Thursday, September 24, 2009

Drawings and new life journeys

Don't think I've ever blogged about drawing. Mostly because I rarely do it anymore. Many, many moons ago, when I was a young lass, I loved to draw. That is how my interest in art began. On my own, I experimented some with painting, but mostly I drew. When I was in college obtaining my 2 associate degrees, I took several drawing and painting courses, all they offered at the time actually at WSCC except for the pottery classes. The painting was with oils, so I've never had any teachings in watercolor or acrylics.

The drawing above is one I did while about junior high age, I think, from looking at a picture in a National Geographic magazine. I entered it in the local county fair art competition. Won a first place ribbon. Unfortunately I just drew it on some stationery paper since I had no real art papers and mounted it to a burlap-wrapped piece of cardboard with regular cellophane tape instead of a frame. It looked nice at the time and suited the subject matter, but over the years the paper has yellowed and the 6 spots where the tape touched the paper had turned brown. I scanned it yesterday for this post and retouched the brown spots and posterized it some with the photo editing software to minimized the damage time has inflicted on the paper.

I married while in college, got a lab job immediately upon graduation, and then we had our 2 babies not long after. Life got very busy and as is the case with a lot of working Moms, I put the artistic side of myself on hold. Locked it away somewhere for safekeeping actually. I did do some embroidery and cross stitch which was my way of creative expression at the time. Still have lots of patterns, threads, fabrics, etc. from these times put back that I keep meaning to go back to.

Several years ago, while on a frugal lifestyle forum, I ran across the mention of altered books which led to my exploring the internet for further information. This has led in turn to my widespread interest in all forms of altered arts and thus my return to art. I had never been exposed to mixed media art and find it so fascinating with all it's infinite possibilities. So mostly I've been going from this to that just having fun learning and trying new things. Still, I have wanted to return to the basics to see if I can still draw or paint, maybe finding a way to bring all these things together. I started a sketchbook journal, but so far only have a couple of drawings in it. The drawing below is not even in there. It is one I did at work one night(it was a slow night, what can I say) at Woodland on a piece of printer paper from a Time magazine cover picture of Kate Winslett(see link here). Yes, I realize it doesn't really look like her. My intent when I started the drawing was just to get one that I could use as a base for a mixed media painting in the style of Kellie Rae Roberts or D.J. Pettit. Of course, I have a lot of good intentions, too many and too scattered, I suppose. But sometimes blogging about some of this helps me to remember it later and to actually follow through with the intention.

In general, non-art, life news, I am about to embark upon a new phase of my working career. I have accepted job offer that just came up with Diatherix Laboratories in Huntsville. You can click on the link to see what the lab does. So, for the first time since becoming a lab tech, I will be working in a non-hospital setting. I can't even get my head around how different it will be yet. I do know that I feel like a burden has been lifted off my shoulders, so I would hope that is a sign that I've made the right decision. My present job at Hartselle involves me working by myself almost the entire 12 hour shift, putting me in some very difficult and stressful situations at times. I just turned 49 and I feel like it was taking years off of my life working like that. I had been praying that God would help me find where I needed to be and if possible a job where I could be off on Sundays. This job presented itself, with the schedule being dayshift, Tuesday through Saturdays and all holidays off. I can't really even comprehend being off every Sunday and on all holidays. I will have to drive to Huntsville, but was already driving 30 minutes one way to Hartselle. Two of my former coworkers at Woodland are working at Diatherix and were the ones that told me about the job opening. We will be able to car pool sometimes, if we want to,so that will help some.

Referring back to my earlier post about "light through the trees", I do believe the light is growing and that I feel like my feet are actually resting completely on the bottom so that I am going to be able to start walking toward that shallow water and maybe even up on dry ground.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

More fabric work and pics of my sweet grandson

I have done a little something artsy. I finished another fabric cuff, just practicing with some scraps I have. I am going to do a one-to-one cuff swap with my friend, Beth, but the one I finished is not the one for her, so I won't mind sharing it here. I also will be participating in a Halloween atc swap that Beth is hostessing, so will be working on those this week while I'm off.

Not been a great week around this house. My hubby has the swine flu and has been sick over a week. He started feeling bad last Monday and is still not up to par, although he did go back to work today. With him, it ended affecting his breathing the most. The doctor gave him an inhaler and the Tamiflu. He doesn't smoke and never has, but he is kind of allergy-prone, so maybe that is why the lung symptoms were worse for him? Thankfully I've not come down with it so far(knock on wood).

Of course, I'm always going to have baby pics to share these days. Those of you friends with me on Facebook will have already seen these, but here they are anyway. Some I took last weekend. The bath pic is one Emily sent me this weekend. Emily had to go back to work yesterday and I've not gotten to talk to her with me work schedule and her's conflicting to find out how that went. I know it was hard for them.

In news of my other daughter, one of my most faithful readers, Holly found a job in the school system in Texas although not as a teacher yet. With their move during the summer, it didn't leave her much time to get papers transferred and certifications for that state, also. She got an aide position with the special education program(not sure if that is still what they call it, probably not in this day of political correctness)at the fifth grade level. At least it got her foot in the door and in place with the state school systems.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Light through the trees

I know that may seem a strange title, but hopefully it will make sense. I thought I would take a moment for reflection today on my 49th birthday. (Edited to add: I realized after I posted that I started this post on the 11th, but am just now finishing it on the 14th.) As I approach half a century of life, reflection seems most appropriate. There have been so many changes in my life especially in the last year. I lost my father, became a grandmother, had a daughter move halfway across the country again, lost a job by the hospital closing, found a new job, had 2 pets die, left one church and began attending at a new one, struggled with hardships on our farm so that we have considered selling the farm and moving if we could even find a buyer, and other struggles, emotional, and otherwise that I won't go into. I don't say all this in a bid for sympathy. In fact, I have pondered not even saying it, but decided to attempt the post.

For the last several months, these circumstances have put me in a frame of mind where I feel like I am just keeping my head above water. That there is no moment of freedom or rest from the struggles of life. In actuality, I guess, life is just like this sometimes. Life comes with no guarantee. Indeed there have been moments of great happiness mingled in with the sad. Right after my Dad died is when Emily found out she was expecting Thomas who was born the month after Woodland closed. Of course, I have given myself the "keep your chin up" speech and then the ones about having much for which to be grateful and there being a reason that things happen the way they do. I do know that there is a Master Plan but it is just being human, I guess, to have times that you feel overwhelmed.

Have you ever been swimming out in water over your head? You can stop and tread water, but still you get tired. Then you find that you have reached a depth that if you find the right spots with your feet you can rest a bit and get the strength to move on toward more shallow water. That's where I feel I am now. Seeing the light through the trees. Feeling the hope for better days. Getting ready for the rest of the journey that is my life.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Roll Tide!

Evidently I'm only going to get a post in about once/week right now. I actually have something artistic to post about this time. In between work here and there this week, I finished this fabric cuff for myself. I gave away the one I did before in the OWOH giveaway, so I made one kind of similarly. I'm trying to make time ,even if it's just a little bit at one time or another to work on art. Seeing an actual project completed in just bits of stolen time, will hopefully be an inspiration to keep doing this. Of course there were a pair of these cuffs as they were cut off a Ralph Lauren shirt I was no longer wearing, but couldn't get rid of due to the lovely fabric. This one got embellished with a bit of lace trim, buttons, felt heart, linen scrap from an old dress, vintage trim sewn across the bottom to hide the cut edge, and some embroidery. May add some pearls or beads. Not sure yet.

And of course, had to show the family's youngest Bama fan! Emily took these shots of Thomas this past weekend. He is laying on an Alabama quilt by one of Kerry's aunts. Isn't he the cutest Alabama fan you've ever seen?

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