Friday, January 31, 2014

One Little Leaf, Two Little Leaves......



........50 million little leaves!!!....Hubby almost has the second shelving unit finished and he'll be wanting to add the trim. The procrastinating had to stop Today!  


.........if your new here...........here are the pictures of the first shelving unit. Sweet hubby is building it to hold all my hard cover books........ kinda like a little library.... something i've always wanted........

..........here's a close up of how my trim will look when finished....its a lot of work but i do love how it turns out!  Okay! back to the leaves! Hugs! deb

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

I Have Blog-hopped until.........

.........i broke my hopper..... I couldn't possibly hop another hop... AND i think i made it around to everyone! 500+ beautiful bloggers! Now you know how i spent my weekend and part of Monday.... But what great fun i had .....meeting new bloggy buddies from all over the world.  Some who have even signed on to be a follower (21 so far). Welcome everyone! 

And i musn't forget to give Vicki  over at 2 Bags Full a great big thank you for organizing the Grow Your Blog event. This was my first time joining such an event and she made it super easy and fun. 


Between the hiking trip i just HAD to tell you about and the blog hopping ART has been seriously missing around here...... Look what mysteriously flowed out of my pencil the other night......You should be able to click to enlarge the pics...A fairy!  Now, i say mysterious because of the simple fact..... ' i don't do people' . I never could do people...... and the jury may still be out on that.... some might say ' yep and you STILL can't do people' LOL! But honestly i like what i see when i look at that sketch up above and then....................


...............i had to ruin it by coloring her in........ i liked it better as a sketch........  ah well if i don't know how to draw people it stands to reason that i don't know how to shade in a face...... :)  her eyes are kinda wonky and if you look at them too long they make YOUR eyes start going wonky...... You can see her ears are different in the colored version ....... hubby says 'Her eyes are wonky'.... aaarrghhh I know! ..... hubby says ' And her ears look like shelves stuck to her head'....... aaarrrgghhh i know! The eyes i just couldn't seem to get right but the ears i did change.......  But for some reason.....between you and me i like the ears that look like shelves in the first picture....shhhhh.........  Thanks for stopping by....... Hugs! deb

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Grow Your Blog


Hi! This is Deb!! I'm so excited to have you visit. I hope you'll stay awhile and browse. I'am a 46 year old woman. Married for 24 years and counting...... The title of my blog 'Learning to Just Breathe' and the 'About Me' paragraph at the top of my side bar pretty much says it all. At 46 i'm still learning that its okay to be me. I think it will be a lifelong quest to accept myself....


My reason for blogging has 'morphed' over the years. Back in 2008 i started with a weightloss blog.  You can find the remnants of 'Finding the Runner In Me' here . All the posts are gone but the pictures remain. I keep them on there to remind me that YES i can lose weight when i put my heart and soul in it. 



 Over a year and a half i lost 80+ pounds



..........and it only took a year for me to lose focus and put it all back on...............  I keep saying i'm gonna give it another go. But i haven't found my mojo yet..........



THIS blog is more art related.  When i turned 40 something shifted. And so many things i had set aside when marriage and children came along i suddenly wanted to dust off and explore again. i have always loved to draw and use colored pencils .  So i began exploring that again. And thats what you'll find here.

I keep wanting to take my pencil ideas and turn them into paint on canvas. And you'll find that here too. I love turning trash to treasure... upcycling... Over the past year I've discovered MailArt Postcards.  Above is a Magnolia Tree Seed Pod that i've turned into a little tree and a Postcard in the background....I've entered a few Swaps. Its been alot of fun.


I love to crackle........ if it sits still very long i'll crackle it!



Hubby and i have recently moved from TX to CA and i like to take you along when we explore our new state. 

Jinx, my black cat of 7 years like to make the appearance now and then.  He always helps me pick the winner for an occasional GiveAway.......

I try to keep it lighthearted and fun......... a little artsy.... a little crafty and a little adventuresome ..........  And i'd love to have you come along for the ride. 
                                               So very nice to meet you!
                                                        Hugs! deb

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Racing the Sun.........

Just before we break out of the trees and see the ocean

.......I thought you needed more photos to finish this tale.... these are from before we reached Arch Rock...... but remember we left off where Sky (#$@!!!%^&!#@)Trl connects with Old Pine Trl.....Okay... hungry , thirsty, beyond tired, feet hurt and would like nothing more than to just sit down for awhile but the stinking logs are covered with poison oak.... and ....... lets not forget it was getting dark....... we were supposed to be driving home by this time.... So we had to just keep putting one foot in front of the other...... 

Isn't this tree gorgeous?!


.........and the forest , although beautiful, was eerily quiet. I mean seriously...... no life...... no birds, squirrels ...... no little animals darting across the path in front of you, no other humans ,so quiet it feels like the silence is screaming in your ears.... it feels unnatural...... and the woods is dense....... we couldn't see very far into it. The trees and bushes crowded the path and ofcourse it keeps getting darker...... so we try to walk faster....... will the path NEVER start going downhill?

Click this one large . That green tree just seems to glow!

........ well it finally does....... but now the downhill is just as hard on our knees as the uphill was....... down, down, down...... darker and darker....... and it becomes apparent that no matter how fast we walk, how many breaks we don't take,  the dark is gonna catch us........ a frog chirps in the silence so loud i nearly jump out of my skin!.........  okay getting spooked here....  see i KNOW the bigger animals come out at dusk and early evening......  the bobcats and mountain lions and i can't remember are bears popular in the park?........ so your mind starts racing and all the little dark holes in the brush lining the path start looking like perfect little ambush sites........ keep walking.....try not to let hubby know your spooked.. 

Not a great picture but click it large and you can see how the trail is just a ditch.
We have an urgent need to reach the final Bear Valley Trl before true dark really descends.......  We would kill ourselves (read break something) if we got caught on Old Pine Trl when it truly  got dark . Very uneven and rocky but BV Tr is at least wide and open and flat and manicured with some breaks in the trees...... We made it while i could still barely see my hand in front of my face..... And people! Some living , breathing human beings were still out on Bear Valley Trl ....... we hadn't seen one human since leaving Arch Rock.  We sat on a rock for 5 min trying to ease the pain in our feet , but we still had a mile and half to go to the truck.........

The people quickly left us .........  as we were like the walking wounded..........  barely able to put one foot in front of the other..... The path  picked up the feeble glow from the sliver of moon....... 
And again it was silent ........  every shadow began to look ominous. Did that shadow just move?  Surely not...... boy the mind can play tricks........  

Finally we saw the end of the trail and the parking lot and our red pickup .... pulled our boots off and drove all the way home barefoot.......and food FOOD! We were starving! Mc Donald's never tasted so good!!!  It was tough going for a couple days with sore feet and sore muscles i didn't even know i had..... 

I can look back on the experience a little more fondly than hubby....... lets just say it will be a long time before he lets me plan another hiking trip.....     and then i will have to keep the mileage down.........  I'm sitting here trying to figure out how to end this...... I'm afraid that what i want to say may make it seem like i don't appreciate the danger we were in or could have been...... I hope my disclaimer at the beginning lets you know that i do appreciate it and the fact that we made it out okay.  We did so something right. A family member had our itinerary. The trails we planned to take etc... Seemed a little silly at the time since it was just a day hike but you never know when your gonna get in over your head.  I have to tell you i cherished the experience....  Yes it was difficult.....and a little scary at the end  but we did it! ..... I feel a real sense of accomplishment that we pushed though it and got ourselves out of there...... I wish we didn't have to hurry so much and could have spent more time at the top enjoying that gorgeous old forest . Thats what it was! I was trying to find a way to describe the silence.....It was so quiet it felt like the forest and everything in it was holding its breath!  

But you have to hurry when your racing the sun...... Thanks so much for coming along!! I'll have to redeem myself with hubby next time and plan a shoooort trip....... something real touristy and easy.....hmmm........  Big Hugs!!! deb

PS.  My camera died...........!!  I have art and projects to show you.... sigh...... I'm trying to figure out hubby's camera until i get a new one........so bear with me..... 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Biting Off More ............



..............than you can chew....... have you ever done that?....  I seem to make a practice of it..... and thankfully it has never come back and bitten me on the a**........( knock on wood)  And i'm very , very thankful neither hubby or i were hurt on this expedition.... because it could have gone very wrong...............now that the disclaimer is out of the way..... pretty much.... I still have to admit that the biting off more than we could chew  part was entirely my fault as i was the trip planner for this adventure ( and hubby will never let me forget it).. sigh...  



After our idyllic morning walk on the beach and morning breakfast we continued on to one of my favorite parks, Point Reyes National Seashore. Here is a link to the map. If you scroll in close you can see the trails...  Our itinerary was Bear Valley Trl to Arch Rock, pick up Sky Trl then Old Pine Trl back to Bear Valley Trl ... basically a big circle...... emphases on BIG.... sigh...  


If you look at the map ... i purposely stayed away from any trails that had red arrows on them indicating 'Steep Trail".  I thought i had taken in to account my husbands bad knees and our general 'out of shapeness'....   But there were a few things i didn't take into account.... I'll get to that...... I don't want you to think it was all doom and gloom......   



.........Everything was so beautiful and green..........  Where we live in Central CA is so brown and dead looking from the drought..... that all the green was a delight for the senses... running water here and there...... every available surface had moss or ferns growing on it...... I had a sense if i sat still too long it would grow on me too...


..........and when you walk out of the trees the great expanse of the ocean greets you........  Where we sat and had the packed lunch we brought

......and shared with some very friendly little birds......who would grab and run with whatever you gave them , then come back for more...... absolutely no fear...... 



.........As you can see there are no more pictures.......... and we've only made it to Arch rock.........  Lets just say........ what one person ( the map maker) considers 'not steep' can be totally different to another person........ Sky Trl..... has a new name.....  $##@$^^&&&!!!!**&^%$!!!!!!!!! Trl.........  not to be mentioned in polite company.......  Hubby suggested more like Outer Space Trl.... I'm afraid i had the more colorful language.....   

So what i thought was a well planned out trip quickly deteriorated .  We had our day packs, two water bottles each..... trail mix, oranges, sandwiches, map, knife, walking poles..... what we did not have was the flash light i laid my hand on that morning before leaving the house but did not take it....... My hubby would say i left my common sense at home too....... sigh  ....... Before it was over i would have given my right arm for that little penlight.

At some point the camera around our neck just felt like a dead weight and neither of us thought of taking any more pictures... And oh my goodness the vistas and scenery and incredibly old forests were unbelievable......  Sky Trl went up and up and up and then up some more....  The beautifully maintained trail you see at the beginning deteriorated to nothing more than a ditch......  By the time we hooked up with Old Pine Trl we were quickly reaching the end of what our bodies could handle...... We had burned off breakfast and lunch and our bellies were grumbling ....... and we had just finished off the last of our water.........intermittent cell phone service and if that wasn't bad enough it was starting to get dark...... stay tuned.....   :) Hugs! deb







Monday, January 20, 2014

An Adventure!


..........a couple weeks ago Hubs and i took off really early in the morning for an adventure of epic proportions! :) What we accomplished in a 12 hour period is nothing short of amazing. :) It could have ended in a disaster that was narrowly adverted. But that comes later........Our day started driving in the dark toward the coast. Our intention was to spend an hour or so at Muir Beach again at low tide. You know the one with all the starfish and anemones....


.............but for whatever reason that beach was closed.......So we stopped at another beach we had our eye on from our last trip Stinson Beach.......... Absolutely gorgeous in the early morning light.... A few seagulls followed us as we strolled the shoreline. I don't see how their feet are not freezing off!! Brr..... It was a little chilly...... had my fleece jacket on but no wind so not bad.  


Hubby caught this cool picture of a rock....... kinda reminded me of lava rock............  See the white around the bottom......




This is a close up of that.......... I love the way its clear in one spot and then blurs out.........

We found a couple tidal pools but nothing like the life we found at Muir beach.  I think you can click on all the pics and they will enlarge.........  This beach didn't have alot of shells etc...... but what it did have was rocks rolling in the surf... I cannot believe we didn't grab a photo showing them........ All the rocks had perfect little round holes in them like Swiss cheese... I'll look a little more and see if i can find a picture.....  Some of the holes had seashells stuck in them and left you wondering how in the heck did those shells get in there........  Ducks were surfing the waves....... well under the waves...... You know how surfers will dive under the waves as they roll in well the ducks were doing the same thing... so funny to watch...

Something found us out there on the beach.............  floating on the wind was the mouthwatering smell of BACON and sausage and eggs....... and i think both our stomachs grumbled a the same time and we looked at each other and said 'Follow your Nose'!  So we followed that delicious smell to a little cafe just off the beach. (Thank goodness it wasn't somebody's house) Doesn't look like much on the outside but the inside is really sweet...... Painted canvases of beach scenes line the walls and a fireplace was crackling in the corner......... a slice of heaven to chilly, hungry people. :)  

And so begins our adventure...................... Hugs! deb

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Another ..............



................sketch with fish........... I promise i'll get my fill of them soon....... lol.... I'm just lovin' all the possibilities with them. Hubby tells me this drawing reminds him of layers of earth and the fish are fossils...... :)  I must say when i was drawing it i was thinking more like rivers or streams and the gravel riverbed. 

Sorry i've been missing in action for a while. Hubs had 9 days off! And we had an Adventure! Story to follow SOON! Hugs! deb

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Does the house seem ......

 ...........a little empty after all the decorations are put away.... sigh... 
It all comes down much faster than it all went up. 


...........but somehow at the same time its a good feeling..... putting all that Christmas away is like having a clean slate for the New Year.


..........the possibilities are endless............


.....my craftroom is busting at the seams with all the artistic possibilities in there........... alot of my goals for this year lie in that room.......

 ........... Someone mentioned to me that when they set their resolution goals for the year that they were usually about life in general (not her exact words) and not art...  I had to smile..... art makes up a good part of my life....... and i like that... i like that , that is where i'am right now......


Its a place in my life i have strived to be for what seems like a very long time....... I can immerse myself in my artsy/craftsy endeavors and see where it takes me..... even if its no where at all....



I apologize for the quality of these photos.  I was by a window but the day is overcast......... I wanted to show you how simple these fish are to draw. I hope you'll try one. And you can add your own flourishes from the basic shape. 

............and it all started from a circle................. Big Hugs! deb