Sunday, June 17, 2018

The Farm Animal Collage

This afternoon I did some therapeutic painting. I needed it. And I finished my nursery room collage!
 The real thing is much brighter and sharper. I don't know why my photo is rather fuzzy. I took four of them, and they all turned out that way.

I had fun with the lettering -- I love Susan Branch's lettering, and I imitated her a little.
 Here's the motley crew ~ I do love them.




Mrs. Mouse
That was so much fun! Painting this was the thing I did when I felt stress coming on. Now ... what shall I paint next? More farm animals, more stories! Love to all out there ~

Friday, June 15, 2018

Getting Back to Work

No ... that doesn't mean I'm clocking into a 9-to-5 job somewhere. Sadly, my legs are no longer up to that. But it does mean that I'm back to painting and writing! This book is finished now:
If you'd enjoy a read-aloud of "The Thanksgiving Mice," here's a youtube video I did today. However, my nice camera acted up, and the video ends at page 23. So you'll just have to wonder how it ends, haha! 

As with my other little book, this one will be for sale. But I have to get it printed first, which is always the trickiest part for me. It will cost $10, just like the last one (same number of pages), which includes shipping inside the U.S.

What am I painting now, you ask? Well, Philip and Kara gave me those lovely paints and that lovely watercolor paper for my birthday. He told me, when I complained about lacking ideas to paint, that I should paint something to hang on the wall in the nursery someday, when they have their first baby, which is not happening yet. I don't want to start any false rumors. But still, I thought that was a pretty fun idea!

Immediately I thought how neat it would be to have a framed collage of characters from my little children's books, for my grandbabies to look at. It would remind them of all the farm animals they love from Nana's (that's me) books! I started with a rough preliminary sketch.
I'm sorry it's so pale. I didn't want to launch straight onto that high-quality watercolor paper without first roughing it out. Six blocks, five containing farm animals, and the sixth one saying "Red Robin Farm."

I started with Bernie. I know, I chopped his tail off. Well, it's for grandbabies, and they are forgiving, right?
 I proceeded on to Priscilla the Squirrel. (I haven't thought up her last name yet.) She figures in a love story I'm writing now, a somewhat one-sided love story.
 And Ned. He is in love with Priscilla, you see. An ill-fated attachment.
I have Punkin and Mrs. Mouse yet to paint, but they will be easy. Then I'll do some touching-up and finishing with backgrounds and probably some rick-rack to divide the boxes. Should be fun!

We exited wedding weekend straight into a death and funeral in our church, our oldest member and much-beloved. Plus many other excitements to keep us from settling back into our calm lives. I remind myself, as so many of you often remind yourselves on your blogs, that God has it all in hand, and all will be well. I need that reminder. Thank you for stopping by and putting up with my yappitiness!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The Bridal Portraits

Back in May, my dear cousin Tammy flew to North Carolina for a few days to photograph Anna for her bridal portraits. I haven't been able to share these yet because Gramm couldn't see them before the wedding -- before he saw Anna walk down the aisle. But now ...

These are just a handful. Tammy did a spectacular job! She also returned to photograph the wedding, and we are excited to see the results of her hard work on that day. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Back to Blogging

Today Adam's mom flew back to Nebraska and Kara drove home as well. Now we are alone again. Well ... is one ever alone with four dogs?
I picked our first 3 cucumbers today, and in spite of the photo, the dogs were actually wanting me, and not the cucumber.
Look what I found at the thrift store on Monday:
 I've blogged about this diner pattern before. What a sweet little dish!
I also found yet another cotton skirt with built-in slip.
 It's dark green, despite these photos. The hem is lacy.
 We've had so much rain. Today was no exception. It came pounding down. The ditch filled and flooded over into our yard a bit.
 The worst thing about heavy rain is that we still have our old, leaky roof, and the ceiling drips, sometimes in just one spot (over the sofa), but on days like today, in quite a few. Today it dripped on the piano :(  Sigh.
 And new spots erupted over the living room fan.
 I can't tell you how discouraging this is for Adam and for me. We simply don't have money for any kind of roof -- not even close. There's just nothing to be done but empty buckets in the attic and hope that new holes don't start. And pray. I pray regularly for a new roof.

I couldn't resist taking pictures of Anna's bridesmaids' bouquets before they droop. 
 Today I finished Elizabeth Goudge's "The White Witch" at last. It's a good book, well crafted, written in a rich, leisurely style. A historical novel set during the English Civil War, it focuses on a half-gypsy woman and the circle of friends and family around her. Do not be put off by the term "witch" in the title. She is a wise woman who uses herbs to heal people. Goudge weaves Christian faith quietly and beautifully into her main characters.
 I thought I'd drop a few quotes from the novel for you to ponder:
~ In reference to implements of torture or execution, a pastor says, "They do not lessen the evil in the world; they increase it, by making those who handle these cruelties as wicked as those who suffer them. No, I'm wrong, more wicked, for there is always some expiation made in the endurance of suffering and none at all in the infliction of it."
~ The same pastor, in response to someone's sympathy when his church service was a failure: "Failure? How can I fail when I am nothing?" 
~ A dying gypsy woman utters these words: "But those who break the law should be loved more and not less for their sin, for if we do not forgive, then is sin added to sin and the end is death." 
~A man, filled with remorse for his sense of responsibility for another's death, asks, "Is there a sort of divine economy that turns even our sins to some use?"

Next, I'll read this book, which I've had for 3 years after I swiped it from my mother's shelves.
Since I watch so much of "Escape to the Country," I now know where most of the British counties are (hooray!), and I know where Wiltshire is. 

Adam and I are recovering physically and emotionally from all the delights, anxieties, and exhaustions of the wedding week. I plan to return to some semblance of creative order in my studio. I'll let you know if I have any success!

Sunday, June 10, 2018

For the Happy Tears!

I hardly know where to begin. What a week! Weddings are glorious, fun, hard work, emotional, exhausting, divine, heart-wrenching, and the most wonderful days in our lives ... all rolled into one.
For those wondering about my mother's flower-arranging skills:
The ivy was from her yard. The eucalyptus was from mine. The white roses and carnations were courtesy of WalMart. The Queen Anne's lace and purple cone flowers were given by our pianist and friend. The peonies traveled from my sister-in-law's farm in W.Va. I say my mother has a romantic British drapey look with flowers.
(This will be a long post. I recommend consuming it in segments with refills on tea.)
Here are photos from the bridal shower two weeks ago. (I know, I know ... I'm way behind.)
Sweetest hostess on the planet, Martha
Anna felt the delight of being spoiled, loved, and gift-given.

Anna with two other young ladies from church

This delightful gift -- Recipe for a Happy Marriage -- made the evening sweet.

I think there were 17 of us ladies there, which was delightful.

Now, photos of the finished cake! I know you've all been dying to see it:

It was as good as it looks, and everyone was so proud of Adam and Gloria. We had some left over, which we froze at church for next week's snack. And Adam had a niece asking him if he would make her wedding cake ... someday.

She was wearing these gift pajamas before the fact!

Much church decorating occurred, involving hefting of wooden furniture and tables, draping of twinkle lights and tulle fabric, nibbling on quick meals, and flying trips to WalMart for  one more thing.

a serving bowl in my wedding china pattern, Mikasa Rosemeade.

 They chose a neat idea for the guest sign-in, a tree (artwork by Julia) where each guest put a green thumbprint, and signed his/her name on said thumbprint.

We had a breakfast for bridesmaids and ladies in our family. My sister-in-law Anne prepared all the food beautifully. All I had to do was pull out dishes.
 We squeezed all the girlies onto the couch. (Our family has a bad habit of squeezing kids on couches for photos.) There are quite a few beloved girls missing too, but this crew is darling. This moment made my heart so happy.
Yes, Anna is sporting her daddy's old dress shirt. She basically wore it all day until time to don her wedding dress. I'm not really sure why, haha :)

The rehearsal dinner was so much fun!


What are Anna and Gramm smiling at, you ask? A surprise slide show of themselves as babies/toddlers/kids/teens/etc., designed by Gramm's brother. We all thoroughly enjoyed it!
 Afterward a few candid shots were taken by the river.

Where are the wedding photos, you wonder? Here they are ~

Gorgeous wreaths made my another sister-in-law

 Anna with her grandmothers before the ceremony:

Cousin Tammy and brother Marshall:

"Smile!" I said ...

Silly, happy girls!

"Don't touch the veil!!"

Lovely girls!
 "Who gives this woman?"
 "Her mother and I do."

Yes, we do, and very happily. Our darling girl has married a very fine young man, into whose arms we trustingly place her. We feel they are very well-suited, committed, and look forward eagerly to all the joys they will share.
These are only the candid shots I happened to remember to snap on my phone. Much better photos will be coming later from my dear, rescuing cousin, Tammy, who agreed to photograph the wedding on Thursday night after we learned that Michael (my niece's husband, and our first photographer) could not come because Hannah (my niece) is very ill. (Please pray for her.) 

The weekend, as all of life, was full to the brim of great joy and some sorrows as well. Families are like that, aren't they? But the union of Gramm and Anna -- that was sheer joy. They were beaming. May God bless them richly and guard them from all harm. 

Adam's mom gave us ladies in the family a handkerchief, as she said, "for the happy tears."
May they always be happy ones.