Sketch of Front Door

I’m feeling a bit under the weather so the only thing getting done around here is a bit of sewing, reading, sketching and light housework. (And if truth be told – watching a lot of youtube videos.)

I thought I’d share a few sketches since one is of our front door. The cityscape is of the Clock Tower building on E. Beverley Street in Staunton. The sketch of some of my toiletries and the door was done for an online sketching class I’m taking. I’m purposely focusing on sketching (and not drawing) because I’m not interested in trying to perfectly render what I see.

I’m having fun playing with my pens and paints and seeing a little bit of improvement with each sketch.

It’s time to start thinking about a vegetable garden. It has been too rainy to do any prep work. Right now we are just hoping for a few good days in early spring to get things started and then just planting some of the seeds we already have. No real planning – just doing what can get done.

I should mention here that on February 5 we had our precious goldendoodle, Duke, euthanized.  It’s such a hard thing to do, but we knew it was the right thing to do. He had a good long life – 15 years – and was a great dog.

I think these photos are from 2015.

Random Stuff

This is my best effort of a bluebird in watercolors. I see room for a lot of improvement but it is much better than the one I painted about 6 weeks ago. I’ve been drawing and/or painting most days and taking an online class – all of which has helped so much.

We are finally painting the family room/Dave’s office. I chose Benjamin Moore’s Bruton White paint color. It’s what they call a greige (a greyish beige or beigy grey).

I’m thinking of taking a watercolor class focusing on skies so I’ve been looking for interesting skies.

Above and below are photos taken from our front porch one early morning a few days ago. Above is facing southeast and below is facing east.

While taking the photo below I’m facing north/northwest. In person the trees almost looked like they were on fire. This happens often and I’m not sure what causes it.

Holiday Visitors

We started a 1000 piece puzzle the day after Christmas and completed it the following day. We were on a mission! It was fun! All of our children were with us for Christmas including Sam’s boyfriend, Luca. Other than the puzzle – we ate!

My sister, Melissa, and her two daughters, Emily (behind the camera) and Mary visited us last weekend. We met up in Charlottesville to see Samantha’s Dear Lilith exhibit. We had lunch at Bizou in C’ville and came home for dinner and made Jambalaya.

We got up on the late side Sunday morning and took a walk at Thornrose Cemetery.

Woodturning

I realized if I’m going to include some of my artwork here I needed to also include Dave’s woodturning. He’s been cranking out the bowls like mad. They are beautiful and he is learning as he goes.

I’m trying to find different ways of using the bowls. Here I have fabric scrap triangle I’m accumulating while making a star quilt.

Just had to include this photo of Dave and Duke at the vets.  Blood work was good so Duke can continue taking his pain killers.

Ice Storm

On November 15th we had a full day of sleet and freezing rain. We lost power around 3:00 in the afternoon.

Reading Mendelwitz’s Guide to Drawing by candlelight. It got very windy that night. Dave said he could hear the popping of tree branches.

We woke up to an icy landscape and more branches on the ground than I’ve ever seen. The above photo is the front yard. Somehow my photos have gotten out of order so bear with me.

You can see the icy tops of the white pines as the sun is coming up.

Our poor siberian elm in the back yard took quite a hit.

Branches everywhere…and leaves. Many of the trees still had leaves so when the ice clung to the leaves it was just too heavy and caused so many of the branches to break.

Above photo is looking toward the front yard from the back path to the house. That is the sunroom.

The pine is sagging from the weight of the ice. That building is the garage/cottage.

Ice on the asters

Dave is cooking french toast on the woodstove.

These branches fell on the fence – totally crushed it. This building is what we call the shed. It is two stories and is where we store most of our garden equipment.

Looking toward the house from the backyard.

So many big and small branches – and a deep layer of leaves. We are still cleaning it up.

Duke is having a hard time getting around with so much debris in his way.

Looking toward the orchard from behind the cottage.

The cable we had installed in this siberian elm in the front probably saved this tree.

A big pine branch fell on the power line to our house (seen in the photo above) so we were without power for 3 full days. Our neighbors lost power for 2 days.

Colin helped with the apple pie for Thanksgiving.

A branch fell on the fence in the front too.

You don’t get to see Smokey very much. He always moves around too much when I try to photograph him. This is about the best I can get. He likes to rub up against the dogs. You can see Dukes legs behind him. Smokey is ready to dash outside. He doesn’t come in the house but does come into the mudroom to eat and sometimes to sleep. I think he usually sleeps in the barn – even on frigid nights.

Fall Color

Here are Len and Duke. This cuddling is all Len’s (the beagle) idea. I’ve probably mentioned that Len has thyroid cancer and Duke (the goldendoodle) is 15 years old and has arthritis. I’m not sure they will make it through the winter. Sad to see them in decline.

I enjoyed the fall color of the columbine in our native garden. I read that severely wet weather can dampen the fall leaf color but I noticed that this year was the best year for fall color since we’ve moved to the Shenandoah Valley. Other years have been very dry. I’m hoping for a year of average precipitation evenly spread out for 2019!

Frida

I’ve been consumed with a desire to draw and paint these past few months. I’m very frustrated with my rudimentary abilities. I know that it will take lots of practice and I just have to be patient. I’m trying! I ordered some better paints, brushes and paper than what I have and I’m acting like a kid waiting for Christmas. The paints and paper should arrive this Friday and the brushes must be on the slow boat across the Atlantic. The little tracking icon has shown them “in transit” for a week now. Actually, the little icon is an airplane so I don’t understand why it is taking so long. See!

These are leaves from around the house.

And here is my watercolor of same.

Len Len waiting for a treat.

Dave has been chopping wood from the ash tree we had taken down. That pile will be there – just off the patio-  for a while. He was trying to decide where to move the wood and we decided to save ourselves the work of moving it since we will just have to move it back to burn it in the woodstove. This will be good for the winter of 2019/20.