Art, sketching… new Dual Brush pens

Recently, I walked by an art store. It was actually open, so I went in. I’ve always  loved colorful markers. I immediately went to the marker and sketch pad section. After being quarantined for a few months, it was refreshing to be in a store and see all the beautiful marker colors.

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These Tombow markers caught my attention, because they were dual brush pens, which seemed like fun. Also, they came in different packs of colors. I liked that idea too, rather than buying individually.

This was going to be an investment toward COVID creativity.  The markers are expensive, but testing one out made me feel HAPPY, so why not give it a try.  If we need to be at home, why not touch on our creative side, right. Also, I smiled to myself, now that we have to wear masks, women can’t wear lipstick, so money saved on lipstick, goes toward markers. An even exchange!

I did a quick YouTube search and found a great video of an “experienced artist” showing the versatility of these markers. I didn’t realize they could be used with water, so they become like a water color pen. I’ve always wanted to try and paint with water colors, so I’m getting my feet wet, starting out with the markers.

It’s been FUN, I have to say.

BUT, now I need MORE colors. We KNEW that would happen!

On to the next drawing. One day soon, real water colors.

Baking/cooking – BEST mixing bowls

Years ago, I had white mixing bowls like these in the photo. They were wonderful. They came in three sizes and were very durable. Having small children, I didn’t have to worry that the bowls would break. I mixed everything in these bowls from pancake/cake/ brownie/cookie batter to meat balls, mac ‘n cheese to… you get the idea. These were my “go to” mixing bowls.

Tragedy struck. I lost my bowls. One day I went to get a bowl and couldn’t find them. I searched HIGH and LOW, they were no where to be found. I felt like a little kid who had lost the favorite pair of shoes. So, I thought — HOW could this have happened. Then I remembered, I had moved. Somehow in the move, bowls were gone.

Those bowls had been old, true, but they still worked. Now, I was forced to use other bowls. I tried using glass bowls, metal bowls, ceramic bowls… ahh, it just wasn’t the same. I longed for my white bowls. When shopping, I looked for these plastic bowls, they weren’t the same.

UNTIL, I walked into Crate & Barrel the other day, looking for a loaf pan.

Suddenly, my eye caught this pretty green moss color. Walking over I couldn’t believe it!  MY bowls — my bowls — I found them! Prettier in pale green, shinnier than my old worn out bowls.

My gosh, COVID worked a miracle! Without COVID I would not have shopped for a loaf pan, which brought me to my mixing bowls.

MORE GOOD NEWS!

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The reason I liked these bowls so much was because they were named after Danish Princess Margrethe. Now, I understood why I felt like a Princess using these bowls all these years…

SURPRISES — MIRACLES — THEY DO HAPPEN!

Travel -> Visiting Claybanks Pottery in Michigan

Traveling in Michigan, I saw this really fun Fish fountain at Claybanks Pottery.  They opened in January 1980. Before that they had done art fairs. While I don’t buy a lot of pottery, I enjoy seeing what they are making.

Fish Fountain Michigan 2I fell in love with this fish fountain, so clever. They had some lovely fish platters, I was tempted, but where would I store it. Unfortunately, my phone was low on battery, so that ended my photo spree.

Look at their website. If you are a pottery fan and happen to be in Michigan, pay them a visit. My friend said her brother had some wine cups made by them. I’m sure you could even specify the color you would like. They had some lovely bird houses; however, they were very heavy, not sure how you would hang them.

Michigan is beautiful, I have to do more exploring there…

Street Art… A cute squirrel.

Squirrel - street artHappy Monday!

I walked past this street art yesterday. I loved it.

The squirrel on the red brick, the acorn resting on the top of the window, the flowers blooming — it’s WONDERFUL, such a clever idea.

Here is a close up of the squirrel.

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In life, it takes something small like this to LIFT our SPIRITS.

I could not stop smiling, it’s SO PERFECT. I hope YOU smile too!

Have a great day.

Puzzle time… I found a table.

Remember, I told you, I wanted to make a puzzle, but I didn’t have a table BIG ENOUGH? For weeks now, I kept putting out to the Universe the table I wanted. I thought about the size, the cost (very little) and envisioned my puzzle on the table.

Well, a MIRACLE HAPPENED! My neighbor next door was moving, she had a small kitchen table that she was giving away. A little old, looks like something I might find in my grandmother’s house, but I LOVE IT. Perfect size.

So, I started my puzzle. Gee, it’s a big puzzle — a lot of fun.

While I was working away, I turned on this audio book, “Women of the Silk,” by Gail Tsukiyama. Really good book, so I am enriching my brain in two ways – wonderful!

WordPress Editor – Have you been using it?

Frustration - Learning something newHave you been using the WordPress Editor? Apparently, June 1st, we all have to use it, like it or not — it seems. If you are like me, I find comfort in having my writing tools the same, i.e. same paper, same journal, same pen/markers, same WordPress…. same everything.

When this is changed and I am “forced” to learn something NEW, there is a “slow down” in my writing process. Suddenly, creativity goes out the window and angst replaces it.

Some of you might say, “I LOVE LEARNING SOMETHING NEW.”

GOOD FOR YOU!

First issue, I want to add a photo — hum, hum, hum. Can’t find where to do that? There must be a place to find/insert my photos, BUT WHERE.

First time in 5 years, no photo in my post?

Ugh… Eureka! I can switch back to Classic Editor. A temporary fix, while I learn WordPress Editor. I’m sure in a month I will say, “I LOVE IT,” but right now, it feels like one more COVID obstacle I need to surpass.

Bear with me… I need to figure this all out.

Writing inspiration during a THUNDERSTORM

Thunderstorm - ManI awoke to a thunderstorm and the crackling sound of lightening. What is it about this “roar” that makes a writer jump out of bed, quickly find his/her journal, head to the window and start furiously writing?

The lightening thrilled and scared him. He was on the mountain top. He should be taking cover. Instead, he stood tall in “defiance” to God!” The thunder howling, the rain pounding down on his face, he didn’t care.

Arms raised to the sky, he was saying, “Go ahead God, strike me if you dare.”

Where did this strength and courage come from. Why did he think he could TEST God like this? Was he INSANE? He was ANGRY, God had let him down. He was alone, he was READY TO FIGHT and TODAY… God would not win!

If he made it out of this alive, his enemies beware, he was coming after them!

The thunder has died down, I’m waiting for the next round, so I can create ANOTHER amazing scene for my book.

What inspires YOU to write?

Quarantine – Search for your inner Ninja

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If you are in quarantine, are you focusing on your inner Ninja?

What does that mean? It means, you are not letting quarantine get you down. You have dreams/goals that have been dormant due to life, work, family, no time. While you have “thought” about your dreams, you did not focus on them.

It’s the start of May, a new month, a new day, a new week.

I had a lovely inspirational post written for you. I was about to post it, but WordPress DECIDED it was not worthy of your viewing! When I went to “preview” the post, ALL of my “good writing,” which I had written, reviewed, rewritten — WAS GONE!

As a writer, you can imagine my disappointment. I had worked on this post, crafting the words JUST RIGHT!

ONLY the first two paragraphs remained. I am FURIOUS, but at the same time, I think it is a message from the Universe that while I work on my children’s book, I BETTER remember to SAVE, SAVE, SAVE my work!

So, you are getting the “short version” of my inner Ninja message!

Now, go to it! Accomplish BIG THINGS this week… I plan to!

Fitness at HOME – Getting creative with a concrete block, mucking out stables…

Concrete BlockI admire people who are driven to exercise — NO MATTER WHAT! They find creative ways to reach their goals. My daughter was out walking with her friend and came across this concrete block. Any normal person (like me) would have walked past it. However, my daughter saw exercise potential in this block, so lugged it home.

Good deal – concrete block is $2.00 versus a purchased weight ranging $20-80.

Spring is here… gotta step up our exercise routines even in quarantine.

This made me think of walking. Years ago, when I lived in California, I called a horse stable and asked if they needed volunteers. I was getting BORED with walking. Sure enough, they needed help. I was excited. I would be outside, be around people/horses and exercise all at the same time!

Every weekend, I went to the barn and they gave me different chores to do. This gave me a full body work, while getting fresh air. Well, hold on, mucking out stinky horse stalls does not give fresh air, but it is an excellent work out.

For those of you, who have never mucked out a stable before. Here is a YouTube video from “This Esme” on how it is done. She’s super funny, she loses her GoPro camera in the truck where she is throwing out all the “poop.” THEN has to go into the poopy truck to retrieve the GoPro camera. This made me miss being at the barn for a couple of hours.

Being quarantined, has me thinking about outdoor activities.

Can you tell I have cabin fever!

Missing Outdoors -> Bring camping to the backyard

What a great idea! Being in quarantine is bringing back memories from my childhood. As kids we would “beg” our parents to let us set up a tent and sleep in the backyard. Of course, they would say, “No!”

Well, they saw a bunch of kids in the backyard making noise, coming in and out of house all night – it got them NUTTY just thinking about it. However, we would beg and beg and FINALLY they would relent.

I’ve gotta tell you, I have NEVER liked camping in a tent, but I don’t mind a cabin. WHY, well, my first camping experience was with Girl Scouts. We camped in someone’s backyard, two girls to a tent. We put up our tent and it kept collapsing, which got me claustrophobic, because the zipper was closed to keep the mosquitos out. Needless to say, I could not wait until morning to go back home!

I like the “idea” of camping and being in the outdoors, I’ve upgraded my sites though. Look at this British camper. NOW, I smiled. I can definitely see myself camped out on one of those beds, cozy with a blanket and a good book. The windows are charming, I would just need someone to bring me some hot tea in a “tea cup.”

Ah… the beauty of dreaming….