Sunday, January 27, 2013

I love Valentine's Day...some new work

It's time to celebrate L-O-V-E. Especially this year. I am ready for hearts and flowers (and chocolate). 

This is Dickens. I made him to list in my etsy shop for Valentine's Day (and I am running late on that particular goal) but I think a red monster with a big grin works for the entire year, right? He has little beaded teeth that were so much fun to sew on. I felt like a monster's dentist.
Dickens has a little red heart button on his tail. 

This is Buttercup. She's a Valentine gnome. I added pompoms and heart buttons. She also has a heart on her backside, because if you're a Valentine gnome, you can't have too many hearts. She's in my etsy shop awaiting adoption. :) 

This is Geneve, the cat. Before I painted her, I covered the little canvas in torn scrapbook paper and tissue paper. I also used a fine crackle on her face, and gave the painting an antiqued finished. She's in my etsy shop.

This little Frida painting is headed to my etsy shop. I used tissue paper in the background and origami paper for her dress. This was the first time I played with my new Inktense pencils, and I love them. (Now, of course, I want the bigger set.) You draw with the pencil, then go over the lines with a wet brush, and it brightens the color and creates a wash effect. Best thing is: when it dries, you can go over it with other paints, etc., and it doesn't bleed! I covered her in my second favorite art supply: gel medium (thank you, Art Supply Goddess Anne for introducing me to that!). 

Frida looks a little serious, but that's because holding on to love is serious business.
But hold, we must!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Thank you so much...

 Thank you all very much for your kind words about my Mom's passing. I appreciate them more than I can say, and if I could hug each of you in person, I would. So consider yourselves virtually hugged. :) We packed up my Mom's apartment over the weekend. That was hard. It was helped by a few things. The first was a group of caring nurses who were genuinely saddened by Betty Lou's death. They're really good people who do a great job every day helping the elderly. I have a lot of respect for them. The second was when the DH and I were driving home one day and saw an albino deer leading a small herd across a hill (no photo, because both our mouths were open, and we just watched!). The third was driving home from her place at dusk, and looking out at this gorgeous Maryland farmland.

I have said my good-byes, but I know it will take time for it all to sink in and to come to some peace about it. You, my friends, have helped a bunch.
So thank you all, again, for being so uber-awesome and caring people.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Saying Good-bye...

My Mom passed away on Monday. Those of you who have lost loved ones know that there is a certain surreal feeling to these first days without them in your life. What will I miss? Well, for one, my Mom was quite a character. A real spitfire. You were never bored when you were around her.

This is one of my favorite photos of her. She is about nine. She told me that she didn't really need those glasses she is wearing, but that she liked the way glasses looked, and besides, no one in her class had glasses. So she faked her eye exam, and got herself some glasses. They made her feel special, until another kid in her class got them, too. So she stopped wearing them. That story has always made me laugh, and explained a lot about my own kids.

She was orphaned very young, and grew up on her grandparent's farm. It wasn't an easy life, and I think she was often lonely, but it gave her a life-long love of the outdoors, and an incredible work ethic. (She also had a soft spot for dogs.) 

She was smart, and loved to learn. She was always reading a book about something interesting.  Growing up, I can't remember a time when my mom wasn't completely up to speed on the news, and politics, and a hundred other things. She clipped articles and saved them for me to read. This is a photo of her in college in Texas. I think you can see a little of that spitfire in her expression.

She was a teacher. She taught sixth grade for many years. She loved those kids, the age they were; the fact that they were on the cusp of adulthood, but were still kids. She was a hard teacher, and very old school. But I remember her students from years past coming to our door and ringing the doorbell, just to say hi to her, so she must have been the right kind of tough. She coached baseball and ruled the playground with an iron fist (and a whistle) when she was on duty. Never mess with a farm girl.

Although she missed getting to see everyone this Christmas, it was a pretty good showing and we were happy to have this last time together.

Most of all, to us, Betty Lou was a loving mom and grandma. We'll miss her stirring things up, and calling us each to task. No one got past her. We knew it, and just got in line. It was her way of letting us know she loved us, and that she was keeping a watchful eye on us all.

Saying good-bye is tough. I'm hoping for some of her farm-girl strength and Texas grit to help me in the coming weeks. I know she'd want that for me.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Zee winners...

I wish I could send everyone a plushie, because of your collective awesomeness, but alas, I cannot.
But I can thank you for coming here to visit me, and for supporting my art. Thank you!

So (cutting to the chase) here are the winners:

Mary Helen - you won Alden!
Peggy Gato - you won Clara!

And Lo, you won this little guy I added on at the last minute...

His name is Elvis. He looks a little stunned.

I'll have a little Valentine giveaway as we get closer to February.

If you could email me your addresses, I will get these little monsters in the mail to you this week.
Everyone, stay toasty warm and dodge all incoming germs!

Monday, January 7, 2013

A giveaway!

Well, it's a brand spanking new year. And I for one, say "Yippeee!" To celebrate, I found a couple of little plushies that need adopting. If you'd like a chance to win either Clara or Alden, just leave a comment. I might add another goodie in, too. I'll have to see who/what is lurking in the laboratory.

Clara, a little goat girl monster

Alden, a little winter monster dude
If you have a preference you can tell me in your comment, and I promise not to tell Clara and Alden who you like best. I'll pick the winners this Saturday, January 12th, after 6pm EST. I hope everyone is busy being super-creative and making masterpieces of one kind or another. I will be around soon to visit everyone and see what you've been up to.