"I started photographing my domestic world and writing not just about what I had made,
but why I made it, examining the thoughts that accompany creativity and the act of making."
Jane Brocket from The Gentle Art of Domesticity p. 189 UK edition

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Come Along!

My oldest daughter, Mary Kathrine, used my camera to take a photo of my granddaughter, "Princess" Rose and me after we had been down to the front pond to see if we could see any duck activity today.

Several days before we had witnessed Mrs. Mallard shepherding her ducklings from the back to the front pond.

My youngest son in law loves to do complex puzzles.  I think I should make this photo into a puzzle for him!  I especially appreciate the grass and leaves that provide some protection for the ducks. Several days ago we saw a heron take off from the front pond.  It was startling, because they are huge birds and I have been thrilled to see them.  However,  I did a Google search on herons today to learn more about them, and now know that in the circle of life drama, ducklings and ducks, and moles and fish are possible prey for herons.  I have been thinking vegan thoughts all day...but had salmon for dinner...sigh...

Isn't Mr. Mallard handsome? I wonder if the males are so brilliant in color so that they can distract predators from the mother mallards and ducklings.
Mama Mallards kind of blend into their surroundings here.
I think this is one area where the Mallards have a nest.
I caught this duck just taking off from the front pond.
On another day I got a photo of  Mr. Wood Duck snoozing on a branch.  Did you know they do that?  I didn't until I witnessed it.
 I think this is Mr. Mallard resting on a branch.
My blogging friend Bethany asked if I planned to show you my finished Haystack Rock painting.  I have worked on it several times since then. I think it is finished...or it is finished for now at least. Most recently I added people. Two are riding recumbent bikes like those Teresa and I saw some folks riding along the beach.
I finished writing heart themed Scriptures around the acrylic splatter painted heart I made at our worship art group and am interested that it has kind of a 3D effect...there is probably some sort of scientific explanation for that...that I do not know :)
Watercolor, Staedtler triplus fineliner, PROGRESSO KOH-I-NOOR woodless pencils
Dover Kaleidoscope coloring book patterns [not colors] by A.G.Smith
Original Dover (2005) www.doverpublications.com
I taped the three little pages on a window and took the photo with the daylight shining through the pages.  The paper is a similar texture to tracing paper and I wondered how it would take the colors, so I tried three different coloring mediums. On the far right I colored both sides of the paper with woodless colored pencils to intensify the hues.
Have you been coloring lately?

This week I have knit some rows on two of the blankets I started, and I have a dishcloth half knit while watching House Hunters International on Netflix, thus traveling to Easter Island and Mongolia from my armchair. I have been reading everything from newspapers to completing the fascinating auto-biography of Catherine de Hueck Doherty...then lunch out with a friend, reading and cooking with grand girls, and sleeping and cleaning and studying, and.............. 

Thanks for coming along with me!  Where have you been wandering along? I do hope you will tell me.

Gracie xx

Monday, April 25, 2016

Unique Hearts and Flowers and Gifts

This week we celebrated another birthday in our household.  My six year old granddaughter, Molly, made a pretty flower fabric stuffed heart as a much loved gift; and I have been enjoying the gifts that my dear blogging friends, Taci, Betsy, and Teresa gave me last week.  Taci gave me hand made soap and facecloths she crocheted. Betsy gave me a flower crocheted pin she made, some lovely lime cotton yarn, a perky wooden bird and a neat dpn sock needle guard she and her husband, Dennis, made.  Teresa gave me some super soft acrylic gray yarn, a beaded zipper pull and a pretty necklace she made that has a Venetian blue glass bead on it. Thank you so much again, Ladies.

Saturday morning seven members of our household visited a new to us flower nursery near us in between some April showers.  While we don't have Bluebells dancing in fields around us, as I have seen on some blog posts recently, we have been enjoying the pretty blue flowers that are spreading out in the flower bed in the front of our house.

Then on Saturday afternoon I attended the worship art group at a nearby
church.  Our facilitator made the heart on the far right.  I made the reddish heart on the lower left.  We started off with white watercolor paper and spread blobs of paint over the whole sheet. After that dried some of us took a cardboard heart shaped stencil and traced around it. Some of us then took a splatter brush and splattered drops of paint on the heart and then used white paint around the heart shape.  After that was dry some of us then started writing heart themed Scripture verses around the heart.  We took group photos and everyone gave me permission to show you their work.  Isn't the uniqueness of each work fun to see?

Gracie xx

Monday, April 18, 2016

Spring Fever Gardening

Rainy day crocheted strawberry still not complete...
Fudge Almond Chocolate Chip cookies and Almond bread by replanted Shamrock plant
Fish Stew [I thought it was yummy!]
Rainbow Chard, Fuchsia Hanging Basket and Basil planted
Hulda Klager Lilac Garden, Woodland, Washington

Lilacs from our bush

Wood Ducks
Sandy River from Tad's Chicken'n Dumplins
Becky, Dennis, Betsy, Teresa, Phil, Dayle, Gracie

Gracie, Betsy, Teresa, Taci

While I am not certain of the symptoms of Spring Fever, I suspect I have a full blown case of it.

You see, I have spent time inside cooking, and stitching and painting a new horizon for my watercolor painting, but, I have been so excited to spend even more time out and about witnessing the glorious blooming of Spring!

Teresa, my dear blogging friend, drove us north to the Hulda Klager Lilac Garden in Woodland, Washington, and published a wonderful post about our trip HEREThank you, again, Teresa, for the fun, and introducing me to such an amazing place.

When I got home I checked our one gigantic lavender Lilac bush.  It only had about six blossoms on it and I cut two and brought them inside so we can enjoy them...the blossoms have such a short life, but their fragrance is h.e.a.v.e.n.l.y ~ ~ ~

This week I planted three hanging baskets of white Fuchsias...no blossoms yet.  I planted six little Rainbow Chard plants and a Basil plant out among the flowers.  We have some Joseph Coat Rose buds, I noted!

Saturday my youngest daughter sent me a text while out on errands to tell me she had seen a lot of "duck action" out on the front pond on her way out the driveway if I wanted to take some photos.  I was convinced I only saw some Mallards, but when I looked at the photos on my computer screen I saw some Wood Ducks, too!

This weekend was very special because our blogging friend, Betsy, drove down with her husband all the way from Spokane, Washington...six hours!  We had a great visit.  I had such a good time I did not want us all to part ways again.  Taci was not able to make it to Tad's, but at the last minute was able to meet most of us the next day.

On my way home I did not want the fun to end.  The weather was perfect!  I was thinking about Betsy and Dennis telling us about their youngest son's life over in Japan where he has worked for years.  Then I remembered that I had read recently about the Japanese garden in Gresham that I had never stopped to see.  I pass by it nearly every week, but you can't see it from the road.  I thought you might enjoy seeing some of the photos I took of it. I hope to go back many times, and am curious to know how it will look different from season to season...after I recover from Spring Fever. Do you ever develop a full blown case of Spring Fever?

Gracie xx

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Spring Perspective

Perspective.  It has special meaning to me at the moment.

Put aside the hot topics of money, politics, and religion. Focus on visual perspective.

You see, on Tuesday, my blog friend, Teresa, drove us to Canon Beach, Oregon for the afternoon. We had a yummy seafood lunch at the Wayfarer.  Then Teresa found the perfect spot for us to work on watercolor paintings of Haystack Rock.

Teresa is a wonderful, interesting friend from whom I feel I learn something new each time we are together...and I have a lot of fun in the process!

Tuesday afternoon we sat side by side to sketch and paint.  As in so many skills, Teresa is way ahead of me in knowing what she is doing.
Although we were looking at the same seascape, we each picked a different angle to sketch.

After two enjoyable hours, Teresa had a lively painting signed with a flourish and my painting still wasn't/isn't finished, but you can see what we painted by clicking here.

In order to finish my painting, among other things I need to adjust the perspective of the horizon I sketched...otherwise I have the Tillamook Rock Light floating on thin air!  But I loved the process of sketching and experimenting with strokes of paint.  Very satisfying!

Here at home recently I enjoyed the perspective of a Trillium flower my oldest SIL snapped in a photo in our woods with his phone.  Then this morning I enjoyed a perspective next to our front yard hose,  of our little apple tree full of white blossoms.  Also, I enjoyed seeing flurries of white wild cherry blossoms which landed on our front yard flower gardens and our gravel driveway.

In the perspective I shared with you of the preemie blanket I am knitting, the blanket is folded in half.  I am making good progress on it and enjoying how the self-striping yarn is flowing from row to row.

What is your perspective?

Gracie xx