Saturday, October 31, 2009

Checkers Anyone?

Everyone always assumes that I should be great at costumes because I'm creative. Or that I could come up with wonderful party decorations or backgrounds for plays. I don't feel a bit of confidence about my ability to do those types of things. But, I have some friends that always awe me with their creativeness on Halloween. In fact, I'm slowly learning how to do it from them.

So my friend called me today to see if I would come over and help her paint her face. She was going to a party as a checker board. I said okay, but can't draw straight lines on a uneven plane like a face.

And they're not straight...but I don't think it really matters.

The Queen of Hearts, Checker Board, Puppy and Dog Catcher

We are totally different. They are the life of the party. I love my friends. They bring something wonderful into my life.

Friday, October 30, 2009


Click to play this Smilebox postcard: Halloween Treats
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Make a Smilebox postcard

I borrowed this cute Halloween Smilebox from Rachel's blog. Elijah's crazy faces make me die giggling every time I watch it. Hope it makes you smile as well.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Wishing you a Spooky PFF

Many people believe that black cats are bad luck, but not all superstitions about black cats are negative. Did you know that the Scottish think that seeing a black cat at their door means wealth will soon be theirs? In the midlands of England a black cat is thought to bring good luck to a marriage. King Charles I of England had a beloved black cat he thought brought him good luck. He had his guards watch over the cat 24 hours a day. 'As luck would have it', the day after the cat died of natural causes, Charles the I was arrested by Oliver Cromwell and was beheaded not long afterward.

Good luck or bad luck, we all associate black cats with Halloween.

Halloween postcard I made a couple of years ago

So be careful this week...Do you dare let a black cat cross the path in front of you ....... ?

Visit Marie at Cpaphil Vintage Postcards for more PFF posts.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

On the Wagon

I'm trying to give this up. Forgive me if I seem a little grumpy.

I'm hoping to feel better. I'll let you know if it works.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Midday Respite

Mother and child drawing done today while listening to Cold Hit, one of the Shane Scully novels by Stephen J. Cannell, on the car CD player during lunch while parked at the end of the parking lot at work because I thought it was about time to do some sketching again and because I like to sit in the car during lunch at the end of the parking lot facing the woods, especially if the birds are singing in the trees.

How's that for a run on sentence?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sunday Random

The week in retrospect:

Last Sunday:
Remember the crazy squirrel that was living in my garage ceiling months ago....well he'd continued moving in and out ever since then. I hired someone to put out traps and bait, but to no avail. He ignored it all. So, I tried ignoring him. Not easy since it sounds like he is rolling nuts around under my feet all the time. Finally, I decide I can't stand it anymore and call in the big guns. I call TJ my youngest son...."Whatever it takes" I tell him. He shows up before dawn twice last week and sets up a stake out in the front yard.....with his BB gun. (please don't tell me we are inhumane....remember I paid to get a professional to get him the humane way and he wasn't having any of it) TJ also brought deer and squirrel repellent that smells repulsive and sprayed it on all the openings we think he uses. Long story short...TJ got 3 squirrels (there are probably 15 or more left). I've only heard the guy in the ceiling once since then for a few seconds and that was last fingers are crossed as I say this, but I think he's taken the hint and moved on.

Hunting season opened in my backyard last weekend

That same day my sweet son scrubbed the scary deathtrap front steps for me. Slime be gone. Now I can walk in and out the front door in the rain again without fearing for my life.

Note the marked difference in the color of the wood on the bottom steps as compared to the rest

During the week:
More work. (I made 2 old ladies cry on Saturday....I wasn't mean or rude or anything...they were overwhelmed about their situations...I could be in their place I still feel bad about them)
The dentist twice. (another funny story which begins with a crown, right in the front, falling out weeks ago...and me being toothless...and my experiences with a number of temporary teeth....I'm getting an's a long process...enough said)

saw this pooch in the car in front of me on the way home one afternoon

at the next light saw this one hanging out the other side of the car

Walked out of the dentist Friday night and saw this car....wish I could have stuck around to see the owner

was treated to the most wonderful fiery sunset as I drove through town on the way to the freeway

Then the fun stuff:

Rachel and Elijah came to spend the weekend. Since her hubby had an all guys weekend planned with his buds, it gave us a good chance to hang out. We worked on our respective scrap and baby book projects, watched The Proposal, ate pizza, curry chicken and lemon poppy seed muffins, played with the baby and talked and talked.

we let him play with paper until he got tired and had to rest this morning

I also took a video of him that I wanted to share, but blogger will not upload it.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

This is the Real Thing Folks

Blind contour drawing of a photo on my desk at work.

the best two attempts out of ten

Postcard Friendship Friday

I found this postcard in my mailbox today. It is from Jude in China . The painting depicted is named Steam Dumplings by Zhang Meiling. I did a little internet research and found this short bio about the artist. She was born in 1957 and began painting in 1980. Her work has been exhibited in Shanghai as well as in the United States and Belgium.

Here is what the site Chinese Peasant Paintings has to say about her style of art.

Jinshan Peasant Paintings are created by Chinese peasants working in Jinshan County near Shanghai, China. During the late 1970s, the Chinese painter Wu Tongzhang began teaching painting techniques to the farmers in Jinshan. Most of these first painters were older women skilled in various folk arts that had been passed down through generations. These traditional folk arts, such as embroidery, paper cutting, paper folding, and weaving, heavily influenced the style of painting that developed.

Jinshan Peasant Paintings are both natural and unnatural. They are natural, for they show a love of ordinary life--love of children, love of festivals, love of animals, and love of work and chores. But they are also unnatural, in that these ordinary life-events are shown according to the painters’ imaginations. The painters use a wide range of bright colors--colors that are often unnatural--and spread them throughout the paintings. Spatial reality and perspective are unimportant in these paintings. Figures and objects are usually drawn in a way that looks child-like. Taken together, these elements give the paintings a charming, primitive style. The paintings that result are not traditional Chinese and not Western, but are universal celebrations of life.

beautiful stamp on the back of the card

As an added bonus to today's PFF, I'm tossing this photo of a wacky set of mailboxes I found while driving the backroads around my home last weekend.

I don't have a clue why there is a cutout of a cat on top of the box...but there it is ....4 mailboxes and a cat. It looks like it might blow over in a strong wind doesn't it?

Happy PFF. As always, to see more participants go to Cpaphil Vintage Postcards.

Smile for Similes-Honk if You can Explain

As happy as a clam
As dead as a doornail
As pleased as punch
As mad as a hatter
As poor as a church mouse

While I know what we mean when we use these similes in everyday speech, I wonder about the hidden meaning in them. Anybody out there have a clue?

I think the 'pleased as punch' probably refers to the famous puppet of Punch and Judy fame. In his British manifestation, Punch often punctuated his statements with a gleeful cackle, thus pleased as Punch. At least that's what I think.

But where in the world did 'as mad as a hatter' originate? And how come a church mouse has less money than a city mouse...since when did mice ever have any money? Who says clams are happy? And how can a doornail be dead?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Rust on the Roof

I have an affinity for ramshackle buildings and rusty roofs.

Maybe because I feel kind of broken down myself some days.

I'm not as snappy as I used to be.

I might need to trim down, cut back, clean up the rough edges.

But all the same, there's something comfortable and appealing about ramshackle too. I think aging can be quite beautiful if you know what to look for. May we all remember to look past rust and ruin for beauty today.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Death at Deadwood

Their invitations arrived over a month ago. In plenty of time for each of them to make their way to the Deadwood Saloon for a week long poker tournament. The stakes are high. The winner will take home a $100,000 purse. You can bet the promise of that kind of money will draw every low down cheat, outlaw and thief in the territory, as well as all the slick, sticky fingered gambling men and women in these parts. Everyone wants to be the one to walk away with the winnings.

Federal Marshal Dalton has been called in to help Sheriff Sam keep the peace, but rumor has it that the Sheriff has been known to take a bribe to look the other way on occasion. The Marshal has his job cut out this week.

There was a robbery at the bank earlier in the week as well. Looking for the thief has kept the local law enforcement busy. So busy in fact, that they haven't noticed that there seems to be a few tempers about to boil over.

Anna Belle has been keeping a close watch on Holly Hickok. Anna is certain Holly is trying to steal her man, Gambling Jack. Jack and Mitch Maverick are battling it out for the grand prize which was put up by the owner of the saloon, Harry High-Stakes and his wife Henrietta. Local resident, Clay Coldwell put up the $2,500 ante to get in the game as well.

Harry and Henrietta High-Stakes

Mitch Maverick and Holly Hickok

The insanely jealous, Anna Belle and her husband Gambling Jack

Taffy Garrett and Sally Starr, the saloon girls are busy serving drinks to the players. Poker Alice gives them a hand. Billy the Bartender has his eye on Alice from behind the bar. He fancies himself sweet on her. Montgomery Money just arrived in Deadwood. He is interested in purchasing the saloon. His wife and daughter Elizabeth and Minnie have been here all week scouting out the town. Jesse Wales, an outlaw and old comrade of Harry wanders into town too.

Minnie Money, debutante

Banker Bob is agitated by the robbery of his bank and is suspecious of everyone, even his own wife Bonnie.

The Little Kid knows something has come between his parents
Banker Bob and Bonnie. I wonder if it's all that money Bonnie stole
from Bob?

He accuses Black Barbara, who is in town on unknown business, of being in cahoots with Bonnie to steal him blind.

Watch out! She's so mean, she'll shoot you with a smile on her face they say.

The obligatory murder takes place and a hunt for the killer begins. What motive would anyone have for killing Mitch Maverick. Is it because he won the poker tournament and was about to be awarded the prize money? Or could the reason be even more sinister?

The marshal seems to be more interested in arresting all the local beauties than finding the murderer.

Hmmmm, these two hussies seem to welcome his advances.

He even put the cuffs on these two.

The men of Deadwood were all considered guilty until proven innocent.

It looks as though they won't go without a fight.

The women try to use their female charms to steer clear of trouble.

But in the end, the law prevails. The killer is caught and marched off to jail. More than one cry of "hang the scoundrel" was heard as the marshal ushered him from the room.

It was Montgomery Money who done it! He was out to revenge an old grunge.

The End

This year's cast of characters.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Blind Contour Friday-Week 1

Excuse my breathlessness, but I've been rushing. I may be entering a little late, but by my clock it's still Friday.
I'm ready for some new living room furniture.

To see more Blind Contour Friday entries pop over and see Diahn at Ottwork.

While you're at it...check out Rachel's new blog, Babies and Bargains.


Aaaaaa, duh....don't give me too much credit for this contour drawing...I just noticed the pertinent piece of info I heretofore overlooked about this challenge...the word blind...wait til next won't have an idea what the heck you're looking at. I did a continuous line drawing instead of a blind contour....everyone say DUH with me now!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Postcard Friendship Friday

My computer is full of "borrowed" images. The Internet is a gift box chocked full of any and every sort of beautiful picture, artwork, painting, photograph....postcard you could ever think to go in search of.

I saved these images of Japanese postcard backs because I thought the lettering was beautiful.

Sorry, I have no idea if the orientation is right side up or upside down. Please enjoy the beauty of the characters and color.

Happy PFF.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Random Borrowed Photo Day

I "borrowed" these photos months ago. Now I am ashamed to say I can't remember where I found them because I can give no credit to whomever it is due. Most of these guys look pretty tough, don't they? I wonder what their mamas would say if they could see them smoking like this. Times change, but I'm not sure if people do.