Thursday, January 29, 2015


What does a peacock say?

"HELP! HELP!"  It scares the bejeezies out of you if you aren't expecting it.  You'll think someone is in real trouble, then you'll see a peacock strutting around.

I have the funniest peacock story... 

It makes me smile just thinking about it.

I have the cutest little project that is fun to do in my classroom each year at Thanksgiving. It starts with Readers' Digests.  The kids fold the first page a certain way then repeat that fold for every page after that. We spray paint that part brown and it becomes the turkey's body.  Next they create a big pretty tail to glue on the back and stick a head in between the pages.  It makes an adorable Thanksgiving Turkey.  

That's not the funny part.

A few of years ago I had a little girl whose family didn't celebrate holidays.  I wanted to have the kids do the project, but I didn't want to leave that student out, so... I had the bright idea to buy a can of blue spray paint!  I didn't want her to miss out or necessarily stand out as different, so I offered the option to the class... assuming a kid or two would join in with the alternative... 

"Guys, we're going to decorate our end of the hall for the special visitors who are coming next week. (I don't remember who or why... I  think it was the superintendent and some special team from somewhere.) You can make a Thanksgiving Turkey for our display then you can take yours home; it will be a great decoration for your holiday table.  Or, if you want to be able to display yours all year, you can make a November Peacock.  You'll make it just the same, but we'll paint the body bright blue and use blue for the tail feathers."  

Like I said, I assumed I'd have 20 or so turkeys for our display and a handful of peacocks to brighten the room.

Hmmm... nope... 

I had about 20 bright blue peacocks and a handful of turkeys. Those kids were so proud of them.  I have a memory of one of the kids explaining that these were November Peacocks and that group of dignified visitors smiling and nodding as if that was supposed to make perfect sense but they didn't quite get it.

I could just laugh out loud right now.

Original Oil Painting on 12"x 16" Wrapped Canvas

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

:) My Classroom Door :)

I know, I know...
It's not art, but I love, Love, LOVE my classroom door!
It's supposed to be decorated with a winter theme.
Can you tell that I DID follow the rules? 
Look really closely at the book titles...
I've never been one to break rules, but I sure do seem to enjoy bending them. :)

I love the room behind this door.  
I've got the best job in the world.  
I get to read and write with 10 year olds all day. 
Lucky me.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Butterscotch the Cow

Do cows these days get names?

In books cows always have sweet appropriate cow names names... Flossy, Bessie, Elsie...

But, my dad called them #34 or #22 or #51... or whatever number was hanging from the yellow tags in their ears.  I think they only got a name if they were a problem, and then they got a Biblical name, not necessarily a compliment... I remember him referring to one cow as Jezebel because she was mean and hateful.  I remember another that had pink-eye so bad that Dad called him Blind Bartimaeus... I'm pretty sure that any cow that ended up with a name ended up at the sale barn pretty quickly.

There was one gentle "name" that I do remember.  As he'd walk through the cows to feed them or count them, he'd softly call, "Suk.. Suk.. Sukie... Suk.. Suk.. Sukie..."  I think it was meant to calm  and comfort them.

That kind of makes me want to change this little guy's name to Sukie. :)

(I'm trying to remember, but I think the cow in Little House in the Big Woods was named Sukie.  If it's a name good enough for Pa Ingalls, it must be a good cow name. Does anyone remember if that's was it?  The cow that Ma thought she was slapping on the winter night when it was actually a bear in the cow pen?)

Thanks to Vaughn Skinner for capturing this 
photograph and letting me put it on canvas.

Original Oil Painting on 12"x 12" Wrapped Canvas

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Whimsical Santa II

Can you "super-size" that?


I'm not sure whether the person who requested this is a little behind in being ready for last Christmas season or really ahead for next Christmas season. :)  Either way, he was fun to paint - both times!

The first little Whimsical Santa is still waiting for a home.  
Contact me if you're interested in hanging him on your wall. 

Acrylic Painting on 10"x 20" Wrapped Canvas

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Little Treasure

How do those colors & shapes, lights & darks, actually become something recognizable?
I love watching it happen...
The process still amazes me.

Mix a color palatte that has lights, mediums, and darks.
 Just get the shapes in the right place.
Squint and find the shadowed places first.

Squint again to find the lightest places.

Blend, tap, touch, brush, add, remove, fuzz...

Don't stress when it's in the "ugly" stage.  All paintings, like all kids have to go through it.
 Be brave with new strokes that have to cover what's already right.
 Step back and look at it with fresh eyes, or take a picture of it and look at it on the screen, or hold it up to a mirror.  Change whatever draws your eyes first.
My spot.
Thanks to Rebecca Marinoni, photographer, 
for capturing this image and 
for granting permission to paint it.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

It Is Well With My Soul

What are your comfort words?

I love this phrase.  It comes to me in moments when I need to take a deep breath. It is a reminder that in the grand scheme of life... it is well... it is well... it is well with my soul. 

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.
                                       -Horatio Spafford

It was a special day for us... 

"Powell Sisters." 

We welcomed our new sister.
With presents, 

20 questions/100 answers.
Welcome, Kittie.
     We look forward to sharing this memory and many more to come.
               Karen, Sheila, Karen, & Helen

What are your comfort words?

Original Acrylic Painting on 16"x 20" Wrapped Canvas 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Red VW Bug

What does your car say about you?

So... this is mine... 
What do you think?  
...Surprised?  ...No?

When I was a teenager, my best friend Sheila had a candy-apple red VW... the old kind.  Oh, my goodness we had some times in that car!

When my own kids each became drivers (meaning I no longer had the job of carting them around) I purchased this little mid-life crisis car.  And, it's what I've been toodling around in ever since.  I love my little salsa-red bug with daisies in the dash vase.

So, what do you drive?And, what does that say about you?


Saturday, January 3, 2015

Eenie Meenie Tippa Teenie

Well, Southern Gal, Nita, & Anonymous (although I know who you are. :) I think your odds are pretty good!
Here we go with my favorite selection poem!!!

Eenie Meenie
Tippa Teenie
Oooh La
Bippa Deenie
Oochie Coochie
Comma Goochie
Out... Pops... YOU!

And the winner is... Anonymous a.k.a Tina, you silly one. Love you!
Renee, I always look forward to seeing what you and yours are up to when I see one of your posts pop up in my feed!
Nita, Your knitting work and felting work for your patterns is beautiful and your poetry is lovely. I'm so glad you're also enjoying the Joyous Chaos Blog. I read every single post from beginning to end... and didn't paint a stroke during those days!
...I finished a painting tonight! ... kind of a self-portrait... hmmm... look for it tomorrow!

Maybe I'll do a giveaway again one of these days.