Saturday, April 28, 2012


In desparation I finally purchased a new camera on Amazon last night.  I have wanted one for a long time and now I need it!  Today I took a day off and  had fun.  I took care of baby Mackenzie - 6 months old and a little darling.  I managed a sketch of her when she was napping and I have another couple going as well.  I practiced a "doll" faced drawing this evening and used my Prismacolor pencils. I purchased them for a Suzi Blu lesson and have only used them once so far.

April 28th,
Here are a couple of sketches I made in the last couple of days or so.  I have actually been working on some "envelope" art and sent of a few letters etc.  I learned that water colors are NOT a very successful medium for envelopes - they buckle with the water and that isn't what I want.  It's fun finding what doesn't work right up there with what does.

School vacation led to a "let's play art" session with Isabel and Scotty.  I showed them how to "dribble" and spray ink, chunk on some gesso and stick "stuff" to the picture.  Scotty took his home with him but Isabel experimented with the "let's just mix 'em up up together" method and was not too impressed with the big grey globby mess she created!

The end of the weekend.......

Ken, Mandi and the kids just went back to Connecticut after a "Birthday/Anniversary" overnight visit. It was fun to see them and we ate well - roast beast and roast duck.  I was amazed to find the kids all loved the duck, even Jay (Mr. I eat beef, turkey and chicken only man), liked the duck. No leftovers for Derek and I :( !

I have been diligent about working on art. Friday I worked on the cover of my new sketch book.  I can't say it's great but it works and I quite like it.  Very little time Saturday because of visiting relatives, but I did get a download from Dadcando and made a lovely little butterfly from paper.  Today Ken and I sat down and painted.  Ken is a stunningly good artist and was finishing a desert scene to give to his cousin.  They are stopping at the cousin's house on the way home so it had to be done.  It's hard for me to sit down with my doodles and see Ken creating a master work of art.

I created an illustration for the Nursery Rhyme "There was a crooked man".  It was fun and I used my
Inktense pencils to create most of the painting.  So - yes I was practicing art and yes I was using my new art materials.  Good for me :) Now as soon as I can locate a camera, which is not easy right now, I will post this with illustrations.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Promises to myself.

Today is my birthday, and because I got married on my birthday today I am 67 years old, and I am celebrating my 45th anniversary.  I have really had a lovely day just relaxing with Derek, eating out, playing with the Grandchildren.

Today is also the day I stop fooling about and begin to be the artistic person I have wanted to be for years.  So -- promise time!

I promise myself that I will stop buying every new medium that crosses my path.  I will begin to use the piles of art materials and ideas I have been hoarding for the past ages.  Sink or swim I am going to test myself to see if I am just talk or I really want to be an artist!  It's time I think :)

The first thing I have done to set off on my new path is purchase a new sketch book - now I think about it that's just like me - I should have made one!  Oh well, next time.

Anyway - here is my first entry - a birthday self portrait - the first one I have ever attempted at that.  Derek says it doesn't look much like me.  I think it looks like me.  Here it is - you decide :)

Saturday, November 5, 2011


The way weeks slide away is scary!  We have had so much going on in the last few weeks I haven't been anywhere near my blog! Summer is over and done with, the boat is hauled and snugged down in the boat yard for the winter, and Thanksgiving is just around the corner.  What happened?

First was hurricane Irene that whipped through the Northeast causing all sorts of damage.  Duxbury caught the edge of it and we had 72mph gusts howling through.  Lots of downed trees and limbs and loss of electricity for 4 days.  The poor people who were in the direct path as it went North suffered terrible damage.  Some towns in Maine were completely cut off for days.

Dominic had a birthday!

Eight years old - that certainly flew by :)

 My sister and her partner came to visit for two weeks.  We had a great time getting to know one and other and touring the area.

We did the tourist thing and ate at "Cheers" :)

Isabel started playing Soccer.  It's so cute to see the little girls running around in a bunch after the ball!  She plays very well and will probably be keeping it up in the Spring.  Dominic is in year two of the Cub Scouts - I believe he is a Wolf Scout this year.  Isabel has just started Daisies, Brownies in England
Back to school and Dominic has to be at the bus stop by 7am.  That's is proving a little tough.  Isabel is finally in Kindergarten and very happy as she has homework too now.  They are both doing well.  Dominic is working on this project today.  The kids (8 year's old) were told to come up with a business idea, build a prototype, and create advertising for their product.  They will give a talk on what they had developed and why everyone should buy one.  I think in 2nd grade I was still trying to conquer the 9 times table!

Last weekend we had an early snowstorm.  Not too bad here, just a dusting, but in Connecticut they got slammed.  Mandy had a good 18" of heavy snow overnight on Sunday and lost all her power, including the heat.  Halloween was Monday and of course it was cancelled as there were no street lights and piles of snow and broken branches everywhere.  On Tuesday I called her and she bundled up the kids and came to us for a few days.  Thursday was Derek's 72nd birthday and he was delighted to have his whole family here. She went back home yesterday and managed to get the heat working.  No electricity until Sunday at the earliest.

I have been working hard to catch up on my Swaps with Milliande Art Community.  Needless to say I had to join a couple more for Christmas.

Thanksgiving here we come !!  :)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Additions to the family

Over the last few weeks we have added a few friends to the family

 On the left we have Ruby, belonging to Isabel, and on the right Bob, belonging to Dominic.

The kids begged and begged for a turtle. Vicki went out and bought the whole turtle set up, tank, heat lamp, big rock to sunbathe on, etc., just to be sure he would be happy here.  This is Squirt owned by, and thoroughly disliked by, both kids.  Squirt is mean - he hisses and snaps and does not like children! Look at that face! He LOOKS like a grumpy old man.

And this my dears is Thomas the Tortoise.

Thomas is mine :). I have wanted a tortoise since I was about 5 year old and fell in love with my friends pet who used to hibernate under their sofa in the winter.  Thomas will not hibernate.  He comes from North Africa and will grow to about 150lbs and live 120 to 150 years.  My great grandchildren will ride him I expect.

Thomas is one spoiled little pet.  He loves the kids and pokes his head out when he hears them.  They pick him up so quickly and swish him through the air so fast I am amazed he puts up with it without complaint.  See how he has his legs and head out as Dominic holds him?  If it's a stranger holding him he is tightly tucked in his shell.

He is not too keen on Chewy the dog.  Chewy gave him a big doggy kiss and Thomas hasn't put his head out around the dog since.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A gentle weekend sail

We decided that a 3 day weekend meant we could take Gypsy and sail down to the Cape on Friday, returning Sunday.  Lovely, lovely long summer weekend.

Thursday night we motored out to Middle Brewster and spent the night there.  We left early Friday morning, as soon as we had enough daylight to see the marks leaving Boston Harbor.  It has been a few years since we left via Hypocrite Channel and there are some really bad rocks out there so we wanted to be a little careful.  As the sun rose higher and higher the wind dropped lower and lower.  So we motored, and motored and motored.  We did get a little sail in, maybe half an hour, about two hours from Provincetown,  (P'town),  but that was all.

I was steering at the time, ( Derek was napping ), and it was hot and sunny - a little breeze was welcome.  All of a sudden we were surrounded by a group of Blue Fin Tuna, jumping right out of the water and slamming back down again with great splashes of white foam .  For about a minute they swam and jumped just ahead of us, and just as suddenly they were gone. I love to see our finny neighbors when we are out in the middle of Mass Bay, but about half an hour later it did occur to me to wonder what had been chasing those big Tuna???

We motored into P'town arriving about 4 o'clock, and were greeted at the harbor entrance by a big grey seal.  One of the biggest we have ever seen.  A good trip, ten hours, even if it was mainly under the Iron Genny, (outboard motor).  Derek dropped the anchor and we were sitting down with beer and snacks 5 minutes later. It is so beautiful down there.  You can see the bottom off the side of the boat and watch little crabs walking around and fish swimming about.  If an orange flag wanders by you know that a diver is below searching for lobsters to make a visitor a good supper.  The seal popped his head out as if to say, "What, you lot back again?" and then swam off and we went to bed.

Saturday dawned fair but with bad weather in the offing.  We ran into P'town for supplies, came back to the mooring and just relaxed.  Derek cleaned the bottom of the boat and fiddled around with a few things.  I read.  Ahhhhh!  Peace!

Sunday dawned with a lot of wind, and promises by the weather radio of rain and thunder storms. We left the harbor at 7am with a reef in the mainsail and under motor because the wind was blowing in the wrong direction.  We went out into a really, REALLY rough sea, a nasty short chop.  We were tossed around quite a bit.  I had the tiller so I could hang on to something which was good.  I have to admit I love it and racing over waves yelling "Yeehah" is probably not what everyone would do but it is like a wild roller coaster and great fun.

We had agreed that the best plan was to head straight to the mainland rather than our usual track which takes us up the middle of the bay. Because the tides force the sea to bend around the Cape the waves get confused, some of them headed for the beach and some for the open seas beyond the hook.  The further out we got the less chop there was and we ended up with big old 5' waves but further apart than before, not so choppy.  I can only describe it as a roller coaster ride where someone takes a bucket of water and slings it in your face every so often. No more "Yeehah"!  Just hang on and keep going.  Eventually we had the waves behind us and the boat surfed on the big waves for miles up the coast.

We would have been fine if we could see.  The rain came down in buckets and we hadn't put batteries in the GPS yet so we had to guess where we were.  Kind of worrying when we got to Minot's light area, but eventually we saw the light through the rain and headed into Boston.  As we entered Boston harbor the skies cleared over us and we had sunshine and some of the most beautiful rainbows I have ever seen.  One of them laid flat on the water.  The spray blowing off the waves in Hull Gut was so dense the rainbow formed right along the sea itself.  Gorgeous.

Ten hours from P'town and we were home.  I must admit I was VERY glad to moor the boat!  A great trip but a wild one.  Monday I could hardly move.  My right arm ached from holding the tiller straight, and my legs felt like I had done a hundred knee bends from continually bracing to stop myself sliding.  Derek is laughing at me.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Back again!

Oh my goodness - 3 weeks since my last post?  It's not as if nothing has happened.  We went to CT for a weekend to celebrate Zane's eighth birthday. A treasure hunt proved very successful as the kids found hats, compasses, and goodies in a big trunk Mandi had found. Now we have ages 5, 6, 8 and 8.

Look at these cute guys!  It's a shame that the camera just doesn't show the details.  The bead work and embroidery is extraordinary and I have to find out how to do a doll face like Monika - the face on her little earth gnome on the right is just darling.  I want to be able to do that too :)

Gypsy is back in the water and we finally took her out to Middle Brewster Island and stayed overnight a couple of weeks ago.  We stopped for lunch at Lovell's Island and Derek took a quick nap.  He has been working hard on the boat and the table top has been redone with a new blue formica.  The counter matches and he has used a new beautiful warm rose wood, Paducet? as trim.  It looks stunning.

Middle Brewster has a great big sand cliff.  When we first came to Boston you could walk along the top but now it's forbidden as the cliff is gradually falling into the sea.  All the seagulls gather here and if you look carefully at this picture you will see that what looks like white stones is actually gulls clinging to the cliffside.  They made a wonderful racket during the day and at night you can hear them chatting to one and other.

There goes the sun, setting over Boston.  It was a beautiful clear night and we sat and watched the firework displays all along the coast .  There must have been 5 towns at one point sending up fireworks.  Good fun.

Off in the distance we can see Graves Light and right behind our mooring at Middle Brewster is Boston Light.  At night we have a great display of the lights zooming by as they warn off shipping.  Boston Light by the way is the only lighthouse in the USA that is still manned.  All the others are run by computers I suppose.

We are holding a Prayer Flag swap at Milliande's Art Community for Women.  I am running this swap and I made up a quick flag to show the people in the Paper Doll group how easy they are to make.  Most of this is glued with a glue stick :)

Because I am helping with the Paper Doll group I tried my hand at a mermaid.  I love the water color pencils I used.  They are called Inktense and are great to work with.