Thursday, February 28, 2013


Remember this?

Well I finished it.  

Actually finished it awhile back, but just remembered to show you.   The grandkids and Papa hanging at the beach now hangs above my sofa.  I love painting water reflections.  This one is acrylics on watercolor paper.  Wouldn't it look especially nice with a painting of the umbrella from the last post, yes?

Oh, I can now respond to comments on my blog, but not sure if you will know I responded.  Anyone have the answer?  Anyone?  Let's try it.

Monday, February 25, 2013


Walking along the beach in Del Mar, I spotted this wonderful orange striped umbrella.  I approached the lady sitting under the umbrella to ask her permission to take a photo on my iPhone.  I got closer, then closer, then was standing right beside her and she still didn't notice me, and NO, she wasn't sleeping.  So I politely said, "Excuse me".  I apparently startled her because she slapped her hand on her chest and blurted out "JESUS"!  I responded, "Oh no, it's just me, Paula".  Wide-eyed she says, "Jesus" again, still holding her chest and looking at me like she really was having a spiritual encounter.  Not knowing what to do I said, "I know him, but really, it's just me, Paula".  Then she relaxed and started laughing, we chatted and hence I have this photo instead of a black eye.  It was worth the risk, don't you think?

Disclaimer:  I am watching the morning national weather reports of snow or storms throughout the US today (FEB 25) as I am writing this, so I sincerely apologize for any preconceived taunting.  We have earthquakes and fires if that helps lessen the blow.

Being an artist is by nature a sedentary lifestyle.  I stepped on the scale last week.  I suspected it was broken last time I stepped on it, but now I'm sure of it.  I will walk more, get back into exercise and watch my calories.  I tried a spin class.  I walked into the dark room and was instantly intimidated.  Everyone looked all buff and in charge so I finally approached a group to ask who the instructor was.  The one sitting on the floor looks up and without speaking does this body language thing to non-verbally say "Dah".  I asked her to show me how to use the bike or any needed advise.  She instructed me how to adjust the seat and insert my feet in the basket thingies, then said, "If you feel like you're going to pass out, well...just suck it up".  I ended up in between two maniac women half my age who actually sped up during the short breaks.  I wasn't told what to do when the instructor yelled "Left".  "Left again".  I finally figured it out by watching the speed racers on either side of me.  I survived but cursed under my breath as I held on to the handrail with both hands going down because my rubber legs quit working. 

Started back into BodyPump on Saturday.  Couldn't walk or raise my arms yesterday so I decided to count my calories instead of working out.  That was just as painful and a real eye opener.  I eat all the right foods, oat bran, plain greek yogurt, salmon, veggies.  However, after lunch I had already consumed 935 calories.  What???  I never payed attention to how even the calories in healthy foods add up.  More exercise and water; less w(h)ine.  Boo hoo.  

Thursday, February 21, 2013


In January, I was able to join Tim on a business trip to Santa Barbara.  It was last minute so I threw some clothes in a suitcase, grabbed my camera and we caught a train.  It was definitely the way to go!  What I didn't anticipate is that we had record breaking low temps so anytime I went out I ended up wearing everything in my suitcase....all at the same time.  As cold and windy as it was I walked and and walked and managed to get some great photos.

This last Thursday I had my oil painting class in La Jolla and chose one of my harbor photos to paint.  I mentioned to the gal next to me that I was determined to finish my painting that day and give it to my husband for Valentine's Day (that day).  She promptly named my painting "LOVE BOATS".  

I got this much done during class and surprised Tim right before he surprised me with a trip to Coronado Island to The Boathouse for a lovely dinner.  Today I placed it in a frame to see how it looks.  My instructor says every painting looks better in a frame, don't you agree?  I still need to finish some details, sign it and then step back. 

This was the view as we drove across the Coronado Bridge as the sun was going down.  Here's an image of the Boathouse which dates back to 1887.  It was dark by the time we got there, but still a perfect pairing with the LOVE BOATS.  


Wednesday, February 20, 2013


A few weeks ago I was in a local Home Goods and headed towards checkout when something familiar caught my eye.  I turned and what should my wandering eyes see?  My Wing Study fabric on down filled pillows!!!!  Even had zippers.  Guess how much?  No, guess again.  Yup, $19.99!  Okay, so even though it's my fabric design I was thinking the down pillow form and zipper would cost more than that.  I bought two for my house.  Crazy, huh?  Oh, and  that pillow on the lower right was just sitting there and not my design.

Then if that's not enough, I was just in a store, MG Tate's, in Indianapolis with Jennifer and lo and behold, there were my Demdaco frames.  I took a quick photo hoping no one would notice.  I'd have a hard time convincing them I wasn't trying to "copy" or anything.

I am known to do weird things in stores.  A few years ago I was designing a room in a Decorator Show House in Indy and had picked up a bunch of accessories and frames at Pottery Barn for the finishing touches.  Once I got everything in place I packed up the items I couldn't use and returned them to the store.   Then a couple weeks later I was walking through Pottery Barn and stopped to look at the frames.  Sitting right there, front and center, was a photo of my dog in a frame I had returned.  It was the same cute photo I used each year in the show house rooms I designed, but in my rush to finish up I forgot about the photo.  I kinda freaked because I had to have that photo back since it was before everyone had digital cameras and stored images.  I tried to be sneaky, but there seemed to be about 50 employees meandering and talking into tiny microphones.  I also imagined cameras and security all watching me try to steal a dog photo.    Finally I decided the only thing I could do is buy the frame.  I took it to the checkout counter and placed the frame front side down, which I hoped would work since the tag was on the back anyway.  Sure enough the one gal flipped the frame over and seeing the photo she started to remove it from the frame.   I panicked and quickly asked what she was doing.  She said they reuse the photos!  Okay, here goes...."Could you leave the photo in?  It's my dog".  The other gal behind her swings around to get a good look at the lady with the loose screw in her head, then they looked at each other as if to wonder about calling security.  Finally, after me going on and on with my tall tale and a line forming behind me, she reluctantly gave in.  I didn't shop at Pottery Barn for a while after that.  

Monday, February 18, 2013


Since my last post we had more house guests; our dear friends from Indiana.  This time my entertaining and sightseeing skills were put to the test with a toothache that was a 7-8 on the pain scale (childbirth being a 10).  I hugged my guests goodbye on the last day of their visit and took off for an emergency root canal.  It took six shots to numb that sucker and wasn't back home until almost 5 PM.  I'm not sure why people say they'd rather have a root canal than some horrible event because the root canal for me was actually a relief.  I don't even want to discuss all the trouble I've had with my teeth since arriving in San Diego.  Let's just say the dentist office is my second home (and second mortgage).  I got back in enough time to do some laundry, throw some clothes in a suitcase, stare at the ceiling for a couple hours before getting ready to fly out at o'dark thirty for Indianapolis.
I got to play grandma for a week while Jennifer and Joe took a little vaca.  It has been my goal to be the grandma I always wanted and I take that role very seriously.   We cooked many kids do you know that beg for salmon, couscous and edamame?  We played Uno, Sorry and were going to play Monopoly until I realized I'd have to be the banker.  We laughed a lot and had our mandatory art day...all favorite things to do together.  Their nickname for me is The Meemster.  Not as in mean, but as in Mimi (at least that's what they tell me, hmmm?)  I adore those two and am so very blessed to know their love.

We each painted 3" mini canvases among other projects.  They both took advantage of a "technique" I showed them by using the end of their paintbrush to add or subtract.  A. added polka dot snowflakes by dabbing the end of the brush in paint and W. created circles by layering the paint on the canvas, then drawing with the end of the brush.  They couldn't wait to present their mini masterpieces to their mom and dad when they returned. 

My 3" canvas was painted in the style of a favorite piece of art by Peter Wileman.  I took photos of all three pieces with my iPhone so really don't know how mine turned out so closeup and rectangle instead of square.  Oh well.  Wonder how large Mr. Wileman's paintings are; bet bigger than 3" and much better than mine.  I'll make mine real big here to impress you, but you better go see his art to really knock your socks off.  

So I am back home now with no plans to travel anytime soon and am shutting down the B&B until May.  Guess that means I should post more, huh?  Oh, alright.  I have some tutorials coming soon and more pics of the work we've done around here.  And thanks so much for your messages and encouragement.  


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