Saturday, December 20, 2008

Busy December

As the title says, it has been a busy December. I was blessed to be in 3 art shows/sales within 5 weeks, and really enjoyed doing that. They kept me hopping to get ready for each! Now I'm looking forward to participating in the Auburn CityFest in April.

Here's a picture of my display at the last show of this year, a couple of weeks ago. I know Jon cut off my head, but what I wanted him to get was the table, anyway. I really like how it looked. :)

Now, I want to close with this picture of the fantastic sunset visible from our back porch 2 nights ago. Wow... this photo doesn't come near to doing it justice! This month, our family celebrates the day the God of this fantastic creation was born a Child in Bethlehem. He came to sacrifice Himself so that we might know Him forever. May you have joy this season, and know the One Who loves you so much.

With love from our family to yours!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Pears, pears and more pears!

First, I need to correct something I said in my last blog post. Our new rooster and hens were given to us by our FRIEND, who also happens to be Jon's boss. :) The friendship has gone on much longer than the working relationship, however!

Our neighbors have a pear tree that has produced abundantly this year. They have been very generous with the fruit, and we all worked together to make pear honey a few weeks ago. While we had all these wonderful pears around I decided to do a couple of fun paintings with some of them as models. I also had some long, slender mats my mom had given me, so I painted these to fit the mats.

I'm going to be in another art show this weekend. This time it's a Christmas sale featuring a lot of local artists and craftsmen. I participated in the first one last year and had a lot of fun! It will be tomorrow (Friday) from 4 to 8pm, and Saturday from 10 to 5pm, at the Jan Dempsey Art Center in Auburn. Please come out and do your Christmas shopping, and come by to say hello to me!!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Eggs!!! Camping and Art

Out of the 11 small Barred Rock chickens we got for David's birthday, all but 3 were killed by a pack of dogs two weeks after we got them. Sigh. So, the following week Jon's boss gave us an adult rooster, and sent 2 older hens along with him. They were no longer laying eggs, he said.

This Saturday, the small brown hen laid an egg!!! Then another on Monday, another on Tuesday, and a 4th today! We are surprised and thrilled. So was the former owner, who was really shocked. :)

The last weekend in October we went camping with a group of friends we've known for years, most of them, anyway. New ones, too! The campground was Roosevelt State Park in Georgia, next to Callaway Gardens. So, we spent Sunday afternoon at Callaway. We enjoyed the whole weekend! It was beautiful weather- beautiful!!

Our tent and campsite:

After leaving the butterfly house we saw a Great Grey Heron as we were driving over the bridge, heading to the Raptor Show.

At the Raptor Show they were demonstrating the owls! They were so cool. After the show the handler stayed up front with this adorable Screech Owl!

While we were at the campground relaxing, I began a set of small paintings that I ended up really liking as a single unit!

I'd like to invite any of you who live in the area to come do a little early Christmas shopping on Saturday. I'm participating in Shop It!, a fundraiser for Youth For Christ's teen moms program. A portion of all sales will go to them, and there will be a lot of vendors there, like Mary Kay, Tupperware, and Southern Home. It is from 9 to 2 at the Auburn Chamber of Commerce building, which is at Glendean shopping center in front of Hastings. Please come out! I'll be there, and painting to draw a crowd. :) We'll have to see what kind of crowd I'll draw- maybe I should try juggling or something! Anyway, it should be fun and for a good cause. I hope to see you there!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

New Artwork and New Chickens

Well, I have let several months go by without posting! It's been pretty busy, but I have managed to get a few small paintings finished that I'm pretty happy with.

First, here's a picture of our sweet, silly chickens chillin' on the swing about a month ago:

About a week after I took that picture something got into their pen and killed every single one of those chickens. They were due to start laying eggs sometime this month and were most certainly pets for us. We were really crushed to find them all dead that Sunday morning! Gosh, it was sad.

A few days later, our neighbor gave us some new chickens for David's birthday! They are now about six weeks old. They are Barred Rock chickens, which are one of the few varieties of chickens that you can tell what gender they are by their color when they are tiny. We have ten hens (pullets) and one rooster (cockerel).

A couple of months ago, the friend who gave us our first chickens gave me a photo of one of their roosters- the father of several of ours. I really enjoyed doing this little painting from that photo- what a beautiful rooster!

Several weeks ago, David and I went to the northern part of the state and spent some time there with my parents. Jon was sick and had to stay here! One day while we were there, we went down to the river and let David swim. The rest of us sat in chairs by the water and chatted, and I painted this little painting of a boathouse across the river. I loved doing this painting and am really happy with it!

A couple of weeks ago, I did this little painting based on a photo I took several months ago of some flowers in a flower show. I can't remember what they were, and I've changed them quite a bit. I love the colors in this!

I hope the next few weeks will be a bit more relaxed; I hope to do some more painting. I have to say, though, that I have painted quite a bit more this year than I realized! It has been a blessing.

Have a wonderful October!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Deer, pickles and a bunny

Deer in the back yard on Saturday! If you look carefully at the last one, you'll see six deer running out of the yard. :)

Last week we made pickles with cucumbers from our garden, added to those our neighbor gave us!! YUM!!

Monday the three of us went for a walk on the land behind our garden. We came upon a rabbit before the walk opened up to a beautiful view of a field. What a beautiful world we live in!

David found an overlooked zuchini. Wow, look at the size of that! :)

We've decided to let him have his own blog and he created his first post today. Please visit and let him know what you think. And if you know how I can change the profile on his and still keep it connected to this blog, please let me know!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Recent Artwork

I haven't posted much artwork lately, but I have been painting. Two of the most recent ones are gifts to the two people who responded to my "Pay it Forward" post, and I wanted to finish them both before I posted them. I intend to put them in the mail this week. :)

The dogwood painting is for my high school friend Mona Helen in California. She said she misses the dogwoods the most, so I'm sending her some of her own!

The pansies are for a fellow artist, Deborah, in Michigan. I have to apologize to each of these ladies for taking such a long time to get these to them. I haven't forgotten but life has gotten in the way!

I've done a couple of fun sketches completely different from my usual style, and they were fun. :)

A couple of months ago I picked the white iris and just had the urge to do something different! A few weeks later a friend and her kids came over, and we walked across the street to the lake. The children fished and Marie and I visited while I did this rough sketch of the lake. I didn't have the courage to put the children in it. Maybe next time!

I did this one last week after finishing the pansies, and I love it! It's different, too, but it was a lot of fun.

Last Friday I participated in Summer Night, an outdoor art evening in our local downtown area. Quite a few artists had their artwork on display and for sale, and many stores remained open extra hours. I saw lots of folks I haven't seen in a while, and enjoyed myself very much!

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Garden Update

Two interesting things happened this week (without pictures): 1. We had a black racer (snake) dash off across the yard one afternoon while we were sitting under a pecan tree and reading. It must have gotten impatient waiting on us and decided to head out! It was under the tree and we didn't see it until it started heading towards the woods. 2. Friday, David and I were reading under that same tree and saw a turle laying eggs in a flat spot under a crepe myrtle next to the house! What a surprise. Interesting to watch, too.

Well, I promised some garden pictures, and so here they are! They aren't terrific because I took them early afternoon. They are too bright. I hope you enjoy them anyway!

First, in the last several days we've seen a ton of beautiful May Pops, also called Passion Flower, in the field around the garden. I haven't seen these in years!!!

Here's a baby canteloupe, one of several that have started developing. I have never grown one all the way to an edible size, so I'm pretty excited to watch this get bigger! It is about softball size right now, but the rest are coming along behind.

This is a watermelon, one of several also about softball size. I've never grown a full-size watermelon, either! I'm eagerly checking on the melons daily, praying they survive and we'll get to enjoy them!

I also planted sunflowers at David's request. They are a small variety and a pretty lemon yellow. All that greenery around them is tomato plants with lots of little baby tomatoes.

Here's one of our chickens, getting bigger all the time!

Here's a picture of some apples growing on the tree I walk under on the way to the garden. I absolutely LOVE apples and am having a hard time refraining from picking these already. I love little green apples...

These are what I've picked in the last couple of days. We've already made pesto 3 times with basil from the garden, and have eaten some squash and cucumbers in salad. How wonderful!! We feel so very blessed.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

May in the country

We've had a busy, happy May. What a blessing! The weather has been so wonderful that we've spent almost all day every day outside. We've eaten our meals and done school outside, trying to take advantage of every moment before it's too hot. I think it soon will be!

Anyway, here are a few pictures to show you what we've been up to. First, we observed a squirrel behaving very strangely several days in a row. David found the skull of a fox (or something small like that) a while back, and it was out in the yard. We noticed that it kept showing up in different places in the yard, and finally saw a squirrel picking it up and trying to carry it!! He would move it a few feet and get run off by another squirrel. We saw him do this for several days. We were floored. Turns out to have a simple explanation, according to our neighbor and landlord. Squirrels nibble bone for the calcium! Well. I have certainly learned a lot in the few months we've been here in the country! I'm loving it, too.

We've also got our garden growing well and are quite hopeful about it. I'll take pictures for the next update so as not to overwhelm you with too many in this one.

Our neighbors' chicken had babies! They are adorable, and she brought them into our yard this week. The distant shot is in the neighbor's yard, and the close shot is looking out our kitchen window.

We've also seen quite a few pairs of Summer Tanagers that seem to be nesting in our yard. The only other time I've ever seen them was at the bird banding held down at Ft. Morgan, so we've really been enjoying that! I've had some good views, but not while I've had the camera with me, of course...

On Memorial Day we visited friends who had baby goats born that day! We got to hold baby goats and milk their mothers. We also had homemade ice cream made with goat's milk. Delicious!

Here's a picture of two of our own baby chickens, quickly growing up!

Lastly, can anyone identify this cool looking caterpillar we saw this week? I could probably find it online and will hunt for it if nobody identifies it for me.

Remember, you can click on any picture and see a larger version.

I do plan to update again before another month has gone by. Maybe I'll post some artwork then. I've been sketching and painting outside in the afternoons; almost like having an outdoor studio!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

All sorts of great things

We've had a very full several days! It sure is a blessing to be living out here in the midst of nature. Wonderful! Saturday we spent a couple of hours participating in a clean-up drive of the road we live on, and then Jon built a chicken tractor while David and I planted most of our garden. For those of you wondering what a chicken tractor is, it's a pen with no bottom. You let the chickens eat and fertilize in one place for a day or so and then move it over a section. You just keep on moving them around and they keep the grass green and free of weeds. :)

I don't have pictures of these, but yesterday morning after Jon left and while David was still asleep I saw four Indigo Buntings at the edge of the backyard!! I was so excited! Then, David and I sat outside to eat lunch and saw two Summer Tanagers in the big pecan tree at the back of the yard. WOW! Later in the day, David went fishing and came running home to tell me that the Canadian Geese who've been hanging around the lake had had babies! So all three of us walked over and enjoyed watching the new family for a while.

Yesterday we also got to see the rat snake our neighbor found, as well as the largest black widow spider I've EVER seen!

Then, in the evening we had the cutest little tree frog on the kitchen window! I couldn't resist taking its picture.

With all these exciting things happening outside, the inside of my house is a mess! What's more, the weather is supposed to be this nice for the rest of the week. Maybe I'll do house work when it rains on Saturday...