Cups and Bell:)

Hi again!  Mel is at the temple for his first shift after a long (17 month) break while they remodeled everything.  I met my sister and went swimming.  We have sort of put exercise on the back burner with so much school work.  It was fun to do laps and talk.
Now I am going to work on my still life.  The shopping picture was a success.  We had a class critique. I had fixed a few things and I only got positive comments...even from the teacher.  So that was good.  Then I went to my ceramics lab and worked on my cups and bell.  Sounds like the name of a restaurant.  Maybe I just need to eat dinner.
In Stockbridge, Hampshire :)
I hope all is well in cyberspace tonight!   Take care and HAVVVVVVGN!!!  Melody

A look see!

Good morning!I have been up and drawing since about 6:30.  So I am taking a break and posting it on here, so I can see where I need to work.  I only have until about 10.  Then I need to get dressed (Yep, I am drawing in my pajamas!  I love it!)  Anyway, here goes.  Remember this is not finished.  But I like the idea.  I am supposed to have a theme of consumption.

Looks like I had better pay more attention to the crooked shelves and such.
Well, I had best get to it!  Time is a wastin'.  Have a lovely day!  Melody

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Dancing with the Stars!

Good evening!  I got through another day of school.  It will pass all too quickly I am afraid.  All of my teachers want everything done by the 14th of December....and sooner.  So I will be busy I think.  I brought home some of my work so that I can keep up.  In my drawing class we are doing a still life in pastels.  I keep complaining to the teacher that it is too dark in there...I can't tell what colors I am using. So today she came over to my corner, and was recommending a color, but she couldn't see it well enough either:)  Funny, but now maybe I will get some more light.  I don't know why they insist on dimming the lights when you are drawing.  It seems counter intuitive to me.  But all of my drawing teachers do it.  I guess it is an attempt to have one light source for the drawing.....I don't think it works at all!  Oh well.
Oh, did you want to see my still life?   It isn't done by a long shot, but it is kind of interesting.  She has several set up on the floor around the room.  I picked this one because I liked the dancing couple.  I think it is the first time I have done a glass with water in it.  The shadows are really interesting...and hard!  The couple dancing is hard too.  But I still have a couple of days to finish.
It is hard to keep from smearing it all as I am drawing.  I suppose I could use a piece of paper under my hand and fix that.  The blank spaces are a couple of postcards which I can work on here at home....where I can see!
So in ceramics the teacher announced today that it was the last day for any wet clay work.  So I hurriedly finished what I hadn't done yet....a couple of cups and a bell....and some spaghetti.  I have an idea for the last project that uses a dinner bell and some spaghetti:)
Well, I guess that is my report.  I hope all is well in your corner of cyberspace today.  I am pulling for you!!!! And laughing a bit as I do.  Have a wonderful evening!  Melody
P.S.  Here is a youtube of Eclipse singers singing "O Holy Night" of my favorites! O Holy Night

Monday, November 26, 2012

Sailing Away!

Greetings and Salutations!  I am home from school, and it was really great to be back.  Although, I commented to my figure drawing teacher that I felt like I had to learn to draw again.  And he said that the whole class seemed like they were having trouble.  But by the second drawing I was doing well, and I think I didn't lose all of my talent over the holiday.  Even my illustration teacher liked my little paintings, and said to keep doing them.  So that went better than expected.
Now I am home in my nice warm house with a very warm plate of Thanksgiving leftovers.  I pushed an automatic setting for warming up a plate of food, and it warmed it a little too much.  Oooo, but it smells very good.  I am hungry!  And I haven't really enjoyed eating with a house full of people to take care of.  So now it is just me and I think I will savor each bite.  Mel will be home before too long, and then I will fix him his own plate.
Well, not much to report today.  Things seem good here in my corner of cyberspace.  Even the weather is sunny.  I am glad and thankful for that!  As I was driving home today I saw a sign advertising a carrier for an ATV, and I thought, "That looks fun!"  I will have to think on that a little, but there are all sorts of places to explore around here in the mountains.  Of course, it's a bit cold for that right now.  But....are you enjoying this little trip in my stream of consciousness?  I often think about how fun it might be to have this or that.  Like a nice big sailboat!  Maybe someday.  In the meantime I think I have lots of fun just imagining things.  And I wonder if my grandchildren are learning to imagine.  When they were visiting they seemed to be glued inside of electronic things....PSP's, Wii's, Gameboxes, etc.  And I heard more than once the exclamation, "I am soooo bored!"  Oh well.  I guess that's their parents' problem:)  Right now, I am going to enjoy my Thanksgiving day feast all by myself...on my new yacht!
That's me out over the water:)  This one is only $225,000!
Take care and keep smiling!  I am pulling for you!!!   HAVVVVVVVVVGFHE!!!  Melody

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Chatty Cathy

Good evening!  It has been a good Sabbath day.  In church we had a young man speak who is leaving for his mission to Mesa, Arizona next week.  It was especially touching since it has only been a few years ago that his older brother died from a freak accident involving a drainage ditch and was drowned.  He was about 18...just before his mission.  So I think that Sean was feeling rather close to his brother today.  He is a very sweet young man, and I think he will be an especially good missionary.
Our gospel doctrine class was also very good.  The teacher was a sub and one of our good friends.  He is fun to listen to and did an excellent job talking about Mormon.  Then in Relief Society we had another excellent lesson.  It was based on Elder Evans talk..."Was it Worth It?"  It was about how important it is to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with others in a normal and natural way.  I really like the teacher, and the topic was handled well.  We had a couple of investigators there today, and I just kept thinking, "How could they not feel the Spirit?"  It was really strong.
Then after church our home teachers came by to visit.  Or rather our home teacher and his beautiful wife.  They are a good looking couple....about 40.  It is always fun to chat with them and compare notes.  Michelle and Gary and their family were still here, so they got to visit too.  After their visit Mel ran off to a meeting for ordinance workers at the temple this evening.  I stayed home and fed the troops and then they packed up and headed home.
So once again I am here alone in this extremely quiet house, and I must admit I am enjoying the silence.  The only thing I can hear is a dog barking in the distance, and the ringing in my ears:)  They do this when I get overly exhausted.  It quiets down when I get enough sleep.  But we have a tithing settlement as soon as Mel returns.  So I won't be climbing in bed any time soon.
I cannot believe it is only one month until Christmas!  We had a choir practice this morning (led by yours truly) and it was such beautiful Christmas music.  I do love singing!  And I am beginning to enjoy conducting the music.  It is still feeling a little awkward, as it has been so many years since I have done this.  But it is fun.  Today I had a sub for a pianist....and she is excellent.  She usually plays for the stake choir.  She did a fantastic job.  Of course my regular pianist is also magnificent.  I am lucky that way.  And I got another friend to agree to play the flute for the program on the 23rd.  So everything seems to be working out.  I am so glad.
Now I just have to be calm and go back to school happily in the morning.  I must admit I am not anxious to return.  I guess I didn't really get much rest this last week.  It's a good thing it will be ending in three weeks.  I don't know if I could handle much more.
Well, I have been a bit of a chatty Cathy tonight.  Remember that annoying doll?  My little sister had one, and I can remember really not liking it one bit!  Anyway, I hope things are going well in your corner of cyberspace this evening.  Keep smiling.  I definitely am in my little corner.  HAVVVVVGE!!!  Melody

Saturday, November 24, 2012


I thought I would share a few photos from Thanksgiving that my sister Joy took.   Ready, Set...

I love meeses to pieces!

Greetings!  I am feeling pretty good today.  I just finished a couple of acrylic paintings for my illustration class.  I decided to do mice.  They are small, and I thought easy...:)  Oh well.  Here they are just for the record.

So that is probably enough for class on Monday.  I am hoping so anyway.
Today has been kind of restful.  We had company all morning, but this afternoon is just Mel and I.  I must admit that a little quiet is kind of nice.
Well, just thought I would check in.  Hope all is well.  Take care and keep smiling!  And HAVVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday Birthday

Hola!  I am enjoying my black Friday birthday!  No, I don't shop on this day.  But I did turn a year older....with my family close to steady me.  I think this has been one of the nicest Thanksgiving weeks ever.  All of the kids have been here each day of the week...with their kids too.  We have settled into a nice routine.  The littlest kids play together, make supervised crafts, and take naps.  The next oldest watch movies and play video games.  They all have psp players...or most do and share with the others.  So it is kind of nice for the adults.  We sit and talk and sing along with Kenny's guitar. Perhaps I am giving you an idealized version, but it really is fun.  My knees are holding up fairly well, and I am enjoying all of this family time.  Perhaps it will fill me up til Christmas.
I have not had time for painting yet.  I think I may have to skip Monday morning's class and show up on Wednesday for illustration.  I have about talked myself out of stressing over this.  Family time is so rare when everyone is home anymore.  I have decided to just enjoy it.
Well, I'd better get back to the fun.  I hope things are great out in cyberspace today!  HAVVVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Bestest Wishes!!!

Happy Thanksgiving!  It is so nice to have a family holiday!  And to be reminded of being grateful for all that we have.  Today I am especially grateful for electricity!  And sunshine!  And of course for my wonderful family...near and far.  And I am grateful for friends!!!!  I heard a quote from Joseph Smith on the "Joseph Smith Papers" program that went something like....Friendship is a very large part of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  And then he went on to say how much he valued his friends that had stuck by him through all of the hard times....jail and persecution.  It was a great quote.  When I have time I will look it up.  But for now:)
So I am writing this mostly to say thank you to all of my friends....who have stuck by me.  And I wish you all a very happy day and year!!!  And now I had better get back to the turkey and stuffing!!!  Have a most wonderful and joyous Thanksgiving!  I hope it is the best ever!!!!!  Melody

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Good Thanksgiving Eve!  Ha, why don't we say that?  I kind of like it.  Anyway, I am hoping life is good for you out in cyberspace today.  I am off to shop a little more (Uck!) and then we will come back home and listen and talk.  Julie and Kim are coming over to visit with Kenny.  So it should be fun.  HAVVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Evening Report

Good evening!  I have had a most lovely day today!  It started a little late, as we were up til 2:30 am visiting with Kenny (we picked him up from the airport at 12:30 am.)  Anyway, we had a slow morning visiting and laughing.  Then we went over to see Liz and her baby.  That was fun!  Kenny and Liz challenged each other in a video game.  Then Julie and kids arrived so we all went over to Mancino's for lunch.  It is a great little Italian restaurant owned by a friend of ours.  After we had filled up on pizza and sandwiches, we divided forces.  Mel took Liz over to work to visit with her husband Adrian who works for Mel while he made some business calls, and Kenny, Julie and I and kids went to the music store.  We had so much fun looking at instruments!!!  Kenny was looking for a guitar he could keep here, since it is hard to transport his guitar from California on the plane.  It was lots of fun to listen while he tried out several guitars.  We got to know the salesman pretty well.  He was Portuguese, from the Azores.  A percussionist, who knew a lot about the different guitars.  And he had a lot of stories to tell about his homeland, and his brother who is a pilot there.  He was excited to learn that Kenny was an air traffic controller.  We had lots to share, and I felt like I had made a new friend.....Sergio.  Anyway, after some haggling, Kenny bought a beautiful Taylor guitar.  It sounds so mellow.  I love the rosewood too.  It was not the fanciest guitar, but it sounds sooooooooo nice.  Especially when Kenny plays it.  He is really a gifted musician!

We came home and he played music for us all much of the afternoon.  Four of his five sisters were here to sing along.  Michelle didn't come since she lives quite a ways and will be here on Thursday.  I suppose we will jam again for Thanksgiving!!!
We had a little bit of a preview feast for dinner tonight.  Julie and Kim and Amy and some of their family members stayed for dinner.  It was so nice to be together.  I always think one day is not enough!
So maybe we will just party every day til Kenny has to go back on Sunday.  I wouldn't mind too much.  Although I haven't done any homework yet:)  Oh well.  Priorities and all of that!
Well, I hope things are happy and bright in your part of cyberspace tonight.  I am thinking how much I love the noise and laughter....and crying and screaming!....of family home for the holiday.  It is extremely quiet now as Mel had a meeting and I am left here alone for a few hours.  Kenny has gone to visit with some old high school friends.  But they will both be back before too long.  So the quiet is kind of welcome for an hour or so.  Anyway, best wishes to all and I hope you are enjoying the season!  I am thankful for family.... and friends!!!  HAVVVVVVVVVVVGE!!!  Melody

Monday, November 19, 2012

Rain in the Forecast

Good morning!  It is a little windy and gray here today.  And the forecast is for rain.  Perfect for a holiday week.  And yes, there is a bit of sarcasm there.
So today I have a bedroom to clean, a bathroom to spruce up, and a small drawing to do.  And I think if there is time I may work a little on my art studio.  It's a mess!!!  I am not a born organized person!  And as I get busier I tend to get messier.  So it might be a good idea to pick up after myself in here.  I think the problem is in decision making.  I just can't decide what to do with things....toss, donate, organize, or frame!  Not too many things in that last category.  Lots of things in the first one!  Anyway,  I will do a little of that today.  But bathrooms come first!  I am a quick cleaner though.   I think that comes from years of not much time to get it all done.  So I learned to streamline!  Do you like that word?  I think it is one of my favorites.  Mostly because it reminds me of train rides through the Feather River Canyon on a very streamlined train called the California Zephyr with a "vista dome" car.  Fantastic!!!  I was fortunate to be able to ride that train going back to school.  It stopped running as a passenger train in 1970.  It used to go between Oakland and Salt Lake.  I read a little about it on Wikipedia.  I can remember how beautiful it was on a particular ride through new fallen snow!  The train actually got stuck and we had to wait an extra twelve hours for the tracks to be cleared.  Great memories!  I may have not enjoyed it so much back when it was the actual event I was living through.  But my memories only think of very white snow and fresh animal tracks.  I love how memory does that!  A wonderful distillation process!
Well, I'd better get on with my day.  Just wanted to say hi and hope you have a most wonderful day out in cyberspace today!!!  Keep your stick on the ice!!!!  And your brush in the paint, or pen in the ink, and all of that!!!  HAVVVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Glorious and Beautiful!

Shalom!  It has been a beautiful Sabbath day here.  We went to the rededication of the Boise temple where President Monson spoke and offered the prayer of dedication.  Pres. Brinkerhoff (the new temple president), and Elder Bednar also spoke along with Elder Christensen from the Seventies.  It was very inspiring and beautiful. The best talk (for me)was by Sister Brinkerhoff...the temple matron.  She radiated a very kind and gracious and loving spirit.  And she quoted my favorite scripture from Proverbs 3: 5-6
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
 She also said we should pay attention to the verse following....
7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil.
I will not soon forget the encouragement given and the testimonies that were shared.
President and Sister Brinkerhoff
Last night we attended the celebration ceremony put on by the youth.  It was a little like a dance festival, with 9200 participants.  Their enthusiasm was quite overwhelming.  They cheered at everything!  Especially they cheered for the prophet.  It was quite touching really.  I love the young people!
The Cultural Celebration
Before all of that we went to the movies to see "Lincoln".  It was really done well.  I enjoyed seeing President Lincoln portrayed so realistically.  I would highly recommend it.
So now I am feeling ready for the coming week.  I am excited that my son Kenny will be arriving tomorrow night to visit for a week.  I am really looking forward to having some time together.  I have almost talked myself out of any homework:)  That won't work of course, but maybe I can keep it minimal.  Or get it all done tomorrow!
So I guess that is all.  Just wanted to say how much I love the gospel of Jesus Christ, and that I am grateful for a prophet to guide us in these latter days!  I feel very blessed this evening!  I hope things are as wonderful in your neck of the woods!  Keep smiling!  And remember I am still pulling for you!  We're all in this together!  HAVVVVVVWE!!!!!  (wonderful evening!)  Melody
P.S.  I just saw this on Facebook and thought it might be a fun one to share!  The way it should be!

Saturday, November 17, 2012


Hola!   I am counting my blessings this morning!  It is back to semi normal here.  The boys went home last night, and although I definitely miss them, I am enjoying the quiet of an old woman's morning.  I guess I don't really want to go back to the old days unless I get my old body back with the energy that accompanies it!
Today feels like a free day, since I had planned on having the boys here til Monday or Tuesday.  So I think I will try to get things in order for Thanksgiving.  And I could do a little homework.  I want to use acrylics everyday in some fashion...trying to get more familiar with the medium!  And I have that self portrait to work on, but it isn't actually due until a week from Wednesday.  So I can procrastinate a little on that.  And tonight is the temple celebration.  They are having a big show, put on by the youth to celebrate the reopening of the Boise temple.  Then tomorrow our temple in Boise is being dedicated.  I am quite excited about that!  I have missed having a temple near.  It will be nice to be able to attend again on a regular basis.  Mel has been called as a temple worker again.  I can't really do that with bad knees...and school.   So I will look forward to that in the future.
Well, just wanted to wish you a happy Saturday out in cyberspace today.  Take care!  And keep smiling!!!!  I am definitely smiling from my side!  Melody

Friday, November 16, 2012

Guten Tag!

Good morning!  I am a full time grandma right now, as I have Liz's kids for a week or so.  It is amazing to me how I ever did this mom thing.  I am ready for a nap and it is just turning 9 am here.  And that is not a joke!  I have already changed the baby and gotten his bottle, unloaded the dishwasher, made waffles, and that isn't even counting getting myself up and ready.  And keeping boys on task.  Luckily they have no school today, so we didn't have to rush them off there like we did yesterday.
The other good thing is that school is over for me for a while...until the 26th.  So except for some homework I am pretty unscheduled.  Oh, and there is that Thanksgiving meal I am in charge of.   I may have to make some extra assignments there.
I do feel pretty good about life right now, even though we have a few extra challenges, I feel up to them. So that is good.  But I'd better keep an eye on things.  Alex, at fourteen months is quite curious and in to everything.  I have had to completely clear everything under four feet tall.  I don't think he is a climber though...thank the Lord for small blessings.  I can remember Michelle climbed everything...even the refrigerator!
Well, I hope things are swell and fine in your neck of the woods today. And just for the record...I disagree:)   HAVVVVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Sweet Dreams!!!

What a day, what a day!  I had a great class.  My teacher liked my drawing of the moon and sky and little me:)  And I got back a couple of things with good grades on them.  So I am feeling much better about that class.  Except he gave us an over the break assignment...another self portrait.  This time the theme is consumption.  I asked if he meant TB.  He said that would work.  It is funny, I know.  He's a good teacher.  I think he pushes hard but I have learned a lot from my figure drawing class.  I just can't show anyone:)
Tonight I am watching three little boys so that their mommy can get some rest.  Taylor and Gabe and Alex....such sweet boys.  I would love to have had more boys of my own, but this is almost better.  Being grandma has its distinct advantages!
Well, I am headed for bed.   Just wanted to brag a little:)  And to wish the world.....Sweet dreams!  Me

The Moon Sees Me:)

Good morning!  I have spent this morning doing more work for school.  But as bad as I think it is, I like the idea.  So I am sharing.....maybe.  Yeah, I can share.  But don't be too critical.  This is more of an idea.  I think it would be fun to do it right and then paint it.  But for now...
Oh, it is good to put it on here.  It takes on a whole new dimension, and I can see where I had better hurry and fix things before class.
Well, I hope this day finds you well and happy out in cyberspace.  Take care and keep smiling.  I am still pulling for you!!!  HAVVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Drive By Posting :)

Good evening!  I am taking a break...just for a minute.  I still have lots to do.  But I wanted to share these pen and ink drawings.  Well, more like tracings.  We drew in pencil the first pictures and then inked over them on clear drafting paper.  The first one was painted over....the second hatching and painting.  It will be easier to see when you can look at them so....  Magic!!
Drawing of a classmate
 It has been kind of fun...kind of difficult.  I have to add more contrast to that drawing of me!  It is hard because it is only hatching on that drawing.  But I can do it tomorrow after school.  These are due on Thursday.
The thing that is due tomorrow is a paper....and a self portrait.  I have finished the paper.  But I am starting the self portrait next.  I am kind of stumped though.  It is supposed to be something about identity.  I think this class is hard!  But I will come up with something.  The problem is that there are too many things to choose, grandma, sister, daughter, aunt, friend, artist, musician, teacher, writer....and which of these is really me?  I kind of think I would like to draw a picture of me at two years old.  I think that is the real essence of who I am still.  But I am not sure how I would do that.  Maybe a close up of eyes!  Looking deep into the soul!!!  Ha, ha!  That is probably a little too cliche. But I like it.
Well, I hope things are going well for you today out in cyberspace.  I'd better get back to the drawing board.....I've always wanted to say that!!!  HAVVVVVVGE!!!  Melody
Drawing with overlay of painting- a bit out of focus



Drawing with overlay of hatching and painting

Just the overlay

Monday, November 12, 2012

And It Came to Pass...Phew!

Hi!  I am home from a long day at school.  But I got through it without too much grief.  Illustration class was the I knew it would be.  My teacher suggested that I take on smaller images....just a face or one person....and make several small pictures.  This is supposed to help me learn the media of acrylic.  I hope it works.  I plan to do a small painting each day during the break.  He said that using more water and treating it like watercolor instead of oils would help.  So, line upon line!  I guess I didn't mention that I used a razor blade and scraped off the face of Snow White and redid it:)  No, I am not kidding.  You wanna see?  Here she is.  Yes, I know that the colors are way too bright, that I don't have enough variety in the colors, blah, blah, blah.  But hey, I got it done....sort of.
Oh, and the hand is waaaaay too huge:)  One of those things I didn't see myself, but is so obvious now.  It is hard to be the newbee in a classroom full of kids so much younger with sooooo much more talent and experience.  But enough of my complaining.  I really do like illustration, I just am beginning to be impatient with my inability to learn it overnight:)
For my figure drawing class we went to the Discovery Center in Boise to see "Bodies Revealed".   It was pretty interesting.  It was cadavers and body parts preserved with silicone...that's a kind of simplified explanation.  But it was very plastic looking...kind of like a mummified look.  Anyway, we had to sketch stuff that we were interested in.  So I sketched a whole viscera, kidney stones, a mummified looking face, a musculaturistic (sorry I made that word up) guy with a baseball bat...another one throwing the ball, someone on a bicycle, a hand and a foot.  If the exhibit comes to your town I would recommend you go and see it.  It was amazing to me how complicated the body really is.
Well, I guess I should end with the sign downtown.  This one seems like it is full of possibilities:)  "Password...the nonsense word taped to your monitor."  I personally hate passwords.  They are so hard to remember.  I cannot figure out the one for my AOL account.  I made it up so long ago, and didn't write it down.  Silly me!
Well, I hope you have a most wonderful family home evening!  Take care out there in cyberspace!  TTTT  Melody

Sunday, November 11, 2012


Good Sabbath!  I am so glad for Sunday!  Even though it has been a little busy, and a tad stressful, I feel very blessed today and closer to the Savior.  Choir practice went amazingly well, even though we only had four men show up.   I am not sure if it is an Idaho thing, or just our ward, but it is hard to get men to come to choir.  Probably they are already busy with so many things and choir is just one more.  But I hope we can get more than four by the Christmas program!
The lesson went well in Relief Society.  I love the sisters and their input.  It makes it a very special spiritual experience for me as the teacher.  I loved this lesson on the power of kindness in influencing others for good.  It made me think how many times in my life kind acts of others have helped me to stay on the right path, and not to give up.  I sure appreciate all of the kindnesses shown to me!
I have learned a lesson in pressure cooking today!  It is important to make sure the pressure cooker is sealed.  I didn't have it sealed, and the brown rice didn't cook on time.  So we are waiting...hungrily I might add:)  But I love rice cooked this way.  So it is worth the wait.  I am also cooking a yummy pork sirloin roast in the slow cooker.  I had thought we were having kids over for dinner.  I don't usually cook like this on Sunday.  But now they cannot make it.  I guess we will be eating roast all week:)
Well, I haven't much to say.  I just listened to a talk by Pres. Monson on Principles of the Prophets.  It was sure good.  He talked about each of the prophets of his lifetime...their personalities and strengths.  That is one thing that I am especially impressed with in the living the gospel of Jesus Christ makes good men better.  It is a testimony to the truth.  In my lesson today I told the sisters that living the gospel principles makes for happy living.  I think it is one of the anchors of my testimony.
So I hope that all is happy and well in cyberspace today.  Those drums have quieted down considerably.  Maybe I can make it through another week of school.  Take care!  I am still pulling for you!!!  And have a most wonderful Sabbath evening!  Melody

Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Natives are Closing In!!! :)

Good evening!  I am done, done, done!  Not really, but it makes me feel better.  I still have a paper to write.  But I think I will be done when I have done that.  I am feeling really discouraged about my Snow White and Red Rose painting.  I spent yesterday and today on it, and it isn't improving.  I think I am going to take it in on Monday and ask for help.  Snow White looks Hispanic I think.  It is weird how just a little misplaced mark can change a whole look.  I like her, but my teacher won't I am pretty sure.  Maybe I will email him with a warning:)  Anyway, here is a peek.  Please realize I am still figuring acrylics out.  They dry so fast!  I have a wet pallette that I bought to help with that, but it wasn't working right either.  Okay, that's all the excuses I can come up goes....
It's a little dark.  Let me try a different view.
Sigh!  Ugh! I may have to start again.  Oh well.  Not tonight.
So I have my chocolate for my lesson tomorrow.  It is on kindness, so I thought I should be kind to my sisters.  I also have choir practice ....and I am the choir director.  So tomorrow will feel busy.  I just hope I don't stress.  I am already in a stressful state of mind I think.  It is hard to spend two days doing something that doesn't work.  Oh, I just thought of another brushes aren't tiny enough.  I have such a hard time with tiny fingers and lips...and eyes:)  Have I complained enough?
Well, I guess I have.  How has your day been?  It sounds fun to get out of the house!  I mean to do something fun, of course.  I am looking forward to next weekend because it is the beginning of my Thanksgiving break....a whole week!  Then only three more weeks of school.  That will be rushed!
Well, I hope you have a lovely night.  Take care.  I am pulling for you!  We're all in this together! (And yes, I do hear the drums tonight!!!)  HAVVVVVVGN!!!  Melody

Friday, November 9, 2012

At the End of the Day

Just thought I would add this photo of Mel and I 
Just a note to say good night to this day!  It has been very challenging!  And no,  I haven't given up yet, I am just putting everything aside so that I can sleep on it for a while.  Then tomorrow I will have at it again.  I keep telling myself....long sigh....I can do hard things!  Not I can hardly do things:)  Which is what it seemed like today.  I think what happened was that about 2 in the afternoon I remembered I had signed up to finish a YW costume for the temple presentation....and I had to have it done before tomorrow.  So I stopped everything else and worked on that til it was done...phew!  But that set me back a few hours.  Oh well.  I may have to tackle my list in reverse order tomorrow, since I have the hardest thing listed first.  So....sweet dreams...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!  Me


Good morning!  I just had a lovely visit from my visiting teachers.  I love these women!  One of them is the ward chorister, so we had a lot to share about music for the Christmas program.  It sent me off on a wild goose chase after they left....trying to find a piece of music that I would like to use.  I have boxes of music.  But the one I think it is in I can't get to.  I will have to wait for Mel to come home and get it for me.
So now I am getting ready to paint.  And yes, I am procrastinating.  It is hard to start.  I am so afraid of failure I guess.  But I will have to convince myself that I learn this way.  One failure leads to a better painting next time.  My water color teacher from a few years back used to say that.  I hope he is right!
Well, I'd better get to it.  If I come up with anything worth sharing I will post it later tonight.  HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVGW!!!!  Melody

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Evening Post for Thursday (Yay! )

Good evening!  I have been asked twice today how I am doing in art both of my teachers.  I must have looked tired:)  I sure felt tired.  But I got everything done today that I intended to do.  I cannot always say that.  Now I have to make a nice long list for the next few days so that I can remember all of the rest of the things I need to get done.  I hope I can get to everything.  There is just so much and so little time:)
I did have an adventure today.  They just opened a new Chick-fil-A in Meridian.  So at lunch I drove over to see what all of the fuss is about.  The drive thru wrapped around the building!  So I went inside and I was amazed at how efficient it all was...and how many employees!  And it was yummy!  I suppose I will keep going there now that I have tried their tasty chicken sandwich.  We used to have a drive thru that served just as good chicken sandwiches, but they went out of business a few years back.  Anyway, it was fun to go exploring on my own.  I actually do that quite often at lunch time, because I hate staying at school.  It just gets too close.  I like to get off of campus!
Then on my way home I stopped to see all of the progress at Mel's shop.  It looks very organized now.  They have huge shelves....I mean huge, like at Costco...running down the middle of everything.  And they have the machine shop area all painted, so that soon all of the machinery will be downtown and Mel won't have to go back and forth so much.  The wheels of change seem to run so slowly.  I thought he would have moved it all by now.  But he's had to jump through several hoops for the city and county.
So that is my life.  I know it is kind of dull at present.  But it sure keeps me busy!  I hope all is well where ever you are in cyberspace this evening!  Take care and HAVVVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Good evening!  I have just gotten back from a long commute home.  I stopped on the way to visit my most wonderful father and his sweet companion.  They have come to Idaho for a few months, and it is really nice to have them close again.  My dad's ninetieth birthday is coming up this February and he is quite excited.  I told him we needed to talk about what he would like for his celebration, and he said, "A great BIG party!"  He is so cute.  I think we will have to make sure it is a BIG one.
Well, my classes went well.  We had a guest artist in my illustration class today....a former student of my teacher's.  His name is Allen Gladfelter.  He does cartoon work for lots of companies, but the most well known is Pixar and Dreamworks.  It was fun to see what he does.  He had quite a few he had done for coloring books for the movie Cars.  And he had also done some scenes for the Penguins of Madagascar.  This was all very interesting to me.  And there were only 6 people who showed up for class today, so I had the chance of really talking to him.  Apparently my teacher did not know he would come and wasn't able to get the word out to all of the class members.
After his presentation, I showed my teacher the sketch for Snow White and Red Rose and with some corrections I got approval to move ahead and start the painting.  So that is good.  I really hope to get this one done before Thanksgiving.  I really think I could just stay home for a few days and just paint.  But I have classes tomorrow...and other homework.  Like another self portrait!  Yeah, it is really getting old.  I will be glad when this semester is over.  Although, I suppose I have learned a whole lot about drawing this semester.
In my figure drawing class we discussed an article we had to read about identity.  It was written from an art world point of view and talked a lot about totally constructed identity, or an identity that is totally constructed from our environment.  I told the teacher I thought it was nonsense.  He asked why and I told him I had too many kids to believe that, and that I thought we came kind of prepackaged.  I probably sounded a little crazy.  But what I was trying to say and I think I finally got my point across, was that we all have a core that is uniquely one of a kind.  And although that can definitely be influenced by the environment, that we still are that core person.  At least that is how I believe.  Obviously I am in the minority in this class, but I figured I had to speak up.  After class the teacher thanked me for speaking up.  He said that although I may have a different opinion that it helps to get a discussion going.  But it has left me feeling a little defensive about my belief in a pre-earth life.  Sigh!
Well, I have written enough I suppose.  I hope things are going merrily in your neck of the woods.  My heart goes out to all people suffering....for whatever reason.  I hope this new storm in the East is short lived and that people can get what they need.  It is so hard to be without.  And I also hope that people can be kind to one another....whatever the circumstance.  Take care out there in the vast reaches of cyberspace!  I am still pulling for you!!  And I am smiling!!!  HAVVVVVVGN!!!  Melody

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A Beary nice picture:)

Good evening!  I am working on my rough for Snow White and Rose Red.  I will share it here.  I realized after I scanned it that I am drawing the house crooked:)  So funny how intense it all gets that you can overlook something so vital.  But I am liking the girls...and the bear.  I think it will improve with paint:)  At least I hope so.  It is so good to put it on here.  I see lots I can work on.
Maybe I should change it to the crooked little house:)  I will fix it before class tomorrow.  Ha,ha!  The magic of editing.   I am inserting a newer version.  Sorry if you missed the old one.  The roof and cottage and...all, need work still.  Sigh!  I am so tired.  And I still have reading to do. This may have to do.
Today has been rather nice.  I started out by voting.  It made me late for school.  But the teacher was glad I voted, so I don't think it got counted as a tardy.  At least I hope not.  We are doing a rather complicated still life in there.  It makes me tired just thinking about it.  It is an exercise in perspective, and it is really hard.  But I think I am getting it.
For ceramics we visited the Art Museum here in Boise.  There is an Eastern exhibit...lots of stuff from Japan and China.  It was fun to see.
Well, I had better get back to it.  I hope things are good in your neck of the woods.  HAVVVVVGN!!!  Melody

Monday, November 5, 2012

Smelling Dirt!

Good evening!  Yes, I know there is only one sun in our solar system.  Sorry for the spelling error.  I usually proof read everything, but I was rushing this morning!  Guess what?  I passed the thumbnail perusal!  So I guess it paid off to get up in the middle of the night after all.  My teacher offered a few corrections on the one I liked, so I will start on it tonight.  If I can get a rough done by Wednesday, I might have this one done before Thanksgiving break, which would be super.
Tonight we have a Family Home Evening at the Bishop's house.  We have had ten new families move into the ward, so the bishopric is having a get together tonight with them all.  That way at least the members of the bishopric can be a little familiar.  It should be fun.  The executive secretary really makes wonderful ribs, and then the rest of us will fill in with salads and desserts.  I just hope we can be done by 8:)
As I was coming home tonight, I could smell the most wonderful smell, but I couldn't figure out what it was.  Then I saw a tractor and realized that I was smelling freshly turned dirt!  I do love that smell.  And it makes me think we should be doing the same....although, then the soil might all blow away up here on our windy little hill.  I guess Spring will be soon enough.
Well, Mel just told me it is time to go.  I hope you have a marvelous FHE out in cyberspace tonight!!!  I'm still pulling for you!  Melody

By the Rosy Light of Morning

Good morning!  The sun is rising here and it is especially beautiful this morning.  It is in that pink glow stage and it makes all of the light a little rosy.  I guess it is even better than rose colored glasses.  So how many people do you know that get up at midnight to draw bears?  I bet you can count them all on one hand.  But I should be included, cuz that is what I did this morning.  I decided it might be fun to draw a bear with Snow White and Rose Red.  And there is just so much rushing getting off to school, that I figured the middle of the night was better.  I am not sure I was right.  Looking at these thumbnails now, it may have just been a waste of time.  SIGH!
Well, I'd best be going.  I am sending happy, rosy wishes out to cyberspace today.  I hope all is wonderful in your world today.  Take care and HAVVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Peace! Within and Without!

Good Sunday morning!  It is a sunny day here.   And I am in a sunny mood.  I love Sundays!  Mostly because I can rest from the normal stuff, and take a breather.  I am having a hard time doing that today because I am feeling behind with my school work.  But with the change in time I will just plan to get up a little earlier tomorrow and tie up loose ends.  It is my thumbnail sketches that are bothering me.  I have done nearly a dozen, but I should do a dozen more.  And I am thinking... now that I have taken the tangent of Cinderella, that I like the story of Snow White and Rose Red better....or even Hansel and Gretel.  I dreamed of painting scenes all night long.  I remember the colors more than the subjects.  But it is one of those obsessive things I do when I can't resolve a drawing or a painting.  In my dreams I am always painting beautiful, multi-colored strokes that make me feel so happy!  I wish real life were more like that!
So today I am feeling especially tired of the presidential campaign.  Mostly because of the contention I feel from it.  I go on Facebook and see so much that is contentious...bashing one candidate or another.  And I must admit that it makes me feel a little disappointed and sad.  I guess I feel like they are both good men with differing opinions about how to solve the nation's problems.  I would be much happier if instead of the contention, there were calm, insightful comments about what a person's belief is.  That is possible I think.  For instance...I do not like abortion.  I feel that it is taking an innocent life.  And I will not vote for a candidate that supports it.....enough said, right?  I do not have to dig up false claims or silly accusations about one candidate or another.  Calling someone a stiff suit or an anti-Christ is just going nowhere!  And it sounds very unintelligent!
Well, I guess I can hop down from my soap box now.  I really don't like to discuss politics much, so that is probably the extent to which I will be on my soap box about that.  And besides, any hopping I do is merely figurative:)
Oh, I guess I should share a little of my adventures with the boys yesterday.  They are so delightful!  Taylor is beginning to be a little adult.  I love and hate when that happens in kids.  It is fun to be able to finally reason with them, but a lot of the innocence begins to disappear.   Yesterday we were eating and Taylor got very angry at Gabe about something....not sure what.  But I started laughing at how silly they were being....and reluctantly Taylor smiled, and then grinned and admitted it was kind of funny.  That takes maturity!  I took Gabe outside for a while.  He is especially coordinated, and he figured out how to take the toy car and do wheelies with it...balancing on the top and side!  It is much too small for him to be inside.  I was afraid at first he might hurt himself, but then it occurred to me that he was in total control.  So I sat and sketched in my sketchbook since I am supposed to do modified contour drawings from life for my illustration class.  I will share them here so you can get an idea of what he was doing...maybe.  There are sketches of Taylor too, who joined us outside and played with the paddle ball stuff.
Yeah, it's pretty rough.  But oh well.
I guess I had better....?  Oh yeah, I have a lesson next week.  I had better start preparing that!  Take care out there in cyberspace!!!  I am still pulling for you!  HAVVVVVGS!!!  Melody

P.S.  Guess what?  I just looked up my lesson.  The title..."The Power of Kindness" :)  Here's a link...Kindness

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Happy Day!

Good afternoon!  I am watching Liz's three boys today.  It's her birthday....30 years old!  And she is my baby.  I do feel older today!
I have decided to do my next illustration of Cinderella....the Grimm's Brother's version.  Something of her by the tree and the doves.  It is not at all like the Disney version.  So maybe that will be original enough that I can get approval.  We'll see.  First I have to do some thumbnails:(
Well, I haven't much time.  I am watching boys after all.  I hope things are wonderful in cyberspace today!!!  HAVVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Friday, November 2, 2012

Money Makes the World Go Around

Good morning!  I am doing the bills.  And whenever I do I hum a little song from Cabaret...."Money makes the world go around!...that clinking, clanking sound!"
 It is unfortunately true.  I would do much better in a world that just bartered....or everything was free!  Wouldn't that be something?  I think at first you would want everything....and then maybe very little.  I find that in this stage of my life I am trying to get rid of all of the stuff I have accumulated over the years.  Until I see a new gizmo that would really make life sooooo much easier:)  What really makes life easier?  Running water....and plenty of it!  Food that is safe...and I like yummy!   Electricity to provide light, warmth....and a million other things.  A place of shelter.  Clothes....enough said.  And transportation that doesn't whinny.  I think the last has really been our burden...trying to make things go faster and faster.....and further and further.  I can't point fingers here as I am as anxious as the next guy to take a trip...somewhere!  It's just too bad we have spoiled the planet with the fuels we use to do it.  Ah well.  I am way too serious this morning.  It is because I have been doing bills I think.  It sort of cuts into my creativity and joy for things.
So today I have sooooo  much to do.  I am drawing two self portraits, each for a different class.  I am doing thumbnails for illustration.  And I have two drawings I need to perfect for my drawing class.  Then of course there is laundry and dishes....and bills.  So I'd better get to it.  I hope things are swell out in cyberspace today!  Stay warm and keep smiling!!!  I am smiling from my side!  HAVVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Thursday, November 1, 2012

An Evening Post

Good evening!  So how much do you know about molding clay?  Today I sat down at the wheel to throw a cup...and I had the wheel spinning away, throwing water on the clay to keep it from getting too warm on my hands....when I realized I was getting soaked!  I had forgotten to put the guard on the wheel...the one that makes a well for the water to fly into as it spins off of the wheel:)  Yep, I really know a lot about molding clay!!  And I will probably not make that mistake again.  Luckily I had an apron on over my clothes, or I would really have been a mess.  The joy of learning!  And no side cracks about how you can't teach an old dog new tricks!
You can see the guard in this photo...reddish with clay
splashed all over!
I do enjoy that class, but it really makes me tired.  I am glad it is Thursday.  Although it wouldn't hurt if I went in tomorrow and threw a few more cups.  I only have the minimum done.  And if one should crack or fall apart in firing that wouldn't be good.  But I feel obligated to research my next illustration.  I haven't decided yet what character to do....Rapunzel might be fun, or Cinderella.  But I start the whole process of thumbnail sketches again, so I want to make sure I have a good character.  One that I have a clear idea of what I want to do.  Originally I had wanted to do The Little Match Girl.  But my teacher said it was not really a fairy tale....and I had said I wanted to try my hand at fairy tales.  Me and my big mouth!  I think I will wander through my sketches from other classes and see what I can come up with.
In other news...there isn't much.  I feel rather consumed by school!  I am beginning to feel like graduating might be a good thing.
Well, I haven't much to say.  Only....I'm still pulling for you!  I hope things are wonderful in your corner of cyberspace.  I hope there is power and warmth!  Take care and HAVVVVVGN!!!  Melody