Thursday, April 29, 2010

Update on the crime scene......

Growing up in the New York City metropolitan area, I was used to the police blotter containing reports of criminal activity, serious stuff, in the newspapers. Murders, robberies, assaults etc., all the makings of a good book or TV series.

When there was a monkey loose in the apple tree in our backyard, it did not make the police blotter. In Maine it would have been in the headlines. 

So to illustrate, in Maine, well, things are different......

Documented in the local Police Blotter a couple of weeks ago: (all true....with my personal commentary, of course.)
"Lake Road caller reported that four occupants of a vehicle with duct tape on the door locks were asking residents if they wanted their trees trimmed."
(Duct tape on the locks...a very sticky situation. Call the cops.)

"Ray Road caller requested to speak to an officer regarding a domestic situation that occurred last year."
(After giving it some thought, someone's wife  just couldn't get over hubby not putting the cover back on the toothpaste. It was just eating at her day after day until finally, she couldn't take it anymore and snapped.)

"Annex Road caller reported that their neighbor had been harassing them by intentionally running their dogs up and down the road in front of the caller's house, making their dogs bark."
(This is why I have cats.)

"Pine Road caller requested to speak with an officer, as a group of their chickens were missing."
(Come to find out they were dressed in dog costumes running up and down a road in front of their neighbor's house, making the dogs bark.)
(OK, OK I know the image is not a chicken in a dog costume...there's only so much I can do.)

 And finally, this one may make you lose sleep lest this should happen to you....
"Osher Road caller reported that someone pulled into their driveway, and looked at the trailer that was for sale. Caller thought that this was suspicious."
(Everyone knows, a For Sale sign actually means Keep Out!)

Am buying a taser.....there's trouble afoot.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Lil pooch, God rest his soul.....

A woman I work with had me do this portrait for her son. The dog has recently passed away.
This is a pastel piece done from a photo they took on her son's wedding day. That is the bride's bouquet that the dog is munching on. Sweet.

I have often done portraits of people/pets that are no longer with us. The saddest one I did was of a young father and his 2 year old son sitting on his lap. The father was murdered in a drive by-shooting while at a McDonalds in California many years ago.
My mind raced into many scenerios behind that portrait the entire time I worked on it.

The second saddest was a portrait of a grown son that had committed suicide.

I hope my work brought some sense of peace to the people I did it for.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

35 years! Egads!

I've been away for a few days....
It's school vacation!

AND I've been celebrating my 35th Wedding Anniversary!  Actually, two of us have been celebrating it because because that's what a wedding is. A pair. And this pair got hitched 35 years ago. BEST THING THAT COULD'VE HAPPENED TO ME !! Seems like just yesterday... 

And the only difference between then and now is that I now weigh 10 lbs more. Other than that, we look exactly  the same. (That is, of course, if I don't look in  the mirror...)

Nevertheless, we celebrated by taking a mini-trip to the Live Free or DIE state, New Hampshire. 

Mount Washington still has snow on it, this is the view of it from North Conway. I like Mount Washington because that is the exact spot that Birdman, aka Mr. Downeastdoingstuff, asked me to be his wife. One quarter of the way down  from the hike to the top of Mount Washington, he popped the question. And I said yes.

So, to commemorate, we booked a mini vacation at the White Mountain Hotel in North Conway, New Hampshire. The Romance package! Oooo La La!
Here is a view of the Dining Room windows, with a view of the White Mountains.
It's situated at the edge of a massive cliff. The parking lot is just a narrow patch of trees away from this foreboding precipice. This is not a place of respite for anyone with rock slideaphobia.
It has a year-round heated pool and hot tub. We've been here before for lunch in the winter and have seen  people swimming around as if it was the fourth of July, surrounded by drifting steam.

On our last day there, I took a dip in the morning after my workout. It was 48 degrees outside, but the pool was heavenly. Then a soak in the hot tub, which got me so hot that I was able to walk around in the cold air in just my bathing suit and not feel it. That, my friend, is perfect.
(Mr. DEDS wimped out....)

The main lobby. If you can biggify this photo, look at the fabulous painting of the hotel over the mantle. 

Another shot of the lobby.

As part of our Romance Package, we got 6 chocolate covered gargantuan strawberries and a bottle of champagne delivered at around 4 pm. (Yeah, we got 6 of them. Being in a Romantic mood, I ate 3 of them before I took the shot.) (In the end, Birdman ate ONE.......) (He did beat me in the champagne department, though.) With Romance in the air, I promptly fell asleep after a couple of glasses of the bubbly. 
Oh well.....
The night was still young.....
The view from our dining room table. The evening meal was absolutely wonderful. Salad, entree, and dessert.....delish.

After checkout, we took a ride on the Kancamagus Highway, a 28 mile winding road right through the middle of the White Mountains.
At the highest point on our route, there was still plenty of snow.

Ah, but no hot tub. So we got some ice cream in Lincoln, New Hampshire and then headed home.

A spectacular three days.

Thank you, Birdman......for everything.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Happy Birthday Donna....

Happy Birthday to a lovely lady and a good friend. Love ya.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


My beautiful forsythia blooms.....;-(

Keep your heads up little tulip and iris sprouts, it'll get better.

Welcome to my first day of spring school vacation.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.......

In 1999 my son was 13 years old. He was so impressed with my TV Guide covers, who wouldn't be, that he wanted to create some of his very own. 

Having no TV Guides around, he found a Reader's Digest somewhere and the TV section of our Sunday paper. 

Here are the results......They're Animatronic, of course. (Photographed in sequential action shots....)

Viewer is required to pull the tab on her wrist...

Eyes start to close and tongue comes out....

Eyes closed and tongue in full Gene Simmons  position...

Another pull tab creation...


My Dad would be proud.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Altered 'books'.....

When you're an art major all your life, you always have to be doing something. Creating. All the time, whether it's in your head or reality. It's a curse sometimes.

The thing you're creating has to be something different, clever, innovative, creative or......maybe.....sorta stupid. (Wasn't stupid at the time. In fact, it was the smartest thing in the world, to me.)

When I was in high school, when  high school was first invented, I used to take my father's TV Guides, the day they arrived, and sorta, well, improved them. The height of creativity.

What I did had to happen  before Dad got home so that the new and improved version would end up in the 'mail of the day' pile. Like it was supposed to be there.

The first few were quick alterations, without too much thought. Slowly, they got more complex. Some even had moving parts.

Oh, I was something. Really something.

See for yourself.......

The knife was cut out of some catalog, the blood painted with acrylics, my paint of choice.

Cigar and hat cut out of another magazine

Jimmy Durante's face cut out and glued on, hair painted (on the top person).

Cut out and glued on.....

Bullet holes burnt into the cover with a rod of incense.

Mia Farrow's eyes were erased and repainted....(a pencil eraser would totally erase the color from the TV Guide cover. It was that kind of paper. Lucky for me.)

This one is hard to see. There's an arm coming out of the bears mouth, like he just ate someone.
And, of course, lots of blood. (I was truly gross.)

Now, this is the first of the moveable covers. Notice the 'pull' tab at the bottom. If you gently pulled on it, the mouth opened.....see below....

Big teeth drawn, cut out and glued to Johnny Carson.

All the details painted on with acrylics.

No comment.

This is one of my favorites, I think.  (how the news is really made.)

Babs lighting up...cut and paint.

Second in my moveable series. Pull up and down gently on the pull tab at the bottom and Columbo is readjusting his tie, up and down, up and down....see below.....

Hand painted her middle finger on with acrylics. ( I worked sooo hard to match the skin color.)

Painted the fish in her mouth.

Cut outs and painted blood. 

There were more, but these were the only ones I saved.

I always heard chuckles as I hid around the corner while Dad was checking the mail. But he never, ever said anything.

I think he was used to this sort of thing.

What a guy.