Friday, January 31, 2014

Funtry Friday Country Cold

Actually, I can not complain about the cold. Nope. It is a LOT colder in a LOT of other places. ***And!*** I am totally grateful that I am not whacking six inches of ice like I did a few years ago!

This week it was warm enough for great Bird TV. Our huge flock of black birds are back and there were guineas singing "good morning" on the porch!


This guinea is a pretty cool color combo. One year they hatched out some keets and this singer is a blend of Pearl and White guineas. Love the mottled color.

Forrest decided that I had paid entirely too much attention to the guineas, and I wasn't going anywhere until I paid total attention to the Chief Cat.


Ya know - sitting on feet is a pretty good way to stop a human. I guess there was a commercial on Bird TV, or something.

Or maybe a weather report.


Look at all those little hairs, ladies and gentlemen! I am here to say that Billie Jane is shedding and that means that spring is on the way. Of course, she does shed first... and, well, it could take a while for everyone else to catch up...

But, look at that grin on Hershey's face...


I think he knows something. Maybe we will get a little bit of warmer weather - at least for a while.

Now that the sun is setting on another fun in the country Friday, I'm going to enjoy the sunset - and then head inside to warm up!


Happy Funtry Friday!
Blessings,
Kathy

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Better? Yes, better!

10 ways you know that you are feeling better.

  • You start to look for your crayons.
  • You wake up in the morning before you start to cough.
  • The cold morning starts to feel good again.
  • You start looking for the chocolate.
  • Cabin fever begins.
  • You want to call people just to make them laugh at your laryngitis.
  • Plain oatmeal begins to be boring.
  • You pick up a brush and dip it in paint. Any color - doesn't matter.
  • You start eating the chocolate you finally found.
  • You think that 8 pm might be a little early for bed even if you didn't have two naps that day.
  • You look at the words in your Bible and they suddenly make much more sense.
  • You realize that, no, you can't count to ten without numbers.

Feeling much better (finally!), thank you.
Blessings,
Kathy

"For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth;
And the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind.
But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create;
For behold, I create Jerusalem for rejoicing,
And her people for gladness."
Isaiah 65:17-18

Friday, January 24, 2014

Funtry Friday - what?

Yep, even Benny Bunny squints at the camera! Whaaat???


Maybe he just wanted to eat his carrot all by himself. Privately. Without the paparazzi.

And, what's up with this?


Hmmmm.... Guess I had better let Hershey know that remodeling his food dish will not result in larger portions. Good thing these are flexible - in both directions.

But, this - this is much more fun!


I love the beautiful colors that show up with the setting sun.

What did the setting sun look like?


Beautiful as always!

And to this I have only one thing to say...


Whatever. Just whatever.

Hope you had some fun things to watch in your neck of the woods. Happy Funtry Friday!

Blessings,
Kathy

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

More fun with the grapes!

Remember me telling you about the very fun painting exercises that Caroline Linscott showed us? Well, today when I finally managed to doing a little painting, I decided to revisit the Five Step Painting exercise. The goal is to do a quick watercolor sketch using 5 simple steps. So, I thought out my 5 steps, and proceeded to paint.

Step one - light purple sketch of the basic grape shapes.

 
Step two - darker purple to give more definition to the grape shapes.
 
 
Step three - sketch in the leaves with a light green.
 
 
 
Yikes! That is mega bright green... oh well, on with the sketch...
 
Step four - add definition to the leaves with darker green.
 
 
Also known as totally destroy the leaves! haha Next step, please...
 
Step five - add a little alizarin crimson highlights, just for fun!
 
 
Step six (yes, I color outside the lines, too!) - decide that perhaps more alizarin crimson could only improve the outcome.
 
 
So there is my little Five Step Painting from beginning to end. This little watercolor sketch took 17 minutes to complete - which is just about right for a little warm up exercise.
 
Next time, I will *ahem* pay closer attention when I mix my greens... and plan my shapes for my leaves more carefully.
 
Happy painting!
Blessings,
Kathy

Friday, January 17, 2014

Funtry Friday *cough*

Well, I am still sick and coughing and *hack* does rhyme with *quack*...


It is really time for me to get my ducks in a row, but I thought I would take a Funtry Friday break and show you the cute sock giraffe I made for Miss Jubilee for Christmas.


Happy little critter - even has an authentic giraffe mane.



This little baby will join the sock menagerie which includes a sock horse, a sock monkey, and a sock elephant.

I'm thinking maybe a sock dinosaur might be next...

Happy Funtry Friday!
Blessings,
Kathy

PS Hopefully my camera will be full of fun furry and feathered folk next week - and hopefully my voice will not be *quacking* any more either!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Five simple steps...

My last watercolor class featured a group of very fun exercises to get your creative juices flowing. One of them was to do a painting with only five steps.


Ha, for the record - I think I missed a step, but it's an okay start. It was a very fun exercise - quick and very "free". No masterpiece was required, since this is a sketch to "warm up". Rather like whatever a jogger does before they run - equally important as running, but totally different.

Five fun steps to a complete painting!

Hmmm. Sounds familiar...

10 foods never to eat
15 ways to get your kids attention
5 vacation spots you don't want to miss
12 ways to save your marriage
1 perfect diet
3 ways to get ahead at work
7 rules for a great day

Amazing how riveting the sure cure list can be - for everything from training your pet, to life and death decisions. How fast our eye travels there and how often we go read them. Over and over.

Kind of interesting that at the bottom of most of them is an address where you can send a bunch of money and get your secret to success. Yeah... I'm skipping that one for sure. There's another place that has all the answers - my Owner's Manual. Tried and true - I think I will stick with what God said.

 
All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching,
for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;
so that the man of God may be adequate,
equipped for every good work.
 
2Timothy 3:16-17
 
Blessings,
Kathy

Friday, January 10, 2014

Oh my, oh my, oh my! Putting the FUN in FUNtry Friday!

Remember that old saying: "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade"?

Today is a lemonade day! Hey - what better day than Funtry Friday to make lemonade - right?

Usually I post sunset pictures, but why not start the day off with a glorious sunrise! So, here you go!

 
 
I snapped a very fast photo of this hawk - very fast! I took a second photo and I got lots of tree and sky and no hawk.


Every time I go outside, Benny thinks it's feeding time at the zoo. How could you resist this? (If you can resist this, don't tell me how - I don't want to know! LOL)


 
So I buy the large bag of carrots from Costco... Lots of critters here enjoy them! 
 


Now, explain to me some of reasoning behind weird dog behavior... Or maybe I don't want to know that either!  For instance, why did I come home to find both of my dogs eating the Hollyhock roots?

And how did they know the exact day I would be in a rush to leave in the morning. They picked that very morning to dig a hole under the fence which was almost large enough for an escape. Filling it in would have done no good. I was out of bricks. No rocks big enough.

Okay - bring out the "big guns".


No self respecting country gal is ever with out a few chunks of wood and some old tires. Voila! Cookie seemed to think this was just as interesting as trying to get out of their yard.

And here's one more little photo. This is a drawing I did of the house where my brother-in-law grew up. He had an old photo and I swiped a digital copy of it. Sneaky me!


It was fun to draw this and give it to him at Christmas. He thinks the little boy out front is him, but it is hard to tell from the photo. He was really excited because he remembers this home very well.

Well, that's the lemonade that I will enjoy today while try to get over this nasty cough/whatever. And while I try to figure out Gimp, since my limping old Photoshop program no longer wants to work right. You may have noticed a slight lack of photo editing in today's pictures... ahem. Sorry! I know I will find something out there that will work - and when I do, I will have another glass of lemonade!

Happy Funtry Friday!

Blessings,
Kathy

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Diving in to some watercolor fun!

Sometimes it's just good to have a flurry of lots of little fun exercises to get back into the painting groove. This week, Caroline Linscott took us through some very fun and simple techniques.  All of them were ones that "loosen up" a watercolor painting - which is really good for me. I am such a detail person that I forget to just let the paint and the water play. 

We painted a landscape with a fun sky and grapes using just five steps. Then we did this very fun technique with saran wrap. Fun!


There were three layers of mountains done with the saran wrap, then another mountain and trees in the foreground. This is my work in progress.

This demonstration of painting clouds was a lot of fun, too.  First you wet the paper and then do a wet into wet wash.


That large brush delivers lots of paint very evenly.


The paint is still very wet here. What luscious rich colors! Now for the clouds...


Using a paper towel, push, dab, twist, and drag your way to clouds!


After your painting is dry, you can go back in and add some detail to the dark areas, create some shadows, and add wash colors to the clouds and the sky - because, after all, "the sky is the limit"!

See why I am always saying that watercolor is so much fun? Happy painting!

Blessings,
Kathy

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Distractions?

Just a minute... I need to go find something.

45 minutes later...

Huh. I was sure I saw it over there. Where was that...?

28 minutes later

Now, what was I doing? Oh. Writing a blog post.

Ummm... Hi there!

Just a minute, okay... I'll be right back.
again...


There. Photo Number One.

I seem to have had a few distractions today. All day. Including this morning at church... Communion Sunday and I was distracted.




Distracted by the reflections.

Directly under the cross there is a reflection of three people. Stripes of blue, pink, tan, red, tan... Three imperfect, bent reflections wrapped over the bumps and creases of the metal surface. You really can't even tell that those reflections are people.

I kept thinking about how imperfect those reflections were. Certainly not like looking in a mirror!

Oh, and how is my reflection? How am I reflecting Christ? Do others see only a bent and twisted scarcely recognizable blurred image of *something*? Am I a distraction? Or do others see and recognize that Jesus is reflected in my words and actions? Oh, I think it is time to polish that reflection!

Blessings,
Kathy

Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.
Jude 1: 24 -25

Friday, January 3, 2014

Funtry Friday - a finally moment!

Drum roll please.....

Ta da!

(hopefully a video will appear...)



Now, imagine that this is a 2 x 4... because that really is his favorite toy. And imagine that he is walking all over the place swinging it around...

Yeah, that would be why he has a stick, instead of a 2 x 4!

Happy Funtry Friday!

Blessings,
Kathy

PS I know... all this for an 18 second very shaky video. Some learning curves are easier than others!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Resolutions?

Happy New Year - and welcome to my New Year's Resolution Free Zone.


This is not on any "to do" list that I have ever made.

You will not find a list of resolutions I plan to keep.
You will not find a suggestion of ways to make a list of resolutions you plan to do.
You will not find a bucket full of ways to forgive yourself when you don't keep your resolutions.

Nope.
Not one.
None!

Why?
Why don't I dive into the new year with a wagon load of resolutions pulled by an overdose of gumption?

Because.
Well, not "just because".
Rather, because I resolve to do things all year long. Sometimes it's a thing I resolve to do until it's finished, and sometimes I resolve to do something by a certain date. But I never pick January 1st as a day to make every change I think I need to make for the entire year.

I ask you: "Why would you do that to yourself?" Do you not like you? Would you do that to someone else? Whoa!

And, hey - I'm not suggesting that we should never have any goals for our lives. What I am suggesting is that we dump the "it's-January-1-and-I-have-to....and-to....and-to....NOW". If you are a planner and January 1 is your pivotal day, how about just picking one thing. Just one. And then give yourself a real reasonable time frame to do that thing.

Example? Sure.
Toss the resolution to eat only carrots and loose 25 pounds in two weeks. Instead, make the decision to buy less snack foods and park farther away from the grocery store door. I give the carrot diet two, maybe three days max. Bet you can do the other one a lot longer - and without a deprivation induced cookie coma.

See, to me, a "resolution" should be a change I want to make to my life, that will be so beneficial, I will want it to be a permanent change.

So, welcome to my New Year's Resolution Free Zone - and welcome to carefully planning successful permanent changes for yourself!

Happy New Year Adventures!

Blessings,
Kathy

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