Category Archives: Reblogs

World Watercolor Month Starts July 1st

Marriage and the Midlife Crisis

This is encouraging and is right where my husband and I are at. Exciting times.

Have a wonderful day and give someone you love a big hug! 😊

Teika Marija Smits

Last week it was my husband’s and my wedding anniversary. We celebrated with hugs and kind words and time spent pottering about with our kids, getting on with the usual chores. In the evening we had a takeaway and dessert. In quiet moments I reflected on our almost 20 years together (13 of them as a married couple).

Teika Marija Smits, photo by Andy Rhymer Teika Marija Smits, photo by Andy Rhymer

On the day of our wedding, it would have been good if, along with the marriage certificate, we were given a guide to negotiating the ups and downs of marriage, but as no one presented us with such a guide, like many other couples we bumbled along and came up with our own. Although it took a while to craft, it is, thankfully, short. It goes something like this:

  1. Love and respect each other.
  2. Communicate well.

And voila! That is it!

In the early days…

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How does the creative process work?

This is too beautiful to pass up sharing! I believe Janet captures the spirit of hummingbirds in her paintings as well as their physical beauty! 🙂

My Life as an Artist (2)

Like a flying jewel, the hummingbird darts lightly through the world, teaching us to appreciate the wonder and magic of every day existence……….

watercolour/gouache

20-11-15 - 1 (1082)How does the creative process work?

Initially the seed of an idea is sewn.

The seed then enters into an incubation period which can be short lived, or take years to come to fruition.

The seed of an idea 20-11-15 - 1 (1076)As we go about our daily lives, just like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle being revealed, the seed sprouts ideas that give us more information…..This can happen at any time.

It’s vital to record these ideas, because even when we think we couldn’t possibly forget a moment of inspiration……we can, and do, which is why it’s important to always have a sketch/notebook at hand.

20-11-15 - 1 (1079)

Like a ghostly apparition sometimes the answer seems almost within reach – but then it disappears and returns to incubation….it was just a…

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Book Giveaway – Owl Bat Bat Owl by Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick

This is a wonderful post! Have a good day, and give someone you love a big hug! 🙂

Writing and Illustrating

Congratulations to author/illustrator Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick on her new book OWL BAT BAT OWL. She has agreed to participate in our book giveaways. All you have to do to get in the running is to leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know the other things you did to share the good news, so I can put in the right amount of tickets in my basket for you. Check back to discover the winner.

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Can two very different families find their space in the world together? A wonderful wordless picture book offers stylish art, humor, and charm.

A mother owl and her three little owlets live happily on their branch. That is, until the bat family moves in. The newfound neighbors (owls up top, bats hanging below) can’t help but feel a…

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259 Watercolour pencil Portraits

Hello Friends,
This is a wonderful post by Ros Jenke whose portrait work I have come to love.

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug! 🙂

Ros Jenke

I’m slowly getting back into sketching, but I’m taking the lazy way by sketching in my lounge chair studio in the evenings. Now that it’s getting near winter here and chilly in the evenings it’s so much cosier in my living room rather than my cold art room. It’s easy to grab a few pencils and a journal and scribble away.

This was the first since my eye surgery which took me longer to recover from than I expected. I developed fluid behind the eye which affected my focus so I was restricted to one eyed squinting. It will be a few months before I have follow up surgery so I’ll spend that time juggling glasses and squinting a lot. But hey, worse things happen and at least I can still see 😊

I decided to work through my list of followers on Sktchyapp, choosing everyday shots of “normal” people…

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Crabapple in Opera Rose

The imaginary friend

Some lovely thoughts from my lovely friend, Julia, whom I met through blogging a long time ago. Enjoy!

Have a wonderful day and give someone you love a big hug! 🙂

Defeat Despair

Imagination to reality: meeting (again) in person, the smiles say it all.
Laurie, Matt, me, Kelly and Alys at Rustico’s in Old Town Alexandria, April 2017

“Writing is a job, a talent, but it’s also the place to go in your head. It is the imaginary friend you drink your tea with in the afternoon.” ― Ann Patchett

I think most everyone who writes can identify with this quote. But for those of us who blog, the line takes on a magnificent blur as the imaginary friend we reach through our writing may, from time to time, step through the mist and become real to us. And for many of us, this might happen again and again, with several different people who read our words, and whose words we read, leaving us with an entire family of friends we might never meet face to face.

Just last week I was exchanging…

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Jane Yolen, Picture Book Author

Hello Friends,

I have not posted in a while because I honestly have not had the energy!  My daughter left to go visit a friend in Missouri for Spring Break!  I hope she has a wonderful time.

In the meantime, I am doing a lot of reading.  I began reading “Animal Farm” which is pretty great. Both of my kids read it for school, and my husband read it years ago.  I think it is amazing and insightful already, and I am only 28 pages in!

I also began painting my drawings for my picture book, Larry the Lonely Leatherback Sea Turtle.  I am going to try to take pictures of them and put the text with them, then upload it on WordPress and try to make a “book” that can be looked through like it would appear if it was printed on paper.

In the meantime, here are some encouraging words from Jane Yolen.  I have yet to check out any of her books from the library, though, because I just learned about her the other day.  Enjoy!

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂

http://www.juliehedlund.com/jane-yolens-20-rules-of-writing

New friends

Another writer’s food for thought! 🙂

Women in the Wilderness

Hello Friends! Today I want to share a post from my husband’s new blog, CCC: Hard Corps. He has been finding all kinds of people who write about their experiences in the California Conservation Corps. either from the past or currently.
Our son just joined them a month or so ago and is loving the great work they are doing. Our daughter will be joining sometime soon after she graduates from high school this year. My husband was in the CCC back in the late 1980’s. We met in 1990 after he had just gotten out.
Agnes’s story is very inspiring! Enjoy!

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂

CCC: Hard Corps

This is Agnes. Agnes is one of the organizers for Women in the Wilderness.  She hails from the San Fernando and Simi Valleys, however, the mountains of CA have been her favorite home.  She spends her winters in Mammoth Lakes, CA and summers have been spent mostly in Kings Canyon National Park, but also the Inyo NF, the Stanislaus NF, and all over CA travelling between CCC Backcountry Crews.  With an environmental studies degree and seeking something more than planning, she stumbled upon the Backcountry Program. The 22 weeks spent that first summer in the Sierra launched her outdoor career working with young people building trails and community.  Agnes has hiked over 10,000 miles all over the backcountry, she spent 5 seasons with the National Park Service and 8 seasons with the Backcountry Program as a Supervisor and Program Manager.  Following her passion, she is a founding member of the 

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