My Hobby as a Colorist

Most of you know I love to color. It is my way of relaxing. It is therapeutic in keeping me calm to lower my blood pressure, which in turn helps my heart. Last week, I decided to purchase a book which has intimidated me for some time. I’ve come a long way since I began my coloring journey. I chose to color this picture with oil pencils. After finishing the water and the bookshelves, I took a short break.

Tuesday I was looking through Amazon and saw a set of 120 pencils I’ve wanted to try for over a year. They were on sale at 25% off. So I ordered them and they arrived yesterday. They are oil based pencils and they are square in shape. I have another set that is wax based where the pencil barrels are hexagonal. They are my favorite pencils as far as comfort goes. Aging fingers do not grip round pencils without difficulty. So I wanted to see how the square pencils worked.

Wow! They feel fantastic and they are very pigment saturated. I loved swatching them. Today I am going to use them to color the books. I’m having a lot of fun coloring this picture. Kirby Rosannes is the illustrator. He has many fantastic books and all are different types of pictures filled with little objects. This book is called Worlds Within Worlds. I’m enjoying coloring something besides portraits.

Here is a picture of what I have completed so far and a picture of the pencils. I will share the final picture once it is complete.

Nacho Average Christmas Fiesta

We had a wonderful family get together yesterday. Instead of a traditional Christmas meal, we had a “Nacho Average Christmas Fiesta.” Fajitas, tacos, queso, guacamole, chips, rice, beans, choices of four different meats, and all the trimmings. Plus added fun things like tiny sombreros, fake mustaches, maracas, and so much more. Lots of laughter and love shared.

And so as Christmas week is officially here, I want to wish each of you and your families a very merry and blessed Christmas and a wonderful 2022 filled with hope and love. I’m going to take the next two weeks off and will resume blogging on January 3, 2022.

Lifting my cup of tea with a smile and heart filled with thanks to each of you. God bless. See you next year!

Preparing for Christmas

Watching a beautiful pink sunrise this cold morning. I’m always amazed at the beautiful scenes God paints outside my window! He always starts my day with a smile!

It’s been a crazy week for me. The first part of the week was super cold and ended with a lot of wind and rain! Sunday started this week in nice way with temps in the mid 40 degree range and lots of pretty sunshine. I did not venture out of my home, except to collect the mail, after church until yesterday to attend church. I finished several things I’d been wanting to do and was actually able to color a few pictures. And I enjoyed some happy ending Christmas movies!

Today I need to make cookies and fudge to mail to my daughter and son in love for Christmas. This coming Sunday evening we are having a small family meal in my equally small condo. Quite a change from the large traditional get togethers we’ve had in the past, but better than last year when we had nothing. My youngest daughter is singing with the praise band for three Christmas worship services next week. That’s how I’ll be spending Christmas Eve.

Here are the three pictures I colored last week. And the diamond painting I finally mounted for hanging. The first picture is the diamond painting now hanging on my wall. The second picture is a color by number illustrated by George Toufexis. The third is from a Jim Shore artist coloring book gifted to me last Christmas by my dear friend, Sandy. The last picture is my favorite. Illustrated by Ruth Sanderson. I used a limited number of pencils blending to make different shades and colors.

Lifting my cup of tea and wishing each of you a week filled with smiles and the true spirit of Christmas!

It is Difficult to “See” When Consumed With “Me”

Usually I look back on the previous week to write Monday’s blog, but yesterday I began thinking about how easily it is to get consumed with thoughts about myself. How I’m feeling. What I wanted.

I looked at how I make sure I have breakfast every morning. I was never a breakfast kind of person until diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. My husband loved breakfast. It was his favorite meal of the day. After I retired, my hubby was already ill with COPD and heart disease. He would stay up until the wee hours of the morning and wake after a three to four hour sleep. During the day he took multiple naps. I would wake every morning to find him drinking his first cup of coffee and doing a breathing treatment. He had gotten used to eating toaster waffles in the morning. So that’s what I fed him.

Sundays we went to one particular restaurant for breakfast, and when he had doctor appointments, which were frequent, we’d stop to eat wherever he chose. But, now, as I fix a breakfast for myself every morning, I regret not doing the same for him. Not toaster waffles, or my homemade version of his McDonald’s favorite, but a good breakfast he would love. Hashbrowns, eggs, sausage, toast and coffee.

I was retired. I had no appointments other than his. So why didn’t I take the time to make every breakfast special? A time to eat at the table together and talk would have been wonderful. Instead, I fed him junk, then showered, dressed and prepared for my day. I regret this. There were too many times in my past life when I was consumed with ME. This distracted me from focusing on others.

I realize I can’t change the past, and I shouldn’t look back. Yet, if I could change anything, it would be making breakfast special for my beloved hubby in our last years together. In the future I’m asking God to help me remember life isn’t about me. It’s about God. And that translates into being a servant to others, not being consumed with me.

This week, I had appointments every day of the week. I started coloring a Christmas picture, but remembered I wanted to complete the Hannah Lynn Steampunk book and there was still one picture left uncolored. Rarely do I use a collection of Sharpie markers, so I decided to try using them. I used them to color this picture with the exception of using a chalk medium for the sky. Yay! One more book complete!

This week I need to concentrate on making the gifts for my daughters for Christmas. One needs to be mailed, so it is important to get it finished early this week. I hope to finish the Christmas picture I started on Friday as well.

Lifting my cup of tea and looking at a rainy morning outside my office window and feeling grateful it isn’t snow!

Christmas Decorations, Cards, and a New Great Grandson

The rumbling of the trash truck is the first sign of life in the world outside my condo. All is quiet and serene as the sun kisses the lightly frosted green grass. No sign yet of any flying birds, but in the distance, beneath the autumn clothed trees, ducks waddle toward the morning breakfast provided by a kind-hearted neighbor.

I breathe in deeply, enjoying the peace before setting off on a busy day of errands and appointments. This past week has taken a toll both physically and emotionally. Sometimes aging gracefully can be lost in the rush of busyness. I finally finished making my Christmas cards, writing notes inside, and addressing them in preparation for mailing today. Each card is different. Next year, God willing, I am going to make every card the same.

Yesterday as I was getting ready for church, my daughter in SC called me. I knew it must be important since she knew I would be preparing for church. So, with a mouthful of toothpaste, I rushed to the kitchen to answer. She told me her daughter, my beloved granddaughter, had awakened thinking her water had broken. (She was being watched for high blood pressure during the last trimester of her pregnancy. Originally due in January, they had moved the date up to Christmas Eve.) At 1:30am on Sunday morning, she found it wasn’t water, but blood. She was rushed to the hospital and had an emergency c-section due to a ruptured placenta. Both mom and baby are doing okay, though mom lost a lot of blood and baby will be in NICU for a few weeks. Thanking God for His love and mercy! I can’t wait to meet Wyatt Robert McDine.

With my focus on finishing Christmas cards, the only coloring I completed this week was swatching two new sets of pencils. The Christmas decorations are in place so after this day of errands, I’m hoping to be able to resume coloring some Christmas pictures while listening to Christmas carols.

Lifting my cup of tea and wishing all of you a happy Monday. Until next time…God bless!