Ever have a moment where you just know you could have been a British comedy star if only you had been born in the right country? Well, I am pretty sure I could be the next "Mr. Bean" if given the chance. I can do slapstick and goofy faces like nobody's business. Especially on the days I let my chickens roam the yard like the winged free spirits they are! We keep our chickens in a big fenced in area with plants and rocks and trees. They live the good life, protected from coyotes and dangers in the wild. Their food just magically appears and water is aplenty. Even though they are totally spoiled, with daily fresh fruits and vegetables and bugs galore, I still feel sorry for them because I know they want to run around the forbidden part of my yard chasing the dogs and nibbling on my flowers, so once in a while I let them out and they do go a little crazy. It's all fun and games until they get too close to my tomato plants and I have to put them back into their fenced-in luxury mansion with extensive grounds and property. That's when all the trouble begins. The worst part? They actually want to go in, but just can't figure how to do it. [caption id="attachment_6735" … Continue Reading ››
Linda Shaver Gleason has stage IV breast cancer. It's spread to her spine. She is 31 years old and she has a little boy named Linus (and he has the cutest, chubby cheeks I've ever seen!). I don't know Linda personally. She's a friend of a friend, but I know she is a real person and that she needs our help. Linda is a musicologist, a wife, and a mother. I find her story so compelling because, as a mom, one of my worst fears is not being here for my daughter. When I think about my daughter having to grow up without me guiding her, protecting her, and loving her I can't sleep at night. When I watched the video of Linda with her son on the fund raising site youcaring.com I knew I had to do everything in my power to help her pay her medical bills. She needs to survive this cancer. As the video says, she has a lot to live for. We can help her do that by taking away some of the financial worries and burdens her family is experiencing. Her main focus needs to be on kicking cancer in the ass and reclaiming her health. I want to help her focus on being that kind of warrior. Tweet the fundraiser now: Tweet Linda's … Continue Reading ››
I'm taking a class called Animalitos with artist Tracy Verdugo. It's all sorts of awesome so I had to share it with you. Tracy Verdugo has no idea I am writing this review of her class, but since I'm exuding positivity and doing cartwheels over it I am sure she won't mind. What are animalitos? They are little animals painted with ink, and other mediums too of course, but the ink is just so luscious to work with. I can't stop raving about the ink. You know I love working with ink! What is so fun is you just sort of sculpt your animal with water on some watercolor paper, drop in the ink and watch it do it's magic. SO MUCH FUN. Tracy Verdugo's class is terrific for a number of reasons. First of all it's on video and a PDF that you can download to your computer and keep forever. This is important to me because my internet is not conducive to streaming video. Plus, I like to watch, pause, experiment, and watch again. I like having the video right on my computer because I can access it even when I don't have an internet connection. The PDF with explanations and material lists is nice because you can print it out and take it to the store with you or refer to it as you are painting … Continue Reading ››
I'm involved with some art journal groups this year. I haven't kept up with the weekly prompts, but I am doing some of them and maybe I will catch up eventually. I see many of the artists in my groups using stamps in their work and I wanted to do some stamping too, but I also knew I wanted to make my own stamps so I figured I might as well learn how to do that for my art journal pages. I found a book on stamps to read up on the process. I bought some supplies. Then I started experimenting! I bought some E-Z-Cut Printing Blocks and a couple of linoleum mounted blocks from Dick Blicks. I drew a picture I wanted to carve, after reading some tips in this book: Stamp Carving 101: A Complete Guide on How to Make Your Own Custom Rubber Stamps. Then I got out my trusty Speedball Linoleum Cutter and got to work carving. I tried to keep the images simple because, to be frank, I didn't really know what I was doing.
I tried the linoleum first because it was what I was most familiar with. It was really hard to carve. I found it … Continue Reading ››
I was surprised to learn that people are still suffering from exposure to asbestos. I thought asbestos was a thing of the past. We all know how bad it is for our health and that it has to be removed very carefully from old buildings. I assumed it was no longer used and that it likely only existed in a few old, abandoned buildings if it existed at all. Apparently that is not the case and asbestos is still being used in the U.S. to the tune of 30 million pounds per year. That shocked me! The other day I was listening to a news podcast when a story about Libby, Montana came on. The story highlighted a woman named Gayla Benefield and how for years she had tried to get people to pay attention to what was happening in her town. People were dyeing from asbestos related cancer at a rate that seemed statistically impossible. Entire families were developing this cancer. It was normal to see people in their fifties walking around with oxygen tanks. (source) After Benefield got the attention of the media and the government an investigation found that a local mine was responsible. Vermiculite had been mined for 40 years and over that time period the vermiculite, which was tainted with asbestos dust, was distributed all over the town, including playgrounds, baseball fields, and roads (source). People were being poisoned for years and from early childhood on. The EPA later conducted a massive cleanup … Continue Reading ››