Wednesday, October 29, 2014

I'm Back, But a Little Quieter

Me and my sister a Long Time Ago
 For those of you who don't follow me on Facebook, you may not know that I got a surprise phone call on Friday, October 17th, telling me that one of my sisters had died unexpectedly in her sleep that morning.

To say the news was shocking was an understatement. (BTW, any of you having to tell a family member about a death should MAKE THAT PERSON GET SOMEONE ELSE IN THE ROOM WITH THEM SO THEY ARE NOT ALONE!)


I am the oldest sibling of six girls and a caboose of a boy. Meagan was #4 in our family and had been having health problems for years. It was mostly of the knee/foot/fibromyalgia type of illness. She was always in pain, on medication, having a medical procedure, etc. Unfortunately, it also made her not be able to take care of her family.

The Monday before her death, Meagan had knee replacement surgery. She was really looking forward to this as it would FINALLY allow her some mobility and the chance to actually be a mom to her kids. The night after she came home from the hospital she fell asleep on the couch and simply didn't wake up again. No one knows why, but we're thinking it might have been a blood clot since that is a common reason for complications after that surgery.

I was going through my pictures last night and found that I didn't have any of just the two of us (I cropped out one sister in the above photo - sorry, April!). I think that makes me the saddest of all. There are lots of us with other people in the family, but none of us by ourselves. Perhaps that's okay, though. We are a forever family...

Ethan, Allyson, April, Meagan, me and Melanie... Hajek kids!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Flowers


I'm working on flowers.


I'm using wallpaper and maps and scrapbook paper.


I think I need a million of them. (Learn how to make these here!)

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Watercolors, ho!


I don't have a good camera right now because it is being persnickety (Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't), so I'm making do with my tablet's camera.

I nearly always have a big pile of paintings I'm working on. When I sit down to paint, I look through the pile and choose a few to work on. Tonight's assortment of paintings went through a shocking series of twists and turns. I painted on them for a while and then started laying down colored pencil. My favorite pencil is the white one - it blends everything together and it looks almost like oils in parts...


In other news, I'm making tons and tons of Folded flowers. Here's a sneak peek:





Sunday, September 28, 2014

Persnickety Cameras


My camera has to go in the shop. The trip we took to the beach last year proved too much sand for such a fastidious piece of equipment. It's been getting more and more temperamental until... it just won't work!

I'm busy making flowers. BIG ones, small ones, all colors and patterns. I have a project in mind that will set my house apart from everyone else's.

And I'll show you progress. After I get the camera back!

edit -- Click here to see how you make the flowers in the above picture.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Washington Watercolors

My trip to Washington draws to a close tomorrow morning as I start the flight home to Bakersfield. One of the things I've loved about Tacoma is that there is a ton of public art and art shops. My heart sinks a bit as I think about returning to my hometown where I don't feel that same art spirit, that sense of beauty of place. Hmm... I guess it's just up to me to make my home and my neighborhood and my workplace as much a place of beauty as I, by myself, can do.


I've only got my tablet with me, so the pictures are unedited and not rotated in the right directions, but you can still get the gist of what I'm doing.


Several artists I've admired over the years have a lot of details in the form of patterns in their work. I paint a lot of flat areas (Granted, they have layers and layers of paint in them) but I wanted to try out some pattern details in my houses. Here's an attempt (Blurry!).


I rather like this one. It's a piece I'm doing from memory of a painting I've seen inside the Los Angeles Temple of the tree of Good and Evil. It's kind of different than anything I've ever done before, but it makes me feel like I can really draw/paint like a "real" artist.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Watercoloring Before Volcanoes



I'm here in Washington this week for a library conference and my room looks out at Mt. Ranier, an active, but "between eruptions" volcano (http://geology.com/usgs/rainier/). If it decides to blast, I have a great view!


I had a little time before my first meeting of the day to paint. This is the first time I've been so completely alone to do art in FOREVER. I miss my family, but I'm comforting myself with chocolate and a wonderful big bed all to myself...

Monday, August 25, 2014

Two Weeks? Here, Have Some Cookies


Um... two weeks since I last posted? I knew I'd been gone a bit, but two weeks? I've been busy with school preparations, but did make time to try new recipes from Pinterest. Here's the latest of my success stories!


Oatmeal-Fudge Cookies (yes, I said fudge!)

These are bar cookies, so get out your 9x13 pan and heat up the oven to 350°F.

Cookie:
1 cup butter
2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup milk
2 t. vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
3 cups old-fashioned oatmeal

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, milk and vanilla. In separate bowl, mix flour, soda and salt. Add flour mixture to batter and mix until just incorporated. Fold in oats. Batter will be thick. Put 1/3 dough into fridge/freezer to cool until very firm.

Fudge:
1 can condensed milk
1/3 cup butter
1 t. vanilla
2 cups chocolate chips

Heat in saucepan until melted.

Assembly:
Spread 2/3 of your cookie dough into the 9x13 pan. Spread your chocolate fudge mixture over dough. Take the other 1/3 dough and roll it out between two pieces of parchment until it's approximately 9x13-sized. Remove from parchment and lay over the fudge.

Bake at 350° for 25-35 minutes. You want the top to be browned and slightly crispy around the edges. If it starts getting too crispy before the center is done, put a piece of foil over it.

You MUST allow it to cool completely before cutting or else the fudge will just spill out and what a waste that would be!

Eat. Enjoy.


I keep these in my refrigerator and eat them cold because they taste better that way.

Recipe from here!