Wednesday, December 28, 2011

140 Posts

So today marks the beginning of another year for my blog.  One year ago on December 28th, Paint on Purpose was born, and it took me 140 posts to fill an entire year with mindless drivel.  Not bad!

I have a lot of goals for this coming year, but as we all know I am really good at setting goals and really not good at achieving them.  So I have a plan.  I have a lot of mini-goals, very achievable mini-goals.  I am hoping this will keep me on track -- all the little successes will add up to some big ones.  Of course, some of my goals are entirely beyond my control, and therefore perhaps I should call them dreams.  But they are still going on the list.  I have big plans for this year, big plans.  Here is my inspiration:

Rock on.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Just a quick note while I am here at work for a minute and have access to a computer.  Since this gift has arrived at its final destination, now I can post a picture.  I sent this to my Uncle Tato as a thank you for being my first Etsy customer.  It took three tries to get something I liked (hence the delay in shipping - sorry, Tato), but I think the end result was pretty good.

Roxie and I are going back home in a minute to sit around and read some more.  Today was supposed to be the third day of my three-day weekend, so of course here I am at work, right?  Oh well.  I have another three-dayer coming up next weekend.  My big task for this afternoon, besides laundry and making a giant vat of creamy broccoli soup, is figuring out how to use the Kindle my family sent me for Christmas!  I need to go sit in the car outside the library to snag their wifi, and download something.  Otherwise, I will be reading the dictionary that came pre-loaded.  Roxie isn't so much into the whole sitting around and doing nothing routine, but she has been a good sport about it.  I thought for sure she was going to be sick on Sunday -- Christmas Eve a plate of cheese and crackers was left unattended on a side table that is poodle-height, and suddenly the cheese was gone.  Hmmm.  I told her we don't like cheese, but I guess she didn't believe me.  Anyway, no ill effects, thank goodness.  Cheese.  Yuck.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Off to a good home....

I get kinda sad when someone buys one of my favorites.  But at least I know it went to a good home!

Ok, it's 11:30 Christmas Eve morning, and we still have presents to wrap and pictures to frame before closing at 1:00.  Gotta go bye.

P.S. - it is now 1:15 p.m., the gallery is closed until Wednesday, I still have one present to deliver, one to wrap and a quick stop to make at the library.  But just wanted to mention that DORKASAURUS is also going off to a good home.  Ha ha ha ha ha ha!  Sweet.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

... and two more!

Monday morning I got an email saying two more of my paintings sold on Etsy!  WOO HOO!  Someone named Kevin from Indiana bought these:

"Sloppy Kisses" and "Wild Flower."  Wow - that was a surprise!  I hope he likes them in real life.

It is late Thursday afternoon, and we are making progress on our needs-to-be-done-before-Christmas list.  Today we crossed off more names than we added.  Derek left a little early to deliver three pieces and to finish the Costco food shopping for Christmas Eve dinner, and after work I am going down to the house to start chopping the nuts I toasted last night for panforte.  We have made panforte every Christmas for probably the last eight years -- it is a traditional Italian yummy made with hazelnuts, almonds, citron, dried pineapple and apricot, orange zest, cinnamon, cocoa and honey.  Wicked good.  I will take pictures when we slice one on Christmas Eve.

Tonight I also have to finish a painting I am giving my landlords for Christmas (they gave me the best Christmas present ever - free rent for December).  Tomorrow will be another fun-filled work day, hopefully finishing everything on the above-mentioned list.  Then tomorrow night I have to bake a bunch of cookies.  Saturday we will be at work from 10:00 until about 1:00, then in the car to Missoula.  Home again Saturday night, and thus begins my three days of doing nothing except sleeping, reading and laundry.  Derek is heading to parts west for a week, so Roxie and I will be staying at the house where it is warmer and there is a washing machine.  A three day weekend, three and a half days of work, then another three day weekend.  I.  CAN'T.  WAIT!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Last one

It is almost midnight.  I wanted to post a quickie to commemorate this having been my last Sunday of work.  Finally back to a five day work week.  WOO HOO!

Now I need to go check and see if I spelled "commemorate" correctly.  It looks weird.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Raining cats and dogs

Here are a couple of paintings that are currently stuck in the "questionable" file.  I am intrigued by their strange color palette, but they are a bit odd.  Tell me what you think:

They look better in real life.  Not much better, but better.  I think I will list them in my Etsy store as a pair, at a reduced price, in the "odd" department.

Things have been crazy at work.  Last night I made a list of all the things that need to be done before Christmas.  There were about 60 things on the list.  We were making good progress this morning -- 4 down, 56 to go.  Then we added 3 more things.  Then another 2.  I think we ended the day ahead of the game, but not by much!  This week is going to be nuts.

Friday, December 16, 2011

A little lovin'

Happy Friday.  Here is a little love:

I say little because it is 7" wide and 5" high.  Small art for small spaces.  And here is some subtle love:

Heh heh.  Subtle, because it is kinda hard to read.  I have a third new painting, but can't post it yet.  It needs to get where it is going first, but I really like the way it came out.

Today was a better day.  No tears, got lots of work done, several more "Can you frame this before Christmas?" people came in, and I sold another one of my paintings.  This one:

Woo hoo!  My last task of the work day was going to be re-stretching a needlework piece, but I just this minute noticed a giant cut on my hand.  Rather than bleed all over some art, I think I will go home 20 minutes early.  Tomorrow is going to be another crazy day.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


This is a solidarity painting.

I painted it in support of Bo Muller-Moore, a Vermonter trying to run a small business, so small it is a one-man-show.  You can read about him here.  I am sure you have heard about Bo in the news lately.  If not, read this.  I am thoroughly disgusted.  A corporate giant who, as an aside, is not exactly doing their part to further the education of young children ("eat mor chikin" -- really???), trying to shut this poor guy down.  Makes me crazy.  Go sign his petition.

And that is all for today.  This day has not been a good one for me, but it took an upswing when I sold a painting.

P.S.  Would you believe this is the second painting I have done that says KALE?  'Tis true.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


I have a small pile of new paintings (or, conversely, a new pile of small paintings) but I can't post pictures of them today because Derek took the camera to Whitefish.  So I will just tell you what happened to me last night.

I have a part-time part-time job.  Our friend Viki owns a shop -- Viki's Montana Mountain Classics.  She makes vinaigrettes and preserves and flavored vinegars and pies and truffles and fruitcake.  Viki hasn't been feeling so hot lately.  Chemo will do that to you.  So I went in to pour vinaigrette for her last night.  Two buckets of huckleberry, one of raspberry and one of honey poppyseed.  This is the routine:  first I get cases of empty bottles out of the shed, then fill a big flat bucket with water and a pinch of something that sanitizes the bottles.  In they go for a rinse.  Pour pour pour pour pour pour pour.  This involves stirring the vinaigrette with a whisk so, for instance, all those little huckleberries don't settle to the bottom, filling a pouring bucket, pouring almost three bottles, whisking again, filling again, pouring again, until the big bucket is empty.  Lids go on the bottles, then nice green paper toppers get shrinkwrapped to the top of the bottles, then labels.  The bottles hold 13.5 ounces, there are 12 bottles to a case, and I poured five cases of huckleberry.  Cleaned the whisk and the pouring bucket, then out to the shed for more bottles.  Poured a case and a half of raspberry.  Cleaned up again, and poured a case and a half of honey poppyseed.  The honey poppyseed pours like a dream!  With the huckleberry, I always end up with splatters everywhere because of the berries - I had huckleberry vinaigrette on my glasses, on my forehead, and probably in my hair.  But the honey poppyseed is smooooooth.  So here I am, ending the night on a high note.

Then I carried the flat bucket of water back to the sink, dumped it in, and flooded the whole kitchen.  ACK!  I saw water pouring out from under the sink, realized what was happening, and instantly had one of those brain-freeze panic moments.  I couldn't think what to do!  Water, water, everywhere and not a drop to drink!

When I came to my senses, I got it cleaned up and all was well.  But today my hands are killing me from excessive wringing out of a wet towel.  Lesson learned:  slow and steady wins the race.

Saturday, December 10, 2011


I have been waiting to post pictures of the commission piece I did for my dad because I wanted to wait until after he gave it as a gift.  So here's the deal - the colors needed to match this:

That's my mom on the left, with Bob and Debby Burke and their helicopter.  The word is one Debby apparently uses with some frequency.  So this is what I painted:

I don't know, I think it's awesome.  The vast amount of white paint scared me initially, and I had to sit with it for what felt like ages before I was ready to put a word on it.  (And by "vast" I of course mean enough to liberally cover a 6" x 12" canvas, and by "ages" I of course mean about two weeks.)   I hope they liked it.

Here is my latest tree painting:

I really need to figure out how to take better pictures of shiny things.

Last, but certainly not least, today I sold my first painting on Etsy.  Woo hoo!  (I need to do a painting that says WOO HOO!)  Thank you, Tato -- I have a little something extra to send to you with the painting.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

December 7th

Nothing new has been painted or cooked or beaded or otherwise created in my home, so I'm just basically checking in to say I have nothing to say.  I am still recovering from last week - enjoying a lowered stress level.  Speaking of last week, I was so taken with my pink tree I never showed you the wreath I made:

When we were emptying out a seldom-if-never used stairwell at the Museum before the event, we found this enormous grapevine wreath.  It is painted a grayish slate blue color.  It hung for a gazillion years in the gift shop, but at some point it was retired to "storage" in the stairwell.  I bought a roll of ribbon, added a strand of lights, and repurposed both the wreath and some holiday decorations one of our Board members donated.  Voila.  I am quite proud of my efforts, and someone actually bought the darn thing.

I took a two-question test yesterday to determine my spirit animal, and it was a grizzly bear.  I guess that explains my overwhelming desire to hibernate....

Saturday, December 3, 2011

In the bag

Today is my half-birthday.  It is also the day AFTER the Festival of Trees.  Woo hoo, it's done!  Here are some more pictures of my tree:

All the stuff went with the tree.  My friend Maggie bought it.  Thanks, Maggie!  End result of the event: there were more people than I expected, we made more money than I expected, and next year is going to be bigger and better.  We were totally winging it this year and did a remarkably good job.  Sentiment of the day, tho:  THANK GOD IT'S OVER.