Saturday, July 30, 2011

Two New Moleskine Artpieces, Card Giveaway, Julyathon (not really)

My new no-strings-attached card giveaway is here. If you win, you can choose any three of my images to have cards made from.

As far as the Julyathon, I have made up, by extra walking, the two days I missed and have walked every other day this month, as well as jogging and biking.

Wind, Souffle. Click images to view larger. The first one is done in nail polish and Sakura Permopaque pigment markers, the second in Sakura Souffle pens. The souffle one was done from life with BB(K) sitting across the table from me at dinner.

Oops, I accidentally did an extra picture in Andrea's mole--by accident--I got confused. I had new pens and wanted to try them, but forgot I had only the collabs left to do--usually I do those FIRST, but I had something special planned for one of them. I think there are enough pages. Unfortunately, don't really like the effect accomplished by the souffle pens--it's very weird. I used only the 9 colors provided (with the except of a few extras in the curtain, plus a little colored pencil). I should always do the testing in one of my own moles first. AK!

We are leaving for a camping trip and I am undecided whether to take the Mole, as of yet incomplete, with me. There is always a danger camping of getting wet or dirty.

If I decide not to take it, I will not be able to work on it, obviously, and finish it, until I return after August 7. I will probably NOT be able to get online until I return, most campgrounds we visit do not provide internet access and I do not have 3G or a smart phone.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

New Card Giveaway, no strings attached (Plus Julyathon--not really)

I have a new friend. Her name is Mubin and she lives in India. Isn't she beautiful? She was hoping to win some of my art cards, but I had already given them to John, so . . .

I am hereby announcing another card giveaway, no strings attached. I thought giving away a few cards or some other gift would be a JOY, passing on gifts through a chain of givers, but not everyone saw it that way, so I am trying again. Anyone can sign up. In two weeks, I will use a random number generator to choose the winner. I send them three cards, either the three featured here, or any three from the last giveaway. Or any combination of these or any you see featured on my blog. Winners choice. The cards will be made from prints of my artwork mounted on card stock. I have not made them yet, but I will.

I am leaving Sunday and will be gone about ten days. When I return, I will pick a winner. Sometimes, I have trouble with the internet, and sometimes I am too busy to get online, but I will return to this, in about two week, that is, on Thursday, August 11th, or as close to that as I can manage.

If you leave a comment, I will consider you as a contest entrant UNLESS YOU SAY OTHERWISE. I wish Mubin and all of you who take the time to comment many blessings in your life and good luck with the random number generator.

I missed another walking day on Monday when I had the grandchildren, and have been making it up by doing extra every day since then.


Monday, July 25, 2011

Turn Back the Clock (new Poem)

Turn Back the Clock

I cannot look at the face

of the man who killed Norway's children.

I turn away in horror.

Why? I ask my husband, why

did he kill children?

Why children? How could they have harmed him?

Why did he dress as a policeman, the one person

we teach our children to trust, to go to for help

and safety? Why did he then

shoot them?

Why did he shoot them as they ran, shoot them as they swam

off the island toward the mainland, trying to escape?


did he do it? How could he?

Why? I cry.

And cry.

Fibers of my heart

tear apart


the little strands of muscles part

and all the soul leaks out.

I want to go back in time

gather the children

and protect them.

I want to turn back the clocks

and make them safe.

I want to restore

the lives they have lost

and let them flow forward again

to their own fruition.

I want to go backwards in time

and undo the evil

that made the man

do what he did

before he did it.

"If you want to bake an apple pie

from scratch

you must first invent the universe."

I want to reinvent the world

without that pain.

I want to erase every thread

that led to that event,

unwind it, unravel it

back to its source,

ablate that well of darkness

and set the wheels turning again

so those children run free,

laugh, grow up.

Or I want





those children

who can no longer be saved.

I cannot look at the face

of Anders Behring Breivik.

I want to trust the world again.

Mary Stebbins Taitt

"If you want to bake an apple pie from scratch you must first invent the universe." Carl Sagan

110725-0900-2a(2), 110724 1st draft

Images harvested from internet, for which I apologize. Click images to view larger.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Collaboration with Andrea; ArtRage: Essie, Vase with Twelve Sunflowers

One of my ArtRage paintings: Vase with Twelve Sunflowers

this is a collaboration with Andrea, who drew all that beautiful hair--I just added the face. The face is Essie, one of the characters in my novel, Disappearing. Click image to view larger. Essie is 12 years old here and getting ready to give a presentation of her art. She's a Detroit orphan.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Close-up, Giveaway card #5, new art, and Julyathon Day 23 (Not Really)

Here is a close-up of the Frog Card I am giving away. Click image to view larger. Click here to read about giveaway.

Also, Here is a new work in Andrea's Moleskine Sketchbook, but me. It is the Martisco Underpass.

And, in progress, a digital watercolor painting of Biker Buddy done on the iPad in Artrage (not done yet).

AND I missed a day walking when I had my granddaughter Rachel for the day on Tuesday, but I more than made up for the time not spent walking Tuesday by walking extra every day for four days.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Close-up, Giveaway card #4 (and new art)

Here is a close-up of the fourth cards from the six I am offering to give away. Click image to view larger. Click here to see the art larger (as opposed to the print/card).

I am very disappointed that only John has shown an interest in them. I used to have a fairly good readership before I got too busy to blog daily.

Is it solely the lack of readership?

or, do people not want to give something away?

or, do people not like my art?

or, do they not send letters any more?

:-( I am very sad. Help me out by signing up to win a set of three cards here.

This new piece is a collaboration with my Granddaughter, Rachel Taitt, who chose the colors and applies the first paint. I smeared it with a palette knife and inserted buttons.

It's done on Artrage, on my iPad, digital. I got the buttons online. This is a 5 x 7 print on matte photo paper.

I dedicated it to Kathy E from Novi, because I enjoyed her work--I do not mean to imply that my first attempt holds a candle to hers! Click image to view larger.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Giveaway Card Close-up #3.(and Julyathon (Not really)

Here is another card from the six cards in my giveaway set. Please go here and sign up! Click image to view larger.

Yesterday, I had my granddaughter all day and did not get to walk to post anything. Today, I have walked all of today's and more than a third of yesterday's, so far.

It's 95 degrees F outside now, and it was even hotter earlier. (Tomorrow is supposed to be 100 degrees F). For us, that's hot. But I walked and rode my bicycles even in the heat. And yes, I had some water and I think I'll have more!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Close-up of giveaway card #2

Here is a close-up of the second card for my blog giveaway. Read about it here. Click image to view larger. View the art here.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Giveaway Close-up #1: Still-life with Last Leaf of Autumn and Julyathon (not really)

I am doing a Pay-it-Forward Giveaway. I will be giving away 6 cards, 3 to the first place winner and 3 to the second. You can sign up for it here. You must agree to offer a small gift of your own in return--not to me but to someone else.

This is one of the six cards I am offering. It is titled "Still Life with the Last Leaf of Autumn" and is a digital watercolor done on my iPad in Artrage. If you click on the image, you can see it larger. Or, see a close-up of the art here.

The first place winner will choose three cards from the 6 and the second place winners will receive the other three. The winners will be picked by a random number generator. Each comment will be assigned a number.

I am hoping my little offerings will delight somebody.

As far as Julyathon, I've exercised--walked, run, or biked, or combination, every day so far in July. I just haven't had time to post about it.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Paying it Forward: Card Giveaway

A long time ago, I received a paying it forward gift from One Woman's Thoughts. Since then, many things have happened. We had two floods. We made two trips to Syracuse New York to work on and bring home a car for our son that was given to him by my son-in-law. We had out-of-town company. The brakes failed on my car, along with the dishwasher, the furnace and the hot water heater. And we sorted more flood stuff (still not done).

Anyway, I finally have made two-paying it-forward gifts. There are two sets of three cards. They are all shown here. Click the image to view them larger. If you would like to participate, leave a comment. A week from tomorrow, on July 25, (assuming my internet is working--that's another problem I've been having--my internet keeps going down), I will use a random number generator to choose TWO "WINNERS." NOTE--if you choose to do this, you must offer a paying-it-forward gift on your blog or Facebook site (etc). It's a sort of "trade" only you don't give me something, you give it to someone else. The first "winner" chooses three cards. The second winner gets the other three. The cards are hand-made by me from prints my artwork on sturdy stock with matching envelopes and have a $20 value for a set of three when you include the cost of materials.

I want to thank Kathy at One Woman's Thoughts for both her gift and her patience.

Monday, July 11, 2011

A Moleskine Sketchnook arrives and Julyathon Day 11 (not really!!!)

YAY! I have a moley--A Moleskine traveling sketchbook--again--it just arrived a little while ago!!! What a wonderful treat to see all the glorious artwork IN PERSON--it's so beautiful in the flesh--or--in the paper and ink etc. I'm afraid my photos do not do it justice!!!!

I couldn't take it outside to photograph as I often do--because it is POURING RAIN!!!

Speaking of rain, we are STILL digging out from the mess created by two floods, but we are slowly regaining some portion of normality. Still, I may need a full month to complete the moley.

You can click on this image to see it bigger. I did not choose what pictures went where, it was done randomly by Picasa. If I have time, I may post more because there was so much to enjoy. One that is not well-represented in this collage is Roma's Vietnam post, which was wonderful. I was trying to get the words so they could be read, but it didn't work out. Go here to revisit.

As Far as my Julyathon, well, I've been too busy to blog, BUT I've walked every single, or jogged, or biked or both or all three, at least 45 minutes a day and often more. I haven't missed a day--and I've done my exercises and yoga etc. Every day EXCEPT today--it's been raining too hard--but hopefully, before the day is over, I will complete my 11th day of daily walking or running or biking. Which of course is sort of sill, because I've been doing this EVERY DAY ad infinitum.

We had a big birthday bash for my granddaughter, Rachel, and then we had company all week. So there was some good busyness mixed in with hard cleaning and repacking etc.

This morning, I took Piano boy to the doctor. That wasted the entire morning. UM--OK, maybe not a waste, exactly, but it took MUCH more time than it should have. And while I was there, I started a new book--always dangerous, as I tend to get sucked into them.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Weekword: Routine; Julyathon Day 2 (Not really)

Weekword: Routine (and Julyathon Day 2 [not really]):

This week´s word is routine selected by Katy at  Creating Misericordia.

As many people have noted, routine(s) can be good or bad. Routine(s)
can dull the senses. Routines can support addictions but can also
support healthy behaviors. The goal in creating healthy routines is
to maintain or recreate awareness (to be alive within the routines)
and to attend to the avoidance and correction of wrong or deadening

I am jogging now, as I write, one of my routines, which was fading
due to health concerns. It is a routine I am trying to reestablish.
Yesterday, I jogged 15 minutes, then walked 30. Now I have jogged 23

I am walking now, It looks like rain, so if I can get my walking
done, so much the better. (I guess. Hard to know, since I read
afternoon walks and runs are more beneficial than morning ones. I
like to do them early when possible, to be sure they get done—first
things first!)

I once had a job working at the Post Office at Rincoln Annex in San
Francisco. It was when mail-sorting machines were just starting to be
used. Most of the mail sorting was done by hand. That was my job,
and I sat in a long row, as far as the eye could see in either
direction in the huge warehouse facility. We were all doing the same
thing, and as I worked, I could see, from the corners of my eyes,
hundred of other people doing the exact same thing. It was mind
deadening, soul-deadening work. It went on and on without change hour
after hour, day after day. The pay was pretty good; it was best job
financially that I'd been able to get. But I hated it, and I began to
think I had died and gone to hell.

A number of years later, I had a job as a planetarium operator at The
Discovery Center in Syracuse, New York. I ran the planetarium shows
at the same hours every day. My office was in the basement. The days
all seemed the same. I felt like a mole who never saw the sun.
I was glad when I became planetarium writer, and the planetarium
director, and then was given responsibility for huge school program
with lots of different activities and outdoor trips. Such delight to
have changes in the deadening routines.

In retrospect, I wonder if I could have turned some aspects of the
deadening routines into meditations. I was meditating outside of
work, but it didn't occur to me to make chop wood carry water somehow
fit the terrible routine. I wonder now if I could have.

As my jobs became more varied and included outdoor activity and
meaningful creative work and contact with children and teachers in a
more fulfilling way than running a planetarium show (the automated
kind did not allow for much interaction, but I did add interactive
components later), I became a much happier person. I worked at the
museum until I left to come to Detroit and marry Keith.

Now, I have routines and habits. Some are good, others less so. Some
require bolstering, other diminution. For example, I am now walking
as I write this. I am walking in the neighborhood where I often walk.
I look around as I walk, even when I am writing. I pause my writing
(and occasionally my walking) to look at the trees, flowers, and
birds. I see the new-mown lawns, black and grey squirrels digging and
eating their treasures, and robins pulling long worms from the water
soaked lawns. I notice the people who water the sidewalk (2 in a row)
so that I have to run through first one and then the other or go way
around. I notice the rumble of cars passing and the songs of the
birds and the intermittent breeze and the today, the mottled grey sky.

This is an important routine. I walk, run, or ride my bike every
day, almost without fail. I've done it for years and years. This is
good routine, and I vary it by walking at different times of the day
and in different locations whenever possible, and by writing or
walking with Keith, or walking to the store with a backpack to carry
home food or other items that need to be purchased.

My husband gets annoyed because I insist on walking every day. It's
raining, he'll say, or it's snowing, or, it's your birthday, surely
you don't have to walk on your birthday. But I know from hard
experience how hard it is to maintain positive routine. I don't want
to break the routine except for emergencies because I think it's

I am a writer, and I want to reestablish a routine of writing daily.
I had a good streak going before we the floods and some other
emergencies. Now I need to clean up after the floods and then
reestablish that positive routine.

The same goes for my art. I had a routine of doing daily art. I've
done very little art since the floods. The unfinished picture of my
husband above was a small break in the routine of cleaning and
sorting. I did it at dinner. I need to reestablish that routine as
well, as soon as I dig out from under this chaos.

The vishanas or habit energies include bad habits or routines. For
example, I never liked potato chips, but my husband eats them almost
every night. He would pass me one or two, then three or four, like a
pusher trying to create an addict--only it wasn't intentional on his
part (I hope!) Unfortunately, he succeeded anyway, and I now have the
bad habit of eating potato chips, which I didn't even used to like,
and which are salty and greasy and have a high glycemic index. That
routine needs to be broken somehow. It's hard, because the habit
energies strengthen with time, my husband loves them, and now I crave
them. I need to establish a new routine that takes me "away from the
scene of the crime" (which means leaving my husband while he's still
working on dinner) to do something more productive such art or

I used to have a routine of posting to Week Word on a somewhat
regular basis, but I lost the thread and never knew where to find it
again. I really can't commit to it until I've dug out from under the
chaos from the floods. But I may post occasionally, like today, and
later, I hope to join in again.

My 23-minute jog and my 25-minutes walk are over, and the next
routine is exercises and yoga. I'm writing "not really" about my
Julyathons, because although I do walk, run, bike etc EVERYDAY, almost
without fail, I am NOT going to post about it every day—and anyway, it
was supposed to be Juneathon, not Julyathon.

PS:  If you click on the WeekWord label below (or here), you can see all my previous WeekWord posts.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Julyathon, Day 1 (Not really)

So I got up and put on my running shoes and jogged for 15
minutes--after the heart monitor went off for a tachyacrdia attack.

I walked or jogged every day in June by one, and the day after I
missed, I walked twice. 45 minutes a day (or more) every day, except
one day was zero and the next 90 or more. (It was more).
I just don't have time to post about it every day. And I don't look
any different because I've been walking or jogging every day for
years. It's nothing new or special.

We are still sorting through boxes that got flooded in our two
basement floods--the house is a disater, and we have company coming!
This is just ONE of the reasons why I haven't been posting much.
I hope all is well with YOU!

The picture is one I did in my round 2 Moleskine, which just came back after being gone a year and a half.

I just learned that we have an ozone alert and are supposed to avoid exertion and outdoor activity.