Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Happy Almost New Year! See you on the other side!

Good evening, pals!  We are almost to the end of 2020!  Good on you for making it this far!  Of course, I don't need to tell you what a challenge and a struggle it has been.  A growing list of my dear friends have lost loved ones to this pandemic, and it is so heartbreaking.  I just cannot find the words....it's all too much, really. I count myself a fortunate one to still be blessed with my loved ones at my side, my good health and a warm home.  My husband and I have been able to continue our work....we both already worked from home, and really love the simplicity of it.  But there's something different all together about not feeling safe to venture out for the fun, isn't it?   

We're managing. We've adjusted our sails, slowed down, and found delight in the small things.  I dare say we appreciate more.  So much more than ever.  And we are trying to let people know we love them when we can.  I personally am finding respite in the simple act of creating a little something every day.  While I've missed the art shows and seeing my wonderful customers and friends in person, I've enjoyed the slower pace, void of too many deadlines.  I'm following my creative muse wherever she decides to lead me.  I'm enjoying exploring different mediums.  I've dusted off the old sewing machine again, and have had a blast stitching painted canvas banners, prayer flags and other goodies.  I took a ceramics class in November to refresh my skills, and JUST LOVE IT! I'm spending a few hours a week at the local community potter's studio, where I soak up all the inspiration and nuggets of wisdom that I can.  I'm having fun with some online courses as well...in painting, mixed media and ceramics.  I'm hoping to spend the rest of the winter just soaking in the processes of other artists and learning some new techniques.  I find that's such a good way to recharge the creative batteries.

My gratitude goes out to all of you, dear readers, friends, supporters, cheerleaders, customers and all around kick ass people.  Thanks for making 2020 more bearable, and helping me to see how truly blessed I am.  I look forward to writing and creating more in the new year.  May this note find you happy, healthy and full of hope.  Happy New Year.  -Dori


Tuesday, October 20, 2020

More from that Tall Skinny Journal and SNOW (What?)

Hey there kiddos!  How are you?  Happy October!!!  Popping in with a few more pages of that tall skinny journal....but first....LOOK!  SNOW!  UGH!!!  I was out running errands yesterday, and when I walked out of Joann's with my Fray Check and bright pink paint (ha! random), it was SNOWING.  HEAVILY!!!  I had no idea that was coming.  I think we got a few inches by the time it was all over.  It is so very pretty....but darn it.  I'm not ready for this.  

For family members who've been checking up on us, that big tree on the left is the locust that lost a big branch in the derecho.  The branch pretty much hit our dormer and then dragged down the front, taking our gutters and a small window with it. (Fortunately, just the outside pane, but still will need to be replaced) Tree guys coming soon to clean up the wounded tree. Window guy coming next week to measure.  Gutter guys and dormer repair...we won't see them til spring.  But we are still so grateful the old dame of a house held up!  

Okay, onward to the journal pages.....happy Tuesday!


Sunday, October 4, 2020

The Tall Skinny August/September Journal Continued


Good morning friends!  Most of you have been following along on social media with my tall skinny August journal that became a tall skinny September journal due to derecho.  But I thought I'd pop in here and start getting caught up with sharing the rest of the journal on the blog.  The book is all done now....all filled up...I even embellished the covers, inside and out, and it's now a beloved treasure on the shelf with the rest of my completed journals.  It's SO SATISFYING to fill a book cover to cover.  I'm currently starting in a spiral bound sketchbook that was started and abandoned way back in the day.  Will post some of those pics soon.


Lately, around here, we are settling into fall.  October is one of my favorite months.  It's our wedding anniversary months, and we love Halloween and Dia de los Muertos.  Every couple of years, we love hosting a Dia de los Muertos party.  This would've been the year to do it again, but alas, the Corona has other plans.  So I'm turning my attention to little projects around the house, touching up paint, cleaning out a drawer or a closet here and there, and I even....drum roll please.....am getting a jump on ornaments.  WHAT??!!  I've never painted my ornaments this early.  We'll see how long I can stick with it.  Ha!  Anyway, howdy, hello and hugs to you all.  Hope you are staying healthy and well.  We're gonna make it.  More journal pages to share soon.  Love, D

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Getting Back Into the Groove

 Good morning friends!  WOW!  I just realized that August 10th was my last entry here on the blog.  August 10th was also the day our city endured a derecho, an inland hurricane with winds up to 140 miles per hour.  WOW.  Here. In Iowa. Crazy.  Our city of Cedar Rapids seems to have been hit the hardest.....so many trees gone.  Someone said we lost nearly 50% of the city's tree canopy.  

That morning I got up and worked through my usual routine of walking the dogs and prepping for the day.  My "window guy" had just stopped by and measured for 4 new windows for my studio.  As he was leaving, he said there's a storm headed our direction, should be here early afternoon.  So I put away some of the outdoor furniture, and closed the patio umbrella.  Little did we know that would be the least of our worries.  Ha!!!  My kids had just happened to stop by to say hi, and they ended up "trapped" with us at the house for hours.  No power, no access to roads, all blocked in by trees and debris.  Our next door neighbor's chimney blew off their house.  WHAT?  

We Patricks were very fortunate.  We came out of it relatively unscathed.  Most of our damage was cosmetic....a broken window, a little damage to the top of our chimney, fence, and gutters in the front.  And LOTS of debris.  Leaves and twigs and trunks and branches....all over the place.  We went 10 days without power, and a month without internet.

We still have a lot to be thankful for.  We have loving neighbors, who, in the following days, banded together to help each other clear debris and clean up the best we could.  Since we were without power, we all started grilling meats and using up food that was about to spoil, and sharing it with one another.  Every evening, we got back together to eat after a long day of cleaning and hauling.  I am so thankful that my kids ended up getting "stuck" at our house, and were not out on the road at the time.  We are glad our doggies were able to hide in the basement with us while we waited it out.  And to think, we were worried about the patio umbrella.  Ha!!!  Sometimes, priorities have a way of showing themselves.  

Now, we are about a month and ten days post storm, and we are settling back into some sort of routine.   My hubby, who works from home, had to beg and borrow some internet for about a month before we got ours back....he's home again, and we love it!  (our anniversary is coming up...and we are going to really be counting our blessings this year!) It's going to be a long wait for getting repairs done....all contractors, handymen, tree trimmers are MONTHS BEHIND because the whole city needs their help.  But we are going to carry on.  We'll make it.

So that's where I've been, friends.....to those of you who follow along on Facebook and IG, THANK YOU for your kind words and messages, and thank you for your business as well!!!  With all the art shows cancelled, online sales are keeping my little business afloat....so I THANK YOU. I'll be following up with some more joyful pics soon.  My August journal is now a September journal...and I have some pages to share with you here.  Stay tuned!  Much love, and gratitude, Dori and family

Monday, August 10, 2020

August Journal Page #8


Happy Monday morning friends!  I hope you are well, and had a restful weekend.  We are all doing fine over here....nothing too exciting to report.  It's still so dry here in eastern Iowa.....we need a really good soak.  Things are turning brown.  This weekend was supposed to be the Crystal Lake Art Fair in Champaigne/Urbana, IL...but of course, like everything else, it has been cancelled....but they did a great job of promoting the artists online, for which I'm thankful!  THANKS to everyone who placed orders in my Etsy shop this weekend!  I'll be busy packing them up and getting them to the post office later today.  

Pictured above is page 8 in the August journal.  So far, we are humming along nicely, and I'm enjoying the challenge of digging into that book every day!  Thanks for following along!  Have a great week!

Saturday, August 8, 2020

August Journal Page #6 and #7


Happy weekend friends!  It's warming back up here in Iowa.  Hot, hot, hot.  And DRY.  We really could use some rain.  All of the plants and the grass are looking sad.  Boooo.

Just popping in with journal pages 6 and 7.  I'm really having fun with this journal!  I'm realizing I really dig watercolor paper!!  It just soaks up all the juiciness...it's wonderful!  And tough!  Thinking up and working on pieces for a couple of new ideas too.  Things are hopping in the studio, and that is a good thing!  I love it when a flurry of inspiration washes over me.  I'm going to ride that wave as long as it will last.  Cheers, mates!

Thursday, August 6, 2020

August Journal Pages #4 and #5

Good morning friends!  Happy Thursday!  Today's post is a "two-fer"!  Pages 4 and 5 in my August journal!!!  The hubby and I took a much needed mental health day yesterday and drove up to Madison for some sun, fun, food, and shopping.  It was wonderful!  We came home tired, but still invigorated.  It's such a colorful city.  I could see myself there.  

Knowing I was going to miss a day in the studio, I got pages 4 and 5 done in one sitting before I left. 
Hope you enjoy!!!  Can you tell I love to scribble?  Have a great day!  -Dori