Thursday, April 30, 2009

Thankful Thursday: Blessed Again

Well, my dear blogger friend, Soulbrush from London struck again!

This time she sent me two of her original African paintings as well as three original African inspired ATC's. I had no idea she was going to do this!

When I get to my new home in a couple of months I'm going to put these in a place of honor. So many of you have sent me lovely pieces of art. I hope I can find wall space to show them all off!

Thanks so much SB. You're the best!

Happy Thursday everyone. May your blessings be many. I know mine are ;)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Animal Wednesday: Tis A Puzzle

Well, I had intended this to be a jigsaw puzzle design but my submission was rejected. Oh well! This was many years ago when I was sending out portfolios like crazy. I haven't submitted anything in years but I'm thinking of getting my feet wet again. The problem is I don't do any digital art or tweaking because I never learned how and all the companies want you to know so many digital programs. What's wrong with good old fashioned art supplies for pete's sake?

Well, here's my plain old acrylic and colored pencil fancy schmancy gecko!

Happy Animal Wednesday! And don't be afraid to show your true colors.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Cactus Monday: Future Residents

Hey, what have we here? I guess we'll just have to wait and see!

(I completely spaced on CM again and ran and painted this in five minutes!)

I think I have too much on my mind with moving, etc.

Anyhoodle, HCM everyone!! And smooches!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Illustration Friday: Theater

"Channeling her inner Diva."

I don't have an inner Diva. I don't think I ever have. I don't feel the need to try and upstage anyone. Just the thought of that drama is too exhausting!

The world is a stage as they say, and we are all actors in a grand play until our final curtain call.

acrylic paint, colored pencils (prismacolor), patterned paper, and a sticker for the sparkly crown!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Award Winning Saturday

I've been wanting to come up with an award for quite sometime now, so finally here it is, The Uplifting Blogger Award.

One of my blogger friends thinks that the award loses importance if we don't take the time to name the recipients. I usually just tell all of you to take it because I hate rules and it takes so long to link everyone! So, here's what the award is for and here are the 'suggested' rules for passing it along ;)

This award goes to fellow bloggers who visit frequently and raise my spirits with their kind words of encouragement, their beautiful images and their wonderful outlook on life. They make blogging a positive experience and continue to make my life richer.

Please feel free to pass this award along to your friends. I ask that you do name them but you don't have to link to them. Just stop by their blogs and let them know you've given them this award. Here are my recipients in no particular order. Thanks to all of you who raise me up! xoxo




Debra Kay

Teri C


Get Zapped




Andy Doodler




Roberta Baird

Sketched Out


Val Gal

Bella Sinclair

Flying Colors


Lisa at Greenbow



Artist Unplugged

Yoon See

( I apologize if I've forgotten you. I'll add you when I remember!)

Friday, April 24, 2009

Skywatch Friday: Heron Morning

On some mornings I have time to take my dog to El Estero Park in Monterey on my way to my first patient of the day. We walk around both loops of the lake as she enjoys the many sightings of Coots, ducks and Canada Geese, but every once in awhile we get to see a heron or an egret up close.
(See her on the left?)
I put Emma in the car so I could get these shots. They're very camera shy!
This is a very early morning sky which ended up being quite blue after awhile.
Still, grey as it is I love the reflection in the lake.

Happy Skywatch Friday! And don't forget to always look up at the beauty and to click here to see more sky shots from around the world!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Animal Wednesday: Too Cool For School

Who's that handsome dude behind those Foster Grants?

I painted this the first year we moved here, 1993. I fell in love with the sea otters at first sight. There's a protection act for them because their numbers were declining rapidly. Now the population is up to some pretty healthy numbers, still though there are some that die way too young at the hands of mean or careless people as well as natural diseases.

Today is Earth Day. Let's celebrate this glorious planet we live on by doing our part to help the environment and all the flora and fauna we so very much enjoy.

Go Green!!

Happy Animal Wednesday on Earth Day!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

KJ Interviews Me!

KJ, one of my newest and best blogger buds has come up with five questions of her choosing to ask me. I'll do my best not to put you to sleep!

Who was the WORST friend you ever had, and why?

I decided not to go with my original answer because it's just too painful to rehash. I think the worst friend anyone can ever have is someone who lies, cheats or takes advantage of you.I'd give nine cents of my last dime to anybody I thought needed it more than me, but if they befriended me first and then stole that dime, well, it would be like ripping my heart out. That's a simple example but I think you get it.

What is your favorite part of your body, and why?

I would have to say my heart because of it's capacity to keep loving, trusting and giving even though it's been damaged a million times.
I'm always surprised at the times I feel I have no more of me to give and then I see someone who needs compassion and empathy or just a simple hug because they have no one else. I'm amazed at the resilience of my heart.

If you could design your own house and yard, what would it look like?

Ever since I can remember I've wanted a rambling New England Farmhouse with a refurbished barn turned into an art studio. I'd love to bus inner-city kids in for a few weeks each summer to get a taste of the country life and get free art lessons given by myself and my talented, generous friends.

I'd have an English style garden on one side of the house with arbors of Cecille Bruner roses and a vegetable garden in the back. There would be an assortment of previously discarded animals soaking up the good life, forgetting their nightmarish pasts. My house would have enough spare room to be a refuge from the storm for any of my friends that needed a safe place and a new beginning. Oh how I would love a house like this!

What irritates you more than anything else?

Ignorant pet owners. There needs to be more education out there for people on spaying and neutering as well as general care and nutrition.

I can't stand to see a pet that's never allowed inside to be a part of the family. Dogs are not meant to be back yard decorations, and people who think that cats are too independent and therefor don't need love and contact~what rock were they born under? Animals reflect what we teach them. They really do want to please us. My heart sings when I see a happy animal and know that they landed in the right home.

How would you describe your connection with animals?

I'd have to say it's almost a spiritual connection for me. I haven't met a dog or cat that I couldn't befriend. Even the wildest ones that I couldn't pet knew I was there to help in some way. I have the patience of a saint when it comes to gaining the trust of a frightened animal.

Animals are our best friends, family members and healers. I can't imagine a world without them.

Thank you Miss KJ! This was a fun interview. xoxo

Monday, April 20, 2009

Cactus Monday: Creature Comfort

Stripes was a happy kitty now that the owner removed the sharp needles from the house cactus. There were just too many trips to the vet!

Happy Cactus Monday everyone!!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Illustration Friday: Impossibilities...never!

When we lend a hand to those in need~

When we have faith in something greater than ourselves~

When we refuse to be pulled down into those dark places

and instead, soar above our challenges~

How can we dwell in impossibilities?

(For my brother Jimmy, with love. Stay strong. I'm coming home soon. Promise. xoxo Picasso)

Friday, April 17, 2009

Skywatch Friday: Puffy Remnant

I love this little wisp of a cloud highlighted by the sunset. It's moments like this that make me smile as wide as the sky ;)

Happy Skywatch Friday my friends! Please remember to look up and to also visit here to see more sky shots from the world.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Animal Wednesday: Aries

I thought I'd do a quick little ATC of a ram for my husband's birthday today. He's an Aries through and through! One look at all the broken things around this house and you'd see that I live with a ram in a china shop!

Happy Animal Wednesday to my Aries friends and otherwise ;)

Life Is A Breeze!

A sweet award has been given to me by the wonderful Caroline over in Malaysia,
and designed by the talented Peter Breese.
She is an amazing, accomplished artist who inspires everyone around her. I was honored that she wanted my pigeon envelope and happy that she had won it! She sent me a lovely origami butterfly card in return which I will send as a letter to someone once I move back east.

For all of you who have given me awards in the past, you know I don't follow the rules! I just can't name a few of you to pass it on to because you all touch my heart and feed my soul and encourage me to keep on keeping on.
You're my extended family in a way and I'm crazy about all of you!

Caroline also gave me the Renee Award, given to me by Ms. Renee herself as well. You can see it in my sidebar to the right. I promised Renee I'd always keep it on top ;)

This loving award was given to me by a new friend Deepaz in Dubai!
She's an enthusiastic little artist who has a huge heart. Thank you my friend!
So please take these awards because all of you deserve them, and pass them along as you see fit.
If you play by the rules, pick six people to pass the "You Make Life A Breeze" award to, and 7 people for the "I Love Your Blog" award.
Thanks again ladies!! xoxo

Monday, April 13, 2009

Cactus Monday: Blues Barrel

I have the hardest time coming up with fresh cactus ideas! Here's a quick ATC of a barrel cactus in a barrel done in blues and greys. This ATC has a linen texture...weird but nice to work on.

Happy Cactus Monday!!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Illustration Friday: Fleeting Time

I have always loved this poem. I've chosen one of my Soulcollage cards to depict the magic of childhood.

The Summer Day
Mary Oliver
Who made the world?Who made the swan, and the black bear?Who made the grasshopper?This grasshopper, I mean-the one who has flung herself out of the grass,the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.

I don't know exactly what a prayer is. I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass, how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields, which is what I have been doing all day. Tell me, what else should I have done? Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon? Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

Friday, April 10, 2009

Skywatch Friday: Chief Big Cloud

The skies were clearing after a rain shower. This cloud over the Asilomar Conference Center looks like someone has been sending smoke signals!

For more interesting shots of skies from around the globe, please stop by Skywatch Friday and join the fun!

And remember to look up, there's always so much to admire.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Animal Wednesday: My Birth Mandala

Many of you know Marianne, wife, mother, animal lover, world traveler and the creator of exquisite mandalas. The other day a large package came to me and it was my very own birth mandala painted in oils by her. We had talked about doing a trade when I showed interest in having her paint this for me. Never did I imagine what impact it would have from the moment I opened it. I just knew it was me at first glance. I'll do my best to share its meaning with you by summarizing her explanation. She took the time to write out several pages as well as printing a couple of notecards with this design. Unbelievable!

The mandala is created from the numbers in your date of birth based on numerology. Every number has a vibration and a color. We start with the day of birth, the 7th. Then the 8th month, August. The year is 1953 ~ 07/08/1953

The reading starts from the inside of the mandala to the outside. Please enlarge it to see the beautiful detail. Here we go...

7 (purple) star with a spiral in the middle. The spiral translates into meanings of spirituality and rebirth. In terms of spirituality, the spiral symbol represents the path leading from outer consciousness to the inner soul. In terms of rebirth or growth, the spiral symbol represents the consciousness of nature beginning from the core or center and thus expanding outwardly. This is the way of all things as recognized by most mystics.

8 (violet) Lotus. The lotus flower is a symbol of rebirth, but in addition to its religious meaning, the lotus is also a symbol of all that is true, good and beautiful, representing good fortune, peace and enlightenment.

1 (red) snake. The Ouroboros "tail devouring snake," is an ancient symbol depicting a serpent or dragon swallowing its own tail and forming a circle.

The Orouboros often represents self-reflectivity especially in the sense of something re-creating itself, the eternal return, and other things perceived as cycles that begin anew as they end.

9 (rainbow colors) lotus petals. In brief, the lotus is a very important symbol in Buddhism. it refers to the purification of body, speech and mind, and the blossoming of wholesome deeds. An open blossom signifies full enlightenment, a closed blossom signifies the potential for enlightenment.

5 (sky blue) with five crows. She felt compelled to choose this animal for me!

Crows are the keepers of the sacred law, and to have a crow in your totem is very powerful. personal integrity is your watchword and your guide in life.

If you have a crow totem, your prime path is to be mindful of your opinions and actions. You must be willing to walk your talk, to speak your truth and to know your life's mission.

Crow is an omen of change. Crow lives in the void and has no sense of time, therefore, it sees past, present and future simultaneously.

Crow merges both light and dark, both inner and outer,

It is the totem of the Great Spirit and should be respected as such.

They are symbols of creation and spiritual strength.

Look for opportunities to create and manifest the magic of life.

Crows are messengers calling to us about the creation and magic that is alive in the world today and available to us.

3 (yellow golden) suns. The sun, celestial guardian of the human ego, rules Leo.

The sun is an emblem of glory and brilliance. It is also a symbol of authority. It represents happiness, life and spirituality. The rising sun is a symbol of hope.

All of these numbers added up equals 33 (3+3=6) but I keep the vibration of 33 because it's a master number. 33 is my birth number.

33 (yellow and golden) hearts. These hearts are part of a chain of golden beads and pearls. Gold, the noblest color, represents the light of the sun and was once borne only by Princes. Gold is said to gladden the heart.

Pearls are called 'teardrops of the moon.' Some believe that pearls were formed by angels passing through the clouds of heaven. Over time, the pearl has become a symbol of purity and innocence. These form a yin/yang protective chain of unconditional love with the hearts which can't be broken.

The meaning of my birth number 33...

The Compassionate~

The 33's cherish a love of beauty and balance. They feel a deep compassion for the world and have to guard against becoming a martyr. We have to be cautious of self-sacrifice for others. We are more helpful by becoming teachers by showing the way for others to follow. Te birth number 33 is very rare and will call me to leadership and responsibility. This may not always please me, but I'll have to make my peace with it.

The 33 individuals usually achieve fame through acts of kindness, tenderness and compassion that lead to the transformation of the world's consciousness. Some famous 33's are Albert Einstein, John Lennon and Meryl Streep. I'm in good company! ;)

I'm told that I'm often coming up with ideas that some people think are a bit 'out there.' If I follow my instincts then others will follow me and we'll end up with a kinder, gentler world.

And finally, my birth number added with my birth month (the 5th sign of the zodiac)=5+33=11. This is my course number, and again, another master number. This number is the course you have to follow in life in order to fulfill your destiny. It is represented by the 11 rainbow colors in the background.

Here's what marianne said about people who are 11's.

'When you practice spontaneity, you stop judging others. You see beyond past and present and overcome obstacles that would normally become impossible to transcend. Cherish adventure, life's drama and all mystical experiences.

learn to serve people unselfishly. It is important to be empathic whether you agree or not. Develop your wisdom and the ability to be impartial. This needs courage and a special way of handling resistance: not fighting, but still reaching your goal.

I know this is a lot to take in on a blog, so thanks for hanging in with me. I just felt compelled to share the beautiful work and words of Marianne , a new and cherished friend. I know we'll have that glass of wine together one day!

Thank you so much.


Monday, April 06, 2009

Cactus Monday: Prickly Grape anyone?

Sheesh, sometimes I can't buy an idea! I was painting a different atc of prickly pear blossoms and it wasn't coming out right, then I started doing a zentangle type of doodle and this is what it ended up as. A mess!! Too much going on to begin with and then I added glitter. I should have passed this week but I'll post it anyway. Maybe we could make some wine with this Prickly Grape cactus!

Happy Cactus Monday!!

Friday, April 03, 2009

Illustration Friday: Talisman

I wasn't really sure where I was going to go with this week's word, I just knew I liked it as soon as I heard it!

To me, ravens and cats have magical, mystical powers. I thought I'd convey it as an image of a cheetah wearing a raven talisman.

I rushed it a little because of my busy schedule these days.

I hope it still holds a little magic for the viewer!
(acrylic paint and Prismacolor pencils on patterned card stock)

Skywatch Friday: Showers on the way

Just another lovely day at Asilomar Beach! Be sure to check out other skies at Skywatch. And remember to look up and enjoy the view!!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Thankful Thursday

This blogging community is unbelievable at times. I went to the mailbox on Monday and there was a package from Marianne and a package from Lisa at Greenbow. I knew to be expecting a birth mandala from Marianne but I had no idea what Lisa could have sent!

The package from Marianne contained a beautiful notecard that she now sells in her Etsy store, 2 mandala stickers, a lovely hand written note on the red mandala card and the original egg mandala that I had the hots for!! Thanks so much Marianne, you're spoiling me!!

Lisa sent me a book she had won from Teri C during one of her giveaways. Lisa asked teri if she wanted it back and Teri said "Lolo might like it. Send it to her!" So she did, and she also enclosed a beautiful bookmark that she collaged with a lovely garden theme. How neat!! I just love it!

Thank you ladies for your thoughtfulness and for being a reason why I continue to blog. Where else would I get all this loot??!! No really, bless you all ;)

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Animal Wednesday: Meet Tay (Mateo, or Mattie)

This is my friend's little 12 pound Italian Greyhound, Mateo...Tay, for short. Or we call her Tay-Tay or Tay-O-Lay or naughty girl (because she is.) She's around 9 years old now and still sleek, fast and elegant. She looooooves Auntie Laurel! My friend said Tay knows when I'm coming over if I've called on the phone. She anticipates my visit and screams like a banshee when I get there. It's a crack up! She can be high maintainance because she needs it to be all about her (just like my dog) but she is irresistable. Look at that face! She's the 'cat of dogs' and knows only two speeds... lightening fast or sleeping.
I just thought you should meet this cute little girl. I'll miss her when I move :(
Happy Animal Wednesday!
(I thought I'd continue the Greyhound theme Debra Kay!)