Sandpipers

When I took up digital art a new world of creativity was opened to me. This is one of my first “paintings” and I worked it up to pick up the colors in the quilt in that room.  Image

In real life this ended up being divided into two to be printed onto canvas, matted, framed and hung above the bed to act much like a headboard. 

Let me know what you do or do not like about this painting. Feed back both pro and con are our best learning tools. Thank you for responding.

Happy days,

Shez

 

 

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Painting Inspired by Nature

On the way home from work yesterday I had a two-minute window of time where the setting winter sun dazzled my senses with breath-taking beauty. I grabbed three cell phone photos through the car windshield while Hubs drove. I am so fascinated by the ever-changing light of the sky, I have thousands of photos of sky.Image

I had to try to paint this scene, minus the streets, the signal lights, the power pole and lines and the buildings. I needed to recreate it as though it happened while the land was still wild and free. There is nothing better than tackling a huge challenge to gain skills.

I have continued to paint a couple of nights a week and now have about a dozen paintings completed. All are inspired by what I see that nature has provided. Or what I have imagined. The following is an in-progress painting. I didn’t take a finished photo of this painting. It is shown with the brushes and colors I used throughout the painting. Nothing fancy, the three colors from which all colors are created plus white and Payne’s Grey. My water-color brushes and an old sash brush to “pad” the painting or help to blend colors.

Image

I tackled the glorious winter sunset with the same primary colors shown above.  The only draw back to these colors is both the red and yellow a quite translucent. I have acquired an opaque yellow, which does not create clean colors but is helpful when the color needs to be vibrant and an opaque red which also does not create clean colors but works as a base layer if I want a brighter and cleaner shade. I also added a couple of acrylic brushes, but often like my water-color brushes better. It depends on the style I am working in.

The sky was done on Tuesday, re-worked a bit yesterday and the silhouettes added. The silhouettes took more work this evening and this is the finished product.

Winter Sunset

Winter Sunset

I must say that God’s work is better, but I am not too disappointed with my finished product. Painting is a great way  to spend an evening.

Have you been working on anything new or creative? Please share your project with us.

Cheers to art work,

Shez

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Filed under Acrylics, Art, Creating, Learning, Nature, Painting, Reblog, The Great Outdoors

Painting

Those of you who have been following this blog know I am a DIY enthusiast. My list of “can do” is long. It’s a passion, but not my fault. It’s genetic. Genes handed down from an inventor, a teacher of upholstery and cake decorating at college level, knitter, a quilter and a foundry pattern maker.

This time I am not talking about painting walls, or making wallpaper which involves paint, nor doing faux walls. I am talking about creating artwork.

Son, Paul*, is a partner in our business. His cubical at work is next to mine. He has been doing a lot of painting recently and is honing his craft. He told me he finds it very relaxing to go home and paint. He loves acrylic because it can be stopped and started at any time. He encouraged me to give it a try.

A trip to the local art store and five tubes of paint; red, blue, yellow, white and Payne’s Grey, plus the practice canvas boards Paul provided and I was set to begin. There was a scene I had passed several times at the end of summer when the fields are golden and some trees were beginning to show their soft colors before they fully color up. A dark sky with the sun peeking through added long shadows. I wanted to paint that but I did not want to get so tied down with details. It needed to be a free and relaxing creation.

Self imposed rules were to use only one 1″ brush borrowed from my watercolors. Do not wash the brush and be finished in 20 minutes. I did it in 30.

1" Brush 30 Minutes First Acrylic Painting

1″ Brush 30 Minutes
First Acrylic Painting

There are now 8 paintings in my stack. I learn something new with each one. This weekend I see the obsessive detail beginning to creep in again. Detail is not relaxing. It is not necessary. Omitting some detail leaves the viewer room to imagine. I have discovered a love  for landscape. That does seem to be when I relax and enjoy it the most.

*A word about Paul. At two years old his favorite TV show was not Sesame Street it was Bob Ross. His wife is an artist also. Paul teaches at his wife’s studio, Vine Gogh Artist Bar. You can view some of his work at the link.

Cheers to creating,

Shez

PS It is very scary to share the first painting. There are skills not yet developed. Hopefully you will see positive progress.

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Living with Celiac Disease

w20130909GFCupcakes
Gluten Free Banana Cupcakes with Vanilla Butter Cream. *see end of post
Four years ago I had figured out I was gluten intolerant and had tried to avoid gluten. A recent routine endoscopy showed damaged celia and the biopsies confirmed I am a Celiac.  The doctors were perplexed, the tissue samples confirmed Celiac, but my blood work was perfect. Four years of Gluten Free eating resulted in perfect blood work.
I had an appointment with a dietician. It was there I learned the dangers of being Celiac. She gave me a full folder of facts, details and information.
Celiac Disease is life-long. The celia never grow back but they do heal to the point they begin to processes nutrients. My tolerance is zero, so even cross contamination such as double dipping a knife in the peanut butter or jam to spread onto regular bread does cause me to react if I use a clean knife in the same peanut butter or jam jar to spread on a slice of GF bread. Each exposure takes a several days or weeks for the injures to the celia to heal enough to begin processing nutrients. During those days, I am freezing cold and exhausted.
w20130620BerrriesAndCream
Fresh Berries from the garden with real freshly whipped cream.*
One of the things in the folder of stuff is a list of all the names of foods that contain gluten. Many are simply different styles and types of wheat and different processes that end up  gluten of a different name.
NOT ALLOWED IN ANY FORMWheat (einkorn, durum or duram, faro, graham, kamut, semolina, spelt, freekeh, bulgur), Barley, Rye, Triticale, Malt, malt flavoring, malt vinegar (are made from barley). Barley contains the highest percentage of gluten of all the grains.
Beer is out, wine and distilled spirits even wheat based whiskeys are fine. The gluten molecules are too big to make it through the distillation process.
Wheat Free is not safe, Certified Gluten Free is. If in doubt do NOT eat it.
w20130830BrightGFBananaCake
Butter Cream Frosted GF Banana Cake*
It goes on to say labels must be read every time foods are purchased. Manufacturers can change ingredients at any time. There is a huge list of additives that may or may not be GF. That list includes: modified food starch, starch, dextrin. If it does not say certified Gluten Free do not eat without calling the manufacturer to inquire about the root source of the starch. ie: Tapioca Starch and Corn Starch are safe, of course.
Eating Gluten Free as a way of losing weight, may be trendy. It won’t hurt you but it is not a disease and you can eat it anytime it is inconvenient to go hungry.
These two websites have tons of information. www.gluten.net which is a Gluten Intolerance organization in Auburn WA. Also www.celiac.org. Be wary of simple internet searches without verifying the source. The mayo clinic has info. Canada has a really good web site with lots of really good information.
w20130616MerangueStack
Chocolate Studded Merengue Stacked with Whipped Cream*
Celiacs are supposed to carry a card in their wallet and even a health bracelet identifying Celiac. An emergency hospital stay, from a car accident for instance, complete with typical hospital fare of crackers and pudding could be the last nail in the coffin… fun, huh?
Gluten Free is healthy because it focuses on fresh fruit, vegetables, beans, lentils, fish and some lean meat. It is no more healthy than any other diet that includes sweets, cakes, pastas, sodas and other rich foods. I focus on healthy with great taste, but sometimes a special occasion calls for a special treat. Four of those are shown above.
* Learning to cook GF has been an adventure. Instead of trying to mimic the taste of  “normal” food, we have learned to appreciate a new world of food we had not known. The bottom line is it has to taste great. It needs to be something guests will enjoy as well. Slowly I am developing special occasion recipes. Sometimes a great desert can be as simple as fresh berries topped with freshly whipped cream and a sprig of mint. Sometimes the occasion calls for something spectacular, even a multi layer cake. The deserts in the photos are my GF recipes and were served for special occasions. The merengue is naturally GF and without the chocolate and the whipped cream it is not too unhealthy.
Cheers to healthy eating,
Shez

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Bird Song and Frog Chorus

In the Dusk of Evening

In the Dusk of Evening

In the dusk of evening the music begins

With the twilight song of the birds

Most likely a robin with a beautiful song

Singing praises to the world for day well spent.

As the sun descends further the frogs join in

Each calling for a mate to come and join him.

Those are the sounds that lull us to sleep,

My sweetheart and I.

First Morning Light

First Morning Light

The peace of the world settles in at last

And waits for the sunrise to bring forth a new day.

The morning awakens us  with the song of a dove, a sparrow,

the chickadee too, and finches and towhees adding their tune

The robin once more praises a new day with her song on high,

Get up, wake up, there is much to do, come greet the morning

Be glad, for this grand new day is waiting for us,

My amazing guy, my best friend, my love and I.

SL Schildan

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On the Right Track, Now

It has been an interesting year. Beginning in January of 2013 my web host upgraded their platform. Suddenly I had no email address and my website disappeared. It was one of those things I only discovered much later when I realized I couldn’t possibly have offended everyone.  Unbeknownst to us, life was about to come barreling at us, dropping bombs and chocolates along the way.

Staying on Track

Staying on Track

In short the big hurdles (scares) were taken care of, nursed back to health, the garden was planted too late and yielded mini, not large, and very scarce delicious veggies (not enough).

We faced down Sweet Hubs being diagnosed with cancer, it being a long recovery, but he is now free of cancer. I learned to live with celiac disease.

The sun began to shine, we began to heal, we spent lots of time with our fab family and added a new son-in-law. You really appreciate everything more when you have survived the bumps along the way.

Three weeks ago I bravely waded into untangling missing accounts. As you can see, it all got sorted out.

I missed you and hope you all had a really great spring and summer and avoided having to dodge the bumps and hurdles life sometimes throws your way.

Cheers,

Shez

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Being Green

I did not write this, it came to me via email, but I am old enough to remember this clearly.  The photos are my cell phone photos that I took today to go with with fun piece. I added personal comments in green throughout. 
BEING GREEN…

Bright green recycle poster

This sign is required to be posted in our place of business. Did it use paper and ink plus gas for a young lady to drive to us, inspect our building, go through our trash can and hand us this poster? Did I mention we had been recycling for 13 years at work? She found a pop can in our trash and gave us a 15 minute lecture. Perhaps someone, it could even have been a truck driver from out of state, mistakenly thought the small recycling container would be the trash because the large container is should be the one for recycling. That could easily happen since at our homes we have small trash containers and huge recycling containers.

 

 
Checking out at the store, the young cashier  suggested to the much older
woman, that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags
weren’t good for the environment.
The woman apologized and explained, “We didn’t have this ‘green thing’
back in my earlier days.”
The young clerk responded, “That’s our problem today Your generation did
not care enough to save our environment for future generations.”
She was right — our generation didn’t have the ‘green thing’ in its day.
Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the
store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and
refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really
were recycled.
But we didn’t have the “green thing” back in our day.
Grocery stores bagged our groceries in brown paper bags, that we reused for
numerous things, most memorable besides household garbage bags, was the use
of brown  paper bags as book covers for our schoolbooks. This was to ensure
that public property, (the books provided for our use by the school) was not
defaced by our scribblings. Then we were able to personalize our books on
the brown paper bags.
But too bad we didn’t do the “green thing” back then.
(There was almost no plastic, our bread came wrapped in waxed paper, which were opened up, cut in squares and used to wrap our sandwiches.And also to keep the irons gliding smoothly over the damp, starched fabric of our clothes)
We walked up stairs, because we didn’t have an escalator in every store and
office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into a
300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks.
But she was right. We didn’t have the “green thing” in our day.
Back then, we washed the baby’s diapers because we didn’t have the throwaway
kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy-gobbling machine burning
up 220 volts — wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our
early days. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters,
not always brand-new clothing.
But  that young lady is right; we didn’t have the “green thing” back in our
day.
Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house — not a TV in every room.
And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?),
not a screen the size of the state of Montana . In the kitchen, we blended
and stirred by hand because we didn’t have electric machines to do
everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we
used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble
wrap. Back then, we didn’t fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut
the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by
working so we didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that
operate on electricity.
Recycle box with recycle-able paper.

Paper recycling very light weight cardboard box container under my desk was brought in to replace the heavy-duty recycled cardboard box I had used for several years. It was had for me to grasp the concept of yet another box when the one I used had been working perfectly.

But she’s right; we didn’t have the “green thing” back then.
We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a
plastic  bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled writing pens
with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a
razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got
dull.
But we didn’t have the “green thing” back then.
Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to
school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service
in the family’s $45,000 SUV or van, which cost what a whole house did before
the “green thing.” We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire
bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances.
And we didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from
satellites 23,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest burger
joint.
Bright green poster attached to the lid of a recycle container.

Our very own special recycling container which replaced the large recycle bins that served multiple businesses.

But isn’t it sad that the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks
were just because we didn’t have the “green thing” back  then?
Please forward this on to another selfish old person who needs a lesson in
conservation from a smartass young person…
We don’t like being old in the first place, so it doesn’t take much to piss
us off…especially from a tattooed, multiple pierced smartass who can’t
make change without the cash register telling them how much.

The end !
There is so much truth to this, but I for one applaud having a cell phone, permanent press clothes out of the dryer and I love my computer. I do think we could make this a better world if we embraced the ways we each can recycle and keep junk out of the landfill and keep people slimmer and healthier with all the walking. However walking to work wouldn’t be good, unless I lived much closer.
So with thanks to an unknown writer and apologies for not being able to credit the right person, I hope you enjoy this and it brings back memories if you are one of the older among us. If you are one of the younger among us, perhaps you can learn something from history, or your elders and stop rolling your eyes, really it worked.
Cheers,
Shez

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