Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Christmas Memories

Our daughter and her children came to help us decorate the Christmas tree a few weeks ago and, as we hung each ornament on the tree, we found ourselves telling Nicholas, 4, and and Callista, 3, the stories behind many of the ornaments. There's the 50-year old silver glass ball with "Leslie" written on it in glitter, the only ornament that has survived from my childhood, and the shiny ocean liner ornament that Fred and I bought to commemoriate our one and only cruise vacation. There's the shiny brass angel engraved with our names and "1977", given to us by my grandmother when we were newlyweds, and the corn husk dolls that I made with our children when they were lttle.

Our 2015 Christmas card
The original artwork is 9" x 12", watercolor & ink, done in an Aquabee Super Deluxe sketchbook.

Our lives are represented by the decorations on this Christmas tree, and each year when we carefully take them from their boxes and unwrap the tissue paper to reveal them once again, we're flooded with memories of the people who have passed through our lives, the pets who owned us for awhile, and children who have grown to have children of their own.

Our lives haven't been perfect. There have been dark days as well as sunny, but looking at our Christmas tree, I only remember the overwhelming number of good times we've had. It's been a wonderful life, and I'm so very thankful for it all.

Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas
filled with happy memories

Friday, December 11, 2015

Catching Up

Have you missed me? I've been AWOL for the past month or so, squirreled away in my studio working on commissioned paintings that needed to be done in time for Christmas. I just finished up the last one and I'm feeling a giddy sense of accomplishment! I promise I'll share everything with you eventually, but since they're all intended as gifts, they have to stay under wraps until December 25th. I wouldn't want to spoil someone's surprise!

For the past few days, I've had a new companion in my studio. I'd like you to meet Holly, the latest addition to our family…

Holly and her brother were given up by their owner in late September and turned over to our local humane society. They’ve spent the past two months at the shelter, waiting for someone to take them home.

Bear and Holly

The good news is that my son adopted Holly’s brother last weekend, and he now has a happy new home.

I couldn’t bear the thought of poor Holly being left behind at the shelter without her buddy, so my husband and I decided to foster her for awhile. She’s settling in nicely here at our house and already seems less timid and nervous.

She was an outside dog all her life and isn’t used to being indoors, but she’s starting to like it now. She’s the sweetest girl – when I sit on the floor with her and she lays her head on my lap, looking up at me with those big brown eyes, it’s enough to melt my heart.

Our golden retriever, Buckley, is the most accommodating dog I’ve ever known. He has accepted Holly with such enthusiasm and is teaching her all about chasing Frisbees and tennis balls.

Buckley showing Holly how awesome tennis balls are

She’s still on the sidelines at this point, warily watching...

but today she actually made a move toward the ball, like she’s getting an idea of what playing is.

We’re looking forward to seeing her change and grow over the next few weeks. She’s already responding to our love and attention.

And remember, if you have room in your heart for this lovable pup, she’s available for adoption from the Greene County Humane Society in Waynesburg, PA.

"I'd love to have a new home for Christmas."

Before I go, let me give you an update on my workshops that will be coming up this winter. My two-day sketchbook journaling workshop in Sarasota, FL, is now open for online registration. We'll be meeting at the beautiful Marie Selby Botanical Gardens on January 21 & 22, and I'm really looking forward to introducing a whole new group of people to the joys of sketchbook journaling. And I can't wait to soak up some of that fabulous Florida sunshine!

My February workshops in California have both filled up and the nice folks at San Clemente Art Supply have asked me to extend my visit and do a repeat of my step-by-step watercolor workshop for those who didn't get into the first class. The dates for the new workshop are February 25-27. Visit the SCAS website to register.

But that's enough forward-thinking for now. I did want to give you a heads-up about those things, but really, now is the time of year to be focusing on the here and now. I still have shopping to do and cookies to bake and a Christmas Eve family get-together to plan. And I haven't even begun to write Christmas cards yet. Oh, well, I have 14 whole days left, and I plan to fill them to the brim with family, friends, good food, great dogs, children, babies, presents, and eggnog. I'm not going to worry about a thing - it's time to enjoy!

Merry Christmas!

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