Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Quick Update

To all of you wonderful friends who left comments and well wishes for Pumpkin I wanted to let you know that your prayers have made a difference! Although Pumpkin is never going to be a young cat again he has rallied and is holding his own for now. He is eating and seems to be pain-free so I decided to get antibiotics from his vet to add to his routine and although I am not sure it is making any real improvement, it can't hurt at this point.

I am at peace with whatever the Lord brings and for now He has seen fit to leave Pumpkin here with me for a while longer and I am grateful!
Thank you for your prayers, I know in my heart that those thoughts and prayers strengthened both Pumpkin and myself!

Love Tina xo

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Prayer Request Today!

I don't know if anyone will stop by today for a visit or not but to anyone who does I am asking you if you would be kind enough to say a prayer for my 15 year old cat named Pumpkin.

He has been a wonderful cat who has been asked to travel many miles and live in many different homes and kept his dignity through it all. He is one of those cats that keeps all other felines in line with just a look or one "meow" and many times I have wished I knew how the heck he accomplished that little trick so I could learn how to keep people in line that way too!
Over the last year he has been slowly showing his age more and more and consistently losing weight and this past week I took him to his vet once more and got some special canned food to try to bolster his little body, but to no avail.
I will not go into all the details but I feel in my heart that his time is coming to an end and it is very hard for me to face.
We are in the middle of a winter storm, my car's transmission went last week and my budget is depleted, so all I can do is hold him in my arms and rock him and pray that Jesus will peacefully take his little soul home.
I am asking that you please take a minute from your day and pray that his passing will be easy and quiet with little pain.
I thank you in advance for your thoughtfulness and compassion.

Tina xo

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

My Private Studio..

Ok I am being a little sarcastic, but this is were I work my magic. Is it  a kitchen with a bar counter top that looks into the salon (get that...SALON, fancy huh?) or my studio?
Well it started out as a kitchen but then I realized that as a person living alone this space could be whatever I wanted it to be so!

Note the happy lights hanging there? I finally took them down but now I miss them terribly, they were very cheerful to look at! Oh and see the refracted light on the right side? That's the reflection from all the crystals I have hanging in the windows around the house.

Sketches done on long, lazy weekends, trying different mediums, watercolors, colored pencils, gouache, pastels and ink.
A wall in the SALON where I put up works in progress so I can see them in different lights as the day goes by. That also helps me to decided if I am happy with the results or want to change something. I also have a few clippings from magazines of houses I like a lot. Sort of a poor man's vision board!

Another view of my main workspace. I have a framed photo of one of my favorite artists Miriam Wosk, who sadly passed away a few years ago. Her work was so free and filled with energy that I still frequently visit her website to view the video of her working at her art.

You will also note to the right there is my Bodum with Starbuck's coffee inside (it is never very far from my side):)
The little picture next to Miriam's is the Last Supper which hung in my grandmother's kitchen for many years. The scraps of paper stuck in the frame were bits of salvaged wallpaper from a 300 year old home.

Well I hope that little trip through my work area was not too disturbing for those of you with faint hearts, haha.
Enjoy this lovely wintery day....oh who am I kidding if the flipping snow does not leave soon I am going to be a raving lunatic!
How about you????

Tina xo

Sunday, March 17, 2013

In Memory of an Irish Lady

Today on St. Patrick's Day my thoughts turn to the Irish side of my family, the maternal side to be more specific, and present my great grandmother Catherine Lenore McDonald and her young family....

Although this photo needs major restoration, it is clear enough to identify Catherine and her husband Silas VanDette, my grandfather (the young man standing with his hand on his sister Maude's shoulder) baby Joesph and Laurence leaning on his father's leg. This was taken at the turn of the century in Montreal Quebec Canada. She had three other children who passed away at a young age, Victor who had  Meningitis, Arthur who caught Strep Throat at 16 and died within 4 days, and a 4 year old named Mamie that I never did find out how she passed.

Story has it that my great grandmother was a very tough Irish lady who ruled her home with an iron will that never failed her to the very end. Her daughter Maude died at 68 and never married or had a career because mama decided that was how it was going to be! I heard many tales from my mother about the way Catherine's household was run and to say she was strict in all she said and did is a vast understatement.
So the fact that she was born on Valentine's Day 1864 doesn't seem to have soften her demeanor overmuch! Still she was loved by her family and always had a little dog by her side, the last one so devoted to her that he followed her into death.
I have many photos, much crochet from her hand, camisoles and hand crocheted table cloths and these few precious items she always had with her....

A small silver pill safe, one of her many watches and a gold locket my great uncle Joesph created for her (he was a jeweler for many years at Birk's in Montreal) the initial's are C and L for Catherine Lenore. These items are laying on one of the many doilies that graced her home.
I guess on days like today (St Pat's) even though I never had the opportunity to meet Catherine in person I feel very close to her and wish I knew more about their family story. How did they arrive in the U.S. and why did she end up in Montreal married to my great grandfather? No one ever was able to give me those details and now those who might have known are long gone.
So to you Great Grandmother I wish you the very best St. Patrick's Day, I hope you are having cabbage and corned beef up there with the Saints! Hugs and Kisses from a grateful female descendant!

Tina xo

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Hey It's Me Again!

I haven't forgotten that I wanted to SHARE more of my real life, not the life I wish I had, lol, so here goes reveal number one!!!

I live in a rental trailer in a "seen better days" trailer park in upstate New York. Now do I wish I lived in a lovely home in a sweet burb....well do bears poop in the woods? But life brought me here and I am trying to make the best of it for now until life takes it's next turn!

It looks worse than it is right now because everything is still in the "end of winter" condition and that always sucks. Once the garden kicks in it gets a much softer and cared for look.
One bonus: note the field in the second photo, it's a farmer's field that gets mowed a couple of times a year (feed for his dairy cows) but while it is growing it houses many birds and is lovely to look at on a summer day. I especially love when the grasses get high and the wind willows through, simply lovely! It's like a beautiful sea of green waves.

So here I am in my most recent incarnation (there have been MANY!!!) I am constantly re-inventing myself and my life and it has been a wild adventure in many ways. In a future post I will endeavor to tell the tale of how I went from having a gorgeous home in Kansas City to living in a trailer park in upstate New York and some great adventures in between!

Now what have I been working on this week? Ummmm let's see:

I know these two paintings don't even look like the same artist painted them and I have to wonder who the heck I am channeling some days, :)
In the second one I used actual fabric pieces applied with Mod Podge for the dress she has on. I relied heavily on texture medium for the first sweet lady. 
Today I am planning on working a little more on a few fabric collages I have started and then I may sit at my craft table with my watercolor paper and gouache paints and see what I can come up with. 
Because of the life I have led I tend to be very interested in women's lifes and the struggles they have been through to arrive at the place where they find themselves now. Sometimes I look at very old photos of those lovely, noble women who came before us and I so wish I knew what they were thinking, what their hopes and dreams were and did they come about before the end of their lives. Ahhh well, more food for thought.

Enjoy your wonderful weekend and have some cabbage and corn beef for the Auld Sod, I think this weekend we are all Irish in our hearts!

Love you....
Tina xo