decoupage peony

decoupage kittys

Decoupage under 7″ round glass plates

I’ve been working on some more decoupage under glass pieces.  I’ve posted about it before and even had some step by step instructions posted on this blog here Part One and here Part two.

Nicola was interested until she read all the steps and then told me she found it too fussy.  Which it is. But it’s also relaxing.  At least for me.  Part of the process anyway.  The cutting of the paper is very relaxing, particularly if it’s “lacy”.   It can put me in an altered state.  Like Candy Crush.   Then comes the gluing, and cleaning the glue which requires a few things I don’t have.  Patience and a delicate touch.

All the work is done from the back of the glass.  Gluing, cleaning off the glue, metallic and bronzing, (that’s the shiny stuff on the glass pieces above), painting the background, bronzing the back and finally applying polyurethane.  The pieces are actually food safe because the front is just plain glass.  You just can’t soak the pieces or put them in a dishwasher.

On a different topic, Sunday is not only Father’s Day in the U.S. (happy father’s day to all you dads!), it’s also the first day of summer and most importantly the 10th anniversary of my dog coming home.  We picked her up from the shelter on June 21st when she was 12 weeks.  Now The Husband and I will celebrate our 10th anniversary with her.  I’m sure there will be a special treat for her that day.

Maybe I can serve it to her on a lovely decoupaged glass plate!

Kaiya June 2015

 

 

 

 

Pansies 1

Pansies 2

The Husband and I were both at or near the World Trade Center on 9/11.  He was there as an NYPD officer and a first responder.  I was there because I worked two blocks away.  I am convinced that many of my bronchial issues are from breathing in the burning air for the 100 days the fire burned.  But this post is not about 9/11 per se, but more about remembrances.

Yesterday The Husband and I were talking about my bronchitis/asthma/whateverthehellthisis. He was nagging asking me to see a pulmonologist.   (I finally made an appt.)  As we were talking we remembered the time shortly after 9/11 when he came to visit me in uniform in the building I had been relocated to.  There was a new receptionist.  The Husband came to the 36th floor and asked for me.  The receptionist called me and when there was no answer she left her desk and started to look for me.  With panic in her eyes, she told everyone she saw “THE POLICE ARE HERE FOR CAROL!”.  I think she thought I was about to get locked up.

The pansy got its name from the French word pensée “thought”.  I’ve always liked pansies and their beautiful faces.  In the language of flowers pansy is a symbol for “loving thoughts”, remembrance” and “free thought”.

One day while perusing the internet, I found a video of an artist Karlyn Holman using an “Elegant Writer” Calligraphy Marker for watercolors.  I thought it was interesting and wanted to give it a try.  I did the above two small paintings using the Elegant Writer marker and then watercolors.  I think I need to practice, but the technique was fun.

6 lb weights6 lb weights (unused) 9″ x 12″ watercolor on 140 Arches coldpress

It seems like I think you do.  But I don’t.

I was extremely perturbed to discover that someone had hacked an old email address and started sending out those annoying emails and links to a “lose weight” website to everyone in my address book.

At about the same time as this unfortunate discovery, I had dusted off my box of 6 lb. hand weights to give to The Husband to pack.  As I lifted the box, which was clearly an effort, Hubby laughed and laughed and said that was the most exercise I had gotten with these weights since I bought them.  And could he throw them out.  The answer is “NO!”.  When we finally move I plan to use these to have very buff arms.

I also plan to grow to 5′ 10″, weigh 100 lbs and learn to speak Spanish.   Oh, and lose my belly fat. Hey, you never know.

 

 

 

peony 2

peony 1

Peony cards on 140# Arches coldpress

I never had allergies to anything.  Ever.  One time I had a rash on my arm which I attributed to stress but my sister dragged me to her allergy doctor anyway.

Dr. V:  What are you allergic to?

Me:  Nothing.

Dr. V:  We will test you by pricking you with all these needles in a grid pattern on your arm and see which ones you react to.

Me:  I’m not allergic to anything.

Dr. V:  Prick, prick, prick.

Me:  Ow, Ow, OW!

After the required amount of waiting time:

Dr. V:  Oh, you’re not allergic to anything.

Me:  Response cannot be printed here.

So imagine my surprise when our winter polar vortex turned the spring into a pollen vortex and I started sniffling.  Which then went right into my chest for a very acute case of asthmatic bronchitis. I’m still not all the way better and I’m still not convinced that I have allergies, but I do know this case of bronchitis knocked me for a loop.   Ugh!

New Mexico

New Mexico landscape on the Rio Grande – 15″ x 21″ watercolor on 140# Arches coldpress

The peonies are in bloom and they are one of my favorite flowers.  I needed some cards for friends so I figured I would paint a peony or two.  I also finished my New Mexico landscape which I’m happy with.

WordPress told me that this is my 300th post!  Wow!  Who knew I had that many paintings or that much to say.   Thanks for visiting, looking at my art and reading my posts.  Cheers!

And finally, here’s a picture of my dog.

Kaiya

Not long ago at a family gathering, one of my nieces mentioned that she thought it would be fun to have a painting of doughnuts after seeing my card for John And Mohammed.  So I did this:

doughnuts

After I painted it I thought hey,  I’ll add a graphic element and add some names of the doughnuts.

So then I did this:

Oops Doughnuts

Note to self:  Before writing on a painting make sure you know how to correctly spell out what you are identifying.

I guess I’ll cut this up and make 3 cards out of them.  I’ll have to eat the cruller!

The above painting scrap paper is watercolor on 9″ x 12″ 140 # Arches coldpress.  I used a wax birthday candle to save some whites on the jelly doughnut and the strawberry frosted.

NYC Lovebirds 5-3-2015Lovebirds 15″ x 11″ watercolor on 140# Arches coldpress – based on a photo from Paint My Photo

I am over my retirement guilt.  One morning I woke up and decided hey, this isn’t half bad! Now its a whole new normal.

One new thing is that The Husband and I are home together all day, every day. He and I have both worked our entire adult lives.  We’ve had varying incomes…sometimes he made more, sometimes I did. But now that I’ve stopped working to get ready for the move out of NYC I have no income.  He has a pension.  I do not like this.  And what I like less is that he has now taken to calling himself “Big Daddy”. In the 3rd person.

Conversation regarding the big purge of the apartment:

Me:  ” We got rid of so much stuff, but I hate to give away those old fashioned china dishes we have.”

The Husband:  “Big Daddy is ok with you keeping them.”

Me:  Huge eyeroll.

We have been going out out together for the morning dog walk.  Then we pick up coffee and something to eat and sit on our stoop and dine “al fresco”.

Today on the stoop as an old man with a cane walks by:

The Husband to the old man:   “How are you?  Have a good walk.”

Me:  (after the old man passes)  “Who’s that?”

The Husband:  “He is the father of the couple that live across the street.”

Me:  Oh

The Husband:  “You don’t know anyone on the block, so why are you so upset about leaving?  Big Daddy says ‘bye-bye’ NY.”

Me:  Huge eyeroll again.   “Big Daddy will not be happy with Little Mama’s foot up his a$$.”

And so it goes.

Wish us luck.

The above painting is from a reference photo from Paint my Photo.  I want to give the photographer credit but I can’t find it on the website anymore.  :(    If anyone sees it would you please let me know.  I want to credit him or her for the photo.

And for no reason here’s a picture of the NYC skyline at sunset taken by moi on the always exciting BQE:

Manhattan sunset skyline 5-2-2015

 

It’s been about 4 weeks since I stopped working.  I still miss my office and my friends. I miss the routine.  I miss the problem solving of work, but not the red tape and bureaucracy.  And I certainly don’t miss the daily commute on the subways during rush hour.

New Mexico landscape

New Mexico landscape, WIP – watercolor on 1/2 sheet of 140# Arches coldpress

Charlie our friend and my late night dog walking buddy thinks I’m crazy.  As does practically everyone I know.  I’m sure I’ll get the hang of this soon enough.

Charlie came in for the weekend to visit his son. We also got a chance to visit. He’s been living up in Maine for 3 years now.   It was like he never left the City. One night while out at dinner we were talking about shows we’ve been watching.  I told him we now have Netflix.  Streaming, not the disks. Charlie said in Maine they don’t have streaming internet, just screaming internet.  He spends most of his time screaming at the computer waiting for things to load.  Then he gives up and goes to the library because they have internet access.

My retirement reWirement continues and so far I just feel like instead of having a rewired brain I have a lot of disconnected and frayed wires.   My ever so thoughtful niece Caroline gave me this book:

1001 ways to relaxI’m not relaxed yet.

At least my Netflix streams.

The above painting is from a reference photo I took when The Husband and I visited New Mexico in October of 2014.  I know….it doesn’t look like New Mexico. But it is.  I swear.  While painting this I tried to keep it loose like the beautiful beach-scapes Stephen does.  I may work on it a little bit more, but not much.  Off to see what the #476 way to relax is.

 

 

IMG_5338

Daffodils in a Fiestaware pitcher – watercolor on 140# Arches cold press

I was so excited that spring had finally arrived that I ran out and bought some daffodils and put them in my green fiestaware pitcher.  I love this pitcher.  It was given to me by my long-time friend Jim who had boatloads of the stuff.  He has since curated his collection to a few select pieces and sold the rest.  I was lucky to get this item and I always have it on my mantle, with or without flowers.

Thank you all for your comments on the previous post.  My retirement or “re-wirement” as my friend Joan calls it is a work in progress.   I have not relaxed one day since being home. I have anxiety dreams each night and still think on Sunday nights, like tonight, that I have to get up and go to work tomorrow. I’m sure this will pass and my rewirement will begin.  I am looking forward to being rewired.

The Husband and I have been purging, packing and painting so we can move. Where to?  That’s the million dollar question. I heard about this book by Marie Kondo, a former Shinto shrine maiden:  “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up:  The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.” I haven’t gotten it yet, but read enough and heard enough about it to get the gist. I will get it one of these days after I’ve tidied up my bookshelves. I’ve also seen some videos she has of organizing an underwear drawer.  Now, Miss Kondo is a very petite woman.  And not an American.  After I watched her fold her teeny tiny underpants and teeny tiny bras and put them neatly in a teeny, tiny drawer, I realized I would have to modify her methods.  I have bigger drawers.  In both senses of the word.

I am continuing to purge, but my green fiestaware pitcher will be with me wherever I end up.

On another note,  I recently discovered I have a severe case of this:CarcolepsySo in case I’m ever in a car with you as a passenger, don’t be offended if I doze off.

coffeedoughnut

 Watercolor cards of coffee and a doughnut – 140 #arches coldpress scraps glued to a pre-made card 

Every morning I stop by my local coffee cart run by John and Mohammed, immigrants from Afghanistan who run this cart like a well oiled machine.  John sees me coming down the street from the subway and if there are no other customers he immediately prepares my coffee.  I told him once what I wanted and I never had to tell him again.

Sometimes Mohammed has to sit in the van until alternate-side-of-the-street parking goes off at 8:00 am.  But if he’s in the cart too then the coffee and doughnut serving ballet really begins.  John gets the coffee, Mohammed bags it with the requisite baked good that the person ordered, takes the money and makes change while John is on to the next customer.   If only the City could run that smoothly.

For a while I tried not to get a doughnut with my coffee, but either John or Mohammed would put it in the bag anyway.  One day they ran out of chocolate frosted so they gave me a whole wheat.  I eventually gave up fighting with them and just accepted the whole wheat doughnut with my coffee.  Hey, it’s whole wheat. Ergo, it must be healthy.

Tomorrow, April 1st will be my last day of work.  I will have retired. And it’s not an April Fool’s joke even though some people in my office may think it is.  It’s a very strange feeling.  Clearly, I’m happy about it, but my daily routine, starting with John and Mohammed will now be over.  I’ll have to create new routines.  Unless of course I decide to take the subway every morning to get coffee from John and Mohammed’s cart, chat with them, and then come home.  Yes, I will miss these guys.  But that would just be silly.

 

Trade winds Feb. 2015Tradewinds – watercolor on 140# coldpress  Approx. 9 x 12 SOLD

You know how now with email or Facebook if you look anything up THE NEXT SECOND ads begin to appear in the sidebar for what you just looked up.  Write an email that your roof leaks to your friend and next thing you know roofing ads start appearing in the sidebar of your email.   I wrote about it here.   Today I received an email from my sister and Google asked me if I wanted to translate it into Afrikaans.  Huh?  Afrikaans?  What’s up with that? It was an email she sent me with pictures of her neighbor’s two dogs “Tucker” and “Glacier”.  Maybe Tucker and Glacier mean something in Afrikaans and Google wanted to know if it should translate? Big Brother is always watching…and listening…and translating into Afrikaans!

I was inspired by Rhonda Carpenter to do an abstract piece.  This is what came from my brush.  I was pleased.  My sister said she liked it too.  Although she texted it to me.  She didn’t email it. Otherwise Google would then be showing me ads for boats or sea food restaurants.

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