Category: Painting

The Daily Blather

My brain is not doing so well as far as coming up with posts– frankly we are just too busy living.  So here is a cross section of what we are up to:

We spent the day running errands, going to the library (where we got some awesome book and audio books, including a Diana Wynne Jones) and got to go to the park for the first time this year.  We brought along Esther’s best friend -we called spontaneously as we were driving by her house.  I love that her mom, Rachel’s pinano teacher, is as spontaneous as I am and happily agreed that she could go along.  It was windy and chilly despite the supposed 65 degrees though it did get nice and warm when the sun peaked through the storm cloud dominated sky.  I love having kids that are old enough to play at the park on their own whole I sit in the warm minivan and read my library book.  They managed to get muddy via mud puddles and creek plus they explored a fallen tree and all the old fountains at the park.  (I forgot my camera and though my cell has some photos they are hard to get to.)  We got to explore both the purple park and the lower (gazebo) park because we had to leave for a bit (someone had to use the restroom so we ran to Big Lots and picked up some snacks too.)  After that we headed down to the smaller Alameda park where the kids climbed around and had enjoyed the creek.  Rach sat in the car with me as she is still pretty run down after being sick so we read our books and watched some Larpers preparing to play.  It was actually pretty awesome and Rach was tempted to go talk to them to see if she could get involved since that is one of her dreams and we didn’t even know there was a group in the area.  I am sure there are more but I actually recognized several of the people from the comic book store.

We stopped at the thrift shop where we found the original Clue game– which we played over and over when we got home.  LOVE that game.  We also found a Lego Harry Potter Night Bus still in it’s plastic bag for $.49 which is awesome.  Also we found Esther some much needed tennis shoes, Rach an awesome skirt (she is like me and lives in skirts–her sister?  not so much, except for in the summer.)  I found something for me as well but now I can’t remember what it was.  Oh, but I found my husband an awesome hat at Kohl’s (where I had one of those $10 gift cards they send out.)  I spent $4 which is more than I usually do with those but it looks awesome and I had promised him a hat after PAX, because we are also a hat wearing family. 🙂


We also managed to mail out a pile of things that had been waiting to go.  Of this I am proud–I am bad at remembering to mail things.  Our post office is awkward to get to though we have a sweet little post things place where we love the owner and this time, because my brain was on backwards, we ended up using both the main post office AND visiting Miss Josie who when the kids were small would let them help her box things.

I am working on another painting– based on the  18th photo down on Melissa’s post here.  Aren’t her photos wonderful?  When my own photos run out of interest I have a habit of turning to hers for something to paint, and that one is gorgeous.  I am thinking of doing partial color so that should be fun.  I am taking photos as I go and you can keep up with them here at my Facebook page.  I didn’t get anything done on it today because we were gone all day but I did get the masking on last night– which the kids think is funny because the liquid friskit I use is bright orange (you use it to mask out the white in watercolors) so the painting looks freaky.  Will post a photo of it to the Facebook page when I get the next layer don e and can post both photos.

We are celebrating our first Passover this week– it has been an interesting experience which I will relate in another post.

Work and a Gift

Actually the title should be something about how work is a gift from God, which it is.  How bored we would be and how little enjoyment we would have if we didn’t have something to do with our hands.

I am excited because the Lord has gifted me with several bits of work to do that may lead to other bits of work in a field I adore.  This is especially exciting because it combines skills I have developed over time (which is always nice– I would much rather do that which God has prepared me to do than some random new thing for which I am not designed), books (which if you don’t know already I am passionate about), and creativity (design using Gimp as well as with my pen and paints).

A friend of mine, Grace, owns a small publishing company, Splashdown Books, and was talking about all the work she had to get done this month and I (per usual) volunteered to help.  I got to layout a book cover (which I enjoyed a lot more than designing websites) and got to do a small painting that will be incorporated into the covers for the series.  And then she paid me for my work on the very first night which I was not expecting (like I said I volunteered) and for which I was grateful.  And it looks like she may have other work for me (at the very least the rest of this series which is also exciting, and fun.)

Ever since I was a child and wrote “BCL” in every one of my picture books (B___ Children’s Library) and then proceeded to organize them by author (and type for the non-fiction) I have adored books and wanted to have something to do with them. For a long time I thought I wanted to write and though I do I do not consider myself a “writer”.  I don’t care enough about writing itself to research the best ways to write, writing styles, getting published and all that.  On the other hand I AM passionate about art, a well designed book cover (I will often pick up a book based on a great cover), and encouraging good writers (and there are a lot though there are also a lot of  the other sort of writers out there.)  So it is exciting that God is leading in that direction at this time (I don’t know what He has planned for the future but I am enjoying where I am.)

That, combined with doing the box art for the card game (more art from that over here) is making for a very busy me. The sooner the box art is done, the sooner we can get it published so I am working to get it done quickly, and praying over the work constantly.

Also cool is that Shamus has had several possible offers regarding paying gigs (for both writing and his videos).  We are prayerfully considering each, especially since we are feeling very led to continue in the direction we are going.  He has also been writing about 2,000 words a day on his book, which is coming along nicely.

Finally my mother-in-law showed up with some cash from my father-in-law this morning.  She  said, “He just told me that I was to give this to you kids.”  So that is pretty awesome and appreciated.  Have I mentioned that our families are wonderful and have been such a blessing to us?   Regardless, I will say it now, they are wonderful and a blessing. 🙂  (Later on Rachel came home (she had spent the day helping her grandma and practicing piano at my mother-in-law’s church) she came laden with perishable groceries that my mother-in-law had gotten us: eggs, salad, fruit, and cheese.  Did I mention they are awesome?!

And now back to work. Trying to finish the final element of the box art before Sabbath so I can touch it up then get it scanned after Sabbath.

Where We Are: December

Painted this a few minutes before Sabbath began Christmas eve--an excellent reminder of my own need for rest and peace.

*Please excuse the awkward wording–I have a cold and my brain is full of goo and my brain is transposing words left and right.)

First off, hoping you have had a blessed holiday season whether you celebrate or not– we kind of celebrated Hanukkah (we lit a small menorah made of playdough and birthday cake candles and played with the dreidel)  and celebrated Christmas on Christmas eve with our extended families Christmas day we had a small immediate family celebration then a short visit with my 82 yr old grandmother) while celebrating a much needed Sabbath.  It turned out that we all got sick which made me even more grateful that we did most of the celebrating the day before.

This month has seen much blessing from friends and family who have stepped in to cover our needs in various ways despite the paycheck we expected not showing up (please pray it comes in the next few weeks– things are going to start getting shut off otherwise).  From friends who sent us cash (which bought much needed groceries and paid the immediate bills) and gave me  small jobs that covered Christmas dinner and a few small gifts to family members who stepped in and paid for gas and our steer (which means that we have plenty of organic, grass-fed beef), to small gifts of much needed items, even Christmas gifts of clothes that are needed and FIT and grocery money (the kids are so excited about the Whole Foods gift card from my WONDERFUL sister-in-law) we have been amazingly blessed.  It is not comfortable, especially each day not knowing where, when and how the next need  will be met.

I am usually the “God will provide” person– every time we have a need I am the one who trusts and believes and watches for God to step in– and He always does because He is faithful, but I am struggling– every few days I get knocked over with a wave of fear and I am battling it with His help.  The thing is, because I am usually the one who just trusts it is affecting the rest of the family having me worried.  So I am praying diligently for patience, faith, and the ability to stand strong in faith.

So now I am praying for a miracle, and trusting we will have one soon.  He is faithful and He has provided thus far therefore I can trust Him and I am standing on His promises that He will take care of us.  That said just an update on other things:

Shamus is writing a brilliant book while working on all his other projects.  Brilliant I say.  He was working on an epic tale (which was well written, makes a perfect short story, and fizzled out because he didn’t have his arc figured out before he started) but this one is shorter, funnier, and just plain awesome and I can’t wait to share it with others.  He is also trying to finish up so loose ends so he can start applying various places who may be interested in his work– but those would all mean moving and him working in an office (which would mean not writing).  We are really praying that somehow the Lord would provide so that he can continue to work from home (and actually get paid what is promised to him) and that he would be able to keep writing which is really his passion.

The kids are growing like weeds (Rach is 5′ 5″ and a half! and the other two have rapidly shortening clothes).  They are also maturing at an alarming rate.  They all set out to buy gifts for everyone in the family with their own money and did a beautiful job.  Rachel has been saving up and purchasing her own lunch foods (her own choice–she wants to  learn about economy, the cost of food, and learn to do for herself so that when she is old enough to move out she knows how to live economically.)  Issac made rice packs as gifts for everyone and Esther not only purchased special gifts for individuals but she stepped in several times to help the family out using her birthday money.

All three kids are keeping very busy with various projects.  Rachel had to stop piano lessons until we get paid again but is occasionally babysitting for her teacher in exchange for a lesson and is also doing quite a bit of babysitting otherwise.  Esther is not going to be in the next show due to monetary restraints but is happily engaged in other projects (most including books either reading of or writing.)  Issac is building and creating and making constantly.

I am sure there is a lot more they are doing but right now my brain is shutting down so I will instead point you to a post that is where my heart is and is better able to express how I am feeling at the moment than I apparently am in my addle brained state:  My dear friend Holly shares it here.

Regarding the card/painting project

that I mentioned all the way back here at the beginning of summer.  It is coming down to the final bits– I only have a few cards left to paint and have all the photos I need to work from (praise the Lord, this happened suddenly and perfectly and I barely had a thing to do with it other than mentioning that I needed photos and why).  This means that once I manage to get all scanned and sent off (and probably rework some and edit others) I will be finished with this and able to move on to the next thing, which hopefully includes something else that will bring in some more money as well as an artist page on Facebook (which I keep meaning to do but haven’t yet due to all focus being on the cards and research).

I still haven’t managed to send off even a single photo of the work to the client/friend/person-who-designed-the-game because every time I attempt to do so something happens to keep it from happening (like losing ALL the scans without saving or the camera batteries suddenly dying and all the spares mysteriously disappearing–both of which have happened at least once among other things.)  This is making my poor husband exceptionally nervous as the pile of cards and card elements sitting here not in any digital form scares him.  Hard drive crashes and lost files don’t worry him near as much as sudden gusts of wind blowing all the cards away or the cards spontaneously combusting or who knows what might happen.  So, I am leaving them in God’s hands and will get them in the computer when it happens.

This also means that I don’t have any photos to share with you (plus I am not sure about actually sharing the images until the game is actually being published– I know lots of artists do share highlights or sneak peaks or whatever but… since this is my first such deal I don’t want to mess things up by sharing before it’s time.

And so, back to work.  I have a character sitting here waiting to be inked and another sketch waiting to be painted and then a few more to sketch, paint, and ink and then I am done except for the box art– which I doubt I can do until we know what dimensions the box will be.

Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother's Day
My Mother's Day gift to you.

As you may or may not know I am not a fan of holidays. I don’t like that, especially for mother’s, they give us unreal expectations. We get so caught up in our expectations that we forget how God has blessed us and how He has provided for us. God has blessed us so very much and yet we get frustrated and disappointed because the world tells us that we should get this and that and Mother’s Day should look like this or that and in the end, no matter how wonderful our families are, we end up disappointed and discontent–because no one on earth is capable of living up to those expectations that the world has given us. Regardless of your situation, regardless of how much you get or don’t get, regardless of your place in life, God is still in control and God loves you. And regardless of how perfect your Mother’s Day is or isn’t your children are a blessing from God and you are God’s blessing to them. And so, regardless of my feelings for what I feel is just another “media and marketing get people to spend money by guilting them into it” day I wish you a Happy Mother’s Day and want to remind you that YOU are greatly blessed and a blessing to your family–regardless of whether they recognized it today outwardly or not.

Unschooling Notes

Since I have been so busy I am trying to make quick updates (and because of Flock it is MUCH easier to do so.)  First, I finished another painting here.

The girls have been spending a lot of time recently on the Build-a-bear site so Issac has been spending lots of time with me.

Today he spent some time writing with watercolors at my desk.

He then asked to go to Pappap’s.

It was cold (really cold–19 degrees F cold).

But it was a beautiful, sunny day for a walk.

And Issac had a good time helping Pappap burn a pine tree that had fallen earlier in the month due to wind. He also worked out a ton of energy jumping on their trampoline.