Monday, September 30, 2013

Monday Night the World Around

Good evening!  I am finally done with my homework.  I had a lot today.  I went to the school this morning to get my Graphic design stuff all done.  It looks nice.  At least it is OK for a first project.  So here is a photo.  It's not a good photo...I don't have enough light.  Sigh!  And it looks crooked.  And I think you can see the water that still lurks in my iphone somewhere.  I thought it was all gone:(
I will take a better photo.  But this gives you some idea of what we have been doing with letters:)
Next I got my anatomy drawings labeled and final details done.  Then I worked on my resume, artist statement and gallery proposal.  Yeah, it was a lot.
This evening we went to Chuck E. Cheese's for my granddaughter, Hailey's birthday.  It was fun but noisy.  It was nice to see her family!
Well, I am tired.   I hope all is well in cyberspace.  Sweet Dreams!  Melody

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sunday Night

Good Sabbath!  I have had a great Sunday.  I do like Sunday!  It is nice to feel like I can really relax and stay away from homework for one day.  Liz came over today with two of her boys.  It was fun to see them.  All of this school has kind of interfered with being the grandma.  I have two wooden blocks on my desk....proof that Alex ventured into my studio.  He is pretty careful for a two year old.  Except for the blocks I wouldn't know he had been in here.  He is such a happy little sweetie.  And of course his big brother Taylor and I have a special connection.  He spent a lot of his growing up years at Grandma's.  I am glad for that.
So I think I left ya'll hanging on the sign downtown.  Are you ready?  It's not so funny as puzzling.  "Comparisons are as bad as cliches."  I had to think about that one!  I don't know why I love that sign so much.  It's just nice to have something to smile about as you're driving through town I guess.
Well, I haven't much to share.  Testimony meeting was wonderful.  Actually all of the meetings were great.  The last hour we had three of the converts in our ward talk about their conversions.  It was very touching!  Then I came home and watched the Relief Society General Meeting. Relief Society Conference It was fabulous of course.  I loved what Pres. Monson said about the Lord loving you no matter who you are.   "God's love is there for you.  It is simply always there."  I love that.
Well, it is time for masterpiece mystery:)  Take care and have a most lovely Sabbath evening!  Melody

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Saturday

Good morning!  As I was falling asleep last night, an idea came to me for my senior BFA Exhibition.  I am totally excited about the image, and I have decided it is what I will do for sure...even with negative input.  I feel quite confident about the image.  (Can you tell I am brainwashing myself?)  This is the conversation I have been having in my head most of the night (until I took some melatonin) and this morning.  I do think it will work.  And I don't think it is cliche...unless you look at Lichtenstein's Woman Drowning.  But his was a whole different message and method.
Woman Drowning by Roy Lichtenstein
What I thought is I could have this woman clinging to a big rock as waves are crashing around her.  You see the waves could be doubt and desperation, while the rock is faith and hope and rescue.  It works for me.  So I guess my job, should I decide to accept this assignment, is to make a bunch of sketches showing different ways of drawing this. Then I will have to practice a speech to fend off any disapproval from my illustration teacher.  I sure hope this works, as I am tired of losing sleep over it!  And the exhibition is coming up fast!!!!  I think we have to have everything done by the beginning of November.  And of course this is not my only task in the interim.  I have so much homework!  I will be glad, and a little sad, when this semester is finally over.  December 13th here I come!
So today I have my work cut out for me.  I have a graphic arts assignment to work on in Illustrator.   Also my homework to mount on black presentation board for that class.  I have to refine my anatomical drawings for my drawing class...there are nine of them!  I have to rewrite my artist statement, gallery proposal, and resume for my Exhibition class.  And then I have to make some sketches for illustration as discussed above.  It's good I have Monday to get some of this done!  Besides all of that, I have a birthday party to attend for a good friend of ours.  He is turning 70 today and his wife has a celebration planned.  So it will be a busy day.  Oh, and I have housework to squeeze in there too...just laundry and dishes and vacuuming:)  It's amazing how quickly it all piles up!
So I guess I had better get to it!!!  I hope things are happy and bright out in cyberspace today!  I am still pulling for you!  HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVGutGreatWan!!!!  Melody

Friday, September 27, 2013

A Tale of Two Kitties

Hola!  I hope you are having a great day today!  I am for sure.  I have almost finished with one homework assignment, and I have made major progress on one other.  So that is good.  I am tired of homework though, so I will take a break soon to go do more visiting teaching.  We didn't quite finish, and one sister we need to visit again.
So what funny tale can I share today?  Have I written about the sign downtown?  Are you ready?  I'm not.  I remember it was something about comparisons and cliches.  I will drive by later and get it down in my head.  Sorry about that.  If I was to tell a funny tale it would be about one of our kittens.  We have two, but one is much more curious than the other.  For instance, when I was taking the groceries from the car to the house, she jumped into the trunk, and was quite happy inside.  I think I could have closed the lid and she wouldn't have minded.  Of course, I threw her out first.  The same with the freezer.  When I was pulling out something for dinner last night, she was right there, ready to jump in.  It is a good thing I spotted her and threw her out again, or we would have one very frozen kitty.  She is just too curious for her own good.  But I kind of admire that about her.  She is not afraid, even when she probably ought to be.  I tend to be rather cautious.  It gets in my way sometimes.
Well, I can see I really have nothing too wonderful to share today.  But know I am pulling for you and wish you all the best out there in cyberspace!  Take care and HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Thursday, September 26, 2013

He'll Find a Way!

Good evening!  I have a better attitude tonight:)  It helps when things at school go well...even super well.  I did pretty OK in graphic design.  I can't say I am doing super in there.  I am still slower than most of the other students.  But slowly I am learning how to do Illustrator, and it is actually fun!  Today we learned how to make a pattern (press the pattern key:) and we also got to work on a design that is pretty cool potentially.  When I get this perfected I will post it....maybe another week or two.  So far nothing has been spectacular enough to share.   And really more than that, so far my work is boring:)  I can see it improving though!
My drawing class was really good.  We started drawing with value, and the pictures we did today were so much better!  If the models were dressed I would share:)  But I am finding that I don't notice that as much any more.  It is more about shapes and shadows and getting it right.  And when I spend a couple of hours drawing, I feel like I can really draw.  It is a good feeling...especially after yesterday's critique. The best part about today was after class though.  I have two teachers in my senior exhibition class...one is a student teacher.  And he came into my drawing class to meet his girlfriend, so I said hi, and made some small talk.  Then kind of out of the blue he said something like, You know, your project carries the most meaning and weight in our class.  You just need to keep at it, and you will have a wonderful piece for the exhibit!  I was kind of shocked...and pleased.  It pumped the wind back into my sails.  He didn't know about yesterday's critique, or that I needed encouragement just then.  It was definitely a tender mercy.  I feel so much more able to tackle things again.  It is always amazing to me how the Lord is looking out for me.  It is like that song...."His love can be seen in all directions!"  It really is wonderful.
Well, I am headed for bed.  Just had to share a little bright spot in my day.  Take care out there in cyberspace!  I am still pulling for you!  Keep your stick on the ice!!!  I think there may be a little around!!!  HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVGN!!!  Melody

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Back at Bat

OK, I'm over it.  Sorry for the previous whiney post.  I have a new direction....two roads:)  One narrow and straight...the other, well you get it.  I think I can pull this off somehow.  At any rate I will have fun trying.  I guess this is just one more artistic challenge.  I can do hard things!!!!
I did a little shopping therapy at Costco this afternoon.  I had gotten one of those cash coupons for the year, and we needed milk.....so, I got milk and a few other yummy foods.  I am most excited for the avocadoes!  I can combine those with our homegrown tomatoes and make a really yummy salsa/guacamole kind of thing.  Not tonight though.  We had leftovers - to help clean out the fridge.  It is my biggest challenge I think...trying to use up the food that I over buy.  I think the best solution is not to buy too much.  But it is challenging.  So then I have to figure out how to use our resources wisely...without waste.  Does every grandmother have this problem?  Years and years of cooking for 8 or more of us, now trying to break those habits and only cook enough for 2.  I suppose it is good for food storage though.  We would probably have enough to feed an army if an emergency arose.
So I haven't mentioned the sign downtown for a while.  Are you ready?  "Auctioneer - someone who looks forbidding!"  It took me a second, but it made me smile.  I guess I ran out of smiles earlier, but I am doing better now.  I guess this project is making me dislike school at present.  And that is silly, because for the most part I am enjoying school.  So I just have to keep a stiff upper lip and go forward with faith:)
Well, that is all for this evening.  I just didn't want to leave a sour note in the air.  I am more mature than that:)  Take care and remember....I am pulling for you!!!  We're all in this together!  Have a great evening!  Melody

Shot Down!

Hola!  I am feeling a bit discouraged.  I went to my illustration class this morning.  It is an interesting class in that we go around the room and each person shares where they are with whatever project they are working on.  I went with fear and trepidation this morning.  I haven't made much progress on drawing or painting anything to do with my senior project.  So I brought in an idea I have been working on....a door with light versus a dark door.  I took a photo and worked on it in my Wacom tablet.  My teacher HATED it!  He said it made him gag!  Not just the doors being cliche, but the use of light behind one of the doors.  I guess he thought it was way too overdone.  He said it wasn't a choice if it's between light and dark!  Brother!  I really don't agree with him.  To me the whole choice is light over dark.  He made some awful remarks about Mormons and how the religion is a world of cliche, and how I would have to work harder to get out of that.  I am a little puzzled about how I am ever going to get this painting done.  It is making me a little ill just thinking about it.  I wish I had some other professor on my committee that wasn't a former member of the church.  He seems especially intent on putting down whatever ideas I have.  Sorry for the venting, but maybe I can get past this if I write about it.   I am not the only one he put down, but I think he is especially hard on me.  He suggested I substitute things for people and make it less obvious.  Of course, I didn't have people in my sketch.   So I am thoroughly puzzled and I really feel like I need to take a break from this for a while!!!
In other news...I guess the other news is that it is time for lunch.  I am glad for food.  I think a nice bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich will cheer me up!  Especially if I use tomatoes out of the garden!  Life really is great, and I suppose I will get a good idea that isn't shot down if I keep at it.
I hope life is good in cyberspace today!!!  HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Nighty Night!

Good Evening!  It has been a long day.  But a good day.  I did well in graphic design I think.  We had a critique and the teacher seemed to like my designs.  It is just basic stuff so far.  But I am enjoying it.  Then in my anatomy drawing class I think I did rather well.  He said we did our last gesture drawing today.  I must admit I kind of like that method of drawing.  But I guess we will be learning about shading and volume so it will be interesting.  In my evening exhibition class we had to have a resume.  Mine looks pretty sad:)  I had no awards or commissions to list.  I was surprised how well established some of my class mates are...they all have awards and commissions, scholarships, etc.  Of course, I was the only one that owns a business:)  Or that has 31 grandchildren:)  So I guess it is all good.  And I really am not desperate for a job.  I have a hard enough time keeping up with the ones I already have.  But I guess I would like to write and illustrate a children's book one of these days.  But I suppose my enthusiasm has waned even for that.  Mostly I would like to get enough sleep!!!
So I am headed off to bed to do just that.  I hope all is well in cyberspace!  Take care and HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVGN!!!  Sweet dreams!  Melody

Monday, September 23, 2013

Monday Night

Good evening!  I think I am finally done with my homework for tomorrow.  Those anatomical drawings were challenging.  I hope my teacher will know somehow I spent most of Saturday and today drawing them.  Of course he has no way of knowing....unless I tell him.  Hmmmm. Maybe I will just casually mention it..."Hey, Mr. Scott!!!  That homework assignment took up my whole weekend!!!!"  Kinda makes me giggle.  Reminds me of Jerry Lewis, "Hey, Lady!"  I wouldn't do that.  I feel good it is done though.  Did I ever mention I got to see Jerry Lewis when I was about 12...in Lake Tahoe at a children's show.  My parents had very good friends, the Lincolns, who had a bunch of homes they were building in South Lake Tahoe.  So we went up with them to spend a weekend.  We got to ice skate on some locks that went around the neighborhood, and then we all went to the casino.  The adults all went to the regular show, and us kids went to the kids show.  I remember it was lots of fun.
Mel is having a hard day today.  They ran out of plastic material for one of his parts...not his fault really.  His customer wasn't sure that was what they wanted, so delayed having him order it.  Unfortunately the whole world must need that particular plastic, because there is a world shortage!  Can you believe it?  He may not be able to get what the customer wants.  He will try of course.  I feel sorry for him when he gets in the middle like that.  He is quite sensitive...doesn't like to disappoint people.  I guess I had better have a nice dinner for him tonight:)
Currently I am cooking salsa.  I picked a bunch of our tomatoes and put them in a big pot with peppers and onions, garlic, etc.  It is a recipe from my sister.  I hope it turns out good.  I do love salsa!!!!  I am not fond of canning though, so I may try freezing batches of it.  I don't know why that wouldn't work.
Well, I just popped in to say hello.  I hope all is happy and bright out in cyberspace tonight.  Take care!!!  And HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Listening!!!

Hola!  Our home teachers were just here.  It is so nice that we have good home teachers.  Not just faithful men, but caring and kind as well.  I feel like I could call either of them if I needed help.  That is sure a nice feeling.
Earlier we took dinner to one of the ladies I visit teach.  She and her husband are nearing 90.  They are a sweet couple from Berkeley!  She had surgery last week, so she is not able to do too much yet.  Usually they are so independent.  I don't think they are used to being on the receiving end.  It makes me think how lovely the church works, when everyone is able to help out and care for each other.  It is kind of an amazing thing.
Currently Mel is trying to dry out my iphone.  The rice doesn't seem to be working.  So he is trying a hair dryer.  I do feel a little lost without my smart phone.  It is much smarter than I am!  I love that I can look up anything I am feeling curious about....especially with school.  I can bring up art images so easily.  How did we ever function before computers?
I enjoyed church today.  One of the speakers talked about being immersed in the gospel...not just half way in.  It was a good talk and made me think.  I think for the most part I am immersed.  I think living the gospel in a real way....really caring for people and serving from the heart....does change your basic nature.  I am still challenged by my selfish nature, but I can tell I am better than I used to be...for the most part.  Today, I was feeling kind of crotchety....and old.  And I thought, "I don't want to be a crotchety old person!"  So I have been trying to be cheery, even though I think the main reason I felt crotchety was that I had to lead a choir practice at 8 this morning.  Then I found out that I really didn't need to....since next week is a fast Sunday for Conference, and they won't need the choir to sing after all.  You know...one of those "If only I had known" moments.  I guess I only would have gotten a very little bit more sleep.  So it is all fine.  And I am resolved not to be crotchety and grumpy or OAO (old and ornery) despite my basic nature!!!  And it helps to be heard!  Thank you for that!!!!  I am smiling!!!  Take care and HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVGSabbath!!!!!!  Melody

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Melons!

Good morning!  I went to the garden this morning and found the sweetest cantaloupe!  Yummmmmmy!
 You just can't find anything like that in the store.  Our little "row crop" has been fantastic!  I can't believe how effortless it has been.  We are eating cantaloupe and honeydew melons, watermelon, and tomatoes right now.  There is still squash, although the squash bugs are feasting on that and we are letting them.  I love zucchini, but we have definitely had our fill.  On the end of the row is string beans and peas, and I hate to admit this, but I haven't checked them for more than a week.  That is the one draw back.  The row is incredibly long, like a football field, and I just don't have the knees to trudge down the row.  Although my knees are much better since the cortisone shots.  Ha!   This is turning into my medical journal lately, huh?  Sorry about that.
In other news....I am drawing today.  I have done two skeleton drawings and one more to go.  Then three muscle drawings, and three skin drawings.  It is of the shoulder - back, front and side.  It will probably take most of the early day.  I plan to be done by afternoon.  Mel will be home from work by then, and I don't like to use my time with him doing school work.  He will be tired I think.  He has been working hard.  The new machine is working wonderfully, but it took a couple of days of hard work by Mel to get it there.  And he has his crew working round the clock now,  so he is on call for them too.  He is looking for an experienced machinist or tool maker to hire.  He needs some help!  Unfortunately it is hard to find experienced help here in Idaho.  There is a school nearby that trains machinists, but they get scooped up before they even graduate.  I guess the demand is high.
Well, I had better get on with my drawings.  I hope all is well in cyberspace today.  Take care!!!  Me

Friday, September 20, 2013

It's Over!!!!!

Good evening!  I survived!  In fact is was not nearly as bad as I anticipated.  And I only had three very small polyps that the doctor assured me were not cancerous.  He said not to lose any sleep worrying about the remote possibility that they were cancerous, because they weren't:)  I am relieved.  I guess in my mind I had grown large tumors to be discovered.  I am grateful to be done with that test for at least 5 years, and probably 10 according to the doctor.  Although I wouldn't be at all scared to have to go though that again.
I am feeling quite rested.  I guess the sedative they gave me took the edge off all of my stress.  I came home and slept for a couple of hours!  And things seem to be ordering in my head.  I have decided on a painting I think.  It's funny because this whole process started with the beautiful painting by Benthin that Pres. Uchtdorf talked about in conference....the one of the door.  Anyway, I had thought it would be cool to paint something with a door leading to light.  And now I am thinking that might be the best way to show the decision I made to have faith and hope!  I would love to paint something abstract like he did.  I just don't know how.  But I will solve this too,
Well, I guess I've got to go.  We're having a Mexican dinner with my dad and family tonight.  Take care and have a most lovely evening out in cyberspace!!!  Melody

C-Day

Good morning!  This morning is my colonoscopy....in three and a half hours.  I cannot honestly say the prep has been that terrible.  But I wouldn't have wanted to be anywhere else but home:)  I did ruin my iphone though.  I guess my mind was on other things and I threw it in with the laundry.  I heard it clunking in the machine just a little too late.  Luckily it was in an otter box which kept it a little drier than it might have been.  But it still got water inside.  I put it in a bag of rice to dry out for a few days.  That is what the internet advised.  I hope it works.  If not those iphone 5's look mighty nice:)  I guess I will know in a few days.  They said not to fiddle with it for 4 or more days.  I don't know if I can survive without it!  It is like my link to the world!!!
Well, I have to go drink the last of the monster juice.  Such a yummy breakfast!  Last night I dreamed I forgot I had to fast and I ate a big hamburger:)  I was relieved to wake up and find it was only a dream. I hope all is happy and well in cyberspace today.  HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Thursday Eve

Good evening!  Life seems a little brighter today.  It helps to sleep!!!!  And classes went pretty well, which also helps.  I feel like I am drawing better than I have for quite a while.  I really am learning a lot of new things.  Today we learned a new way of measuring...or translating measuring...so that perspective was preserved when we move a figure further away from the front plane of the picture.  Does that even make sense?  Anyway, I got it right off.  That felt good, as usually I don't get things as quickly as the younger people in my classes.  That is especially true in my graphic design class.  I really feel like the village idiot in there some days.  But I am slowly learning.  It's just that the kids have grown up with computers and it is like second nature to them.
Well, Mel finally got home so I'll end this.  I hope things are grrrrrrrrrreat out in cyberspace!!!  Take care!!!  Melody

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Three o'clock and all is well!

Good afternoon!  I am having a good day today....sort of:)  I woke up way too early after not being able to sleep last night.  I may have gotten 5 hours of sleep, but I doubt it.  At any rate I was up by 5, thinking of this painting I am planning.  It really is making me kind of exhausted!  In class today my teacher said I probably should just start painting and see what happens....sort of conceptual discovery painting or something.  And he is probably right.  All of this stuff swirling around in my mind is kind of crazy.  I wonder if this is why some painters went mad!  Or were they already insane, and the painting just put them over the edge?  I am wishing for a vacation already and I have just barely started the semester!  It is a lot of pressure thinking that I have to have something ready for the show in November.  But I think I always stress over content.  It is so nice just to paint to paint.  I am thinking I will have to do that....as soon as I get my homework done for my other classes.  I have nine drawings to complete by Tuesday for my anatomy drawing class.  That has got me going a little.  I am currently downloading software to use for my Wacom tablet.  I haven't finished watching the tutorials yet:)  Too much technology!!!!!  I think I will just draw with pencil for these first drawings....forget computerized stuff!
I did get a nap, so I am not as tired as I was.  I slept for more than an hour, so that is good.  I can tell as I write this, though, that I am still tired.  I tend to write short factual nonsense, as opposed to the rambling, complicated nonsense I usually write.  Sorry about that:)  I may need another nap:)
Well, not much else to say.  I hope things are happy and swell in cyberspace today!  HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

P.S.

P.S.  I am not sure this will work, but this video is the best dancing dog I have ever seen!!!!!
Dancing dog

Tuesday Evening Post

Good evening!  I am glad to be on this end of today!  It was long, and kind of hard, although I still feel like I am learning so much!  I am grateful for that.  I met with one of my professors over my faith ideas and got some great suggestions.  But I will probably not have them all done for tomorrow morning's class.  I think it is probably all right...at least I have to think so.  I will stress myself out if I don't give myself a little leeway.  I think I am almost there, but it takes time and energy and more talent than I have.  But it will come.
My anatomy drawing class was wonderful.  My teacher came by and said I had done a "beautiful drawing".  That definitely made my day.  I do feel like I am learning and getting better.  In graphic design I got my first test back....an A-.  I knew I had blown a couple of questions, so I was pleased to get an A-.  It is a harder class than I expected.   But it is good to be learning Adobe Illustrator.
My evening class was interesting.  We talked about marketing and promoting our work, and we have to come up with a resume for next week.  I really have nothing to put on a resume that concerns art.  Oh well!!!  I am glad I am not dependent on this for my living....at least not yet.  I am so grateful for our plastic business!!!!  Mostly because I don't have too much to do to keep it running:)  Although I do interface with the accountant now....and the president too, of course:)
Well, I wish I had some brilliant happening to relate.  Hmmmm!  Oh here's something a little funny.  I grabbed my grandson, Caleb, as he was walking by my chair last night.  I hugged him and told him I sure did love him.  He said he loved me too.  I said, "Are you sure?  Do you even know my name?"  He said, "Of course....Grandma!"  I said, "No, my real name!"  He fidgeted and said, "Shirley?"  That made me laugh.  That is his other grandma's name.  So I told him my name was Melody.  He seemed surprised.  I guess he really didn't know that.  Caleb is 8 I think.  I guess I will have to make sure my grandkids know my name! :)
Well, I hope you have a most lovely evening in cyberspace.  The cold front arrived here this evening, so it is sure to be much cooler tonight.  I am sooooooooooooooooooooo glad!!!!!  HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVGN!!!  Sweet Dreams and all that!!!  Melody

Monday, September 16, 2013

Happy Monday Night the World Around!

Good evening!  I am waiting for the crowd to arrive.  I have cooked a dinner for my dad, and invited my kids who live close to come and share it.  He is planning to go back to Oregon again soon, so it is our last big get together.  It should be nice...I cooked a roast.  I never cook roasts anymore, so it should be kind of a treat.  I guess I feel like it's not all that good for us:)  Sure tastes good though.
Well, I am really biting the bullet this week...I am going for my first colonoscopy on Friday.  I guess I am trying to get all the exams done I need to get done.  That is one.  I will be very glad when it is in the past!!!!  I am a little nervous.
I finally got some thumbnails done for my senior project.  They are very rough, but a start.  I like the idea I have going, and I seem to be able to draw again.  We shall see how I do.
Well, I haven't really much to write.  I am still feeling a little under the weather....just exhausted!  There is something going around at school that I think I have caught.  But it's not too terrible....just hard to get any enthusiasm going.  So hope all is well in cyberspace and that you have a most wonderful family night!!!  HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVGE!!!  Melody

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Shalom!

Good morning!  It is a lovely breezy day here today.  And the forecast is for cooler weather in the next few days.  I am glad.  It has been the hottest summer since we moved here in '86.  At least I would bet that it is.  I have been feeling a little bit under the weather the last couple of days, so yesterday I gave into it and slept.  I am feeling quite a bit better this morning.  I still have a weird headache, and I feel a little sluggish, but I am hoping the worst of it is over.
This morning is our stake conference.  Last night's meeting was interesting.  They had the counselor's and their wives speak.  Everyone who spoke referred to it being the end of something, but not really in any specifics.  I think if someone were visiting they might not realize they are dissolving the old stake presidency and calling a new one.  Although, the final speaker (Elder Zwick, a visiting authority) did make it clear what was happening.  It was a great meeting.  I enjoyed the things that were shared.  I seem to be so emotional in my old age though.  I kept wishing I had brought a handkerchief!  I think the thing that I really liked was to hear each person's experiences with the trials in their own lives.  It seems we all have them and struggle with how to handle things.  Elder Zwick talked about his "special needs" son.  It was touching.
Well, I guess we are off to the Sunday morning meeting now.  The suspense is building!  Who have they called to be the next stake president?  I suspect it is a young dentist that is currently a bishop.  He is  certainly capable.  But there are many good men who could take over I think.   So have a good day out in cyberspace!  I am still pulling for you!  We're all in this together!!!!  Melody

Friday, September 13, 2013

TGIF!

Good afternoon!  I am having kind of a quiet day today.  I did the necessary things around the house, and then I did a little shopping.  I am kind of excited as I bought a Wacom drawing tablet for school.  But I haven't opened the box yet:)  I guess I am a little nervous to have to learn one more new thing.  So I am doing my other homework first....or at least trying to.  I am kind of stuck with how to change a photo into 300 dpi jpegs sized 5" x 7".  I have to figure out how to do that by Tuesday evening for my exhibition class.  I suppose I could find some tutorial on the internet if I knew what I was looking for.  I have tried photoshop, but I am getting no where fast.  I also have to come up with a list of promotional concepts for our exhibition show, and read a chapter.  So maybe I will read first and then make the list and then try to find a tutorial.  Then tomorrow I will open the tablet box.  I think it will really be fun, but I am afraid it will swallow any extra time trying to figure it out.  So I figure I had better get the other homework out of the way.  I do have to revise my artist statement and draw a few thumbnails by Wednesday.  So I had better at least get started on that.  Yes, it sounds like a lot to me too.  But I can do this.
I must admit that I am a little sleepy.  I woke up at 2 this morning....again!  This is getting to be troublesome.  I finally fell back asleep around 5 when Mel went to basketball.  I slept until he came home at 7:30, so I did get some sleep.  But I think I may need to lie down for a little while before he gets home from work.  He is getting his new machine today.  He is quite excited and I think may be a little late tonight.  I am sure he will stick around to get it all plugged in and running.  It may take a while.  It has been stored for 15 years.  It is good in one way....it is practically new.  But it is bad in another way, because it may take magic to get it to run.   We shall see, or at least Mel will.  I am not at all good with machinery!  But it will be a wonderful machine if it works.  If not he will probably be able to figure out what it needs.
So I am still puzzling over my BFA exhibition.  I think that is what is keeping me from sleeping.  I probably just need to settle in on something and go with it.  I am liking the seed growing into a tree idea.  I am a little nervous about it though.  It will be a challenge!
This weekend is our stake conference.  We are getting a new stake presidency!  So it should be kind of interesting to see who is chosen.  I think it won't be too much longer before our bishopric changes too.  I think a change is good, and I know our bishop is anxious to be released.  It must be such a tiring calling!
Well, I hope all is well and happy in your neck of the woods.  I am feeling pretty happy here, despite being exhausted and stressed:)  Really! :)  Take care and have a most wonderful date night tonight!!!  Melody


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Good Night!!!!

Good evening!  I just reread last night's post.  I did sound rather tired.  I had such a hard time sleeping last night.  I kept thinking about painting....what to paint.  I think I may start out with a panel...painted very dark with a tiny bit of light coming from a small seed....then another panel or two as the seed brightens and sprouts...and then the final panel would be a tree of light...like the tree of life.  I am still mulling this over.  I have until Wednesday to come up with thumbnails.
Today was great.  I had a good class in graphic design.  I am getting better at Illustrator, though it is definitely slow.  But I am learning how to use the different buttons.  It is fun.  I stayed after class for a couple of hours and got my next assignment done.  Then I had my anatomy drawing class.  I learned a lot in there today about how to draw people in sitting positions...in good proportion.  I like that my teacher tries so hard to teach us about bones and muscle and how they work to create a beautiful drawing.  Our homework is like an anatomy class and I am learning a lot.
I do get worn out though.  My knees were a little sore today from the cortisone shots.  But I can tell they are less inflamed and I think they will feel much better as the cortisone kicks in.  It scares me a little to take cortisone, but the doctor assured me I would be fine as long as I didn't take it too often, over several years.  And I am starting physical therapy soon, so that will also help.
Well, just checking in.  I am ready to sleep, and perchance to dream...about painting I suppose.  Take care out there in cyberspace!  And have a lovely night!!!  Melody

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Late night post

Gute Nacht!  I am having a bit of insomnia again.  I went to the orthopedic surgeon today...a new one...and she put me through my paces...xrays, twisting and tugging at joints to see if they are stable, and she injected cortisone, so I am feeling a little sore.  The cortisone will kick in by tomorrow some time she said, so I am supposed to ice it...which I did.  It will calm down I hope and then I will get to sleep.
In the meantime I thought I would write a little of my day.  Wednesday is illustration class, and then I had a meeting with my committee for my BFA exhibition.  I was so nervous, even though I know these two men pretty well on a teacher/ student level.  They got to know me a little better today I think.  And that is probably a good thing.  I think we zoned in on a more specific topic. I mentioned that I had a curiosity about death and the mystery of it all.  One of my teachers commented that as a good LDS member I should have absolute knowledge of life after death.  He is a former member and a little defensive.  I told him that would be nice, but what I really had was faith, and that I had made a decision when Tommy died that I had to have faith, or I didn't think I could have carried on.  They both thought that was very interesting....more interesting than a simple portrayal of life after death...or my view of what it might be.  So now I am trying to come up with images of faith as a choice and a decision.  Seeds keep coming to mind:)  I think I need to keep this simple and not get too complicated or I will fry my brain with over analysis.  I think maybe three images, maybe a seed in a hand glowing or something.  Or maybe a really large seed and a small person...or a large person with a tiny seed...?Then a seed in a heart with roots...Freda Kahlo style maybe:)  And then maybe a connection of the heart with a happy child entwined gently in the branches from the seed....?????  These are just random thoughts.  But not too terrible.  I guess it is better than another picture of a lamb and a lion and flowers and rainbows:) Oooweee!  How my mind does go off on strange images.  In the conversation I was told I was not a typical mormon.  I guess I still don't know what that means, although I have been told that before.  I guess it has to do with growing up in a more diverse culture than Idaho or Utah and knowing people of many faiths and cultures.  I have always found them interesting and I love to hear about how other people's lives are in comparison to mine.  I try to be inclusive rather than exclusive (as the Savior taught).  But maybe more than that, I told them that not everyone has lost a child to death.  And that of course is a good thing.  It wasn't that long ago when most people did lose a child or more....before antiobiotics, half of the deaths were children under 5.  Did you know that?  I found that out from a funeral director when I took a class on death and dying a decade or so ago.  It must have been a much sadder time for parents.  Oh well, all I know is that I view life and death differently now.  I think I try to savor the time I have here, and I realize how quickly or unexpectedly we can lose someone to death.  And how permanent it can seem, and how important it is to have an excellent coping strategy....like religion.  I know mine is special and I believe it is true in the deepest part of myself.  I am so grateful for my Savior, and I work at having stronger faith and living true to covenants I have made.  But I would not be honest if I said I had an absolute knowledge of all of this.  It is definitely a decision that I made, and continue to make as I pray and take the sacrament and attend the temple.
Well, I have probably gone off on a tangent again.  Sorry for that.  But I will sleep better now I think.  So thanks for listening:)  I hope all is well tonight for you and yours!  Take care and sleep tight!!!!  Melody

Wednesday

Good morning!  The world is looking brighter this morning.  I think I can do the hard things of today.  Mostly I am worried about my committee meeting.  So I have to think....what's the worst that can happen?  They could tell me they think my project ideas are dumb...which they won't.  They could say my thumbnails are crumby...which they are.  So what else is new?  I always have a hard time planning a painting.  I think it is that voice that chimes how I really have no talent....blah, blah, blah.  I have to ignore that voice.  Because even if I have very little talent, practice is more important in the long run anyway.  And this is good practice.  I just need to stop comparing my art to DaVinci's:)
In looking for images this morning, I found one I really like, so I thought I would share it with you.  I like how gentle these two lions seem to be.  It is a little like I imagine heaven....everything at peace with love abounding!  Maybe I will just draw this picture for my project:)
Well, I had better get going.  Just thought I would send a cheery hello out to cyberspace.  Take care and HAVVVVVVVVVVGRRRRRRRRRRRRRRREAT Day!  Melody

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Good night!

Good evening!  I had a tough day today.  I kind of had my creative genius blown sky high.  I had what I thought was a really creative way to show my idea, but my teacher whom I respect so much told me it wouldn't work.  I think he is probably right, but it is still hard to start all over again!  Especially when I meet with my committee tomorrow.  I have drawn a few more sketches, but I am not liking any of it much.  I am hoping I will get inspiration as I sleep tonight.  I will definitely pray for some!
Actually I had a pretty good day today in spite of everything.  I got through my classes, and that is saying a lot. Tuesdays are long and hard.  So I guess it is bedtime.  Hope your world is happy.  I am smiling in a forced kind of way:)  I will be happy!  Really I am pretty happy, just frustrated with this creative process that somehow seems to be eluding me.  Sigh!  Nighty night!  Melody

I Can Do All Things in Christ, Who Strengthens Me!

Good day!  I am hoping for one!  I have all of my homework done and I am ready for today, at least in theory.  Thursday I have a test I am already stressing over, and I also have thumbnails and stuff for tomorrow to finish.  Yep, it is definitely school again.
Last night we had a really nice empty nester's family night here.  It's always fun to get together with friends, and it is especially nice when we talk about the gospel and families.  I found a really thoughtful and fun video from the Mormon channel by Pres. Uchtdorf and played it to begin our lesson.  Here's a link.  Pres. Uchtdorf  I love the message!  Anyway, then we went around the circle and talked about our challenges in living the abundant life and gaining strength in Christ.  It was interesting and I think it was also a way to share and bond.  We all struggle to live our best and be our best!
Well, I just wanted to greet the world and now I am off to try to live up to my privileges.  I hope the world of cyberspace is wonderful today!!!  Take care and HAVVVVVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Monday, September 9, 2013

I heard a fly buzz....

Happy 9th of September!  I am hoping to get a lot accomplished today!  I have homework and housework.  The empty nester's group is planning to meet at our house tonight, so I need to clean a little deeper in anticipation of that.   And I have more homework left....rewrite my artist statement and gallery proposal, read a chapter, make flash cards, finish watching a video and draw a few thumbnails and write an email.  I am hoping I can get the homework done first!
I really can't think of much to say today.  I really only seem to have this painting in my mind right now, and it is making me kind of bonkers!  It will help to make a few sketches and put it down on paper!  Right now it is like an annoying fly, buzzing around and making everything else hard to concentrate on.  (I know that is a bad sentence...sorry!)  Anyway, I am hoping life is wonderful in cyberspace today, and that there is happiness and inspiration around every corner!  Take care and HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVGW!!!!  Melody

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Fitful sleep

Good morning!  I couldn't sleep so I got up and have been researching stuff for my BFA exhibition.  I think I have got it figured out!  It feels really good, except that I can't stop thinking about it and how I will do it.  I meet with my two professors next week, and I am sure they will have input.  But it is feeling better now that I am sure of the direction I will take.  I am asking the question from Job 14:14..."If a man die, will he live again?"  It will be challenging, but I have got some interesting ideas of how to present it.  And I keep thinking of more ideas.  I just hope I can paint it!  And then I hope I can talk about it without crying.  The feelings are pretty close for me on this topic....which is why it is a good thing to paint:)
Well, I am beginning to feel tired after doing this for the last hour and a half.  So that is good.  I wish my mind would just calm down and let me sleep!  I didn't used to do this.  Oh well.  One more of the joys of growing older I guess.  There are so many! :)  Take care.  I am off to snooze!  Me

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Another Memorable Day

Good morning!  I am up and going!  I finished quite a bit of homework yesterday, but lots more to do.  Plus it is Sebastian's baptism today.  He is my grandson, and a real sweetheart.  I am excited for this special day for him.  We are having an ice cream party at his mom, Kim's, house afterwards.  I can't think of anything better!   Making memories is a great activity!!!!  I'm smiling and enjoying it all.
So onward and upward!  I hope things are great in cyberspace today.   HAVVVVVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Energized...and Exhausted!

Good evening!  I have had a pretty great day today.   Except for the golf ball sized hail and the torrential rain:)  Actually I only experienced the torrential rain on the freeway coming home this evening.  Luckily I escaped any hail.  Apparently there were a few thunderclouds with some pretty mean lightning and hail that went over the Boise area today.
School was amazing!  This morning's design class was spent on the computer learning Adobe Illustrator.  After one session I realize it will take a lot of practice, but the possibilities are endless and kind of exciting.  I think I will really like this program once I have mastered it.  It is really fun to be learning and growing in my abilities to make cool stuff.
In my drawing class I am also learning and it feels good.  Learning is often uncomfortable to me...when I feel like things are way beyond my abilities.  But my teacher is incredible!  For instance, I was drawing the model and I had things a little off....I couldn't tell how or what I was doing wrong.  The teacher came by and pointed out that I had misplaced the azyss...or some marker in the skeleton I will have to memorize better.  He helped me to place them right.  Then he said, "You have drawn this torso so beautifully, that you will want to leave it as is and correct the position of the rest of the body."  He doesn't have to say I drew anything beautifully.  But it sure feels great when he does!  It makes me feel like I am succeeding at least a little.  I like that he points out what we have done right before he makes any corrections.  I think he is one of the best teachers I have ever had.  I am so glad I am able to take his class.
Of course all this learning comes at a price, and it is called homework!  I am swamped already with things to do.  I am lucky that my classes are only three days a week.  It really helps to have the other days of the week to do homework.  My main thing this weekend is to come up with a definite theme for my senior exhibition.  I had thought something along the lines of life after death.  But as I am trying to come up with ideas I am stalling out.  Everything is very cliche and over done I am afraid...at least in my mind.  So I have got to refine my theme to something more manageable and perhaps more in line with what my abilities are.  I am afraid I want to paint like Carl Bloch, but my abilities are way far away from that.  So I will have to pare it down a bit to more every day kind of themes.  Maybe something about washing dishes:)  It is hard to settle on an idea that pleases me.  I am afraid I spend a lot of time lying awake over this conundrum.  Sigh!
Well, I think I will try to get some sleep.  I hope all is well and happy in cyberspace!  Take care, keep smiling, and HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

I'm Baaaaack!

Hello!  I have been off of the internet for a few days.  When we got home on Monday it was too late, almost midnight!  Then yesterday I had school early and late.  When I finally got home the internet was down.  It only came back on a little while ago.  I am glad it is back on.  I find I am a little lost without it, especially for school.  I had several emails from teachers with extra work that I wouldn't have known about.
School is going well, but already it is very busy.  I am loving my life drawing class.  The teacher makes all the difference in there.  He is really good at explaining how to draw and capture what we are seeing.  I think I am learning tons.
Graphic design is interesting, and a whole different approach!  There are rules...lots of rules.  And I kind of like that.  Maybe I am more of an ordered personality....nah!  I think that is wishful thinking.
My exhibition class is full of work...and worry.  But I think I have decided on a theme...sort of.  And now I have to work on some thumbnail sketches to sort out my ideas.
We had a really nice trip this last weekend...the highlight being our hour and a half in Depoe Bay.  It was sunny and cloudless and a perfect day for the ocean.  I wish we had had a week.  But I guess that will have to be another week.  This one is too full.  We got Dad here safely and that was the main goal of the trip.



Well, I have lots to do.  And life seems very good right now.  I hope it is for you in cyberspace!  Take care and remember I am still pulling for you!  HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Washington

Good merry morning!  We are in Bellingham WA this morning!  We took a detour so that Mel could look at a machine he wants to buy. It turns out he really liked it so we are buying it. The machine weighs 10 tons though so we won't be able to put it in the trunk. He will arrange for a big truck to bring it home. Anyway he is much relieved to find a machine that will work and help keep him in business.
Today we will drive down to my dads house in Sutherlin with a slight side trip to the ocean. And church if we can find one. Yesterday on the way here we drove through Seattle. It has changed a little since the 1962 Worlds Fair!  The space needle looks dwarfed by all the huge skyscrapers! It was fun to see.  And Wasington is so beautiful. I think it is one of the most beautiful places I think.
Well it's time to hit the road. Have a wonderful day out in cyberspace today!  And I will do the same! HAVVVGW!  Melody