Monday, December 30, 2019

Looking back to 2019

I have no idea if anyone will even see this as I never post anymore, and I spend all my online time on Instagram, but since it was tradition to do a year in review post, I am doing it again to see what I achieved this year. It’s a fun way to summarize all my art projects and such. 

I am choosing to leave out the difficult point in dwelling on any of that. We lost a few family members who will be missed, and we’ve had some struggles here and there but overall things were good for our family, as you will see. 

I started of 2019 doing watercolor maps of little imaginary islands.....
Here’s a few of the ones I completed:

Next I joined an art challenge by Melissa Doty called squareathon, and that led me to create this art. Many of these were based on drawings my son did as a child.  I was pleased with the slightly muted colors I used!

This led right into a personal 100 day project.... I planned to create 30 blooms, 30 butterflies, 30 birds on 3x3 watercolor squares, (with 10 extra for mushrooms or little flower scenes) and use 10 muted rainbow colors. I didn't finish yet, I got to around 80 something, but here’s some of the art: (and I had a big sale so many of these have gone off to their new homes)

Then as it was summer, and there were flowers everywhere, I spent a bit of time working in acrylic on some big and some small canvases:

About this time my husband and I got to take a vacation to Rickets Glen State Park in Pennsylvania with the oldest and the youngest of our 4 kids, Bran and Jace. The park has 16 amazing waterfalls....lots of hiking and kayaking!

And right after returning we were surprised by our older son moving back home temporarily with his ball python....

It has been great to see more of him! (And to have a “babysitter” for our son once in awhile too) and it was great that Brandy got to see him too as they hadn’t seen much of each other the last few years while he was in Ohio and she lives in Arizona. 

And I think it was shortly after this that my daughter, Jesse moved from Arizona to Oregon. She’s the only one of our 4 kids we didn’t get to see this year. ☹️

But she is doing well in Oregon now with her green hair, her boyfriend, 2 dogs, 2 cats and 2 ferrets....

Even though I didn’t get to see her, my other traveling daughter got to visit her and I can’t help sharing a few pics of their adventures together. 

Plus on top of visiting Jesse, Bran got to take a trip to Germany with her cousin, (my niece) Emily and Em’s husband, Morgan. I am so jealous! My grandmother was born in Germany in Rothenburg, and they found the family home.....

My husband and I managed a successful garden over the short summer. We tried cupcake squash and didn’t really care for it. I think the name was what persuaded me. We also tried ground cherries for the first time and we all loved them. They will definitely be on next year’s list, which we are enjoying planning out now after watching tons of British gardening shows lately on Netflix with Monty Don. There’s even a bit of a pic of my tiny fairy garden in the mix:

And I learned a magical new hobby, that’s been a goal for years; dyeing fabric with nature. I dyed yellows from marigolds, warm browns from oak leaves, light green from Queen Anne’s lace, and many more!

This then led me back to using these fabrics along with some of my own fabric from spoonflower, plus some vintage fabric for hand stitching pieces for quilts or pillows or something as yet to be determined....

Back to painting as the weather turned colder. I created a series of mushrooms....

Then a series of collages using old watercolors....
These turned out to be very fun!

Then I was chosen to cohost the next squareathon with Melissa Doty and Holly Platt and we had a great time coming up with a theme and prompts. We chose flower child for our theme and song titles such as “mellow yellow” , “Woodstock”, “white rabbit” and “our house”as prompts. I chose to interpret this by bottling up the ideas into medicine. Good for whatever ails you!

Next I purchased a mini sketchbook from the Brooklyn art library to complete and mail back to them. It will then become part of their traveling exhibit in a suitcase of mini sketchbooks. I have completed about half of it, with the theme of ode to yellow....

Then just before the holidays we unexpectedly 
added a rescue puppy to our family. Sid the pug is blind in one eye, missing three toes, and has a bad back leg. He had a bad prognosis but is thriving now. He weighed 2 pounds when we got him and now, a month later is up to 5 pounds! I am obsessed with taking his portrait!

I managed to read (or listen to) 26 books this favorites being the 1st, 2nd and 4th in this very first row....

And..... The last project of the year for me was Magic beans!

Here’s their story...

This summer, while walking in a part of the woods I had never been to before, I discovered an unusual bush covered with interesting pea-like pods. The shrubby bush appeared to be vibrating, as if it was humming. When I got closer I realized this was because it was full of bees! I love bees so I took this as a good sign and got even closer. The shrub was loaded with tiny red flowers that the bees seemed to love.  As I stood and wondered about this interesting  plant, hummingbirds darted in and out trying to beat out the bees for some of the sweet pollen that must have been in those red flowers. As the peapods were nowhere near ripe I left the plant and didn’t make it back to see it again until almost 3 weeks later. This time as I approached the bush I noticed an amazing smell, like a mix of vanilla and nutmeg and something I couldn’t identify. 

The red flowers were mostly gone but there were brightly colored and wildly patterned beans beginning to burst out of the pods. All around the base of the shrub were mushrooms, at least three different types. Some were yellow, some were red, some tall thin ones were actually blue. I could actually feel the presence of magic. I had never seen or felt anything like it. I picked a few handfuls of the beans, leaving plenty for the plant itself, and headed home to see if I could identify them. 

That is it for my year in review...

Looking forward to 2020!!!


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