Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Out with the Old



The sands have pretty well run out of the 2008 hour glass. People always say that as you get older, the time goes more quickly. Just watch an hour glass - for the first part, it moves so slowly, that it almost seems clogged. Then, the closer it gets to the end, it just speeds. Same number of grains going through the hole at all times, but when so much is ahead, the passing of them isn't all that noticable or much of a concern. As it seems to speed up, we're paying closer attention, yelling WHOA! The year is like that. January's 30 days seem much longer than December's 31. Life is like that. Summer for a 5 year old is infinitely longer than for a 55 year old.
Time to flip the hour glass over - for Oh-Oh Eight, it's now too late ... double oh Nine , will be so fine.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Twas the Day After Christmas...


Christmas is like a speeding bullet - one minute it's weeks away, then suddenly it is upon us & in one blink of an eye, it's over. I don't even get to put the tape away from wrapping gifts, when all the paper is strewn all over the place then stuffed into the woodstove.

On Christmas Eve, there was a strange phenomenom - a freak snow storm came out of nowhere & was accompanied by major lightning. Gale winds & white-out conditions made us abandon the Church service just as it was beginning. Yesterday, Christmas Day - was the most beautiful, gloriously gorgeous and perfect day imaginable. The house was filled with the Happy Noise and Chaos of 8 adults and 3 children.

Today, Boxing Day was wonderful too. It's basically the only day in the entire year that I have absolutely NO expectations of myself. I do whatever I want - which has usually been to hang out in pj's and read. It definitely ALWAYS involves absolutely NO cooking, cleaning or doing dishes. I look forward to it. Today I watched three movies - unheard of for me in the fact that I actually WATCHED them, not just 'listened' as I worked away on something.

I did something else that is unheard of for me - I actually went into a store on Boxing Day. I could never figure out how anyone would have the energy to do that. Especially now when the sales are constant, Boxing Day specials are no big deal. But today I found something that I needed & wanted - okay, maybe 'needed' isn't all that accurate, but I definitely have been wanting one. I got me one of those little Teeney Weeney notebooks - just 8 inches. I use a regular laptop & love it, but this one is just so cute -I can tell we're going to be great friends. He's so little & happy - he's encouraging me to actually keep up with this Blog Thing more this year. And if anybody can do it - he can:)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Final Offerings for Christmas '08







I've been playing Ebay, mostly at Christmas, for five years - this was the shortest season ever, with only three weeks. It's too bad that I didn't have my act together earlier - I so enjoy the whole experience. I love to see my wonderful collector friends names in the bidding - makes my heart smile. And I love to get to meet new friends. These are the final things before Christmas. Although there is one more thing that I'd like to squeeze out time to do. It's been riding around in my head for three years now & wants to get out.



Friday, December 5, 2008

This Week's Ebay
















Three creations on this week, ending on Sunday night - December 7th.

I Stand Corrected

My Three Darling Daughters - sweet, fun & VERY athletic.

Awhile back, I wrote that my children were not blessed with either the athletic or musical gene. One of my offspring took great offence & pointed out the numerous sports that she had been involved in over the years. I responded with the well known fact that it was the social contact that she was interested in, not the actual sport itself. At one game, an old highschool friend, whose daughter was the very intense pitcher, asked which one was my daughter. I said 'The one doing her hair.' She admitted that 'back then', that was the case, but NOW, she qualifies for being athletic and indeed she does. So I am making a public retraction.

She has taken up running this spring and is focused, committed and doing very well with it. At this very moment, she's in Las Vegas, doing some kind of run with 10,000 other people. Her four & a half year old daughter, said today, when asked where her Mom is ... 'She's running to Las Vegas'. 'She's running IN Las Vegas', she was corrected. But you never know - maybe she is running TO Las Vegas, being so totally, absolutely, outstandingly athletic.
UPDATE: Jaime is back from, as Scotty says: 'Lost Vegas'. She finished something like 3,424th.That's pretty good considering there were 14,000 runners. Apparently she was in the 98th percentile for women her age. A complete retraction, Jaime - you are indeed Athletic:)

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Dapper Dapples


This week's Ebay listings include a Dapple Gray horse, with an explanation about how I love them & envision Christmas scenes, rocking horses & hobby horses, all as Dapple Grays. In September, on a drive through the country, I hollered 'WHOA' to Brian, jumped out of the car, climbed down a ditch & up a hill to capture this wonderful fella. Now that's a horse!

Halfy Birthday, Gibby



It seems that it was just minutes ago that I was writing about the magical summer evening when our precious grandson came into our lives. Six months have passed in the blink of an eye. We always celebrated our children's 'Half' birthday - with a cake & candles, singing 'Halfy Birthday to you'. Three quarters of our crew were born within 9 days of each other (on the calendar) in the Christmas season. There was an abundance of celebration all at once & then nothing for a long stretch, so HALFY BIRTHDAYS came to be. The tradition has continued with the grandchildren - so in keeping with that ... 'HALFY BIRTHDAY TO GIBSON!'

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Ebaying




The three pieces that end on Sunday.

FINALLY, I have got some pieces from the 'Chrismas '08' Series from The Edenwood Collection, on Ebay. It's going to be the shortest season in history! I listed three things on Sunday & will only be able to do it for the next two Sundays, or there won't be time for it to arrive before Christmas. I wonder what happened to my thought last year - that I would have my act together for '08 and start in September. It's really too bad, because I absolutely LOVE creating Christmas pieces and love even more, the wonderful folks that I get to connect with through Ebay.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

In the Spirit







The show was aptly named - we were 'In the Spirit' indeed. The Spirit of fun & friendship & creativity. And actually the Spirit of the Season too, with the fact that winter decided to come.
But in spite of the nasty weather - rain, rain & then snow & the fact that we were way out in the middle of no where - we had a wonderful turnout. We were pleasantly busy the entire time.
It was such a great place to spend the weekend - hanging out with creative & fun women, visiting with all the enthusiastic and adventuresome people who came out to see us. It definitely was the first ANNUAL.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Show Weekend


We're half way through the 'In the Spirit' Show - enjoying Add Videoevery minute! It's great fun hanging out with talented, creative women and visiting with the wonderful people who have come out on the cold, gray November day.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Party's Over ... Back to WORK!


It would almost seem like I had taken six months off. Indeed, I have, in terms of productivity of tangible creations - but I haven't exactly been sitting around watching the grass grow. And grow. And grow this season, of eternal spring. (As in the grass in our pastures staying fresh & spring-like, vibrant green right up til now.)

In the six months, I have made three trips to Newfoundland, worked on two concerts, two major parties and am still in the midst of the Artisan Show next weekend.

In between, I am starting to work on some figures, while a few hundred other ideas swirl around in my head. One week left to pull some of these guys together. I've missed being in my Studio - it feels good to be back. It feels good to play with colour & texture, to lose myself in a process, to watch some of the seeds that have been lying dormant, come to life.

I played a little too long this year & am off track with my Ebay creations. After next weekend, when the show is over, that is the Mission. Can't wait!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Creative Juices Flowing

Two things that I know this morning - summer is definitely over and my creative juices have started flowing - FINALLY. Finally for the juices, not so good about the summer.

I know, because when i awoke at 5 am, with a zillion things running through my mind, I didn't quiet them down and go back to sleep. I got up - excited and anxious to start acting on them.

Nothing I love more than a 'New Mission'. Anna and I have been putting together the idea of an Art Show in Avonbank. Last night we had our first meeting at the venue with two of the artists. The enthusiasm was the tonic that i so badly needed to shift myself out of vacation mode - which was the state of my mind, not my reality - and into 'I can't wait to get at this!' I LOVE that feeling of inspiration and passion.

Feels SO good to be back!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Genes


My new grandson is named after a guitar. He is surrounded in his room, by numerous guitars hanging on the wall. My fingers are crossed that he'll will have inherited some musical ability from his father. Sadly, there's not a single speck of it to be found in our entire family. I'm not offending my spawn, it's just a true fact.

They also, unfortunately, missed out on the athletic gene. They certainly participated in every sport going, but we didn't have to re-finance the house to help them become professional athletes. Actually, Brian often commented on how much money we saved because they weren't so inclined. My other two grandchildren have most definitely got a good portion of the that from their Dad. As I watch Scotty zip around the soccer field or hockey rink, moving so gracefully and QUICKLY, I am frankly surprised that he's related to me. I've actually had people laugh when they see me run. Lauren, I suspect, will be a dancer - something else that we don't seem to excel at.


Thinking about the genes that our children missed out on, I was reviewing the ones that they do have.They all have one that definitely serves them well - in living in this family and in life in general ... a sense of humour.


I believe our grandchildren are another shot at getting to experience things that you didn't yourself, or with your own children. I'm looking forward to the day, sitting in my own kitchen, that our little Gibson pulls out his guitar & says 'Hey Nan, let's sing!'.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Enchanted Summer Night


The wonderful Artist group that I belong to (American Holiday Artist Ornaments), had a neat challenge that I had intended to participate in this month, entitled 'Enchanted Summer Nights'. The deadline for listing the creations was tonight. I was so close to being finished - but alas, I was hijacked by my own 'Enchanted Summer Night'.

We had the most magical and moving evening last night at the Little Church, just down the road from us. A favourite classical musical duo - 'Cow & Sow', turned the simple little building into a concert hall, filling it with beautiful & inspiring music.

Meanwhile, Ashley & Andy's baby - our third grandbabe, was due the previous day. For months, Ashley has been under the instructions 'No baby between 5 pm & 11 pm on May 30th, but after that ... go for it!' Well, true to the thoughtful & considerate daughter that she has always been, she headed to the hospital about 10 pm.

The evening had turned warm and beautiful - sultry after the rain we'd had. It felt like the type of July night that I love so much - the kind where the air is so thick that it hangs like moss in live oak tress; where it feels like a blanket has been quietly slipped over the night, softening and hushing the sounds of the busy world. The kind that makes me want to stay up all night, trying to soak it in deep enough to feed my spirit in the depths of the long winter. For me, with my 'southern soul', that is an enchanted summer night. The weather has been so unseasonably chilly lately that it seems like summer will never come. It was a particularly pleasant and welcome surprise to walk out into that weather and feeling in the middle of a spring night, a gift on a very memorable evening.

Jaime was just finishing up her shift at the hospital. Alyssa & I met her there and we had our own little 'labour party' vigil. There was none of the usual hustle & bustle that fills the corridors during the other two thirds of the day. In fact, it was surreal - like we were cocooned in our own private world; as if the magic of the night outside had been transported into that normally austere and clincial space - the hushed shroud of a sultry night dropped over the entire building. There was not a single soul around, just the three of us sending our energy and positive thoughts across the deserted halls of the hospital, to the woman of our clan who was busy working on a miracle.


And indeed, as the curtain rose from that enchanted night and life resumed as the hospital filled with the sounds of an ordinary day, the miracle occured. A beautiful new soul arrived. The miraculous and wonderous moment when our hearts open wider and fill that space with the love, joy and dreams of a cherished and treasured new life - a precious baby boy.
'Gibson Brian Daniel' 7:13 am, Saturday, May 31st, 2008

Monday, May 19, 2008

Return from The Rock

A big berg pulled up right behind our place.


This technically isn't an iceberg that came right up to the Studio, but it's a pretty blue!











This one is at Sleepy Cove on Twillingate Island - where the old copper mines were.


Another season is upon us already. We're always sad to leave Newfoundland in the fall, but time passes so quickly, when we do get back there in the spring, it seems like it was just a long weekend that we were away.
The pilot on the little plane we flew in on, said that there are 50 times more icebergs around this year than last - and last year was awesome. Sure enough, there were dozens of massive ones - lots in our own 'backyard'. They are such an amazing thing - changing constantly as the power of the sea sculpts and reshapes them. The same berg can be totally different as pieces break or it flips right over when the weight changes. This year I got to see one with a hole, with the waves crashing through it.
The colour is remarkable and unique too. Some are stark white and some are the most beautiful aqua blue that you can ever imagine. Brian says that he'd like to duplicate the colour for a vehicle, but I don't believe that it would be possible to come up with something even close to the crispness and purity of that colour.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Photo Shoot









I've been busy getting ready to head to our home in Herring Neck, Newfoundland (just one more sleep!) so I haven't had time to be creating anything.

I did get a chance to play with one of my major passions - photography. I took photos of my great niece. It's the first portrait style pictures I've taken & I had to improvise with a table cloth for a background and two desk lamps for lighting. A five month old is a pretty easy subject - especially one as sweet and photogenic as Ashlyn.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Cats




We weren't sure if Simon was being maternal or trying to take the puppies for the 'long walk'.


She's a typical cat - she thinks that everyone should look up to her.


I don't recall ever being without a cat in my childhood & for only a wee short time in our married life. Brian grew up thinking that cats did NOT belong in a house - all theirs lived in the barn. As much as he loves cats, I couldn't convince him otherwise. I went away for a week & he missed me so much, that he got me a little kitten from the Humane Society. We had Rocky for 20 years. She patiently survived four children and watched all kinds of other critters come and go.

The cat we have now, 'Simon', has been with us for about 8 years. She's a sweet cat - she follows me everywhere. Simon has a secret life. She keeps a 'man' tucked away in the haymow. We've caught sight of him numerous times - the back end of him dashing for cover. We're not sure what he eats - but he's fat and healthy. I think she invites him up to the porch for a late night snack.

The cats in this edition of 'Prayers from the Ark' - 'The Prayer of the Cat', is Simon and her mysterious friend - and two little kittens.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Goatless in Avonbank

The Sister, our last goat, just a couple weeks ago.
Betsy, dealing with her 'Little Goat Syndrome' resourcefully.


'The Sister', our last geriatric old goat has passed away, leaving us goatless for the first time in 22 years. It's strange to look out the window and see no goat wandering around - always on the wrong side of the fence. So often we'd have people who were driving by, stop in to say 'Your goats are out'. We'd say, 'Thanks, but they live out'. They'd say 'Don't they run away?' Really, where would they go - and why would they go? They had already escaped.
Ashley was our Heidi - they were technically her goats. She got Joseph when he was 3 days old & she got up every three hours to feed him. He lived in the house until he outgrew Pampers. It was hard to convince her when it was time for him to move to the barn. Sadly, he had an accident shortly after that - a huge heartbreak for a loving little girl.
When Emma arrived, again just days old, Brian was so paranoid about Ashley having to go through that again, he wouldn't leave Emma alone. When Ash was at school, Emma went everywhere he went. I would go to the bank or the post office and people would ask 'How's Emma?' On one excursion, Brian picked up a hitch hiker. When he got out, he said 'Thanks man - but I gotta tell ya - that's the ugliest dog I've ever seen.' Another time, he brought Emma to visit us at the lake - her sitting right beside him in the seat of the little Spitfire. Everywhere we went, people would gather - even the chef came out of the restaurant to see her. One lady called to her children 'Come look at the little reindeer'. Another said 'What other kind of exotic animals do you have?' Being Sorta-Farmers, we didn't exactly consider goats exotic. Our son, who was 15 at the time, decided that a goat was a far bigger 'babe magnet' than any fancy car or motorcycle and borrowed her to 'troll the beach'.
Emma went everywhere. She was at church a number of times - which was appropriate as Ashley, when she was little, insisted that they were saying 'In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Goat'. One of the favourite images that I carry is of Emma on Christmas Eve. Our very creative pastor made up a story for the children of how there really was a goat in the nativity - so he borrowed Emma. At the end of the service, they turn off all the lights and sing 'Silent Night' by candle light. It is so beautifully peaceful and moving. Amidst 350 people, Emma went to the middle of the aisle and laid down, as if on cue. When the lights came on and everyone was leaving, she wasn't going to be disturbed from her zone. She laid there, calmly chewing on some imaginary cud, while everyone had to walk around her.
Emma, even after supposedly moving to the barn, believed that she was a House Goat. I would come in the house to find her laying on the couch, watching TV. She'd go to the bread basket and help herself. I'd say to Ashley 'Do you know how much it bugs me to have that goat in the house' and she'd answer 'Do you know how much it bugs me to have her in the barn?' Stalemate. Brian was on her side.
It's going to be very strange this year to be able to put geraniums any where I want, instead of only in pots that I hung from the clothes line every night. Geraniums to a goat are like a red cloth to a bull. My flower beds have always been sadly lacking, but we certainly have collected a far greater wealth of stories from the goats than we ever could have from plants.

Goat Moments


Ashley in love with goats at three years old - with our first goat, Walter and later with her best friend - Joseph, her 'Amazing Dream Goat'.



Ash & Abby & Emma enjoying a summer afternoon.



Emma at the beach.


Ashley & Emma cuddling



Both growing up, but STILL cuddling...




Joseph in his newborn diapers





The Prayer of the Goat by Carmen Bernos De Gasztold


Lord,

Let me live as I will!

I need a litte wild freedom,

a little giddiness of heart.

The strange taste of unknown flowers.

For whom else are your mountains?

Your snow wind? These springs?

The sheep do not understand.

They graze and graze.

All of them, and all in the same direction.

And then eternally chew the cud of their insipid routine.

But I - I love to bound to the heart of all your marvels.

Leap your chasms, and, my mouth filled with intoxicating grasses,

Quiver with an adventurer's delight

On the summit of the world!

Amen

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Spelling on Ebay




Lauren loves to play with the needle felted animals when she comes over. She's got a whole Ark full, but she's always interested in the new ones that are being born. I say 'Sorry, I'm doing that one to sell on Ebay, so we can't play with it.'


Last week she was over & played with the Noah's Ark. A few days later, Jaime found a skunk in her washing machine, which must have got caught in Lauren's clothes. She set it out to bring back on their next visit. Later, Lauren found it and came running to her Mom with it, saying: 'Look Mom! Nan spelled this on Ebay and it came to OUR house!'


At four years old, she probably knows more about Ebay than most children. Last year, she and Scotty wanted to 'help' me when I was making eggs for my Easter creations. I let them each paint one, which I put in the piece that went on the auction. When they went home, they said to their Mom 'Can we paint Ebay Eggs?' She said 'You mean, Easter Eggs?' They said 'No... Ebay Eggs like at Nan's house.'

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

AHAO Spring Challenge







The reason for the big long story about Maggi is to explain why I chose a pregnant donkey for my Spring Challenge for the American Holiday Artist Ornament group. This is the creation that came from that inspiration.