Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Nighty Night, Sweet Dreams and all of that!! I hope I can sleep!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Good evening!  I just had to jot a note....I finished the first research paper!!!!!!!!!!!!  Is that enough exclamation points to show how very glad I am to be done with Fra Fillipo Lippi?  No, I am not going to stay up all night to write about Chardin.  I probably should, and 40 years ago I would have.  But with age comes a little wisdom.  I will have to write it in the car!!!  Ha, ha!  It's a long ride to Utah.  It could be done.  Maybe I can just do the reading.  I am hoping to snatch an iPad from school tomorrow. They lend them from the Interactive Studies bldg.  So we shall see.  Right now I am going to bed!  HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVGN!!!!  Melody

Spehs Marens

Good morning!  I have been properly educated by my grandson this morning.  He had an image of a "spehs maren" on his facebook page.
I see this kind of art a lot in my illustration class...rather dark, but amazing too.
So I asked him what it was.  Apparently it has to do with a star wars type video game....of course!  I try to keep up, but I just can't!  If you are also ignorant, go to this link.  It is a parody on the game. spehs marens  It may be vital to your grandparenting skills :)
Well, I am avoiding this research paper big time!  Actually I have been reading all about Fra Phillipo all morning.  It is hard reading, and I just want to write and get this paper over with!!!!!  But I will persist and get this done.  I figure I will write about old Fillipo until about 2.  Then I will start in on Chardin.  I am afraid my attitude is suffering a little on this.  So I am smiling....with vigor!  There must be a word for that!  Grimace?
Well, I am totally silly.  I may watch the Medici video and get in the mood for all of this renaissance stuff.  I would rather be painting!  TTYL  Melody

Monday, April 29, 2013

Shaking in my Boots!

Good evening!  I am home!  The best three words in my vocabulary right now!  What a day, what a day!  I am sad to report that I did rather poorly for my seminar class today.  I was well prepared, had a great power point, but when I got up in front of the class I got super nervous!!  I was shaking visibly!  I thought that as I got into it I would calm down.  But no...I think I got more nervous.  There is something about sharing my own art work that just unnerves me.  I guess I will have to get over that.  But I am not sure how.  I am super glad that I had written out what I wanted to say, because at least for part of my presentation I made some sense.  But it really was pretty bad.  And here is a genuine SIGH!!!  The best thing I can say about it is that it is over!  And we didn't get a grade for our presentation.  My teacher thought it was a good opportunity to see everyone's work and to get feedback on our perceptions about where we fit into the world of art and on our essay we have to write about it.  And it is true, it did help to get feedback.  But I totally admire anyone who can stand up in front of an audience and talk confidently about their own art.  Kudos to you!!!  I did receive a compliment from my teacher though.  She said my work was expertly done.  I shared three works...my lizard woman cartoons, Rumpelstiltskin, and my gold bug.  And I used three other artists work to compare with my work. The class thought I should have left Roy Lichtenstein out, but my teacher thought he was a good choice.  I talked about how he used cartoons in an ironic way and helped to blur the lines between high and low art.  Oh well.  I am done.  I only have one more class for that class, next Monday.  Then I can just turn in my completed essay and be done with it.....forever!!!!  Sorry if I sound too excited.  I don't think it will take too much time to finish that essay, since I already wrote a pretty good rough draft for my presentation today.
Art history was interesting again.  We talked more about Michelangelo in Renaissance class and mannerism, which I must admit I am not terribly fond of.  My teacher liked a painting called "Madonna of the Long Neck."  It is by Parmigianino.  He sounds a little like a pizza:)  Anyway, here is the painting.  It is supposed to be the best example of Mannerism.
  I guess the idea is that limbs and torsos are exaggerated to be longer.  I am going to have to study this more because it doesn't seem especially attractive to me.
In 18th century history we talked about Henry Fuseli.  His painting is amazing, although a little terrifying.  This one called "The Nightmare" is one he is known for.  My teacher said he was very popular in his day.  It reminded me a little of a romance novel, although I guess his genre was more of the Gothic novel.
The beast sitting on her chest is a mythical creature that is supposed to bring nightmares.  Also you can see a real "night" mare sticking her head in the curtain.
We also discussed William Blake, whom I studied in English.  He is a great poet.  I had no idea he was also a painter.  A lot of his work is kind of dark.  But I really liked his simpler illustrations that went with his poetry.


This is the illustration he made for "Tyger, Tyger"  with a close up of the tiger.  It's funny the tiger seems rather tame.  It makes me wonder if he ever really saw a tiger.  But I like the watercolor.
Well, it's been fun, but I'd better go.  I just got a call from Mel.  His car stalled downtown.  So here I go to rescue him (kind of a switch, as he is usually rescuing me!)  Hope you have a great Family Home Evening!  Keep smiling, and I will do the same!  Melody

Greetings!

Good morning!  I am off to school to talk about Roy Lichtenstein and Steve Roper (the cartoon).  Wish me luck, I will definitely need it.  Have a most wonderful day in cyberspace today!!!!  Melody

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Good Sabbath

Good evening!  It has been a nice Sabbath.  We had choir practice today for the first time in a couple of months.  We have had so many conferences that we just took a six week hiatus.  But today I couldn't put it off any longer, and besides I missed it.  We sang As I Have Loved You, with the extra verses...Thanks LeAnn.  The choir loved it.  I will have to find some special way to arrange the music so that it gives emphasis to the words.  The other song we practiced is the one I love from Rutter,  Look at the World.  I have watched the video so many times, that as we sang it, I could see the pictures in my mind.  Here is the link in case you've missed it somehow.  Look at the World  I'm listening to it as I write this.  Perhaps I am slightly addicted.  I think sometimes that maybe I have a slight case of OCD.  Sigh!
I am feeling very good about my seminar class for tomorrow...very prepared and ready for anything.  However I am feeling just the opposite for my art history classes.  I am really behind in the reading, and the research papers have not written themselves yet.  They are both due on the 6th, so I may have to take them with me to Women's Conference.  I will work hard on them all day Tuesday and see how far I can get.  I am so tempted to start today, but I need a break, and I don't want to break the Sabbath just for a good grade...not worth it!
In church today the speakers talked about how to raise children.  It always surprises me that they call on parents that are in the middle of it still.  It would make more sense to hear from someone who did it well  already.  It probably is good to research this though when you are in the middle of it.  Still I think I would like to hear from someone twenty or so years on down the road who could give it all some perspective.  Maybe someone like my dad who has the benefits of age and wisdom.  I still feel like I am in the middle of it, even though they don't live at home anymore.
I really enjoyed Relief Society.  We talked about President Monson's talk about loving people the way that Heavenly Father does.  Not an easy task, but it is certainly a better way of seeing people.  I kind of feel blessed in that for some reason I often see people as children...even the grown up and old ones.  I don't know why, but I noticed it way back when I was first raising kids.  I was in a parent co-op class and I looked around and all of the parents seemed like kids...inexperienced and worried at their skills as parents.  I think it has been a good thing, as I kind of see people in a more vulnerable way.  This is hard to explain, because as I write it down it sounds a bit ridiculous.  But maybe it is why I can go back to school...I still feel like one of the kids:)
Well, I am getting nonsensical, and I don't mean to.  I think I am a bit tired.  I hope that I can get this sleep thing figured out before too many years go by.  I hope life is happy and good in cyberspace today!  Take care and remember all the good stuff!  I am sure grateful for everything today.  I like Sundays!  HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVGE!!!!!!!!!!!  Melody

Early Bird...no worms in sight!

Good morning!  It is still dark here...being as it's only 2 something in the morning.  I have a racing mind again, and a body that is so exhausted!  So I am drinking milk, reading facebook and reviewing my homework.  I figure it is better to just get up sometimes when I can't sleep.  I hope that being up my body will realize it really is tired and then I can go back to bed in a short while and slumber away.  It's a good theory anyway.
I love the Ladies No. 1 Detective Agency books, and so I am a fan of Alexander McCall Smith, the author.  He had a quote on facebook I really liked, so I will share it here.
“You can go through life and make new friends every year—every month practically—but there was never any substitute for those friendships of childhood that survive into adult years. Those are the ones in which we are bound to one another with hoops of steel.”  I like that.  I love the way he writes.  It is fun to follow him on facebook because he often will have a little bit of a story, or an interesting experience.  The other day he showed an outfit he had gotten for his daughter's wedding....plaid pants and a jacket with matching plaid lapels!  It has to do with his Scottish heritage.  I like it!
Anyway, thought I would share that.
Not really much else to tell about, except the cat.  I must admit he kind of scares me.  I haven't ever had a cat I was really afraid of.  He is a sweet animal...until he starts using his claws.  They are quite long and sharp.  I may have to trim them, which probably wouldn't last long.  The other alternative is to use those nail caps, which are a little weird.  And I'm not sure I could persuade him to hold still long enough to put them on anyway.  He is very friendly, but just too aggressive.  I am trying to be firm with him so that he learns what is OK, and what is not.  It's kind of like getting a foster child:)
Well, I guess I will head on back to bed.  Have a lovely morning!  I am probably fast asleep as you are reading this....at least I hope so!!!!!!!!!!!  Melody

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Saturday Homework

Good afternoon!  I have finished my power point for my seminar class.  I was going to share it, but it won't let me on here.  Oh well.  I think it will be good.  I decided to use three artists...Lichtenstein, Monge and Carman (my teacher).  Now I just have to figure out what I am going to say...the hard part! I still have Julie's kids here, but they are watching the "Once Upon a Time" series.  It is pretty good...especially the first season.  So they are pretty occupied...except for the three littlest.  They keep coming in here to see what I am doing.  They ask a few questions...then they are back to the sandbox!
Well, just thought I would check in.  So much to do....so little time!  And Women's Conference is this week!  I am excited to go with all of my girls...except Amy.  She is so busy with her business of web designing that she can't get away this year.  We will have to take good notes to share.  I may end up at the BYU library doing research!!!  HAVVVVVGrrrrrrrrrrrreat afternoon in cyberspace!!!!  I'm still pulling for you!!!  Melody

Friday, April 26, 2013

Evening Gala

Hi again!  This is my granddaughter Rachel.  What a sweetie!  She and I had lots of fun at the zoo today!  I liked the giraffes.  They are kind of new.  Most of the animals were kind of sluggish...laying around in the warm sunshine.  But these giraffes were sparring with each other....necks swinging and legs kicking.  Kind of funny to watch.
This evening I have nine of my grandkids over for a slumber party.  It is a little wild.  So I will end here.  Hope all is well in cyberspace!  Melody


Tigers, and Lions, and Bears...Oh My!!!

Good morning!  Today I am going on a field trip with Rachel and her mommy, Michelle.  I am excited because we are going to the Zoo!
 Yay!  I love the zoo.  Especially the tigers!  They are definitely an example of the sublime...beautiful and terrifying!!!  I will take my camera...and my sketch book.  It's definitely an art opportunity:)  I am not great at walking for very long, so I will find a nice bench and sketch while the kids run around.  Did I mention Rachel's class is coming along too?  Rachel is 10, so I guess this is fourth grade...maybe third.  Anyway, I am glad I am not the teacher:)
Well, I hope you have a most glorious sun-filled day today.  It's going to get into the 80's here by tomorrow.  I think it was in the 50's last week.  Seems like the weather is having a hard time figuring things out.  I hope the rest of us stay on track!  HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVGW!!!!!!!!!  Melody

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Felix and the Fish!

Good evening!  I have been busy today.  I painted until lunch time.  Then I took lunch to Mel and we ate it in the park.  It was such a gorgeous day, lots of squirrels and birds.  A funny thing happened.  There was this squirrel scampering...do they scamper or mosey?  Not sure.  Anyway, this big crow was hopping behind him. Squirrel a couple of hops, bird a couple of hops.  Then the squirrel got serious and scampered off, with the crow right behind him.  Mel said, "Gotta have a French fry!  Gotta have a French fry!"  That made me laugh!
After lunch I got Liz and two of her boys, (Taylor was still in school), and we went over to the animal shelter to pick out a new cat.  I figured this time I would do the kid test.  If the cat liked the kids and vice versa that might work.  So we went and picked out several:)  But we finally decided on one black and white male kitty...we've named him Felix, since he looks very much like the cartoon character.
Such a resemblance, it's uncanny...or uncatty.  Anyway, I have a new cat.  He's rather aggressively friendly.  Earlier I was working on my power point and he kept jumping up on my table to get my attention.  And I petted him and then set him gently back down.  I guess he got fed up with that so he jumped up on my lap/shoulder and grabbed my arm with his claws!  Ouch!!!  I guess he will have to learn some manners!
It was a fun afternoon with Liz and her boys.  We picked up Taylor from school and came here to play in the sandbox.  Did I mention that my nickname with my grandkids is Grandma Sandbox?  Yep.  Somehow it fits.
So I worked on my sunfish and I am approaching happiness with it.  I really like the technique of layering paint since Bill helped me learn the technique.  I am still learning of course.  I had a hard time painting the water around the fish.  I am hoping I can ask for help on this too:)   Anyway, here it is so far...Except for the water, I kind of like this little fishy.  Well, I am tired.   So I will sign off...OFF!  Yeah, I am a bit silly. Must need sleep!  Take care and HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVGN!!!  Melody

Gone Painting!

Good morning!  I am going to spend today painting!  I am very excited about this at present.  I'll check in later with any good results:)  Have a most joyous and wonder filled day!  Melody

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Wednesday's Child is Full of Woe! (Guess who was born on a Wednesday?)

Hello and good day!  I am actually having a pretty good day!  In illustration class (back to that school topic again!)  my teacher did a demo...on my little painting!  It really helped.  I could see what he meant about painting in layers.  I feel very encouraged.  He told me he would let me finish it so that I can do it right.  I think I may redo it on wood, but first :), I will finish the one on paper.
Art history was interesting.  We talked about three women artists in the 18th century, but I was so tired in there!  I was up again last night for a couple of very long hours.  I always think I am going to fall back asleep...any second now!  I should just hop up and take melatonin first thing!  Sigh!!!
Since I've been home this evening, I have been working on my power point presentation.  It is kind of fun to go back and look at what I have done in the last couple of years.  And what I find is that I really enjoy telling narrative stories in my drawings.  So I will have to work at getting better at that.  My illustration teacher keeps telling me I am getting better at drawing, so that is encouraging.  Of course it's all relative.  I was really bad when I first started back to drawing.  I think I was very rusty, and also clueless.  I am glad he thinks I am improving.
Well, I suppose this is rather boring stuff...all about me.  I should tell you about Jean Baptiste Simeon Chardin.  Nah!  I will let you wait until I am in the middle of writing my research paper and can't think of anything else.  Actually, there isn't much going on just now.  Only school...and the everyday stuff like laundry and dishes.  So I will let you get back to it.  I hope all is well and happy in cyberspace today.  Take care.  I am definitely still pulling for you!  Not dandelions, though.  They are much too low to reach!!!  I should post a picture of our dandelions!  They are quite beautiful I think. At least that is what I am telling myself 'til the halts in the fertilizer work!
Keep smiling and HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVGE!!!  Melody
P.S. Here's that poem.  I know it will make you crazy if you don't know all the words!  If you google your birthdate you can probably find out which day you were born.
Monday's child is fair of face,
Tuesday's child is full of grace,
Wednesday's child is full of woe,
Thursday's child has far to go,
Friday's child is loving and giving,
Saturday's child works hard for a living,
But the child who is born on the Sabbath Day,
Is bonny and blithe and good all day.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

I'm Baaack!

Good evening!  Looking at this title makes me laugh for the aaack that is in Back.  Yes, I am feeling a little bit giddy.  I just finished both, I repeat....both of my research rough drafts!  They are extremely sketchy, but done!  Yay!!!!! _!!  Drum roll and all of that.
And I have decided I can show off my little painting.  It isn't up to amazing levels, but it isn't as bad as I first thought.  It is acrylic...done in a layering, glazing, layering kind of a fashion...this time on watercolor paper, which is a whole lot easier than copper!!!  And I kind of like it...once you figure out what it is.   For those of you none-ocean-goers it is a Sunfish.  And a sunfish is a rather weird fish.  First of all it is flat and huge!  And if you go to the Monterey Bay Aquarium site they have a few pictures of the one they have in captivity.    Anyway, here is the photo I used and then the painting.
So I am done for today.  And it feels rather good.  It would feel better if I felt terrific about the work.  But that will come.  I have lots to learn!  I was feeling a little sad about that earlier today... you know that feeling like if I'd only done things differently!  If I had only taken art because I loved it, instead of Chemistry because I thought I could change the world somehow.  But then I thought about my life, and I don't really think taking art back then would have changed too much.  My whole goal back then was to have a family.  And I think that was the most important thing. I did try to paint back then.  I had a beautiful oil of a morning glory I had done...with crayon from one of my toddlers! I think it got tossed in one of our moves:(  I am glad for my family.  I would not trade those experiences even to become another Michelangelo!  So it is all good.  I just hope that Michelangelo gives lessons in the next life:)  And Minerva Teichert!!!  And Carravagio, and Degas, and on and on!!!!
Well, now that I am done I will start work on my power point presentation for Monday.....not!!!  I am going to make a cup of hot chocolate and watch Netflix!!!  :)  Have a lovely evening!  Oh, I almost forgot.  I went to see my dietician....and I did lose weight!  No, I won't blow away in the wind...even hurricane force winds...but I am a few pounds less than a couple of weeks ago!  So I am making progress.  Today she reassured me that diabetes is reversible.  I hope she's right, I doubt it, but I hope she's right!  At least I am eating healthier.  Take care and remember I'm pulling for you!  Melody

Rx

Hola!  I am a little discouraged, so I thought I would blog a little and cheer myself up.  I am struggling with this painting method for illustration!  I know I need to practice, but it is so frustrating not to have the instruction to back that up.  I just emailed my professor asking for a demo in class of this method that he uses so well.  I know I won't pick it up immediately, but maybe after struggling with it today, I will recognize where I go wrong watching him do it right.  I hope he will comply.
Ok, so ....maybe if I picture a day at the beach.  Gentle breezes, warm sand, music playing in the back ground.  It sort of sounds like our Hawaiian vacation 30 years ago.  That was quite a nice vacation.  But I would settle for Santa Cruz!   Or Depoe Bay:)  I guess I don't really need a vacation, I just need a break.  I am feeling so stressed trying to get this painting done right.  I think blogging is helping, but a ride to the pharmacy might shake it up a little.  And I do need to pick up my medicine.
So here I go.  Thanks for listening:)  I hope your day is calm, inspired and full of fun!  Take care!  Melody

Monday, April 22, 2013

Spring is Sprung! The grass is riz!

Good afternoon! I thought this video from youtube was outstanding, so I thought I would share. To Believe   I am always amazed when a little child can sing with such quality.  It is pretty outstanding!
On to other topics...  School was good today.  Oh, did I surprise you with this topic?  I know I never speak about school, or homework or the stress of it all.  But if I were to mention it, I would say...Phew! I'm glad I got through today!
I did find out a few good answers about the different projects that are coming up.  I think I can tackle a couple of paragraphs for my rough drafts for my art history research papers.  The teacher said that would be enough.  She just wants to know where we are with our research.  And my power point for Seminar is due next Monday.  That was kind of a surprise.  But I can do it I think.  I need to find a few artists that have work like mine...ha, ha!  They would be out of work if they did.  But I guess the idea is to find where you fit in the world of art.  I made the mistake of showing my teacher my gold bug painting, and she thought I should look at dark, gothic illustrators:)  But it is my choice not hers.  So I am thinking Diebenkorn and Christensen.  I love the colors of Diebenkorn's work.  It looks like home to me.  Here is a sample in case you're not familiar with his work.  This is called Sea Wall.  I love how he uses color with such intensity...like the sun is out.  I know it is very abstract, but hey, I like it!
Of course Christensen I have been posting for the last few days.  I am not sure who else I can really say that I am trying to imitate, or whose work is similar to mine, at least not in modernism or post modernism.  I have always loved the impressionists.  I haven't really tried everything I want to try yet.  And I am not sure I really care what all of the rest of everyone is doing...
so this is a little bit of a difficult assignment for me.
Well, I had better get reading and writing.  I hope all is well in cyberspace today.  Take care and HAVVVVVVVVVVVGFHE!!!  Melody

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sharing the Gospel of Light

Good Sabbath!  I have enjoyed the spirit of the day so far.  We had our stake conference today, which was broadcast to Western Idaho from Salt Lake City.  The key speaker was Elder Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.  Brother Nash of the Seventy, Sister Burton, the Relief Society General President , and Brother Osguthorpe, the Sunday School General President also spoke.  It was a great meeting with each speaker addressing those things that seem particularly relevant in today's world.  I am glad for meetings like this, where we hear from general authorities in the church.  One of the things I had not realized was that the church is growing in India.  One of the speakers talked about his experiences there with several young members of the church, and their desire to be learners and teachers of the gospel....I think it was Brother Osguthorpe.  He said that a young returned missionary had asked him how he was supposed to personally study the gospel now that he was home from his mission.  He told Bro. O. that on his mission it was easy, because he had a reason to study...to teach the people in his mission.  But that now that he was home he had no one to teach, and it did not seem as important to study.  Brother O. said that conversion is a process, and that we must continually seek for light and knowledge from the spirit, and that we should share what we learn with others around us...whether they are investigating the church, or long time members.  He said that even though he was off of his mission he still had family and friends with which to share his spiritual experiences.  He quoted a scripture to support all of this, but I have forgotten which one.  I liked what he said though.  I think my testimony is constantly strengthened by the spiritual exchange with other people in the gospel.  I have always enjoyed those kind of experiences.  When I was a ward missionary, for a time we did not have a teacher in our gospel principles class.  So we would pass the manual, Preach My Gospel, around and each of us would read a paragraph or two and then we would all talk about it together.  The spirit was so strong in that classroom!  There were only about 8 or 10 of us, and also the full time missionaries when they could make it, but we were each learning the beautiful truths taught in that manual, and we shared our insights and experiences with each other and grew very close.  I know that it really helped to strengthen my testimony of the Savior, and of His gospel, and of the truthfulness of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  And I will always feel close to those people in that classroom who shared those stories and insights.  I think one of the reasons is, that the gospel is taught with the Spirit, and the Spirit testifies of Christ who is our best example of love unfeigned.  And as we shared the truths of His gospel and how we had witnessed them in our own lives, we also shared His love.  I have found that this is true whenever I speak of the truthfulness of the gospel to others.  I feel charity, or the pure love of Christ, within and without.  It is hard to explain, but it surely is there.
Sister Burton talked about being a grandma.  I liked that.  She made me think how I need to be a more attentive grandma.  I have been too busy this year with school to be very effective.  I am glad it will soon be over!  And only one more semester!!!  Yay!  But then I will have to be careful to not get too lazy!  I will have to post a print of Brother Christensen's Responsible Woman as a reminder of all of the things I need to keep track of.  I think there should be one of the Responsible Grandma!
The Responsible Woman by James C. Christensen

Well, I am thinking a short nap sounds good before our home teachers arrive.  I hope this day finds you happy and well.  I am still pulling for you!  We're all in this together!!!  HAVVVVVVVVVVGS!!!  Melody

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Sharing a little Light

Hyvää iltaa!  I am finally done with today.  Not with everything I have to do still, but I got enough done that I can attend school on Monday:)
We had a really good meeting this evening for stake conference...the adults meeting.  I hate to call it the adults only meeting:)  I was especially impressed with one of the talks by the counselor in the stake presidency.  He talked about the parable of the vineyard...where the laborers are hired at different times of the day...and all get paid the same.  I have not really understood that parable very well, thinking that those poor people who worked all day long should have been paid better.  But he made the point that the parable is not about wages or work practices...but about the Savior and how his pay...of forgiveness and eternal life... is the same for everyone who believes and follows Him...no matter when in their life they decide to do that.  The speaker made the point that He was giving all that there was to give, so no one was cheated.  Anyway, it made more sense to me.
Earlier today I watched a BYU movie about James C. Christensen.  He is an artist that taught my illustration teacher at BYU.  He is an active member of my church, and I wanted to learn more about him and his art....I have seen it before and liked it.  But after watching the movie I think I appreciate it on a much deeper level.  He talks about how he loves the parables of the Savior.  Anyway, if you are interested...and have an hour....here is the link.  Christensen  And here is one of his paintings that I especially like.   It's called Touching the Hem of God.  What I love about this, is I can see where my teacher learned his method of painting.  Brother Christensen's work is so full of the gospel and light and makes it come alive for me.  It makes me want to paint!  Anyway, I thought I would share.  I hope you have a wonderful night or day:)  I hope you are smiling!  TTTT  Melody

Saturday is a Special Day!

Good Saturday morning!  I am ready to work!!!  I have two articles for seminar to read, more research for my two research papers to study.  Then two rough drafts to write before Wednesday.  A chapter in both of my art history classes to read.  Oh, and then there is the little painting I am working on for illustration.  I don't have to finish it, but I should at least start it.  I would like to have the foundation layer done by Wednesday.  And since I know so little about Gresaille painting I thought I would watch a youtube video or two about it...and maybe read a little and study what others have done.  And yes, I am feeling just a bit pushed.  But I can do hard things!!!
I also feel like I should plan a family dinner for tomorrow, since it is stake conference and we have a whole afternoon.  I am going to think about that for a little bit.  I don't know if I should add that stress to everything else.  And besides, I just had them last week! :)
Did I mention I am counting calories?  That is a whole 'nother topic.  But I am doing well.  I meet with the dietician again on Tuesday.  I sure wish I had the metabolism I had as a teenager!  I couldn't put on an ounce back then!  How things change!!!!
Well, have a most wonderful Saturday!  I'm still pulling for you!  Melody

Friday, April 19, 2013

Friday Night!

Good evening!  I can't believe it is already Friday night!  It is raining here...good for the flowers!  I have had a good day being helpful at Mel's work.  I kind of like having my finger in the pie.  I think it kind of helps to pass the day in a more social environment than just being here at home doing homework.  Aaack!  Homework!  I have to do lots more of it, and.....oh well.  I will get it done somehow.  It was nice to have a break from the tedious routine I have been in with school.  We got lots done in the office, and now I am officially the office manager:)  Maybe I can take a couple of business classes next semester to figure out what it is I am supposed to know.  Actually I learned a lot today from speaking with our accountant.  I am mostly in charge of seeing that she gets the right information every quarter...and working with quickbooks.  I hope I can keep up with it all.
My thing I guess has always been children.  And it is weird not having them in my life constantly.  But I like art too, and writing.  So I guess I am filling my life with good things.  I just hadn't ever really pictured what my life would be like after 60.  Somehow I thought I would be traveling the world, or serving a mission, or something else interesting and adventurous.   I guess school is the next best thing. It is kind of like traveling in my mind...discovering new ideas and reading about other people's accomplishments.  It is certainly different going to school now than it was forty years ago.  Then I was looking forward with hope and anticipation, while now I am pretty much looking backward, reflecting on my life.  School does help me to live in the now though.
Well, I am sure that is enough philosophizing.  I hope you are happy and well in cyberspace tonight.  Take care and HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVGE!!!  TTTL Melody

Gut Wan!!!!

Good merry morning!  I am rushing today.  I will have to blog more later.  Just wanted to send a cheery hello out to cyberspace.  And laughing as I go!!!!  HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Thursday, April 18, 2013

A Bit of the Renaissance

Good evening!  I am home!  Yay, I love home!  And it has been a productive day.  I was able to get lots done for the business....and yes, I went and met with the business contacts today.  It was interesting, although I cut out for a while and studied Fra Fillipo Lippi while they were discussing the technical stuff that I don't really understand.  I would tell you all about this latest invention, but I am sworn to secrecy:)  Really, I am!  We went to the Engineering Research and Development lab and talked with the inventor and then a couple of the students that Mel uses to help in design.  I love to talk with young people, and I got to talk with a young man today that seemed to have his head on straight.  He is from Wells, NV.  I asked him why he had chosen BSU for school, and he said it is the closest to his home!  Yep, them are mighty long miles in between towns in Nevada!  He said the next closest was Logan, but that BSU had a better engineering program...which is probably true since Micron Technology is in town and funds a great deal of the engineering programs here.
Yes, I am feeling a little stressed still about school.  And tomorrow we have a meeting that I set up with our accountant in the morning, so I will have to really study before and after!  I think I can do this though.  It just takes determination...and a degree in English.  It sure helps that I have learned rather well how to write a good research paper.  Now I just have to keep up with the research part of it all.  I have learned today that Fra Lippi was somewhat of a scoundrel!  Apparently Cosimo Medici was a watchful friend who helped him escape some of his financial and legal problems.  Reportedly he was often in arrears in payments for rent and other debts.  And he ran off in his fifties with a nun in her twenties, Lucrezia.  She may be the Mary model in this beautiful painting he did of the Virgin and Child with Angels.  At least that is what my teacher said.  I love the little face of the angel in front!
Virgin and Child with Angels by Fra Fillipo Lippi
His is a story of some historical twisting and turning.  It was reported at some point that he was captured by pirates and made a slave.  But that has proven to be a myth from more recent research.  Undoubtedly he was not a very pious priest.  Nevertheless he was quite a fabulous painter and influenced Boticelli's painting, whose work is quite innovative and beautiful also.
 I love reading about these amazing artists!  I find it is really fascinating. But most of all I enjoy studying their paintings.  I want so much to see these in person!  Maybe someday!!!  If you are interested there is quite a good article about Fra Fillipi here.


Detail from Boticelli's Venus painting


Well, I guess I had better get back to my studies.  I hope you have a most lovely Thursday night!  I will do the same!  HAVVVVVGE!!!  Melody

Real Life

Good morning!  I am back in the real world today.  I have to go over to the shop and continue with the list from the SBA.  On my agenda today is to call the accounting office and get us set up for professional bookkeeping services.  I  have a few other tasks to accomplish.  Then I think I may go with Mel to meet with a client.  I shouldn't probably, because of the homework thing.  But I think I am needed for moral support.  So...I will see.
I talked with Kenny, my son, for a while this morning.  It is nice to hear his voice.  He seems very happy.  I wish we lived closer!  But iphones help.  I really have become dependent on this little piece of technology!
Well, I hope you have a lovely inspired day in cyberspace today!  Keep on keeping on!  I'm definitely still pulling for you.  We're all in this together....but those drums are beating rather loudly of late...have you noticed?  Smile and HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Looking Up

Good evening! I am feeling much better this evening.  My cold symptoms have abated somewhat and I was able to get some good instruction in my illustration class today.  And....most important....I came home from school and took a nap!  I think feeling rested helps everything in my world seems tons better!
Today we talked about the Sistine Chapel ceiling.  It was fun to see all of those beautiful frescos done by Michelangelo.  And I got to add my two cents about one of them.  The teacher introduced the one about Moses and the brass serpent as the people worshipping the golden idol of the snake.  Then she said something about how she wasn't sure why there were all of the other snakes in the picture.  So I raised my hand and shared the story of Moses and the brass serpent as I know it...a plague of poisonous flying serpents, and the brass serpent being the thing that if the people would look at, they would live.  She seemed a little doubtful, but then looked harder at her picture and her notes and agreed.  I am glad I spoke up.  Very often I notice that those stories are not told with much accuracy, probably because people are not familiar with the stories, and the teacher doesn't feel like it is that important.  But it is important to me:) And probably to a few other LDS people in the class.  I think there are 2 or 3 of us.
Anyway, it felt good.
Tonight I should study...or paint.  But I think I will not.  I feel like I push so hard all of the time.  I would like a night of rest and relaxation.  Then tomorrow I will hit the books.  I need to study Chardin and Fra Fillipi Lippo.  I have to turn in a rough draft for our research papers on those two artists next Wednesday.  I think I can do that if I use Thursday and Friday this week to read and outline things.  I really want to start painting my sunfish over again though.  Maybe on Saturday.  My teacher explained how he does the underpainting with acrylics like a Grisaille underpainting in oil.  I hope that this will work for me.  I think it will help to establish the values and maybe then the transparent glazes will work well.  Here's hoping!  Did I mention that I did my failed trial on copper?  My teacher does a lot on copper and it is really cool.  When I asked him about it before he said it was too hard and not to try it.  He's right of course, but I am glad I tried it.  It is something to work towards...and I had this perfectly good piece of copper leftover from printmaking that kept yelling at me:)  I think he was not surprised at how things turned out.  And it never hurts to try something new every once in a while.
Well, I guess I've written enough for one day!  I hope things are happy and well out in cyberspace tonight!  Keep smiling!  And HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVGE!!!  Melody

Another Day in Paradise

Good and wonderful morning to you!  I am nervous as I go to school today.  I'm not sure what to do, since I tried my sunfish and miserably failed!  I guess I will bring it and see what suggestions I can get on how to do it better next time.  This is always hard for me.  I much prefer to take in something that turned out well.  But Mel says that you learn the most from your mistakes, because you won't soon forget them.  I hope he's right!
I am tired again...and sick.  This silly cold was feeling like I had almost kicked it, and it started up again last night.  I am beginning to wonder if maybe it is allergies.  It sure is hard to shake!  I am hoarse and coughing.  Not too good for school, but I doubt I am still contagious.  So I will take some medicine and off I go to face the great and terrible Oz!  Have you seen that yet?  I haven't but I would like to.  Maybe I can talk a grandchild into it.
Well, I had better get going.  I hope your day is marvelous, inspired, happy and sunny!  Take care out there in cyberspace!  I am still pulling for you!  Melody

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

P.S.

Hi again!  I found this cool website for the Monterey Bay Aquarium so I had to share.  It is a view out into the open ocean from what I can gather...and it is live!  While I was watching a big shark went into this swirling mass of fish!  It was very real and now!  Anyway, here is the link.  open sea  I guess they feed the fish at noon...California time I imagine.  I will be watching!  So far I have seen several sharks, even a hammerhead shark, tuna, dolphin, rays of some sort, wow!  I could watch all day.  But of course I can't.  Anyway,  I think I found a pretty cool photo for my illustration project...a sunfish.  Maybe...I am still looking.  Me

Desperate AND Silly!

Good morning!  I am still pondering what wonderful thing I will paint for illustration....and it is driving me crazy!!!  Whatever it is I need a good reference...words of wisdom from my teacher.  So that probably means I need to be able to see it in real life....in some way that it holds still.  I thought of the aquarium...but things kind of wiggle there.  I wish I was close to BYU.  They have that wonderful life sciences museum with all kinds of stuffed animals.  I don't think Boise has anything like that.  Although they do have a bird observatory on campus that I have never gone to.  Maybe I will call them to see what they have on display.  There is also a birds of prey visitors center close by Boise.  I may call them too.  I am getting imaginative...or desperate...take your pick.  Actually I think the aquarium would be fun.  Maybe I can talk a daughter into going with me.  And the zoo is always fun.  But it is kind of cold here today.  Strange weather we're having, eh, Watson?
Yes, I am also feeling kind of silly.  Maybe I should try my hand at a cartoon today!  Ha!  I am really being silly!  Well, I had better start on something!  I hope that your world in cyberspace is inspired and lovely today!  HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Monday, April 15, 2013

Long Days' Journey

Good evening!  It has been quite a day!  I feel so sad for the bombings in Boston, at an event that is usually one of good feelings and accomplishments.  And like many people today I wonder why anyone would have such terrible feelings towards other people.  It is a sad day for so many people.
My day has not been bad.  I survived the difficult seminar reading and felt good that I understood it well enough to enter into the discussion in class today.  Art history was really interesting, but even so I struggled to stay awake in the warm classroom with the lights turned down so low.  We discussed Raphael in Renaissance class.  And in 18th century we looked at slides of artists from the U.S. in the late 1700's.  It was all very interesting, but I must admit I was very glad to leave and head for home.  Once here I took a little nap, so that I could function, and then fixed dinner while I watched the horrible images from Boston.
I am feeling overwhelmed again with all that is expected of me in the next month.  School will be over on the 15th of May, and I have two research papers, a cutorial essay with a power point, and my last illustration project due. And then two finals for art history.   I hope that I can organize every needful thing, and accomplish all that is expected of me.  It would really help if I could come up with an imaginative and doable project for illustration.  I am planning to use tomorrow to plan something for that class.  It will be due on the 8th of May.  I want to do something spectacular!  But I am not sure I know how.  So I will just do my best at whatever.  I really liked painting my gold bug, so I am thinking I will do another acrylic painting with layers of paint and glaze, only I can't decide on a subject.  Maybe another Poe short story.  It was fun to come up with an image for the Gold Bug.  What would the Telltale Heart look like?  Or The Pit and the Pendulum?  Or the House of Usher?  I love all of those wonderful stories.  They are kind of old any more though...like me I guess.  I will keep thinking.  Perhaps a good play...The Iceman Cometh or Long Day's Journey into Night:)  It does seem like I kind of like those sad and haunting kind of tales.  They make some of the best ideas for an image I think.  But then so does comedy.  I have to put my thinking cap on....Maybe The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.  Remember that one with Danny Kaye?  Here's a link to the trailer...Mitty
Well, I had better get some sleep.  I just can't seem to get enough anymore.  Maybe I will come up with a good idea in a dream.  Take care!  And have a most wonderful restful night!  I'm still pulling for you!  Melody

A Morning Hello

Good morning world!  I am off to school!  Funny that at 63 I am still going to school.  I love it!  And today is sunny and bright and full of promise.  So keep smiling and HAVVVVVVVVVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Sunday, April 14, 2013

20,000 Words! Imagine! Or maybe you can just read this blog!

I saw this ship on some TV news brief and took a picture!
Kind of like my own Good Ship Lollypop!
Good morning!  What a relief to know that I am supposed to flabber on and on!  Otherwise I might think there was something really wrong with me, that I like to blog every day...sometimes more than once a day.  Probably if I was to do a meaningful blog...on religion, or art or politics, etc., I would have a harder time coming up with stuff to write about.  But since my blog includes all of that and more (!) I usually can find something to write about.  Maybe writing isn't the same as talking though, hmmmmm...
This morning I have been baking birthday cakes.  I have lots of people expecting some tonight.  So I made two chocolate swirl cakes.  They are kind of a family birthday tradition.  My aunt Glynn came up with the recipe I think.  Or maybe it was my grandma Phillips.  At any rate it is yummy!  The cake itself is a milk chocolate cake with an unsweetened swirl of chocolate running through it.  But the frosting is the killer!  It is whipping cream and powdered sugar and cocoa...and it is sooooo yummy!  I think I have frozen it and eaten it that way in my more calorie wicked days.  If you want to try my simplified version, here it is:
1 boxed cake mix...I use Betty Crocker's super moist milk chocolate
2 squares unsweetened chocolate
At this point you mix up the cake mix according to directions, but just before you put the pans in the oven you swirl a melted square of chocolate in each pan and then take a knife to swirl it in a little deeper.  Bake as directed.
The frosting is easy too, but so good!
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
dash of salt
Put all of these ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix on high until it begins to thicken.  Be careful not to mix it into butter! Frost when the cake is cool.
Top of the cake with the chocolate swirled in
My grandma used to split the cake and have four layers of cake with frosting in between.  I usually just do the regular two layers.  Or if I am ambitious, like this morning, I bake it in three pans so that there are more yummy layers with the whipped cream frosting.   Anyway, it is easy with a cake mix.  I used to follow a long and complicated recipe for the cake, and sometimes I still do.  But using the cake mix cuts preparation time down to almost nothing.   And it still tastes yummy!
So now I have included a recipe, which must qualify this blog as one of the most rounded blogs on the web:)  Where else can you go to read about everyday mundane things and get a recipe too!  Ha!
I feel better this morning about the reading for school tomorrow.  I had a friend call me and say..."What the heck is going on in this reading?  Do you understand it?"  I got to tell her that no I didn't at first, so I went on line and looked up other people's reaction to it.  Unbeknownst to us as a class, it is a Marxist philosophy reading, and written by a philosopher.  So of course the language is obscure and difficult, and the meanings are even more difficult.  She was relieved that she could find an explanation on the internet.  And so was I.  It is an amazing tool!
This last photo is of Sam.  He is a sweet 11 year old boy that I got to sit next to at the wedding yesterday.  We had fun talking and I had brought my sketchbook because I figured it would be a good opportunity to sketch people.
Sam
At lunch, while we were waiting to order, I sketched a picture of him.  He loved that I had done that, and thanked me!  Funny, huh?  Anyway, from what I could gather he is an aspiring young artist.  So I told him all I knew about drawing, and then I referred him to ProkoTV on youtube which has wonderful instructions on how to draw portraits.  And I assured him that he could learn it!  I wish someone had told me how much of art is a learned skill.  I might have practiced more while the clothes were washing!
Well, I guess I had better finish my preparations for church.  I am still getting used to it being so late in the day.  But I must admit I like it.  The only draw back is that it makes family get togethers much more difficult.  And tonight we are supposed to sing in a stake choir rehearsal.  I think I will skip that, but knowing my sweet Mel he will probably feel like he needs to be there.  We shall see.  Life is good today.  I like the sunshine!  I hope the sun is shining for you in cyberspace today!  I am pulling for you!  We're all in this together!!!  HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Saturday, April 13, 2013

The Fragrance of Love!

Good evening!  I have been busy today!  We had a baptism at 8 this morning!  Our sweet niece's husband was baptized after 14 years of marriage!  That was really special.  Then we had a wedding to attend.  Our daughter, Kim's, best friend from high school was married....for the first time!  We are so happy for her.  And her husband seems like a really sweet guy.  Then we had a birthday party for Julie's two boys...Nick and Hunter.  So it has been a very full day.  And I am exhausted!
I did want to share a photo though.  My gardenia blossomed!  And it is so fragrant!!!  It brings back so many good memories!  My dad used to buy a gardenia for my mom and us girls from the street vendor in San Francisco when I was a little girl.  He said it would always remind us of our visits there as a family every time I smelled a gardenia!  He was right of course.  And when Mel and I first started dating Mel found out that gardenias were my favorite flower, so he searched all over Provo and found me some.  And then when we were married I made sure that I had gardenias in my bridal bouquet.  And often during our married lives that has been the flower of choice.  So when we were in Oregon this last time, I begged Mel if I could please buy a gardenia bush.  And so now I have one in a pot in my house growing under a full spectrum grow light.  And it finally blossomed!!  So even though I can't share the scent I will share a picture of this beautiful flower.
It really does hold a lot of wonderful associations for me.
So now I'd better get to it.  I have a paper to write for Monday morning, and loads of laundry!  I hope life is treating you well!  Have a most wonderful Saturday evening.  And keep smiling!!!!  Melody

Friday, April 12, 2013

Good Day!

Mirëdita!  I am having a great day.  I went to my beautician today and got a cut and color:)  I had her cut it much shorter.  So yes, I have a picture, but I was trying to get one with one of those cool backgrounds so that it looks like I am in Hawaii....and well...
Kinda funny huh?  There's some old lady that got into the picture ahead of me!
I spent most of my day with Kim and my granddaughter, Elle.  She turned 13 today!  So we kidnapped her from school and went to lunch.  We had lots of fun.  Elle is a fun person...as is Kim.
Tonight we are going to the art exhibit at the University.  A lot of my classmates have their work on exhibit, so it should be fun to see.  We are dragging Jodell and Bob along.  I hope they enjoy it.  We'll go to dinner too, so even if they don't they will still get fed!
I have been reading an article for senior seminar.  It is all about spectacle and art and it is very confusing.  I hope I can figure out what they are talking about.  I will go online and see if I can figure it out.  If nothing else I am learning about what I don't want to do with art.
Coming home I saw the sign downtown.  There were actually two funny ones.   Ready?  OK, here goes...."Smile - something that adds to your face value"; and "Denial - a river in Egypt."  I like that last one.  Last week they had one that was also kinda funny, "Tact - the part of what you're thinking that you don't say."  Of course, I think that last one is kind of true.
Well, I haven't much to tell today.  Except that I love this song.  I posted it on Elle's wall for her birthday.  It makes me cry.  Maybe because it is so beautiful.
Here are the words, just in case you want to sing it to someone:)

When you wake up sun will shine.
We will not go under any cloud.
Let balloons go up in town,
ring out every bell.
Happy birthday, beautiful,
all the birds of this day
sing a song, sing a song.

Dream of trains carrying you
through the state parks with the cherry flowers.
When you wake up it will be
the beginning of the world.
Happy birthday, beautiful,
in the fields of this day
hear a song, hear a song.

Oh, undeserved sweetness and light,
stay by my side.
We will go out in the morning now,
a crown of maple leaves, a crown of flowers
circling your sweet head.
Happy birthday, beautiful,
in the streets of this day
play a song, play a song.

Well, I guess that is all for today. I hope things are beautiful and happy where ever you are in cyberspace today! I'm still pulling for you! We're all in this together! HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVGFriday!!!! Melody

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Precious!

Isn't this the cutest?  I had to share!  My friend has a photo business and does these adorable shots.  I really like this one!
So I am home and so glad to be here!  And glad that I have been so pampered my whole life. Every time we talk about women's rights at school I think how much I have been given in the way of women's rights.  I was allowed to stay home and raise my children.  I thank my sweet husband Mel for being so supportive in that.  He has worked hard all of our married life making sure that my life was comfortable and secure.  I realize when I spend a day at his business how hard he has worked for our family, and it makes me grateful!
Every time I look at this little photo I smile.  Not just because it is funny, but because I can feel that baby in my arms, and how precious a little life is.  How grateful I am for the experiences of motherhood!  I am a different person in so many ways, because I had those opportunities to serve and to bless.
Anyway, I just thought I would share.  I hope things are happy and fine out in cyberspace today!  Keep smiling!  I am definitely smiling from my side of things!  Melody

Hopping and Hoping!

Good morning!  I am off to be a business entrepreneur this morning.  I guess I mentioned that I was going to help with Mel's business.  And last week or the week before we met with a small business consultant who gave me a list of duties.  So I am off to start checking things off of my list.  I figure I can devote Thursday and Saturday mornings to this and still get my homework done.  Maybe not the housework, but I am on a system of selected neglect there anyway.  And I am excited to be a helpmeet. I guess I haven't really known what was needed and so I kind of opted out.  But I think I can really help and maybe take some of the stress away from Mel.
The other thing I want to accomplish today is drawing.  I think I will take my sketchbook along and do some life sketches.  Yesterday my teacher talked about how that was really the best way to get better...work and practice!  So I am recommitting myself to this too.
Also some time I need to shop...for birthday presents.  It seems I am expected to be a grandma along with everything else!  Only kidding of course.  That really is my favorite part of life right now....being a grandma.  I love all of my most amazing and wonderful grandchildren!!!
Well, I hope your day keeps you hopping!  And hoping!  Ain't life grand?  Take care and HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Ducks and Other Oddities

Hola!  Today has been a good day.  I got lots of encouragement in my illustration class.  I guess I didn't ruin my painting with the varnish after all.  It can be salvaged! (Again!!!)  We even got some good instruction on photoshop.  That helps, because for me it is still a big mystery.  Then I went to art history.  It was warm in there again today, and with the lights turned low for the slides it is hard to stay awake.  I took a little walk to wake myself up.  Kind of funny.  But it was fun to learn more about Michelangelo and Leonardo today.  Then in 18th Century art we talked about David. (Accent on the second syllable).  He was quite a fabulous painter, but he kind of got caught up in the French Revolution.  It sounds like that was a horrible time in France!!!  But it is interesting to see what all of these artists did.... not so very long ago.
So I am home and safe.  I did worry that I might fall asleep coming home.  It's a long commute and I have been a little sleepy.  I wish I would stay asleep at night.  I keep telling my body that, but sometimes it doesn't listen!
But now is sharing time.  I've been thinking about cows, music and...Sandra Boynton!  So here is a little clip...not at all about cows.  It is about ducks...and as you know I hate ducks!!!  So sit back, push the link button and enjoy!  Oh, wait!  If you have any grandkids around you might want them to come and enjoy the fun!!!  Ducks
I love youtube.  I found another link that is about cows, but I don't want to keep you from important things.  So have a fabulous evening!  I may watch a few more videos.  Which reminds me that I uploaded the video of my dad to my youtube account.  I am glad I did.  He is such a sweetheart and I miss him when he is off in Oregon.  This way I can watch him and laugh along.  Here's a link if you want to enjoy his humor.  Dad Take care out in cyberspace.  And remember I am pulling for you!!!  We're all in this together!!!  Melody

Flabbering in the Wee Small Hours

Good middle of the night!  I can't sleep!  I need to sleep!  I hope writing a little will make me sleepy.  It's weird.  I felt so tired when I went to bed.  I fell asleep quickly...and dreamed about Leonardo and Michelangelo....weird applying paint kind of dreams.   Then about midnight I woke up...really woke up.  I hate when that happens!  Oh well. I should look on the bright side.  I will be able to sleep soundly in art history classes today:)
I don't think I am stressed...well, maybe just a little.  I sprayed varnish on my gold bug, and it didn't go on evenly.  It doesn't look too bad, but it made me sad that I did that.  I tried to be careful, but it just went on too fast and then it kind of ran.  Probably no one else would even notice....except me....and the teacher.  Sigh!
Hmmm...do I have anything else bothering me?  Maybe I am starting to worry about writing research papers.  Nah!  I like writing.  Maybe I am already worried about finals.  Nah, I have four weeks before I have to take those.  Kids?  Always:)  Grandkids?  Maybe...
I just need to find the button that says "Off!"  I think I could illustrate that idea:)  It might be fun.  A big button that is on that part of your back that itches and you can't reach:)  I am sounding silly.  Maybe I am getting tired.  I hope so.  I think I write shorter sentences when I am tired.
Well, I guess I will go try again.  I hope you are having sweet dreams out in cyberspace tonight!  And getting your ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ's.  Here's hoping I can do the same!!  Me


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Full of Light

Good morning!  It's still a little blustery here in my 2 acre wood.  Maybe a little more than a little.  But it doesn't seem so bad with the sun up.
I have been painting this morning.  Cleaning up edges and refining things on my golden bug.  I am going to varnish it and call it quits.  It's due tomorrow anyway.  And now I have to come up with a final something for my illustration class.  I am not sure what.  I had planned a photoshop project, but it doesn't sound so much fun now.  But we shall see.
Did I tell you I got these huge books from the college library on Chardin and Fra Phillipe Lippo?  I think each one probably weighs 7 or 8 pounds.  I had five of them in my book bag the other day trying to lug them to the car.  They are beautiful books though...full of colorful paintings and also some text.  I have them on the coffee table here at home.  It is supposed to inspire me to study them.  I did look at one about Chardin.  He sure knew how to paint!  I am glad I have chosen him for my research paper.  I can't really start on it until I get the go ahead from my professor though.
Well, I hope all is going well in cyberspace today.  I keep thinking of things that were said in conference.  I think my favorite was when Elder Bednar said that Satan wanted us to be alone, in the dark without hope, but that Heavenly Father wanted us to be together, in the light, with hope.  That is such a clear visual for me.  I want to paint it!:)  Maybe I will!!!!!  Have a most wonderful, light-filled day!  Melody

Monday, April 8, 2013

Sending Cheer!

Gute Nacht!  We have just returned from our empty nester's family night.  I like meeting with all of these wonderful friends.  We talked about family histories tonight...ours and others.  It was interesting to hear about ancestors that gave up so much to join the church and cross the plains, or travel across the ocean to be with the Saints in Utah.  It helped me to remember that I have a great legacy passed down to me from faithful ancestors who loved the Savior and wanted a new life in the West.
Tonight the West is a little windy.  Say windy with an h....whhhindy...and you can almost hear what it sounds like here.  It blows like the wolf blowing down the little pig's houses.  Huffing and puffing to blow the house down!  I am glad it hasn't done that!  But sometimes it gets so loud that I think it might. It has blown a few things in past times....like the neighbors' trampoline!  That was pretty amazing!  And it always manages to blow the garbage cans and patio furniture.  Luckily we don't have much to blow around anymore.  We have had in the past, but we have simplified until the only thing that blows is the propeller on a metal climbing airplane that we have in the backyard for the grandkids.  Oh, and a plastic rocking fish that I will have to fetch back onto the patio tomorrow or the next day when the wind dies down.  I just hope those little flowers that have formed on the fruit trees in the back can hang on.
I am still feeling very intelligent.  I got back my midterms and I got A's.  It feels pretty good.  I got a 98/100 on the Renaissance test, and a 96/100 on the 18th Century test.  So I guess I like Renaissance art best...I think I could have told you that before the classes!
In class today we talked about Leonardo some more.  He sure did some beautiful stuff.  I really like his sketches of anatomy, although admittedly some of it is a little weird.  But it is all so accurate!  I can see why it is important to practice sketching when I see his work.  I think I will be more dedicated to sketching life drawings.  I try to do a little each day, but I think more would be better!  I think a couple of my artistic friends and I are going to chip in to get a watercolorist to teach us on Fridays.  It sounds fun to do, and may keep me motivated during the summer...and beyond!
Well, I just wanted to wish all a good night!  Life seems rather lovely tonight.  I hope it is in cyberspace!!!  Take care, keep smiling and listen for those drums!!!  Sweet Dreams!  Melody

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Walk in the Light

The Light of Christ by Arnold Friberg
Good merry day!  I have been watching conference again. And loving it of course. Here's a link if you want to watch it too. Conference   It really is wondrous to sit in my front room, on a comfortable couch, and watch the general conference of the church played on my television.  I love technology!  And I love the wonderful messages given so far today.  I especially like Pres. Uchtdorf's talk about the light of Christ.  And it was especially cool that he referred to a painting, "Entrance to Enlightenment" by Johan Benthin, to explain the metaphor between light in a room and light in your soul. Here is an interesting article about him. Artist  He does paint beautifully and I like what he says about light:)  Here is the painting that Elder Uchtdorf referred to.
Entrance to Enlightenment by Johan Benthin
I am still amazed that with a little knowledge I can find all of this on the internet!
In one of my readings for my seminar class, this strange statement was made. "The common point between all the things that we include within the umbrella terms of 'work of art' lies in their ability to produce a sense of human existence within this chaos called reality....the world is nothing other than a chaos that People stand up to by means of words and forms."  When I read it I was astounded that anyone would believe such nonsense....and grateful that we have a living prophet, and prophets, who teach about the extraordinary organization and plans of the Almighty God.  To think of this world as nothing but chaos explains somewhat the strange and weird things that come from the world of art these days.  And it makes me so glad to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints!  I am grateful for a knowledge of truth, and the light of Christ that is given freely to all people.  Here is a link to an audio of Pres. Uchtdorf's talk. Audio  If you check the LDS.org site in just a while I am sure you can see it as well.
I forgot to mention yesterday that one of the speakers, Bishop Dean Davies, was in our ward in San Ramon so many eons ago.  When I saw him I wasn't sure it was the same man.  We had listened to conference yesterday as we were going about our many chores for home and business, so I had not seen his face until later when I re-watched some of it while Mel was at priesthood meeting.  He was the one who started his talk with his experience during the San Francisco earthquake.  When Mel got back I asked him if he remembered Bishop Dean Davies.  It took him a minute, but then he also remembered him and that Mel had served as his counselor in the Young Men's organization for a short while.  It was a busy and strange time in our lives, because it is about the same time that we found out Tommy had cancer, so memories of that era in our lives are often a little blurry.  Anyway, we googled his name and found out it was indeed our friend from long ago.  Something I had not realized about him was that he served a mission in Uruguay!  As we read about him, I also remembered his wife and their sweet little family.  How funny time is!  I find that some things seem to exist in a time warp for me, and it is hard to imagine grown children and grand children for other people who exist in those memory time warps.  And I wonder if others remember me in the same way...young and energetic and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound!  That reminds me of Elder Packer's very wonderful poem!  I think I will have to make a copy of that to hang on my bulletin board and remind me that it is OK to grow old.
Well, I hope that cyberspace is wonderful and inspiring today.  The wind has picked up here and threatens to blow us all to Oz.  I am glad we have a solid foundation:)  Take care and remember I am pulling for you!  We're all in this together!!!  And the water is fine!!!!!  HAVVVVVVVVGW!!!  Melody


Saturday, April 6, 2013

Well Fed!

From Kathryn Skaggs photo
Good evening!  I have certainly enjoyed today!  I have been able to spend the day with my sweet Morley, and also to listen to conference.  I especially loved two talks...Elder Packer's and President Eyring's....and Elder Bednar's too.  Here is a link if you missed the conference.  Conference link
There was a line in Elder Packer's talk that really struck me..."There are few things more powerful than the prayer of a righteous mother."  And I think that I have witnessed that.  And I am grateful.
I also liked the powerful witnesses of the Savior born by each of these special witnesses of Christ.  I don't know if there is anything that strengthens my own testimony more than seeing what believing in and following the teachings of Christ does to a person over a lifetime.  It produces a good person!  I have seen it in these men, and more powerfully and intimately in my own husband, father, brother, mother, sisters, and friends.  What power there is in the gospel of Jesus Christ , and the faithful men and women who live it in righteousness!
So Mel has gone off to the priesthood session.  I hope he takes good notes!  And I am home studying.  I have two articles to read and write a report on.  Then I can really rest and enjoy the rest of today and tomorrow.  Did I mention my cold is back?  It hasn't ever really gone away.  It starts to feel like I am finally getting over it and then back it comes!  Thankfully it is not so bad that I can't get things done, but I am snuffling and sneezing again.  Oh well :0)  And achoo!
I thought I would include a few photos of my next door neighbor's hard work on our little shared lot.  We have decided to plant lots of trees...a fruit orchard.  I think it will be lots of work.  But tractors help. Right now there are two.  I think it would be funny if Mel got on one and Rich got on the other and they both rode all around that lot!  Anyway, here is a view from my camera.



Can you see how smooth the dirt is?  It is kind of amazing to me.  Anyway this last photo is my contribution to a Spring bouquet.  I planted these last year.
I like that they kind of wake up and surprise us.  I had really forgotten that I planted them.
Well, I hope things are happy and well in your part of cyberspace this evening.  Keep smiling and HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVGE!!
Melody

Friday, April 5, 2013

Friday!!!! It just keeps whizzing on by!!!!

Good merry morning!  Today I am going to organize a little...clean the pantry, and my closet, and toss out everything I can.  There gets to be an accumulation of junk around here as I ignore housework for homework.  I am not sure why it is so hard to toss things out, but probably because there is a decision involved, and I get so overloaded I can't make even small decisions.  I know that sounds sort of silly, but it is true.  And today seems like a good day to work hard.  Although I keep looking at my gold bug painting and thinking, "If I just fixed this....."  DANGER!!!  I am putting it away til class on Wednesday!!!!!  That way I can get a second opinion from someone who knows better than me how to do this right.
I am also planning to do some thumbnails for my next and final project in there.  School is over the middle of May so it is coming up fast.  I had originally intended to do some computer work with photoshop.  But I am thinking I may try some more fun acrylic stuff.  I really enjoy painting so much.  And I like that I have found a new way to use acrylics.  We shall see.
In my other classes I have a lot of reading to get into gear for research papers.  I figure I will do that when I have worn myself out with housework:)  So that is my agenda.  Of course, it is always interrupted by other things.  And that is fine with me.  I keep looking out at the yard.  I want to get out there and start pulling weeds and getting the yard looking good again.  So much to do!  Of course, I'd probably rather go for a ride up in the mountains.  And that is the trouble with being impulsive.  It is lots of fun, but it can really cut into my work days!
Temple Square in Salt Lake City
I am excited for conference this weekend!  I love conference!  It is like a breath of fresh air!  Here's a link if you want to watch it....10 and 2 mountain time on Saturday and Sunday.  Conference  And at the beginning of May I am planning to go to Women's Conference...with all of my daughters.   At least I hope all.  Amy's web design business has taken off and it is hard for her to leave.  I am glad she is doing so well!  And I will certainly understand if it is not possible for her to come.  But, on the other hand, we have so much fun when we all get together!!!!
So have a good day out in cyberspace today!  I am still pulling for you!!!  Keep smiling!  I am definitely smiling on my side!  HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVGW!!!!  Melody


Thursday, April 4, 2013

Sharing

Well, here it is....salvaged!  I kind of like it.  Admittedly it is a rather macabre image.  But I think it goes along with the Edgar Allen Poe story of the Gold Bug rather well...if I do say so myself.  Ha!  That makes me laugh.  I am such a big scaredy cat.  I almost get sick just showing this in class.  Oh well.  I am trying hard to get better.  This actually looks a lot better in real life.  So that is good too.  I used to think my stuff looked better in a photo than in real life.
Well, that is all.  Just had to share.  TTTL  Melody

One Liners

Good morning!  I am looking forward to a day of no school.  But I guess it really isn't.  Even though I have no classes, I will still be doing school work.  I have two research papers to begin, thank you to my dear art history classes.  I think I will be doing one on Fra Phillipi Lippo, a Renaissance painter, and the other on Chardin, an 18th century non-Rococo painter.  I love his amazing way of using oil color.  I doubt writing about him will improve my use of oils though.  But maybe it will inspire me to get back to oil painting.  I am hoping to really paint this summer....but I know that it is easier written than done.
Honestly, this morning I would just like to climb back into bed.  I am feeling very lazy.  And I feel like I have so much to get done!  Maybe I will resort to a power nap after  lunch or something similar.  We shall see.
I have been thinking about a few lines from the movie, The Life of Pi this morning.  Sometimes a line will just stick with me for a while.  It is at the end, when he is telling the author about the second story.
"Adult Pi Patel: I've told you two stories about what happened out on the ocean. Neither explains what caused the sinking of the ship, and no one can prove which story is true and which is not. In both stories, the ship sinks, my family dies, and I suffer.
Writer: True.
Adult Pi Patel: So which story do you prefer?
[the writer pauses for a moment]
Writer: The one with the tiger. That's the better story.
Adult Pi Patel: Thank you. And so it goes with God."
I like when he says, "And so it goes with God."   
It makes me think of another line from the movie, Gandhi, that I love. "Gandhi: Whenever I despair, I remember that the way of truth and love has always won. There may be tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they may seem invincible, but in the end, they always fail. Think of it: always."  I guess for me that it is those one liners that make a movie, or a person, unforgettable.
Anyway, I had better scoot.  I am hoping this day finds you happy and inspired and full of good intentions:)  Have a wonderful day!!!!  Melody