Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Older I Get...

The Older I Get -- The Better I Cook is my new take on the old one shown below. My Mother-in-Law had the plaque below hanging in her kitchen for as long as I've known her. When she moved, she handed it down to me and I proudly displayed it in my kitchen as as testament to my love for cooking. However, as my style has evolved over the years, the cute country look didn't suit my taste anymore. So, as I say with many things I see in catalogs, I can make that! So I redesigned it, bigger and better. I took what seemed like forever to finish this darn thing and it's changed directions many times. I'm pleased with the final outcome even though I'm not convinced it's finished. But it hangs in my kitchen nonetheless and I can always add to it later.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Paint Free Exercises

I recently purchased Wyanne's e-Book "Paint Free" and I'm working through the projects. The first painting above is an exercise to paint continuously for 30 minutes without stopping to think about what you're painting. It's not what I was hoping to end up with, but I like it.

The next exercise was simple, old fashioned coloring, which I do quite often with my eight year old daughter, but never really gave it much thought as I color. Below is what I learned while I was coloring.

I found Wyanne through You Tube while watching some art instruction videos and watched several of hers as well. I fell in love with her style of loose painting or "PAINTING FREE" as she would call it. When I saw she was coming out with an e-Book, I jumped on it immediately with a pre-order. I'm still struggling to find my own style and I know part of that is I'm not painting enough. This summer I'm having trouble finding time to paint, but working through this book has motivated me to MAKE THE TIME ... I deserve it!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

A Recommended Read - The Alchemist

photo from Stillwater Free Library
Just finished reading The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. I thoroughly enjoyed this book not only for its simplicity but also for its inspiring story. This book is a must read for anyone on a journey of their own to discover their path in life, to realize a dream or to better understand who they are as a person. It's filled with wisdom about discovering the treasures within ourselves and about listening and following our hearts. It encourages us "to realize one's Personal Legend" and that "when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it" if you can read the signs and open your heart to it. So many quotable and thought provoking passages...such as "Because I don't live in either my past or my future, I'm interested in only the present. If you can concentrate always on the present, you'll be a happy man." And "That's what alchemists do. They show that, when we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better, too." Definitely a book that will stay on my bookshelf forever.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Busy Few Days...Are They Over Yet?

Starting with the more exciting event of the few days, taping of the Extra Show at The Grove in Los Angeles. Taping was going on just as we entered the mall and the girls were invited to be part of the audience. Paige is in the hot pink (not a great photo of her, but it's all I had with Mario Lopez) with Samantha next to her and Karly and Kayla behind them. Unfortunately they didn't make it onto the show last night due to their side-stage position. It was, however, extremely interesting to watch the taping process. Then it was off to the main destination, The American Girl store, below, where we had fun shopping and discovering new hair styles (for some of us and their dolls). 

And finally ending the day with a Swim Team beach evening at the Montage Resort in Laguna Beach. much go, go, go for me. And then was off to the Farmers Market at the Great Park in Irvine for produce shopping and carousel rides with Grandma Vera.

And ending that day with a BBQ and fire at the lagoon. The kids had a great time and now I need to rest. Oh's off to Wild Rivers today to ride the tubes then to swim practice and then Cooking Club. Yikes!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

New Hearts + Blogging Excuses

OMG!'s been so long since I posted anything on my blog and it's been driving me absolutely mad. I don't like to write a post without a photo, and I haven't been very good about photographing the things I've been doing or working on. The end of the school year and the beginning of summer has kept me busier than ever! I was painting like mad in May and June, but never really finished anything or got around to photographing my work. I've been playing catch-up on life and trying to get things done that have been staring me down for months...filing, good housecleaning, cleaning out kids rooms and bookshelves, clutter busting and such. I would like to bring this blog up to speed and I'll start with these heart photos. The heart above is from the sidewalk in front of my house...I can't believe I've lived here five years and never really noticed it. The heart below is a water spot on the patio from our impromptu Memorial Day gathering after a fun game of Frisbee golf. Paige noticed this one...she is an awesome heart finder, always searching and point them out for me. And finally, the heart rock below that Scott found while at Cub Scout Day Camp as a Youth Volunteer at the Orange County Outdoor Education Center. I always know when he comes home and says, "Mom, I have something for you!" that it's some kind of heart. I'm never disappointed!