Monday, December 31, 2012

Laughing All the Way!

Good morning world!  Today is the last day to get all of the things done I was supposed to get done for 2012.  Oh well:)  I am scheduled to help Kim and her family move into their new place today.  And I plan to go see my dad.  And then we are partying with friends tonight.  So a full day.  I may fit a little shopping in there somewhere...and laundry and dishes:)
So here's my last good wishes for a merry, happy, fun day out in cyberspace for this year.  See you next year!!!  HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Some Resolutions

Good Sabbath!  I am thinking today about resolutions.  I have a few.  Usually I just ignore this tradition because I have a hard time keeping them....and they are usually the same.  I always write, "Lose weight, exercise more, budget better, etc."  Some years I have actually done all of those things, but most years I give in to being human.  But this year I think I have some goals I will stick better, get off of my medications, become a more active person, smile, be kind, graduate from BSU, take time for my grandchildren, draw and paint!  At least I am hoping I can.  One never knows what surprises lie waiting in the road of life.  However, I am feeling pretty determined.  And I do have a rather strong will once I decide on something.
Is that a good thing?  Sometimes it definitely is.  Sometimes not.  I am learning to tell the difference I think...after 63 years of practice.  Isn't life amazing?  I love that I have learned so much....well, mostly.  There are things I would rather not have learned, but for the most part it has been good.  I am especially glad that I have gone back to school and learned more about art and drawing and painting.  I am still not too good at it, but I am practicing to be better.  And so one of my resolutions must be to draw something every day from life in my sketchbook.  It doesn't sound hard, but some days are so full of other things that it really is a challenge.  But I think if I keep a sketchbook by my favorite chair near the TV I will probably find at least 5 minutes each day.  I always manage to watch the news, so I resolve to draw then if I haven't yet.
Well, you can tell this is a little distracted today.  I have been feeling a little sick the last couple of days. I am still not on top of my game, but I am feeling so much better than yesterday!  I guess I got a little worn out with all of the company.  And we have certainly had our share of germs here in the last week or so.  Anyway, I just wanted to send a cheery hello out to cyberspace and wish everyone a happy new year.  I hope it's a gut wan!!!  Melody

Saturday, December 29, 2012


Good morning!  I thought I would report on "Les Miserables" since we went to see it last night.  I would give it two thumbs up....way up!  It was done beautifully!  Of course, some of the singing was a little weak compared to the Broadway stage production we saw in September.  But the acting was superb!  And the clarity of words made up for some of the less than perfect singing.  And the actor that played Marius made up for everything!  What a voice!!!  I must admit I cried more than I usually do for this musical.  It really did make me think how blessed we are to have a Savior, and how amazing that men (and women) can change for the better.  I loved that the part of the priest was played by the former Jean Val Jean from the original Broadway production...his name...Colm Wilkinson.  He is a fantastic actor and singer from Ireland.  Anyway, it was magnificent!!!
I am dumping today.  We are taking a trip to the dumps, since we missed the trash collection.  I have lots to clear out, so I am kind of excited for the chance to do it.  And other than that....I am just enjoying the day.  Take care out there in cyberspace!  Keep smiling!  And HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Friday, December 28, 2012

Guten Tag!!!

Good morning!  I am feeling pretty good this morning.  All of my grades finally posted....and I got all A's...well, one A minus.  I was surprised not to get a couple of B's.  I guess my teachers took pity on me.  But whatever the reason I am feeling very good today!
I think I am going to tag along with Kim to her zumba class this morning.  Although I will go and swim while she teaches at the Y.  They have a very nice pool, and even a "current" pool.  It is round and has a current going around so it is lots of fun to swim in...and against!  I used to take a class in it a few years back.
I think Mel and I are going to see "Les Miserables" tonight at the theater.  It looks pretty good.  I like the actors that are in it and I love the music!!!  I just worry what they will do with some of the story line...being Hollywood and all.  We shall see I guess.
I hope you have a lovely day out in cyberspace today.  Keep smiling....and laughing!  I know I am already!  HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Thursday, December 27, 2012

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Good morning!  Things are hopping around here...mostly grandkids!  Kim and Sean and their seven arrived last night.  So we have 13 grandchildren sharing floor space:)  Michelle and Gary are leaving this afternoon if the roads are clear.  I will hate to see them go.  We have had some nice time together.  Kim and Sean and family will be here til New Year's Eve.  They are in the middle of moving and needed a place to stay for a few days waiting for people to move out of their new digs.  It is a nice opportunity to get closer to grandchildren.  I just sewed a lobster back together for Sebastian that his new puppy chewed up....a cloth lobster.  I doubt he knew that I know how to sew, so it is good.  And he is happy again.  He was pretty upset at the puppy.  It is a little black lab...maybe four months old, so he is pretty rambunctious.  I can hear someone telling him to "sit" in the next room..."Ollie, sit...sit...sit....sit!"  I guess he is ignoring the request.
I am really enjoying Christmas this year.  It is fun to have family close.  And I feel closer to the Savior too.  Last night as we all gathered for family scriptures and prayer and all of the kids were quiet for a few minutes, it hit me what a wonderful plan Father has created for us.  I hope we can all be together forever!  Anyway, I do love the gospel of Jesus Christ, and the plan of happiness.  How blessed I feel!! I hope that all is well in cyberspace today.  I am pulling for you!  We're all in this together!!!  I hope you have a great wan!!!  Melody
P.S.  A friend had this on her blog.  I think it is awfully sweet!
A child's version

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Lazy Day

Good afternoon.  I am enjoying the lull after the storm today....literally!  We had quite a snow storm yesterday and this morning.  We have about a foot of snow in the yard.  It is still snowing, but very lightly.  I think it is going to snow again tonight and tomorrow.  So lot's of white stuff.  Michelle and Gary and family stayed here and now they are staying another night, hoping the road to Twin Falls will be clear by then.  It is snow packed right now.  I don't mind.  I love having the grandkids here!  And it is nice to have time to visit with Michelle and Gary.  They are a good family...happy and affectionate.  It is nice to see.
Mel is off working in the temple, and Gary has a sister that he and Michelle and most of the kids went to visit in Kuna.  So I am here with the twins, Cassie and Shelese.  Cassie has a bit of a cold and so they decided to stay inside with grandma.  Currently we are watching "Hugo".  But I have seen it before.  And we just finished watching "Sherlock"...the PBS version.  So I am feeling like a power nap.  It is nice to have lazy days after all of the Christmas rush, preceded by the school rush.  It seems like I have been going full steam for quite a while!
I hope things are going well in cyberspace today!  HAVVVVVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry, Happy Christmas

Buon Natale!  Or Merry Christmas if you're not in Italy.  It is snowing here and I think it is going to be white here soon.  We had a really nice celebration for Christmas Eve with some of the family.  Julie, Liz and Kenny could not come.  Kenny because he had to work, and Julie and Liz because they and their families were sick:(  It's never fun to be sick on Christmas.  But we took some Christmas dinner and gifts to Liz's family today.  Julie and company will have to wait because they are all still contagious with some awful flu type of a virus.  It doesn't last too long I guess cuz their oldest son is already better.  But I will wait til everyone is better because I really don't want it:)
My change of diet is a little hard during the holidays with all of the candy and treats arriving from neighbors and friends.  But I am doing much better than I would have knowing that I have to answer to my health coach in a couple of weeks.  I am feeling encouraged by that.
I don't have a lot to report, but I did want to send out warm Christmas greetings into the deep recesses of cyberspace today.  I hope all is well, warm and happy.  Take care and have a most wonderful day with family and friends!  Merry, merry Christmas!!!!  Melody
Me and my sister Joy

Sunday, December 23, 2012

I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas!

What a wonderful prelude to Christmas today has been.  The Sacrament meeting Christmas program went well.  The choir sang beautifully.  One sister told me it was the most beautiful Christmas music she had ever heard:)  I don't know about that, but it was thrilling to lead a talented group of singers, with the flute and piano and organ joining in, as they sang praises to the Lord.  I love the messages of the music we sang, "Away in a Manger", "The First Noel w/ Pachabel's Canon", and "Peace, Peace" with the congregation joining in with "Silent Night" on the last verse.  They were such beautiful arrangements.  Anyway, I think it went well.
I still cannot believe that Christmas Eve is tomorrow.  I have quite a few people coming for dinner...I think about 40...maybe a few more depending on how Liz's family is doing.  They were pretty sick last I checked.  I hope they are well enough to come.
Well, just thought I would sing a little cheer out into cyberspace before hitting the sack!  La, la!  Hope you have a peaceful night.  It is snowing here and windy.  We may have a white Christmas (which I am not all the way sold on).  Have a good night!  Melody

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Thanks, Grandma

I am feeling so grateful for my grandma Phillips tonight, and my sweet cousin, Steven.  She used to make the best pie ever, and Steve wrote it all down!  When he came last Spring he brought me a copy.  And today it saved me!!!  I was making my usual "no fail" pie crust...and it failed!!!!  Perhaps I made too much.  Anyway, I was ready to go get pie from Costco when I decided to get out my grandma's recipe.  I followed the instructions very carefully, and voila!  I have perfect pie crust!  It felt just a little like she was leaning over my shoulder instructing me.  She was a wonderful grandma.  I spent a lot of time with her.  And I miss her.  Especially at Christmas time.  She was a wonderful cook, and it was always fun to visit for a meal.  But especially at Christmas.  She and my grandpa lived in a little house on 66th Avenue in Oakland.  The main attraction for me and my cousins was a closet that joined two bedrooms.  We loved to play in there.  Of course, we were not supposed to be in there, so when we were discovered we got a scolding.  But not a terrible one.  She was too kind for that.  She always had candy at her house...usually See's, but she also liked to make fudge and caramels.  I think that is where I got my sweet tooth.
Well, just had to say thanks.  I am nearing the finish line for Christmas preparations.  And I may need a long winter's nap when I do!  Hope all is well and happy in cyberspace.  I'm still pulling for you!  Melody

Friday, December 21, 2012

One Little Elf

Hi!  We had one of Santa's helpers here and I caught him on film!  I think he was rearranging the ornaments on the tree:)
Isn't he cute?  What really happened is that when I went to get a clean diaper, he scampered into the room with the tree and found his favorite ornament!  I have three of these wonderful, plastic ornaments that don't break.  I always put them within that the rest of the ornaments stay on the tree!  When I saw him scampering around the house like a real little elf, I thought I had better get a picture.  One of those golden moments.
Well, just had to share this one.  Have a good night!  Sleep Tight!  Melody

4 Days

Howdy!  It is still windy here, but I am having fun.  I picked up 15 month old Alex this morning.  His mommy and daddy have the flu!  (Yes, I had a flu shot).  And we are having all sorts of fun.  I just put him down for his nap.  He didn't cry, but I can here him talking.  He is a happy little guy!  I definitely miss being a mommy....but I can hear my knees talking as I am sitting here.  They don't like me carrying him around!  I wish I had an umbrella stroller.  I have probably personally owned about 10.  But I suppose we gave the last one to DI.  I am glad we held onto a high chair and a car seat....and a porta crib.  Baby's take a lot of equipment!
My mom and dad had a story of going to Lake Tahoe when my brother was about this age.  They said they used to haul a play pen and all of the paraphernalia down to the beach each day.  I guess it was a real work out.  I can remember camping with babies, and thinking it was not much of a vacation!  Especially before the invention of disposable diapers!  What a mess.  I think young mothers today have it much easier in that department!
Well, I have jello and pies to make for Christmas Eve.  I think we are going to have about 40 people.  Should be a nice big crowd....all related somehow or another.  I love big family gatherings!  And yes, I am repeating that fifty times every half hour:)  I hope things are cheery and bright out in deep cyberspace today.  Family makes it all so merry!  HAVVVVVVVVVGW!!!!!!!!!  Melody

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Five More Days!

Good blustery evening!  The wind is really blowing the stars around tonight!!  I am glad I am in a house with good foundations!
I had a good day today.  I got my pictures back from my drawing teacher.  So I thought I would share the one that I finished in class.  It is supposed to be an abstract drawing...three levels; close, near and far.  I am not sure I like it.  But it was a lot of hard work...especially cutting out the pink bird.  And in that class we did not come up with our own ideas much....just drew what we were told.  I guess it is practice in the real world:)  Anyway, here it is.
There were certain things we had to do...choose a primary bird to draw, choose a background bird, and cut out a fluorescent bird (we only had three, yellow, and green).  We also had to put a square in a corner with wallpaper to "balance" the color.  I really don't think that was necessary.  But oh well.  It is what it is.
Well, I am getting closer to being done with all of the Christmas preparations.  It is a lot of work.  But lots of fun.  I enjoy this time of year.  I hope all is well in cyberspace.  Take care, keep smiling, and repeat after me...."Ho, Ho, Ho!!!!"  Have a wonderful night!!!  Melody

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Good News!

Hola!  I have some wonderful personal news!  I went to see my new BSU doctor today and she assured me that if I stick with my veggie, fruit, whole grain diet I will get much healthier....even be off of my medications...all of them!!  I believe her.  I am already feeling much better.  I have more energy, my knees are hurting less and my blood sugars have gone way down already.  I am thrilled.  Just wanted to share with someone!  It feels good to have finally figured out what to do about all of this. I think I was pretty convinced I was facing surgery for my knees.  But maybe not.  The doctor said they will get better as I lose weight.  That would be so wonderful!!!
In other news...I went to pick up my portfolio from my figure drawing class, and as I was walking down the hall I saw one of my pastels hanging in the hallway!  It is the one with the couple dancing and the blue glass.  It was a hard one, so it really makes me feel good.
I have two in the hall now.    Of course, there had to be something that went wrong today.  I walked back out to my car and I found a ticket on my car:(  It said I had been in the loading zone for 33 minutes.  That is ridiculous.  I just went into the building, picked up my portfolio, and then walked out.  I was there less than five minutes.  The ticket said my tires were I don't know if I can fight this.  But it is just wrong to have to pay for something I didn't do.  Yes, I am venting just a little.  I have never liked being blamed for something I didn't do.  But actually I am feeling terrific. One little ticket won't spoil my day!!
So, not much else to tell...except I hope it is a happy day in cyberspace today!  Take care and keep smiling.  I am smiling for sure!  Melody
P.S.  Oops!  I just checked that ticket again....and it was for parking in front of the rec center illegally, not the art building...I guess I will have to pay it.  I didn't realize it was timed there.  Sigh!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Really Finished!!!

Good morning!  I just sent off all of my digital illustrations!  So I am really done!!!  It feels tremendously freeing.  I think I can get on with Christmas now.  I haven't done cards or presents yet.  Anyway I thought I might share the pictures I sent...I can't recall if I have already posted them or not, but I did minor changes to most of them.

I hope today is a good day out there in cyberspace.  Take care and keep smiling!  And HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVGW!!! Melody

Monday, December 17, 2012

Another Week Begins!

Good morning!  I have had a wonderful day so far.  I got my last paper written and sent to my professor!  That is two days early, so I can rest about that.  Now I just have to send all my illustrations in digitally to my other professor and I will really be done.  Unfortunately, I have misplaced the battery charger for my nice DSL camera.  I have been hunting for it for about an hour now.  The last time I remember charging it was on our trip to California, so I hope I didn't leave it in our motel room.  I called Mel and he is checking the car.  Anyway, I guess I will just use the digital pictures from my iphone.  It is not terrible quality for sending on the internet.  I just don't like that feeling of having misplaced something....and I do it more often these days.  One more mark towards senility on my personal timeline!
I am kind of excited today.  I get to meet with a health coach from the university.  She is supposed to help me set goals and reach them for my better health.  I think it will work, as I am already eating better in anticipation of meeting with her:)  I think my main goal will to be able to get healthy through better eating.  I recently watched a documentary with which I was really impressed, "Fork over Knife".  And then I read the Word of Wisdom to compare things, and it really seemed very much in line.  So I have been following more closely the things the Lord has been advising us to do for quite a while now....more fruits, veggies and grains, and less or none of the other stuff....depending on my self control:)  My blood sugars seem to be improving a lot.  So I am encouraged by that.  I wish I had a scale that said I had lost 113 pounds, but I think I have lost about 5.  Not a bad start!
Last night we had Kim and her new family here for dinner.  We had fun.  I love my three new grandchildren!  They are so sweet and well behaved....and lots of fun to play charades with.  They are very imaginative, quick thinkers.  And I love my new son-in-law also.  He is sweet and good to my daughter which is easily the best way to my heart!
Well, I had better get going.  I hope things are wonderful, bright, and cheery in outer cyberspace today!  Take care and remember I am pulling for you!!!  And HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVGW!  Melody

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Best and Merry Wishes

Merry Christmas...almost:)  I am feeling more in the spirit of the season today.  I spent yesterday decorating the tree and the house, and it does help to remind me that it really is almost Christmas.  For some odd reason it feels like September to me.  Go figure!
Anyway I thought I would share a few images to remind me later how fun it still is to decorate.  I had a hard time convincing myself this year.

Our "happy elf"

So have a most wonderful Sabbath day.  I am off to be the choir leader.  Melody

Friday, December 14, 2012

Sad and Happy

Good night world.  It has been a sad and happy day today.  Sad for all of those families suffering unbelievable shock and pain in Newtown, Connecticut.  Happy for me in so many wonderful ways.  I feel a little guilty that my day could go so well.  I think the worst thing that happened was when the Costco chicken jumped off of the food belt on the way to the register.  It reminds me that every day through out the world there is tragedy and joy...probably in equal measure.  And I wonder at that.  I guess the trick is to realize that even when all of the joy has gone out of your life, somewhere in the world it is still evident and very present.  I am so grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ which brings me hope even in the worst of circumstances.  I pray that those families who have suffered so much today can have hope.  Hope in the resurrection and the reuniting of loved ones.  It is powerful to believe that. It is what keeps me motivated and happy and glad to be here.
Well, I am tired and not sure I am making sense.  I am grateful for my children and grandchildren!  I am so grateful for my sweet husband, Mel.  And for my father and mother and sisters and brothers!  And I love all of my family!!!  And I am grateful for friends!  They make life fun and interesting!  And for music....and art....and people willing to share their creativity.  Good night and sweet dreams!  Melody

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Almost There!

Good evening!  I am done, done, done!!!!  Not really, but it sounds good.  I have a couple more loose ends to tie up, but at least my classes are done.  I didn't realize my ceramics teacher had put up a list of stuff she wanted in our sketchbooks.  I have it pretty much done, but I think I may rewrite one of the papers in there...make it more formal.  And then we have a critical evaluation of our own work that is due by Wednesday.  So I will do those two things.  I also need to photograph my illustrations and send those to my teacher.  I can fix things too, so I may do that.  But not tonight.  I am so tired!  The ringing in my ears is ridiculous!!  But it really feels good to be almost done.  I think I need to keep my sketchbook handy though, so I don't stop drawing altogether.  It is easy to just veg after a long haul.  But with Christmas just around the corner I will stay busy!  I may have to take a midnight trip to Walmart one of these nights to get some Christmas shopping done!  I haven't bought a thing yet.  Mel had thought we might join forces and make something for each of the grandkids.  We shall see.
I had fun today.  I kept looking around in each of my classes and in the hallway thinking how nice to have made more friends.  It is fun to walk in the art buildings and see so many people I know.  I guess I am a bit of a social person.  I really like people!  I rarely meet someone I don't like.  And when I do I make an extra special effort to find things that I like about them.  There is always something.  You just have to get to know people better.  I think sometimes people are most interesting the harder it is to get to know them.
Well, I am going to rewrite that paper and then I am going to relax!  Sounds so nice.  Take care out there in cyberspace!  I am still pulling for you!  Keep your stick on the ice (maybe that's a walking stick:)  HAVVVVVVGE!!!  Melody

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Buenos Noches!

Good evening!  I am taking a serious break.  I have finished two of my projects that are due tomorrow, and I am almost finished with the third.  I still have a sketchbook to catch up in for ceramics too.  Anyway, I thought I would post a few pictures to share and then get back to it.  I am soooooo tired!  But it will be done tomorrow.  Yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So here are the two pastel drawings for my drawing class.
This still life is all the way done.
This bird picture I have more to do on in class tomorrow.  I will try to remember to take a picture then.
The last thing is a dinner bell with spaghetti for my ceramics class.

This has been difficult to complete for a variety of reasons, so it feels good to be done.  I will probably hang the spaghetti closer to the bell in class.  I probably should have put some stain on the bell holder....but alas!  I am just too tired!
Now I have a couple of essays to write for my sketchbook and then I think I can call it a night.  I hope!
Well, I will say good night to you here at any rate.  I hope things are fine and happy in cyberspace tonight.  Take care and keep smiling!  And HAVVVVVGN!!!!!  Melody

Monday, December 10, 2012

Monday Night the World Around....again!!!

Good evening!  I am home and happy for one day nearer to finishing the semester!  I am done with my illustration class now.  I have until a week from Wednesday to turn in everything digitally.  So basically I just need to take pictures and email them to my teacher.  He was not too critical of my bird drawing...although he didn't think I had drawn the fairy quite right.  But I was kind of prepared for that because I didn't either.  So I will fix a few more things before I take a picture.  I have tried really hard in there and that will count for something.  And I haven't missed any classes.  So it will all be fine.
I was able to catch my ceramics teacher on the run today.  So she arranged for me to get my project out of the kiln.  It still hadn't been unloaded and I was getting a little antsy about it.  Then I went to my figure drawing class.  I only have one more class on Wednesday for that class.  I have to do a self portrait before then.  No, I am still debating what to distort.  I have thought a snaggle tooth might be fun.  But I really can't think of a good reason for this.  We have to come up with an idea about why we do this distortion....something to go along with our identity.  Ugh!
I also need to draw a bird before tomorrow for my other drawing class.  So I guess we still won't get the Christmas tree up.  It's a good thing we don't have kids home, or they would be complaining.  But I will be fine if we don't decorate until Friday.  But will be mandatory!
Well, I had best get drawing.  Dinner is done, but Mel is not here yet.  So maybe I can make a little headway on the homework before he gets here.  I hope all is well in cyberspace this evening!  Take care and remember I am still pulling for you!  We're all in this together!!!  HAVVVVVVVGFHE!!!!  Melody

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Night Vision

Good evening!  I have had a very nice Sunday!  I got to spend this evening with Julie's youngest five, while the rest of the family sang in a stake event.  And last night we got to have Liz's three boys over while they went to a different Christmas concert.  Both sets of grandchildren are delightful, and it was a nice respite from all of the school work I have been doing.  Tonight Julie told me she is so glad school will be over in a week because then she will get her mom back!  :)  I guess I have been rather busy, and I too am looking forward to just being mom and grandma for a while.
Today however, I was also the ward choir leader, and then the Relief Society teacher for today's lesson on forgiveness of others.  Both things went well for the most part.  I am still feeling a little discouraged with numbers in choir.  And I found out today that two of the families I have been hoping would be there to sing, will be out of town for that Sunday before Christmas.  So I will have to do some recruiting this week.  We still have two more practices, so all is not lost.
Today I have been feeling a little sad.  No reason really, I think the gray days are kind of getting to me. But it felt especially nice at church today to see so many friends.  And after my lesson I had a lot of nice comments from so many sisters.  I am really grateful for friends!  And for this beautiful earth.  I was watching out the window as I was eating breakfast this morning, when a whole flock of little sparrow type birds rose up and down and then up again in the neighbor's garden.  And I thought how grateful I am for little birds, and insects, and all of the wild and wondrous creations here on the earth.  It is a beautiful place, and I am constantly in awe of how amazing it all is.  I love the plan of creation, and that I have a turn here on this amazing planet.  I am grateful for my loving and kind Father in Heaven who has wisely planned it all.  And I am especially grateful today for all of the opportunities I have been blessed with to learn and to become a better me.
Anyway, I hope this day has been a good one for you too!  I really hope that the Lord is blessing you at this wonderful season with increased testimony and faith!  Take care and remember how much He loves you!  I'm still pulling for you!  HAVVVVVVGN!!!  Melody

Saturday, December 8, 2012

A Flying Adventure

Good day!  I am done with my illustration I think.  I am going to post it on here, and then I might be able to tell.   I took an image of a bluebird and combined it with a made up image of a fairy.  I kind of like it.  I wish I had made it bigger so that I could have done more detail.  Anyway...
Well, I guess that will do.  HAVVVVVGW!!!!  Melody

Friday, December 7, 2012

Enjoying the Morning

Good morning!  I am glad for today.  It is school!  Of course, that doesn't really mean no school, just no classes.  I have cleaned up around here, had a visit from my visiting teachers, and no breakfast.  I don't know why it is so easy to forget to feed myself.  But I will get something soon.  I thought if I sit down to blog it will straighten out my thinking and I will know how to proceed.  I am debating whether or not to go into school.  If my ceramics are done, I could paint them today and they might get fired before class on Tuesday.  That would be terrific.  But it is a long way to travel if they are not done....fired for the first time.  Maybe I could go this evening....hmmmmm.
I also would like to draw something to paint for illustration on Monday.  Jean Baptise Monge does this cool thing with fairies riding on birds and bunnies that I think is intriguing.  I would like to take a ride on a bird....or even a bunny.  It captures my imagination!
J. B. Monge
 So I might try something along that line.  But I also need to draw a bunch of faces and paint those.  So I am not sure how to what I should, or do what I want?  I guess I'd better do should first, and then get on with want if I have time.  And there is the self portrait to do.  I wish I could do more of an illustration for that.  I really am not sure how to distort it to be meaningful.  So I will do the other stuff first and think, think, think!
Am I boring you yet?  Sorry.  I really get a little obsessive about school.  But I'd better get to it.  I hope you have a most marvelous and happy day today.  Take care and keep smiling.  I am pulling for you!!!!  Melody

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Good Afternoon!

Hola!  I thought you might like a good laugh!  So here goes...these are my first ever coil pots.  They are somewhat of an experiment.  But they didn't turn out quite the way I wanted.
Anyway, they are done.  And I kind of like them.  I also got some of my cups back.  But I forgot to take pictures of those....maybe next week.
I can't quite believe that I only have one week left of school.  It is feeling a little panicky....and wonderful at the same time.  I think I have most everything done or near done for most of my classes.  So that is good.  I have one last self portrait to do before Wednesday.  This time we are doing a distorted portrait.  I am not quite sure how I will do this.  We shall see.
I also need to do some more paintings for my illustration class.  I may do something with a bird.  I am already doing an abstraction of a bird for my drawing class though.  I guess I must have birds on my mind.
Today has been a nice day.  I am really tired though.  I hope I can rest a little tonight, then I will work hard tomorrow and try to get everything done that I can.  Did I mention I have a lesson to teach?  Yep.  But that will be good.
Well, I haven't much to report.  Just wanted to send a happy hello out to the world of cyberspace!  Take care!  Keep smiling!  And HAVVVVVVGE!!!  Melody

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Keeping Perspective

Good morning!  I am up a little late today.  I didn't have a class this morning, so I thought it wouldn't hurt to stay in bed just a little longer.  Ha!  Now everything I have been putting off is screaming at me!  And I won't have time to get it all done.  So I suppose I will prioritize.  Laundry and dishes of course.  And I suppose I should go through my figure drawing portfolio and make sure I have everything.  That is the class I have today.  And I am going to meet Joy at the swimming pool again.  And after that I wish I could go see my dad.  But I still have this nasty throat and cough going, which wouldn't make a very nice Christmas gift.
Speaking of which I am starting to feel a little panicky again.  Don't I do this every Christmas?  I wonder at people who shop online and have it all done by October.  I know one or two people who actually do that.  And I envy them just a little.  But truthfully I must like the panic of the holidays, because I continue to wait until the last minute every year to buy gifts...and even to decorate.  It is convenient to say that I am too busy with school.  But I think it is more that I am too tired.  I hope I can muster up some enthusiasm for Christmas this year.  I loved President Monson's talk at the Christmas Devotional, especially when he said that we can become "stressed out, wrung out and worn out" when we don't put Christ in the center of our Christmas.  And so I am trying to do have the real spirit of Christmas in my heart and in our home.  Here is the link to the Devotional if you're interested.  Christmas Devotional  All of the talks are good.  And I suppose I will listen to them a few more times to keep that spirit with me during the next few weeks....and always!
Well, I had better get going around here.  I hope today is a marvelous day in cyberspace today.  I wish you lots of laughter and joy!  Take care and remember I'm still pulling for you!  Melody

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A Good Word

A happy afternoon/evening to you!  I am home from another great day at school.  Today the head of the art department came by my drawing class.  He wanted to know what I was doing in there, since I already took it once and got an A.  I told him I was taking it again because I had heard that Nancy, the teacher, was especially good at teaching drawing skills.  Then I asked him if he would like to see my still life.  He said yes, so I took him back to my dark corner of the room (not kidding about that!) and showed him.  His comment was, "Your drawing skills have really improved!"  So that was nice to hear.  Later I was out in the hallway with my picture asking my teacher for some help, and I left to go get a ruler.  When I got back they were both talking about my picture, nice things, like "See how well she rendered the dancing couple?"  I joined in, with, "Yes, she is a promising student."  They both laughed at that.  Then I added, "Too bad she doesn't have a lifetime to improve."    The art chairman said, "But look how quickly you are improving and be glad for that! "  A nice compliment.  And it did feel good.  I don't always get such positive feed back. And yes, I am sorry to be tooting my own horn....toot, toot!!!!
Then in my ceramics class I was able to get everything caught up and that felt good too.  We only have three more classes in there...and then a clean up day.  So I am glad to be catching up in there.  And no homework tonight.  I could always paint.  But it is already so dark with this rain.  I like painting when I have some sunshine!
Anyway, it is a good day...even without the sunshine.  I am feeling like it is all worth it today.  Do you have those days?  Where everything you have struggled with finally seems like it has been worth it?  Not to say I am done with the struggling.
Well, I would like to say, "Nudge, nudge....Know what I mean?"  But that is the Monty Python coming out in me.  So I think I will go start dinner and keep smiling.  I am still pulling for you!!  And laughing just a little as I do.   HAVVVVVVGE!!!  Melody

Monday, December 3, 2012

Little House on the Prairie

Good afternoon!  It has been a good day here in the hundred acre woods.  I got good comments from both of my teachers, with some constructive criticism to help me along.  So that is good.  I went to the health clinic at school and got tested for strep throat and that came back negative, so another plus.  And I got a flu shot!  So that is also good.  Now I just have to get over this froggy throat and I will feel great.
In other news...I have thought of a cool children's book I would like to do.  So I think when this semester is done I will start preliminary plans for that.  It has got me kind of excited about illustration again.  I think if I make a mock up, then I would have something to show a publisher.  Right now I don't have much to show.
Well, that is it for today.  I know it is all about me.  Let me think....Mel moved some of the last of his machines downtown today.  That is kind of exciting I guess.  I keep thinking how I would like to use that big shop....but so far I have been voted down.  It just seems like it would be fun to use it for a dance and art studio....and maybe a family dining hall when everyone comes home for the holidays.  We shall see I suppose.  For Mel it is like an insurance policy....just in case the business downtown goes bust or something.  I don't like to think like that!
So, that is really all I have to write about.  I am happy and enjoying life as it is.  I am grateful for that.  And I am grateful for all the many blessings I enjoy.  I have quite a commute each day to school, but it always feels wonderful to come back here, to my little house on the desert:)  And it is especially nice to have electricity and running water and all of the wonderful things of modern life.  Right now I have my electric pressure cooker some ham and beans, YUM! And in so little time!!  Anyway, I hope life is good in your neck of the woods.  I am still pulling for you!  HAVVVVVGFHE!!!  Melody

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Peace, Peace!

Buen Sabado!  I hope this one will be.  I woke up without much voice....and I have a choir practice to lead.  This should be interesting.  I am feeling fine though, so I should be grateful for all of my blessings!  And I think it will be a good practice.  We have all of our instrumentalists lined organist, a flautist, and an extra pianist, and my very excellent regular pianist.  I am excited for beautiful Christmas music. Here is a link to one of our arrangements.  I wish we had the bells!  Peace
I am also so thankful for my Savior!  I read something by Elder Maxwell this morning that made me appreciate Him even more.  Elder Neal A. Maxwell said of the Savior: ‘At the end, meek and lowly Jesus partook of the most bitter cup without becoming the least bitter.’  That really is remarkable.  I am so grateful for His example.  When I am most discouraged I think of how He was always kind and gracious....even on the cross.  And then it seems to me that I am so blessed.
This painting "O Jerusalem" by Greg Olsen is one of my favorites!

My lesson next week is, "Of You It is Required to Forgive."  President George A. Smith is quoted as saying, “I would not knowingly wound the feeling of any, not even one who may have wronged me, but would seek to do him good and make him my friend.”  I feel the same.  But I have probably done plenty of offending in my lifetime.  It seems to me that I often speak without first consulting my filters.  I am working on it, but I am afraid I have not perfected this by a long shot.  So it is good that I am giving this lesson.  I think it will help me to be more aware of this weakness in myself.  And hopefully I will learn to be more like my loving Savior.
On a more secular note, I have taken the wrinkles out of the water in my "blue" picture.  I did it last night before bed.  And tomorrow I have a little time before my class, so hopefully I can get some advice on this before hand.  I have thought I could introduce another color for the water, maybe purple, and that way I will be filling the assignment of subjective color more fully.  When I have figured it out I will share a photo.
Well, I have a few things to do before choir practice.  I just wanted to send warm and happy Sabbath Day greetings.  Take care and HAVVVVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Sink or Swim!

Hi again!  I am feeling good.  I think this self portrait is kinda cool....not accurate, but cool.  I like the blues.  I just wasn't sure how to make the face look like it was out of the water, and still keep the rest submerged.  I will have to ask my teacher Monday morning before class, when I can still change things.  Anyway, I suppose I should share:)  So here goes.
There is no green in this picture.  It is blue, but my camera is not interpreting it too well.  I was trying to show how calm and peaceful I feel when I float in the water.  I am not sure that is what is coming across.  Oh well.  It is all good.  At least I have spent the required amount of time and energy on this.  And I will probably learn something:)
So, that is it for today.  I am going to relax a little I think.  I hope things are well in cyberspace today.  Take care and HAVVVVVGE!!!  Melody


Good Saturday morning!  And happy December!  I am feeling a lot better this morning.  I finally painted a couple of pictures I can turn into my illustration class.  And that feels good.  I am hoping to paint one more this afternoon.  But first I have a self portrait to do.  Anyway, I will share what I have so far...and if things go well, I will share some more later today.
I took both of these images from photos.  I kind of like how the bear turned out.  I tried washing over things after I had painted detail.  I think I like the blue and orange overtones.
Well, I had better get drawing.  This self portrait is about subjective color. I have an idea....I just hope it works.  I hope you have a most glorious day today.  Melody