Sunday, November 11, 2012

My New Fur Baby

Well after waiting for 8 weeks, my fur baby came home today...finally!   We picked him up from the breeder, Sunshine Acres Cockapoos.

Luigi was a very good boy. He took right to the leash and he even sat nicely in his booster seat.

It must have been his first time on grass because when we put him down, he ran to the sidewalk. We had to convince him that grass was a good thing. But once he got the hang of it, he loved it. Especially the fallen leaves. I'm sure he thought God put those there just for him to play with. He's getting the hang of sit as well. By the time I get the trainer here, I might already have him trained! He's so smart (but then again, isn't everyone's child the smartest in the world?)!

It took 6 hours before he finally went to pee. I was a nervous wreck. I even emailed the breeder. But once he got the hang of it, the next time I took him out he went right away, thankfully.  Glenn and I went out for a quick errand while he was asleep. I had put him in the crate and gently closed it. When we came back he was just sitting in there but he jumped up like "where did you people go?"

I wanted a dog that would be a family dog but I'm thinking that he's going to be attached to me. He follows me around like a baby chick and if he falls asleep, it's right by my side. I keep putting him on Glenn's lap but he won't stay there.

He is such a well behaved, well tempered dog. I couldn't ask for a more perfect one.  And he was one of the best decisions of my life.

If you are in the market for a cockpoo, I can highly recommend Barb at Sunshine Acres Cockapoos .

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day ...Did you vote?

Got up early this morning and high tailed it up to the polling place. It wasn't bad, just an hour wait. I generally wait until mid day when there are no lines but I had my grandson with me who wanted to go out for breakfast. I had brought a big ole toosie-pop with me to keep him busy and it lasted him almost to the end of the line! LOL

We used the wait to talk about elections, how people in other countries don't get this opportunity, how important voting is and why we should vote.  The election judge gave him a sticker too!

I'd like to take a moment to remember the people who sacrificed their lives & serve in the military  to give us this right. I heard a man say on TV today that voting is your duty to your country. I never thought of it that way.  I always vote even in primaries and some time during that time, I always think about our men & women in uniform....God Bless America.

Friday, July 27, 2012

It's Finished! Woo Hoo

So remember this plate of the Holy Family that I  blogged about a while ago. I finally finished it. The photo on the left shows it in "first fire". That is the first application of color. Notice how light it is.

Believe it or not it took me 10 fires in the kiln. Painting on china requires building up the color and firing in the kiln in between.

 It took that many fires to get the depth of color in the background. I am pretty happy with how it turned out. It looks much better in person. It's a very large plate...10 inches in diameter.  I still think the Blessed Mother could use a little more work on the face but for now I'm finished. At least I think so.

But you never know, I might later go back and put some kind of other detail on the edge. Maybe some enamel or luster...not sure.

Happy Paint Party Friday!  For more Paint Party Features visit: 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

PU What is that SMELL?

Ewuuuuu.....What is that smell? I went outside today to put away the trash cans and it smelled like something died out there. First I thought it was the trash cans but no that wasn't it.

I have looked all over the front yard but I can't find the source of that smell. I'm hoping whatever died gets eaten by some scavenger but in the meantime that terrible smell is staying with me. PU!

On a less stinky note, I had a great day today. A friend and fellow Iconographer, Rebecca LaChance drove down from Frederick. We had a nice morning sharing some painting techniques.  Then we went to Moulin de Paris...which defines itself as a Euro Asian bistro....Love that place.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Yesterdays Escape

 to Artscape in Baltimore was fun. Artscape is one of the largest free art shows/festivals in the country. I have always wanted to go but it seems like every time there would be one thing or another which prevented me from going there.

This year I went with my daughter, Jackie (on the left) and her friend Sara (right).

I don't know how many blocks they had closed off in town but it was pretty large. It is around the area of the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA).  There was the usual (and some unusual) food vendors and lots of artisans selling their wares mostly geared to the young hip crowd. I loved lots of it but just couldn't figure out where I'd put it. But it was fun to check it all out.

There was a section, the theme was carnival.The MiCA kids had all kinds of crazy interactive art there. I wish I had more time to check it all out. There were several stages of live performances. Jackie and Sara wanted to see Egg Babies Orchestra. They were mostly a cover band..they did a set of songs all with the theme Na Na Na Na Na Na....I never realized how many songs had that in them. They were very good. Then there were on street music men like the crazy guy on the left. He was too cute for words.
I loved the stage for the Rock Opera was so cool. 

But I think my favorite part were the Art Cars. Cars with all kinds of things attached to them. Each one had a theme. This was my favorite one. 

What a great afternoon escape.......I look forward to next year.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Pretty Paint Party Friday

 Happy Paint Party Friday....Most Tuesday nights I go to a decorative painting class. It's taught by my friend Kathy Anthony of Beyond Brushstrokes.

It's always fun to paint with friends.  This past month we were painting this beautiful stroke work design.

I'm not crazy about stroke work but it is good practice. It's one of those things that I make myself landscapes I suck at them but I make myself paint them from time to time.

The other's painted it on a very large tray. For some time I have had this green bowl with the wood top and have wanted to paint something on it. So when this project came up I just decided to do it on it. It made it a little more challenging because that meant the design was much smaller than it was designed to be but it worked out okay.

And here is the finished product!

On another's LeeLu. The other day I was sitting in my sun room with my phone and she kept wanting to "use" the phone so I turned on the camera and took a photo of her. Can you hear her say cheese?  

For more Paint Party Features visit: 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Paint Party Friday on the 13th

Friday the 13th....Happy Paint Party Friday and here's hoping you have a lucky day. Maybe I'll go to the Casino LOL....Well here's my post for PPF. Once a month I go to a Ladies Night at Clay Bakers in Annapolis. It's one of those places you pick out a piece of ceramic bisc paint on it, then they dip it in clear glaze and fire it for you. Ladies Night is fun because I go with a couple of ladies I used to work with before I retired. I always paint at least two things.

Usually I know just want I want to do but this month I was stumped about what to paint so I was flipping through some of their books there. I found these whimsical aquatic designs. I really liked them. So here they are.

What to do with them. Keep them. Give them to gifts. Put them in my Etsy shop? Oh I know. I have a friend who's opening a shop in Chincoteague Island, Virginia. She's been at me to put some things in the shop which will open next season. So maybe I'll paint more in this design and send them's right up her alley. What do you think?

For more Paint Party Features visit: 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Fun Afternoon

Market Street Frederick MD
Today I met my friend Rebecca in Frederick Maryland for lunch. I love Frederick. It is such a quaint little town with lots of boutiques, antique shops and eateries. It's a little hike (about an hour away) but it's a nice drive on mostly high speed highways! We ate at the Orchid on Market Street. I had gazpacho and a Polynesian stir fry...yummy.
Patrick Street

Polish Art Glass
After lunch I took a stroll around town in and out of some of the shops. One of shops I love is Amber Coast on Patrick Street. It has lots of items imported from Eastern Europe. I bought a piece of Polish art glass. This is my second piece. The last one I bought in Laurel. It's a wine glass...cobalt blue .I love the Polish pottery & glassware and cannot help thinking about my grandparents who immigrated from Plock Poland in the late 1800's when I look at it.

 It was a tough decision to buy the little bird because they also had Polish Pottery which I absolutely love.  But they didn't have my patterns so  I passed it up for the cute little bird. She looks cute in my window.

If you are ever in the area, visit Frederick, you won't be disappointed.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Paint Party Friday!

Happy Paint Party Friday! I love painting these rosary boxes. I painted this one and then I thought to needs something else. So I went and mixed up some "pen oil" with my china paints and penned in some scrolls. I think it looks much better. Excuse the green cast on the second photo. I tried to fix the color in photo shop but I'm not so good at that sort of thing.

The coloring is more accurate in the first photo but you get the idea with the scrolling. The crazy color cast was because I photographed it on a green back ground.  I need to rephotograph it so I can get it up in my Etsy shop...

Speaking of rosary boxes. I had someone ask me to paint one for a man. She wanted a flower on it..single rose but I was thinking, that's not very manly. She was from Arizona so I looked on line to see what their state flower was. Turns out it is the Saguaro Cactus. It occurred to me that cacti are more manly than a rose so I asked her if she minded if I did the cactus and here's how it turned out. She was more than delighted and I was very happy with how it turned out.

Happy Paint Party Friday.

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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Mason Adventures

 I am having such a fun summer with my 5 year old grandson. Recently my son received 50 percent custody of Mason. On Joe's week, I take care of Mason when Joe's wife Diana has to work. This week, Diana is in New Mexico. Her grandmother has been ill. So I've been with Mason every day.  I try to keep him busy doing something all the time.

This morning started off with him wanting silly photos at Joe's.  He has always loved hamming it up for the camera....He's just like his Dad was at that age.  Then he wanted breakfast out so we went to Burger King. He discovered French Toast slices. I love to be with him when he finds something new he likes. He's always making ummm sounds and saying this is delishus (delicious). 

Afterwards we went back to my house  where I taught him to shuck corn. What a hoot. It was entertaining to say the least as he wrestled with the corn. I was going to take him to the bouncy place at the Mall but he informed me that is for babies. So we went duck pin bowling. I invited by brother's girlfriend Megan and Diana's brother Jeremy and his 7 yr old son Alexander went. We had a great time.

On the way out of the bowling alley we stopped to play the arcades. The boys had a blast. Mason loved the skeet ball game. He gets it honestly. My husband is a big fan of that game too. He was so tickled several times he managed to get the 10,000 point spot which is not easy to get. Thursday is going to be movie day...we are going to see Brave. Can't wait for more Mason Adventures.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Experimenting with Texture

Well I love it when I can experiment with something new. I bought some crackle texture and applied it to a canvas, thicker in some parts so that it would crack deeply and thinner in some areas where there would be less cracks.  I left some of the canvas not covered so the texture of the canvas would show through.

Then I used a stencil to put a thicker layer for a fleur de lis in the lower right corner.  Using acrylic (Americana) paints, after it dried thoroughly I base coated the canvas, did my painting of grapes &; then antiqued it at bit with burnt umber. But that made the grapes look darker so I rehighlighted the middle grapes so they stood out more.

I found this old frame I had laying around the house and it was perfect because it has a raised design in it.
I call this piece Tuscan Memories......what do you think.

Happy Paint Party Friday.

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Thursday, June 28, 2012

What Did I Get Myself Into?

Ya'll know how I love to paint. I am a pretty prolific painter and I always see things and think I want to paint that.

Years ago (must have been at least 15 or so) I saw a painting of the Holy Family in a china painting magazine and tore it out. I have had it for years thinking one day I'm going to paint that.  Well the day has come. LOL.

I'm not crazy about portrait tones, etc. Oh and how I hate clothing folds...I struggle with it but it's like landscapes I hate to paint them and I think I suck at it but I make myself do it. You can't  paint all the cutesy stuff  forever and you can't grow as an artist if you don't push yourself.

Soon after I started it, I could see that this piece was going to take many paintings and kiln fires. The whole time I'm praying to the Blessed Mother, St. Joseph & Infant Jesus! I need big time help!

 In this photo I was just starting the 2nd fire (painting) process.  I was working in the face area (where the colors were being darkened). You can see the rest of the plate is very light, that was the first fire area.  Yesterday I  finished working on the 2nd fire painting and it's in the kiln now. It looks much better. Things are more defined and taking shape, however, it's got a very long way to go and the background....well to get the depth of color I want...more fires. When I get it out of the kiln I'll take another photo of stay tuned folks.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Some Interesting (and entertaining) Sights in the 'Dena

Making the walk this morning I had some interesting sights. It was almost along the Three Bear was very pleasant, one was very aggravating & one was just funny.

The photo to the right was the pleasant sight. I walk past this lady's yard every day. She always has the prettiest flowers coming out of her fence. I think she plants them so they will go out of the fence into the sidewalk. It really softens the look of that fence.  Last couple of years she had sweet pea plants with these black eyed was really pretty. Wonder where the sweet peas went?

Then there was the aggravating sight. Why can't people pick up their dog poop. I almost stepped in this mess. UGH!!!!

The reason I almost stepped in this was because I was looking at the next sight...I had to laugh!  A neighbor's house had a fire and for the past couple of months they have been working inside. The port a pot outside there for a while but today it had an addition....I wonder how many use the outdoor toilet? I guess that's it's the back up plan for a dirty port a pot.

Well looking at the flowers above remind me. I had 2 pots of flowers out front....they both had flowers like the ones on the left.  Actually the other pot had even more flowers on the plant. The other morning I was outside talking to my brother's girlfriend and I said "whoa look at that". It seems that something had eaten the flowers and part of the leaves off the other plant.....Megan said, "Well atleast it was neat about it."  That cracked me up. Well hopefully it will grow back.

Monday, June 25, 2012

I Won --- Woo hooo!

Debbie & her turtle

Yesterday my son's sister in law, Debbie, and I went to Polish Pottery Bingo at Savage Mills. I ran into a friend from my Hat Group, Deb Talbot. It was nice to run into her. She didnt win but she had some close encounters.

But Debbie and I were another story.  The last time I went  to this bingo, I didn't win....didn't come close but it was a lucky day for both of us. We won multiple times but they did a call off since others had bingo as well.  But we did come away with some loot!

First Debbie won the turtle. It's so darn cute.

My condiment bowls.
Next I won and picked the 2 little condiment bowls. It was a hard decision because they had lots of things to pick from. I picked them because I am always using little condiment bowls. The thing I wanted (a plate with bunnies on it) was already taken.

Leaf and bug for Brenda.
 Then Debbie won again and selected the leaf bowl with the little bug which she plans to give to her mother in law, Brenda who usually goes with her to bingo.  So what a great day it was. I was tickled to be a winner! :)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Sunday Sketches

It's been a while since I've done Sunday Sketches but I'm back! LOL So this week I thought well if I'm going to do this I need to do something new! And I sat down and did 3 little ACEO colored pencil sketches.

I had planned to scan each one individually but I really like how they look together since I used pretty much the same color pallette. I wasn't as happy with the one at the top. I need to redo that one at some point. The angle of the flower on the left drives me nuts for some reason. Or maybe I need to just darken that flower to put in the background. Well it will give me something to think about.

I was inspired by the beautiful flowers I see along my morning walks. Recently I have been trying to walk to the 7-11 and back (stopping of course for a sugar free mango slurpee to bring on the walk home). It's about 1.1 miles -- just right. So I guess when I walk past those flowers I'll have to take a look at the values again.

Have a wonderful Sunday. Enjoy the Sunday Sketches and for more awesome art visit

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Madagascar 3

Yesterday I took my grandson Mason to the movies. He wanted to see Madagascar 3. I hadn't seen 1 or 2 and had no idea what to expect. The movie was so cute.

It was fast moving with a great sound track. Mason was chair dancing and singing through out the movie. I don't know what was more entertaining him for the movie.

The story line is about the 4 main characters (Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Gloria the Hippo, and Melman the Giraffe) who are trying to get back to the zoo where they lived in New York, But instead they end up getting chased through Europe by an  French Animal Control Officer taking shelter with a group of travelling circus animals going by train to Rome where an American promoter will be watching to see if they are good enough to go to NY. It's absolutely hysterical & action packed. I jumped in my seat a couple of times! Watch the trailer.

It was so much fun. You've got to go see it.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Painting Outside the Comfort Zone

I belong to a China Painting club, The China Painting Artists of Maryland.

After business meetings we generally do some sort of painting or demonstration. One day we did this new technique with our china paints. Instead of mixing the paint pigments with oil, we used sugar water and then painted the tree design. Then it was fired in the kiln.  The next go round I used lusters dabbed on as leaves and then a luster to indicate the ground.

It's different from the kind of painting I'm used to. I like the traditional painting and I'm not much into abstract or modern art but this was a fun experiment.

Happy Paint Party Friday.

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Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Heat Didn't Keep Us Down!

 So today we ventured out in the 100 degree heat wave out to the Inner Harbor in Baltimore to go to the new Ripley's Believe it or Not. What fun we had. Originally it was to be my husband, me and my grandson, Mason but my son's HVAC job got cancelled today so Joe was able to come with us.

That place is great. Mason was so excited. He was running all over the place, "Was he (or she) real Granny Jo". I'd tell him yes and he squeal with laughter. It was so cute.

Ready for battle.
Peak a boo.
Mason is such a ham. He loves having his photo taken and he seems to always find the perfect pose for the shot. Like look how sweet he looks with the lady with all the rings on her neck. And then he's tough and ready for battle with the Transformer. He's going to be in theater one day, just mark my words!

Joe making a gear man for Mason to play with.
Mason hamming it up with the giant.
Afterwards we went to the new Bubba Gumps next door. Originally Phillips occupied that space but they moved down the street. The food was excellent and the waitress Julianna was so sweet and good with Mason. He just loved her. There was shrimp, shrimp and more shrimp so guess what we ate? LOL....and some crab soup too. Mason had the pepperoni pizza on the child menu. It came with fries and jello. The jello really made a hit. So if you are in the Baltimore area. I highly recommend both places.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

A Rock and Indie Sort of Day

The Annual Rock, Roll and Ride for the Little Sisters of the Poor, St. Martin's Home was today. Jackie and I painted garden rocks with quotes from Blessed Theresa of Calcutta, Blessed John Paul II and St. Jeanne Jugan (their foundress) for the fundraiser. This is our 3rd year doing that.  Before the Rockathon started there was a Motorcycle Ride. I believe 27 bikes showed up. It was so cute as they were leaving, the Sisters were waving and the bikers waving back. So cute.  
 Sister Lawrence was out there with a ball cap that was over her veil and 2 balloons attached. She took the hat off at one point and it nearly floated away! And then I thought a few more and she could float away. All I could think of was the flying nun but wait, that was  a Daughter of Charity, not a Little Sister.

Inside was the Rockathon. Rockers were rocking in rocking chairs to the sounds of the DJ. There were games. Jackie and I won quite a few of them. They had great prizes. I walked off with a frying pan, mug, 2 candy bars and 4 plants!  There was also a cake walk. I played 3 or 4 times but I didn't win a cake :( but the Oriole Bird won 2 cakes! Can you believe it? Wonder what kind he picked...maybe  poppy seed cake? LOL
It was nice to see Ms. Rose (one of the residents). She just celebrated her 100th birthday. She is pictured here with Jackie. I enjoy talking to her every year.  She is always full of interesting and entertaining stories.  Well I guess if I were 100 I could spin a few tales too, huh? Doesn't she look great for 100?  I hope I look half as good should I live to be that age.

On our way back from the Rockathon we went to an Indie craft show. Beautiful stuff but I had spent all my money on the Little Sisters....but that was more than okay. They really need it.

So tomorrow is Father's Day and I'm ready. My patio looks great...see the brick. You can see them now. I used my power washer to clean them. They were black! They were nice and clean but I was a mess. All the back dirt flew on me..I looked as if I had measles! LOL...but it was worth it. It's so pretty now and ready for my family to come for the cookout.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

More Sailabration!

Indonesian Tall Ship
 Well today was second day of  Sailabration for me. The DH (Darling Husband) wanted to see the Tall Ships so we headed out early for the Baltimore Harbor. I didn't have too much trouble finding parking thankfully.
Indonesia notice the carved wood on mast.

We walked to the Harbor and jumped right on the Indonesian tall ship. It was beautiful lots of carved wood. The crew was very friendly.

Then it was over to the Tall Ship from Ecuador. It was also very beautiful. I had to chuckle, they had a jolly roger flag and also a skull painted on one of their mask. When we got on it, there was music playing...latin salsa! People were dancing around. It was fun watching them.

USS Monsoon
The Tall Ship lines were getting really long so we high tailed it over to the Gray Hull ships.We were one of the first groups to get on the USS Moonson (coastal cruiser). The young man who did our tour was noticeably nervous but he did a great job and was very thorough. It was small but powerful little ship.

Some fancy gun...I forget what it was called
There was a little boy with our group and he was so smart. He was asking very pointed we thought out questions about the engines and also weapons. I wonder how he knew all that? He was only about 10 or so.

Well as if I hadn't had enough of harbors and ships, in the evening I was off to Annapolis to meet a friend for coffee at the Harbor. And what did we run into? 

You guessed it another Tall Ship. This one was the Bounty ...built in the 60's for the movie Mutiny and the Bounty with Marlon Brando. It was closed so we couldn't get on it but it was cool to see it.

Sunset behind the State House in Annapolis
So what a fun day...not planned it just all happened. I love spontaneity.

A Day in the Past

Facebook reminded me that  8 years ago I was at the coliseum in Rome. The most amazing observation I made was that it was so quiet. People s...