Friday, December 31, 2010

A Christmas Card in the making

I wanted to share on how I made our Christmas card this year.  All of the steps and what went into the making of the card.  I hope you enjoy what I did.  

I stared with, of course our fur babies.  Eldon and I went on a little adventure to buy the bandannas for Jewel and Libby.   I had an idea for them to be tugging and playing outside, now some of the snapshots we took might have worked but this one just caught my eye.  Eldon there on the edge with FOOD !!!!! The wonder thing that makes these babies pay attention, especially Jewel, the one with the stouter legs.   Let's not tell her though, her heart is bigger than she is and she thinks she is a really big watch dog. 

I loved it and choose to flip the image in Photoshop.   I then got the rest of the images together and went to Painter.  What a program.   Now I know you may be thinking, oh this is a program and you just push a key and tadaaaa it is painted. Well, I guess you could do that, but I was a traditional artist for years before becoming a professional photographer, now retired and finding what I want to do when I grow up.   You choose your media you wish to work with and I usually choose pastels and off you go, just paint to your little hearts content.  Stroke by stoke.  Best thing about it, you can just hit delete and start over.  No messing of the fingers or clothing, but I do love that also, but that is another story. 

Jewel and Libby all decked out with bandannas and I added the garland with the 'fairy dust' around it and on the tree.  Our tree by the way.

I also used a wonderful Santa that Tim O'Neil furnished us.  He is a great Santa.  Perfect for the fur babies to wish and hope that they are on the good fur baby list.   I bet they are and will get lots of rawhide treats during the year. 

 Here is the before and after Santa, I loved painting this ole guy.  I lowered the opacity so he would look like a dream or thought for the fur babies. 

I then added the window, which I drew in and added this winter painting that Karen Bonaker furnished the photo for us.  

The before and after of the snow scene, can't you just hear the sleigh bells here and the quietness of the snow and the crunching underfoot when you walk ?

Here is the final card, I took all the final images I painted and put them together and then in Photoshop filled in the background with red, added some stokes of color around the edges and flatten it all and sent it to my Miller's Lab to print it.  I also added inside a sentiment and of course on the back who it was created by.   I had it printed on linen paper which gave it a very pretty look.

There you go a quick look on how I created our Christmas card this year.  Thanks for stopping by and seeing what is going on in my world.   Looking forward to 2011 and an art adventure.  

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Paintings, Memories and Friends

You know sometimes when you stumble on a great find  and it is a pure prize ? 


I stumbled on this wonderful site and I honestly don't remember where I found it.  It is Paper Paintings by  Elizabeth  St. Hilaire Nelson. She has a DVD for sale and of course I had to buy it.  I have a link on my side bar here with her blog, she is a very talented lady and has a heart warming story to go with it.  She is suppose to be here to teach us, I know in my heart and after reading her story you will know why.   My good artsy friends Cat and Colleen  also bought a DVD and off we went on a joint art project.  We all three did our first paper painting.   One lives in Arkansas and the other one lives in Colorado, even though we live a tad far away from each other we all tackled this fun and habit forming art.   We visited via e-mail and I think just had the best time.  Paint and paper flying all over everywhere.  Nope not snow here just pretty paper.   I have been hunting for something to do when I grow up after retiring from Professional Photography this year.  By Jove  I might have found it together with my pastel painting and digital painting and art journal and cooking and my blog.

I don't know what is more fun,   the painting or the tearing and gluing.  All were so relaxing and with music in the background just a pleasant experience for me.  My first project, oh what to do ?  Well, I have a Christmas wall that stays up all year.  So why not something Christmasy for it ?   It is funny about my wall, I also have a corner with Maxine in it that stays up all year also, people will say --Oh you haven't taken your Christmas down yet or you have your Christmas up early.   Nope, it stays up all year.   In it is a wonderful trio of  our grand kids cooking, a little promotion I did in the studio but went to their house to do theirs as a surprise for their mom and dad for Christmas.  We also have a beautiful needlepoint that daughter Vickie did for me, it is perfectly done and I will treasure this forever.  Also is a Christmas card I did of Jewel and Charlie the year before Charlie died, the bigger dog.   We inherited them and brought so much pleasure into our lives.  On the wall is also a photograph of grands holding Christmas lights.  Oh what a beautiful photograph but the story behind it is just also a wonderful treasure of a memory.  Maybe one day, if you want a good smile and warm heart, I will share that  story with you.   So back to my project, what am I going to paint ?   A Christmas ball.  

My Christmas wall, of all of the paintings and walls I have this one certainly has the most memories for me.    Notice the Christmas ball at the top.   The frame is not the perfect one for it but had to get it up on the wall . 

Here is the painted Christmas ball, just had to show you up close also.

The paper, now this was certainly relaxing just painting this.  I didn't have many acrylics when I did this but I do now, thanks to Hobby Lobby. That place is just wonderful and I am always in hog heaven when I go there.   I think Elizabeth has created a painting monster here with me.

There you go a problem solved, what fun this was and even Elizabeth liked it.   I think looks better further off so I have both here.  Now it proudly stays on my wall and I can always remember what fun it was with Cat and Colleen.

Now I have two photography friends that I have know for over 24 years, I know Ginger knows the exact years but me  ?  Some where in the  80's is when I first met she and Alexis.   Ginger was in town and she and Alexis came over for a visit.  They loved my Christmas ball.   They wanted me to show them how I did it, thanks to Elizabeth I could show them.   Well, I had two boards left and after a few seconds of hunting them and a subject they were paper painting also.  We loved the fellowship we had and they got to come back the next day and finish it.  Now they have a painting and we had wonderful memories of doing this together.  So now I have four friends that I got to do this with. I can't think of anything more satisfying than that. 

Ginger  and Alexis painting there snowman and I am on the floor looking for some great embellishments for them.  Scrap booking certainly has it advantages.

Alexis and Ginger, reluctant about photos but proudly show their snowmen.   The paintings are alike but different , their personalities show thru in the little snowmen.

Here we are   Alexis, Me and Ginger.  Eldon took the photo and we are proudly holding our art pieces.  Funny kind of reminds me of when you were in grade school proudly showing off your work. Hey, we are just as proud now as we were then.  

Thanks for stopping by and seeing what is going on in Annette's world.  This may be the last posting until after Christmas and if so please have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  Hummmmm, I may share my Christmas card though. 

Sunday, December 5, 2010


You know Christmas means different things to different people.  Some don't believe in it, some just don't chose to celebrate it traditionally and some love every second of it.   There are those in between each category I just named.  There are some wonderful people that thinks of it as sad and heartbreaking.  I certainly understand that, believe me.     Me ?    I guess I am somewhere in between.  I do certainly believe in Christmas and what it stands for.  Jesus birthday.  Yes, I know some say it is just a day someone pulled out of a hat, but you know I think Jesus just doesn't care what day you celebrate his birthday.  Just don't think he is that kind of guy.

Traditions are made and broken during one's lifetime but the memories you make are always there.  Always.  I can remember some when I was a child, yes that long ago.  One year in particular we had a blue tree, blue lights blue everything.  Kinda cool looking, if  you use that word anymore.  I remember one year, I was prowling in the closets,  if you can believe that and lo and behold found a whole closet of toys.  Guess Santa came early that year.  Of course I had to run and get brothers and sister to come and see, there were 5 of us.  We didn't care, it was exciting just as much as Christmas morning.   The wonderful department stores in the early fifties how pretty they were decorated and Santa land  with the elves and helpers.  The night parades with so much excitement .   Daddy was in the Army and we lived in Washington state for a while and this is where I remember the most.   The movie Christmas Story just brings back so many memories and how traditional things were back then.

When our children were young we did our best to make as many memories as possible, waiting for Santa with the cookies and milk.  Putting their socks at the end of the bed, we didn't have a fireplace, seeing the nativity scene and reading Christmas stories.  One year the girls and their Daddy went to the store and bought the ugliest cardboard fireplace.  They put it up and was so proud of it.  I guess I was like Scrooge though I made them take it down.  We still chuckle at that one though.  We use to always bake Christmas cookies and decorate them and funny-- kids all around would come to decorate with us.  Sometimes they would come in shifts there were so many to come and play with icing and yummy cookies.  Even when the girls were in high school and college they did this.  

Time has gone by and we were blessed with two grandchildren.  We continued as many traditions as we could.  We did change, to make a new family happy, from getting together Christmas eve to Christmas morning.  We were flexible and tried to accommodate however we could.  New stockings to hang on the fireplace were made and of course Santa cookies and milk were put out.  The cookie decorating was still done and we would make Jesus a birthday cake.  We still make candy, cookies, cakes and yummy not good for you food.   I think I got as excited as the grands Christmas morning, seeing their little sweet faces as they came into the room  where Santa had been.   We won't mention the hours we helped Santa putting together Ninja Turtle and Barbie goodies. 

I think one of the best parts to me is decorating the tree, well besides the cooking and all of it in general.  I know messing with the awful lights but pulling out all the ornaments and what memories they have to me.  

The Nativity scene we purchased at Sears and Roebucks.   It has a blinking blue light, a little music box and the sweetest memory is Addison's little face looking at it.  He and the girls use to love rearranging the animals.  He would just look at it and whisper that Baby Jesus was asleep

I am sure you all have some ornaments like these.  The kids would bring them home,  they proudly made these or the teacher gave to them.  I bet some of you even have some that you made.    Egg cartons and lifesavers have never been so honored.

Now there are these little treasures.  Way back in 1964, when we were not flush with dollars, I was in this little craft club by mail.  A whole maybe $3 .  Oh it was like Christmas when the kits came.  This was one of them and I have treasured them so.  They are getting a little ragged but reminds me of the times when we just enjoyed things to the fullest.

These  guys were certainly different Santa's .  Our oldest daughter got them for us as a gift in 2001.  Can you guess that they were from Hawaii ?   I thought they were pretty cute. 

A few more Santas.  The scooter one I bought when we went together and got Grandson a 4 wheeler and I was going to give this  ornament to him.  I give them an ornament every year.  Got some really pretty ones this year.  This little ornament didn't make it home in one piece so I just kept it to remind me of that year.   The Neiman Marcus Santas.  We were in Dallas and went to Neimans and again were not flush so I wanted to buy something so three of these little guys made it home with us.  One for each of our daughters.

These little guys are just to close to my heart.  The smaller cream one Addison sold to me with a school fund raiser, such a little salesman.    The little red guy is one of our Grandaughters favorite.  He has been all over the house at Christmas.   Always seems to fit in somewhere.

Of course we have Santa pictures, be them ever so bad and small I love them.  Just shows the magic of Christmas lives in these tiny little hearts.

We use to have even a bigger on but this guy just fits the bill.   Gone are the days when we got a real tree and all the needles fall of and such a fire hazard.   Now I could go on and on with snow globes, my Christmas wall and shelf that stays up all year.  Oh that can be another story.  I certainly don't want to wear your eyes out.  

There you go, just some of the memories that I have about Christmas and the wonderful little ornaments that I treasure.  Like I said the memories are just the best and things change in your life, good and bad, but the memories are always there to enjoy.    

Thank you for stopping by and seeing what is going on in Annette's world.  See you again.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Amityville Thanksgiving

Annette how was your Thanksgiving ?

(promise there are pics here )
Well, it started out with high hope of fun and visiting.  Addison's girlfriend Lane invited us to Ruidoso to eat with her family and meet some of her family.  Sounded like a great idea to us so we said yes.   Vickie has a friend with a cabin there and they said we could stay there.  We offered to pay but they said no way.    We drove up to it, pretty area and it was called Polly's Perch.  A cute catchy name for the cabin, the mother's name is Polly.   It was an A-frame cabin, two bedroom with a loft and beds also there.   We were suppose to wash sheets and towels before we left so I brought enough towels and sheets so we could just take home for me to wash on Monday when my 2nd new washer was delivered.  Remember the original one was struck with lightening and then bought one and was returning it.   

We changed sheets and got unpacked and then went to a Mexican food place and ate and visited with some of Lane's family a while then back to Polly's perch.   Now remember  this is in the mountains and does get a bit cold there.   We thought oh they will have heaters.  Ho ho , not so. There was one wood burning stove and Eldon and Vickie took turns feeding it with wood so we wouldn't freeze to death.   When I was around the stove I did help feed it, so glad now that we have gas logs at our home.   Addison had one bedroom and Eldon and I had another but we were fortunate to have electric blankets of sorts.   Vickie and Allex slept in the loft and the heat did rise a little to much but it did rise.

 When we got there I turned on a couple of lamps before we went to eat Mexican food.   When we got back they were covered in flies, hundreds of flies, big noisy flies.   We sucked up a lot of them with a dust buster.  Poor little dust buster, it certainly got a workout that weekend.  We turned off the lamps and left one on in the kitchen.   Well weren't we surprised when we got up in the morning, hundreds of flies, mostly dead on the floor, so I swept them up.  I got to do this little chore every morning.  Nasty things.  The sliding doors in the loft had hundreds of flies on the glass, just waiting to be killed.   Eldon and Vickie killed and sucked them up.  This was a little chore that happened several times a day while we were there.  All of the windows were full of them also.  A few wasps, which Vickie got stung.  she said she was glad it was her and not me,  I am very allergic to stings.  We did have some fingernail polish remover in one of the bedrooms and she put on the bite and that took care of it.     Amityville horror I believe.   This was Wednesday, if we would have even thought of a possibility of getting another place to stay we would have.  Especially if knew what we know now.

Thanksgiving morning about 3:30 am we heard someone throwing up and talking to the porcelain God.   Loudly and many times.  It was poor Allex.  She had gotten hot in the loft and thought maybe she was sick from that.   Oh no, tummy ache, throwing up, chills and aching body.   Vickie said I will stay with her while y'all go to Lanes grandmothers house.  So Vickie and I went to the store and got Gatorade and soup in case Allex felt like eating, also some pepto and Theraflu.  We did go to Lanes and had a very nice meal and visit.  It was good to be with a group a family at this time of year.  We use to do that but our family is so small now.   It snowed a little which was nice to see, if didn't stay long but was pretty.  We love to see it snow, for a few minutes anyway.   Eldon and I came back to the cabin and Addison stayed a while and visited with an uncle of Lanes that hunted with bows and they got to share stories.  Guy things you know.

  Vickie was a very good nurse and Allex was feeling some better.  Just a bad 24 hour bug.  Vickie had killed many many more flies.  Ok, things might be calm now, maybe.  We had figured the flies out, at least they didn't really buzz us and weren't interested in our food just the light I suppose to keep warm.

3:30 Friday morning, Vickie came to our bedroom door and we honestly thought she was crying out of control.  I thought what in the world has happened.  Has Allex died in the night and I slept in my frigid room and didn't know about it?  I couldn't imagine.    Well, she was laughing. She said I am calling it uncle, there is a bat flying around in there.  I asked her what time is it ?  she said 3:30. I told her go deal with it we are not getting up.  Eldon didn't make a move to get up so why should I ?  It couldn't have been to bad she was laughing.   We probably couldn't have found the little thing by now anyway.   The day before we were up at 3:30, we are not spring chickens we need some sleep, a little sleep to keep our wits about us to battle the flies.   I am sure the little bat was hiding by now.  She said I am ready to leave here this Amityville house.  I couldn't imagine why, yes the flies but they were to busy with the lights and a little bat.   Vickie's story about the bats---She and Allex got hot  in the loft and came down to lay on the couch and Vickie in the recliner.   She felt something swoop around and thought what is that ?  Is it a big moth that we sometimes see?   Oh no, it was a bat.  Yes a bat. She said it landed on the curtain, she saw it's little hands climb up the curtain over to the other side.  Then it flew to the other window and then finally up to the ceiling to the million and one flies on the ceiling.  Guess it was getting it's little tummy full of flies.   Now when Vickie told the owners they said oh there is a butterfly net to try to catch it.  Now wouldn't you have thought that when you saw a butterfly net in the mountains?  In the dead of winter? That you were suppose to catch a bat and not butterflies ?

Eldon and Addison went to see if we could get a room at the Inn of the Mountain Gods but they couldn't tell us until 9 that night so we thought ok we have roughed it this long one more night won't hurt us.  Everything  else was full. We had free rooms even little vouchers so they were going to take care of us.     So we did survive the last night.  cold but did survived it.  Allex got better and we did have a good time not counting the flies and the bats and the cold.  To me this was camping.  Addison said no Nana we have central heating then he thought.   Yep you are right we just camped didn't we?   Oh, and I forgot, there were wolves howling one night. Real wolves they sounded like they were very very close.  Not as close as the bat, but close.  Then I thought-----oh no, when they get the wood for the stove to keep us from freezing to death, the wolves will be out there and get them and then we would be all snuggled in our freezing bedrooms.  We would never know it until the next morning.  My imagination did go a little wild about that .  Were they really wolves or wearwolves ?  I mean come on it could happen. 

We loaded up, winterized the cabin and off we almost went.  Seems like Allex was messing with something in Addison's pickup and the battery ran down.  He had some nice jumper cables, for just in case, but he had loaned them out and the people didn't return them.  Eldon went to several houses around and everyone was very helpful and friendly but no one had any cables.  So off they went to the store and found some and we were good to go. 

Met again at Roswell and ate together and love loved seeing those grand kids and visiting with them and Vickie.

This was Saturday  when we got home.   Sunday Eldon was feeling bad like the flu but not and just felt like death warmed over.  A touch of "Allex "  I thought hey I am ok I don't have it.   HA !!!! a few more hours and I was talking to the porcelain God.  Sunday  was over and I just felt like a limp rag all day Monday.  But Tuesday, I thought ok I am going to live.  Eldon and  I put the tree up and started to decorate.  Well, he helps put it up and I decorate and he watches and confirms that it looks like a decorated Christmas tree.
That was our Thanksgiving. A good story certainly but the company was good and we did all suffer together. Vickie  thinks -- Hell actually froze over that weekend it was so cold.  She said it was all the fly wings flapping that made it so cold.  We did get to give hugs to the grands and Vickie and that was worth it  We are so thankful for them.  We only have the two grandchildren and so blessed.   You know, I think I know now why I like to stay at home during the holidays.  Probably the first time in years and I mean years we have gone anywhere to spend the night and I think probably that many more years again.  We love you Lane and did enjoy the family time with your family. 

Eldon, Vickie, Allex and Addison, still in good mood after the weekend.  Sorry crew about taking
your pics from down below.   They still love me, I think .

There you go, our story for the day.  Laughing tears are allowed with this story.

Love y'all more than Polly's Perch.
Thanks for stopping by and seeing what is going on in Annette's world.