Sunday, July 6, 2014

Sketchbook Update

Back in November I wrote about my sketch journal.  Since then a lot of things in my life have changed, for the better thankfully. I am still using my sketchbook journal but I have more focus I think.  Every week I try to do a drawing and then write around it  I have found that my best drawings are of flowers, sort of like my best photos are always of flowers!  Some are not so hot, but once they are in the journal, there isn't much you can do about them without tearing out the page. I started sharing them on Instagram and Facebook and it seems a lot of people really like them. I have gotten 2 commissions from people to do artwork for them - who knew?  Here are a few of the ones I've done lately.

I love this one

this one, not so much.
A few more favorites...

This is my front yard in the springtime. 

This was my Easter drawing. My irises were in bloom and so beautiful.
I like this one of my back yard pond.
There are several aps on my phone that allow me to put several pictures together. It's kind of cool to put the real picture beside the watercolor. I loved the real flower below but wasn't too happy with my artwork rendition of it.

I actually drew this flag last year but added in the real one for posting this 4th of July.

Bill challenged me to draw a dragon fly. I think I need more work on them!

And for the FLOUR part of my blog. We were invited to lunch yesterday and I was to bring dessert. I combined 2 different recipes and came up with the most wonderful lemonade cheesecake.  Sometimes I amaze even myself!  It was heavenly, in a very tart kind of way!

Now I'll need to come up with something equally as wonderful for the next time. YIKES!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Photo Friday - Green

Although this picture wasn't taken to show green, it certainly does. This little bird comes to visit every evening and lands on these flowers right outside my family room. I'm sure he has no idea I can see him up close like this. He's about the size of a hummingbird. I think I'll name him.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Photo Friday - Sky

The Arizona sky is pretty boring right now so this shot of the morning sky as I walked into work yesterday will have to do.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Photo Friday - Perspective

This weekend we went to Sedona and visited the Red Rock State Park. This tree was enormous, and I stood with my back against the trunk and shot the picture looking straight up. I like the change in perspective.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Photo Friday - Movement

This hummingbird certainly has movement - as does the water fountain in my secret garden.

Monday, May 26, 2014


Frank L. Redfield, Sr. in his WWI uniform
It's Memorial Day, a day of remembering people important to us, or even those we have never met. I always think of my grandparents on Memorial Day. My Granddaddy Redfield died in 1969. I was in 5th grade I think. That was my first experience with a family member that was suddenly not in my life any more. Our house was in the same yard on the farm as my Dad's parents and we saw them every day. That's not a concept that families know much any more. My grandfather had homesteaded in NE Montana in 1914 - one hundred years ago.  Several of his brothers also came with him from Wisconsin and they had adjoining properties. As time went on they all left but my grandpa stayed on the land and my family still farms it today. That is a very cool legacy that he gave us.

My Grandma Redfield came to MT from Missouri when her father, Sam Goforth, homesteaded in the same area as my grandfather. She was a schoolteacher in small country schools.  In those days teachers didn't get married so she had no plans for that until she decided she wanted to have kids. She was 30 at the time, much older than most brides of those days, but she and my grandpa were married on Nov. 19, 1919. I remember the date because I have her wedding band and it is engraved inside - I love it and wear it all the time.  I'm named after her, our middle names are/were Lavina. We were close when I was growing up and I'm glad she lived long enough to know my boys. She taught me so many things, how to crochet, knit, embroider and tat, and also about gardening. 
Mary Lavina Redfield with great-grandchildren Logan,
Christopher and Nicholas. She was about 90 in this picture.
My Grandpa Slife died shortly after my parents were married so I only know him in stories my mom told me. He was born Frank Schleif but changed his last name to Slife. He grew up in Pennsylvania and worked in the coal mines as a young boy. He later joined the Army and was actually a prison guard at Alcatraz when it was a military prison. After he married my Grandma they lived in Atlanta, GA and he started a very successful plumbing business. My connection to him is that he loved to garden and planted thousands of bulbs and flowers every year. I think he and I would have been great friends.

Frank Slife in his Army uniform

My Grandma Slife was a nurse, like me! Although things were very different back then. She graduated from nursing school in 1915.  Like teachers, nurses were not supposed to get married so she also didn't get married until she was 30. After that she didn't work as a nurse in a hospital, but Mom says she treated lots of people who came to her for help knowing she would know what to do. They had 3 children, Mary, Sylvia and Bill. Only my Mom is still alive.  I remember my Grandma Slife as a very fun person. She used to come visit us in the summer in MT. She owned stock Coca Cola company and she would buy a case of Coke for us to have while she was visiting. We never had soda in the house other than those times. She also would send a box that arrived before she did, and every day she would give us something from that goodie box - oh the excitement! She had false teeth and would take them out and sing to us and we would dissolve into giggles. I think of her singing "Little Brown Jug" with no teeth and I still smile. She traveled a lot and came back one time dancing the hula for us. She was a very generous person and paid for all of us grandkids to go to college - something that I will always be grateful for.

Rebe Sylvia McElwee with her fellow nursing school graduates - 1915

My Dad died in 2004. He grew up on the farm in MT and had been in the Navy in WWII - joined when he was 17.  He was on a ship that was sunk in the Pacific, the Princeton, but swam for 8 hours and survived to tell the tale.  He joined the Army just after WWII and he met my Mom at a USO. She was serving coffee to the troops. It was love at first sight and they got married about a year later. He worked for her father in the plumbing business for a short time, moved back to the farm for a year, but then was hired as a policeman in Atlanta. They bought a home and started a family - 5 of us before they moved back to the farm in MT in 1956 (and 2 more after that). He farmed until he was in his late 70's, but also did crop dusting, gun smithing and airplane repairs in his "off time".  He and Mom became snowbirds after I moved to AZ and came here every winter.  They lived close to us until he died.

Frank L. Redfield Jr. in is Navy uniform
My niece, Erin Sheer, died in 2005 when she was 27 years old. She was living in San Francisco at the time and working on her Master's degree in art. She was my oldest sister's only child and the loss of that free spirit still makes us all cry.  She was the oldest grandchild in the Redfield clan and she is missed. If you ever see photos of any of us Redfield girls wearing a star necklace, that is in remembrance of Erin.

Erin Abigail Sheer - 2001
We also had one other loss in the family, one we never got to meet. Nick and Mandy had a miscarriage in 2008 so we don't know that little soul. I'm sure he/she would have been amazing judging by the other 3 babies they have.

So today I'm also thinking about all those other people in our pasts, military and non who pave the way. I'm glad we have a day where we can just remember....