Thursday, March 31, 2011

Day 31 "Pisa Cake" for Sammie

Well friends- this is it, today marks day 31. I kept my commitment. I painted 31 days in a row. And not "JUST" painted, I created some little painting every day.  It was so much fun. I will admit at about days 14-19 I started to feel (and behave like) a bad kid who needed a nap. That's mostly because I DID need a nap. I was staying up late (TK doesn't start winding down till about midnight most of the time, and since I developed the habit of "fighting sleep" at a very early age-under the assumption I would miss out on something if I went to bed before the others in my house- and you can FO-GET about a nap. Really? Sleep in the middle of the day? People do that?) Anyway- staying up late like normal but getting up at 4:45 am two weeks in a row started to wear me down. But...some adjustments were made- and by "adjustments" I mean, I agreed to go to bed earlier if TK agreed not to do anything fun, or allow anything fun to happen without me. Aside from the fact he watched the newest Karate Kid one night- he kept his word-and I started to get my normal 6 or so hours a night again. Thus...the project continued.  I am overwhelmed by the number of  people who said "I check for your blog every morning right when I wake up" or "I love to see what crazy thing you will paint each day" and for those silly comments, although they were not the driving force behind this project, I am so thankful. The people who participate in a project like this are what make it fun. We have grown by I think (I'd have to go back and look) 12 followers this month. The blog now has 28 followers- WHOO HOOO!! That's exciting to bloggers you know.  Through this month I have been commissioned to create 4 new works on much larger scale-so that's awesome! (More art sold=more orphans helped in my world) AND....I have started to realize my own personal style of art. (I think THAT was the main point of the "paint every day" suggestion to begin with.)  It's been so much fun to blog and paint personal thank you notes to some of my friends and to pay tribute to loved ones passed. Yea, I have had a good experience this month. I tried to remember to say it every day-but sincere appreciation is worth repeating so thank you again to each of you for being a part of my blog.  I can't really say it was a "Pisa Ccake" but I am so glad I did it. As I was cleaning brushes just now-I started to miss it already....hmm... But today was done for my great friend Sammie's birthday (in April) I love you! I wish for you many many more surrounded by those you love and those who love you in return! (In April) And also, if you know anything about Sandra-you should know first off she loves chocolate. I like to think the cake I painted this morning is entirely chocolate. Some layers are filled with chocolate mousse and some have chocolate chips inside the cake batter. Of course it's all chocolate frosting, three different kinds: Milk, dark and white. (and it's calorie free! which is more than I can say for any of the other cakes I have made you dear friend!)    Thank YOU for being a part of my blog. (twice!)

Okay followers. NEW PROJECT!  A Few Details I will post soon! Something BIG!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Day 30 "Angels 4" For Judith, in honor of her grand daughters

"They are the center of her world, and she lets them do whatever they want..."because that's what Grammy's do.""  Erin Beck (mom of Angel 2 and Angel 4)

To my dear friend Judith,
I hope this reminds you of those little girls and you smile.  Thank you for being a part of my project. I love you!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Day 29 "you are so fly" For Sabrina

It's crazy to me how many "old" friends I now keep in touch with since the whole facebook thing started.  I know where childhood friends live and what they do for a living, I see their families celebrate birthdays and graduations. It's really fun to me.  I love it when someone I have thought about off and on for 10 years or more just shows up on facebook one day-on someone Else's friend list or better yet when that person sends me a friend request. It's like "hey-yea, I haven't seen you since the summer of 1995 but I haven't forgotten about you either and let's catch up!"  I'm all..."OKAY!" and "ACCEPT!"  
Sabrina is one of those friends. Believe this or not but I (yes me) used to help out with children at a church in college. I also helped (I guess you could call it helping, mostly we hung out and played a lot of basketball) with the high school kids.  Sabrina was part of that group.  She turned into this amazing grown up with children of her own and has become a nurse. Working for the same organization as I do. Crazy-how our paths never really "uncrossed".   I am thankful for that. 

Sabrina,  I was thinking about that amazing Easter lunch you cooked for me and your mom all those years back. (really? you woke up at 5 am and were thinking about Easter lunch from 14 years ago? correct!) It was fantastic-and not just impressive for a teen age girl-but impressive by adult standards. Sabrina could cook!  I admired you then and I admire you now.  I hope you have a fantastic day!  

Thank you everyone for following along and being a part of the project.  I am torn at this point, do I continue to get up before daylight and paint each morning- blog each day- or do I begin to paint some of these big big projects that have been inspired by this daily exercise...  I suppose I have two more days to decide. 

Monday, March 28, 2011

Day 28 "Enjoy the Ride"

With bumper cars you get on knowing your are going to get...well, bumped up a bit.
But still-you get on. And you're silly and giddy and just chomping at the bit waiting for the ride to begin.
And when it starts-the lights are all flashing and horns honking from all directions and there is music. From time to time you can look around and see the cars in the ring are all moving about sort of harmoniously...dare I say it....dancing.....some leading, some following and then...then some bumping. (it is bumper cars after all) Sometimes the bumps come out of no-where and catch you completely off guard, and other times you see that car coming at you and even so...that bump gets ya too. Some bumps shake you up a bit but  make you laugh and others seem so hard or sudden you might wish you could go back to just following or better yet-leading the other cars. Maybe circling around that ring in single file again-safely on guard-not allowing anyone the opportunity to pick you out.  Appealing just after a bump-But that's no fun! Not really, I mean THIS IS BUMPER CARS! Not dancing cars or circling cars! If you like the predictable, the pretty all the time, the pattern of circles rhythmically moving in perfect cadence on autopilot, then the carousel might be more for you...Either way opportunities like this  don't come along every day-for some they are once in a lifetime-so Enjoy the ride!

Sunday, March 27, 2011


There is aparently a tech issue with blogger at this moment. click this link to see today's work.

The winner of the "follow the blog-share the blog give away" is Penny Lane.  And just to be fair, I put all the names in a paper bag and asked TK to draw out a name for me. (I might have a history of "rigging" drawings...might. But this one was totally on the up and up.  I painted a second "Bar-B-Cutie" for Penny because she really liked the original one I painted (for TK) on March 5th.   Thank you so much Penny Lane for your encouragement and friendship. I wish you guys the best of luck in your barbecue endeavors!

Thank you to all the new blog followers. This month's project (which sort of by default has been titled "the project". Thank you Sandra) has been a lot of fun for me. Thank you all for being a part of it!
Also, a big big thanks to those of you who shared the blog and recruited new followers!

There is still one day that is not spoken for. If anyone would like to claim it, let me know.

See ya tomorrow!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Day 26 "Smoke Rings"

I do really like pigs.  This is the second pig I painted this month. I have another sketched I am just dying to do but am saving it for a day when nothing is on my mind.  I am not a collector of pigs. For good measure, I think I will say that again. I am not a collector of pigs. I had two feeder pigs growing up-Elvis and Erin (Named after The King. Elvis's middle name is Aaron, but one of my pigs was a sow so...I changed the spelling. As if it really mattered it's not like these pigs needed proper documentation of their identity- they were never going to apply for an Oklahoma Drivers License or anything. I mean that's just crazy talk, everyone knows you kill a feeder pig long before they turn sixteen.) 
I was saying-I do like pigs and I think like many other forms of live stock they can be used to teach children valuable lessons. For example the lesson of  sticking to it even if your pig never wins in the show ring- and the lesson of "you have nothing to be ashamed of, you worked really hard, it's not your fault your pig gets nervous and develops....echh hmmm...."stomach issues" in front of the judges at the fair and every three steps you take your pig's echh hmmm..." stomach issues" materialize and everyone in the area snickers and laughs as you walk your pig around the ring." and of course there is the lesson of "sometimes you have to do things in life that are not fun-like walk your pig every afternoon even when it's 32 degrees outside but the hard work will pay off when it's time for shows.....unless of course your pig gets nervous and develops.....echhmmm..."stomach issues". Then I gotta be honest, the best lesson learned at that point is "pretty soon that piggy with the week constitution will be all sliced up, sitting next to some of your Granny Jone's home made biscuits-proudly displaying his smoke rings!"
In conclusion I'll place my points in the order of (this is FFA pig judging format for you non-ag followers)
1, 2, 3,4.  1. I like pigs 2. Pigs teach valuable life lessons. 3. Even a nervous show pig makes good bacon and 4. I do not collect pigs.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Day 25 "Whew"

We are having a party! All chickens are invited to attend!
Lacey has gone back to America, so fear for our lives will now end!
Lacey is awesome. Quite the hhumanitarian.
But one thing she's not, and that's  vegetarian!

Celebration will begin upon Lacey's arrival in the US.

So score yo' fly selves some Flagyl and come do the funky chicken.
as DJ Albert spins and we do some scratchin.

Date: March 25th
Location: The yard out behind the orphanage!

RSVP- The Chickens! 

Some quick back ground information. This is a picture of Lacey eating a chicken head this past December during a circumcision celebration meal at the orphanage. Two words for Lacey. HARD. CORE.
Welcome Home Lacey!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Day 24 "Big Al" For the RHM

Of course he smiled all the time, he was a photographer! I had no idea the guy had such artistic talent. I thought he was a real estate guy. Seriously, a few  years back I worked at the gym where he was a member. Always nice, always polite, and ALWAYS smiling. "Big Al" we called him, at the gym I mean. Fast forward a year or two and TK and I are tag-team teaching a multi-culture class. Each week TK would teach about the culture of a particular country and I would teach the class how to prepare food from that culture. Big Al was one of a few very devoted class members. It was during this 11 week class that I learned of his talents. I think it was the third week of classes, we learned about Japanese beliefs and culture. I taught the class to roll sushi. Al Eubanks was THE BEST at it. Better than ME! He just jumped right in there and created his own roll, just like that. As if the man had been rolling sushi for quite some time. Anyone who can create pretty food earns quick "cool points" with me-and so it began. My admiration for Big Al. In the weeks that followed, he allowed us to call him "Chef Al" and he smiled every time we did. We became friends.
I mentioned  The Buying Of Chairs in a previous blog, I referenced at that time, The Red Hot Momma and The List Maker and their support of our endeavors both here and abroad. It is no coincidence that Big Al, The RHM's father, also "bought our chairs". He supported us in our class, bringing his "home work" supplies each week (just like The RHM) and bringing along his camera for our end of class field trip to the Hindu Temple and multi-culture market.  He took fun pictures for us but that summer I would learn he truly was an artist and photography was his medium.  As we raised money for a trip to Kenya, he offered some of his photographs to be auctioned at our fund raiser (buying of chairs again).  His nature photos were beautiful! That's the kind of guy I knew him as. Photography artist, sushi maker, real estate man, nice guy, happy guy, smiling guy extraordinaire! He was so much more than that of course. He was a husband and a father and a grandaddy and a friend. But superior to all that still, Big Al was a follower of Christ. Maybe that's why he smiled so much.

Cindy, Thank you for being a part of this project. I pray for you every day. I love you.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Day 23 "eat cake"

Of course-at some point there would be a new painting featuring another "window" of a shop located near Lucy's Boutique. Here it is.  It's a new "old school" bakery-owned and operated by Miss Priss.  Much like Lucy's Boutique, the business its self is perfect. The personnel is not only polite but actually happy to see each customer. They are never out of your favorite thing, even if it's your first time there. Every item is made with the highest quality ingredient possible, never any additives or preservatives. The eggs used in cake batter are fresh country eggs from free range chickens.  The herbs used to flavor fresh ficohsa bread are locally grown by "The Farmer" and all dairy products come from his animals as well. They use goat's milk as much as possible but the cow's milk used always comes from happy cows.  Happy Cows make better milk-and better milk can only mean one thing-better products for happier customers-happier customers make happier owners-and so the cycle continues. 
While sweets and baked goods are not sugar free or low calorie, every item comes with a complete and accurate nutritional content label so customers can decide if they have room in their day for a splurge.
It's a small shop but quite exceptional. The owners don't aspire to franchise, nor do they hope to achieve fame on some food network exploitation of pastry skills. No, they are more about the community in which they live and supporting small farms. They invest  profits in micro industry in developing countries and bake delicious treats that make their neighbors happy. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Day 22 "Hospitalitea" Larry and Gail

Natalee (aka The Dairy Queen) college neighbor and friend,  asked me to "paint whatever you think of when you think of mom and dad".  Larry and Gale were the owners of The Dairy Queen in Milan when I arrived in Tennessee and it was their lives. In fact my very first memory of Natalee involved her telling a group of fellow freshmen that she grew up in The Dairy Queen. Let's think about this for a second. Given my intense love for ice cream-and having just moved 8 hours from the mecca of all things deliciously cream based and frozen,(Braums) I figured this meeting was some how divinely appointed. As I sat miserably homesick in that room, listening to the words come out of her mouth was like soothing ointment to my soul. "My (this is Natalee talking now so the "I" sound in "My" is quite pronounced "M-eye" parents own the Dairy Queen in Milan, that's about 30 minutes from here" she said.  WHAT? I thought. 30 MINUTES AWAY? SWEET!!! I looked around that room in disbelief-the others seemed unimpressed with her status-"She's the daughter. of. the owners. of. THE DAIRY QUEEN." I wanted to point at her and shout to the others. I tried not to judge them. "Perhaps they don't love ice cream like me," I thought. Which is perfectly understandable, no one does really.  Through  a couple of other social groups Natalee and I did become friends and during my first semester at Union we were "across the sidewalk neighbors". We spent a good bit of time at the Dairy Queen.  
Over the next few semesters, I transitioned from one of the group at the Dairy Queen who came over to eat and cook and study. (oh yes they let us have free reign of the joint after closing time and of course I liked to pretend I worked there as a grill cook) (I'm not going to say I would pretend to be a chef at a hibachi grill and pretend to do fancy tricks with the onions and clang my spatula on the grill as I sang back the order I was just given. It was sort of "Show Guns meets Waffle House" good times)...As I was saying I slowly transitioned from hanging out at the restaurant to going HOME with Natalee. Geographically it wasn't much different, the Nichoalson's house was just a concrete stair case away from the DQ. But once inside the house, to me, I was family. Yes, family. I was no longer a friend of Natalee's to be treated as a guest. I was part of them.  And I was glad.
My parents always welcomed our friends, we always had a house full, between sisters and friends and sisters of friends I was accustomed to a crowd and as is still the case today, I would get home sick from time to time. The Nichoalson's helped with that. Nat has a brother, Lee and a sister, Heather and of course they were always around with friends. 
I remember when Miss Gale told me she had gotten a super capacity washer and dryer so I might as well plan to bring my clothes and wash them at her house, while I was there doing laundry I would eat dinner. I took her up on the offer.  I don't remember what we had to eat but I do remember a few random details about our weekly meals. Mr. Larry was always in and out of the house running back down the steps to the DQ then back to the table for another bite of food. Miss Gale had learned some sort of color code system for preparing a balanced meal-the way she told that story made me laugh. Miss Gale also made this tea-Oh my goodness!  I was quite at home there-eventually coming to visit even when  there was no laundry to be done and Natalee was away for the summer. And after she moved to Memphis. No matter how often I came Miss Gale always made that tea. and she never let me serve my self. It was instant tea, the powder kind, but she served it in a heavy bottom glass with the perfect amount of ice and I loved it.
What comes to mind when I think of Larry and Gale is yea, their love of course, I mean they were married for what like 100 years?  The DQ, and the three children of their own along with the dozens of kids like me, who consider themselves part of the family.

Thanks Nat, for being a part of the project. I love you!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Day 21 "Max"


Rule the pool dog
Don't go to school dog
Shake off the water dog
Please don't drool dog
Happy Crazy Cool Dog


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Day 20 "Please! Behive!"

I wanted to paint a bee hive for quite a while now-for reasons completely unknown. I will speculate-I like the way the hive is sort of tiered-much like a cake and I have liked drawing cakes since I was in 4th grade. In 4th grade I was home sick from school watching OETA (That's Oklahoma Education Television Association) drifting in and out of Benadryl induced sleep, waiting for Bob Ross to come on and paint some "happy little trees" when this cartoonist guy came on.  He demonstrated step by step how to draw.....people, or clowns or the day I speak of, he taught how to draw stacked boxes and then how make those boxes into any of the following-a building, birthday presents, a wedding cake. It totally got my attention and I spent most of the next three days working on it.  Even though a bee hive isn't EXACTLY the same shape of a tiered cake- it's the only reason I can think of., on the date Adrianne chose, I painted one. 

Adrianne my friend, ever since that faithful day at The Old Country Store, you were dressed so appropriately I just knew we would be friends! I am thankful for your friendship and even though I have no idea why you chose today or if you like bumble bees....I have a gut feeling you will find some humor in a momma bee saying "please behive!"

Thank you for being a part of my project- let's go to Starbuckie soon!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

"Day 19" "Miss Priss"

Miss Priss got a new belt for her birthday! A new belt- but not JUST a belt. A FLOWER belt. This belt was hand made by a local artist and will soon be featured along with all things fabulous at Lucy's Boutique

The thing that makes Lucy's the perfect place, besides the fact that Lucy is the owner. Is the things she has in her shop are always perfect. Perfect fit, perfect style, perfect fabric weight, nothing clings to the wrong spot and everything  does cling to the right spot. Perfect length, perfect color for your skin tone, perfect things to make you feel....well...perfect. The gals do love Lucy's.

Miss Priss is a real person and so is Lucy, and that belt-is a real thing....Alas-Lucy's is a make believe place, located in my heart and in my dreams, therefore Miss Priss will have to  spend a little time this weekend searching for the perfect pieces to compliment that fabulous belt.

Happy Saturday Friends!

Don't forget to become a follower and share the love with others to be entered to win the painting on March 27th. Here are the details

Friday, March 18, 2011

Day 18 "Different Bird" For Hayden

"Our Hayden will be 13 on March 18. My prayer for him is that he become a Godly young man and follow God's lead. Can ya paint that?"
The message and date request is from my friend Michelle. I had a really hard time with this one- I was like "I don't want to paint a cross" but everytime I started sketching this one, I'd be right back sketching intersecting lines....and before you know it....another cross. That's not to say I have anything against painting crosses. I certainly don't have anything against "THE" cross. I'll be honest. I just didn't want to paint something that looks like a week  attempt to copy something from Lemstone or Lifeway's gift sections.  Again, disclaimer, I have nothing against either establishment-but that's just not my thing...I started this project as a discipline to paint only my original work. So...I struggled. I also did not want something "cliche" or "Sunday Schoolish" you know "Follow the Lord, He's the only way, Straight and narrow, He guides your steps etc. etc." And one final disclaimer- I do believe these things to be true, I just didn't know about painting them." 
The request is a pure as any mother's heart for her son. Go ahead and read it again. She PRAYS that her son becomes a GODLY man and follows God's lead. 
.....and then....INSPIRATION! (cue the "AHHHHHHHHH" angelic sound) *sorry sticking with the religious theme today-I'll try to refocus.  Okay so I was inspired to say/paint THIS.
Doing right often times sets a person aside or out front or apart from even the closest of friends.  As followers of Christ we are called to be different. Not like the others. That's just the way it is.  Happy Birthday Hayden.  Please enjoy this clip!  Thanks Michelle for being a part of my project!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Art Tu Brute? Follow the blog-Share the blog- Give-A-Way

THIS COULD BE YOURS!  (Well, smaller of course and painted of course.) Become a "follower" and you are entered to win!
For every friend you "recruit" you are entered again. So...SHARE THE BLOG!

Apparently blogging types that create and blog about those creations-offer "give-a-ways" from time to time.
I am doing my part to be as "official" of a blogger as possible AND...I love to give things away. (It's true). I still have a few dates that are un-claimed this month. so....I will be giving away one "unclaimed" day's work! The same general principal applies as it has all month. I assume full artistic liberty.
What you get- A hand painted piece of original art on 8x8 canvas panel.
On the morning of Sunday, March 27th, I will draw a name from the entries and create something for that person.
Here's how to enter- 1. become a follower of the blog. (there is a "follow" button in the upper right corner of the home page) If you are ALREADY a follower- BONUS! I will add your name automatically.
2. Share the blog through  email or some form of social networking media like facebook. For every person that becomes a follower as a result (and tells me in my comments or on facebook or email) I will add their name AND your  name, (the name of the person who sent them to me.)

I will draw the name and post the winner along with that day's work on Sunday, March 27th.
You can enter as many times as you like- so go ahead Share the blog!

Day 17 "Lucky Day For A Lady Bug"

Happy St. Patrick's Day first of all!  But the REAL reason to celebrate today is the birthday of my "look-a-like's" daughter. I feel certain Miley, the first girl after three boys, is the reason Shaundra chose today for her second painting.  At this point, I would like to say Sista also chose the 14th (which is Pi day, as in 3.14) (All my fellow geeks holla!) so...I'm fairly certain she expected a painting having something to do with pie...however, I "put a bird on it". This leads me back to my original train of thought.  I remember when everyone was waiting on Miley's  arrival into this world- I remember what Shaundra was wearing the day she told me "A GIRL! WE'RE HAVING A GIRL!" We were excited indeed! Perhaps being born the first girl after three boys causes one to be extra inclined to all things pink and sweet and prissy and girlie....OR....Perhaps it's that first girl after three boy's momma?  No-matter! Miley's birthday is officially today-but Tuesday night we got the celebration started with true girlie girl flare! We had a tea party! After blueberry tea and sweet treats we changed out of our party clothes and spent some time in the art room. (leaving on the tiara of course, I mean, a girl NEEDS her tiara).  Happy Happy 8th Birthday Miss Miley!

The Ladybug Birthday Party

by Marie Lawrence

The little ladybug woke up
and remembered,it was a most special day-
her little friend's birthday
was today...
Her little abode-a sweet little rose
with crystal droplets of dew,
reflected sunlit petals into a rainbow of hue.
Now she must hurry no time to tarry,
as she made cupcakes vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry-
making a pot of rosehips tea
she spiced it extra carefully...
She then tidied up
picking a fresh bouquet of buttercup,
to place on her table with party favor
for little bugs to savor...

Ribbons were hung and balloons strung
to celebrate such an occasion...
she heard the doorbell ring
the guests had arrived-
oh, what presents they did bring!

Then they all danced to a tune
that the ladybug wrote,
by the light of the silvery moon,
and ended on a most harmonious note
as they all sang "Happy Birthday to you!"

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Day 16 "The Ring Leader"

 Normally when I hear someone say "it was a circus!" what they mean is not- "Oh my goodness it was SOOO much fun! There were clowns billowing from a tiny polka dot car, there was familiar music being played on a pipe organ. There was a huge crowd of people all smiling and cheering for one act after the other- and OHHH the acts! let me just tell you! It truly was THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH! (and they change their voice to the announcer guy voice too when they say it) I saw a sword swallower, a fire jumper, trapeze artists twirling thru the air! AND there was a high-wire act! A bunch of stilt walkers, we had the chance to ride a real live elephant! IT WAS AH.MAY.ZING! and I can not wait till it comes again!!!" No-usually the circus analogy is reserved for events of complete chaos-a really hectic day at work or a day the weather forecaster predicted 1/4 inch of snow and everyone in the region has converged upon the grocery stores on a quest to attain the life sustaining bread and milk. I use the phrase to describe any situation where the people "in charge" are either not prepared or not equipped to handle the situation. situations where small children have ingested copious amounts of junk food and sugar and are running amuck with no specific task or project. I digress..people say "It was like a circus" and what they mean is "I am so glad to be finished with that, or that did not go as planned."

But really, when you think about it- a REAL circus-the super fun kind you loved as a kid, is not chaotic at all. It can't be. So many people and animals coming and going-all on different time schedules and with different tasks and goals? No, a real circus has to be carefully orchestrated, tons of work has to go into preparing for the next show and then...all members of the circus have to directed by The Ring Leader.

Amidst the potential for complete chaos (I mean talk about high risk situations...have you ever seen an episode of "When Animals Attack"? and they show that crazy clip of a run-a-way-elephant tearing thru the crowds?) *piece of advise, and it's just me here-but I would avoid all crowded tents filled with semi tamed animals in India.* The Ring Leader runs the show. All acts in order, in perfect timing, as they should be so the audience gets the most out of their experience.

Two things. You may already know the first one-or could assume it if you read any previous blogs I have written. 1. I equate children's Sunday School to a circus. And I don't mean the fun kind I wanna go back to again and again. I mean I equate it to the chaos. KAAAYYY----OSSSS! (I personally feel less than equipped to handle THAT situation.) 2. I equate Miss Arleen to "The Ring Leader". It's true, the analogy can easily be seen. She spends the amount of time necessary doing the behind the scenes prep work, accomplishing what needs to be done to ensure all members of the "circus" are kept on task, ready to do the next thing. I have been in her house lots of times on a Wednesday or Thursday and she will have all the projects prepared and ready to go for her class NEXT Sunday. She's on top of things. Miss Arleen is many things-she's a friend and a shopping buddy, she's a mom, a "Nana" and a wife. But on Sunday mornings-in the 4 and 5 year old small group, she's The Ring Leader. She no doubt has tamed a few lions and juggled her share of falling objects-but she leads. She directs that "circus" in a way that makes the members want to come back week after week-and I, I am thankful and amazed.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Day 15 "Beware!"

My friend Becky, artist that she is, requested any available date. I first offered to give her a list of the dates available. Then I realized March 15th was open-so I quickly added "Beck Grur" to my calender, knowing today was the perfect date to create something for her.   I feel no need to explain today's work. Clearly it is a picture of a dog driving his own convertible car.   Tim and Becky, my favorite Thespians. I love you!

You would have to know a person who titles their art blog "Art Tu Brute?" is going to have a certain appreciation for Shakespearean works in general and Julius Cesar more specifically. If you are reading this and had no clue that I created the blog for lots of reasons but decided to focus mainly on my love of art because I thought "Art Tu Brute?" was funny-it's okay. I mean it's okay if you are reading and you didn't know WHY I do this silly blog or WHY I chose the name. However, if you had no idea where the "Tu Brute?" came from....well...I have questions for you-serious, serious questions that should perhaps be handled via private inbox message and not publicly on the blog.  Okay...that might have seemed a bit harsh-I tell you what. I won't judge you for having no appreciation of Shakespeare. (You don't have to "get it" you don't even have to like it) But you DO have to be aware of the impact his work has on the world as we know it. Take a deep breath faithful followers of the nonsense, I am not qualified to educate you on the subject. Nor will I try.

I will however utilize my powers of "whim" and craftiness in the art of verbal silliness to work in a pun or two.    "Beware The "Id's" of March" 
When faced with an "Id-er" and we have all been there, I find it's best to just BEWARE!
The "I'd have done it differents" the "I'd have not done that at alls"
The  "I'd not take any chances" or "I'd have made a different calls"
The "I'd tell them so and so."  the "I'd set them straights"
The "I'd a kept my mouth shuts" the "I'd have made them waits"
Waiting,  ready to criticize, and verbalize what they despise, and jeopardize, dreams.
The "I'ds" are lurking, habitually offering the negativity it seems.
Oh friends you must beware, the "Id's of March" may actually be, believe it or not, completely oblivious to the harm in their game.
They are "Helpers" "advise givers" "bless your hearters".  They are "second guess what you think besters" and "Keep them down because they are smarters". Not "haters" or "killers" or "causers of trouble"
But their fires do  burn, and  their cauldrons do bubble just the same.
The advise you did not seek is so freely given from one's heart. So,  be a friend, be a neighbor, share some love, but Beware! "The Id's of March".

Be sweet to people. Be respectful when offering advise. Don't be in a hurry to criticize. Especially those who freely jeopardize their safety to protect yours. *suppose I could have just made that my status today and saved this blog hu?  I think I will do that now.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Day 14 "I Put A Bird On It"

Today was one of two dates requested by my Super Crafty-Maker of pretty flower things I wear-Look-A-Like  I would probably have created something "sweeter" for my friend today had she not posted this funny link on my FB wall yesterday.  "Put A Bird On It" .  (I totally wanted to post the actual clip here and for some reason I am unable to do that at this time. IF you have a second-you should check it out. It will at least make you smile. did me anyway. 

You make me laugh. A LOT. Thank you my quirky, swirly, chatty, crafty, smarty sista! Now....get off here and go put a bird on something for crying out loud!   

....and....I just watched it again. 

Also, blog followers... Here is a recap and status of the project so far:

Day 1- "The March Hair"  Sold
Day 2-  "Sunny Side Up"  Available
Day 3-  "Penny's Hero"   Sold   (Can be reprinted after The 31 Day project-Just Ask!)
Day 4-  "Harmony House"  Not Available
Day 5-   "Bar-B-Cutie"    Sold
Day 6-  "Sandra's Church"  Sold  (Will be created in GIANT scale soon!)
Day 7-" Happy Day Friend" Sold?

Day 8- "Sweet Tweet"  Sold?
Day 9-  " B-Fly" Sold
Day 10- "Contagious" Sold- (To be reprinted after the 31 Day project-Thanks Linsey!)
Day 11- "He's Her Lobster"  Sold
Day 12- "Koi Vey!" Sold
Day 13- "Lucy's Boutique" Available

Thanks everyone for following.  This has been really fun for me so far. 
We now have 20 followers. 
I am looking to join the technically advanced world soon- and add a "Pay Pal" option to my blog so keep your fingers crossed on that one!
ALSO....I plan to do a "give a way" one day this month...I am not sure what I will do or how I will do it- but bloggers do that and I think I will try it! 

Have a great Monday!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Day 13 "Lucy's Boutique"

It's where all the girls like Hairett shop.  It's actually owned by one of Hairiett's friends, Lucy (Hence the name) It's a little boutique, they carry all the typical "prissy girl" stuff: Purses, shoes, trendy clothes, work clothes, fancy schmancy rain coats and a complete line of  "one of a kind" "hand made" "hard to find" "make your co-workers jealous" and imported accessories. Lucy's is a distributor of Tom's Shoes (of course) and she donates a certain percentage of her profits quarterly to organizations that work with underprivileged people groups in developing countries.  When Lucy isn't keeping schedules, car-pooling the littles, and caring for the elderly, she collaborates with designers, artists and wordsmiths to develop a new line of  T-shirts she hopes to debut in her shop this spring.
Be sure to follow the blog for all the latest from Lucy's.

IN OTHER NEWS......we now have 20 followers- SSSAAAWWEEEET!!!!!

Thanks so much for being a part of the prjoect!

Perhaps tomorrow I will give an update on what paintings are still available. 

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Friday, March 11, 2011

Day 11 "He's Her Lobster" Happy Birthday Dwayne!

It’s Amy’s husband Dwayne’s birthday. So sister requested today. (Even though she thinks this is dorky) Thanks for your support there Aims! Seriously-she talks a good game but she is “all in”. Along with the rest of the sisters and for that I am grateful.
I borrowed a clip from one of my favorite television shows to elaborate on today’s work. I feel there is no better way to convey the meaning. Let’s watch…shall we?

Happy Birthday D! We love you. So thankful for the day you walked into the tank and joined claws with my sister!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Day 10 "Contagious"

"Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference."
Winston Churchill

Today's painting was done in honor of my friend Lindsey's Aunt. Lindsey wrote a brief note about her aunt and I asked if I could post it. I have included that in this blog. When Lindsey requested March 10, she described her beloved aunt to me and told me a funny story about her. Lindsey described her big lips and huge smile-always laughing and making others laugh, she was a giving lady who worked as a nurse, she had great joy and it spread to Lindsey and so many others. Lindsey said her aunt was hysterically funny and crazy. She fought a brief battle with cancer, but her legacy continues to live on and even thrive. I just pictured this-bright and smiling "crazy daisy" dancing in the rain...I imagined Lindsey, who is also hysterically funny AND crazy, joining her aunt, celebrating the life she loves and spreading joy to all those who know her.

That's the thing about attitude....good or bad, it's contagious. Thanks for being a part of my project Lindsey!
(Have a super-fantasticorific day my friend!)

A note from Lindsey: 
"Julie DeVersa was a wonderful aunt! She was lively and fun and spunky! Julie was always laughing, smiling, and making you want to do the same. March 10th is Julie's birthday. She passed away after a short battle with cancer. We were devastated to lose Julie, but are so blessed to have her memories that will last forever. Every time I think of Julie, I smile."

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Day 9 "B-Fly"

You know....- Be cool, be great, be ALL THAT YOU CAN BE! (Do I have to give a link to the US Army here?). I have painted a dragon fly before, it was purchased as a gift for my "look-a-like". I called that one "So Fly"
I like to try to come up with clever names for my art work. How much fun would  it be to work for a major paint company and help name paint colors? (Or OPI and name nail polish OR.....flavors of Ben and Jerry's ice cream.. ) I like a pun, I am prone to nonsense and I tend to have bouts of "clever". Given the appropriate comrades and adequate caffeine I would enjoy that.
Since we are not planning my future career and if I don't finish this blog and get to the office-I may be jeopardizing my current career. I will get to the point. The painting today might be a good representation of not only what I hope for myself, but what I hope for others. We (I say we because I am often the worst about it) sell ourselves short. We play down or even shut out compliments from friends, we sometimes struggle to acknowledge personal accomplishments, we discount professional achievements, but why? So others won't feel badly about themselves? or even others won't be mad? Nonsense! I am not a "toot your own horn" kinda gal-in fact I frown upon it. But I also frown upon the habit of dumbing yourself down or taking back seat or not working as hard as you can to achieve a goal-for the sake of others. I give this advise. Do your best. Work hard then enjoy the benefit of the labor. Celebrate the successes of others AND your self. Distance yourself from people who choose not to do the same. Accept compliments. (A simple "thank you" will do). Be sweet. Be a great dresser (um..yea, I said it-what I mean is dress in a way that makes you feel great about yourself) Be smart. Be cool. Be as awesome as you are. BE FLY!

 This Poem is by Marianne Williamson, and I feel it best expresses my own thoughts on the subject.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Day 8 "Sweet Tweet"

Answer to a question no one asked: I love things in miniature. Hence the tiny bird amidst the giant lolly pops.  No one reserved March 8th- Even IS my college roomie's birthday and perhaps she was on my mind when I painted this....  Have a great day-Be Sweet!  I love you G-6!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Day 7 "Happy Day Friend"


Happy Birthday Lisa!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Day 6 "Churchy Church" For Sandra

So I was a little late finishing today's work. Partly because I slept past 5 am. (It's Sunday---cut me some slack will ya?) And partly because I DID finish today’s work and just couldn't leave well enough alone so I added a little here- and some there then decided it needed a wrought iron hand rail leading to the steps etc. etc. and all at once- it was awful. so...I started over- this time with my original idea. Sandra "Sammie" I call her is our church secretary and she asked for the church I mentioned being on my mind. So I did it this morning for you Sammie! I hope you like it- and I hope the windows make you smile. They make me smile. *Side note-One week into this and I have gained a follower (woo hoo! for bloggers apparently that is a very big deal! I have 12 now! and I love you all) Secondly- as I was painting this church FOR THE SECOND TIME today- I realized I want to make a big big big painting of this church- and I will soon purchase a big big canvas to do that. so-the project is working..I AM creating something (fantastic or not) of my own imagination each day- and it IS inspiring me to do MORE of my OWN work! SWEET!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Day 5 "Bar-b-Cutie"


Nick name Rudie
She's a beauty
Nevery snooty
Sometimes moody
Da owl says "hootie"
This pig got booty

Today TK will be presenting his new book "Meat, Fire, Wood" (a book about West Tennessee Bar-B-Q joints) to The West Tennessee Historical Society.   Happy Saturday friends!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Day 4 "Harmony House"

I could easily title this post and picture "where it all began".   I was 14 years old the first time I worked for Miss Judy and Beth.  I don't think there was even a resturatunt back then.  I was asked to serve  tea and basically buss tables at a holiday dinner.  Two years later I was 16-I had my own car and by that summer Harmony House had opend. I was hired to baby sit Beth's children. As fate would have it, I ended up working in the resturaunt. (And by "as fate would have it" I mean-I wasn't that great at baby sitting. Honestly?  I really never have been that GREAT at it. Sappose I am not particularly talented as it pertains to children-I mean-kids are always in need of something  "Im thirsty, I'm hungry, I need help going to the bathroom, can you help me with this?" And they are messy. I don't say this about Beth's children, I say this about ALL children- How do they get sticky all the time? Okay it's way too early in the blog to get all worked up- I was saying working with children is not my strong suit- Im okay with it) So...As fate would have it...I began working in the resturaunt. I came in early in the mornings to press linen napkins and ready their collection of miss matched antique table cloths. Durring the lunch service I played "hostess" or filled ice tea glasses and a few weeks into the summer I started waiting tables. When the lunch service was over I washed dishes or swept floors or ran errands for the kitchen. I continued working at Harmony House thru that summer and although I wasn't exceptional at any of the work-I was exceptionally eager to learn. I loved that place. It smelled like freshly baked bread and appricot tea. Everything there was calm and pretty and crisp-like the cover of a Martha Stewart Living magazine.  ("Freshly baked herb bread in the oven? It's a good thing") I mean it, it was all just right. From the sample cookie on the table to the lime slice on your glass-it is all perfect and it made me happy then-just as the memory makes me happy this morning.   Beth would ask me to load up the cd changer with cds from the drawer and she had all this great stuff- James Taylor, Kenny G,  Eric Clapton. Beth taught me about details like the acceptable volume for that music in an atmosphere such as this. She taught me to pan cookie dough into precise ball shapes in such a way that all cookies would be the same size.Consistentcy and presentation, fundamentals for success when serving food. I learned valueable lessons like  "pour the tea thru twice" means "pour two pots of WATER thru the machine" and I learned it causes quite a stir if you actually do pour already brewd tea back into the machine. (still sorry about that)Judy taught me some key information I still use and pass along today, like how to choose produce and what type of  meat from the butcher makes the best hamburgers on the grill. And that it's better to do without something than to serve a lesser version of that item. (I don't buy tomatoes out of season and I can still pick a perfect avacado pretty much every time)   I learned about breaking down chickens to roast for "Beth's Grilled Chicken" an essential skill in any kitchen. Even in Africa.  I learned to appreciate all the work and behind the scenes attention to detail it takes to present a wedding reception that litterally looks and feels like a scene from a clasic film. I learned that customers are not always kind but you should ALWAYS be. And on the subject of kindness-I learned that from them too. Miss Judy was my Sunday School teacher for more years than she wanted to be I'm sure.  (I know it's hard to believe but as a child-and clearly I grew out of it- I was precocious and a bit of a cut up-finding it difficult to be quiet or still and nearly impossible to do both at the same time). Harmony House is a chapter in my story I go back to time and time again.  I still meet childhood friends there when I go home-and the vibe is still the same.  Such  talent and so generous many years ago to share that talent with a wild child who just wanted to earn enough money to fuel her Geo Metro.

In Memoriam Mrs. Judy Cockrell 1940-2011

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Day 3 "Penny's Hero" and "She Reaches For Greatness"

31 day project (still nameless..) a new painting, on the fly, every morning.. Some dates have been reserved for specific meanings known only to the "reserver", however I had some back ground information to go on for today. Penny,  I identify on many levels with your admiration for your grandfather.  Thank you for being a part of my project!  ...And here is some advice no one asked for: If you have a "hero "and you get the chance, let them know. I seriously doubt you will regret it, and even if that person doesn't like you (and come on! What are the odds of someone not liking YOU?) it will probably make their day! 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Day 2 "Sunny Side Up" or...

Charlie's Chicken! Trying to stay away from painting birds and chickens or well, at least OTHER people's birds and chickens. I wasn't sure I even wanted to paint a chicken this morning. However, I woke up this morning thinking of Charlie's.  I searched really quickly just now for a website to the restaurant and did not find one. I did become a  "fan" on facebook of a location in Pryor, OK. I suppose that will do, but what I wanted was to post a link so non-Oklahomans could check out the interior of this magical chicken joint and make the connection to my  morning project.  
Supposed to be a beautiful day today-Hope yours is "EGGCELLENT"

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Day 1 "The March Hair"

The March Hair. 

The March Hair, so much flair.
Stop and stare-just be aware.
She does not apologize, or try to disguise.
She put a flower there, with so much care.
Humiditized, mesmerized and super sized!
The March Hair