Category Archives: New Adventure

31 in 31

It’s not a new challenge, but I’m excited to do this challenge with 4 other pastel artists this month. Excited about the community of artists we are building and sharing challenges, successes, failures and lessons learned. 

Yesterday I challenged myself with faces. My theme for 2017. My goal is one face/figure painting a week. Hopefully when we get to this time in 2018 I will have a lot more confidence with faces and figures! 

I have a lot to learn, but I kinda like the spunk these three seem to have!

Tis the Season

Santas helpers

It’s been a great month since we left the Little White House. We have spent our time visiting family and friends. To the point that some of them may be tiring of putting us up and feeding us! We have not been able to spend this much time in several years.

Although this has been great for us, it hasn’t been as good for my art. I am not as confident as I should be to draw in front of others and I always feel selfish when I take time to draw instead of socialize. Drawing and painting demand my full attention.

I have set myself a few goals and am working on being a better artist, I am also going to enjoy these holidays by collecting as many hugs as I can! 

Wishing a blessed holiday season and peace to all

Delay of Game

The little White House on Shull Run

The little White House on Shull Run

Sadly Jim and I will be leaving the little White House. The septic system has had enough and with modern codes and regulations a solution will take much longer than I can hold it for, so…

We are draining water pipes and closing her up. Not exactly sure what this means for us other than we get to spend some time enjoying Pittsburgh while we plot our next move.

It is disappointing that we didn’t make it through the winter here, that would have been fabulous, but we have had a great time and are looking forward to more time here in the future.

Camp Adele and the little White House are and will continue to be open to guests, whenever you are able, you will just need to give us a little more lead time now!

And now, without further ado onto our New Adventure Part II!


Veteran’s Day second thought

As we remember the sacrifices made by the Veteran’s who have and continue to defend our great nation, I hope your second thought is a thank you for their families. Especially, the spouses and significant others.

Some days, it is glorious to support the country by supporting a military spouse or significant other. Many days it is not. We all know being in the military is a life, duty, not a job. It is a life-calling. Eat, sleep, breath the mission. From personal experience, I know if the job wasn’t done correctly, people’s lives were in danger. People I knew and respected. It is not glorious when you can’t call and talk to your military spouse on a random Thursday afternoon about an incident involving your child at school. It isn’t glorious to quit your job because the third of your three children now has the flu and your boss has already said no more sick days. Your military spouse/significant other does not, can not, would never call in sick unless they themselves could not get their uniform on. It is not glorious when your military spouse gets an assignment that you are not on. It is not glorious when they can’t come home for dinner, 6 months, or a birthday party you’ve been planning for a month because the military comes first.

Yet, these spouses and significant others understand that every American suffers and accepts those less than glorious moments as their duty.

So, please thank as many Veteran’s as you can today, tomorrow and every day. As a second thought, give a nod to their families, the ones making sure they have no stress outside of completing the mission.
A special – not so second thought -Thank You to;

Hussein; you have accepted your initiation into the military with style and fortitude. It has not gone unnoticed, your strength is an inspiration.

Brittany; your commitment and loyalty shines so brightly, as witness to the power of love. I am excited for your adventure to continue united!

Sonya; keep letting your spirit and humanity offer gentle reassurance and steadfastness.



Had a wonderful trip out west visiting family and friends!


Came back with a few treasures as well. Made a quick detour to Hobby Lobby to pick up a few new art supplies.

Hobby Lobby Haul

Hobby Lobby Haul

Not impressed with the pastels, very chalky and difficult to work with, but the colors are great, so I am sure they will get used. I am enjoying the Aqua Blocks. Did the two underpaintings below with them. And am thrilled with the new micron pens. I have an 03 that I love, and now have a couple more to play with.

Aqua Block underpainting

Aqua Block underpainting

The coup de gras is this gem, a print by Jon-Michael Frank. I can’t wait to get it framed and hanging in our kitchen. It’s almost as if Jon-Michael Frank knew us and what we were doing!

Jon-Michael Frank print

Jon-Michael Frank print


Ready for October

Papa took me shopping for my birthday and I bought myself some yarn. Now I am ready for chilly afternoons and cold nights by the fire!

A simple raglan sleeve sweater from the classic Leisure Arts Knitted Seamless Raglans pattern book in Red Heart Boutique Unforgettable yarn

A simple raglan sleeve sweater from the classic Leisure Arts Knitted Seamless Raglans pattern book in Red Heart Boutique Unforgettable yarn


This poncho knit up very quickly with Wool-Ease Thick and Quick yarn. Leave a comment if you would like the pattern notes I took when making this piece.

This poncho knit up very quickly with Wool-Ease Thick and Quick yarn. Leave a comment if you would like the pattern notes I took when making this piece.


The collar on this poncho can be worn up or down.

The collar on this poncho can be worn up or down.

Hard to let go

It is important to know when to let go – knowing that it is time doesn’t make it any easier and even worse, doesn’t mean we do let go. There is always something beautiful or redeeming about the object or person we need to let go of. We could love the beauty even after we let go, but that doesn’t help parting.

I know when I do let go I feel better, clean, free – even if it takes time. I also know I remember what I gave up and what made it special to me. When we moved to the 800 square foot White House, we had to let go of a lot of things. Things that held great memories of people we love and times spent together. Some days I miss those times and people, but I do not need the objects. I still have the memories.

I know this and yet when faced with letting go of a failed painting, I couldn’t. I like the tree line and how the river moves along the banks. I also like the reflection of the trees in the water. So I tried to save it. I must have repainted the sky 5 times and the clouds reflection 4 times; until the pastels would no longer stick to the paper. In the end, the painting could not be saved. The irony is that I will hold onto this for awhile – to remind me to let go when it is time.