Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Deco Art Traditions Paints

Most of you know I am an artist and some of you know I happily endorse Deco Art Traditions Acrylic artist grade pigments and mediums, a product line that has always been manufactured and wholly owned by Deco Art in Stanford, Kentucky, USA. <----- yay! Made in America. I like that too. Lately I have read in a few on line places that this wonderful product line has been 'retired' so I have decided to use my personal blog, my place of peace and musing, to correct the blantantly inaccurate information, masquerading as 'fact' in some sectors of cyberspace. Let me state too, for the record that I support the pursuit of business success but with an expectation that business dealings really should be conducted with honor, integrity and simple truths. Suffice it to say that word-play, however clever, doesn't set well with me and quite honestly, it angers me plus it makes me suspicious of the veracity of the person using it. Deco Art Traditions, fomerly branded with the JansenArt logo (for which royalties were paid) has not ~ do let me repeat that ~ has not been 'retired' as is being bandied about in some circles. All formulas and the properties we have come to expect and admire will remain exactly the same as always. Do not be fooled by the glib innuendo you may read or hear about. Do your own research just like I have. Speak with respectable and respected artists and industry business people about this matter to ascertain what is fact and what is fiction. Some people will give ya 'spin' in an effort to self promote at any cost, while others quietly speak simple truths, knowing that ultimately those simple truths speak volumes.

Peace to all who come here. I am a live and let live person but when I read self serving lies that hurt the livelioods of others I feel convicted to speak up for truth and plain speak.

Blessings on This Day

I always count the simple things in my life as blessings and Mother Nature never fails to make me smile.

For all the years I have lived here in the high desert of southern California ~ 24 now! (how is that possible??) Time does fly as the saying goes but I digress. I started to say that I have been watching those amazing little jewels, hummingbirds or hummers as we call them but today I saw a scene I've never seen before.

As is my early morning habit, I hit the back patio where I have several raised beds, two newly planted with veggies, to begin my day. Because I don't have a solar timer yet for my gardens I must turn them on manually twice daily, a chore but one I enjoy. It gives me time to putter around, pluck out few weeds, tuck a straying bit of whatever here or there, count the beneficial ladybugs hard at work, doing their volunteer job on the pesky ashids and in general, have a look at the new life in my gardens.

This morning I was treated to a tiny hummer, landing on the ground to enjoy his morning bath in the overflow from the small sprinklers. I watched him do this three times. What a wonder! What a blessing. I have never seen a hummer land on the ground and walk around. I was charmed by the magic of this. Perhaps I won't shop for that solar timer after all. Life is good and small gifts are best!

Peace to all who stop by to pause and take in my rambles here. And oh ... plant a few things for the bees, hummers and butterflies. You'll quickly connect to that peaceful and profound place inside your own soul, that speaks to the joy of simple things too.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Falling in Love with a Tea Kettle and Hummingbirds

... say what? Well I am in love with my electric tea kettle, my Christmas present from Denny. It is sooooooooooooo very useful for things like quickly boiling water for my ceramic teapot (with the copper cozy to maintain a nice temp for a long time) to brew one of my two current favorite teas <---- those would be Constant Comment or PG Tips. They are also useful for a much needed evening hot chocolate fix, for having that hot water at the ready when making beans and homemade chicken soup and for quickly making new nectar for the many chittering hummingbirds who fight for their meals at the three feeders I keep full.

Hummers, aside from being quite magical, are territorial little critters. They are nesting just now too in my backyard so are even more eager to fill themselves and establish personal terrain ... well to be more specific, they are staking claims in the trees on the utility easement on the south side of our property so I've been studying them even more lately.

I know they are nesting because they follow the dogs, hovering and darting safely overhead,making that funny little 'chitter' over near the far fence that marks the propery line of our backyard They are enchanting to watch. Did you know they will play in a gentle sprinkler too? They will also come right up to your face, come to a sudden and eally quite dramatic stop to then hover if you have bright colored clothing on. Well mine do anyway. I think of them as mine though I know they are just seasonal gifts that help mark my life and the cyclic nature of my backyard gardens. Mother Nature is a charming gift giver isn't she? I believe in simple pleasures, don't you?

The hummers we think we have identified as common to our area are Allen's, Rufous and Anna's. An interesting bit of trivia: the males always turn to the sun to more proudly display those glorious metallic colors in their plumage.

To attract these busy and fascinating little jewels to your own backyard, make a solution of four parts water to one part sugar. Boil water to a rolling boil (using your own electric kettle of course), turn off heat and add sugar slowly while stirring until it melts and goes into solution. Cool to room temp. Make extra and keep refrigerated. Change nectar every 3-4 days to keep it fresh. Never add any red dye ~ it's not needed but do plant some colorful flowers for your hummers to enjoy. Butterflies will visit too. I scrub my feeders when I refill them, using a vinegar water solution and a very good rinse of water as hot as it can get from my tap. Enjoy, dream and hey ... make yourself a pot of tea too while watching the vivid dance of all creatures who may come to visit you in your garden

Peace and blessings to all who happen by my blog. I thank you for reading and following my simple musings.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Happy Easter!

Gracious but it's been far too long since I've had time to do any blogging. My goodness but times flies doesn't it? Ah well I shall try to be more faithfull and show my face more often.

I have traveled since I was here last, a trip that furthered my own personal art journey. Oh my but it was great to finally meet Gaby Hunter of http://artapprenticeonline.com/. I've been taking some on line classes with her at the site referenced above and have nothing but praise for this gracious and knowledgeable artist. Her AAO partners are equally amazing so click away on the above site and find out for yourselves ~ LOL. You will drool and while away a good part of your day I'm guessing. Be warned too that you may do considerable damage to your credit card and blow the family grocery budget into the bargain. Bookmark the site too cause you're gonna be seeing some incredible stuff in the decorative painting world from these ladies and their team. Oh my! The places we can go as artists!

Another great lady and friend, whom I think fondly of, as my own personal mentor, Cindi Estes offers on line classes too. She is a fully certified DecoArt Traditions Teacher for Modules A thru D. Visit her for more information at http://candjdesigns.com I invite you to join our on line classes. You'll wonder what took ya so long and you'll also find a great place to call home on her exclusive Yahoo group, where Traditions Artists gather to learn and grow, support and encourage each other. It's my 'home group' and I am proud to share about it. You'll find no pretense here, no ego, no controversy ~ nothing but a huge welcome all sign hung at the door. I will never regret my decision to join her Deco Art Traditions on line classes. With Cindi I am enjoying greater personal accountibility and growth as an artist. See my latest breakthrough above, of a lovely and tranquil rural cottage landscape on canvas. Original design by Neadeen Masters CDA as part of the Deco Art Traditions Educational Teacher Certification Program ~ you can find her work and classes too at http://artapprenticeonline.com I have a few teensy touches left on my canvas but I'm sharing it simply because ... well I just grew so much working through it, kicking and nashing my teeth all the way through it too because it forced me to rely on my own gut and instinct instead of simply telling me what pigments to place where. The emphasis is on lesson oriented learning that builds on excellent foundational skills instead of the more usual project copying step by steps many of us got accustomed to seeing in the last few decades of the decorative painting industry. I threatened to feed this work in progress to the dogs so many times. Thankfully I am also stubborn and like to compete when my mind says 'give up girl'. This one will get matted and framed and humbly hung as my break-through work.

As for me ... well I continue on. I am designing some (watch for that soon!) and feel content and solid ~ well as much as my chattery, creative mind will allow in any case. Soon it will be time to plant my gardens and before we know it, I'll be writing here about the yummy tomatoes, squash, artichokes and goodness knows what. Just now in the garden I have roses, irises, batchelor buttons and wisteria in bloom and of course the faithful herbs are surging forth. I found one lone beet and some carrots that over-wintered under the safety of some large artichoke leaves and a few spring onions as well. The chard has shot up and is begging to be sauteed in EVOO (thanks Rachel Ray!) and some garlic. Geeze, that even sounds good enough to have for breakfast instead of my usual oats or quinoa.

On that note, I am off to fuel the bod. Who knows what great things may come my way today that will surely require me to fuel up with healthy foods to meet whatever challenge this cool but also soft and pretty desert day may bring? We are expecting some rain this evening so the wildflowers and wild critters will be happy too.

Peace and blessings to all who find their way to this page. :>)