Thursday, December 24, 2009

Holiday Wishes...

Just wanted to thank you all for your visits and comments and to wish you all a MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY NEW YEAR! May we all have a healthy, happy, prosperous New Year!

This hand quilted ornament was made and given to me by my Aunt Lela this Christmas. The center is made from one of my uncle's bandanas. He passed away right after Christmas last year and he is dearly missed. They are special people in my life and I'm so honored that she made this for me in his memory.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Birthday Sheep Story...

Remember the story three posts back about the friend who gave me two Snowbabies ornaments years ago and I put them up for safe keeping and couldn't find them again until a couple of months ago? Well, this little tale is about another one of our "mishaps," and, trust me, we've had many over the past 48 years. Yep, we've been close friends that long!

Anyway, her birthday was last Tuesday. I hadn't been anywhere to get her a card, so she didn't get one on her birthday. I thought about her several times, but she was at work, so I didn't call her either. The day AFTER her birthday, I decided to make her a card, so I used the doodle sheep that I had sketched and painted as the front. I typed my name and where it was from with the date on the back and printed it off on a nice digital card.

It looked good, so I handwrote the birthday song on the inside. Only instead of You, I wrote Ewe, as in "Happy Birthday to Ewe!" etc. It never occurred to me that this might cause some confusion.

My friend called me this past Tuesday night. She said it was a good thing she got the card Saturday (4 days after her bd) because she was going to call to see about me. Then she started laughing and said, "Let me tell you what you're little dumb friend did!"

She opened the card, looked at the front, and thought the sheep was sweet. Then she read the inside. She said she must have read it a dozen times trying to figure out what point I was trying to make by singing happy bd to E-we and sending it to her.

She sang it to me, "Happy Birthday to E-We!" I was already belly-laughing, but I didn't say anything. You had to have heard her telling it.

Finally, she looked back at the front, saw the sheep, and made the connection! By the time she told me this, we were both nearly rolling on the floor laughing. I told her that it never occurred to me that she wouldn't think about a ewe being a female sheep. To which she again sang, "Happy Birthday to E-we!" and we got tickled again.

She said at least I got hers in the mail. She had found some that she got for me that never made it to the mail box. She usually calls me sometime around my birthday though. I told her not to feel bad, that I had fixed up my other best friend a BD card back in July and set it on the shelf to mail. A few days later that friend called me, and I told her that her BD card was sitting on the shelf, that I didn't get it mailed yet, but that I would. About three days later, she came to see me and said that she came after her card. I promptly handed it to her, and we had some giggles over coffee.

Ahhh! The joys of being a Senior Citizen! It's a trip! LOL

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Still Here...

Just a note to say that I haven't forgotten that I have this blog. I have just been so busy with drawing and sketching, etc lately, plus I've been trying to set up an Etsy store and taking part in the Art Every Day Month challenge, in which I set myself a goal of sketching 30 dolls in 30 days. I posted my 22nd one today on I'm having a blast, but it is taking a lot of time.

I still have my love of writing though and can't wait until I get a chance to write some things to post. I have so many ideas and thoughts flying around in my head. There is just not enough time and energy to do everything that I want to do creatively anymore.

I will be back though, Lord willing! :)

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Ghost of Great-Grandma?

Look at the pictures below. Do you see her? The lady with the black braids and the white dress? In the background?
Now do you see her? I think it's the ghost of my Great-Grandma, Melinda Lucinda Valentine Sanders Prater. She died way before I was born, but she was a full blooded Cherokee Indian, and I've always been fascinated by her. When I was little, I would ask my grandmother what her mother-in-law's name was, just to hear her sing it off. She would tell me in a little sing-song voice with her eyes twinkling and then chuckle at the end.

The other morning I was sitting at the dining room table and I happened to look out the kitchen door window. I saw a woman wearing a white dress, just standing across from the house. My heart kind of jumped, and I got up to take a closer look.

The dress was long and she was leaning on the diesel barrel, her black braids shining in the morning light. I could see her sun-dappled facial features plain as could be. She was young and beautiful and looked like she might be waiting on someone special. Great-Grandpa, perhaps?

I'm just playing with you! :)

I couldn't resist getting my camera and capturing the image. I thought the barrels, hose, the camper top, and the foliage all conspired to make a little Halloween ghost story image of someone I hold dear, even if I never met her, except through my granny's sing-song recounting of her name.

By the way, she's still standing there...waiting. :)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Little Story About Lost Snowbabies

I just published a post on with this sketch and a story about my lost snowbaby figurines.

It was a sketch for my Everyday Matters drawing group, to which I added a true story. I would have copied it here, but for some reason I can no longer copy and paste to my blogs, and I don't have time to re-type the whole thing right now.

It's titled "EDM #242--Snowbaby Figurine." Hope you enjoy it. :)

Friday, September 11, 2009

Trying to Get All My Ducks In A Row

It's been a while since I posted on Scribbles. It's not that I haven't been thinking about it or that I didn't want to. It's just that I have sooo many projects going that I'm bound to fall behind on some of them. I have lots of stories to tell you if I can ever get organized and get all my ducks in a row so that I can keep up with everything.

Along with trying to keep up three blogs and Facebook, I'm in the process of setting up an Etsy store online, which means I'm also trying to get handmade items ready to put in the store. I'll also have to set up a bookkeeping plan, etc.

I want to continue my blogs for fun, and since I don't want them to be stressful to me, they may be a little sporadic until I get situated.

A story was running through my mind when I got up this morning, but I'm expecting company and don't have time to write it down right now. Maybe it will come back to me at a later time.

Things are changing all the time in my life and getting rearranged, so what's going on in my head is a little chaotic. When things get too chaotic, I do like Ducky Blue (above) and take a nap. At least I have him in a row. .. :)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Pickin Cotton or Cotton Pickin...

The other day Mama was talking about picking cotton when I was little. She, daddy, and I literally had nothing but each other, well we had very little, and I was sick a lot. Daddy worked all the time when he could find work, and Mama worked at different things to help out, or if she wanted something extra.

I remember her picking cotton to get enough money to buy me a panda teddy bear when I was ten years old. Teddy is a little worse for love-wear, but I still have him. He is coming up on his 50th birthday.

Whoops! I told how old I am didn't I?

I told that because it triggered a memory for me. When I've been asked through life what my first paying job was, I've always said I worked one day in Skinner's 5 & 10 Store during my Senior year.

It was on a Saturday, during the Christmas rush. I was extremely shy and absolutely terrified. I was told to watch a couple of little girls that came in because they were bad to shoplift things. I was glad I didn't see them pick up anything, because I don't think I could have said anything. Then one of the ladies that worked there all the time got onto me because I wasn't making bows for gift wrapping when I wasn't busy otherwise. I didn't stop shaking all day long.

I did, however, stay until the end of the day, and was paid three dollars. I bought Mama some artifical roses in a pretty vase for Christmas from the same store. Mrs. Doris was very sweet to me, always, even when I didn't go back on Monday.

But I realize now that that actually wasn't my very first paying job.

Mama's sister and her husband lived next to a large cotton field owned by their brother-in-law. Mama and her sister had both gone to work at the new factory in town, so my maternal grandmother stayed at my aunt's house and took care of her three little girls. I stayed either with them or my paternal grandmother, who lived just a short piece down the country road. I often stayed one place until I got bored, then walked to the other. It was safer then, and I was around ten or eleven years old.

I grew up with and loved my younger cousins. They are still more like sisters to me than cousins.

Anyway, nobody had air conditioning back then, at least in our families, so most of the hot days were spent outside under a good shade tree. Granny broke beans, or whatever her task was at the time, while she watched over us playing. Ten year olds still played back then. Papa was often sitting nearby with a songbook in his hand singing the songs in do-re-mi notes, his favorite past time.

Since there was only a fence between the cotton field and my aunt's yard, we saw all the people bent over picking cotton during the hot days, then taking those large cotton sacks to the truck to be weighed. It looked like fun to my oldest cousin, who was five or six at the time, and me. We begged Granny into letting us go pick cotton. You know how grannys are. We wore her down.

The other two cousins were too little to go, but she gave Rhonda and me each a flour sack. I think mine was green with little gold threads running through it. Flour came in large cotton sacks back then. The material was used for all sorts of things, but that's another story, and yes, I'm that old. :)

We crawled over the fence and timidly found us a spot where there weren't many people. We were both very bashful and at first stood back and watched what the others were doing; seeing how they pulled the little white fluffs off the bolls and put them into their very large cotton sacks.

Then we began to pull off the soft white fluffs, being careful to dodge the stickery things, and put them into our flour sacks. We thought we were doing great and were so proud of ourselves. We each had some cotton in our sacks.

Then one of Rhonda's older male cousins talked her into giving him her cotton, which she did, because she trusted him and didn't know he was taking advantage of her. I think I fussed on her for giving it to him and she cried because she didn't have any left to sell. I felt bad for her.

We were getting hot, tired, and bored anyway. It seemed like we'd been there for hours, but it was probably more like an hour. I helped her pick some more cotton for her sack. Neither sack was even half full, but we marched right up to where the cotton was being weighed and handed Rhonda's uncle our sacks.

Uncle Robert was a kind man and went through the motions of weighing each of our sacks just like he did everyone else's.

Neither of us actually had three cents worth of cotton, I'm sure, but he gave each of us a dime. We were so proud of the dimes that we had earned picking cotton and couldn't wait to show Granny and tell our mamas.

A dime would buy a lot of candy when the peddlar came by.

And that is how picking cotton was my first paying job...and Rhonda's too, I'm sure, although she was probably too young to remember. It's a great memory for me though.

Sunday, August 2, 2009


I just wanted to say hello and that I'm still here, wanting to write, but not finding the quiet to do it in just now. We're adapting to retirement and all that it brings with it, but I can't seem to get organized enough to get any writing done, and my art time is slipping, as well.

I write and paint best when I do it everyday, at least for a little while. I'm struggling to do any at all right now. I'm not complaining. I love hubby being here all the time, but it does make a difference in creative time for me. :)

Hopefully, things will get back to some sort of normalcy soon, and I will be back with some interesting tales for ya. So thanks for visiting and please come back, as I will have something to post before too long...fingers crossed! :)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

T-Biscuit in the Jungle

T-Biscuit relaxing on the fountain in the shade of the Mini-Jungle (see story below). T is a runt and as an adult is only about half the size she should be, and she is as quick as lightening. Has been since she was a tiny kitten. I tell her she's half chipmunk. She darts between Sammie-dog and the other cats and a food morsel and is gone with it before they know what happened. She will stand on her back legs and rub her head on my hand and loves for me to pet her, but she doesn't allow me to pick her up. Affection is strictly on her terms. She is so funny.

These are heart-shaped leaves on a small tree like bush in the jungle. They start out red, turn green, then yellow before they die. I don't know what kind of bush it is, but the cats like to play on it and I like to see it when I look out the window.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Kitty Mini-Jungle

Once upon a time we had huge pine trees in the back yard, which made it very shady. Jim helped me make a small flower bed, approximately 8' x 10', just outside the dining room windows. I could also see it through the window over the sink in the kitchen when I was cooking or washing dishes, and through the utility room window when I was doing laundry.

Kibbles, my Pekingese dog companion at the time, and I worked diligently planting seeds, watching them grow, and weeding every summer. It was filled with snapdragons, hollyhocks, zinnias, marigolds, sunflowers, red and yellow, flowering moss, impatients, petunias, poppies, pink mums, a white peony, and assorted other flowers at one time or another. Many of the plants were given to me by my mother-in-law, mama, and friends, which made them extra special. I thought about each of the people who contributed every time I tended the plants.

A running water fountain with three children sculpted onto it sat in the center, and bird feeders and hummingbird nector surrounded the bed. Squirrels, birds of all kinds, chipmunks, and butterflies abounded, as well as other wildlife, some welcome, some not. :)

It was a delight to sit out by the flower bed in the shade, listening to the fountain, hearing and watching the birds sing and chirp, as they fluttered about eating or bathing in the cool water. The hummingbirds flying around sounded like tiny airplanes as they zipped about drinking the cool red liquid hanging in feeders nearby.

I heard the soft fluttering of a butterfly's wings once, as it flew swiftly by my ear. Amazing!

The squirrels would come and sit in the trees chattering, preaching I called it, trying to run us off so they could run the birds off and get the seed. It was like a small piece of heaven to sit out there and talk...or daydream.

We also loved sitting at the dining room table sipping coffee and watching the activity. Dishwashing was more pleasureable watching the activity outside. It was a time before digital cameras, and I made tons of photos through the windows using a telephoto lens on a 35mm camera. Wonderful times.

But then Kibbles got so old and sick that she had to be euthanized. It broke my heart. I started community college. Blight hit the pine trees and they all had to be cut, taking the shade with them. Life and various other traumatic events that changed my life took over and I no longer had the heart to have a flower bed.

Some of the flowers came back for a few years, but were eventually smothered out by weeds, vines, sage grass, and assorted other natural plants. A couple of stray cats adopted us. They and my dad's cat ended the bird, butterfly, chipmunk, and squirrel population in the yard, as well as, most other small wildlife that dared to enter. Well, the drought a few years ago helped.

The fountain hasn't been hooked up in years now. It sits there waiting to come to life again, to give pleasure and nourishment. All it needs is a little attention.

Because the bed was surrounded by a foot wide concrete border and a little fence, I couldn't mow it, so I used a weed-eater to keep it neat. I've done that every year up until this past fall. It was overgrown a little and I just left it.

I noticed during the fall and winter how much the cats enjoyed hiding and playing in the bed around the fountain and among the turned over flower pots and bird feeders. They often seek shelter during light rain or snow in one of the bigger open feeders that my dad built. Climbing on the fountain is like Disneyland to the kittens.

This spring I have not touched the garden. It has become a mini-jungle for the cats and kittens to play in. Sammidog also likes to lay in the coolness of the shady leaves. Nature has planted a variety of wonderful plants for us to enjoy.

While the kitty jungle looks like a mess that needs cleaning up to family and friends, it's a wonderful tiny piece of heaven again to me and my pets. There's a whole fascinating world of activity going on in the jungle among the leaves and vines. The cats aren't the only inhabitants if one looks closely.

It's not just weeds and such either. There's a bush with heart-shaped smooth leaves. When the leaves are new they are gorgeous reddish colors. They get green as they get larger and yellow as they die. There's also a vine of some sort with heart shaped rough leaves that resemble grape vine leaves climbing all over the feeder. Honeysuckle and blue morning glory vines climb the surrounding fence. Queen Anne's lace is beginning to bloom and the volunteer pink hollyhock is blooming since I took the pictures.

If, when I'm walking around it, I keep my eyes and ears open, I can see and hear a whole little world busy going about it's daily business of surviving. If I quietly stoop down, I can see the nooks and crannies under the vines with kittens sleeping or scuffling in the cool shade.

These cats are skittish though and often hide where they think I can't see them and watch me. It's when they don't know I'm watching from inside the house that the real action takes place. Right outside my windows there's a virtual circus, and it is such fun to watch.

The kittens chase each other around in the jungle, wrestling around in the vegetation. They climb and swing from the dis-assembled fountain and the feeder. They hide in the overturned flower pots and jump out on one another. It's so funny to see a kitten face under a leaf hat. They chase each other from the jungle, across a small distance in the yard to a tree, and back. Their antics are neverending and funny, and laughter is always good medicine.

Sometimes there's a kitten pile on the concrete rabbit bench, all napping (I love kitten piles), or a lone kitten curled up in a pot or on the cow skull that Sammidog hasn't destroyed yet. He completely pulverized the deer head skull I had in the bed, antlers and all.

I thought about preparing and planting the bed in all kinds of flowers this spring. I kind of wanted to, after all these years, but with Sammidog and the cats, there's no way it would survive. I can't even keep potted plants outside.

But that's okay.

I've found that often to have one thing we have to give up another, and I enjoy my pets. Besides God has given me a garden of a different kind. It may not have a lot of multi-colored flowers in it, but natural plants in a tiny jungle can be just as wonderful. The cats love having it and we enjoy the cats so it's relaxing, peaceful, and healing in a natural way, plus there's no weeding. That's a good thing. :)

The end--pictures follow...

The dis-assembled fountain. I mentioned the other day that we should hook it back up. The cats would love the running water. Jim, who used to not tolerate cats at all, was afraid they'd chew on the cord and get electrocuted, so I guess it will stay like it is for now.

A glass gazing ball. If you look close, behind and just a little to the right, you can see Sammidog's face. He's a camera hog and when he saw me making pictures of the bed he jumped over in it and posed.

It doesn't show up much, but the honeysuckle is blooming and smells so good. It's all along this side and one end. You can also see the wooden bird feeder under the other vine, Rabbit Hop Cafe painted on the roof. The kittens climb these vines like they were ropes.

One end, behind the fountain. See the orange and white cat enjoying her jungle. She resented my intrusion on her nap. :)

The front of the bed with the concrete rabbit bench. The pink hollyhock on the left is blooming now, and the Queen Anne's Lace is beginning to.

You can't see the overturned pots, etc in the pictures, and I know it just looks awful and like a snake den to some of you, but it isn't. It's our own tiny jungle, complete with jungle cats, and fascinating adventures just waiting to be had. :)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Ilsa And The Puppies

Ilsa And The Puppies

Drawing and Story by Sharon Pope

Ilsa tried to stay in the shadows as much as possible, but shafts of light from the street light spotlighted the very thing she was trying to hide...two puppies.

She stole them from her neighbor's yard during the middle of the night. The neighbors wouldn't miss them. They had so many dogs and puppies in their fenced in back yard and Ilsa was so lonely. She had no one to call a friend.

Ilsa was homeless and lived in a large pasteboard box around the corner in an alley. She once had a husband, two children, and a nice home, but everything was taken in a few seconds during a tornado a couple of years back. She fell into a deep depression and took to the streets. Nothing mattered anymore, not even whether she lived or died.

It was a good sign that she was lonely now. It meant that she was beginning to feel again and that her heart was beginning to heal a little. A sliver of light in the darkness.

She had often stood and watched the dogs and delighted in their antics as she made her daily rounds scrounging for food and necessities. It was a bright spot in her day. She was a fighter, but the depression and thoughts of ending it all had almost won this time.


She cuddled the puppies in her arms the way she used to cuddle her babies as she made her way back through the cool fall night to the box she called home. It felt so good to have something alive and warm giving her face wet kisses again, squiggling and squirming between her arms and her chest. She hadn't realized how much she missed and wanted that.

The puppies were non-judgemental and wanted to love her. Dogs were like that. She picked these particular two, a Pekingese and a small breed hound, because they were the two that came to her immediately when she stealthily opened the gate. They made no fuss when she picked them up, closed the gate back, and walked around the corner and down the dark alley.

Ilsa had thought about doing this for a couple of days and found some string in the garbage can near her box that was strong enough to use as a leash. She immediately tied them to her hand, once inside the box, and the three of them crawled into the old sleeping bag that she called a bed. She would worry about feed and water for her new friends in the morning. They snuggled right up against her as puppies do. She had babies again to care for. Oh, she was so happy to have the company that she could barely get to sleep, but the soft little snoring sounds from the puppies, like a lullaby, lulled her into a peaceful slumber.

Early the next morning there was a rapping on the side of the box. Ilsa never had company and couldn't imagine who it could be. Frightened out of her wits, she stuck her head out though the box opening to see a policeman standing there.

"Good morning," Ilsa said, rubbing her eyes. "Can I help you? I have permission to be here."

"We're looking for two puppies that were stolen from around the corner last night. They were worth five-hundred dollars apiece. Have you seen them by any chance?" The policeman was trying to see inside the box as Ilsa crawled out to stand up facing him.

Ilsa couldn't lie. Tears were streaming down her face as she turned and scooped the two puppies up out of the box. "I was so lonely and I didn't think they would miss them. They have so many, and I didn't know they were valuable. I'm so sorry! I knew better than to steal them. I just couldn't help myself." She was talking in a pleading tone, her words tumbling out over one another. "I don't want to go to jail."

Another feeling had returned. The feeling of fear. But that was better than no feeling at all.

The officer escorted her back around the corner to the Crester's place and rung the door bell.

Lisa Crester answered the door, looking irritated. She took the puppies from Ilsa and looked them over. They didn't appear to be harmed any. Ilsa's home made leashes still dangled from their tiny necks.

Ilsa apologized profusely and explained why she took them.

"Aren't you the lady who lives in the large box around the the end of the alley? I've seen you passing here often."

"I am." Ilsa was so ashamed and could barely look Lisa in the eye.

"I'll tell you what. You've returned them in good shape and you seem genuinely sorry. Instead of having you arrested, I'll give you a chance to make it up to us if you want."

"Anything." Ilsa sniffled. She couldn't stop crying. It was as if a dam had burst inside her. Lisa, in a moment of compassion, put her arms around Ilsa.

Ilsa hadn't been hugged in a very long time.

A little teary-eyed herself, Lisa said, "I need some help with all these dogs and my kennel business since Frank has gone back to work. If you want to try it, I'll pay you room and board, plus a very small weekly salary. It'll be on a trial basis for a while, until I know I can trust you."

Ilsa couldn't believe the offer. "You can trust me, I give you my word. I've never stolen anything before in my life and never will again." Her tear-stained face offered up a shakey smile.

"Good, you can start right away. I'll show you where to put your things, and I think I have some clothes that might fit you. I was going to donate them to Goodwill, but you might like them."

"Well, I'll let you two ladies work it out from here." The policeman turned and went back to work with a smile on his face. If only all his cases worked out so well. He would check back on them in a few days.

Ilsa followed Lisa through the modest home to a tiny guest house in the back yard near the kennel. A new home, a new family, and all the puppy love she could want.

Another feeling bubbled to the surface as Ilsa stood inside her new home. Hope.

The End

PS--This little story was written spur of the moment, stream of consciousness, which is how I really enjoy writing. It hasn't been properly revised yet, so please overlook any writing mistakes. It was written to go with the doodle drawing above. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Midnight Chase

Polecats, or skunks, along with a variety of other wildlife are common occurrences in our yard. We live in the country with fields, woods, and the river surrounding us. Polecats have caused a number of chases for our dogs over the years, many times resulting in the dogs being very sick and having to wear strong perfume for several days. More than once I had our little house dog in the bathtub in the middle of the night bathing her in tomato juice, both of us gagging, because she had run into a "striped kitty" unseen by me, and sometimes by her, on one of her nightly potty trips outside.

Kibbles was a party-colored Pekingese, meaning she was red and white spotted. She was very small, even for a toy breed. Her hair was long and silky and dragged the ground when it hadn't been trimmed, and she carried her tail like a big white plume curled up over her back. Enormous eyes like two big dark brown marbles dominated her face, and her nose was so short that she barely had a protrusion in profile.

People who didn't even like dogs couldn't resist Kibbles. Her sparkly and energetic personality was bigger than life and she loved everybody. We spoiled her big time because she was the closest thing we had to a baby. She was also fearless, and as tiny as she was, thought she could whip a bear if the occasion arose.

On this particular fall night, about midnight, I asked her if she needed to go potty before we went to bed, and she went to the kitchen door to be let out. I flipped on the porch light, but being tired and sleepy, I forgot to check the yard before I opened the door.

As soon as the door was opened a crack, Kibbles was through it in a flash of fur, skipping the doorstep and landing flat on her belly. Her legs were too short to make the jump. It didn't slow her down. She bounced up like a rubber ball at the same time I saw the object of her frenzied attention.

A polecat!

In her excitement she forgot the sickening spray that the harmless looking kitty produces from that raised tail, and in my panic, so did I. There we were, the three of us, running across the yard in the middle of the night, two of us in panic, and one in chase heaven. The kitty was running from her! Not many things did.

The polecat, who was about the same size as Kibbles, had the lead, running with it's black and white striped tail straight up in the defense position. Kibbles was not far behind, her little legs a blur of speed and her tail straight out behind her like a white flag in the semidarkness. She was barking those sharp little yelps that small dogs make when they are so excited that they can't contain themselves.

At the top of her lungs, "Yap! Yap! Yap!"

I was bringing up the rear, running as fast as I could, which was not easy, since I'm not exactly light on my feet anymore. My nightgown was plastered against the front of me and flowing out behind me as I desperately tried to stop Kibbles. It had dawned on me that the polecat was going to spray us any second.

She was within arm's length of me, just out of reach, and the polecat was doing a running waddle just ahead of her. I was screaming at the top of my lungs, "No, Kibbles, no! Come back!"

She totally ignored me and kept up the chase. Had anyone seen us, we would have been a sight, tearing out through the night like screaming banshees. It's a wonder we didn't put the whole neighborhood in a state of alarm.

After leading us on a merry chase, the polecat ran into a tile at the end of the driveway. The light from the porch was fading into pitch darkness, and I sure didn't fancy giving chase outside that circle of light.

Making a desperate lunge, I caught Kibbles by the tail with one hand, managing to get my other hand under her belly just before she disappeared into the end of the tile in pursuit.

I scooped her up into my arms, both of us still quivering, but for different reasons, and made my way back to the house. I was out of breath and totally amazed that we both weren't wearing a new fragrance.

Safe inside the house, Kibbles was still bouncing in my arms wanting to play some more, her eyes dancing, looking for the kitty.

I was suddenly overcome with laughter as I hugged Kibbles and tried to get her to stop yapping. The whole thing was funny in retrospect.

The chase had ended well. The "striped kitty" had escaped, and by some miracle, so had we!

The End

PS-Kibbles was with us for sixteen years before going to pet heaven in 1997. This is one of our many adventures together.

Monday, March 30, 2009

One-Minute Writer-Entrepreneur

Today's OMW prompt is to write about a business that I would like to start. I wrote:

"If I had the moxie, I would start a little school where I would teach art and writing. It would also acquaint the rural area that I live in with the arts by having student shows and readings in the community, thereby encouraging others to find their talents for the arts."

You can go to the comments section of OMW to read what others dreams for starting a business are.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

One-Minute Writer-Creative

Today's OMW prompt is creative. Other than OMW, in what ways will I be creative today? I wrote:

"It's another cold, dark, and cloudy day here. I feel the urge to go back to bed. However, the urge to do my daily sketch, write a blog entry and a short story, with a little housework thrown in, is over-riding the first urge."

Saturday, March 28, 2009

One-Minute Writer-Magic

Today's One-Minute Writer topic is Magic. Tell about a magical time you've experienced. Here's what I wrote:

"It was late afternoon a couple of days ago. The sun was setting, turning everything golden. Hubby and I sat on the edge of the bed watching a herd of deer frolicking in the hayfield. They were playing tag in the sage grass, running in and out of the long shadows, flagged tails flashing. They were unafraid and so carefree for the moment.

When they tired of playing and went back to grazing we came back to the kitchen to discover a large red fox eating with the cats outside. It was a magical, awesome few minutes that only God could create."

Thursday, March 26, 2009

IMT Challenge-Ghost

This weeks challenge on Inspire Me Thursday is ghost. I posted a photo and a little written story to go with it on Moxie Blue under the same title as this post if you'd like to read it. Thanks so much for visiting and a new tale or two is on the way for Scribbles!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Fox & The Deer

I shared some photos and a story on my Moxie Blue blog last week of a large red fox that has been visiting our back yard in the late evenings, right around dusk, looking for leftover feed. He has beautiful red fur with a white underside and a white tipped bushy tail. His ears, tail, nose, and legs have black accents. He looks like he's wearing black knee socks.

I know there's a danger from wild critters, rabies being one possibility, but Foxy is gorgeous.

Anyway, I told you that to tell you about an amazing experience that Jim (hubby) and I had late yesterday afternoon. He went to the kitchen sink for something and happened to look out the window over the sink. "Sharon, come here! Hurry!" he said in a somewhat excited voice, trying not to talk too loud.

I said, "What is it?," not wanting to get up off the couch. I wondered what the cats or Sammidog were into now.

"It's two deer right here against the fence." he says. "Come here, quick!"

We live in the country with fields and woods connected to our narrow back yard. This is not a rare occurrance, but I got myself up and trudged to the sink to stand beside Jim as he pointed out the deer near the fence.

The low-setting sun was dancing off the field, haybarn, and the deer. Beautiful. About that time, three more deer came across the field to the front of the hay barn, and we spotted another one farther back, making six. None of them had antlers. Jim said they had already shed them for the season. Three of them were about half grown.

They were just fooling around and grazing as we continued to be fascinated by them. Jim said there must be another one, since they kept looking behind them. Eventually, they started ambling toward the hayfield beside the house, and as they did four more came out of the woods and across the field to join them. We counted at least ten in all.

The cats ignored the deer and continued to groom themselves. A couple of them did look around for a minute in a bored fashion, then went back to what they were doing.

Sammidog finally noticed them and trotted to the fence, barked a couple of times, and stood at attention with his question mark tail up for a minute watching them. Jim fussed because he thought Sammidog would scare them off, but the deer didn't move. No threat there.

Sammidog's gotten too fat to go through the fence and decided it wasn't worth the trouble to go around to get to the other side. He looked back at us through the window to see if we were watching, and came back to the porch. The deer went slowly on to the hayfield.

Jim suggested that we might could see them from the bedroom window facing the hayfield. We could. We sat on the corner of the bed and watched as they put on a show. I've seen them crossing behind the house many times, but I never saw them play like that before.

White tails flashed as the three half grown deer frolicked around in the golden colored sage grass in the field. They played deer tag as they ran and jumped around together, unafraid and carefree for the moment. They darted in and out of the shadows in flashes of soft brown fur and white flags, sunset highlights accenting them, as the mom's stood guard.

Eventually, they all came back up behind the house and started grazing again. We watched the deer for a while longer through the kitchen window, standing side by side, in awe at what we'd just witnessed.

I said, "Do you know how many people never get to witness anything that awesome? Or how many people would have seen it and never seen the beauty, but only prey to be shot down just for fun?"

Jim was as in awe as I was, and he used to hunt deer. I wish I could have gotten pictures to share. There is nothing like the wonder and beauty that God creates if we just pay attention. I'm so glad I dragged myself off the couch. I wouldn't have missed that for anything, and to share it with someone I love was just icing on the cake. I was totally blessed by the whole experience.

The sun set and it was getting dark as I went back to watching television, not near as exciting as the deer I might say, and Jim went to the bathroom. He came back to the kitchen, looked out the window, and said, "You're not going to believe this."

I said, "What now?"

He said, "The fox is back and it's out here eating with the cats."

So I guess when I first saw the fox last week and thought it was chasing a cat. It actually wasn't. The cat just happened to be running in front of it. I worried that it might be after them.

"You're kidding! It's eating WITH them?" I asked, as I started to get up again. I wanted to see this!

"It's gone now." Jim went back to looking for something to eat. "It took off when it saw me in the window."

I'm sure it came back when it felt safe. It's not afraid of Sammidog. That's for sure.

Sammidog was probably laying on the back porch with his front legs dangling off the edge watching like he usually does...unless he knows we're looking. He saves his bravery for when it matters. To impress us.

Sometimes the most awesome things happen in our on backyards. We only have to open our senses up to experience them.

Monday, March 23, 2009

One Minute Writer-Imitation

Today's one-minute writer prompt is: It is said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. If so, who would you like to imitate, and in what way?

I wrote:

"Aside from Jesus, there are many people who have traits that I admire, but I'm old enough now that I just want to have the courage to be a good version of myself."

Being ourselves is not an easy task. :)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

One Minute Writer--Missing

Today's One Minute Writer theme: What's missing from your life? Are you trying to find it?

"Time and organization are missing in my life. As I get older, the time goes faster and faster it seems like, and I just can't seem to find the time to get organized anymore. My house is a disaster and I can't get as much of anything accomplished as I used to. Yes, I am trying to find organization, which will also give me more time."

That's what I posted on their blog, but my dad and my mother-in-law are also missing from my life, and I miss them very much.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Gift of Roses

These roses were given to me by Mama after Valentine's Day and were wrapped in yellow tissue paper and cellophane, all tied up with a golden ribbon. They are made of very thin wood. The pink ones are pretty, but yellow roses are my favorites. I haven't tried to arrange them yet. I just let them fall naturally. I kind of like them that way though.

Mama's friend, Wilma, who picked up the roses for her, gave us the vases to put them in. Mama's was similar to mine, but more of a fan shape. Isn't it pretty? I like it because it's old timey looking. I love old things. I'm very sentimental.

They looked so pretty with the sunlight streaming in through the window on them this morning that I though I'd share them with you. Have a blessed day. :)

Monday, March 2, 2009

Cat Fight in the Making

Sketchbook doodle inspired by Melissa's technique. Check out her blog for some really fun art.

Click on the picture to enlarge it so you can see the facial expressions better. They just crack me up.

The reason I've posted this on my writing blog is that hubby has just retired, and I'm hoping this is not us in a few weeks, but I might be able to write a story to go with this doodle by then. What do you think? LOL

One Minute Writer--Toast

Today's one minute writer challenge is toast. If I was at an event and had to make a toast I'd raise my glass and say:

"I raise my glass to all of those who not only believe in paying acts of kindness forward, but actually do it."

Sunday, March 1, 2009

If I Had A Store, What Would I Sell?

The One Minute Writer challenge for today is store. If I had a store, what would I sell? You only have one minute to write your answer. This is my first time participating, so I didn't use my whole minute this time, but here's what I posted:

"The store of healing, dreams,and art would be open for business, with books and music everywhere. Everyone would be welcome!"

There are some interesting answers on the Writer blog. Click on comments to read. This was fun! I'm going to do it again! :)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Accident Prone, Rubber Bumpers, and a PS

I have had a week of minor mishaps. So far I haven't broken anything, knock on wood. :)

Sunday night I started to bed and knocked the clock off the bedside table right onto the top of my big toe. Boy, did that hurt! And, yes, I said the S word. :) Not proud of it, but out it came.

I was holding my foot and dancing around in pain while hubby shouted from the living room, "What did you do?"

He got aggravated because I didn't answer him right away. I just had a throbbing toe and was getting nauseaus. Not easy to answer, dance, and try to keep from being sick at the same time. He finally came to see about me. By this time I was laying on the bed massaging my toe, which was turning black, and I was feeling sick.

He said I should be more careful and went back to watch TV. Like I would deliberately try to break my toe.

The next day, Monday, the toe hurt from top to bottom when I walked, and I wasn't sure I could stand a shoe on it, but I put on socks and my crocks to go outside and feed Sammi and the cats. It wasn't too bad.

I was walking amidst a group of cats and Sammi was being his usual hyper self. I had already petted him, which sends him into super hyper-activity. He was running wide open in circles around me as fast and hard as he could. Sammi is solid as a rock and sounds like a horse galloping when he runs.

All of a sudden he whipped across in front of me, right against the fronts of my legs. Down I went. Fell right over where he had been, onto my all fours. Hard! Luckily, I fell between the rocks we use as steps, but I'm a heavy weight and it jarred me good. The canister of cat/dog food dropped and most of the feed went on the ground.

Three of the cats were so concerned about me being down that Loopy came from behind and stood between my knees and began eating while I was trying to get my bearings. Tigger-Top was against my knee on the outside and Ringer was facing me, all eating like it was perfectly natural for me to be on my all-fours in the mud. Sammidog lay down a little piece away with a quizzical look on his face, trying to figure out what in the world I was doing.

I got up and scraped up most of the spilled feed and continued across the yard, with muddy knees and hands, and Sammidog jumping for joy beside me. I got them fed and came back inside the house. Jim was sitting on the couch waking up. I said,"Well, I'm okay from my fall."

Jim asks,"How did you fall."

"I fell over Sammidog," says I.

"I'll say to my time,"says he.

I was a little stiff and sore in my joints from the fall, but we went grocery shopping at Kroger's and did a lot of walking, which wears me out even when I'm not sore from a fall and have a sore, blue toe.

When we got home I was helping bring groceries in and started down the ramp. Sammidog was so excited to see us that he ran against me from the side, knocking me off balance. My feet got crossed up and I fell against the brick wall of our house. I was glad it was there though. Otherwise I would have hit the ground again. I got an armload of groceries, brought them into the house, and stayed. I let Jim bring the rest in and I put them away. My shoulder was a little wonky feeling though. I sat down on the couch and didn't move until bedtime.

I made the mistake of getting on the scales Tuesday morning. I had gained three and a half pounds, which depressed me and made me angry at myself for eating so much ice cream here lately. I'm already borderline diabetic, which scares me, but apparently not enough. I just keep eating.

One of my best friends came for a visit Wednesday evening, and as I walked her to her car, Sammidog, who was playing tag back and forth between us, jumped at my hand and I jammed my middle finger against the same brick wall. It hurt at the time, but no lasting damage.

This morning I came back in from feeding Sammi and the cats, and just as I was passing the kitchen counter Jim said something to me, and I warped the back of my hand on the corner of the counter top. More dancing and trying not to talk ugly. My hand went numb for a minute, then had a little dented scratch in a blue spot to decorate it. It now matches my toe.

So, as of this afternoon, my right big toe is blue and sore, my lower back, upper arm muscles, and thighs are still a little sore and stiff, my right shoulder is a little sore, my right middle finger knuckle is a little sore, the back of my right hand has a blue spot with a dent in it and is a little sore, and I'm getting fatter. Jim is threatening to put rubber bumpers on me to keep me safe.

I am so lucky that I didn't break something though. Hopefully, I won't. I am a little accident prone anyway, but I think Sammidog is out to get me. Just kidding. He is such a happy, excited puppy and he means no harm. He's just trying to play.

Jim took him on a long walk around the farm yesterday evening checking fences. He thought it would let Sammidog run some energy off. Jim came back pooped and Sammi was still going full speed ahead. He's a hoot. Just way too much energy for old retired folks. :)

Hopefully, I'll make it through the next few days without any more mishaps. Have a great weekend!

Happy Birthday, Daddy! Miss You So Much!

PS--Thursday night after I posted this, I tripped and fell as I started down the hall. Jim was laying in his recliner and I caught on his legs or I would have hit the floor on my all fours again. He just looked at me and shook his head.

Then this morning I was taking a shower and a tube of shampoo fell off the shower shelf and hit me on the toe on my other foot. The idea of a foam rubber outfit is beginning to sound appealing.

Am I jinxed or what? Some weeks are just like that I guess. Thank the Lord, I'm still not broken. I hate to think what might have happened if my guardian angel wasn't watching over me. :)

Friday, February 13, 2009

IMT Challenge-Lace/ Sara's Dress

This weeks challenge at Inspire Me Thursday is lace. I immediately thought of one of my favorite dolls in my collection and her dress. I'm posting Sara's photo on my Scribbles blog, because there is a story behind the dress, which I would like to share with you.

I rescued this hard plastic doll from the 50's at a flea market for very little money. She was dressed in a one-piece white satin underwear romper-type thing with lace around the arms and legs and had on nothing else. I just fell for her blue eyes, the tiny white teeth in the open mouth, and the long mohair wig that hangs below her derriere.

She got a new home and the other dolls got a new sister called Sara. They all loved her immediately, as I did. Sara had such a sweet personality, who wouldn't?

I didn't have anything at home for Sara to wear that was becoming to her and didn't get around to sewing her a new dress for the first several months she lived with us. She didn't complain though.

One Sunday at church one of the ladies, who knew that I collected dolls, handed me bag. She was grinning from ear to ear, as I pulled out one of those little "dress me" dolls, about 6" tall, that mama used to crochet outfits for in the 50's. She had a pattern book with storybook outfits to crochet for the dolls. She made several really pretty ones. I don't know what happened to them. Uh-oh, I'm off track. Sorry!

The little doll had on a really heavy, bulky white lace dress that she was just lost in. She looked so pitiful with the brown mohair locks glued to her head and the large brown eyes peering up at me; drowning in a sea of wadded lace and satin.

I expressed my gratitude to the lady, whom I love dearly. I was touched that she saw this little urchin at a yard sale and rescued her just for me. I brought her home, and after lunch took her out of the bag and pulled the wad of material off her. I found a cute little pink lace dress in my stash of extra clothes that just fit her and she loved it. It had a small gold heart button on the bodice, and she refused to take the dress off. I didn't argue with her. She looked so much better. She looked like a Flora to me, and since she couldn't remember her name, she agreed to answer to it.
I introduced Flora to the others and left her to get acquainted as I picked up the wad of lace. It had a beautiful design pattern on it, and when I turned it inside out I found that the skirt and sleeves had been pulled up, folded, and tacked into place to cover the little doll. After all, it would have been indecent to have her in a yard sale in her birthday suit.

I took the tacking loose, letting the skirt and sleeves fall to their real length. It was a lace dress, with a satin lining, designed to fit a much, much larger doll and was in perfect condition, though old and kind of yellowed with age.

It fit 20" Sara perfectly, as you can see in the photo.

I couldn't believe it! I couldn't have found or sewn a dress more befitting for her. I added the aqua ribbon to the waist and found a tiny pendant necklace with an aqua stone in it. Sara was gorgeous as she was, but she didn't like being barefoot and shyly asked if she might have some boots with tiny pearl buttons.

I found those and a lace parasol just her size in a doll supply catalog. Sara looked like a princess in her new/old ensemble and her new siblings could not believe their eyes when she rejoined them. They insisted on having a tea party to celebrate, which lasted into the wee hours, leaving them all exhausted, but happy. Flora and Sara became the best of friends. After all, they shared a secret about a dress.

And that is how a dress that was forced to hang on a 6" doll, embarrassing her to no end, came to make a 20" doll look like a princess. What are the odds?

Sara insisted that I show you her pearl-buttoned boots. She loves them so. Flora sends her apologies that she wasn't available for the photograph. She is in the hospital awaiting new rubber band surgery. ;)

Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Getting to the heART of it Blog Festival

This is a double page watercolor drawing in my Moleskine sketchbook in participation in the heART blog festival that Mother Henna is hosting on her blog on Valentine Day. You can click on the Exploring My heART badge on my sidebar to find out the details if you'd like to join in.

Like anyone else who has live long enough, my heart bears the scars of being cracked, broken, and shattered. It has also sung, danced, jumped for joy, swung on stars, and been so filled with love that I thought it would burst. I have been blessed to have loved and been loved by many wonderful people in my life. Whatever I attempt to create comes from the pain, the loss, the joy, and the love of life. I share it in the hope that what comes from my heart will touch yours, if only for a moment, and we will both be blessed.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Writing a Novel and The Happy Dance!

First 3 completed chapters of my novel

I didn't tell y'all that I just finished a two year course on novel writing with Long Ridge Writers Group. This last assignment was actually way late and was really a challenge to get myself to do.

It was the business part of the course and included a query letter, a cover letter, a synopsis of the whole novel, a publisher's form, a revision of one of the chapters that I had already written and sent in to the instructor, plus a letter to the instructor. This part was not fun and I kept procrastinating. I finally got tired of it hanging over me, hoisted up my bloomers, and got it done and emailed to my instructor, who nearly died of a heart attack because he finally got an assignment from me. :) I started not to finish it, but now I'm so proud of myself for doing it and am awaiting my diploma.

This will be my second diploma from LRWG. I took the Breaking Into Print course on writing short stories and articles a few years ago, and it was worth every penny.

I really enjoyed writing the short stories and articles, and actually got a few of them published online. I found out early on in the novel writing course that I'm not sure that I have the patience to write a whole novel. Maybe if I'd written the rough draft of the whole novel to start with I'd feel differently.

For the novel writing course I only had to complete the first three chapters, plus plot lines, outlines, etc. I had to present two ideas and get the instructor's input, which was that he thought they were both good ideas with good characterization, and that either would be marketable. He left it up to me to pick one.

I chose to base the novel on a short story that I had written for the first course. The working title is "DANCING A DREAM." It is about an obese, thirty year old woman, named Fedora Isabella Quintana, nicknamed Fizzy, who lives to dance and still dreams of being a professional dancer.

I don't want to tell too much about it here, because I might decide to finish the whole novel and don't want to give away anything, but it is about five years of Fizzy and her best friend's lives. There is a little mystery, romance, setbacks, adventure, humor, and a lot of dream chasing in it.

I actually have written two short stories with these two characters, and everyone who has read them has enjoyed them. They have both almost been published. I would love to post them here, but that might hamper them ever getting published when I start submitting again. I haven't submitted anything in a while, but I plan on starting again soon.

My instructor encouraged me to finish the novel and submit it. He thinks it has a good plot line, interesting characters, and a good chance at getting published. Right now I don't think I have the patience for all the reivisions of that many chapters. I almost got burned out on the first three. I prefer short stories or personal experience pieces, but who knows, I already have a good start on the novel, so when I've rested a while on it I may just finish it...or maybe I'll write one on the other idea I had about the cat lady. We'll see.

Anyway, I'm proud of me for finishing the course. I have too many other works in progress going on as it is. Trust me, I did the happy dance as soon as I finished. :)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Sammidog Rules the Roost...For The Time Being (an update)

Well, Sammidog has been with us almost three months now, and he almost has me trained.

For those of you who haven't read the post (under the label of Sammidog) about how he came to live with us, he came trudging up through the garden one morning so starved that you could see every bone in his body, and he could barely stand up he was so malnourished. Mama gave him some dog food, but her dog let him know quickly that he wasn't staying there. He followed Mama to my house. I fed him some milk and fixed him a bed and now we can't peel him off us. :)The cats had their bluff in on him for a few weeks. I started out feeding them seperately, but Sammidog would follow me to feed them, where he promptly and frequently got his jaws boxed. Then they got to swapping food, so now I just feed them all together. They get along pretty well. He sits amidst the cats, towering over them, waiting patiently when it's feeding time. As soon as the door opens though, he's all over me.

I declare he has flubber in his paws, the way he's continually jumping straight up, sometimes doing half-twists in mid-air. He looks like he's on a trampoline. It's very funny, but sometimes frustrating, especially when we're dressed to go somewhere and all of a sudden we have muddy paw prints on our butts. One of Sammidog's favorite things is to run up from behind, tap us on the butt with his front paws, then take off like he's playing tag.

He loves everybody, including the cats, and is more than a little overly zealous. I hear him yelp several times a day when the cats have had enough. I have scolded him repeatedly about the jumping up on people, but he is so hyper that he just can't contain himself. If he were a child, he'd probably be on Ridlin or something.

And stubborn. If you looked up the word in the dictionary, his picture would be there. I can call him all day long and if he doesn't want to come...he isn't going to. I think he's been taking lessons from the cats.

When he first came I could carry him in one arm, he was so light. Not now. He's solid as a rock and I can barely pick him up. He's also very strong. Sometimes, he nearly knocks me over.

He's also still puppy enough that whatever he can get hold of he tears up all over the yard. Our back yard looks really bad right now. I bought him rawhide toys and they disappeared. I don't know if he lost them, or dismantled them. He dismantles everything, including the antlered deer skull in my flower bed that I found in the hayfield and put there.

He gets so bored with nobody to play with that tearing up stuff is how he entertains himself. Anything we set down, he grabs and takes off with, and he totes stuff out of the car shed and throws it around if he can't tear it up. I told Jim that I expect anytime to see him coming out with the chainsaw.

Jim has been away working most of the time since Sammidog has been here, and it's been so cold and bad that I haven't been out much to spend a lot of time with him. Jim has one more week before he'll be retired and spring will be here soon. Maybe then we can get him under control.

He loves to go walking in the woods and fields, preferably if we're walking too. Sometimes he runs alongside when I'm on the four-wheeler, sometimes not. Depends on the stubborn factor that day.
Mama bought Sammidog this woolly lined coat for Christmas. She thought it would be funny. You can tell that he wasn't amused at all. It was a little snug. He posed for me to take a couple of pictures, then started rolling and chewing to get it off. Within a few minutes the coat was laying on the ground and he had gone to bed in his insulated house.

The only time Sammidog is still is when he's being scratched on his chest or when he's having his picture taken. He's a camera ham and when he sees one aimed at him he will hold still and pose...most of the time. If I'm scratching his chest he will wrap both front paws around my arm and sit still as long as I scratch.

Despite some bad habits and his hyperactivity, he's a delightful dog. He keeps us laughing, and he has this mischievous way of looking at you sideways, almost like he's flirting, that gets him some petting almost every time.

I've always preferred smaller woolly dogs, but Sammidog is okay, and since nobody ever came looking for him, I guess we belong to him.

The saga continues...

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Play-fulness In Art & Writing

I find myself having a hard time getting started back to writing or drawing in the new year. I had the habit of drawing/writing something every morning while I had my first cup of coffee. The holidays have thrown that off a bit it seems. I've gone from "couldn't wait to get started" to "finding it difficult or downright impossible to start."

This brings me to a question Leah asked in a post, and since I'm participating in her Creative Every Day Challenge this year I thought I'd share my answer here.

The question was, "How do you return to playfulness when your creations are getting stiff?"

Instead of having a chance for my work to get stiff, I tend to get blocked. Sometimes I get stuck before I even start and sometimes it's half way through the project.

I love to do stream of consciousness writing, and if I do it a couple of days in a row that usually unlocks my writing and gets me going again.

Tammy in the Mojoart group introduced me to touch drawing the winter my dad died, four years ago. She shared her story about a technique that she had learned in art therapy. I looked it up on the net and tried it. I was hooked. I made dozens of drawings over the next couple of years. It not only helped my art, it helped me survive those years when we were hit with one trauma after another.

Touch drawing only requires your fingers, ink, thin paper, and an inking board. It helps if you meditate and center yourself first. You spread a very thin layer of printers ink over your board with a brayer, lay your paper down gently over the ink, and tapping into your inner self, let your feelings come out through your fingers and hands onto the back of the paper. You can use both hands at once if you want.
It's amazing what images come out when you pull the paper up and turn it over. Each drawing tells a story, which you can write out if you want. You can also add color to them. Each drawing is numbered in the order you drew them during your session. I can line all of mine up in order from all of my sessions and see a progression from grief and anger to acceptance and healing.

I haven't done any for a while, but they sure did help my creativity and my sanity during a rough time. The Center for Touch Drawing has a website with a demo if you're interested.

Another thing I learned this past year was from Judi Russell's website. She shares her art journaling technique, where you center yourself, close your eyes, try not to think about what your pencil is doing, and let it glide lightly over the paper making different shapes, lines, circles, etc.

When you're done, you open your eyes and study the shapes until an image emerges that means something to you. When it does, you darken the lines of the image, add lines, words/phrases, faces, enhancements, etc. to bring it out as far as you want to. Go over the image lines with an ultra fine black sharpie. Then you can color it if you like. You can also journal about what the image means to you.

Judi does have a gallery of her art journal drawings and some of her paintings that derived from the drawings. I have a tutorial of sorts on my Moxie Blue website under the label "quirky art journal instructions." However, my images look nothing like hers. :)

I've been doing at least one of these a day since last April and I have over 325 now. I am constantly amazed at the images I pull out of a bunch of shapes and lines, but they have inspired dozens of ideas for paintings and stories for writing for me.

I tend to take everything waaaaaay too seriously and these techniques are a lot of fun to me because I don't worry about everything being perfect or good enough. I just relax and let things flow. I always come away from these "play" times feeling more relaxed and confident about my art and writing.

As a matter of fact, writing about play time with art/writing has put me in the mood to do some. See you later! Have a creative day!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Bobbie Tail & Nacho Say...

For some reason the font letters wouldn't go any larger. Sorry! It says, "Happy MoooooooYear From Rabbit Hop."

Wishing you all the best year ever!