Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas Crash 2001-2011

Crash- his last Christmas with us
Crash was 14 years old as far as we can figure. He came to us 10 years ago at Christmas time. Somewhere along the line he picked up the name Christmas Crash. I guess his spending one last Christmas with us was his way of saying goodbye.Crash originally lived in the house next door to us. And his back story was interesting in itself. Mr. Wolfe (our former neighbor), found Crash after he had been hit by a car on the Daniels Park Bridge. Mr.Wolfe took Crash to the vet and told them that if he lived he would adopt him. Well as it turned out Crash was not that badly hurt, so he came to live in our neighborhood. Needless to say this was how Mr.Wolfe came up with his name. I'm not sure if it was the accident or not, but the cat only had 5 teeth in his mouth and  watching him eat was always a bit comical. Crash was outdoors a lot. So he would come to visit us. Sometimes his long hair would mat up pretty good, so I'd take a brush to him. He seemed to like it for the most part, and he kept coming back. One day I saw Mr. Wolfe and said "I hope you don't mind me brushing your cat". He laughed and said "You know that cat would leave the house looking like hell and he'd come home always looking so good. I couldn't figure it out!" Being named Crash did not help his situation in life. He was always underfoot, or he was getting in the way of bikes, or stopping cars in the street; because he thought it perfectly fine to sit in the middle of the road. Our Crash, he will be missed. He was just goofy enough, that we know there's no other quite like him.
2010 playing in the wrapping paper

Watching Matthew

afternoon nap

Best Friends

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Friday, December 16, 2011


I'm sinking in all the rain we've been getting lately. Where's my White Christmas?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Illustration Friday~Round

The Mystery of the Moon
by Mary Lou Rosato Caine

The mystery of the moon; he beckons me this night.
Round, and full, enchanting; there’s magic in his light.

 I walk the streets in silence, I gaze upon his face.
Contemplate his power, influence and grace.

The stars shine bright in reverence, whenever he is near.
Like beacons of the night, easing all your fear.

 It is said that strange things happen, whenever he’s around
Could this be a myth, simply to astound?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Faries in a Tree

Just a bunch of faries hanging out in a tree. I updated this piece using a patterned background in photoshop. Looking at it now on my monitor; I really need another dark green clump of tree to balance this piece. I should probably do a redo :)

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Illustration Friday-Obsession

dictionary results
ob·ses·sion  –noun

1. the domination of one's thoughts or feelings   by a persistent idea, image, desire, etc.
2. the idea, image, desire, feeling, etc., itself.
3. the state of being obsessed.

I am always the most obsessed when there is a goal to be met. This past June I decided to participate in an art show ten days before the event. Leaving myself a small window of time to pull together a lot of work. I become very focused and very organized. Notes get written, to-do lists are made, computer files get put in order, and blocks of time are found when I think there's nothing left.

It's a mad race against the clock, and I am in my element. And then I stop...and stop...until the next time.
This was the first piece to sell. Why is it the one you always think is a bust, is the first one to go?

Here are a few pictures from the art show

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Illustration Friday~Launch

A small cottage that launches little boys just for the fun of it.
This was done in prismacolor markers. I added a sculpey frame, then cooked it.
Yes, I use to cook my artwork. I made a bunch of these fun little pics 
and sold them at art festivals. 

Sunday, June 5, 2011

IF-Shadows, or... is it "Dark Shadows"

Barnabas Collins
When it comes to Halloween, or anything dark and spooky--I'm in! I think it all started in 1966 with my intro to the classic cult soap opera "Dark Shadows" The series ran from 1966-1971, in all there were 1225 episodes. I was 6 years old, and it was my all time favorite right from the start. I can remember my cousin Philip and myself hiding behind a big chair in the living room, watching the show, making sure we were well hidden, just in case... a stray ghost, vampire or werewolf, would miraculously jump through the screen and "get us!" And so my love affair began with the dark and shadowy, and has not wavered since. There's one episode that always stands out in my mind. I was eight years old, and home alone after school. I lived in an apartment. Dark Shadows aired at 4pm, and there I was eagerly watching the show. In this particular viewing there was a disembodied hand, set under glass, (if I'm remembering correctly) well, it escaped! It was floating about in the air, possibly chasing someone, or just floating? All I know is it scared the daylights out of me! I ran back and forth from the television, to the safety of the apartment hallway. I could not keep my eyes off of the screen, even though I was scared silly. If anyone in that apartment complex was looking through their peephole, I must have looked pretty silly running back and forth! Aw what the heck, I was eight years old! It looks much more silly these days when I do it!

the photo reference for my interpretation

I seem to be on a roll with black and white posts lately. The illustration above is a pencil portrait of Jonathan Frid. Better known as Barnabas Collins, my all time favorite vampire. A remake movie will be coming out with Johnny Depp playing Barnabas sometime in 2012, I'm sure Johnny will do him justice. Although it's some big shoes to fill! There was a remake in 1991, with Ben Cross, it was okay, and I like Ben Cross, but really, there's only one Baranbas Collins. There were also two movies made--"House of Dark Shadows"(scared the heck out of me) and "Night of Dark Shadows."(no Barnabas in #2)

Well that's that...

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Illustration Friday~Safari

I named him "Old Soul"~Thank you Annie~
 This weeks theme for Illustration Friday was just perfect to post the above illo that was given to me by my daughter. Last Sunday was Mother's day, and Annie surprised me with a plain brown paper bag tied with a pretty pink bow. Inside, 4 scented candles, body spray and a perfumed bath fizzy. All very nice gifts. My daughter knows me pretty well after 16 years. She knows I like simple things, and things that I can use. She knows my love of art. She also loves art, and she's good at it. My pride in her is endless. Not just for her art skills of course, but for the type of women she's turning out to be. She's kind and thoughtful. Yet she's strong enough, and just stubborn enough, that lets me know she'll be okay. I have two wonderful kids, and although Mother's day is a nice day; the best way my children honor me everyday, is by the type of people they are growing into. I am especially proud at the way they treat each other, how they usually put each other's needs first. Just a small example: There's always one doughnut or cookie that goes to waste in this house because they always save the last one for each other. I hate that the doughnut goes to waste, yet what a statement on their thoughtfulness.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Continuity (IF-Lesson)

Driving home today from the annual Eco-fair flea market, (the city garage sale) which two of my friends were participating in; the word "continuity" popped into my mind. As I was looking at the houses with there widows peaks and old structures, many of the homes dating back to the 1800's,  it occurred to me how comfortable it all is. How well I know it. The annual flea market in the city hall parking lot, chatting up friends on the street, or visiting the library that I worked at for many years. Waiting to cross the main street, I overheard two women, talking about there visit to Willoughby and  how quaint the town is. One lady was giving the other lady the "lowdown" since it appeared she was the more familiar visitor. Listening to them, I felt a sense of pride at being a "local ". And I have been a local for a long time. I have lived in Willoughby since 1963. For as many times as I've dreamed myself in other locations, there comes a day like today when the spring air feels so good and the flowering trees are in bloom, and the sense of continuity takes over, and it just feels good to belong.

Willoughby is not that small of a city, in fact it houses many folks and spans quite a distance. Yet it feels like a small town, especially in the downtown area. The buildings date back to the early 1800's maybe earlier than that. The town was actually settled in 1750, so it's rich in history. My own history plays on my mind today, as I drive through. I think about all the times I sat down by the river at Todd Field, when I was a kid, maybe reading a book, or just sunbathing by the water, to a few years later, battling in that same river with my drinking buddies in the annual tug-of-war games. My 20's were filled with a rowdiness that I both appreciate and wish to forget at the same time. Yet it is my history. Then there's Frank's Restaurant. I was 19 and it was my first waitress job. Back then we were called waitresses. I really don't like the word "server", that they use today. I liked being a waitress. I liked working in the heart of the town. My customers ranged from Lou who owned the hardware store across the street, (now it's an upbeat coffee house) to Mr. Nichols who still today owns the jewelry store. There were also the local politicians and the big shots at our city newspaper. I gave them all their coffee or lunch. Frank's restaurant is no longer there, a fire did it in, in the early 80's, a year or so into my job there. Later, Frank's got a new life as an art studio, that to came and went. It's now been a candy and cake shop for quite a while, I bought my wedding cake topper there in 1988.

So on days like today, I enjoy walking around in my home town, chatting with my friends, Helen and Jan, at the flea market, going to the library and catching up with Michele and Rose, or just waving to the folks that I've known for many years. Friends that I have shared memories with, and a feeling of community.

Now for the Lesson part...
The illustration is done in ink wash. The brickwork itself took forever, I believe the entire illustration was over 20 hours worth of work.
Once the illustration was complete, a close friend/photographer and I had much fun setting up the photoshoot for this piece. The Christmas card promo was done in an attempt to land a job at the art studio, mentioned above. Those were the days of cold calls and pounding the pavement. I did not get the job, but it turned out to be a great lesson; from the endurance of sitting at the drawing table for extended periods of time, to meeting a deadline, to watching the ins and outs of a photoshoot. All in all good memories, and a good learning experience. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Makeover still in progress!!

Well time sure has gotten away from me. Again. I had such good intentions of having my studio painted and new flooring put down between February and March. Too many things getting in the way of my progress. Including the fact that I started a job in early March and then ended up leaving that job, when another job came about 2 weeks later. Can you believe it, I have been looking for part time work for a year now, and in the course of 3 weeks have gotten two jobs. Life is interesting. So Job #2 offered up a bit more money and better schedule and a lot less hectic! Having enough time in my day to do my art is very important to me. Anyway, right before these two job opportunities came along, I was just starting to get my bookmarks made, and updating my blog, with  "the bookmark shop" and added portfolio. I would love to hear any feedback on how anyone is doing with Zazzle or Etsy shops. I was thinking of going that route.

Today I thought I would at least post the before pics of my studio and hopefully have some after pics by the end of April. I have many projects in mind for the next few months, so I have to get busy. I am planning on doing three art festivals this summer, plus the local college is having a art exhibit in May.

Life is always a balancing act, I just wish I knew the trick to keeping all the balls up in the air!

Our home was built in 1922, and there are many rooms that are in need of updating.
Coming up the stairs to the second floor that once was an attic.
Small window at the top of the landing.
Walls are in need of a badly overdue paint job! 
Art work sitting on an old 1918 trunk.
Zoe standing just left of the art table,
in front of my bedroom door opening.
Curtain will be gone in the "after pics!"

Work space with the new lighting my husband put up.
We sure could use some new electrical outlets up here.
My art table sits at the top of the landing and is sitting over the stairway.
This is my first art table that my Uncle Ralph and Aunt Lily bought me when I started
pursuing a career in the early 90's They have always been my biggest fans!!



Monday, February 14, 2011

Illustration Friday~Sweater

Catherine and Viola: A couple of guardian angel gal pals
showing off their sweaters

And another version of the gals

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Today is a snow day, the second in a row.
We all have cabin fever. I surrender; to winter, to the cold, and to no motivation.
Today my muse came for me, and I surrendered once again.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Stylish Blogger Award

Thanks Linda for sharing the Stylish Blogger Award with me.
You have always been an inspiration, as an artist and a friend.
To visit Linda's blog just hit on the stylish blogger award off to
the side :)

By accepting this award I am to pass it on to 15 other blogging sites I've discovered, and also tell seven things about myself.
So here goes...

1. I love a good Thunderstorm
2. My favorite sound is a train whistle at night
3. Autumn is the season of my soul
4. I love the meditative state of creating
5. There's nothing better than good soup and homemade bread
6. The sound of a baby having a good belly laugh
7. Cape Cod is my favorite place

There are so many wonderful artists and writers! These blogs are the ones I seem to visit time and again. They have inspired, informed, and shook up my muse! Check them out :)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

IF- Dusty

Dear friends of Illustration Friday, I do hope you will forgive my blatant misuse of this site for my own selfish purposes of "hawking my wares". I can honestly say that these favorites of mine have been on the shelf getting "Dusty" for way too long.

So with a little help from IF, I would like to introduce you to them. These are my
Tree People Bookmarks ~Apple Man, Theresa, Bird Man, Lady of the Land, and Mother. (she was my first) Created in color pencil, they measure approximately 7in x 2in.  They are die cut by hand, laminated and die cut by hand again. Please bookmark my site, they are coming soon. I will be selling them $5.00 ea. or 4-for $15.00 plus postage.
and  The Christmas Bunch~
Sweet Pine, Santa, The Lady of Light and Francis 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Just messing around in "Paint" I never really use this program, but my choices of software are a bit limited right now. I need to reinstall Photoshop and Illustrator, since our laptop flatlined on us a couple of months ago. We had a new hard drive put in. Thank God for warranties. I usually don't go for the warranty but in this case I'm glad we did!!