This blog started with small daily paintings then changed to a more personal sharing of projects, events and photos. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Dough People

My granddaughter and I made dough people, because--well...why not?!

Monday, November 29, 2010


A few dance performances in the recent past.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Step Back to Halloween

face paint and photo shop

at my son's house

a wooden doll

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Winter Coat

I felt compelled to make this coat. I had in mind a coat I wore, back when I was about the same age as my granddaughter. The big hurdle was the cost of materials--I didn't want to spend even $50.00, which would be on the low end of cost for wool, lining, cotton batting and a pattern.

I used an old dress pattern that I paid .50 for from a thrift shop. I made the pattern larger, added a long sleeve from another pattern, added pockets, collar, belt and switched the opening to the front. At the thrift shop I found the gray wool in a roll for $1.00, the lining in another roll for $1.00. At home I knew I had some left over cotton batting.

Turned out the gray wool was large scraps left over from someone's sewing project, and the wool had a few small holes in it, probably from moths or mice? I washed all the fabric, feeling a little discouraged that I wouldn't be able to use the wool, but I did have enough if I pieced the sleeves together (note the seam half way down the sleeve). I also had to darn a small hole or two with gray embroidery thread. I used some dark blue thin corduroy I had on hand for the collar and trim. I ran into numerous problems along the way, but because the fabric only cost me a dollar, I felt a sort of freedom to try this pattern alteration. The flannel at the wrists came from my rag draw! It's a piece of an old sheet I had ripped up into rags, but it's soft (she has sensitive skin!!),and was the right color. It's kind of funny too--when it came to the buttons, I didn't want to spend more on the buttons than I did on the fabric, so my granddaughter and I picked out a set from a scoop of buttons we bought for $1.00

She really likes the coat, which is the most important thing--the lining is smooth and silky feeling and the wool with the cotton batting makes it a good warm coat. It's big enough for a light sweater underneath for extra cold days. I feel good that I made this for under $5.00!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Children's Craft Fair

This past summer, I had so much fun helping my granddaughter make crafts, then setting up a table!
I was a sort of task master--each day I would have her draw so many clothespin dolls, another day I'd set out the acetate for the pinwheels for her to decorate with large paint markers, and so on for a few weeks.

Besides putting her "mark" on each item, she was the artistic director throughout all the decisions. I probably helped too much, as I'm apt to do, but what fun it was!

I started the table with two saw horses and a length of plywood. I set that up about a week before the fair, then kept adding to it--an awning would be nice--spray paint the table top--paint the bamboo--bells!--a table skirt, then cutting into the table skirt!----stop!

We sold lots of things that twirled--pinwheels, magic elastic button sting, and an origami paper twirly, mobiles. I never had a chance to even take a picture of our table set up at the fair site, but we were catching the wind left and right! I couldn't help twirling our table in the first photo--plus, I was having too much fun once again in photo shop!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Babies and Pancakes

Back home after our trip, the line up of babies needed feeding. My granddaughter often talks of having 58 kids to take care of and she wants me to talk for some of them. Here we have six babies wanting pancakes--easier than talking for 58 kids!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Different Way of Framing

My brother and his wife bought a few of my paintings. I was happy to see they framed these very differently than the way I've been doing it--(see the frames on the side bar of this blog). I like the black mat!

Friday, November 19, 2010

While in Maine...

My sister Martha's grandson caught this frog.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Old and New Allie's Cats

While visiting in Maine this past summer, my sister Martha, brought out her very old and very much played with Allie's cats, (check out the second picture-where they're all banded tightly around the necks--I believe this banding was some kind of initiation for Martha's young son's cats?), along with her very new and latest cats, (not banded). I'm not sure if she's still selling these, but click here to see tropical cat!
My granddaughter just loved all these cool cats!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Maine Flowers

Flowers from my sister Martha's garden this past summer.
She's posted about a work in progress called, "Missing Angels"
here's another poem by John, again written just weeks before he passed, entitled, "Angels"

by John Fiore,

Would that we could

have kept that angel,
the one that sat on our shoulders
as we wobbled through that toddler age,
missing table corners and open drawers
by whiskers, angel fingers taking the hits
for our soft little baby heads.
We zigged and zagged, the road
a mine field, trouble at every turn,
and yet here we are.
But now, the angel is gone,
and I miss mine at every fork,
every misstepped road.

Monday, November 15, 2010


My husband's good friend John passed away yesterday--He and his wife Dana, have kept a creative blog following John's travails with Leukemia.

I knew John through my husband. They go back to Jr. high where John walked up to Mike at the beginning of a class--Mike was sitting at his desk, probably in one of the rooms on the top floor of the building. John grabbed Mike's books off his desk and said, "I'm gonna throw your books out the window!" Mike said, "You do, and I'm throwing you out the window!" They were friends from then on.

These two guys had numerous adventures, crazy, wild, things I wouldn't dream of doing, but I did go along on this one...

This was 32 years ago in Rhode Island--August 1978, The Block Island surfing adventure! After ferrying to the island with surfboards and one big canvas bag of food and clothes, we hiked across the island--we lugged across pastures; one with a bull, who was not too happy to share his territory--we hustled with bright colored surfboards--I carried the bag--clamored over fences, trying to make a bee line to the surf on the rugged side of the island

It was hot--John has his shirt over his head--they stopped to adjust their grips on their boards to finally make it down to the water. It was a good day--I watched as they caught wave after wave--timing it just right, so they could ride the same wave, one going left the other right, then both jumping, diving, plunging off their boards before they crashed!

This picture was taken many years later--now in CA I'd call this one, "Men in an Awkward Descent Down a Rocky Trail"
From the foreground up, Mike, Earl, John and Paul

August 1999, Camping at Big Sur. Good friends Earl and Chris came out and we all gathered together in Big Sur
John's on the right, my son and John's son on the left (I think they're having a good time!)

John and his Wife Dana, 1989
Sorry about the red lines--I tried wiping them out in photo-shop, but I couldn't do it.

I could go on and tell of how, back in high school I was intimidated by John--he was popular, intelligent, witty and kind of scary with his teeth clenching smile and flashing eyes--like he could bite your head off and spit it out before you knew what was happening, but I'll let him tell it with his poem that he wrote just a few weeks before he passed.

Who I Was

There was a time,
in my youth,
when I was the flash of lightning you didn’t see,
except that the room lit up.
I was the scent of pine trees and sage
riding in on a hot wind from the south.
You smelled it and it was sweet but vague.
I was the river that you could not ford,
and the forest of Bishop pine and redwoods,
the paw prints in the forest by the stream.
I was all the honey and cinnamon and mustard,
fresia and roses and periwinkle, cats and dogs and birds,
but of course they all were consumed.
Now I am here, stripped of my nature,
just pain and bleeding and heartache,
reaching out to my death with
weak and mangled hands,
not wanting to touch it,
yet reaching and reaching.

Fare-thee-well John!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Mating Dragonflies

"Are you mating yet?" said the Tralfamadorians,

(I have learned to use some tools in photo shop--thanks Martha! Fun!)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Painted Rocks, and Paper Plates

Martha holding the start of her rock.

I didn't bring lots of art supplies with me on my trip back east. I've gone through a falling out of creating--or a shift from painting to home crafts?--sewing, baking--maybe not even that??--menopause, certainly--maybe I've been busy creating my new older self--through it all, a feeling of sadness, feeling unmotivated--feeling my body change. So it was so good to have my sister with me. In the morning at the breakfast picnic table on the porch, Martha started drawing, then painting on paper plates. Rocks were next, my granddaughter was overjoyed and joined right in. I, on the other hand watched for awhile then remembered a small white rock I had found...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Early morning blueberry picking by canoe--nice...

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Ahh! Swimming--a great little pond in RI--a week of swimming, canoeing, fishing, and blue berry picking....