Tuesday, May 26, 2020

SUNFLOWER DOWN...












I have been showing you
 the progress being made 
on my paint by number painting. 
 It has been a labor of love and 
I am now done with it. 

 I am not saying
 that an artist's talent is required 
to produce this work of art.  
All that is needed is 
a relatively steady hand,
 a good magnifying glass, and 
a fair amount of time,
 but I am quite proud of it and
 thank you all 
for your moments
 of praise 
throughout the process.






On the left 
is the way the company intended 
the painting to look and 
on the right 
is my version.

 I love the choice of colors
 that were provided with the kit and 
I will take the glowing reviews 
about my ability to mix 
the colors from my own acrylics, 
which was because of a mistake 
that I made early on and 
not because of anything the company did.  
I think I did 
a pretty decent job of that task.
 The darker, jewel like tones 
remind me of an 
old world painting and 
I am was 
quite proud of it.





Each night 
when I finished painting,
 I would set the canvas on the floor,
 leaning against the game table, and 
throughout the evening 
of TV viewing,
 I would look
 at it...






...and look at it, and 
even though 
the Captain, my best critic,
 would say it was looking beautiful and 
then I would show it to you and 
get good reviews,
 that devious little sunflower
 which was the focus of the piece,
 would look back at me and 
deny everything 
that everyone 
said. 
 I could not get it 
out of my head
 that there was something
 a little off.





So, I decided,
 that I would "freshen" it up a bit.
  
I knew I could do it. 
 I knew that I should be 
better at art 
than I really was. 
 I knew that I am a fool 
who believes 
in magic.


"I am always doing 
that which I cannot do,
 in order that I may learn 
how to do it."

Pablo Picasso

Easy for him to say!








Here is my first try at renovation. 
 What are those petals doing?...







...then the second try.
 I kid you not!...







...third times a charm. 
 Not so much!







After too many 
coats of paint to count, 
the final version came to be.

 I had wanted to 
just throw it in the garbage,
 but through all the tears,
 I could still see 
that I thought it was
 so pretty for so long, 
I knew I couldn't do that.

I am nothing if not persistant, 
so here is the
 last try:







Now, 
here it sits 
in its place of honor, 
in a frame too small, 
but one that I had on hand, and 
on the black shelf 
that is once more 
above the sofa.
  After all that, 
I am not saying 
it is perfect by any means, 
but if viewed from afar, 
 it is again gaining favor, and
 soon as some new paint
 that I ordered comes in, 
I will start on
 another work 
of art...








...and this time 
I think I have
 learned to leave
 well enough alone.

No matter what
 the painting 
tells me!







All kidding aside,
 I am very happy with this company and 
its product.
  I am not getting paid to say this 
but I promised you
 all the pertinent information 
so here it is
 in case you, too,
 want to work your own magic 
(with better results) I might add.

www.originalpaintbynumber.com

Each canvas
 (and it is an actual piece of canvas 
that the subject is printed on) 
is 16X20 and costs $11.95 each. 
 I took mine to Ben Franklin's and 
had the canvas put on a board.
  I felt
 it would be easier to paint on and
 it was also a reasonable price. 
 In this particular painting 
that I just finished,
 I am very happy with their colors 
but I did like mixing my own 
to match as closely as I could and 
plan on doing the same 
with the new canvas. 
 It is a challenge to me.

 Thanks for all your kind comments 
that I always receive and 
stay safe, well and, please,
 wear your masks. 
 Now the word is
 to wear
 gloves also.


...Judy...



Thanks so much to Linda for the feature of the Cottage and her continuing conversations with the garden last week.  I appreciate it so much, Linda.







Sharing today with:

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Tuesday, May 19, 2020

BIG CONVERSATIONS - LITTLE GLIMPSES OF HOPE...













Every year around this time,
 the big conversation in my mind is: 
 Will the garden shine again? 
 Any day 
that the sun doesn't shine 
is not a good day in my estimation,
 a doubtful day. 
 To be sure,
 we don't have a lot of doubtful days
 in California but 
for me just a few are too many. 
 Although I am a big fan of 
the changing seasons, 
a little goes a long way with me,
 especially in spring
 when it is so unpredictable.  
I always find that
 my expectations are so much higher 
than what actually happens.





We have some 
very sunny, actually hot, days and
 the Lady Banks 
springs to life...






...then the
 Cecil Brunner takes over and 
the conversation 
becomes louder.






After a few days of hope
 the rain comes again and 
what was bright and shining 
just moments ago, 
becomes a tangle of spent blooms and
 the conversation 
resorts to whispers.






The valerian, 
a rather non-descript flower in itself,
 stands strong 
under the force of nature. 
 Once it raises 
its bright face to the skies,
 nothing can take away
 the glimmer of hope 
that it gives.







An opportunity missed 
was the chance to plant 
more zinnias before the rains came again.
  However, 
the little coreopsis are struggling 
to keep their heads above water 
until the zinnias arrive...







...the hope being 
that they will again 
fill their spaces with bright color
 as they did 
last season...






...and the Cottage 
will again be filled
 with their brilliance.







One thing 
this small blip in the weather 
is good for is 
the old-school phlox 
that returns each summer 
all on its own.  
It is coming in 
loud and clear this year and 
the hope is
 that it will continue the conversation 
started many years ago 
when we and the Cottage 
were first introduced.






Oh,
 the secrets,
 I'm sure, 
it could tell!


Stay smart, 
safe and well and 
wear your masks.



...Judy...








Sharing today with:

Love Your Creativity at Life and Linda

and

Keep In Touch at Let's Add Sprinkles

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

THERE GOES THE NEIGHBORHOOD...













Once upon a time, 
we had a family of wrens
 living in the
 Little Pink Cottage.






After raising a trio of little peepers,
 they flew the coop, so to speak, and
 were never seen again
 until two days ago.

  Now,
 they have returned 
to set up housekeeping once again.

 Mr. Wren
 goes about his daily chores 
of providing for his family and 
Mrs. Wren 
stays home 
performing her wifely duties,
 much as they did before, 
however, 
something has changed.

  Mr. Wren
is not as attentive
 as he once was and, 
a little birdie told me, 
that he has taken to
 going out at night and carousing.

 The other night
 he might have imbibed in
 too much liquid bird seed, 
or maybe he is just color blind,
 but he got his cottages mixed up and
 somehow entered the blue cottage 
instead of the pink one.

 While I was in bed reading, 
he was flying around the room. 
 I screamed and 
dove under the covers, 
waking the Captain in the process and 
he let Mr. Wren out the door.

 He must have come in 
sometime during the day 
when we were going in and out.

 They are very fast and 
sneaky little birds.






I hope
 all you moms had 
a wonderful Mother's Day.

 The kids sent me 
this beautiful old fashioned bouquet and 
we talked on the phone. 
 The flowers are so pretty and
 just fill the Cottage with 
their heavenly scent. 

 The Captain, Robin and Kai 
served me a delicious breakfast and 
we watched movies 
most of the day.

 A simple and serene 
Mother's Day.






I've gotten
 a bit more done
 on the painting and...





...here 
is my first "original".  
I drew and painted 
this blue hydrangea bloom 
all on my own 
from start to finish.





How are things going in your town? 
 Has much opened up yet?  
I haven't been out
 so I don't even know 
if anything is open here yet and,
 to be honest,
 I am in 
no hurry to
 find out.






Stay smart, safe and well...

 Wear your masks and practice safe distancing.

In my opinion,

 if for no other reason,

 it shows respect to all those 
who have lost their lives
 so far,

 and for those
 who are working so hard 
to prevent
 more loss to come.

We are all in this together
but, each of us as individuals, 
must take our share of responsibility 
for the outcome. 


...Judy...







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Tuesday, May 5, 2020

LITTLE THINGS MEAN A LOT...










In this mixed up time 
we are spending now,
 it is the little things 
that mean the most.

 Since we don't know 
what the big picture is or will be,
 we have to cling onto 
the little things 
in life.






Jake and Jacenda,
 always thinking of us,
 sent us each a home made mask 
to keep us safe...






I had to go 
for a blood test 
because of the warfarin I am taking, 
so I wore my pretty new mask and...






 ...the Captain had 
his annual doc appointment, 
which was performed 
while he was in the car, 
and he wore his mask.






The Cecil Brunner rose bush
 is in full bloom.  
I love the buds 
just before they open.






Robin is forever grateful 
for whatever sun 
she can find...






...and Kai 
doesn't care much for sunshine. 
 He only wants to know
 where his papa is.






Our first 
David Austin bloom.





The painting 
is coming along, 
slowly but surely.






Nothing much else
 is happening around here. 
 Just enjoying 
the little things 
in life.


Stay well and wear your masks.


...Judy...







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