Thursday, September 29, 2011

Aye, A Whole Month Of Halloween!!

ARRRR, Ahoy, me just discovered that a landlubber lassie by the name of Danni from The Whimsical Cottage Blog will be hostin' a month long celebration of me favorite holiday! Aye, matey, ye better git yer keester oer there and check out the fun! What with posts by witches, gobblins, scurvy scallywags, ghosts an' buccaneer sea wenches, I bet there'll be lots of shenanigans and mischief for all ye salty dogs to gnaw on. Hey, Ho, blow me down en' check out me link at the top of this blog The Countdown to Halloween! ERRRRRAGH!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

International Talk Like A Pirate Day ~ September 19th Every Year

Ahoy Matey, Blow me down! International Talk Like A Pirate Day has come and gone without havin' me sorry keester utter a single pirate word!

Meself and th' captian back in th' good ole' days , ARRRRR!

ERRRR, , Hey Ho, sure could fancy meself lettin' off some steam by makin' some scurvy scallywag walk th'plank, early in the morning!

Me swashbucklin' crew ready to set sail.

Way Hey, it all started by two blokes back in the good 'ole days of 1995. In 2002, humorist, Dave Barry, started promotin' th'holiday, ARRRR! See th'history of how it started here. Aye, if yer feelin' rusty or a little lily-livered, ye can just start by growlin' at store clerks and answerin' the phone with "Ahoy matey"!  Or ye can be like this drunkin' sea wench and brush up on Pirattitude lingo with th' Ol' Chumbucket and Cap'n Slappy. Aye, with October 31st on the horizon, avast, me hearty, all ye drunkin scallywag buccaneers be gettin' a second chance to talk like a pirate for the day, ERRRR!

Ahoy, view the international Talk Like A Pirate Day map and see what Wikipedia has to say about International Talk Like A Pirate Day. Learn how to be speakin' like a pirate here.

Aye, just one of me new pirate pictures available for a mere booty of a few shiny doubloons to all ye scallywags and sea hags. With me Jolly Roger flyin' high, Yo-ho-ho, shiver me timbers, I bet ye'll not be wonderin' what this salty landlubber lass be up to around Halloween time, ARRRRGAH!!

Friday, September 23, 2011


After a cut and color (highlights and lowlights) from my usual hairdresser, she styled it and I thought it looked so good when I left. 

But look what I woke up to yesterday morning!! O M G !!

I don't know what she was thinking!! She said she has A.D.D., so I guess we shouldn't have been talking so much.  It was cut so short and wierd in the back! It was as long or longer than those long strands on the sides and I only requested a TRIM! It looks like a man's cut or worse. I had spent the last six months growing it long enough to style it the way I wanted it and now it is shorter than ever!

I thought the hair stylist was just taking a little off the top and around the ears like I requested! I even had brought photos of myself with the style I wanted!! Surprisingly, she doesn't want to see the photos of it, so I am posting them here for her and the world to see. Now I know why she didn't show me the back when I was there! Look how uneven, spotted and blotchy the color is and how choppy the cut is.

After emailing photos and getting advice from my sister in Florida, who's a hair dresser, I had my other sister, Denise, who is an artist, come over and paint in more highlights and lowlights in the back, above the ears and through the top. She also did some trimming to try to fix the back and break up the terrible, cheetah spots and squared off, sheep sheared look. She spent over five hours with me here yesterday. Meticulasly painting tiny strands of hair and working in stages, she was trying her best to blend the color and help me out. She did a great job and got it to look decent enough that I can now go out in public without feeling terribly ugly and extremely self conscious.

I know that this is really a very small, insignificant matter in the big scheme of things. I also know that I will be uncomfortable and a little bummed out about this for quite some time to come. 

Thank God for sisters though! I would be freaking out without their help. Thank you Gaile for your advice and Denise for your patience and artistry! I really owe you one!!

"Helping one another is part of the religion of sisterhood."  ~ Louisa May Alcott

"Sisters annoy, interfere, criticize.  Indulge in monumental sulks, in huffs, in snide remarks.  Borrow.  Break.  Monopolize the bathroom.  Are always underfoot.  But if catastrophe should strike, sisters are there.  Defending you against all comers."  ~ Pam Brown

"Our roots say we're sisters, our hearts say we're friends."  ~ Author Unknown

"Sisters function as safety nets in a chaotic world simply by being there for each other."  ~ Carol Saline

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Bubba Birds

These photos were taken yesterday through my studio window.

This "Bubba Bird" has definitely by far,
got to be the fattest hummer I have ever seen!
And believe me, I have seen a lot of hummingbirds.

I've still got a half a dozen or more very active and vocal
juvenile male hummingbirds stirring things up here.

This guy is guarding three feeders right outside my studio porch.

Extremely aggressive, this Bubba Bird must have
an overload of hormones rushing through his veins.

Bubba's a great hunter. I've watched him successfully pluck
countless tiny insects from the air. He seems much more
concerned with stuffing his face with protein than sugar water.
I have a feeling he's a regular that was hatched here.
I bet he will be the very last one to give up
his claim to the digs this year in Hummer Land.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Arr Ha Ha Har! (Or However JD Would Laugh/Snarl/Growl)

just finished my 2011 Jersey Devil Series minutes ago. Woo Hoo! Pictured here in working mats, you can see the similar color scheme and value patterns.  I used Alizarin Crimson and Viridian Green mixed together for 90% of the painting. A list of my colors and painting supplies can be viewed at the bottom of my workshop page. Better photos are coming soon. Right now, I'm feeling the satisfaction of the completion of a project. Check it off the list, it's done, honey. It's a good feeling, isn't it? Just had to brag and pat myself on the back for finishing this set a month ahead of deadline.  I'm eager to keep the momentum going though, so on to the next project!

Real Friends

I'm sure you've heard the saying, "The guy with the most toys wins". Actually, it should be, "the guy with the most friends wins". Study after study shows that having friends is an important stress reliever and actually attributes to a longer, healthier life. In one UCLA Study On Friendship, for example, researchers found that people who had no friends increased their risk of death over a 6-month period. In another study, those who had the most friends over a 9-year period cut their risk of death by more than 60%. It's important to make time for your friends and not push them to the back burner, because friends are such a source of strength to each other. We nurture one another and we need to have unpressured space in which we can do the special kind of talk that friends do, a necessary and very healing experience.

Favorite Friendship Quotes:

"A friend is one of the nicest things you can have, and one of the best things you can be."  ~ Douglas Pagels
"Nobody sees a flower; really. It is so small. We haven't time, and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time." ~ Georgia O'Keeffe

"I value the friend who for me finds time on his calendar, but I cherish the friend who for me does not consult the calendar." ~ Robert Brault

"True friendship is like sound health; the value of it is seldom known until it is lost." ~ Charles Caleb Colton

"A good friend is a connection to life - a tie to the past, a road to the future, the key to sanity in a totally insane world."  ~ Lois Wyse
"The best time to make friends is before you need them."  ~ Ethel Barrymore

"Friendship is one mind in two bodies."  ~ Mencius

"Best Friends" ~ 16" x 20" Original Watercolor  ~ Sold

Monday, September 12, 2011

Red Neck Fly Spray For Horses

The summer is over.

But the flies and mosquitos are still going strong.

My friend from the mid-West gave me this recipe for homemade horse spray.

She said it came from Tennessee and is known as "Red- Neck Fly Spray".
It's simple to make, inexpensive and IT WORKS!!

I made up a batch and it seems to work as well or better than many of the others
I currently have in my arsenal. And believe me people, living out here in bug country, 
I've got quite a collection.  I think we have pretty much tried them all
from the cheapest to the most expensive brands.

Here's the recipe. I mixed it up in a 1/2 gallon milk jug,
gave it a good shake and then poured it into my sprayers.

If you want to make a gallon at a time, 
just increase the ingredients to 1 cup instead of 1/2.


1/2 cup PineSol

1/2 cup Apple Cider Vinegar

1/2 cup Rubbing Alcohol

Fill the jug with water ands shake each time before use.


BTW, these new photos of my babies are now available for licensing.

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Jersey Devil And Fall Is In The Air

This year's illustration is just off the brushes
for the Chatsworth Cranberry Festival Program Book.

It's done in color, but will be in black and white for the cover.

I think the 2011 Jersey Devil is one of the scariest I've done to date
and just realized that there may have been some influence here.

Do you see any resemblance to Jerry's new sculpture?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

My Wet And Soggy Sandarosa

This past week we had another little visitor that just hatched from the nest. 

This little snapping turtle was even smaller than the first one.
This is the first time, in living here over thirty years, that I have ever seen snappers.

I took him down to the old irrigation pond and released him.
I wonder if the two have met yet. 

It's been so wet and soggy here, we have been having an annoying issue with all the mosquitoes. We had to take down all the plants because they were hiding and breeding in there. Then when we would open the door to go into the house, they'd come right in with us. 

The caution tape is for the deer.
We put it up every night. So far it has worked like a charm.

The plants look a lot better hanging than on the ground.

We took all the hummingbird feeders down and sprayed the back of the house.

Several times.

Then we hung them back up 

for our frantic customers.

We still have hoards of hummers here in Hummer Land, but they won't be here much longer.

Anybody needing a hummingbird fix better get over here - El Pronto!!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Red Canoe Vs. Mystery In Painting

I found yesterday's letter, "Notes On Paucity" by Robert Gennvery interesting. Paucity is something that many of us artists will or already have come to grips with in some way. This succinct, witty essay conveys some very important truths. With the help of a suggestion by his long time friend, Joe Bloggett, Bob decides to take the red canoe out of the painting he is working on. He goes on to explain why; "In some paintings it's best to have viewers launch their own canoes". I invite you to give Robert Genn's Twice-Weekly Letters a look if you never have. You may be missing a real gem. I've been subscribing and gleaning insights from The Painter's Keys for more than a decade! Thanks Bob, for your letters and your continued dedication to raising the bar of art and evolution.

The Red Canoe  ~ Winslow Homer 1889  /  Wikimedia Commons