Archive for 2009

Once in a Blue Moon…

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

full moon

we have two full moons in the same month.  I think it’s a great way to usher in a  new year and a new decade.  May the new year bring you many good things.

Making a Mark Blog

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

aunt peggyWhile I was away, visiting family, I learned that my painting “Aunt Peggy’s Sunroom” had been nominated for

Making A Mark Awards 2009: Nominations for the best picture (still life)

on Making a Mark Blog.  That was a lovely Christmas gift, and I’m grateful to my friend Nat Wildish for the nomination.

All of the nominated paintings are really great!  You can also see at this blog the other competitions taking place and the wonderful art being showcased.

Do I Know This Santa???

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009


When I visit my Mom and sister in Albuquerque, I sleep on the floor on camping pads – hence, the weird viewpoint, looking upward.  This vision greeted me Christmas morning.

And then “Santa” unveiled to reveal that charming gap-teethed smile only my sister can now make since her surgery.  She looks like a cute, mischievous, and slightly demented Santa!   Needless to say, we had great fun…and more details about my trip to New Mexico will come a bit later.


Merry Christmas, Everyone!

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

1925 Xmas.2

I’m posting this Christmas greeting early, as I fly to Albuquerque to visit my mother and sister, where it will be extremely cold, dry, but SUNNY!  I’ll report later.  Meantime, have a beautiful Christmas, everyone!

[Photo is of my greatgrandfather Papa Tobin and his grandchildren who are, left to right:  My Aunt Betty Ryan, Aunt Jerry Ryan holding my squalling Aunt Peggy Ryan, and Uncle Dennis Tobin, 1925, Wichita, Kansas]

A Very Brassy Christmas!

Saturday, December 19th, 2009

photo(2)I ran into my local Fred Meyer store to pick up a non-Christmas item that I needed for next week.  I heard some lovely brass instrumental music over the speakers and then stopped and listend more closely.  That was NOT canned music – it was LIVE!

So I rushed to where the music was loudest, and this is what I found:  the Rogue Valley Symphony Brass Quintet pulling out all the stops, so to speak, and playing some great Christmas music.  It was fantastic!  I just wish I had had my regular digital camera so I could have recorded some of the music.

Well, my schedule for the day next included a stop to the recycling station to recyle an old electronic item, but this called for savoring and taking my time to enjoy the musical moments.

I hope you come across some fun Christmas surprises too.


Rain Respite

Friday, December 18th, 2009


The “girls” were waiting for me to get up, this Saturday morning, hoping for a handout.  They can really bore holes into your soul, it seems!  Or at least make a person feel downright guilty.  It had rained for the last couple of days, and they were also drying out at a safe location, free of dogs.

This doe and first-winter fawn were mutually grooming each other in the weak winter sunlight.


The mildness of the day and the break in the rain must have made the old matriarch sleepy, and this is what happens when all conditions are right:


More Egg Art

Sunday, December 13th, 2009
Back of decorated egg

Back of decorated egg

When I recently visited my mother, she gave me some painted eggs I had made when I was younger. I’ve written about eggshell art previously.   This particular egg has always been one of my favorites.  I painted with what I had at hand at the time:  watercolor for purple background; India ink for black to outline the three kings while reserving the white of the natural egg, and nail polish to add the “lacquer” at the end, and to strengthen the egg shell.

For the inside, I pasted a Christ Child in the background and stuffed the foreground with dried flowers.  It’s taken a beating:  parts of the shell have broken away, and there’s a significant crack.  But it was fun to see it again.


Sam Does Shadowboxing

Sunday, December 6th, 2009
YouTube Preview Image

Sam decided to try something a little bit different.  Instead of climbing the walls, he climbed the curtains and ended up happily behind the sheer curtains.  I love the effects, and I think he did too.

Frozen Fog & Other Winter Discoveries

Friday, December 4th, 2009


As I walked in a winter wonderland of frozen fog today, I heard the unmistakable sound of geese honking above me – they sounded tired, and they sure are late at flying south.  So I sent them a prayer for safe journey and told them to come back in the spring.  They were beautiful.

It was extremely cold this morning.  I don’t like being cold when I walk.  I have a metabolism that takes a lot of stoking to get going, so I tend to just be cold at the get-go.  So I layered myself from top to bottom.  By the time I pop out of the front door, I look like a cartoon Michelin Man (my jacket is black too).  But I was prepared!

The fog had rolled in as it has for the last week, but it had frozen and was snowing fog:  a powdery white, like powdered sugar.  It covered everything and what tried to thaw out the night before had frozen.  Even the spiderwebs were frozen!


The soil has dried somewhat since the last rains, but the moisture in the air collects at the edges of things, like this oak leaf:


When I got to the highest point of the hill I was on, I looked out – above the fog layer – into the valley below.  I was glad I was above it.  The sun felt great, and the fog-snow sparkled as the sun hit it.  It was a glorious walk, and I’m glad I didn’t have to drive in it today.  And I stayed plenty warm!


“The fog comes on little cat feet…”

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009

fogand Emily Dickinson had that right – except these little cat feet are very COLD!  The fog we’ve had here for the last couple of weeks has been freezing, covering everything with a coating of fine white.  Brrr!

But when the sun has tried to seep through the fog layer, the shadows and light effects are really fantastic – I’ve been enjoying that part!