I have been up to my ears with a sore back and not feeling as well as I feel I should. I haven't been able to concentrate on blogging or much of any thing else. I'm not depressed, just feel down. Hopefully this feeling will subside quickly and I can get on with my life. I bought a new Dell computer last night. I paid $550 for the computer and monitor. It wasn't that long ago when I paid $3000 for a computer and monitor. How the times have changed. The computer I have know was built for me by my son and it already has a full hard drive. It sure hasn't taken me long to fill it up. My copy of PS2 died on me. I deleted the copy and purchased a copy of PSE8. It is really nice and every thing I use is available to me and easy to use, after learning PS2. PS has a huge learning curve and it took me a year to learn and feel comfortable with it. I'm pretty sure I didn't learn to use more than 25% of the program, if that much. An old dog learning new tricks is still possible! I have notes all over my room that I have written to myself about how to do certain things with PS. Of course I can't ever find the ones I want but they are there. Don't you just love those beautiful birds. If I could I would own a parrot and teach it to talk. They are so amazing to watch.
I have been back to my surgeon and have the postop xrays. I am totally amazed at what was done to my back. I'm sure it is a good thing I can't remember any thing for 5 days after the surgery. After looking at the xrays I just know that I was in so much pain that I blanked out the memory. The brain does some kind things for us even if we don't always know it. I still haven't been able to get back into my art. I can't stand nor sit for that long a period without moving around and I'm sure that the pain pills I am still taking really distracts from my creativity. I wish I were one of those people that can create while in a stupor but alas, I require some thought while in the process. I seem to read and nap better than create. I believe my brain has been slightly damaged by all the anesthetics I consumed with both surgeries. Now I have to wait for new brain cells to grow so I can be as close to normal as possible. I have been searching for something new to create when I can tolerate the activity and do I ever have a list. Nothing like dreaming of creating beautiful things to appreciate. I hope your weekend is a pleasant one, I know mine will be.
Horray, I am getting so much better that I can now sit in front of my monitor and actually write. Such joy there is in being able to do things I took for granted a few weeks ago. I can pop on my brace is one easy sweep and hobble without my walker into the art room. In the mean time, I am looking at every thing I can to stimulate my poor drugged brain. I get a kick out of the idea that I can look at an art magazine today and again in 2 days and not remember what I saw before. My brain hasn't taken anasetic kindly. And, to top it all off, I am loseing handfulls of hair. I can almost see my scalp thru the new hair that is growing in. Me and drugs just aren't compatable. I will be bald and creating art in a couple weeks and be so very, very happy to be there.
In the past few weeks I have come to realize why I don't watch TV. Is it me or are the programs just truly awful? How many reality shows are there on TV now? And, who can possible watch all of them? I much prefer tearing up paper and playing with stamps to trying to figure out TV.
I need to head off and mount some of my new stamps. I got crazy and joined the "Club Scrap" group and have received the most impressive papers and stamps each month. It is almost like having a day a month of Christmas. The quality of the paper is amazing. Perfect for making books and cards. Talk about having some fun!
Do enjoy the later days of summer. They come and go quickly and leave us with cold rain and lots of mud.
I entered the hospital on Jul.7th for the front approach to my surgery. That went very well except that my potassium bottomed out and they had to postpone the second surgery for two weeks. I reentered another hospital on the 22 of July for the posterior approach to my surgery. That was wicked. What a wild ride that took me on. I became very confused from all the different medications I had and don't remember a thing for 5 days. I kind of came to in a skilled nursing facility. Lucky for me it was one ran by a very dear friend of mine so I have no complaints about the care..........the food is awful. Don't eat it. At some point in my 2 week stay I convinced them that I would starve to death if I wasn't discharged home. Not far off, I dropped 40# in that few weeks. Now, I am finally home and a long way from healed but doing a bang up job on healing. I wear a brace any time I am out of bed and have to walk with a walker. I have a 16in. scare on my back but my back is stronger than it ever has been. I have about 76% less pain than I had before the surgery too. I will have to build a shrine to my surgeon..........what a miracle worker he is. I feel so very lucky. I am hoping to get back to some blogging and creating in another couple weeks. Until then it will be pretty hit and miss for me since I can't sit for very long yet. I am so glad to be back!
I am to be admitted into the hospital tomorrow for my surgery. One on the 7th and one on the 10th and hopefull I will be back to resume what every it is I do. I am going to miss reading blogs and doing my art. I am hoping for a really fast recovery.
I took a wonderful web class tonight from Lydia Fiedler. She is the owner of Understand Blue and is a great teacher. Her class was on doing a blog. I was surprised at how well she covered the information and made it so easy to understand. At times I feel overwhelmed at the amount of information you can obtain on the web. It seems to go on forever. I finished all of my preops today. More labs drawn, a urine specimen, and 50 papers, at least, to sign. All of that just to get into the hospital. It makes me wonder how many I will be signing to get out of the place. My surgery date starts on the 7th and ends on the 10th. I do believe they intend to fillet me. If anyone ever wants to compare scars I believe I will take them up on it. Mine will sure be a lot longer than the normal. It is a good thing Titanium is lightweight or I will come out of the hospital weighing 30 pounds more than preop. Modern surgical procedures are a thing of magic. I watched a whole operation done with a microscope and TV monitors and tiny, tiny, body parts. Our nerves are pretty slim. I have a new collage I am working on, so it is waiting patiently. I want to get at least most of it done before I have to leave my art for a few weeks. A week in the hosptial just doesn't sound thrilling to me. I have to leave all of my art at home. It is now officially TGIF............have a dandy weekend and enjoy all those fireworks. Be thankful that the noise is fireworks and not a morter attack. Enjoy!
The weekend ended with a swelter y day. It was 107 degrees and believe me I knew it. I can remember as a kid running around all summer long without any shoes and today I wondered how on earth I ever did that. I decided to try my hand at doodling. I found a site that gives instructions on how to doodle. I am surprised to find that doodling requires lessons. After I read the instructions I knew why lessons were necessary. I don't think I ever put much thought into doodling until recently. That is because I never looked at it as an art form before. I have hopes that it will help my drawing. I'm not much of an artist with a pencil and have always wanted to be able to draw. I have come to the conclusion that I have been too lazy to adapt to drawing. It takes some practice and anyone can draw with practice being the key word here. We will see what I can accomplish with my trusty pencil. I did make make a card to welcome our new neighbor to the hood. I decided I would introduce my self and the family and not be like I was for 4 years while living in Oxnard. In 4 years I couldn't tell you the name of any of my neighbors except for one right next to us. It seems that was the way of living in the suburbs. We seem to have cultured the distance and aloneness for an awfully long time and I think that has caused our society some terrible problems. It always surprises me when I read about someone found dead after not being seen for 6 months by their next door neighbor. That is a sad circumstance. We seem to have distanced ourselves from each other until we are alone in a crowd. Change subjects quick, I don't want to write a research paper on the social problems of America. For those of you that hate Mondays, bring out the pencil and doodle. Until next time.
Yesterday I visited our local museum for the T-Rex and the Lego exhibit. In a little town like I live in (90,000) a T-Rex is a really big thing, of course it is a really big thing no matter where it is. The picture is of life size characters made totally of Legos. The artist is amazing to say the least. I will post more pictures this week. I finally finished my shrine I started over the weekend. Once it was completed I had no idea what to dedicate it to. Well, as you can see I found a worthy creature to dedicate the shrine to, a Blue Footed Booby. He looks so majestic in his spot with a sand dollar behind him. I think he is just charming. It has finally turned to summer. It has been about 100 degrees every day this week. My little garden, shared with my daughter, will be so very happy. We have picked one pepper, one squash and a hand full of green beans. It is city gardening at its best. My yard is about 40x40 feet and I have every spot filled with something that grows except for a footpath that gets smaller each year. My actual garden is 4 feet wide and 10 feet long with a healthy group of Cosmos ready to bloom and 2 tomato plants along with 2 Basil and 2 peppers. I had to stick my squash outside of the garden area. They like a lot of room. Every thing looks beautiful and healthy which I attribute to my talking to them and stroking their leaves. They love it! Of course my husband claims that I'm loony and the tomatoes are growing well because of Miracle Grow. But, what does he know?
I have been painting on my assignment even thou the class has ended. I really enjoyed the class and learned how to smear paint the right way and get the looks I want. Thank you Julie. I have had a little box around here for almost a year and finally decided to make a shrine. I thought I would look on the net and see what examples I could find. I have been living in the bowels of ignorance when it comes to shrines. I even found one made from a split walnut shell. It was actually very nice. I think my problem is I have no defined person, place, or thing to make the shrine for. I just want a generic shrine. This is going to be one of those fly by the seat of my pants things. What better way to learn than by the seat of my pants. I have new neighbors moving in on both sides of me. It has been a really quiet place for about a year and boom both condos sold the same time. No more running out to the mail box in my boxer shorts and holey Tshirt. I don't want to scare them off before I meet them. Last night about 2am my daughter came in from out front and said we had a Coyote casing the neighborhood. We've had a couple young gray squirrels frolicking around on the front lawn and I bet that canine wise guy is checking out a quick dinner of furry little meatballs. If you are wondering why my daughter was outside at 2am, she studies out side by the street light. We just call her the neighborhood watch. Well, back to my projects. I am slow but steady. It must be the weather!
I just can't believe the weather. It is just beautiful. A high of 90 degrees for the middle of June is almost unheard of. We are really lucky that we don't have tornados like they are having in the midwest states. I worked some more on my pink assignment today. I guess I'm just not a pink person. I have added crackle paste, collage elements, and even stamped on it. All of that and it is still pink. What is one to do? I am posting a collage I did a few months ago. I really liked it but my daughter said it was questionable for good taste. Nope, I like it. Even an elephant can have intruders. Tomorrow is TGIF and I hope you all enjoy it.
This is my first attempt at drawing a face on a collage background. I am looking for better. The card I did with Versafine ink and a great sunflower stamp. Can't remember who made the stamp right now.
In the past week I have had my surgical schedule finalized. The closer it gets to the time for surgery the queasier I get. Then a day like today comes along and I want to run and hide under the bed. Of course the giant dust bunnies would over take me in seconds. It doesn't matter much what or how many pain meds I take........I still hurt and not in a small area but an all over one. Which leaves me with wishing my surgical date was sooner. I have been dealing with this pain thing for 5 years now and each year it gets worse. It is really nasty now when the weather changes. Add a few high clouds or a thunderstorm or two and every joint and muscle in my body hurts. I can see why trying to treat Fibromyalgia is like digging a hole in the desert. Hard and useless. My symptoms of pain from my back have created a fibromyalgia type syndrom. My GP is against me having my surgery stating that he has seen very few that worked. Right now I would settle for 50% less pain than I have now and think it was wonderful. Maybe that is the key....start hurting and let it expand and consume your body and any relief is wonderful. I have been really slow in my painting class. I haven't started lesson 7 yet. That was my ambition for the day and it has fallen to the wayside. Maybe tomorrow. It is a good thing Julie is so understanding. She is a great teacher if anyone wants to learn backgrounds. I am totally dependant on art to distract me from myself. Some days it works and some it doesn't. I am hoping to expand my art to doing some actual drawing on my backgrounds. I must end this writing and have a rest. Enjoy your midweek.
Is there anything more beautiful or smell any nicer than a Gardenia? These are by my front door and they are heavenly. We have had the most beautiful cloud formations the last week I have ever seen. So unusual for California to have thunderstorms in June, or any month as far as that goes. The most magnificent thunder and huge bolts of lightening. I know that you people that live in the midwest aren't very impressed with our thunderstorms but I just love them. We had those deep blue/black clouds boil up and move right over us with really big rain drops and lots of noise. We live a mile from downtown Redding and we had about 1/2 inch of rain and downtown had about 8 inches of rain. Mother nature is just splendid. I have been painting my back grounds for my class. They are really a lot of fun. I always have problems keeping up with the instructions but at least I can watch the videos any time of day or night. I am a night owl and painting at night is very relaxing. I am going to have a collection of these background papers to play with and that will keep me busy after my surgery. I was informed today that I have 3 grandchildren that are pregnant. Talk about something in the water........I think it is carried in the wind. Great grand children are such a blast. I just love counting all of those little baby toes and fingers and the smell of babies is just heavenly. I like being a great grandma. Probably better than my kids like being grandparents. Each generation is more beautiful and precious than the last and that is how it should be. It all makes me feel so special and right with the universe.
This is the results of having a bunch of used stamps and a need to glue something down. I saw on another site a bird done similarly and decided that would be kind of cute. I glued a bunch of used stamps down and cut out the bird image and glued it over the stamps. It looked a bit funny so I glued it's feet back on. Funny how birds look so strange without feet. It isn't a great work of art but it was fun to do. My scanner didn't do it justice, since the colors are real bright. I'm off to read some more of "In This House." It is really a neat book for collage fans. I just love glueing stuff. When I look at what artist do with paper I cringe and then decide I can do that......a ream of paper later I have a great appreciation for the artist.
My neurologist office called and they finally have every thing they need to go ahead and do my spinal reconstruction. The way my thumbs feel they will be next. I have often wondered how people could get every thing done they had to do when they were so mangled with arthritis. Well, in the last 5 years, believe me, I know how. Not only is it difficult to hold a jar of pickles but it is almost impossible to open them. I am lucky I have very strong and large hands so I can put a grip on things. Or at least I thought I could. I have been using a very thick rubber band on the jar lids in order to open them. I think I paid about $5.00 for the band a few years ago as a donation to the Alzheimer's association. My mind is in tact but without the rubber band I would be screwed. I wanted to take some real close shots of a few flowers I have growing in my yard. I got down on both knees and managed to get the shots but quickly found out I couldn't get up. No, I didn't fall and can't get up........I kind of dropped down but then I was stuck. I crawled around for a minute and then found something I could use to boost me back up. That board on the deck isn't so stable anymore. I must have gained a tad to much weight in the 5 years of non physical activity. I will have to wear a brace, boob to butt type for 3-4 months when I'm up that is so I am hoping to be able to do my art projects. It is going to be a very long and hot summer with that brace on. There is one good thing about it, I don't have to cook............how did I get so tired of cooking?? I don't cook now either. I can't stand up right that long a period of time. Oh how my HD struggles with cooking for us. He is good at opening jars of spaghetti sauce but how many times a week can I eat spaghetti? I bought a couple of CDs from Jessica so I can enhance my computer skills while I am stuck inside this summer. Her classes are excellent and I would advise anyone to use her excellent teaching skills. She makes learning to use Photoshop a joy. Well, I am off to practice more art. I will eventually have more to post. Sally
It has been a very slow and stunted weekend so far. I woke with enthusiasm which quickly waned when my feet hit the floor. There is that damn pain in my hip again. This time it was without any exertion other than dropping my feet off of the bed. It is getting worse every week. When is my surgical date? I see the cardiologist on Monday to finalize my OK for surgery. The closer I get to a date the more my stomach fills up with butterflies. I have to wonder what I am going to do with a date set in stone. Maybe the butterflies will procreate so much that I will lift off the ground. With my weight I won't lift much but the thought is rather funny. There I go, roughly six inches above the ground, just flying along. With just enough altitude to fall off of my feet and go "crunch" on the ground. Flying low like that isn't all it's cracked up to be. Hitting all of those speed bumps has got to hurt. I did get a nice box today. I got 1# of stamps for $5.00 from Addicted to Rubber Stamps. I'm not sure what I was expecting but the stamps are in great shape. I found a little flaw in one of them and trimmed it off. Stamping is seldom perfect anyway. Or at least when I do it. I will be able to use all of the stamps. I kind of like those grab bag thingys you run into once in a while. I guess I will toddle over and try to finish my little booklet I am making. I like easy things to putter with. After taking morphine for pain all day long my brain is pretty floppy by midnight. Not fit for acute thinking. Maybe I need a Tshirt with that on the front. I am adding a picture of my layered background from my painting class. I have a lot of fun with that class and I am finally doing something I like. Gray isn't such a bad color and it will make a great background for collage.
Don't get me wrong I really am enjoying my painting lessons. But Julia makes it look so easy and when I step up to the plate it looks like a wild black bear has been on a rampage. Practice for perfection........isn't that the way it goes? We have been having perfect June weather. Thunder storm every day and the clouds are just spectacular. To be able to paint clouds like mother nature paints would be wonderful. Oh, to have the talent of A Wyeth. Now that is talent. I could sit under the thunderheads and paint with abandon. I can picture that scene in my head and I really like it. I have recently received some new stamps from Club Scrap and I really do want to try them out. The products I receive from Club Scrap and GinaK Designs are just almost perfect. If you want really unusual card stock try Club Scrap and if you want beautiful stamps and products in general go to GinaK Designs. I am so happy I found them. I can cruise the web looking for things to stimulate my creativity and then come back to those papers and stamps and the only thing I can really say is "perfect."
Don't you just love the smile of this camel? He makes me want to smile. I hope every one is having a good middle of the week. I wish you all well. Sally
I am adding a link to my blog tonight. If at all possible I would love to have you listen to this piece of music. It touches your heart and makes your feet want to dance. I would add the video but I haven't figured that out yet. There is a learning curve to all of this. I hope every one enjoys their weekend.
My modum went out on Friday night and left me with a lot of unfinished business on line. Isn't that just the way things work? First you are putting right along doing just wonderful and suddenly something drops the rock that sticks in the gears and really messes up the weekend. After receiving my new modum it took 2 hours to get it configured. It wasn't so very bad. I got to talk to Anna in Manila and a young man named Cornelius. They both were very nice and tried very hard to fix my problem with great results. I wish every day was this good. I experimented with digital stamps over the weekend. I found that they work great with a thin coat of Gesso on the paper. The ink stays wet long enough to put embossing powder on with out ripping around the room like a monkey. I was very pleased. With the Gesso you get a really clear image if the printer is sit on coated paper. Kind of a neat thing if you are in a hurry and every one in five counties and four continents has seen all of your stamps. Just find an image and print it off and color it and you are ready to go. Dover has a bunch of book that would deliver some really neat images. As of now, digital stamps won't be replacing my good old rubber ones, just yet. But they are something to play with and the cost is minimal compared to most rubber stamps and the price of Gesso is still pretty darn cheap. I'm off to rip apart more magazines for my art/collage class. Making a beautiful background is well worth the time put in at the easil.
Hard as I tried I just couldn't get the twins to sit still long enough to get a picture of them. They were gone today. Most likely in the Oaks across the street from me. It is a nice little woodland area and just the right distance from the bird feeder in the back yard. My poor little dog is really going to miss them too. She would like nothing better than to taste those tender thighs under those pale blue feathers. Spring is always full of the screech of new mothers and the hassle of getting those babies up and flying. Last spring I was thrilled to find a large mass of frog eggs in the dogs water bucket. I was not about to let those go with out intervention. I dug out an old aquarium that once harbored gold fish and scrubbed it and filled it with some beach glass and some well cleaned gravel. I gently scooped up the mass of frog eggs and put them into their new home. A minimum of five times a day I checked my new nursery. I fussed over and tenderly cared for them until the first one hatched. It was so exciting to see that little tadpole swimming around. Every one in the neighborhood knew I was a new mother. I hatched roughly 100 little tadpoles and encouraged them on a daily basis to grow strong and grow hind legs. Pretty soon we had an aquarium full of little bitty Pacific Tree Toads. The largest being about a half inch long. I was thrilled. I boiled lettuce every day to feed them until they started trying to get out of the nursery. I put blades of plants into the aquarium for the little darlings to crawl out on. Every day there were fewer and fewer little tree toads, but I didn't see an abundance of them in the garden. I was a tad puzzled. Then my puzzled question was answered with precision. A really fat Aquatic Garter Snake!! As fast as my precious foster children were leaving the nursery that snake was gobbling them up. The truth of nature is a harsh one. This year I still have the Garter Snake and not one little croker can be found. If I had of written this fairy tale I would have bunches of little crokers and a happy Garter snake.........but, alas. The pictures are of Trout and a nice young Sturgeon. They swim around in the river here. Now, you know why I don't swim in the river too! I managed to get the photos of them at our Museum which has a tank with native fish.
I am taking a painting class, on line, from Julie Pritchard. The class is specializing in backgrounds for journal pages. Just call me a clod. I am having my problems with getting my paints light enough to start with. I am a tad heavy handed with my colors when it comes to mixing with white. Thank goodness for Gesso. So far I have used more Gesso than paint. The style is a bit grungy too. I have been reading discussions about trends and I have a suspicion that "grungy" is another one of those trends. Not really my style but I am determined to learn to paint grungy or else. Else and Gesso. How come instructors always make it look so simple? I watched a woman take pieces of crept paper and whip up flowers, that were just beautiful, in less than 2 minutes each. Then I gave it a try........I discovered that none of my fingers work like hers. If work at all. My flower looked like that last bloom of the season after a snow storm. Don't get me wrong, all wasn't lost, my wire stem looked great. Someone suggested that I get pictures of my new foster children (Jays). They both will be hopping around on the sidewalk and when I reach for the camera they both dive into the star jasmine vine. If anyone has raised a star jasmine vine they know that it is it's own little jungle with swinging vines and thick, thick leaves. It does smell nice though. The view just doesn't work for photography. But, I did see young fresh shoots of a tail feather on both of them. I just keep saying to them, "exercise those wings" and get out of Dodge........please.
It seems I have the only terrier in history that is afraid of a squirrel or a bird. She is alright as long as she is in pursuit of the varmint, but let that varmint do an about face and stare her in the eye and she does get upset. She starts whining and looks at me as though to say, can't you do something with that animal? She then steps behind me for a better view of the circumstances. Alas, I guess I am going to have to have a long talk to the squirrel that likes to raid the bird feeder and the mother Jay that needs to teach her kids to fly. Having those twin Jays running around in the front yard at will just isn't acceptable nor is it safe for my dog. Poor dog fell off of the arm of the sofa, where she lays and watches the traffic go by, when the Jay jumped at the window this morning. It made an awful commotion and took the dog a few minutes to regain her dignity. If there is one thing a terrier has is dignity. She is still trying to figure out what she should do with the two aquatic garter snakes that live in the back yard. Every time she try's to sniff the snakes they zip out of the way and she jumps backwards about three feet. Pretty good movement for an over weight dog. I am posting a few card that I made a couple weeks ago. I'm new at that too. Talk about a late in life bloomer! A journal page I did is included only because the journal is made from elephant poop paper and I really like elephants. I thought I would try journaling and this journal is the right size. Do enjoy your evening. Sally
As you know this is my first blog and I am trying to figure out how this works. So far, I have discovered that after 10 years I don't have a Google account........news to me. So to comply I set up another account using the same information I used 10 years ago. Funny but it worked this time just like the last time. Ah my love affair with technology is more like my love affair with snails. I think I have a problem understanding just "what" I am being ask. I will conquer this too, just like I did with the snails..........that was a war of pellets and hostile words and it ended with slime trails. I am taking an on line class learning to make background pieces for journals or collage. I am not much on journaling but I do know collage. A good back ground is what makes a piece jump out at you. I had my first lesson today and it was a lot of fun. A little on the grungy side but then that is what is stylish now, isn't it. I received an e-mail from my grandson and it looks like I am going to be a great grandma again. Where did all of these grown children come from. I swear I'm not old enough for this great grandma thing. It sounds funny even when I write the words without sounding them out. Of course I do have to stop and think to remember how old my kids are now. Maybe my brain is trying to protect me from the obvious. This week we have been dodging the bullet with a baby Jay that hasn't gotten his wing feathers yet. Oh how my dog would love to have that tender meatball. Poor dog can't use that door anymore and we have to watch every step we take. It seems the bird hasn't gotten the sense to be afraid of humans yet. The poor mother bird is running her self ragged. I really feel sorry for her. This is every spring for us. Little meatballs hopping out of the nest a week too early to keep from being eaten. Talk about Mother Nature having a sense of humor! Enjoy your Tuesday. The roses are from my neighbors yard. Sally
Surprise, surprise. I actually set up my blog without any technical help. Not hard to do really. My big concern right now is font color. Pardon me while I play with the controlls and fine tune my abode. Since this is the first entry I do believe I will find myself fine tuning my brain along with the abode. I am determined to make this fun to do and hopefully not be a drag on line. After I edit my pictures I have taken recently I will be posting those too. Yes, this may work into a fun project after all. Sally