Tuesday, January 31, 2017

31 Day Blogging Challenge day 31: I made it!!!!!!!

2012 - First attempts at face


The last day of January....Blogged the entire month. There were some two-fees but hey I am pretty busy.  It has been a very eventful month, but I have for the most part enjoyed it.  Blogging has been fun.

Tomorrow is February first and a new challenge will begin. I am going to be participating in 29 Faces challenge and will be blogging about it here.  29 Faces is a twice a year challenge sponsored by Ayala Art and is held in February and September.

I am going to give it my best to try and draw a face everyday; and, I am going to try and treat each day as an adventure so who knows what will happen.  I know it will be fun.

My faces have improved over time; but I have not drawn faces in over a year, so it is almost like starting from scratch.  Hmm this could prove interesting.

It has been blogging this month.

see you tomorrow with the first face.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

31 day Blogging Challenge day 28: Silent Saturday sites in Italy

Leaning Tower of Pisa

Lemon Plant on Winery in Sorrento

Amalfi Coast 

Amalfi Coast


Downtown Palermo, Sicily
see you tomorrow.

Friday, January 27, 2017

31 Day Blogging Challenge Days 26 and 27: There are no words

This week I have been working on a commissioned knitting project and quietly watching the interesting events happening in our world.  I am not in shock, because it is nothing less than I expected; however, I feel the need to embrace the beauty of these photos I have taken, they make me smile.

Tomorrow is Silent Saturday....Hurray.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

31 day blog challenge days 24 and 25: Random thoughts

Bright Yellow
My Interpretation of mountains

Photos and paintings....art speaking to my soul.  As this month comes to a close, I am thinking about what I am going to challenge myself to do in February.  I have an idea that I think I am going to commit to, and quite a few projects that should be fun.  I just want to spend some time quietly enjoying life.

see you tomorrow.

Monday, January 23, 2017

31 day Blogging Challenge Day 22 and 23: Jollyologist

Sunset at Fort Worden in Washington State.

This is one of my favorite photo's.  Sometimes I amaze myself with the photo's I take using my phone.

I spent the weekend in Springdale, Utah which is in the Zion National Park Area.  I went to attend a Women's Retreat.  It was a wonderful retreat.  The theme was Self, Others, God.  There was a story that touched me very deeply.  It was about a mother raccoon who gave everything she had to everyone else until she was depleted.  I could so relate to being so busy helping others that I neglect take time to rest and refresh.  The question becomes how much help can you be to others, and how can you serve God, if you are too busy or too tired.  For me this is really food for thought.

We watched a movie about the 4th Wiseman.  It was a story about the fourth Magi that wanted to go along with the three Wisemen who were following the star to where Jesus lived.  The fourth Wiseman sold all that he had and tried to get others to go with him. His father granted his desire to go and sent with him one of his slaves to travel with him in return for his freedom when they returned.  They traveled for over 30 years trying to see the Messiah; however, time was spent helping others along the way.  While the main character was the 4th Wiseman; I was struck with the plight of the slave.  This man spent 30 years complaining.  He faithfully sent letters home detailing their adventures as they traveled; at first his missives were very polite and hopeful; then they became plaintive cries for relief and desperation; then resignation that they never return home.  He refused to help members of a leper colony, spent his days in the City while the 4th Wiseman (a doctor by trade) tended to the needs of the people in the colony.  I do not want to tell you how the movie ends because I hope you will take time to find it give it a viewing.

On Saturday evening we watched a video The Joy of Stress by Loretta LaRoche.  She used the term Jollyologist.  This word simply cracked me up and I just had to embrace it because the term asks us to spend time bring joy or at least a good laugh to people we interface with each day.

This was really a great weekend.  I learned a lot, laughed a lot and decided that I am going to take more time to relax and enjoy the embrace of God.

see you tomorrow.

Friday, January 20, 2017

31 day Blogging Challenge: Day 20 A Warm Farewell

Not a lot of words today.....Farewell President Obama, I have been proud and will miss you deeply.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

31 day Blogging Challenge Day 19: Random Thoughts

Glennie Mae Barber

This is a picture of my Mother, Glennie Mae Barber, and I miss her deeply.  Especially at this time.  We used to have some great conversations about the world. I would love to have had a running dialogue with her during these past eight years. I know she would have been so very proud of the manner in which our current president conducted his business; proud of the fact that his thoughts and actions were always intended to take care of the country and all of its residents.  The key word here is intention.  

 I would love to have a conversation with her about what is going to happen tomorrow afternoon. I know she would have a few choice words about the swearing in our new president.  One thing I know for sure the would have had me laughing until I cried.  My mother was not one to mince her words.  She was very down to earth and she would not be happy; however, she was a realist and would know that now is not the time to be depressed for sad.  No she would say it is a time to be vigilant and aware.  It is a time to pay attention.

When I figured out that my word for the year is actually two words, PAY ATTENTION, I did not realize how important those words would be.  I have to pay attention to every word, to every nuance, every thing I see around me.  I have to pay attention to all elected officials, now more than ever, and exercise my vote in a wise and determined way.  I have to pay attention to how I relate to those who are of a different opinion from me so that I treat them with dignity and respect hoping that they reciprocate in kind.

The ribbon around my mother's neck is the Martin Luther King, Jr. award she received in January 2006.  She was so proud of being awarded as a bridge builder, human rights activist and civil rights worker.  In her quiet and yet determined way she worked very hard for 50 years in her neighborhood. Some day I will tell you about her activism.  But for today, I will remember that she was a bridge builder between all ethnicities in the Southwest Detroit Area.

Tomorrow marks a real change in our world, or at least my world.  It is time for me to really pay attention.

see you tomorrow

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

31 day Blogging Challenge Days 17 and 18 - Change of plans

Jane Davenport goodies

Collage papers and watercolor brushes

Pencil pouch and pockets and pouches add-ins

The photo's above are pictures of items I got today from Michaels.  I wanted to get some Jane Davenport items from her new line and the display looked like it has been picked over by vultures.  Very little was left.  I had been trying to justify purchasing the Mermaid watercolor brushes, they were all gone so I was kind of happy.  I just could not justify the cost when I have so many watercolor markers and other paint materials.  So I got collage paper which I will use, watercolor brushes, the pockets and pouches add ins work really nice in the Faux-Dori I purchased a couple of years ago and the pencil pouch just because it is cute.  With the Senior Citizens discount, 40% off discount and gift card I have had for over a year, I spent $4.53.    Maybe I will put the Watercolor brushes on my list for my birthday.  There really is no hurry.

It was nice to get out and do a little shopping.  I am really trying to cut back and spend more wisely.

Now to the change of plans.  I am planning to go into more detail discussing the Strathmore Items I won.  My plan is to use each one and post about the experience.  I am working with the Watercolor pencils on a coloring book postcard, but I have not finished it.  Hopefully I will post soon.

see you tomorrow.

Monday, January 16, 2017

31 day Blog Challenge Days 15 and 16: Look what I won

Photo number 1

Photo Number 2

Photo Number 3

Today is another twofer.  Yesterday was a very busy day and when I got home from church I was really tuckered out.  Ate Dinner, took a nap and then watched President Obama on 60 minutes.  I knew that what I wanted to write about and the lighting in my living room was not great so I waited until today.

The photo's relate to the wonderful items I won from the great giveaway sponsored by Strathmore Artist papers.  I am going to do a series of posts about each item; but suffice it to say that this is an extremely generous prize featuring journals, watercolors, watercolor pencils, cards, water color instruction books and much more.

see you tomorrow for the first post.

Friday, January 13, 2017

31 Day Blogging Challenge Days 12 and 13 - What I am thinking today


I like to have some sort of photo on my post even if the post is not specifically about art.

Yesterday was a pretty good day that ended rather emotionally.  So much so that I went to sleep instead of posting; hence the twofer for today.

I posted on Facebook a picture of Joe Biden and President Obama and wrote a short caption regarding Joe Biden's 47 year of service and how I met him in the Washington DC train station as he was going home to Delaware.  He was so gracious and greeted everyone in the Metro Lounge as we waited for our various trains.  I was not looking for responses, just sharing a great photo and my thoughts.  One response was "what a joke".  I took great offense to this statement.  First it was not necessary, if the person did not like the fact that Joe Biden was given the Medal of honor, that is fine just move on from my post.  Joe Biden's life is not a joke, a man who lost a wife and daughters in a car accident and went on to serve the country.  A man who has been willing to show his humanity and his flaws; a man who did not use the jobs he has held for personal gain and who lost another son to cancer has my respect.

There is not a human being on this earth that is perfect and we are entitled to our opinions; however, I have been on Facebook since around 2008 and the one thing I have never done is look at a person's post, even if I disagree with it, and make a rude or condescending remark.  If I do not agree, I just move on and let them have their say.

For the past 8 years I have been very careful not to post political or religious posts.  First because that is my business and once you post it on social media, it is no longer your business.  Second, because I have seen all of the attacks and negative comments that are really hurtful and third, as an African American I have been so proud of the way President Obama has performed despite all that was put before him.  Has he been perfect?  No, but I am so proud of what he has accomplished.

The Affordable Care Act, despite what Congress says, has been a great benefit to many.  Not just the millions of people who have never had insurance; but also, to the millions who could not get coverage because of pre-existing conditions.  The millions who were impacted by yearly and lifetime maximums on their coverage.  Did you know that a person who has an organ transplant can use their lifetime maximum before they are even discharged from the hospital?  Six years ago that limitation was eliminated so they can have follow up treatments without worry.  I worked in the health insurance industry for nearly 40 years and know from whence I speak.  For example; Michigan Bell Phone Company added a rider to their coverage to allow parents to keep children on their coverage until age 26 even if they were not in college.  Groups could add a waiver of the pre-existing rules to their coverage and most did.  Affordable care act brought many of these group benefits to individuals.  After retiring and trying to get coverage prior to Medicare, I was told I could not have any services related to breast cancer for 10 years (pre-existing); so I had to take expensive COBRA coverage until it ran out then no health care coverage until Medicare kicked in.

Can the ACA be improved upon?  Yes, but there are always improvements and tweaks to health care benefits.  Ways to make it more cost effective and ways to enhance benefit structures.  I love the intricacies of the Health insurance industry; ways to make it better for the average American.

Well, that is what I am thinking today.  I am sad that people who have the best health care insurance coverage in the world are so eager to repeal instead of fix a program that does have merits.

see you tomorrow

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Day 11 of 31 day Blog Challenge; All Aboard

Kansas City Missouri Train Station 

This is my favorite photo.  Taken on a train ride home to Michigan.

see you tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

31 day Blog Challenge Day 10 - Holy Crapola!!!!

A Single Tear
I have posted this painting before, in fact immediately after it was painted in 2015.  I looked at it with fresh eyes on Saturday night and went Holy Crapola!!!!! I painted that.  What made me have this thought?  I was looking at some paintings on Facebook and thought how beautiful they were and wished I could paint something like that.  I looked up at the painting over my chair in the living room and did a double take.  I HAD painted a painting like that.  I had dug deep and found this painting lurking side.

I was amazed and at the same time a little ticked.  Amazed because I get the same feeling today that I did in September of 2015 and ticked because once again I wished for something I have already done and not really appreciated.  This photo makes it look bright; however, hanging on the wall it is haunting.  The lighting in the room makes the face recede significantly so you see it faintly in this black fog.  I really think that as the paint cured over time (man, I sound professional here) the painting darkened which is the effect I wanted.

When I first started this journey I would not display my work, now it is hanging on my walls.  All I can say is Holy Crapola, Batman.

see you tomorrow.

Monday, January 09, 2017

31 day Blog Challenge Day 9: One last look

Goodbye Christmas Village
Today the final vestiges of my Christmas Village came down.  Two months and one week of the beautiful life will be but a memory tomorrow.  Everything is stored away and the floor has been vacuumed.  I was truly sad to see it go; but new year, new things to do.

Feeling recharged and energized today.  Fell asleep yesterday about 6:00 pm and pretty much slept straight through until 4:30 am this morning.  This is going to be a busy week, I have a meeting of some type everyday until Friday.  I am also prepping for a class that I have to teach at church on Sunday Morning.  But, I have promised myself that I am still going to make time for some art even if it only 15 minutes.

Preparing for Paint Mojo

Christmas Tree Village has been replaced by a 30x40 canvas that I plan to work on during the Paint Mojo Class which will be taught by Tracy Verdugo.  I think I am going to work on a few smaller canvases; but this one which I have named Carter, will be my main focus, not so much to finish but to have as a visual representation of things I have learned and adjusted to make my own.

Starting Jane Davenport's free class tomorrow.  Should be fun.

see you tomorrow.

Sunday, January 08, 2017

31 Day Blog Challenge: Day 8: Purple Bandages

Sheer Beauty

Before I begin my story, I wanted to show this photo taken July 2016 on Bainbridge Island, Washington at Wacky Nut Farms.  The flowers, and I do not know the name of them, caught my attention and took my breath away.

Now to Purple Bandages....Today was Blood donation day at my church, St. Thomas More Catholic Community.  Twice a year we have blood drives and I try to participate.  In fact, I have been donating blood for over 30 years.  In that time period, I have had a big problem or at least I am a big problem for the technicians.  It is hard to find my veins.  I have had this problem my entire life whether it giving blood or just having blood tests drawn.  My veins are small and they do not want to cooperate.

So, today after completing my questionnaire, I was taken to the chair to get set up.  "what arm would you like to use?'  Normal question and my standard answer is "it does not matter, whichever one you can find a vein is the one to use?"  I have an uncanny knack of knowing who will be successful and who will be a bust.  My first technician while extremely nice was a bust.  We tried the left arm,  needle in arm and vein was found; blood started flowing very slowly and it was hurting.  My sweet friend tried to wiggle the needle to get a better flow; not a really good idea.  So one of the chief technicians was called (normal for me--get the big guns).  He looked the right arm,  probed for a few seconds and found a small vein.  Eureka!!!!!  With purple pressure bandage on left arm, we proceed to get the flow going fast and furious from the right arm.  Once completed, we decided that purple pressure bandage was perfect for the right arm so that I could be fashionably coordinated.  Keep these bandages on for at least 4 hours and no heavy lifting for the rest of the day.

I forgot that I was scheduled to be an Extraordinary Eucharistic Minister today at the noon Mass.  Uh oh, really supposed to go home eat and rest.  Oops!!!  So I started praying, "Lord, please let me make it through this mass without getting dizzy or fainting."  I was really concerned; but he answered my prayers.  Made it through Mass, cooked dinner and am now laying down typing this missive.

Bandages removed,  left arm a little bruised, right arm perfect.  Someone in need of blood will be helped and that is all that matters really.

see you tomorrow.

Friday, January 06, 2017

31 day Challenge Days 5 and 6

OOPS!!!!! I got busy yesterday and I forgot to Blog, Whoa is me.....  So I am combining day 5 and 6 today.  there are a few cool things to tell and show.

First.  I am taking some free online classes this year and made journals for two of the classes.  The first class is an online devotional that happens every January and is presented by Jeanne Oliver.  This is the third year that it has been offered and I have participated each year.

The devotional for this year is called Salt + Light: Impact the world right where you are.  It reminds me of a phrase I happen to love, Bloom Where You Are Planted.  Below is the cover I painted on my devotional book which is a Composition book

Devotional book

The second is a year long project called Come To The Fire: a year long art journaling journey to your sacred self.  Since I really want to spend more time journaling and doing art in my journals, this is a great opportunity.  This journal is also a composition book; however the cover is painted christmas wrapping that is then used to cover the book like we used to cover our school books. The ribbons are used as page dividers.  The cover for the journal for this class is below:

Art Journal
I have changed the ribbons for this book because I did not like the bulk.  I love painting composition books and taking a $1.00 dollar store find and making it beautiful.

Next good news......I have been EXTREMELY blessed.  How you might say?  Well I will tell you. I won two giveaways.  You know there are many giveaways on Facebook sponsored by artists as they advertise their classes and products.  So let me tell you what happened.

I signed up for the Strathmore Artist Paper giveaway in December.  I did not hear anything so I forgot about it.  Well, let me tell you. Yesterday I was checking out the Strathmore Facebook page because i was trying to find out when/if the yearly free classes would start.  As I scrolled the page I came across the post that said CONGRATULATIONS WINNERS.  I always comment and congratulate winners of giveaways.  So as I am reading the names I come across Glenda BH.  Oh my goodness that is me I thought Glenda Barber Hoagland.  Then I realized that this was announced around Dec. 20th.  Oops, I never saw the email (how many want to be the notices went to my junk folder and I cleaned them out).  Anyhoo, I started a blanket notifications to Strathmore asking if I was still eligible.  I was ok I had missed my opportunity.  Well this morning I got a response from Strathmore (in my junk mail) and I paid attention this time.  They said there were glad to hear from me and yes they were going to send me the Package.  I am so excited and happy about this.  I am going to do a show and tell post when the package arrives.

The other prize I wan is a class taught by my friend Tracy Verdugo.  Tracy has an online class called Paint Mojo and she had an end of year giveaway for 6 artists to win a place in the class.  There are three days of giveaways and I won on the first day.  Oh boy, I am so happy for this.  The class begins on January 20th and lasts for six weeks.  2017 surely is off to a great start,

see you tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

31 Day Blog Challenge Day 4: Agawa Canyon Snow Train

Agawa Canyon Snow Train

March 2003

I retired from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan in February of 2003 after 33 years.  It was an exciting time and I was thinking of things to do.  I had taken the Agawa Canyon Train during the summer of 2000 with my husband.  It was a very beautiful trip, but I wanted to try the snow train.  I looked it up and there was a weekend trip at the beginning of March.

The tour started with a drive from Detroit to Sault St. Marie, Ontario Canada.  On the way we stopped in Frankenmuth for Lunch and did some shopping.  I found a yarn shop and bought some beautiful yarn and some needles.  I figured I would spend the time on the ride knitting a scarf.  You see, I did not know a soul on this tour.  It was just something I wanted to do.

We arrived in Sault St. Marie in time for Dinner.  By the time we arrived I pretty much knew everyone on the bus, we laughed and talked.  Another tourist was knitting and we gabbed about yarn and patterns, it was fun.

Saturday we boarded the bust to go to the train Algoma Central Station.  The trip is 228 miles round trip.  During the summer you can de-train and walk trails for an hour.  Winter is much too cold and dangerous so you cannot de-train; however, the scenery is so beautiful it does not matter.

This was the second trip I took by myself and I just loved every minute.  I say little bunny prints in the snow, a train trellis covered in show with the train chugging along, families laughing and enjoying a really good lunch; guides giving us a complete history of the area and the train.

This tour was a retirement present to myself and I still smile at the wonderful memories.

see you tomorrow