Monday, May 26, 2008


Less than two weeks till I make my annual pilgrimage to Arrowmont. Despite Debbi's encouragement to "go in cold," I am experimenting with lino prior to Diane Fine's class. Above is my first effort inked with a dye ink pad and run thru my pasta machine. I am very excited about experimenting and getting more proficient.

While we were in Nashville over the weekend, my aunt, Betsy Karounos, gave me a short tutorial on basic lino carving. See some of Betsy's award-winning prints here. I wish I could spend a month under her instruction.

Lori E, Debbi and I will all be roomies in the barn. Anyone else goin to Gatlinburg?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Top 10 Reasons I Don't Like it When Mark's Out of Town

10. The dog was without water for at least a day before I noticed.
9. I have been doing all the laundry.
8. Our grass is higher than the neighbors'.
7. I don't like touching the garbage can.
6. No one is here to make me a protein shake.
5. My car is dirty.
4. The kids don't fear me.
3. The bananas are going bad before I can eat them all.
2. I don't know how to work the grill.
1. There's no one to open the pickle jar.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Drought's Over

Just when I was convinced that The Book had drained me of every last creative impulse, every corny, alliterative pun, every urge to pick up a caran d'ache and scribble with joyful, reckless abandon --- I'm back among the media mixing.

Haute Couture

And now that I'm back, I have an announcement to make. There's been a lot of heated debate, name-calling, and controversy over just what exactly these green thingies are. Debbi, Courtney and Whitley all insist they're bunnies, my dad calls them "toothy trolls" and I've always thought of them as partially evolved lizard/dino creatures. Over the last several months the Praterposte Doodle Kingdom has grown to include all sorts of dentally-challenged misfits, so a phylum has been created in the hopes of laying this issue to rest at last.


They're Beazles, ok? I have no further comment and will leave the rest of the kings playing chess on fine grained sand for another post.

Well, I'm glad we've got THAT out of the way.

So. I bought a lovely charm pack of fabric yesterday. The line is called Flutterby and it's designed by some chick who calls herself Tula Pink. With a handle like that, you know she's gotta be some kinda dang surface design genius.

Anyhoo, I incorporated this yummy Flutterby stuff into a few paintings in two ways: as clothing as seen above and just below, and as a background element in the last two. (Sorry about the blurry pix, but my camera got stolen in Jamaica a couple of months ago. I know, you really feel for me having been the victim of crime while vacationing in the Caribbean in the dead of winter.) The iPhone ain't the greatest for taking snaps and I can't scan these either because of the 3-D stuff poking out of them so just squint and pretend they're in focus. See, that's not so bad.

Hannah's Mary Janes

These last two pay homage to Tula Pink and her bugged out designs.


Ok, this is the part of the program where Debbi needs to log off or be clobbered with an image of her birthday present. I know. This is silly. As if Debbi reads my blog.

Deb Bee

I never did show y'all what Debbi made me for my birthday. Know why? Because the pix were blurry, but now that we've all got this squinting and pretending routine down I might just do that.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day

I know the boys look very small in this picture, but they were a whopping four pounds a piece, almost double their birth weights, at nearly two months old. I have eaten burritos larger that.

The white wires coming out of their clothes hooked up to monitors that alarmed when their hearts would slow down or when they'd stop breathing. The little Christmas outfits they are swimming in are actually preemie sized. That look on my face? Terror tempered with lipstick.

Today's painting was inspired by the above photo:

And here are our attempts at a Mother-Sons picture outside of IHOP this morning......

I saw a woman in the restaurant with twin baby girls. When my boys were little like that people always said to me, "Wow, you have your hands full," and I learned to reply, "Better full than empty."
Happy Mother's Day to all of you with full hands.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Planning a Visit in 4 Steps by Nana & Popou

  1. Plan for weeks that you are coming from South Florida to visit us Mother's Day Weekend
  2. Call 10 days prior to said visit and cancel due to another obligation thus crushing grand children's spirits and brightening son-in-law's
  3. Call one hour later and announce you may be coming THIS weekend and will let us know
  4. Call six hours later and say, "Sheerel, we're 40 miles out of Tampa."

They got in at 1am Friday morning and left before dawn this morning. Do other people's parents arrive and depart under cover of darkness or just mine?

So. I took my mom to Wal-Mart for some new prescription sunglasses for Mother's Day. There was a LIVE Mariachi band playing next to the Food Court in anticipation of Cinqo de Mayo. And because everyone knows that Mexican Polka music is much better enjoyed with a sinus headache, you can imagine my elation. THEN this woman in a lavender jersey pantsuit totally wiped out in the lobby of the Vision Center. She said she was trying to sit down on one of those rolling stools but I think it was actually a Chicken Dance accident. Ever watch AFV? It happens.

Later that day, only somewhat recovered from what will from now on be referred to simply as "the Vision Center Incident," Mom and I went to Costco to buy a beef tenderloin. We came home with a 42" flat screen TV and a case of wine. Some people buy packs of gum or magazines on impulse. These people are amateurs.

Sunday evening, in preparation of their departure, Dad went through his usual ritual of filling up his two ginormous coolers with ice for the drive home. He proceeded to dump EVERY cube from our ice maker into his coolers, making a several minute long ruckus during Masterpiece Theatre. I looked over to Mark who was already staring in my direction, bewildered.

Mark: What does he need all that ice for? We never travel with ice.

Me: Mom, is Dad transporting human organs across state lines? If you guys need some gas money just say so.

Of course, she doesn't understand our amusement. This is a woman who once walked off a four-hour Air Tran flight with several servings of Eggplant Parmesan in her purse.

So, as of dark:thirty today:
  • parents are dispatched
  • monster television is precariously/temporarily set up on the mantle
  • the children are suffering withdrawal from lack of candy, presents and attention
Mom and Dad will be back in a couple of months. Hopefully the ice maker will have replenished our supply by then.