Challenging Week - Wonderful Week

Well, I suppose that says it all. But maybe a bit of an explanation might be in order. On Monday, I went with my husband (David) to have surgery on his hand. He has had this surgery before on his right hand, this time he had it on his left. For those of you who don't know David there are a few things that you need to know about him. First of all, he is a catcher (I'm the flyer.); and second he has a very, very, very high tolerance for pain (unlike me). We left the surgery center with a RX for pain medication, which he insisted he would not need (and didn't), so we threw that away!! Imagine a catcher with a hand like this

Add that to the fact that he is a cyclist and you got a caged cat!! I was really hoping to be able to practice my catching skills. But, other then slicing Lebanon Bologna for his sandwiches (not even making the sandwich), and not tightening the toothpaste tube, I wasn't able to do much. Oh well. Luckily the Tour de France is on. It suffices to fill some of the void. If you haven't been watching it is quite a sport. Try in catch it while they are in the mountains. Right now they are in the Alps. Next the Pyrenees Today, at one point, they were traveling at speeds in excess of 40mph on a bicycle. Can you imagine tooling through the Alps at 40 mph on a bicycle? Check out some of the photos. Or try to catch at least one stage of the race which began July 7 in London and will not end until July 29, in Paris. It is being carried live on Versus

I did get to finish my Roxanne doll from Sherry Goshon's class. She was quite a challenge. I ended up having to sculpt a head for her, rather then use Sherry's Luna mold. There were quite a few other little changes that I had to make in order for her to become. So, here she is. I really like her. I also like the technique of wrapping rather then stuffing dolls. It's easier on the hands.

Next week, I'll finish up daughter's collage. I'm waiting for some supplies that I ordered from Lisa's Heaven They are pigments, which provide more intensity of color when mixed with other mediums then things like Pearl Ex. Because I intend to use it with Paverpol and Apoxie, I think they will render a more rich color. I'm also going to try it mixed with Adirondack blending solution. I think that it will provide some interesting effects. I used that solution with some pearlescent chalk on Roxie's face today. I'll post a close up tomorrow. Forgot to take one today

Anyway my garden is becoming more plush. Butterflies have returned to the butterfly bushes and the goldfinch are perching and eating from the cone flowers(a new phenomenon). It's an absolutely beautiful time of the year. I'll also post some garden shots for you tomorrow.

Sherry Goshon's Roxanne... My Roxy

Back of Roxy's Boots

Front of Roxy's Boot

Well today I worked on my doll for Sherry Goshon's Roxanne Class. What a struggle. I had selected several colors and textures of ribbon for her legs and arms, however, she was having none of it. So I decided that I would rip up some muslim and scrim. Then I decided to dye it and use it to wrap, rather then the ribbon. I worked and felt right for my Roxy. If you remember the boots that I was working on, they are now painted and partially laced. I'm really liking them. Unfortunately, you can't see the way the Pearl Ex shimmers. i used the patina green and the pink. Although I painted the corset and torso with a gold metallic and added some of the pink pearl ex, I'm not sure that it still doesn't need some work. We'll see tomorrow, with new eyes. I still have quite a way to go. The fabric that I selected will not work now and so I will either have to dye something or find something else.

The heat from the mid west is supposed to be heading this way and so I may not get much done tomorrow. I am planning on starting early so the clay will cooperate. I'm really looking forward to her being. It has really be a joy watching her become. I also need to get back to my daughter's collage. Well, we can't rush these things. Hope you are all enjoying your summer and aren't to terribly uncomfortable.

Thinking About Dad...

This past week has been pretty difficult for me. It marks the 4 year anniversary of my father's passing. It hardly seems like it has been that long, it feels like it was yesterday... no today. Much of my time has been spent distracting myself and pushing away sadness. What I still haven't learned yet is that there is really no way around your emotions, you have got to let in each experience, each emotion and only then are you free to move on. So, I decided to post this tribute to him. And then, I will show all of the things that I have done to distract myself over the past few weeks. Unfortunately, I thought that I had more pictures on my computer of him then these. My scanner isn't working so I can't scan any, but I think these will do. The first is one that was taken at my daughter's graduation from law school. As you can see from the picture, he adored her. He had that same adoration for all of us. Amazing how someone could have that much love in them. Enough so that each of us felt we were the "favorite" one. Three of his five grandchildren received post secondary degrees that year, and he stayed with us long enough to see each one of them receive them. And believe me, physically, that was not easy for him. By the end of my daughter's ceremony he was sitting in his wheelchair at the back of the auditorium wrapped in a blanket. But he was determined to see it. It rained for all three of the graduations. Two of them were held outdoors. He sat through them all. Brutal!
The other picture is from when he played baseball in Cuba. He played for both the Cienfuegos and the Havanas. They were some of the happiest days that he and my mother spent together. If you get a chance check out one or more of the web sites listed in my links. They will provide you with a wealth of information about the men who played in the Negro Leagues during the years of segregated baseball in America. One of the things that always amazed me, and that remains curious to me yet, is that baseball was not segregated during that time in Cuba. And that men who found themselves playing together as team mates during the winter months in Cuba, would once again separate when they reached US soil.
The other photo was taken on he beach at Trinidad in Cuba. Not very far from where my parents lived at one point.
My mother passed 6 months prior to my father joining her. I believe that she had something to do with him remaining with us as long as he did. She knew we needed him and probably spent a great deal of energy negotiating with him to stay awhile. I can imagine their conversations. For me, it was still not long enough! I guess I'm selfish that way. I miss him horribly, and I will probably miss him for as long as I live.

Creative Distractions...

Artist Trading Dolls (ATD)

Camera and clay were used as distractions this week. And, by weeks end had put me in a really good place as you can see from my previous posts. i can't help but think that maybe I was able to accomplish so much was because I had so much in me to work with!! So, here are some pictures.

This is a swap for my Artist Trading Doll Group. This months paper doll swap was to focus on complimentary colors. The head of this doll is polymer clay. I used Paverpol to give the paper dress and her arms dimension and to help in the sculpting of her hair. Pearl Ex, Embossing Powder and Acrylics also helped me complete this little cutie. I really was pleased with how she turned out.

I love when the Iris bloom. Even though they are spectacular on their on, in their natural state. They provide so many interesting opportunities for photographic alteration and exploration.

ROXANNE (A Sherry Goshon Class)

I'm taking an online class with Sherry Goshon. The doll is Roxanne, and she is made using a dress form,and a felt body which is skinned. You can have a look see at Sherry's site. I am really behind but will work my way through. I decided to sculpt hands rather do cloth ones, and used apoxie for her boots in case I want her to stand. These are her boots unpainted. I decorated them with vines and calla lilies. Can't wait to paint them! Today I felted the body which I will "Skin" tomorrow. Really neat techniques!!

Mom's Refrigerator Art

And finally, I'm also working on this collage for my wonderfully talented, and absolutely gorgeous daughter's home. She recently purchased a home and I'm helping to cover the walls. This is for her bedroom. I suppose some might look at this as reverse refrigerator art or adult fridge art. She seems to lap it up though. I hope she isn't pulling my leg! I can't wait until it's finished. I just found her retainer from her braces and a few other goodies to include!!

Would love to get some feedback on some of this stuff. Tomorrow I'm going to see grandkids so you may be in for a treat!