Sunday, June 28, 2015

an experiment in my sketchbook for summer of color

I am a little late to join in with the summer of color, but i have been wanting to paint some simple maps so I decided to do this quick map in the colors for this week....

Purple, purple, yellow.

This one is just an experiment. My next maps will have more detail i think...but in my head i wanted a simple one with no black lines, just all watercolor and no labels so the plain watercolor itself was the beauty of it, with the roads left white.  But when i got to that point I just couldn't leave it. Then once I had added the street and dirt road's names I knew i would have to add lines, so if i was going to do all that I should have planned to add details like houses and trees and a compass rose. But that's what a sketchbook is for, experimenting....

Friday, June 26, 2015


I am always making lists.
Things I am thankful for, 
things to do,
things to draw, 
garden plans,
every Christmas gift I have ever gotten,
what I ate,
where I would like to go, 
things to  look up,
things to make,
things to make lists of....

I have been doing this forever.
My daughter tells me obsessive list making is a sign of ADHD.
 Especially if you rewrite the same list over and over.
I do
I am not making light of anyone with ADHD. And I have never been diagnosed, but living with autism I can now see traits from Autism, Aspergers, PPD-NOS, ADD, OCD, ETC. in myself and almost everyone around me. I guess what makes the difference is how many of these traits we each have. and how well we can function with these traits.
I think I have just enough ... not too many, not too few.
I mean, aren't you a fan of the quirky personality?

So anyway, I have been lately posting more than just art, i am enjoying thinking of posts to do taht aren't just paintings but whatever i am thinking about...
 Posts in a series...
posts just about color....
adventures with autism....
a glimpse in my sketchbook....
sacred circle mandala photos,
and lists....

so here's my first list...
a photographed list,
or rather a list in pictures,
nothing too quirky to start with.
5 things I am thankful for lately
(apart from my family of course)

1. a gift...

2. looking up...

3. working on my future book.....

4. Muffins with honey....

and 5. Gigantic mushrooms

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

5 things on the internet

I spend too much time on the internet,
between Etsy, Pinterest, Goodreads and Spoonflower alone it would be easy to spend hours,
there's always so much more to see.
And it's easy to do when you can be on an ipad sitting next to your kids who are watching TV or something, (jace is addicted to Scooby Doo)
So i thought i would stop when i have found 5 things.
So today i am posting what I found while on the internet.

If you click on the colored word it will take you to the original site..

1.I want: this handmade watercolor paper

2.I watched: this art video.
This is by Dearing Wang, his videos are elaborate mandalas and geometric creations much more complicated than what I do but this one is of  making perfect Yin Yang symbols and i might actually try something similar in my art.

3. I would love to try: to make this drink:


4.  I love Goodreads, a great site to get  recommendations of future books to read by logging your past reads and your 'want to' reads etc....I am reading: S

5. I want to make one of these bird cup feeders and a million other projects...

Friday, June 19, 2015

5 things about Rhubarb

If you live where there is rhubarb then you know.
Rhubarb and strawberry pie is delish!
I haven't had any this year but that's because i have been busy doing other things with rhubarb.

1. I have created a pinterest board of Rhubarb recipes. It's so pretty, you will want to check it out even if you don't plan on making anything with rhubarb. But there are just so many things you can make with it....

2. We ate some upside down rhubarb cake my mother made from her patch of rhubarb. My older son loved it, well we all did, so i made some myself.

3. We planted some rhubarb so we will have our own stockpile next year.

4. I cooked some rhubarb syrup, then made that into a slushy. I did look at all the recipes from the internet, then when it came time to make mine, i just sort of guessed at measurements....

5. I sketched my drink in a brand new 9x12 Strathmore visual journal. I plan to keep this one just for recipes.

Monday, June 8, 2015

More Adventures in autism and another glimpse in my sketchbook

Last week i posted a bit about my son, and some of his autistic traits, and i appreciated all the comments commiserating with how hard it must be. I was actually surprised though,  because what i shared i no longer think of as the hard parts anymore. Jace is ruled by obsessive behaviors, yes. He is wasteful and destructive, yes. But that is nothing compared to how agressive he can be at times, especially now that he is 12 and about 200 pounds. But we manage because my husband and i are in it together, and my husband is still strong enough to deal with the violent times, and the stubborn times. He helps me by teaching me self defense moves. And he just bulls through, when that is what is needed, like a month or so ago when jace chose to lay down in the road in front of wegmans. If i had been alone with him i would have simply had to direct traffic away from him, but my husband simply scooped him up, threw him over his shoulder and walked him to the car. Not many people could have done that. Knowing that we can manage together makes it all OK. 

I read an article by a mother of two autistic sons a year or so ago and one piece of her advice in the article has stuck with me. "Don't think past dinner",  and although i can't help but wallow in worry about the future at times, most days i try to stick to that advice. 

Another part that makes it all OK is that Jace is still a sweetheart, frustation aside. He used to be too thin, but now he is quite chubby so he's like a giant Pillsbury dough boy that truly means well. He is simple and cuddly and so lovable.

He loves to look at himself in the mirror, and since the ipad has a reverse camera where he can see himself he likes looking in the ipad too. The other day he pulled me into a hug and took some photos while admiring himself in the screen. These aren't really print worthy; i don't look my best and i have taken off my glasses so he won't smush them, but i love this set of photos regardless. 

This is Jace, this is him....

Friday, June 5, 2015

how to be happy

The first and most important thing
is to be thankful for the little things you have,
find the joy all around you,
the small magic,
the tiny discoveries that make life extraordinary,
appreciate that there is beauty everywhere.
One of the things I was thankful for lately was an afternoon to myself.
I had a dentist appointment, 
which I am irrationally afraid of.
And my tooth hurt so i decided not to go back to work, 
but stopped at a new body of water I had recently discovered to drink my banana flavored milkshake. 
I couldn't eat lunch, but i could drink.
I have always lived in this area 
but i had never even heard of this small lake, 
a series of small lakes it turns out.
I had sort of stumbled upon it a few weeks ago while looking for somewhere else.
And it is close enough to get to on my lunch hour.
 I just love it when i find a new spot to go to that has water. 
It soothes.

A glimpse in my sketchbook, and adventures with autism

I am off work today as my son didn't sleep much at all last night. (And therefore neither did my husband or I) It's a fairly normal occurance around here, so i gave in and gave up trying to wake him up this morning and stayed home with him. He has been into everything lately, my nail polish, any food he can find, the bubblebath......

I have totally lost count of all the bottles of bubblebath, mouthwash and shampoo he has either dumped into the toilet or down the sink drain. He likes to watch them bubble, and i think he doesn't realize the mouthwash won't bubble up like the soapy stuff does. I believe all he sees is a bottle of colored liquid  and thinks " this will be fun"!

Since we just don't know what he is thinking it's hard to tell. Many times after he pours himself some pop, he'll dump the rest of the 2 liter bottle down the drain and put the empty bottle back in the fridge. Same for whole bags of corn-chips and potato chips, the bag gets dumped in the garbage after he's had his serving, then put back on the pantry shelf. Does he think it will regenerate? Probably.

Of course it could have nothing to do with hoping they will be refilled. It might just be all about where things belong to him. At the end of the day clothes that have been worn belong back in the drawers that he took them from. A used spoon belongs back in the utensil drawer where he got it. New items from the store belong on the table where the bags first land upon entering the house. Shoes belong by the front door and doors and cupboards belong shut. Yet, used orange peels can be thrown behind the couch instead of in the garbage or even back in the fruit bowl.

It's impossible to understand his thinking most days, but we have pretty much learned to roll with it in this house. Well, i try at least.

And this unexpected day off gave me just a minute to myself this morning, before he woke back up, so here is a quick sketch i got to paint in. I drew it on my lunch in the cemetery after admiring the phlox, and then added watercolor this morning. Nothing elaborate, just quick. And a ladies face for fun too.