Sunday, December 6, 2015

Do You Have a Guilty Pleasure?

Do you have a silly guilty pleasure you never tell anyone about for fear they'll laugh?
     Well, on my Sunday stroll in the park with Miss Honey, I started thinking about mine.
When I was little, I loved to hear my Grandmother's grandfather clock tick-tock, tick-tocking.  And I loved to see the inside of my Grandfather's pocket watch - all the pretty jewels and gears moving. I loved the colored metals - so shiny.  Can't you tell I'm ADD?
     And then, my Hunny was a computer and electronics geek before the word was ever used.  He taught me about electricity and how to strip wires and sauter.  Then, he bought me a Heath Kit to build a digital clock.  It was the kind with the big red numbers.  That was so much fun to build and see it work (for 32 years).  We kept it on the dresser across the room so when the alarm went off, we'd have to get out of bed to shut it off.

This is the one I have now.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

My New Venture

I've started an Etsy shop!  Oh no, not another of the gajillion online shops!         Oh yes.  'Fraid so.
But, it's just an extension of the blog.  My blog is an eclectic extension of ME.  So, the store is also an eclectic offering of what I do.

     There will be different krafts that will probably change with my ADD whims.  I'm open to suggestions - always looking for new ideas.  I know what I like.  But, I need to know what YOU like.
So please comment here or email me at: Thanks.

     I am also adding a page on this blog to showcase my krafts.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Back to Work

I'm Baaaaack!  
      It was so nice having a vacation - going to Baton Rouge to visit HoneyHair and B, C, and D.
C and D are 5 and 2 years old, full of energy and loads of fun. It was a great road trip with the
Good Flea, Chewy, Gadget, and Honey (all squashed into a Prius with birthday and Christmas presents).
D likes to say "Boing, Boing" when she jumps.

      I am so loosy goosy after two weeks with no news programs - only Sesame Street and Lego videos - and lots of good kiddy nonsense and a great catch up with HoneyHair and B.  I am so blessed with all my children and the spouses they have chosen.

And then Thanksgiving!
      It was GRAND!  So relaxing.  Flea, the Hunny and their kids, Red, his Dearest and their kids all brought dishes to Red's house.  And we ate all the goodies and had leftovers.  The teenagers are becoming quite good cooks (two of them considering culinary school).

Now I'm home with a new venture I'll share in the next post.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving,

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Calling All Dog Sitters!

     Help!  I'm grandma doggie sitting Chewy and Gadget for the Good Flea while she is in Dallas on business for Jones Natural Chews.  They love to walk on leash and explore the park and neighborhood with Honey.
     But, really - three dogs on leash, all wanting to sniff and explore in three different directions!  What's a grandma to do? Luckily, they only twisted me up in the leashes once this morning.  And, the leashes are only standard length.  See!

Here we go - it's off to the park.  They are so excited.  But, you can see they are already switching places and getting the leads crossed.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Gasp - Sigh!

     I can breathe again!
      I finished two projects.  Whoopee!
What a wonderful feeling.  Now, I'll take a few minutes for myself before I delve into the rest of the projects I've started and need to begin.

     I began this quilt last year.  I know - Kareen, you're slow!  But, that's OK.  I believe that a little at a time is better than none at all.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Watch Out For That Pecan!

     Do squirrels fuss at you?  The ones in my neighborhood do!  They even throw pecans at me.
What did I ever do to them? 

     This little fella was fussing at me when I stopped under the tree to let Honey check out the fire hydrant. This is a mandatory stop when we walk the park.

     His mutterings were a bit muted, because, as you can see above, he didn't want to put down the pecan in his mouth.

     Do they hate me because I secretly loathe them for stealing all my pecans every year?  Do they sense that?
     Just try to go to the park on a Sunday morning to commune with nature and enjoy God's beautiful creation, and nature squawks back at you!  Is God trying to teach me to love ALL of His creation?  Or is this WAR?

Hope you enjoy your Sunday and don't get pelted by pecans,

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

New Drawing for New Header

To celebrate my new header, I'm starting a new drawing.

Great Horned owl on chicks in nest - photo by Kareen Ramsey 2004

This one will be watercolor.

Happy Hump Day,

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Life in the Gutter

                                     My Honey is a Street Walker, a Gutter Snipe!

     She loves to roam the streets, sniffing where every Romeo has been.  We follow the nose!
Our neighborhood has blocks that lack sidewalks, so we are reduced to roaming the streets.  The tragedy of being a "city dog"!

Remember when we were kids, how big everything looked?  Is that how it looks to a little dog?
Is the world bigger?

Friday, September 25, 2015

Ft. Jackson Finished

     At Last!  I was able to get back to the Ft. Jackson drawing.  Sometimes, it's good to step away for awhile and gain new perspective.

This is my original photo of the main gate.

This was the drawing from the previous post. 
Still too much yellow - too bright.

I added darker tones with Indigo Blue and added more detail to the gate and bridge.  At that point, I signed it and thought it finished.

But, a week later, I realized top and bottom were competing.  So I added purple to tone down the yellow leaves and blue to further subdue the trees.  Now, I'm finished whether the picture is or not.
I hate to overwork it

My next venture will be graphite or ink - just Black and White.

Hope y'all have a relaxing weekend,

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Hooray for Chiggers!

What?  Really?
 Yes - Really!  But, WHY?

     Three years ago I moved into this house near the park - a really lush green part of town.  It took weeks of cutting back privet hedges just to find the gas meter and make sure there were no holes along the fence line for Honey to escape.

These privets run the length of the back yard.  Sorry, the snowy scene is my only pic.
Makes a great privacy fence.

     Immediately, I started getting bites that formed huge red, itchy welts that lasted for a week or two.  Oh no!  It's allergy or bedbugs.  The Internet told me so.  A visit from the exterminator and several hundred dollars lighter in my bank account, I was still getting the bites.  For the last 3 years, this has happened every spring and fall.  So, of course, I thought I was allergic to the local vegetation.  I seriously was contemplating moving to a more sterile location.

But Then:

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

And "Bob's" Your Uncle!

     NOOOOO, no, no, no!  He's not - Wally was my uncle - my favorite uncle!
Do you have a favorite uncle?  You know!  The one who always played with the kids and found fun things for you and your cousins to do.  That was Uncle Wally.  He was the baby of five siblings and always a kid at heart.

Uncle Wally on left.  He and Uncle Frank were trying to get all of us squirming cousins into the jeep safely for a short ride. I'm the only one smiling.  Maybe they were trying to get us out, and we wanted to go again. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Musings on a Leash

     If I don't keep Honey on her leash, she will be gone in a heartbeat.  The one time I let her off to chase a squirrel, she was two blocks away before I caught up with her.  "Come" is not in her vocabulary.

Honey, Chewy, and Gadget

     Our walks in the park are a great time for reflection.  Honey's nose was especially busy this morning.  My leg hurt.  I wanted to get home quickly.  But, Honey was having fun doing her own thing.
     Then it hit me!  I was using the leash to gently guide her along when she dilly-dallied too long.  That is just  how Jesus guides us - gently with the nudges of His Word.  When we get off in our own "thing", He brings Scripture to our mind to lead us back onto the path we should stay on - just like the leash does with Honey.  
     It also keeps us from running away.  Sometimes, God has to yank hard to protect us.  Honey tries to cross the street when cars are coming and I have to pull her back - hard.
     So, leashes have a purpose - for protection and correction.  And, so does God's Word.  It has been likened to a Sword. And it IS.  But, I have come to see it as a Leash also.

So, I hope you take a little time today to relax, reflect, and enjoy your day,

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Can You Call an Alligator?

     I can!  Brother George Reno taught me how.  Bro. George was our Mennonite pastor and still a friend for over two decades.  He and his wife Ruby are naturalists who took meticulous records of tides, shrimp harvests, moon phases, etc.  They know all the sea life on the Gulf Coast and it's wetlands. LSU and Louisiana Wild Life and Fisheries would ask his help at times. George grew up on Pass Manchac and was a shrimper/fisherman all his life - even when pastoring the church. Although retired now, he still is very active in the church.

    And those pesky alligators!  They really scare the tourists.  But, they are easy to call, especially in mating season, and will come up close to the land.  Just, DON'T go in the water.

About a 10 foot gator sunbathing in the canal near Venice, LA

And how about a 1000 year old shrimp boat?

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Oh Look - Something Shiny!

    Is it just me with the ADD, that I am so distracted by shiny things?  Growing up with rosary beads imitating precious jewels and stained glass windows, gave me an appreciation - nay, an obsession with color and light - anything shiny.
     So, it is no wonder that my favorite parts of Italy were Venice and Murano.  So many shops with beautiful glass work.

Lovely jewelry from Murano. Every shop was a head turner!

 Searching High and Low:

Monday, September 7, 2015

Flop to Fun!

     Did you ever have a really humiliating flop?  So much so that you just wanted to hide out in your room for the rest of your life?

                 "Sophie Overwhelmed" by Kareen Ramsey from Sophie and the Mysterious Ring                             by Carleen Gollahon

Well I did!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Sunday in the Park

     My church has deserted me.  Most have left for a Labor Day retreat and baptisms at New Life Ranch near the Arkansas border.  So, I took Honey to the park early to beat the heat.  Should get up to 95 degrees today.  Ugh!
     The park is so peaceful, and the perfect place to have my own little retreats (at least when there aren't many of the neighbors dog walking too).
     What always amazes me is how the Lord reminds me of things in His Word about how I should behave or change or even put things into His perspective.  Then I go to church and hear a sermon reflecting what He has just shown me.  Really makes it hard to forget or sluff it off!  I've always said, "The only way to change is to face the truth".  And He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

And then my musings turned to fairies!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Chewy in Red - Done!

     I started out to do a review of Derwent Graphitint pencils and ended up adding Prismacolor pencils.  I'm such a sucker for color.  I really didn't mean to bring out the colors so much - just leave it black and white with a hint of tint.  But, I always let the drawing dictate the final effect.  Sorry, but, I can't resist some color.  And that coat was so vibrant, it just screamed "color me".
     The Graphitints are great for a more muted effect, and I've used them as such.  But, I love color, and it is so tempting to add it.

My niece in Graphitint with a hint of Prismacolor in the skin tones.

     So, now to Chewy:

Friday, August 28, 2015

Chewy in Red

     This will be a review and tutorial for Derwent Graphitint pencils.  I have used these before and like them.  They mix graphite with a water soluble tint. It is a nice mix of black and white with a bit of tint.

This is my nephew drawn in Graphitint with just a bit of color pencil in the lips and hair.

So, I thought I'd do one of the Good Flea's Chewy to show you the process.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Florence, Anyone?

     It's Sunday afternoon and I am totally bored.  It's past time for a post, but, I'm soooo in between projects.  I have two in particular - one I can't show yet because it is Christmas presents in progress, and the other is not finished enough to show.  So it's back to Italy snippets - ready?

     The one thing that amazed me the most about Italy was the art and architecture.  When I was in Catholic school (1st grade to 3 1/2 yrs. college) the nuns always rewarded our efforts with "holy cards" instead of gold stars.  They usually had a short prayer on the back.  These cards were always copies of religious art masterpieces.

This is a picture on one of the side altars at Santa Croce, Florence.  Note the small "holy card" bottom right.

     This icon is also from Santa Croce.  I had seen so many of these paintings, mosaics, and statues on cards and in books all my young life.  But, what a thrill it was to see the real deals in Italy.  Everywhere we went there was another memory made real.  Some were a lot bigger than I imagined, and some were smaller.  But all were impressive.

       Basilica of Santa Croce, Florence.  The size of the churches was most impressive - Huge.  The basilicas were even more so.

     So, if you're bored today, take a road trip down memory lane.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Three Dogs And a Bag of Poop

     While the Good Flea is out of town on business, I'm doggie sitting for Chewy and Gadget.
Honey is not amused.  She would rather spend her time under the guest bed than play with C & G. But, when they leave she is always bored and looking for them.  Diva dog all the way!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

I've Been Robbed!

     In broad daylight!  Right in my own backyard!

     Normally, I like these little fur balls with their pretty fluffy tails.  I even draw them because they are so cute.  But, this is enough!  

     I watched this crime as it happened.  But, I was so amazed that I didn't take a picture.  I was afraid to open the blinds further for fear of scaring him off.
     He ate my marigolds!

Oh, the carnage!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Kareen's Artwork: Do You Like Leather?

Kareen's Artwork: Do You Like Leather?:      Well, do ya?   I do, and so does my son, the Good Flea 's Hubby.  He's getting darn good at leather work.   A few years ago, we...

Do You Like Leather?

     Well, do ya?   I do, and so does my son, the Good Flea's Hubby.  He's getting darn good at leather work.   A few years ago, we went together for beginner's classes at Tandy Leather here in Tulsa.  What fun! Since then, he has made it into a growing hobby and occasional commission.

Here's the Good Flea with her new custom designed purse from the Hunny!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

I Accept Your Challenge!

 What Challenge?  The 8 Photos of Happiness challenge of course!

Ariel's Little Corner of the Internet created this fun challenge.  And special thanks to Hannah at Paved by Pawprints for nominating me.  This is such a treat for me as I'm new to blogging and still trying to figure it all out.  So here goes!

Happiness is:  
     Honey and Gadget the one time they really wanted to play together.  Amazing how little fur balls can tug your heartstrings!

Happiness is:
   Seeing Honey and the Good Flea's Chewy in the matching winter coats I sewed for them.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Who needs a new project?

     I do - that's who!  I go stir crazy when I'm bored.  I'm always looking for the next project.  So, I've decided to have a sale.  You know portaiture is MY thing!  So for the next week and a half, I'm reducing my prices because I NEED a project.
     Christmas will be here sooner than we like to think.  And a portrait of a favorite pet or person would be a welcome addition to any home.
      So, I'll take the first 3 requests by August 22nd.  Offer good only for this sale!
Small size  9"x12"       $150.00 
Medium     11"x14"     $175.00
Large         16"x20"      $225.00       All sizes are actual paper size.
Additions    $25.00
No shipping charge        Please refer to the Prices page above for further reference.

This is a drawing from an internet clipart site.  I drew it strictly for a tutorial on my techniques.  It is not for sale (in my closet).  I don't want to infringe on copyrights.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Laura's Villa

     The Good Flea has requested I tell you about my trip to Italy.   Nooooooo - this is not one of those boring "let me show you my thousands of pictures" albums.  I'll only show a snippet or two at a time.  Promise!

      Two years ago, my sister and her husband, gave me the Christmas gift of a lifetime - a two week trip with them to Italy.  The best part of the whole adventure was having time to visit with them. They live in Atlanta, GA; so we don't see each other very often.

      We flew Delta via Air France from Atlanta to Paris and on to Florence.  There they had reserved a half of a villa as HQ for the visit.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

What's In Your Bag?

     Whaaa?  What bag?  Why my "Bug Out" bag of course.  Now, if you're thinking I'm some crazy paranoid old woman - I'm not.  Well, sometimes, maybe a little.  Anyway, it is the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
      For 33 years, every summer, I would begin collecting our valuables, important papers, and photo albums to keep in a special place for quick evacuation.  This is very much like on TV's MASH.  Sometimes we were only given a day or two's notice.  Keeping 4 kids and dogs calm while packing up our old VW van during all the craziness in the community was quite a feat.  Amazing how people panic with an impending hurricane!
      So, when I moved to tornado country, I continued to keep a bug out bag near the front door.  That lasted about 5 years.  I finally realized that if there was a tornado, there might not even BE a front door, much less a bug out bag.
      But, about a month ago, I awoke one morning, and just started filling my backpack with a few days necessities.  Then, seeing Honey giving me the glare, I realized she needed a bug out bag too.
So, I started filling my collapsible carryall with food and water for both of us.  So now we are prepared for whatever may come.  I think I would have made a good Girl Scout if I had lived in the city.

The carryall with liner I made to conceal innards.  Dried foods, easy open cans, and bottle waters fill the bottom.  There is a tether for Honey to ride on top.  She's not a real hiker.

This is after I added a few more items, a small pillow, towel, and puppy pad on top so Honey can ride in comfort.  She's not spoiled!  Nooooooo!

I love these mesh bags I bought from Rick Steves for my trip to Italy.  Here there is a change of clothes and extra socks plus a sewing and eye glass kit.  

And this is my hanging toiletry kit - also from Rick Steves.  These both fit in the large compartment of the back pack.  There is also another smaller mesh bag with medications, can opener, plastic bags and utensils, and TP, etc.

And what would any self respecting "bug out" bag be without a crank radio, LED headlight, compass, and extra leash and poop bags.  An old fashion fan always comes in handy in hot weather or swarming bugs.

So there you have it.  Bag is all ready with my money belt and print out of vital records in the side pocket ready to put on in a rush.

      But, I have another bag I haven't shown you.  And I can't!  It's a bag I keep with me 24/7.  
But, you can't see it.  The main compartment is my heart, filled with the love of Jesus.  The side compartment is His holy Word, lest I offend Him or others.  The other side pocket is His salvation.
The handle bears the motto "Jesus is my Boss".  This is my "Bug Out" bag of Faith.  
      One bag is useful to get me from one physical location to another, and one bag is useful to get me from here to eternity.  Never hurts to be prepared for both events.

Now, what's in Your bag?

PS  If you have any suggestions for additions, please let me know.  Thanks!  K

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Fort Jackson

     I'm going to show you something I rarely show anyone.  A partially finished drawing!
WHY?  I hate doing this because an unfinished drawing is UGLY, and people think, "what kind of artist are you?" They can't see the finished product the way I can envision it.
     But, I want you to understand the process, and it IS a process that can be quite messy in the middle.  So, I'll walk you through what I've worked out to date.  I'll show you more in a follow up posting.

     This is the entrance to Ft. Jackson in Bootheville, LA.  The Plaquemine's Parish Orange Festival is held there in December.  We, and especially our kids and dog, spent many a fun time there.

     Here, I've traced the picture onto Bristol Board from the printout upper right.  I use it and the photo on glossy paper for color reference.
     Then I used the Derwent Inktensive Blocks to color in my background colors.  Brushing with a wet brush brings out the intensity of the color and fills in all the little white spots that regular color pencils leave behind.

     Now I've come back with the Prismacolors and started blocking in my darker areas to help me with value balance.  From here on out it will be up to the Prismacolor color pencils.  I'll keep you posted.

Have a creative weekend,

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

From Glory to Gloom and Back

     I meant to post this Sunday, but the blog got too lengthy.  It has been so hot here in Oklahoma, and Honey and I have been struggling with the heat.  Not being able to walk as much is a real bummer for both of us.  Fortunately, Hannah at Paved By Pawprints came to the rescue with these homemade dog toys.  I made some for Honey to help her with the boredom of being cooped up inside so long.
     That said, Sunday early morning proved to be a real treat.  Cooler with a bit of breeze.  So, we went the half block to the park.

The walking trail is a mile around the perimeter.  What a glorious morning.  It was a lovely time alone to soak in all God's grandeur - a time of refreshment after a busy, hot week.

Just thought this was a fun pic!

Midway on our walks is Honey's favorite part  of the park - the cement picnic table - a cool place to watch the other dogs and their humans.

     So much for the glory!  Today it rained.  Rainy days are so depressing for me and Honey too.  We can't walk.  Rats!  
     But, when I sat down to do this post and saw these pictures, it reminded me that this is only temporary ( I'm so impatient). God still loves us.  I don't have to go to the garden and eat worms.
There will be more beautiful mornings and lovely, long walks in the park.

So I hope you all have a glorious week despite the weather,

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Weeping and Itching

     It started out quite simply this morning.  Honey and I left the house to begin our morning walk at early light to beat the impending heat.  It is 99 degrees in Tulsa right now.  We got as far as the middle of the driveway when she balked, turned around, and headed back.
     She was hungry.  Normally, we walk first.  But, since she had the cortisone shot two days ago for allergies, she has been ravenous.

This is Honey when we first moved to the neighborhood.  There are six pecan trees on our lot.  The whole neighborhood is in a two hundred year old pecan orchard.

And this is Honey (on a good day) with stains from allergy tearing.

     She's been pretty stable with Benadryl.  But, lately, she's had a rough time - hence the cortisone.
HELP!  Do any of you have this much problem with dog allergies?  Are there any good home remedies that work?  I wipe her down after our walks with a wet cloth - sometimes with a mix of apple cider vinegar thanks to the Good Flea.  It helps a little. 
     I hate her having to have steroids.  That can't be good long term.  The vet recommended Selenium, vitamin E, and Omega 3 & 6.  I started her on them.  But, I guess that is long term maintenance. Are any of you using these for your fur babies?  Any good results?

     Sorry to be whiny, but, I think you doggy mommies understand the angst when our fur babies are hurting.

Give your fuzzies an extra hug today,

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Kareen's Artwork: When Nancy Came Down

Kareen's Artwork: When Nancy Came Down:      Nancy came down the road from New Orleans (70 miles) in the winter  of the early 2000s. Nancy Newfield  works with LSU and travelled a...

When Nancy Came Down

     Nancy came down the road from New Orleans (70 miles) in the winter  of the early 2000s.
Nancy Newfield works with LSU and travelled around South Louisiana during hummingbird migration season.  She stayed quite busy banding hummingbirds.  I honestly don't know if she is still so active, as I have lost touch with so many people from the area over the last 10 years.  But, when Nancy came down it was a fantastic experience I'll always treasure.
     We had a feeder just outside our office window and loved watching them. Those bad little rascals could be quite vicious with each other and even larger birds who came near their "territory".  We had met an ornithology student who was staying in the area.  Jeff Stratford contacted Nancy on our and another neighbors behalf.  He is the one who originally found the Great Horned Owl nest and taught us so much about birds and the local migrations.

Nancy and Jeff collecting hummingbirds from her homemade trap.  Quite ingenious with a remote control trap door that she shut whenever one flew in to the feeder.

Hummingbirds are in the bags and complaining noisily.

Nancy's mobile office.  The amazing thing about it all is how the bird goes into a state of torpor when held.  Sure looked like they were dead - but only zoned out.

They are so tiny and so lightweight.  In your hand they almost feel like they're NOT there.

Here she's blowing the feathers to see if the bird had gained enough weight to make the long journey over the Gulf of Mexico.  She also banded it after weighing and recording all it's vitals.  Then she added a bit of color on its forehead for easy tracking by other bird enthusiasts who reported its siting.

These kids had the thrill of a lifetime letting them go after Nancy did her magic.

This little fella hung around the feeder for a few days before the big flight.

     We go about our busy days hardly ever noticing the marvels all around us.  Thanks Nancy and Jeff for making us aware of all the beauty of God's creation that surrounds us every day.  I've become more attentive to the little things in life and become more grateful for God's majesty. 

     If you're wanting to know more about these little jewels, Nancy has some books on Amazon you can check out.  And no, she is not aware I'm plugging her books.  She is just a remarkable woman who needs the recognition she is due.

So, look around this weekend - stop and smell the roses - and enjoy God's beauty,