Tuesday, January 31, 2012


I've seen a few photos converted to drawings lately. Photoshop has a filter to do this, Photoshop users are notorious for experimenting and coming up with different ways to do this.

I knew I had a tutorial on my computer for this, so I looked it up this morning.  It involves about seven steps, layers, applying guasian blur, etc.  I used an old photo of Barrie (because she was even more photogenic than her daughter).  I kind of like the results.

I'm getting sick of sorting through magazines.  I can't make myself get rid of them without looking through them first to see if there is something I want to save.

 After finishing the book, I watched the movie "Lost Horizon" last night.  The person who wrote the screenplay pretty much made up his own story, as it sure didn't follow the book at all.  Kind of disappointing.

Monday, January 30, 2012


I finished "Lost Horizon" last night.  I hate it when I finish a good book.  It's the kind of feeling you get when all your company goes home.  You want don't want it to end.

I tried starting a new book last night, but couldn't get into it.  So I decided to continue in the futile attempt to clean and unclutter my house.  This is my rope basket.  I think it was made by a guy in Riverton.  It has been in the living room, full of three year old photography magazines, and covered with a pile of Kasey's toys.  I  have most of the magazines in the pickup ready to recyle.  Now I am going through all the art magazines I have upstairs.

I will keep some, but most of them will go to the art room at Rendezvous Pointe, where people can borrow them, keep them, or tear pages out of them.


I am always amazed at the silly and useless research is being done by someone.  Our grovernment probably, or at least paid for by government grants.  Here is one of the latest:
People who give in to racism and prejudice may simply be dumb, according to a new study that is bound to stir public controversy.
The research finds that children with low intelligence are more likely to hold prejudiced attitudes as adults.
This is one of those things we all know without having someone do a study on it.  People who are racists and predujiced are dumb.  Just saying.

Sunday, January 29, 2012


Tracy sent me this picture of Daisy tunnelling in the snow in their yard in Colorado.  That's one happy dog!

A little 4" x 6" painting I did yesterday.  This is the view out  my upstairs bathroom window.


I ordered a George Foreman Grill this morning.  I've looked at them for years, but never got one.  It has several interchangeable plates, and I'm getting rid of three small kitchen appliances, a waffle iron for one,

I've never liked the waffle iron and never used it much.  It might be because of the way I got it.  I found it in the Target Store in Silverthorne CO while visiting Paul and Tracy.  I tried to buy it, but the guy on the floor wouldn't sell it to me because it was the display model.  I was back a couple days later, and the guy wasn't around, so I put it in my cart and took the plastic tag from the edge of the shelf with the price on it.  I checked out and had my waffle iron!

When I got back to Tracy's house, I thought I should make sure it heated up before I left for home, so I brought it in.  I looked at my receipt from Target, and the thing wasn't even on there.  For some reason, it didn't ring up, and I got a $50 waffle iron for free!  I didn't go back to Target and tell them of their mistake.  Guity conscience?  Is that why I've never liked it?

On the same day, I found a ball point pen in the snow outside the Bed Bath and Beyond store.  I looked at it when I got home, and notice it was engraved with someone's initials.  It was a Cross pen.  I got on the Internet and discovered I had found a $50 pen. 

That was SOME shopping day!

Saturday, January 28, 2012


This is my handy snow guage.  I can tell at a glance how deep the snow is. That is, if the wind doesn't blow, and we have had very little wind lately.  Thank goodness.  I think it was 10 below zero last night.

Here is Kat, having a cozy nap.  This is what she looks like most of the day, between bursts of engergy and destruction.

I'm watching a live video on my computer this morning on how to paint skys in watercolor.  I watched one last week, and it was pretty good.

Friday, January 27, 2012


Now playing on my iPod Paul Simon, "Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard".

Sunny day, and the icicles hanging outside my window are sparkling.  The wind is starting to come up.

Maybe this guy is far enough along for me to post a picture of the progress.  The hat and face are pretty well finished, but the shirt is still just a figment of my imagination. 


Roger wanted the link for the free Ebooks.  I get it on Facebook, but you should be able to find them here:    
I continue to laugh at weather forecasts.  This was the forecast for yesterday on my Yahoo page:

Pinedale, WY

Forecast Details:
Periods of snow. High around 35F. Winds SSW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of snow 90%. Snow accumulations less than one inch.
Light wind, one inch of snow.  Just what makes this a "severe weather alert"?


Thursday, January 26, 2012


Maybe you remember the pencil drawing I did of the cowboy some time back (on the left).  I gave him a "makeover" today using charcoal (on the right).  I think it's a big improvement.

The calf roper I am working on in charcoal is progressing.  Today I am working on the rope and his hand.  Hard!  His shirt won't be any easier.


There have been a lot of free ebooks for the Kindle on Amazon lately.  Someone (?) has been searching the freebies out and posting it to Facebook.  I have downloaded about 15 free books in the last couple of weeks.  Some of the more catchy ones are "Assault With a Deadly Glue Gun", and "Bubba and the Dead Woman".  Wow, can't wait to read those.

But I also got "The Picture of Dorian Gray", and several other good titles.

I just read in an artist magazine that Leonardo da Vinci was famous for not completing projects.  Way to go Leonardo.  We are kindred spirits.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


 This is to show Vicky how we cope when she's not at art group to bring us delicious baked goodies.  I brought cheese and crackers and a can of mixed nuts, and Dorothy brought some trail mix.  So we survived.

Lenore finished her painting of a fire and matted it today.  I think this is a very striking painting, one of her best!


I worked on the Papago church painting this morning, but didn't accompish a lot.  I have a feeling this is one of those paintings I will still be puttering around with six months from now.

I put the painting back and got my charcoal pencils out when I got home.  Wonder why I've never used charcoal much in the past?  I can't get the details I do with graphite, but I can get nice dark darks so my drawings have contrast and value changes, which I haven't been able to accomplish.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


 Last night I heard Barrie coughing downstairs.  I called down, “are you sick?”  She says “yes”.  I say, “Well, knock it off, you’re supposed to be healthy.”  Kasey says, “Oh, let her do what she wants to do, Grandma.”

Before I got my Kindle Reader last year, I had a few new books from Amazon that I hadn't read.  I decided to read a "real" book and give the Kindle a rest.  I am reading the book "Lost Horizon" by James Hilton.

This book was assigned reading when I was still in high school, about a hundred years ago.  I resented being required to read it, and didn't expect to like it.  Instead, I was fascinated by the story.  This is the first time I've read it since then, and it's hard to put the book down.

On the cover, it says this was the first paperback ever published.

Also found the old black and white movie on Amazon, so of course I had to buy it.  Shopping and spending money is just too easy!

A friend posted this on Facebook.  

In honor of Hostess declaring bankruptcy, this week we're eating a sandwich that is also morally bankrupt: The Twinkie Hot Dog. Turn the Twinkie upside down, slice it like a bun, slide a hot dog in there, and act as if you've done nothing wrong.

Sunday, January 22, 2012


 I still don't know how to paint sagebrush, but I think I'm a little closer.  I'm tired of working on it.

The wind has come up a little today.  So the little gobs of snow stuck on the branches will soon be gone.  The sun is shining so bright that I am tempted to wear sunglasses in the house.

Here is my horoscope for today:

Follow any new urges you have to do something unexpected today. Early in the morning, if you feel like doing something other than what you had planned for the day, then do it!

The "Early in the morning" part is what tripped me up.  You see, it was almost 10:00 this morning before I got up (late night reading).  Too late to change my plans, and besides, I didn't have any plans.

Saturday, January 21, 2012


Beautiful day. We got more snow overnight and it is still snowing. I watched Kasey walk up the front walk this morning, struggling in snow up over her knees and giggling every step of the way.

Barrie left her with me when she went to the dog lot this morning.  She said she might not make it in and out, and didn't want to have to snow shoe out carrying Kasey.

Kasey went with her Mom plowing snow yesterday.  She had a great time, loved plowing snow.

I don't have pine trees any more since the beetles killed them, so I took a picture of my neighbor's pine trees.

The snow is piling up on even the little twigs of the willow outside my window.

 And the branches of the quakies in the yard.


I'm making a little progress on the pen and ink elk.  Slow going, all those little dots.  Just keep dotting, Duene.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday Do over

Started the church all over again.  The first one willl go on the floor of the shower for a good rinse job so I can use the back of it.

This is what I call the "Conley Sky" because he's the one who showed us how to do it.  The paint is thinned down and put in little spray bottles.  You start with wet paper and spray the color on, then you keep tilting the paper in different directions and add more color if needed. 

I used miskit film to cover the white places.  It's kind of a cross between contact paper and plastic wrap.  You press it down, then cut carefully around the edges with an exacto knife to remove where you want the color. 

I always forget about the problem this block of paper has.  In spite of being glued down on all four edges, it wrinkles and buckles when it's very wet.  I guess it will flatten out eventually.


This is my horoscope:

Force yourself to follow through on the tasks you have at hand. Part of your problem right now might be that you have a lot of half-baked ideas cluttering up your mind -- you need to pick one of them and complete it today!

Does this mean I should quit starting new paintings and drawings, and finish what I've started?  Darn, I hate that!  And I resent the "half-baked" statement.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


I wonder if the National Weather Service is doing a happy dance today?  I think this is the first time all winter that they have correctly predicted the weather.

More snow and wind is predicted for today.


I painted the sky in the Arizona church painting, and it is bad.  I'm going to start it all over again.  I think I will use miskit film to cover the church, and use the method Conley showed us for the sky, spraying the paint on (thinned down and in a little spray bottle).


This is one of the reasons I hate politics.  Anyone else think journalists (and TV) should just be put out on the ice?

"Newt Gingrich lacks the moral character to serve as President, his second ex-wife Marianne told ABC News, saying his campaign positions on the sanctity of marriage and the importance of family values do not square with what she saw during their 18 years of marriage." 

How ridiculous is that?  Putting a bitter old ex-wife on national TV to bash the guy?  I think no  matter what his positions, I would vote for him, just because of this.


I'll leave on a cheerier note.  Here is Pinedale's own John Perry, speaking at an anti SOPA rally, wearing his "Grateful Dead" scarf.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wednesday Snow

So beautiful outside!  It's snowed about 3 inches, and looks like it is going to keep it up.  I haven't even seen Barrie yet today, but I bet she's busy plowing snow.


Chloe is in the house.  She heard me in the kitchen, and yowled from the front porch to be let in.  I would take a picture of her, but I can't get her unwound from my ankles.  And she is making me sneeze.

Vicky baked a pineapple upside down cake for my birthday, and brought it to art group this morning. Still warm from the oven, and yummy.  Thank you, Vicky.  You are a special friend.

I went to Ridley's today.  Is that twice in one month?  Wow!  Anyway, I saw the same girl again who sacked my groceries and insisted on taking them out for me.  What a nice treat.  I looked at her name tag but already forgot it.  Most of Ridley's employees aren't friendly, but she sure is.  Had to tell me about her husband who was home for the day, so he was in charge of the house and didn't know how to cook pasta. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


This is a small 6" x8" watercolor I thought I would whip out today.  But I am stuck. It wasn't supposed to be a winter scene, but at this point, to me, it looks like that should be snow on the ground .


I'm no doubt biting off more than I can chew, but I am starting this watercolor tomorrow.  Have the image transferred to the paper and some miskit applied. 

This is the church in Sil Nakya, Arizona, a little village on the Papago reservation.  I lived near there.  Some friends and I drove across the desert, sometimes through dry river beds, and found this place.  Looked like only three or four families lived there. 


I have heat!  Finally!  I've unplugged the electric heater and hope I can pay the power bill this month!

I believe Roger said last month it was probably the thermo coupler.  Give that man a cigar!  That's exactly what it was. 

Monday, January 16, 2012


I've decided I need to have at least one birthday a week.  Thank you for my song, Kasey!  Love you!


When I was teaching, this was one of my favorite things to ask kindergartners, "What do you want to be when you grow up?"  Little boys usually wanted to be a fireman, or a policeman, and a lot of them wanted to be what their fathers were.  One little boy wanted to be an emperor.  I wonder where he is today?

And of course a favorite of little girls was to be a ballerina, or a mommy.  One little girl said she wanted to be me, and one said she wanted to be a ribbon.  I think she did grow up to be a ribbon.

Tracy called me yesterday, but I wasn't by the phone.  Sister-in-law Alice called.  I think they were right on the border between Nevada and Arizona, and she was having a hard time keeping her time straight.  Arizona doesn't have daylight savings time.  She was getting ready to go to a casino where she was one of the finalists in a slot machine tournement. ?????

And later yesterday afternoon, Leslie (stepdaughter) called.  Nice day!

Sunday, January 15, 2012


This is the shirt Tracy sent me for my birthday.  Love the shirt and love the sentiment! 


I finished the book "Whispers" by Dean Koontz.  I have read quite a few Koontz books in the past, and don't remember that any of them were romance stories.  This one definitely was, and contained several steamy love scenes.


Pretty sad game last night, but I still love you, Broncos.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

 Did a quick little 4" x 6" painting in my Moleskine book this morning.  I wonder what this would look like as a larger painting?

Last night I noticed my water container had a  little yellow plastic ball in it.  Kat had been playing with the ball earlier on the floor.  I got it out, and it is back in there this morning.  ??? The cat is goofy, but playing in the water?  Washing her ball?

Later, I found a dead mouse on the floor.  Kat has been busy.


Fighting with computer.  It came with some program installed that plays videos, and I don't want it.  I want to play videos with Windows Media Player.  Without asking, this program made itself the default video player, and I can't find the file extension in the Control Panel to change it back. 

I removed the program, and it seems to have removed my videos along with it.  Maybe I can find them on my back up drive and get them back.

Friday, January 13, 2012


This watercolor painting has been leaning against the wall for a long time.  Yesterday I added the tall trees on the right side.  I almost wish I hadn't, but maybe it looks a little better

My ink pen spent yesterday soaking in its cleaning solution.  I gave it a good rinse and filled it with ink, and am ready to go again.


I'm reading two books at one time, and shouldn't do that.  Not sure my mind can handle it.  I'm reading a book by Dean Koontz, "Whispers."  Been a long time since I've read Koontz.

The other book is "LOST" by Rob Guthrie. 

I think (hope) I have a commitment from Gene Paul to come work on heat on Monday.  

Thursday, January 12, 2012

This was not my idea.  Tracy made me do it.  It's an iPad app, a mouse game made especially for cats.  I don't think my cat quite gets it.  She watches the mouse, she's interested, then she tries to look under the iPad.  Then she starts to chew on it.  The mouse goes "Eeep!" if you touch it.  Kat accidently put her paw on it once, but didn't seem overly impressed.


Joan D. is showing Vicky's watercolor painting at Art Group yesterday.

Barrie went to the post office for me and delivered the new mats to the art room.  We got some really nice mats, and I wish now I had ordered more small ones.  Lenore and Vicky cleaned and straightened the cupboards.  Shoulda been there, Judi!

I watched a Carol Burnett DVD last night.  Years ago, I purchased the collector's series, they came once a month, and I have about a dozen of them.  Now, that's my kind of entertainment.  Late last night, I was sitting upstairs, laughing, all by myself.

Learned some interesting things about the cast.  Vicki Lawrence, who was a regular on the show and later had her own series, "Mama's Family", was also a singer.  She recorded the song "The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia", which sold more than two million records.

On this day in 1971, "All In the Family" debuted on CBS-TV. You can still see these occasionally on TV, but the Crackle.com web site has them also.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


  Both Vicky and Lenore sent me this photo.  It is entitled "Real Cowboys Have No Fear".  Cute and funny!

This must be where all our snow went. This is a house in Cordova, Alaska. 


I'm keeping my drawing pencils and my ink pen busy, but my watercolors are being neglected.  I still don't feel ready to paint sagebrush for my antelope.  I am not doing well, and am not going to ruin the painting because I am impatient.

I am working on the background of the oil painting of the deer in the snow.


Read a very disturbing news article on the computer this morning.

North Carolina is compensating victims of a mass sterilization program that targeted poor minorities in a 20th century eugenics program, offering a $50,000 a person.
North Carolina sterilized more than 7,600 people in North Carolina from 1929 to 1974 -- one of many other states in misguided attempts to weed out criminals and the mentally disabled.  At some point in the century, more than half of the states in the U.S. had similar programs that allowed for the sterilization of those the government deemed unfit to procreate.
We abhored Hitler for this practice in Europe.  Isn't this the same thing?  Obviously this is a part of U.S. History that is not very well known. 

Monday, January 9, 2012


It's a wonder I didn't have a heart attack yesterday before the Broncos finally won.  What a game and what a finish!  Barrie and I were both yelling.

Paul and Tracy did not go to the game yesterday.  They sold their tickets. They just got a new TV for Christmas and got it hooked up to the new receiver yesterday, and Tracy said the picture was incredible. They probably got a better view of the game than if they had been there.  Still . . . .She said they both yelled so loud that they scared the cats.

I went through the 100+  photos the Denver Post had this morning, and picked a couple of my favorite to post.

Demaryius Thomas stiff arming the Steelers player in the last play of the game.

 Tebow's reaction after Thomas made the touchdown.

And his reaction after that.  You gotta admire this guy, both for his ball playing abilities, and for  his faith.


Has anyone heard of or seen the Alphasmart?  It's a portable  word processor, runs on three AA batteries.  I think they're used mostly in education, but writers also use them.  I just won a used one on EBay.  Why?  Darned if I know.  I like gadgets.

Sunday, January 8, 2012


Here is my latest super duper time waster.  I have started a pen and ink drawing of an elk.  I am doing "stippling method", which means I sit by the hour and make little dots on the paper with my Rapidiograph pen, the x3 one, which is an incredibly fine point.  I kind of hypnotize myself when I do this.  I think it's the kind of activity a person in an institution might do.

Does anyone remember the old WordPerfect program?  It used to be the top of the line word processing program and I used it.  It used keystrokes for commands.  I think F3 was for "cancel" or "undo".  I used it before I had Windows on my computer. (DOS operating system).  I had no idea the program was still around.  Found this on eBay, and they sell for around $40.  Wonder what the program is like now?


Tracy called yesterday.  They don't have much more snow that we have in Silverthorne  (CO).  They have season tickets to the Broncos and were debating going to Denver to watch the game today.  They weren't too enthused, because its pretty certain the Broncos will get beat.  But I hope those guys surprise everyone.

Friday, January 6, 2012


My friend Nancy in California sent me some more photos. I'm going to borrow a couple to post today. These were New Year Wishes.

May the worst thing that happens to you come in slobbery pink and furry TAN.
May your cup runneth over with love

Great pictures.  Thanks, Nancy.


I made beef stew with dumplings last night from the leftover roast I fixed a couple days ago.  I know how to make stew.  You just clean out the refrigerator, right?  Carrots, potatoes and onions of course.  And then add two zucchini that were starting to look shriveled, and two tired looking tomatoes.  And some celery and a few leftover green beans.   And add some spices and a couple bay leaves.  It's recipes that give me a problem.

I went to Rendezvous Pointe this morning for the oil painting class, and after I sat there a while, I decided I had goofed.  Sure enough, it starts next Friday, not today. 


Watched a terrible movie last night.  It starred Tom Cruise and Nichole Kidman, so should have been good.  NOT!  Maybe they did a good acting job, but the movie was rotten.  It was called "With Eyes Wide Shut".  

Tonight I plan on watching Sam Elliot in Conager, a good western.  I've seen it before, so I already know he will win the widow's heart in the end.   

Thursday, January 5, 2012


 Yesterday I posted pictures of the sled dog puppies.  I found this photo of Chloe as a small kitten the other day.  Chloe has been visiting almost every day.  One day, she came upstairs after eating, and actually laid down and went to sleep for a while.  I wouldn't mind having her in the house more, but her hair really triggers my cat allergy.  Still don't know what is so special about Kat's hair, but it doesn't bother me much.


The continuance of the oil painting class I am taking from Kay Meeks starts for another six weekss tomorrow.  I have taken a long time figuring out what to paint, and I finally decided on a deer in the snow, from a photograph I took years ago when I was still using a film camera. 

I spent yesterday morning in art group practicing painting sagebrush on a new sheet of paper.  Not a lot of success yet.

I like this.  The game of Monopoly really is old.  It was patented in 1933 by Charles Darrow, who later sold his interest to Parker Bros.  The rest is history.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

All Grown Up

Here are the puppies as they looked last August, after getting high on fermented chokecherries.

And now they are grown up sled dogs.




Barrie was on a roll taking pictures at the dog lot.  Here is Kasey and Tank.


Today is National Trivia Day! In 1948, the stitched “W” was added to the rear pockets of Wrangler jeans to represent Wrangler Western Wear.  Bet ya didn't know that!