Monday, April 30, 2012

Mish Mash.............

........thats what this post is.........just mish mash........I have so much i want to share i certainly cannot fit it all in one post..........talk about picture overload......so i'm going to try to break it up ...coherently....ahem........i said...t-r-y.......Above is some wonderful MailArt i found in my new mailbox from Corrine at SparkleDaysStudio. If you look you can see she mailed it in a GrapeNut box......how clever!.....she is so colorful and creative. I love how she recycles things and gives them her own twist. That beautiful little charm certainly brightens up my apartment where everything still sits in boxes.........Thank you Corrine! You sure made my day! Some sketching going on...........but my hearts not in it.........lots of starts and stops and long lapses between picking up a pencil.......theres just no denying i'm in limbo.......and i've been in limbo for almost a year now come June............June of last year we started the job search....decided to try to change our lives........take a different path.........and while that has its exciting moments they are interspersed with moments of anxiety.....worry.....fear.......if there was ever any doubt that i need a place to call home i have put that doubt to rest....i'am not one to lead a gypsy life.........i like to wander and then come HOME.......i like to explore......but still have that tether that brings me home........a home where i always leave a part of me no matter where my journey takes me..........and that is what i 'am lacking........i need some permanence....all this....it still feels so unreal....surreal....a home helps to ground me so i can spread my wings and let the creativity flow......i need to feel safe.....I like the above sketch.....i like where its going......i see some mushrooms in the bottom right with one big mushroom surrounded by smaller ones and something sitting on the mushroom perhaps looking up at the owl??? Any ideas? And this sketch i showed you before. Trying to decide the shape the next layer should take.....maybe i think too much and should just put pencil to paper......Hugs! deb

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Welcome to Livermore!

This past weekend hubs and i spent sometime driving around the area taking pictures. The biggest problem we had was finding a place to pull over to get a good shot. So i apologize ahead of time for the quality of these pictures. Most of them were taken 'on the fly'. I guess i could best describe the area as rolling hills .....like a rolling carpet of green dotted here and there with trees and windmills. ....lots and lots of windmills......i think they may rival the trees with their sheer numbers. Look at the California 'Happy Cows'! They do look happy especially when i compare them to Texas cows. To me Texas cows have it hard........drought, cactus.......seeing these cows on the rolling green hills just made me smile. My hubby said 'Imagine the muscles they must have walking up and down those hills'. I know he's thinking steaks and not muscles.. lol. Vineyards are EVERYWHERE......and everything is sooooo GREEN! In Texas theres just no denying the dominant color was brown.........here.....its every shade of green imaginable. I'm going to take you a flower tour some day soon too.......I see familiar plants from Texas growing here but here they are so much larger and the blooms more profuse.....everything seems larger than life here........and they say everything is bigger in Texas.......not true! Can you see that white building nestled amongst the trees and hills? Thats where hubs works. Its like being on vacation 24/7..........well not really as his job is very taxing at the moment. .....but talk about working in a total zen environment........If he's stressed all he has to do is step outside for a moment........step amongst the trees and ..........OOOhhhhmmmm.....at least thats what i tell him to do.. :) The rode leading up to his work......we still feel like we've traveled to some exotic location and we will have to turn around and go home soon.......but no this is home.........I see palm trees and lemon and lime and orange trees on a regular basis now........ Aaaahhhh.......zen.............hubs says he takes a walk around here on his breaks sometime. I'm glad.......he is under alot of pressure being the supervisor of a place that hasn't had much supervising in several years.......trying to get things updated and under control.......putting out so many 'fires' on a daily basis he is beginning to feel like Smokey the Bear....... But then he gets to walk outside and see THIS! Meet Tom! There are hundreds of turkey and deer ..........no hunting allowed.......Don't get me wrong.......its not all peaches and cream........and i don't want to give that impression.........is this where we would have settled if given more choice in the matter.........a resounding NO......too built up ....too busy.....not enough trees........no winter snow to speak of........we cannot even afford a house in Livermore where hubby works.....nope......we have to look in Tracy which is about 25 miles away and he will have to commute. ......which is something new for us.........I still have sticker shock from grocery shopping.....and gas prices lets not even go there........lol..........But all in all with hubs increase in pay we can at least live the same quality of life here as we did in Texas..........and thats really all that was required when we moved............we wanted change..........new places to explore......new things to see............sometimes you just gotta shake things up and hope you land on your feet.........Lots more to show you and share.......made a trip to San Francisco.......I've GOT to show you the bike trail here in Livermore.........I'll show you the apartment complex etc........and that BIG news i won't share with you yet???......your still gonna have to wait because its still jinxable....is that a word??.........it is now....... Hugs! deb

Monday, April 23, 2012

Another MailArt Break!

This is the last piece of MailArt created in Texas. I don't plan my MailArt ahead of time. I have a folder that i keep my magazine clippings in and when i'm ready to create something i sift thru everything and see what comes to mind. Sometimes i'm feeling like a collage like this one and others i paint since i'm trying to acquaint myself with acrylic and sometimes i combine the two. NO rules except for the US Post Office rules ofcourse. :) This one a MailArt buddy had sent me a bunch of paper circles to use and this is what popped in my head to do with them. I found the balloon in a magazine and immediately thought of the pic of hubby and i on our balloon ride. So yes that is really us. And i love the quote. Sorry the pic is a little blurry. I didn't notice it until i loaded it on here. Ah well......So this is the front and...... ..........this is the back. I keep running into butterflies in magazines.........or maybe thats just my eye has been drawn to of late. Anyway my MailArt buddies have been getting alot of butterflies. LOL! I'm not particularly thrilled with how the writing turned out on this one. Lettering is not my strong suit. But i do love the poem. "Fling off thy sadness!"I can just hear this one being read aloud by an accomplished orator. You? Hubs and i drove around this past weekend and took pictures of our new city. So hang on more pictures to come. And i have some HUGE news to share but i don't want to jinx it. I don't know if thats possible but i'm not taking any chances. :) Hugs! deb

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Moving on down the Highway.............

Now you would never, nevermore mistake the above bird for a crow would you??? This most dapper fellow is a Raven. My clues..........he was not in town or even the suburbs and he was solo, by himself. Very confident, brassy even not skittish at all........He did not make a 'Caw, caw' sound but more of a 'Croak'. See that strong , curved beak where the tips don't match perfectly, you won't find that beak on any crow and i will never mistake them for crows ever again. LOL! We stopped at a rest stop (which believe me are few and far between on I40 ) and i think this guy was hoping we had something to eat. Mounds of lava rock dotted the landscape everywhere. Even though I've seen the lava fields at 'Valley of Fire' State Park in New Mexico and now these i still find it hard to believe that we have so much lava in the United States.When i think of lava i naively think of Hawaii. LOL! I have a hunk of lava to place in my new home when we find a new home that is.......... These are the flat roads leading up to Flagstaff , AZ. Don't let it fool you........very soon we were climbing toward that snow covered peak in the distance and believe you me it was sloooow going with that moving truck...........The drive from Albuquerque NM to Flagstaff, AZ was a bad day of travel for us. It was only like 300 some miles (the day before we did twice that) but getting that moving truck up to Flagstaff i felt like i should have gotten out to PUSH. We stopped in Flagstaff to eat at the Cracker Barrel and just decided to call it quits for the day even though it was a little early we were wiped out. Found a decent hotel there.......darn if i can remember the name........and this was our view off the balcony. The next day was the day we hit CA. Finally. Sadly we didn't take anymore photos, just concentrating on driving and just getting there. As soon as you drive past Flagstaff you start going back down the mountains and the views are spectacular. Probably the most scenic of the trip. I could barely keep my eyes on the road i was so busy trying to take it all in. I was sad to see mining prevalent in this area. Places where they are tearing down whole mountains to get to the treasures within........I try not to dwell.......its not like i can stop them......... Crossing the border into CA you go thru a check point where you have to declare if you have any fruits or veggies or firewood or pets......Hubby said it made him feel like he was entering a whole new country not just another state. :) But we all crossed the line just fine. We had Jinx's shot record etc.....got rid of our fruit at the last gas station before crossing. So much of the trip was deserty and brown and flat........I know many people find that beautiful but not to my eyes..........so the lush green, mountainous areas really grabbed me. There were two.........Flagstaff or i should say just past Flagstaff......and Hwy 58 i believe headed thru the pass between Bakersfield and Barstow.....breathtaking. It was an epic trip. One we are not likely to make again. Or at least not moving ourselves. We both agree that we are NOT doing this again........if we move again we will spend the extra money to have someone move us ....or.....we'll just sell it all and move.....yeah ...it was THAT bad, either that or we are THAT old.........probably the latter. We found an apartment in Livermore...........very nice.......noisy but nice but after living 13 years in the country everything is gonna be noisy.....As we were moving in we met the two old ladies that live down stairs.....Flo and Ellie.....they are friendly whenever we see them. Theres a bike path i've been exploring........walking .......not riding yet.......so much to tell you i hardly no where to begin and its all running together so i think i 'll just stop here for now and regale you with my grand adventures another day. Hugs! deb

Friday, April 13, 2012

A Break..............

...........from our regularly scheduled program..............Hubs has the rest of the photos of our trip on his phone and i have yet to get them from him. The pictures may not be very good as most of them were taken on the fly but i do want to tell the story with pictures..........so........here is a little MailArt break. I know the recipients of my recent MailArt have received their mail i can finally share! This was finished just before we left Texas . It was a race against time! It is a manilla folder cut and pasted to size. These first pictures are of the front. I played with acrylic paint. We are getting more comfortable with each other all the time. Black marker was used for the details..... I wanted to make it look like the sun was shining thru the leaves......did i achieve that?? Not sure. Its what i see when i look at it so that makes me happy. Below is the beginning of the back. To make the leaf shape i confiscated a plastic 'eye shaped' piece of packaging from something we bought. You never know where you can find templates. So always keep your creative eye open. Ofcourse it dawned on me later that i probably should have painted the background first....duh....or i was gonna cover up the lines. But i managed to use the paint lightly enough that i could still see the lines. To apply the paint i used the 'credit card technique' that i was introduced to on June's blog 'A Creative Dreamer' . She's over there on my blog roll! I have to say this was not as easy as June makes it look . LOL! And i used waaaay too much paint. She tells you not to use too much paint but apparently i'm not a good listener........ :) Again i was going for a light spot amongst the leaves where the sun could be shining thru. And i found that a Faber Castell Pitt Pen will write over my craft acrylic paint wonderfully!!! You have no idea how exciting that is as for some reason i have struggled mightily finding a pen to write over paint..........mainly a fine point black pen to outline and doodle and such on paint....sigh...but this pen is awesome and i'm thinking about just taking out stock in the company. lol. If you can't tell the theme was inspired by the upcoming Snow White movies......Mirror Mirror is more of a comedy and not up my alley but 'Snow White and the Huntsman' with Kristen Stewart looks incredible. But remember i'm the one who recommended 'John Carter' to you and ALL the critics HATED it so take my advice with a grain of salt...... Can you guess where the shiny part of the mirror came from ???? Leave me a guess in the comments and i'll email you back and let you know if you were right. Hugs! deb

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

This is an Ending and..........

........and a new beginning......the packing of the huge 24' rental truck is not something i care to remember.....except to say that everything fit (barely) and that we couldn't have done it without
our friends, who spent two long afternoon and evenings with us packing it just so. And hopefully with a wing and a prayer everything made it unbroken. Notice i did not say unscathed because you cannot make a trip like this and not accumulate some dings and scratches. Just plan on it happening, even if you pad and cover everything(which we did) , its gonna happen. Most of our stuff , furniture wise is old and needs replacing anyway, just not sure when thats gonna happen so we brought our old stuff so we'd have something to sit and sleep on. Above is Jinx. The whole last morning he took up post beside his crate. He was making sure he wasn't left behind. Just before taking off......can you see the look in Jinx's eyes?? He's so not thrilled about that truck. In fact he disliked it so much he spent most of the trip huddled under the seat. So far under the seat that at one point for a heart stopping moment we thought we lost him........I know, i know he should have been in his crate but did you see how small that crate is?? ........for three days.......anyway just couldn't do it to him. The litterbox and food and water was in the floor board. He had calmer moments where he would lie on the bench seat next to hubs and be petted and fawned over while he meowed about how terrible his life was. My truck driving hubby checking the oil in our rather old Budget truck and cleaning the windows. Gas prices are just horrible. And this truck took diesel which is even worse. Diesel alone cost us nearly $1000..........it hurts to just type that. Really made me start thinking we should have just had a yard sale and sat on the floor in the new apartment and slept on a blowup mattress.......sigh............. Let me tell you about the night before this above picture was taken.........Friday morning Mar 30th....we cleaned the apartment and checked out and by noon we and our loaded moving truck was on the road.....okay ...now hubby is driving said moving truck......i'am driving the red Dodge Ram 1500 pickup pulling an empty 10 or 12 ft (not sure) empty trailer behind. My hubby loves that trailer......he put a new deck on it.....painted it red to match his truck....did some other modifications......anyway you get the picture he was not leaving it behind.....So theres me.....in the pickup...pulling the trailer following the moving truck. Hubs and i had hand held walkie talkies to communicate. Let me tell you LOVED those walkie talkies.....we could pass the time...point things out to each other......he could warn me of an upcoming accident...anything....It would have been a very boring trip with out them.
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********Something you don't know about me........I'm a terrible driver.......terrible........did i say terrible??? TERRIBLE........okay you get the idea.........I get very nervous in traffic. Give me a little town, country roads......someplace i'm familiar and i do alright......but in an unknown place, lots of traffic....pulling a trailer and AND on top of that it gets dark as we are pulling into Albuquerque............Traffic, Trailer AND dark do a disaster recipe make............On top of that we come upon an accident involving several cars, a flipped semi and a camper believe me i was white knuckling it.......hubs is just passing people right and left and i'm trying to follow and i so did not want to seem the chicken shit that i'am so i just gritted my teeth and followed as best i could.....what i did not realize when i agreed to pull the trailer was.... at night (even though it has all the required lighting on it) I could not see the back end of the trailer......so when you pass someone you have to be able to tell when you are far enough ahead of them before you pull back over ..............well i almost ran a semi off the road because i pulled back over too soon and did not have clearance for the trailer...............man! that was scary. We spent the night in Albuquerque the first night and the pic above is the next morning. Do you see where that trailer is now???Yeah.......lesson learned. I tried to tell him i was okay to pull it during the day but he wasn't hearing it.............lol..............good riddance trailer......he can have it........That picture above is just outside Albuquerque where we sat for an hour waiting for them to pull a truck that got stuck in heavy sand in a construction zone.......yeah.....not a great way to start the day......got stuck along the road like that again later in the day for a semi that caught on fire. I have alot more i'd like to share .........if you don't mind me boring you with this for a few days. Hubs has alot more pics on his phone ........these are just off my camera. Jinx may not have liked the truck but he sure warmed up to the hotel rooms......He had to check out all the nooks and crannies and finally took up position in a window. Come to find out as long as he had his food bowl and water bowl and his litter box and the two people who love him dearly he was a happy kitty. Traveling with a pet was alot easier than expected. Lots of places accept pets and most were just a $10 charge. The one place that charged us $25 refunded it back to us when we checked out, that was Albuquerque. So hang on to your hat ,more installments to come. Hugs! deb

Friday, April 6, 2012

Just Checking In!........

No time for a proper post. But i wanted to let you all know we arrived safe and sound in Livermore, California. My email address has changed and i need to figure out how to change that in the settings on here. Hubby starts work Monday and i know things will calm down then , for me at least. This weekend we go house hunting. Cross your fingers! Hugs! deb
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*********OKAY!! I figured out how to change my email! So if you leave a comment here i will get it at my new email addy! See ya next week for a proper update! LOL!