Somerset Studio Gallery - summer 2008
Monday, December 28, 2009

my ambition...

Found the following quote today in an interview with artist Geninne Zlatkis. Love her blog and her birds. :)

Albert Einstein once said “The monotony and solitude of a quiet life stimulates the creative mind."

It reminds me of a scripture that I've chosen as my life's goal..."Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands..." 1 Thes. 4:11
Sunday, November 29, 2009

what a difference a day makes...


Yesterday morning I had to take a photo of the warm glow that the sunrise cast on everything. I used to think the dead grass was ugly but over the years I've come to appreciate its beauty (even without the pinkish-golden glow from the sunrise). What a different look we woke up to this morning. I had to take another photo of pretty much the same view from the east end of the deck just to show the contrast.

Let it snow. I'm ready for it now. Have a warm and happy winter everyone.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Granny's Gold Recipe Box

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

where women create

How did I miss this new magazine about studios? Probably because I missed a lot last year starting when I blew out my knee exactly one year ago tomorrow. I had a lot of time on my hands and began obsessing about my own tiny, cluttered art space while sitting with my leg in that brace for two months. I also became fascinated by other artists' studios during that time so I'm anxious to get my hands on this magazine now that I know it's available.

The current issue is of particular interest because New Mexico artist Pamela Armas and her studio are featured in it and also on the Where Women Create Blog where you can see several photos of Pamela's amazing 22,000 sq. ft. studio and art space. My friend Yvonne (who does the annual Egg Show here in Magdalena) knows Pamela and we tried to visit her last year when we attended the Mountainair Sunflower Festival but were disappointed to find that she was out of town. We're still hoping to get back there one of these days. Yvonne says that photos just don't do Pamela's place just have to see's that fantastic.
Monday, November 2, 2009

journal folder

My son needed a journal/sketchbook for his cabinet/furniture building business and asked me to come up with something for him. Not sure this will hold up to being tossed in a backpack but it was a start. I'm working on a different flexible cover for it today. Maybe it will work better. (oh and try to ignore the puny elastic cord...I'm in search of some that's bigger but haven't had a chance to shop for it. Does anyone have a good source for bigger corded elastic in different colors?)
Wednesday, October 28, 2009

not ready for this yet...

I can't believe we've gone so quickly from the fall beauty (shown in some lovely photos posted this week on Elaine's and Leau's blogs) to this. I don't love winter.
Friday, September 25, 2009

Haevyn's art doll

I'm doing art with my 5-year-old granddaughter, Haevyn, once a week. We made this yesterday. :)
Saturday, June 20, 2009

our new granddaughter

Promise Lynn Doyal, 7 lbs. 7 oz., 20 in. long arrived today (June 20, 2009) at 2:59 pm. She's beautiful and looks so much like her mom!

"And so, after we had patiently endured, we obtained the Promise." Heb. 6:15 (NKJV) (sorry for the slight alteration of scripture "he" to "we". :)
Saturday, May 16, 2009

confessions of a chuckoholic

Hi, I'm Laurie and I'm a Chuckoholic. I have become obsessed with and addicted to a television show. Never before in my life have I done anything like this but I was vulnerable and in need of serious escapism and comedic relief in my life during the past year. I hate to sound so dramatic but the NBC show Chuck sorta saved my sanity even while inducing an insanity of it's own into my life.
With all the drama associated with what has been happening with my grandmother's deteriorating health, this silly little techy fantasy (which combines comedy, romance and spy action and a tiny bit of drama with colorful, endearing characters that are surprisingly well acted) became my weekly escape from reality and a bit of a tonic for my mental and emotional well-being.

I discovered it last spring while house sitting for my daughter in Colorado. I never would've seen it at home because at the time we didn't have local channels. After returning to NM, I watched online so we could see the episodes I had missed but the more I watched it the more I enjoyed it so that soon I had to resubscribe to local channels on DirectTV, just so I could watch season two of Chuck. Pretty soon that wasn't enough and I had to buy the season one DVD so I could enjoy the episodes on a larger screen and any time I wanted to see them again. Just this past January, when Gramma's health began the intense decline and I never knew where I would be or what might be happening on Monday evenings at 7 pm, I finally subscribed to the show on Amazon Video on Demand so I'd never miss an episode and could rewatch season two whenever I needed a fix. I even joined some Chuck forums online so I could see what other "Chucksters" were saying about each episode. I became very much like a drug pusher, successfully convincing my husband and some family members to become viewers. Just like any addiction, there was a progression into the insanity.

The show became one of NBC's "bubble shows" and in danger of cancellation this spring (largely due to the extremely competitive time slot when it aired) but a group of incredibly loyal and crazy fans (and critics) banded together to fight for their favorite show. Sometime this spring during the darkest hours of my grandmother's decline I finally crossed over that fine line between being fond of something or being obsessed with it and joined the cause to "SAVE CHUCK". I wrote letters to NBC, I pre-ordered season two on DVD, I made sure to watch online just in case viewing it on Hulu or counted toward anything in the ratings game and I downloaded every episode onto my computer so I would never, for one moment be without Chuck if I needed to rewatch an episode. I've annoyed all my FB friends with an endless assault of Chuck-related updates. We even stayed with my son and his wife in Albuquerque the night of the finale just so we could buy Subway sandwiches and participate in the "Finale and a Footlong" aspect of the Save Chuck campaign to show Chuck's sponsor Subway that we meant business and paid attention to commercials and product placement in the show.

Two days after the finale, Gramma passed away but I continued to self-medicate with Chuck. I scoured the internet for news about renewal and anxiously awaited the day of NBC's Infront announcement of it's fall lineup only to be disappointed, along with millions of other Chuck Fanatics, that NBC was postponing it's decision and would announce Chuck's fate on May 19th. About a week after Gramma's passing I was on the NBC Chuck forum and we were discussing what more could be done to Save Chuck. If you'd like to know the rest of the story and hear about my involvement in the Have A Heart - Renew Chuck AHA Campaign go here to read an online article by Brian Howard.

The craziness continues as we await news of Chuck's future but we are hopeful and cautiously confident that we have been heard. If not, and Chuck isn't renewed for a third season, at the very least, perhaps our obsession has benefited someone. Click below to go directly to the We Heart Chuck blog.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Leona Mae Killoy. 3-25-1914 to 4-29-2009

I feel so sad and relieved all at the same time but Gramma passed away this week on Wednesday. I didn't know it was possible to feel both emotions to this extent, all at the same time.

What a fighter she was. CHF, diabetes, heart valve issues etc., and 95 years of age but man, such a fierce little thing. She actually had a fever of over 108 degrees before she finally gave it up the other was crazy. Her nurse said he had never seen anything like it.

She was always so fussy about her appearance and grooming she would've hated the way her hair looked that day. She was also very, very picky about her personal comfort. We were always fluffing pillows and changing her sleeping (beds, bedding, etc.) and resting (chairs, couches, recliners, etc.) accoutrements because it seemed her opinions about such things changed weekly. Her food preferences changed frequently also and she preferred a varied menu up until the last week or so. Except for a few standbys. If nothing else sounded good, most of the time either mashed potatoes and gravy or buttered toast, scrambled eggs (made with half and half, of course) and coffee with cream would do. She also drank multiple glasses of "zippy water" (gingerale and perrier water mixed together) throughout each day for the past three months since her stay in the hospital in January. I asked the funeral home director on Thursday morning, when Mom and I went to make arrangements, if she had given them any trouble the night before because she was always so persnickety about her accommodations. I was glad he laughed and didn't look at me strangely for trying to interject a little humor into the situation.

Anyway, gonna miss her like crazy. I hope there is pinochle and feather pillows in eternity. She'll probably be pissed if there isn't. :)
Sunday, April 5, 2009

Maybe I'm depressed or something


I guess that's what it is. Maybe, hopefully, it's just a temporary condition because I'm just so tired of watching my gramma die slowly, ever so slowly -- a little bit more of her gone every day it seems. It's very sad. And it's wearing me out -- draining the life out of me -- more mentally than anything. Her hospice nurse said that she had declined around 30% during the month of March when he visited last Friday and I'm not handling this prolonged, protracted dying process very well.

I wish I had taken the beautiful photo above but I found it here and I loved the comment that one person made, "A very nice shot. I congratulate you for this picture and it really touch my heart because the water drops on it can't make her alive anymore." I can actually feel the reality that this photo portrays.

Consequently, I'm not very creative right now. I feel a little brain dead myself and like I want to hold at bay all feeling and emotions. Too painful to allow so I fill my bits of spare time with meaningless TV shows (like the Chuck link I've just added to the page) or movies that make me laugh and escape when I have time to escape the present circumstances. Some people seem to draw creativity out of the dark places in their lives but it appears that I'm more of a fair weather creative.

Are you able to create during times of stress and sadness or heavy situations? I'd be interested in hearing from others and their experiences.
Thursday, March 19, 2009

more cheater art

Just got this one back from the framer in Socorro. This is an ATC (3.5" x 2.5") I did several years ago to use as an example of a hand-painted artist's trading card. I needed it in a hurry for part of a presentation to a group I was trying to interest in the concept of ATCs. Anyway, it was a quicky painting accomplished (again) by sort of cheating because I didn't have much time.

I turned a photo of a tea cup (this one I had actually photographed myself) into a line drawing in photoshop or illustrator (can't remember now what program I used) which I then printed out on watercolor paper in a very, very faint light gray. Then, using watercolors, I hand-painted it using the original photo as a guide for the colors.
Saturday, March 14, 2009

cheater art

I got a call yesterday from someone requesting that I donate some art for a silent auction to benefit the local hospice program. How could I refuse since the hospice program has been such a benefit to us with what has been going on lately with my grandma.

I messed with an art idea yesterday that had been on my mind to try but still didn't come up with anything appropriate for their "spring tea" benefit luncheon being held tomorrow afternoon. I was awake this morning at 4 am so I decided to try again and throw together something a bit more tea partyish.

I put a "borrowed" photo through a bit of digital manipulation to make it little less photolike and then made a mask from the outline of the photo printed onto regular copy paper and adhered that onto watercolor paper cut to 5"x7". I then rubbed in powdered pigments all around the masked area and sealed that with matte acrylic. I flipped the photo in the program I was using (Illustrator), printed it onto a transparency sheet, removed the masking from the watercolor paper, rolled hand sanitizer over the background and placed the printed transparency face down and ran both through my etching press. After a couple of minutes I removed the transparency, let it dry, added a few more pigments and sprayed again with matte acrylic. It was super fast and looks more in keeping with their theme but I can't get past thinking that using photo transfers is really a lot like cheating. Maybe if I had done more to make it my own art (like using a photo I'd taken or adding more details and layers) I wouldn't feel so uncomfortable about it. If only I'd had more time.
Monday, January 19, 2009

my cutie gramma

Here's a photo of my cutie gramma, Leona. She's 94, going to be 95 on March 25 if she is still with us. Knowing her, I'd be surprised if she isn't. I call her the energizer bunny because it doesn't seem to matter what happens, she always seems to bounce back and keeps going. She has been living by herself for the most part except when (because of her health) she requires some extra help (like right now) and then my mom and I are there.

She broke her hip five years ago and bounced back from that and several things since then. The last few weeks she's been declining in health and vitality and had a five day hospital stay. It was pretty serious the day she went in and we don't remember ever seeing her so out of her head. Turned out to be a sinus infection and from what we've been told, any type of infection can be serious for the elderly. It's been up and down since she went in on January 3. One day we think she's not going to make it and the next day she's ready to play a round of four handed pinochle. Jimmy and I have joked about it over the past few months and started saying, at times when she wasn't feeling very perky, that we had to make a trip to Socorro to administer theraputic pinochle to Gramma. Nine times out of ten it has worked although this past weekend despite an extreme effort on her part. she was admittedly off her game. She and Jimmy lost two in a row to mom and I. Normally, losing one game would make her very determined to put up a good fight on the next one. Course Saturday morning we couldn't get her to wake up until after 11 am and discovered that her blood sugar had dropped very low and as a result, she was pretty tired and worn out all weekend.

She's been amazingly on top of things mentally until the past couple of months, in fact we always used to make her keep score when we played games. It's been sad to see her going downhill but she's stubborn so she is always trying to gain strength and get back on top of things. When she was in the hospital a couple weeks ago she didn't even know us for a couple of days, then suddenly she was there again and you could see her fighting to stay on top of details like what day it was and find out exactly what had been happening to her.

Apparently, Leona means "Lion", which makes sense and is very fitting for her. Maybe when I have more time I'll explore that a bit more but for right now I just thought I'd offer this introduction to my little gramma and explain that taking care of her has priority over pretty much everything else in my life right now. My long absences from blogging will probably continue for a while.

After sitting on my butt for almost two months with the knee thing I wasn't exactly prepared to jump back into full time, intense caregiving but in some ways having to focus on her physical needs has forced me to recover more quickly than I might have otherwise. I'm still a little gimpy but I've made tremendous progress in the past few weeks thanks to the scheduled and the unplanned physical therapy.