Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Picture of Natasha Beads

Here are the Natasha Bead ornaments I made. The Natasha Beads are the rectangular ones with all the intricate designs.

The Christmas Tree Saga Continues

A friend sent me a bunch of Christmas pics that were hilarious! I just loved this one and wanted to post it with the artists credit at the bottom of the pic. For those of you following my tree saga, it continues. After a few days of uneventful beauty one of the branches held up by bits of thread decided to go for a joy ride, away from the tree! Needless to say, it caused a bit of a mess, a droop, a big ol' fat hole in the middle of the tree, which of course I had to re-tie, but all is well, for now. Sometimes I think those little elves are actually invisible little tree fairies laughing their heads off at all of us humans who actually believe spending hours on end decorating a tree that might only stay up at the most a few weeks and spending even more time taking it down only to get frustrated in the nightmare of lights, dead needles, and sap, or, if you have an artificial one like mine, trying to take it apart and keep the branches in tact. It's just plum crazy and those little tree freaks are laughing their heads off, I just know it! I think next year, I'll just paint a tree on canvas and hang my painting where the tree stands. No fuss, no mess, no ready-make-me-pull-my-hair-out branches, and I'll even hang a small strand of lights around the frame for the fun of it. That sounds like a million dollar idea to me.
Today, for the first time this year I got my polymer clay out. I was able to make a few, new ornaments, for the crazy tree, a couple of pens, and string up a lot of the Natasha Beads I made last year. They actually turned out quite well and I was pleased that I finally found a use for my beads. If you don't know what a Natasha bead looks like I'll attach a picture so it makes more sense. They are the coolest things since sliced bread I think.
For those of you o
ut there that can relate to having a rather larger than you'd prefer behind, I found out the hard way that the importance, yes, importance, of having too much junk in the trunk! We have a sunken living room, and the other morning I was standing on the top step getting ready to bend down when my knee buckeled, sent me flying off that step and landed two steps down on our split brick floor, right on my hip, butt, leg, etc. It was early, our bedroom door was closed, and all I could think of was that nutty commercial of the old lady who had fallen and couldn't get up. Yes, it happened, I fell and could not, at least for a while, get up, and no it wasn't funny, at least at first. I hooped, hollered, screamed at the dog, but to no avail, I had fallen and couldn't get up. Between the severe pain I was trying hard not to laugh because I am way too guilty for making fun of that commercial, even in my pitiful condition, and boy, did I learn never to laugh at being infirmed. When I came up for air I was able to get up, crawl to the bedroom, and really worried that I had broken my hip, but little by little, I could move it. We won't even go into what Bill said, repeatedly, because it drives him nuts when I fall, but after x-rays, and an embarrassing doctor visit, I had to admit this was the only time I felt lucky to have a big butt, it saved my hip, and I thanked God, once again, for all those extra layers. Because of the weakness in my right leg I have to be careful when I walk, and most everywhere go with my walker or cane, but around the house I usually grab the wall for support. That's one of the frustrations I live with having a body that tends to go where no man has gone before, and then some. I was lucky, it did leave a really ugly, HUGE, bruise on my booty, and elbow, but it could have been worse. Needless to say, I have been too sore to a paint. I did find out my knee surgery has been changed to January because they have to create a 3-D model of my knee and build the implant. It's really cool to think about. I'll write more later about that. In the last week I surprised 3 complete strangers with little acts of kindness, I encourage you to do at least one, their faces lit up and that's what Christmas is all about. Until next time, Peace and Paints, A

Thursday, December 7, 2006

I just love Paula Deen!

I just can't get over how much Paula Deen makes me laugh out loud on her shows. Not only do I love her cookin, but there is just something about her sense of humor that reminds me of my Aunt Peggy, and I just love remembering how much my own Aunt Peggy made us laugh growing up in Alabama. We got the tree up today. What a pain in the royal butt that was! You would have to understand the whole story to realize why. Last year, because I was insistint on not spending too much money at Christmas, I decided to get a fake tree with lights. This is almost sacrilige at my house, but it was a gorgeous tree, in the store, and I was determined not to pay another $50-80 bucks for a tree. So, I bought it. Last year, it was fabulous, but taking it apart was a nightmare. The store had pre-wired the branches, so it was nearly impossible to get apart into three sections, like it was supposed to. We ended up taking the top off and moved the other two, dangling sections to storage like it had been decapitated. I knew then, that putting that tree back up this year would pe difficult, but I completely underestimated how much so. My son, who is now driving, drove me to the storage unit and managed to get that crazy tree in the car. When we arrived home, only one out of the 8 set of lights worked, who knows why, and 4 branches were busted and wouldn't hold up, who knows why. He set it up out front and we attempted to get the lights off to replace them. Ugh! I was ready to torch that sucker and he was screaming for the matches, but we held on. I was able to get the triple wound light strands off the bottom section after about 2 hours, and I'm not kidding, so after a few horrible thoughts about this tree and several non mentionable words, I decided to cut the rest of those lights right off that tree. It was a hoot! I have never had so much fun cutting and trimming those crazy lights, it was like they were alive and I was getting them back for being such a pain in the butt to get off. I filled two grocery bags with little snips of white lights, and took two days to recover from the ordeal. I then realized I had to re-string new lights which made me just ill. So, I dug out our colored lights, began neatly stringing them, but was so exhausted and fed up with Christmas at this point I broke the most cardinal rule at our house. I hung the lights north to south instead of around and around. I could have been hung for this fo paux, ha ha, but I managed to make it look pretty swell, and you really can't tell they are so screwed up. I then dug out my "Fresh Tree Scented" candle and lit that baby up. So, I'm whipped, and there is only one ornament so far on that plastic tree in our corner and it will most likely take me a few days to get up the energy to hang the rest, but hang I will. All in all, it's a pretty tree, but there isn't anything that says Christmas as a fresh Fraser tree with all that sap, and I miss it. So next year I just might swallow my pride and splurge, once again for that sap filled sweet smellin tree, just so it feels like Christmas once again.
I haven't been able to finish my Christmas painting because of the nerve in my neck, and I am hoping it will settle down so I can finish by the end of the holiday. The botox didn't work, and I am back to dealing with it on a daily basis, but that's ok. I see my knee surgeon on Monday morning. We are not sure when the surgery will happen at this point, but I have high hopes that a new knee will be a turning point for me physically. I'll have to ask Santa for that one. I do want to wish everyone a great Christmas holiday, from my artsy-fartsy self to yours. Peace!

Saturday, December 2, 2006

Surviving the Christmas Frenzy!

I'll have to say I have mixed feelings about the season of Christmas, starting way back to Halloween. It drives me absolutely nuts to see Christmas "stuff" out that early, and it simply puts a bad taste in my mouth for the retailers. Ever since Katrina, I have clearly understood the true meaning of our holiday, and buying "stuff" just isn't part of it to me anymore. Instead, I have now made it a point to spend time with my family seeing Christmas parades, celebrations at church, and just cruising the city being excited about the new lights that are up. What makes the biggest impression on me is the excitement of celebrating Jesus' birthday, and how helping those less fortunate are a part of that celebrating. My son really knocked my socks off yesterday when he came home from school and said, "Please don't get mad, but I donated my $60 in Christmas money to the Toys for Tots." I couldn't have been more proud of him, because I didn't ask him to do it, he just wanted to help the kids who don't have as much. That, for me, is the point of Christmas. Sharing our gifts, which God grants us, with those that need it more than we do. I can't think of another birthday gift that would make Jesus more happy to receive. My challenge to you is to find at least one way to sacrifice one of your gifts, with someone who might need it more than you this Christmas.
The art world has been living it up around the Gulf Coast and that has been exciting as well. Our gallery had their annual Gala and it was great fun! James and I visited the Eastern Shore Art Association last night for the artwalk and parade and both events where packed out, despite the bitter cold. I felt honored seeing my work up next to other artists that I feel are at the tops of their fields, so that was a nice treat for me. I stood back and watched people look at my art, which was a unique experience. What I noticed the most, without interferring, was that when they looked at my paintings, most of them smiled. They just seemed happy when they got to my work, so I feel that part of my purpose as a painter was accomplished. I put Purple Cottage by the Sea and Seaside Village in that show, and side by side, they popped right off the wall. I also just loved the atmosphere of people who appreciate art and the creative side of folks. They create a certain spark in the air like no other. The friends I have met at Cathedral Square Gallery are some of the best ones I have ever had, and it's an honor to share wall space with them. I find out this week when my partial knee replacement will take place, keep me in your prayers that when that takes place, I don't come out of another leg surgery with another paralyzed right arm! It's my painting arm, and the last time that happened, it took me a year to be able to hold a paintbrush. If you haven't bought all your "stuff" this year, and I still believe that some "stuff" is way more important than others, I encourage you to visit a local gallery or gift shop and support the local artists in your area. Art is the beauty from the soul, and I wish much beauty in your life this week. Peace! A

Monday, November 27, 2006

Our Gala is this week!

What a crazy week this will be for our gallery. On Tuesday night Cameron Pfiffer is having her show focusing on photography from Iceland and Thursday night we are having the Gala, which is our biggest party of the season. I haven't been before, but as I hear it, it's not to be missed. I had a lot of hopes and aspirations to get a lot done in preperations for these shows, but I just couldn't do it. Getting over my knee surgery a few weeks back has taken longer than I thought and the nerve in my neck has made it difficult to do anything with my hands for a long time. I had 6 botox injections in my neck, to release the muscles, but it didn't help for any length of time, which is a bummer. My husband laughs and says that at least my neck will look young and wrinkle free. I'd rather have it look old, but not drive me nuts from nerve pain. Anyhow, I am going to try and finish a project I've been working on, and look towards painting a new series. It's strange I think because sometimes I paint with a specific purpose, sometimes to music, other times in a fantasy world. Lately I've been thinking of creating more thought provoking, almost provacative art, but I can't put my finger on the why or the what. Hopefully, that will come to me. I saw a fascinating piece on the Today Show about an artist that paints portriats of fallen soldiers and sends them to their families, all for free. Her take on it was that they should be dads, get married, live to be 80, and their life is cut short. What an impression she made on me. Artists cannot stop wars, but they can make a difference in other peoples lives on a daily basis, in their own unique ways. I'll be thinking a lot about that today, and encourage you to do the same. How will you make your own difference in our world today? Peace, A

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! I woke up this morning excited about the day because I would not only get to spend the day with my family, but I would see my new neice, Abby, for the very first time. She was simply delicious, smelled delicious, felt delicious, just almost sweet enough to eat. Abby is now 7 weeks old and it made the day simply fabulous. Holidays are a big deal in our family, because we are so large, so we ate down at my mammaw's house, about 40 of us. My mammaw died this past year, and it wasn't the same without her, but it was special getting together, giving thanks to God for all that he has blessed us with, at her house. My Uncle Charles lives there, it's really his house, but to all of us it will always be mammaws house.
I decided to change my blog page up a bit because my links off my website were a bit screwed up. What that means is now, you can leave comments and stuff, but to read my archives you will have to visit my website and view my archived file page, which I will create tomorrow I hope. For new readers, you can just pick up and follow with me from today, and you can still understand where I started a month or so back. Basically, this journal is to express to my supporters and others what it's like being an artist with disabilities. My hope is that other people living with disabilities will find a common thread and share their stories as well. I also want those of you who enjoy my art to understand a bit more about how it is created and what it takes for me to actually paint what I do. God has blessed me greatly, and for him and what he has given I offer my humble thanks and praise.