View Full Version : Art Journals Chatter - Dec 2010

11-30-2010, 11:54 PM
Happy December, Art Journalists!

Here's a link to the November chat thread (http://wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=758121).

Debby has created a fun challenge (http://wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=796611)for the month - check it out!

I've got to photograph and post my November challenge sketches to my challenge thread.

What's everyone up to for this month? Maybe some holiday sketching, perhaps inspiring and sketching along with young artists? When my nephew was young he insisted on drawing in my "Art Book" and not on scrap paper :)


12-01-2010, 02:42 PM
Thanks for the new chat thread and a link to the challenge.

December is going to be challenging for me. Hope I can keep up with the buying frenzy the month brings. Orders for candy are coming in. It's good to be busy.

12-01-2010, 08:00 PM
The first day of Summer brought a massive downpour and storm. Thought you might like to see the lovely colours in the sky as the sun set after the storm had passed...


Have a great December all :wink2:

12-01-2010, 08:54 PM
Beautiful photos Jackie! Here we've been having some severe winter weather, I don't even want to talk about all the snow shoveling I've been doing! We've had nearly 50% of our average seasonal snowfall already! I sure hope it gets more average after this!


12-01-2010, 10:34 PM
Jackie, The clouds and sunset are beautiful......when you said summer...I had to think....where is she??? Down under....I presume....as my as my cold fingers type this :wave:

12-01-2010, 10:34 PM
Debby, good luck with the silly season.:D

Jackie, nice fire breathing dragon in photo #2, hope the storm was gentle.

David, I complain about too much rain, but at least it goes away all by itself. You can keep your snow...:D

12-02-2010, 01:11 AM
Great pictures, Jackie. Chris is right, there's a dragon in the second photo.

Sounds like you got hit with the same storms I did. We don't get snow like this till January. Came early.

Thanks Chris. It's a good thing I like making candy. :)

12-03-2010, 01:17 AM
December will actually probably be a rather quiet month for us holiday wise - we've no family besides ourselves and even after 6-7 years here my poor Yankee brain just can't quite wrap itself around feeling Christmasy when it's summer! :lol: Instead - pending weather cooperating - we'll be doing some fencing, a flyball comp this weekend, bushfire season prep, looking at making hay and if I can catch the sheep the little boogers will have a date with the shears, drenchgun and hoof trimmers.

12-03-2010, 01:41 PM
Jackie - love those clouds! I took a lot of cloud photos on my recent trip. They can be so expressive.

Here's my view looking north this morning.

12-03-2010, 06:26 PM
December will actually probably be a rather quiet month for us holiday wise - we've no family besides ourselves and even after 6-7 years here my poor Yankee brain just can't quite wrap itself around feeling Christmasy when it's summer! :lol:

Have you worked out the game of cricket yet? :cat: :lol: I have fond memories of backyard cricket on Xmas day, and eating heaps of prawns - summer is a great time for the silly season.

Hope you have a good one!:thumbsup:

12-03-2010, 10:57 PM
Wow, EP- what a view!!!!!!!!!!

12-06-2010, 11:11 AM
To those who use the non-spiral hardback journals-- They look so cool but how do you get them to lie flat while you paint/sketch? I would think that mashing them flat would make the binding break. Tell me why you prefer them over the seemingly easier to use spirals- thanks!

12-06-2010, 01:39 PM
It's a matter of paper. I find the spirals have cheaper paper in them. Tho' I do prefer the convenience of the spiral.

And yes, the binding will break. I like the way moleskine binds their books because they do lie flat. I'm looking at making my next sketchbook like that. The first one I made with the ribbon spine does work. However, it's not as tightly together as a true bound book and tends to skew to one side or the other. Don't know if it'll last through my usage.

The reason for bound books for me is because I tend to destroy the spiral bound ones carrying them around everywhere and pages tend to tear out on me.

All this has led to the experiment of binding my own books. Which is rather fun as well. :)

12-06-2010, 02:06 PM
Thanks Debby, good food for thought!

12-06-2010, 04:55 PM
EP and Jackie what gorgeous photos. If I had a view like EP does I don't know how I'd ever be able to leave home.

Candace I like the spiral bound books too, but they don't hold up well being tossed in my purse. I have started binding my own. Last time I went on a shred my written journal kick, I saved all the boards from the spiral bounds and cut the paperblock out of the hardbound. Prepunched holes for my boards on the spirals, and I just stitched a textblock and glued it and some endpapers and voila! It's like a moleskine. I'm kind of new to bookbinding but took a class with the local bookbinding wizard last year, coptic, but with the help of instruction books and youtube videos and a good general knowledge of sewing (not really a necessary item that) I'm trying for some more interesting books. So I'm definitely interested in your next attempt Debby. I saw your instructions on the last one in here somewhere.

It's a lovely cool crisp day here in the heart of Texas and I think I shall take my paints outside and enjoy it.

Paint on all!

12-06-2010, 05:14 PM
Hi everyone! I agree with the others EP - what a wonderful view...... ;)

We have had several storms in the first week of Summer - lots of flooding etc but the dams are looking pretty full for the first time for a long time. It sure has been hot and sticky though........ not really drawing weather - sticky hands and paper are not a great mix!

I started the 12 sketches challenge but not got too far yet - maybe today I will get something to post ;)

12-06-2010, 05:46 PM
Candace - I use both hardcover and spiral books. Spirals are good because they go flat (and beyond!) but I find that pencil sketches etc seem to smudge easier in them (more page movement????), and the paper does seem to be lighter and cheaper. Hardcovers are good because you can sketch right over the middle of the pages, making a larger pic if you want. I have found 'landscape' bound hcs seem to lie flat better than 'portrait' format ones.

I can get most my hcs to lie flat, but admittedly they some have needed encouragement - I haven't had any bust on me, but I also don't push them beyond the flat.

The book I used for my Nov challenge was a Winsor and Newton hc, stitched quite tight, it didn't like staying flat. The one I am using now is a cheap brand (Mont Marte), loosely stitched - I didn't think it would hold together - it lies flat nicely, and is going strong. I have made books and they lie nice and flat too, probably for the same reason, the stitching is loose.

12-06-2010, 05:52 PM
Jackie - had a good storm build up last night, but it skirted around us, so probably doesn't count. Hopefully some of this rain will head over to the west soon, I think we have all had enough for now.

However, a bit more rain down your way would be good for our cricket team today tho'!:D

12-07-2010, 12:24 AM
Chris - I am a little torn.... born in England but raised in Oz with an aussie child (who supports his country in everything but doesn't support Australia in the cricket!) Turns out the rain came too late and the aussies were bowled out anyway....... Storm warnings again today :eek:

12-07-2010, 01:20 AM
Candace - I use both hardcover and spiral books. Spirals are good because they go flat (and beyond!) but I find that pencil sketches etc seem to smudge easier in them (more page movement????), and the paper does seem to be lighter and cheaper.

Thanks, seejay-- the smudge factor info may convince me to try a hb. I lean toward drawing, o.p., and more charcoal & pastel pencil lately. All would benefit from no jiggling & smudging.

12-08-2010, 11:06 AM
Hey Dr. Debby,
Congrats on your book binding tutorial making the WC newsletter this week. Have you worked on another book yet. I haven't gone near the table with my bookbinding stuff, and there are prepared boards and signatures that just need a needle and thread. Maybe this will get the fire lit. Some good stocking stuffers or gifts there I think. I need a watercolor journal again as my last is finished off.
And then there is the Sketchbook Project. I've put it off cause of the crap paper in the Cahier book, but the book is kinda flimsy to rebind, so I spent a couple of hours with a moleskine I bought last year that had that kind of paper and got put up promptly. Doing ink tests to see what showed through. Robert has been having good luck with his Pitt pens but I'm so unused to them that I'm not sure I want to use them on a sketchbook that will be permanently available for viewing. So I think I have my pen choices narrowed down. I'd like to sketch in graphite but am concerned it will just end up smeared so...ink it is. Unless someone has some other clever thought. :D If you do please speak up, it wll be gratefully accepted and tried in the test book!:angel:

Have a fabulous day all.

12-08-2010, 10:06 PM
Debby, congrats on your book binding tutorial getting into the newsletter. That rocks.

EP and Jackie, those photos are fantastic! I love the Aussie sunsets and that cloudy mountain range was such a cool contrast.

I like spiral hardbound sketchbooks best. Pentalic Nature Sketch has two heavy covers and the spiral binding, but the other ones I use are the ProArt spiral with two heavy covers similar to hardbound. The only problem I have with them is sometimes the bottom spiral unwinds out and needs to be threaded back in, usually toward the last third of the book.

I also like Moleskines. I avoid hardbound ones for scanning problems but my current one doesn't seem to give as much trouble as they used to. Of course I'm not always working right to the inside edge on it any more either.

I'm having good luck with the Cahier paper sticking to two types of pens - Pigma Micron and Pitt Artist Pens. I'm not using anything that isn't archival or I'd be doing Tombow brush pens too. I could use pencil but I want to get stronger values and avoid the temptation to erase on that thin delicate paper. With pens, that temptation isn't even there.

I penciled under a couple of the pen sketches blocking them in, but not much.

Once I finish this, I'm definitely going back to something with watercolor paper. I opened up a little Moleskine pocket watercolor journal on a day I had time after doing my pages and think I might stick to that for a while. Except for the class notes - those are so numerous I'd almost do better switching to something large for them!

I still can't believe I went from "Nervous that I won't finish Sketchbook Project on time" to "Nervous that I won't have enough Sketchbook Project pages to finish 12 Joys of December." All from taking class notes. I almost ought to switch to something else for class notes now or make tomorrow the last day I use it for that. At least then I'd have room to put in my cat sketches.

12-08-2010, 11:38 PM
Thanks for the shout outs about my sketchbook being featured in the newsletter. Unfortunately, I didn't really label it a WIP and people were expecting a more step by step instructions rather than my cursory here, here and here, ta da! I guess I'll do something a little more step by step the next one I make. :o

12-09-2010, 01:02 AM
Congrats from me too, Debby, on the feature on your sketchbooks! I would also enjoy some closeups or details on the sewing steps in your next demo.

12-09-2010, 01:45 PM
Well, not being sure you have enough pages to finish 12 days of Christmas sounds like a much better worry than not finishing Robert!:D It's so funny to me when I can step back and evaluate my latest fear about art, I mean it is only paper. Fear and ego are my two biggest setbacks, when I can let go of both of them, I sometimes pleasantly surprised with what occurs. And when I'm not I have to remember that 2 years ago my drawing was stick figures and so anything else is an improvement. So it's all cool and progress.:cool: I'm getting better and braver with every sketch.

12-09-2010, 03:16 PM
Just a quick note on spiral notebooks -- I use a Strathmore 3.5" x 5" Sketch pad, and the first one got ravaged sitting in my hip pocket. I fixed it with duct tape, but it was UGH!-ly.
For the next pad I took a couple of rubber bands and put them on it -- one by the spiral, and one on the opening side. I did this in early July, and so far the pad looks fine.
The pad's "format" is "portrait," that is, the spiral is on the short side. I suppose that for "landscape" the two short sides could also be banded. You'll probably need to balance the strength of the pad's back board with the tension of any rubber bands you use.


12-09-2010, 04:23 PM
Rubber bands and duct tape, what would we do without them! I have definitely used the rubber bands, if I didn't have so much other stuff in my purse or backpack my sketchbooks would fare better. Now that I'm putting a more concerted effort into sketching in them, they make it out of my purse and onto the finished shelf a whole lot quicker, and far more intact!:D

12-10-2010, 01:17 AM
I use colored fabric ribbon or stretch elastic to make bands for various sketchbooks that come without elastics. Take a length of ribbon, tie it around a ring of the spiral spine, wrap one end over & one under the book & tie a bow in front. (In writing journals I hot glue or staple the ribbons inside the covers, but that would make lumpy marks on the last pages in a sketch journal perhaps.)

12-10-2010, 10:58 AM
Hooray for rubber bands! I use them around my Strathmore spiral sketchbooks.

12-10-2010, 08:28 PM
Yeah, I can't imagin shoving a sketchbook in my purse or totebags without a band. I can barely keep my wallet together in the jumble. Paperback magazines get really mangled! What a cool invention- elastic things that stretch. Whodathunkit?

12-12-2010, 06:59 PM
I like the ones that come with an elastic band around the end built in. There's something so cool about them. Well, some of it is that Ari steals rubber bands and shouldn't have them because he'd eat them and they'd knot up his intestines. I don't have to worry about him with the bands on the Handbook or Moleskine ones.

Did it. Today. I finished 12 Joys of December, the great Ari Drawings page is done... challenge completed. I have no idea why I wound up doing it every day, but I had this feeling I wouldn't finish it at all if I didn't.

12-12-2010, 07:09 PM
Well done Robert! I am wondering if I will get the 12 done by early January.... :lol:

Weather here is up and down - stormy, humid, chilly and today warming up (supposedly) - it is wreaking havoc with my hayfever and allergies and feeling a bit washed out. Bizarre start to Summer :eek:

I worked a lot extra hours last week (I am casual and don't have many "set" hours but fill in when required) so the sketching and creative stuff went out the window a bit last week! I really miss it now that I have tried to make an effort to be sketching and painting more regularly :(

Anyway - few days off this week, I hope to really get stuck into trying the Inktense on some watercolour paper that I have stretched and ready. Initially I was really unsure about these pencils but now that I have the full set of colours in my possession I have changed my opinion....... :evil:

12-13-2010, 02:50 AM
I finally took the plunge yesterday and started the Sketchbook Project journal. I had been doing some tests in the mini cahier paper journal I have. I have done some good sketches and some crappy sketches, and I guess I'm just going to have to be okay with that. I am craving graphite though. Silly sounding I know, but I'm determined to do the ink thing and just get better at how I put down the marks. It is hard as I've come to think of my erasers as close personal friends. Maybe by the end of this book I can come closer to saying the same thing about my pens, and the brush tipped ones as well.

I like the elastic banded sketch books too. I however have a rather large cache of sketchbooks purchased before I started buying books with the bands, so rubber band or a baggie is the way I'm going to have to go for a while. Besides some of these sketchbooks have way better paper than anything in the moleskine or handbooks anyway. It's all a voyage of discovery for me anyway, and as long as I remember that, any of it is just fun. And...it's only paper! Trust me gang I'm trying to remind myself of that here not trying to preach to the choir!

Here's wishing you all a happy and art filled week

12-13-2010, 02:52 AM
Oooh, I forgot to say, yesterday I got to finally meet my first wet canvas member in person. It was very cool. Jo Castillo, who lives in a town about 35 miles away. We are hoping to go paint plein air after the holidays are over. Cool! oops already said that, methinks it's past my bedtime, nighty night all

12-13-2010, 10:00 PM
If my sketchbook doesn't have its own elastic band I will usually just make one and wrap around the book when I go out. However, I have in the past poked two holes in the back cover, one at the top and one at the bottom, in a little from the edge, and threaded some hat elastic through the holes and tied it, so the band is attached to the book. I wouldn't do this to a book with a good cover, but it saves losing the band!

12-13-2010, 10:48 PM
Now there's a clever idea Chris, I'll try to remember that. I have no shortage of elastic of all sorts, in one of my previous artistic lives, I made quilts and wearable art. Lots of sewing stuff!!!

12-14-2010, 04:48 AM
In between working in my sketchbooks I have been working with my Albrecht Durer watercolour pencils on a 300gsm watercolour paper (forget the brand!).

Thought I would post it here so you could see why I have been a bit slow with the challenge lately....... :evil:


12-14-2010, 09:53 AM
Lovely piece, Jackie! Your ability to subtly control water media is excellent.

12-14-2010, 11:41 AM
OH my goodness, Jackie! This is fabulous! :clap: Simply beautiful. I do not have the type of patience required for this type of art, and thus admire those who do!

Vivien Maloney
12-14-2010, 11:53 AM
Hi everyone. Just checked in to see what everybody's up to.

Jackie - Wonderful cat and flowers! The beauty of your work always amazes me - it's awesome!

12-14-2010, 04:46 PM
Thanks John, Candace and Viv! That's very kind of you! Occasionally I do a painting that turns out ok ;) I wonder what would happen if I actually planned a composition before I started...... :evil:

John, had these pencils for a few years now and I like them - they give me far more control than painting with tube colours, and I wet the paper first and drop the colour in with the brush rather than draw with the pencils. I find the result too harsh when I try drawing and wetting later - I am far too heavy handed that way!

12-14-2010, 05:45 PM
Just back from the Turner to Monet exhibit again. I am so in love with about 4 of those pictures I could stay for hours in front of each drinking in the beauty and studying the brushstrokes. But I had some plein air buddies up from San Antonio and they wanted to go to Jerry's Artama too, so...

Finally they have the Strathmore Visual Journals in stock. Of course they may all be gone by tomorrow. My friends and I gobbled them up, we were choosing sketchbooks for each other and then found the table where those lovely specimens were. Now I know the last thing I needed was more sketchbooks and no they don't have cords on them. I think I'm going to take Candaces suggestion, no ribbon in the house but I have these little fabric strings that are for handles on the gift bags I make and I'm just going to tie one of those on the spiral and run with it. All 3 of them may be joining us in this forum soon, I know for sure Gaye will, she is intrigued by the sketchbook a month.

Jackie I'm going to try your way of applying the pencils as I have not always been happy with the outcome when I sketch with them. Your way obviously works well. What size brush are you using for the fine kitten hairs?

12-14-2010, 05:54 PM
Jackie that is beautiful. . . what sort of watercolor pencils do you use? And how do you get the color from them onto the brush. . . just rub the point with wet brush maybe? Very interesting that you wet the paper first, too. BRAVO.

Robert, congrats on the finish! LOVED that last group of 12 Ari's :)

Margo, I really like the visual journals. . . hope you will enjoy yours!

Those elastics are a good idea that I need to start using on all mine, I dropped by sketchbook getting out of the truck today and several of the pages got crinkled/folded and scuffed. At least it was not wet out or anything though.

btw, I can't upload/attach yet again. This is the third time its happened off and on and is so frustrating. Is it happening to others like this? Different computers too. . . sometimes at home and sometimes at work.

12-14-2010, 06:39 PM
Jackie, that's a beautiful painting. Thanks for sharing.

Rainy, there is a known (as in they know about the problem, but not what's causing it) problem with attaching pictures. The techs are "working on it."

I've been so busy making candy and marketing candy that I haven't even looked at my sketchbook in over a week. I have my 3rd day challenge lightly penciled in the book, but have yet to get back to it. And, I'll probably be busy the rest of this week. This is but a short break to get off my feet for a spell before I dive back in. Good thing I like making candy. :D

12-15-2010, 01:13 AM
Margo - I use a very very small brush that is so old and hardly any hairs left in it :lol:

Rainy - just as you said! I wet the paper (sometimes very wet depending on the look I want) drag a wet brush across the pencil tip and "drop" it into the damp area (or puddle depending on the mood!). If I am after a smooth blended look I use the brush to blend the colour about. Fine details are done on dry paper at the very end.

I dropped off the painting of TJ and Max (posted in an earlier chat thread) - his mum was really pleased with it and is now thinking of keeping it instead of giving it to her mum as first planned :lol: Just glad to have a happy customer ;)

12-15-2010, 10:57 AM
Jackie that is a WONDERFUL painting! I might try your suggestion of dragging a wet brush across the pencil tip instead of colouring and wetting.

Margo - so far I love my Strathmore Visual Journal. I've given one as a gift already :)

12-15-2010, 11:22 AM
Debby, what kind of candy are you making and selling? I'm salivating thinking about a batch of handmade candy.

Jackie thanks for the info, I want to paint my last kitty while I still have her with me, I know I just need to jump in and start doing it until I can declare myself pleased with the results. This time last year I had 3 cats. I meant to paint them all...just never know when their time will be up. I basically was running a geriatric cat house! I know sounds appalling doesn't it.

I am spending my day making chili for a chili cookoff on Saturday (not the sort of thing I can usually be found doing), Christmas cookies and a big pan of Carne Adovado, if you are going to be stuck in the kitchen you might as well get the most bang for your buck! Maybe I'll sketch some of the cooking process in my Sketchbook Project journal. Probably get blotches of chili or something on it. Whatever.

12-15-2010, 11:25 AM
Forgot to ask, EP which one of the journals did you use? Might help me to decide which to crack open first.

12-15-2010, 04:47 PM
Thanks Debby and EP. Get stuck into the watercolour pencils EP, you might be pleasantly surprised at how well they can look with a bit of experimenting ;) Personally I can't get them to look good if I draw with them first - they end up "cartoonish" for some reason :lol:

Margo take lots of photos of your kitty (just in case!) If you don't get the chance to achieve what you want now at least you'll have some good references later. I missed the opportunity with my German Shepherd - she was getting old when I was just learning to draw and paint. She was gone before I got the chance to draw her and it was pre digital days so I only have one or two really poor quality photos that aren't much use :( Sad, because she was a pretty dog.

12-15-2010, 06:06 PM
Margo - I used the Mixed Media book and I gave the same to a friend. I also have the WC books to try next.

Jackie - I like cartoonish ... it's about all I can do :) :) :)

12-15-2010, 10:43 PM
Thanks girls! I do have lots of pictures of my sweet little Buddha and take more all of the time. I kept thinking I'd be good enough to paint the other two but they slipped away too fast. I do have lots of photos of them as well though, and now I'm wandering why have I waited so long. I don't imagine anyones first painting of a pet turned out fabulous. It doesn't seem to bother me to churn out crappy paintings of other things, in the process of getting better.

I do draw my dog everyday, it's what calms her down to go to sleep at night. I used to sit with her and do crosswords, so it's the sound of the pencil scratching that calms her, sketching works fabulously for us both.

So I may just get my WC pencils out and have a stab at painting the cat. It can't hurt, and I have a lovely new journal with watercolor paper sounding it's siren call. Darn it they all are, and I'm determined to finish the sketchbook with crappy paper and send it off by Jan 15. I guess I could have much worse problems, so I'm thankful that's the worst one I have today other than sheer exhaustion.

I'm off for a cup of coffee or something else stimulating, have a lovely night all.:cat:

12-15-2010, 11:14 PM
Margo, I make caramels, honey lollipops, and truffles currently. Oh, and I also dip the caramels in chocolate. Thanks for asking.

12-16-2010, 12:20 AM
I do draw my dog everyday, it's what calms her down to go to sleep at night. I used to sit with her and do crosswords, so it's the sound of the pencil scratching that calms her, sketching works fabulously for us both.

awwww! Gotta love doggies :) :) :)

12-16-2010, 11:04 AM
Debby I saw your candies posted in another forum, they looked fabulous, if there had been anywhere open with good chocolates I'd of rushed out to get some and then wondered if they were as good as yours. Probably not.

EP yah gotta love the dogs, mine also doesn't even sleep in one position, always moving so night time is the best time to catch her. Since I've been getting more speedy with my sketching I can sometimes get part of a sketch done while she is awake and moving but not a whole body completed in one pose yet.

I survived yesterdays cookathon, obviously, was ever so tired and achy last night but now have a huge pot of chili, ditto for the carne adovada, and a bonus pork roast cause there was a bone in the meat and my hands refused to work any more and I just salt and peppered the rest threw some foil over it and popped it in the oven. Sheer porky delight, next time I'll add garlic. Now I'm going to sketch the whole extravaganza in my Sketchbook project journal, should be good for several two page spreads.

Bye, have a good day everyone, and don't work too hard.

12-17-2010, 12:21 AM
Oh, yes, everyone-- paint or draw your beloved pets, even if from photos or memories. Now that three of my doggies are gone I love looking at the paintings of them. Nothing museum worthy but each managed to capture their personalities. I sketch my present Lab often, because she snoozes late in the evening in my room while I doodle or semi-watch TV. I am a rather impatient fast-draw type, and let me tell you: a black lab in the dark is pretty quick & without details! Ha! I like gestural drawings of their shape while relaxed or dozing, and adding their scarf or collar makes a good likeness.

12-18-2010, 07:45 PM
:lol: at EP
awwwww, Margo that is so cute! My husband is desperate for us to get a dog but we can't decide what to get. He wants a big, burly outside dog and I want something that will come in and be my buddy keeping me company when everyone else is out!
Well, I am falling behind in a serious way with the challenge! I have had some unexpected extra hours at work laveing me too tired to paint in the evenings and spent the last day and a half on the couch with a sick bucket by my side unable to hardly even lift my head. Some bug has got me big time! :(

Hope everyone else is travelling OK at this busy time........ :)

12-18-2010, 08:39 PM
Jackie, a black lab could be a good match for you & husband. Ours can play outside forever & doesn't mind fairly cold times. Inside she keeps good company with both/either of us. Sleeps on our feet. Some dogs really only bond to one person; labs are good with families.

12-19-2010, 12:07 AM
Jackie, so sorry you've been ill. Feel better. And don't feel bad about the challenge. I got to 2 and a half before becoming overwhelmed making candy.

Things are slowing down. I thought I'd be finished tomorrow, but tonight's chocolate marshmallows didn't work. So I will be making a new batch tomorrow and will have to wait and cut them on Monday. That should be it. Then I have to scramble to get holiday messages off to family. Once that's done, I hope to get back to the challenge and my 12 days on a budget. :)

12-19-2010, 09:19 AM
Poor Jackie, and I thought I'd been feeling crappy, but I don't have the sick bucket bug.

Dogs are lovely, I wanted to get a teacup chihuahua, that I could button inside my coat and take everywhere. My beloved was so opposed to that idea, then 6 years ago when my son was in cooking school and working full time he decided he shouldn't have gotten the pit bull puppy and wanted to take her to the animal shelter. It was right before Thanksgiving and I was required to drive them. I wouldn't take her to the shelter and kept her to find a home. Well long story short finding a home for a pit is difficult in the best of times over the holidays impossible. By the time the holidays were over and I had her well trained having had her by me every second of the day so she didn't chew everything up...you guessed it I was totally in love with her. I would not recommend them for someone who wanted a quiet calm dog. That she is not, but she is very smart, fiercely loyal, and 50 lbs of pure energy and love. I'd never have chosen such a dog on my own, ever, but now that I've had her with me this long, I really can't imagine having any other kind of dog. I'm a life long cat owner, and Beatrice is only the 4th dog I've had in my life. It is very hard to beat the unconditional love of a dog, especially on those days where everything else in you life seems to be wrong, there is always the bright shining light of the dog and that slurpy tongue licking your face trying to make it all better.

So my day of chili cooking paid off, I went to the chili cookoff yesterday and my chili won! All of the other entries were exotic to the extent that it was hard to tell what precisely they were supposed to be. My chili is pretty traditional the only thing over the top about it is I use a blend of 5 chili powders all from New Mexico and I use roasted hatch chilis that I keep my freezer stocked with. The judge the owner of the restaurant said she tried mine first and said to herself this is the winner but she had to try the others. No contest she said, a total purist in the world of chili and food, a bit like me I guess. The only sad thing is I had my Sketchbook Project book along with me and a bunch of pens and I didn't sketch any of it. My poor head was aching and got worse as the day wore on. My sweetie took a bunch of pictures tho so I guess I can sketch from those.

12-19-2010, 05:27 PM
Congratulations Margo! Sometimes simple is better huh? Use the best ingredients and let the flavours do the work ;)

We are taking a short trip in January so the dog hunting will be on in earnest after we get back, we definitely want to "rescue" a dog from the animal welfare rather than purchasing a puppy so it might take a bit of visiting the shelter till we find the "one" for us...... or we get chosen! :)

I am feeling slightly better today, although vigorous movement upsets the apple cart so to speak! It sure is a drastic way to lose a few pounds in one weekend...... :lol:

12-19-2010, 10:20 PM
Jackie, good for you, planning to rescue a dog from animal welfare. Here in the US it is an overwhelming problem of puppy mills and too many animals. I believe in selecting a wonderful homeless dog or cat from any of our numerous humane societies, rescue organizations, or even Craigslist. They do choose us, it seems! The one that spots you and about climbs thru the cage bars to give a kiss or wave a paw. That's how mine have been. Best wishes to you!

12-19-2010, 11:13 PM
Good luck with dog selection, Jackie! How exciting! I can provide a great story for a rescue dog - and a Lab (black) to boot. When one of our two dogs died some years ago, I decided to go to the local humane society and see if I could find a puppy - I hadn't even thought about adopting an older dog. Well, I went to the shelter and fell in love with a black Lab named Lady who as you say, appeared to choose me. She was trained, very friendly and just seemed to be begging to be taken home. Problem was, she was already 7 years old, and had been taken to the shelter twice. Was there some issue we didn't know about? And more importantly, did I really want to adopt a dog that old and get attached to her when she might only live another three years. Lady's pleading eyes convinced me it was worth the concerns.

Well, why anyone took this dog to a shelter, we never could figure out. She was an amazing, loving dog who appeared to be truly happy and appreciative of having found people who were not going to abandon her. She lived to be one month shy of 17 years old (!!) and was a celebrity in our neighborhood, at the vet's office, and of course with us. Every time we left the house, we would tell her "Guard the house, Lady!" In the last year or so, as her body started to create problems, my wife one day said that she thought we'd better quit asking Lady to guard the house, or she would stubbornly hang on until she was 20 years old! She was inseparable from us when we were home, and for her last two years we slept in a downstairs bedroom so she could sleep near us because she would climb up the stairs to be with us but couldn't walk back down the stairs. Until the very end she would insist on going for our daily walk, even though they got much shorter and much, much slower.

The dogs we've had as puppies have been great as well (my current yellow Lab is right up there with Lady as a wonder dog), but we will definitely go the rescue dog route when our two Labs are gone. (Since they're 14 3/4 and 14 1/4 years old, that day is probably fast approaching.)

So again, good luck with getting a great dog. If you get one who is anything like Lady, you will be a lucky person.

12-20-2010, 12:41 AM
I love all the dog stories! Keep them coming! :) :) :)

12-20-2010, 04:20 AM
Me too EP!

Margo and John, thanks for sharing your stories, they are both lovely and heartwarming. Candace - you feel just like us then! Our German Shepherd had been abandoned and for the life of us we couldn't understand why because she was the nicest natured dog we had known. We are hoping to have the same luck again.

On a different note, for those of you on facebook I have started a page called The Spare Room Studio if you want to have a look. I haven't the nerve to do a website yet so baby steps for me! I will be posting work to it when I get the chance........ ;)

12-20-2010, 04:59 AM
Jackie, just visited your Facebook page and liked it a lot, commented on a couple of cat pen and ink drawings. My, that lion is good looking and certain of it! That laughing jester kitten is fantastic.

12-20-2010, 02:20 PM
John what a lovely story about Lady. Wonderful you gave her a chance. I truly think when we need a new pal the universe will present it to us if we just keep our eyes open to see it. All of my many animal friends over the years have found me, except for the first cat my daddy got me on the day I was born. I haven't always been aware I needed a new pal until it locked eyes with me either. There is always some sort of mental communication for me when the eyes are locked.

I have passed the halfway point in the sketchbook of dreadful paper, Sketchbook Project 2011. I hope to never have to use such crappy paper again. It has taught me to be bolder and more creative with the pen drawings, not one trace of pencil in it. Oops one page of my 12 days drawings had some polycrhomos to color in the oil paint tubes. I am so behind that I haven't the time to scan and attempt to make the uploader work, so you will be spared some of the more feeble attempts. I did sketch some animals out of a book last night that were pretty cool, I had switched to ballpoint, thoroughly disgusted with the felt tip bleed thru. Did a couple of pages of sketches at a coffeehouse last night complete with commentary. My guy suggests that my title should be expanded from coffee & cigarette, to coffee cigarettes and barbs, whatever. Figure anyone that ends up at my table over the holidays is fair game as model too, don't really anticipate any refusals. Would truly love to have it finished and my cover reinforced as well as the exposed stitched edge well before the January 15th deadline.

Time to stop babbling and go check out the new scavenger hunt, sure I can fill a few pages with that, I got the first 7 out of hunt 203.

Happy happy all!

12-20-2010, 06:14 PM
Margo - no feeble attempts! Just some that don't reach the penultimate expectations we have of ourselves ;)

Thanks Robert! Appreciate you taking the time out, hope to get some more pics up there as I go - it is very scarey opening it up to the world like that!

12-21-2010, 01:08 PM
Jackie, thanks for the comment, I think it was just what I needed to hear. I have always considered my sketchbooks a place to experiment and learn, and the idea of sending one out into the world, esp when a huge learning curve is still being struggled through has been daunting to me.:heart:

12-21-2010, 04:55 PM
Margo - the cool thing with this forum is you need only show us what you want to share - we are none the wiser! However, I have found (and John might back me up here) that sometimes when we show our "clangers" we still learn something from it and the feedback in this forum is very supportive. Just do what you are comfortable with, keeping in mind that sometimes we grow through experiencing the uncomfortable too ;)

I am hoping the bug is done with me - I have to leave the house this morning to get groceries in for Christmas..... back in work tomorrow, so it is now or never! Wish me luck....... :lol:

12-21-2010, 06:56 PM
John, that is a marvelous dog story.

Margo, I'm sure that your not so stellar drawings are better than you perceive them to be. We are our own worst critic.

Good luck Jackie.

Hi to all you lurkers out there. :wave:

Wishing everyone Happy Solstice today. http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/21-Dec-2010/113578-winter.gif

12-21-2010, 10:23 PM
A great story, John. And awesome that you are getting a dog, Jackie.

Animal welfare is great but not the only place to get rescue dogs, esp. if you have an idea of what breed you want. There are breed rescue groups for most purebred dogs too. There have been some very sad cases go through the breed rescue for my breed in the last few months. A couple had been abused and needed medical care before being placed (I donated a painting to one of those as auction and it earned $60 for a rescue doggie that had been shot in the face), another dog had gotten hit by a car and the owner could not afford medical care and relinquished to rescue, one was a service members dogs who relinquished him when she got deployed and had no one else to take the dog :( . . . all sad cases

One of my dogs is a 'special ed' girl named Tiny Dancer. She's a sweetheart

Its so cool that you are going to give a needy dog a new life!
I hope a wonderful dog finds you!

12-21-2010, 11:19 PM
I too hope to never have to use such crappy paper again!

Hi everybody - I've actually been a member for some time, but have been embroiled in what turned out to be a really wild year. I'm glad I found this thread, I really love my art journal.

I've been loving reading everybody's disgust with the paper in the Sketchbook Project book. On the first page, back in July, I drew my cats, then wrote in "Oh I don't think much of this sketchbook! Everything comes through, from one page to the next." On the next page I tried gesso, but then used watercolor and it came out looking really bad. So I acknowledged that on the page, and moved on... This book is like my real art journal - a hodgepodge of colors and techniques, and everything from gorgeous if I do say so, to pretty misbegotten. I ended up sticking other paper on every other page spread - that's worked very well and has given me a lot of color, but the book is about 3x as thick as it started.

12-22-2010, 12:47 AM
Kema, welcome! Sorry to hear about your experience with the Sketchbook Project - it seems very odd that they don't supply a decent product :eek: Look forward to seeing some of your work here.

Thanks Debby - groceries done and home in one piece - phew! Those shops are not as busy as I was expecting but then, I only went grocery shopping ;)

Rainy, thanks - your Tiny looks like such a cute girl! I don't have any strong intentions, I am happy for the dog to speak to us :lol: We can't go looking in earnest till the end of January, we are going on vacation and it will not be fair to the dog to leave it as soon as we get it, but when we come home it will be a priority for sure :) I can't wait, it has been around 10/11 years since we have had a dog and hubby and I are both ready to have one in our family again now.

Vivien Maloney
12-22-2010, 06:37 PM
Hi everyone, I haven't been able to visit this Forum very much lately, because of Internet problems etc. but have hopes of participating more next year. I think all my Journals are many pages back, so I'll have to "get to it" more next year.

For those new to this Forum who don't know her, I have a 12year old Newfoundland/Labrador "Blossom". She had a huge cancer operation 6 months ago and I took her to the Vet on Tues for her final cancer check - there was no sign of the cancer re-ocurring! The best Xmas present I could have had.
Here's my girl lying on our Jack Russel's little bed on the sofa.
I think she's a bit big for it!!!


Merry Xmas everyone, and I hope your Xmas is filled with joy and love.

12-22-2010, 07:19 PM
Hi Kema! Sounds like an interesting approach you came up with to deal with your sketchbook journal. Good for you.

Congratulations on Blossom's clean bill of health Viv, I'm sure it was the best gift possible. And after all of that I think Blossom deserves both the couch and the Jack Russell's bed, some how I think she agrees with me!

Off to eat some Mexican food, think I'll have a Christmas plate of enchiladas, that is red and green chili to those of you not familiar with New Mexican chili lingo. merry merry

12-22-2010, 10:25 PM
Hi Kema, welcome to the forum.

Glad the trip was successful, Jackie.

So glad Blossom has a clean bill of health, Viv. No worries, we should still be here next year. :lol:

Mmm...enchiladas. You are making me hungry Margo.

12-22-2010, 11:15 PM
Turn about is fair play Debby, posting pictures of your luscious chocolates have had me salivating for a week or too. They, as in enchiladas were good, and I'm quite sure so are your candies.

Earlier in the day I was in a quandry of whether to finish the crap sketchbook or not. I did a plethora of drawings at dinner and decided yes I'll finish it, it may still hit the shredder, but along with the drawings the musings have been freeing in an incredible way. My beloved feels the world is ready for my cryptic caustic sense of humor and that the drawings illustrate it wonderfully. I will take that into consideration...journal as absent artist performance art might be a more apt title than barbs, coffee and cigarettes, tho that has a ring to it as well.

12-23-2010, 02:48 AM
Viv - what a wonderful bit of news right before Christmas. You're right - that bed is looking a wee bit overwhelmed by Blossum :lol:

12-25-2010, 12:10 PM
:wave: Merry Christmas everyone!:angel:

12-25-2010, 12:22 PM
Happy Holidays, everyone :)

12-25-2010, 05:38 PM
Merry Christmas to anyone still celebrating! All done and dusted here in Oz, time for the Boxing Day cricket to start....... lazy day watching the TV, eating leftovers and generally being a sloth! It is a warm one, so will probably flake out for an afternoon siesta too........ :lol:

12-25-2010, 05:39 PM
Hey Chris! I hope you are OK with all that rain - you getting our yearly rain in one day. Fingers crossed you are out of the path of it all ;)

12-26-2010, 02:34 AM
Hey Chris! I hope you are OK with all that rain - you getting our yearly rain in one day. Fingers crossed you are out of the path of it all ;)

Jackie, I haven't washed away yet! :D So far we have missed the really heavy stuff, but everything is wet, wet, wet; great for mildew, but I've had enough. I think even the ducks have had enough. :cat: Some flooding, all my favourite swamp sketching spots are under water. Looking for some sunshine :crossfingers: , but that could be a few days off yet if the weather forecasts are right.

Anyway, enough of the small stuff, what about the cricket??!!!:eek:

PS I hope everyone is having a happy and peaceful time.:clap:


12-26-2010, 03:55 AM
Cricket is going well from my perspective! I am a pom when it comes to cricket ;)

Good to hear you are OK, been seeing the updates on the news - the water will go again - eventually.... :eek: Don't like the sound of that mildew......

12-26-2010, 03:35 PM
Hope everyone had a lovely day yesterday. Did Santa bring you art supplies to play with?

12-26-2010, 03:44 PM
Jackie - what does this mean "I am a pom when it comes to cricket"?

Debby - no art supplies from Santa. He knows I still have some in sealed (gasp!) packages :)

12-26-2010, 04:36 PM
EP - what does this mean "I am a pom when it comes to cricket"? :D That does sound a bit cryptic, doesn't it? :D

12-26-2010, 11:16 PM
Santa has been buying huge amounts of art supplies all year and paying for workshops. By mutual agreement we only did socks this year. We've been trying to downsize our stuff so we can downsize our house for about 6 months. And like EP I still have stuff in unopened packages. We did have a very yummy very Southern style dinner yesterday just the 2 of us, delicious and romantic. Hard combo to beat!

12-27-2010, 04:34 AM
:lol: EP sorry! I am English born (Pom, Pommie) but lived in Australia all my life. I support Australia in everything except the cricket. The Australians take cricket so seriously and it really winds some people up when I say I support England....... they insist that because I live in Australia I MUST support Australia! ;)

Debby, I only just got my inktense pencils the week before Christmas so they were a "present" to myself :)

I did receive tickets to see James Blunt when he comes to Australia - a big surprise and I am very excited - he is one of my favourite musicians. My dear hubby is getting good at gift giving after 20 years...... :lol:

12-27-2010, 04:54 PM
Thanks for explaining Jackie. I was puzzled, but figured it had something to do with Australian slang or the game of cricket, neither of which I am familiar with.

Ok, how can you people not open up your new supplies? :eek: I understand not using them, but you gotta open them up touch them, and gaze upon them, don't you? :wink2: :lol:

Santa didn't deliver mine by Christmas, I'll be getting them late this week or early next week when FedEx delivers them. A full set of FC watercolor pencils. :D

12-27-2010, 05:14 PM
Yummy Debby, those you will enjoy, and those I have opened!

Well mine aren't shrink wrapped or anything. Some I bought and they are languishing. I'm a terrible sucker for when expensive paints etc go on sale cheap, might not need them just yet, but those paint tubes do get used up and the books get filled, and then I have a cache, to dig into, no matter the time of day or night. Oops just looked on my desk and there is a bottle of sumi ink still in shrink wrap. Many sticks of ink and a bottle or two are open tho! Okay Vindicated!!!! And well stocked.

My sympathies are with you having to wait for the fedex delivery though, I'm always impatient for the truck to stop at my house.

12-27-2010, 06:27 PM
:lol: Debby, I used the inktense the same night I got them and opened them! Patience is not one of my virtues ;)

You will love your watercolour pencils! Nothing beats a new set of pencils.... ;)

12-28-2010, 08:35 AM
patience isn't my thing either! I can't imagine not opening and using new supplies! - whatever urgent jobs are queueing up I'd have to have a play with them!

12-28-2010, 11:34 AM
What kind of challenge or projects do you think we could try for the month of January? We've had "Fill A Sketchbook In One Month", we've had "Sketch a page a day", and we've had the "12 Days sketches" where we sketched an item once, another item twice, and so on up to 12 sketches of an item.

12-28-2010, 07:38 PM
Hey Chris! I hope you are OK with all that rain - you getting our yearly rain in one day. Fingers crossed you are out of the path of it all ;)

Jackie, here's an update. After a couple more days days of rain, things are a bit wetter now! Major flooding happening at the moment, still rising but hopefully not much more. The rain has eased, but I'll be happier when I see clear blue skies!:cat: My place should stay dry if predictions are right, but I could have a waterfront view later today/tomorrow. A couple of the local houses are getting water into their yards. Maybe I will bring up some of my valuable stuff from my shed just in case (art stuff that is!).

Here is a poor photo of the swamp at the moment - this is down my street; the river is expected to rise at least another half metre, so it will get closer over the next couple of days.

At least I don't feel like I'm melting today, maybe I can get back to my neglected sketchbooks soon.:D


12-28-2010, 08:42 PM
Oh My! Stay safe Chris. Do rescue those art supplies. Can't have those getting wet.

EP, I was just thinking about the next sketchbook challenge. But, nothing brilliant has come to mind. I'll keep thinking.

12-28-2010, 08:51 PM
EP, I was just thinking about the next sketchbook challenge. But, nothing brilliant has come to mind. I'll keep thinking.

Mmmmm non-dominant hand drawings?

Don't-lift-the-pen-continuous-line drawings?

12-29-2010, 01:18 AM
wowee Chris! Do put your art stuff somewhere safe -in a waterproof zip-loc bag maybe???! I have my fingers crossed for you that you stay safe and unflooded ;) At the other end of the spectrum our forecast is 39 tomorrow and 43 for New Years Eve :eek:

12-29-2010, 03:29 AM
Debby, Jackie - the river is still peaking, but it looks like the water won't reach us (unless some more rain happens). The house is on stumps, so it would take a lot more water to get to my art stuff now!. Lots around that are not so lucky.

Maybe some sunshine tomorrow, that will be great.:D

12-29-2010, 06:07 AM

This is the weather we've been having - followed by deepish snow, very very early for us to get snow.



maybe a mix of elements to a challenge? I like the drawing with the 'wrong hand' and continous drawing - maybe make up a list of stuff like that?

12-29-2010, 06:30 AM
What kind of challenge or projects do you think we could try for the month of January?

Random brain dump:evil::-

- do a page related to letters of the alphabet (eg A for apple, B for bandicoot, etc ) This wouldn't be my pick for January, too many to do I think:D

- personal choice challenge, for example I would like to do a watercolour book, someone else might like to explore mixed media etc

- little / quick copies of old master drawings/paintings (old dead artists probably better for any copyright concerns)

- 'adopt an artist' ; try to do sketches/drawings in the style of an artist (apart from ourselves:cat:)

Don't-lift-the-pen-continuous-line drawings? That sounds okay too.

As you can see, not much in my head, even less now. Any more ideas out there????


12-29-2010, 11:28 AM
Wow Chris the rising water looks scary. Do you have a boat? When it floods in New Orleans everyone gets their flatbottom boats out to meet friends where cars can still go, that's how people get things from the grocery store! Did several mercy runs like that to my friends when they were flooded and I wasn't. Stay safe please!

No great ideas for the challenge (I do participate tho I haven't posted yet). Just hope it isn't sketching in nothing but ink as I did that last month in the crap paper sketchbook. Personal challenge sounds good as does Viv's continuous line, are you talking blind contour here Viv or just continuous line never lifting the pen? Master copies sounds goo to, or anything where I can apply color with something other than Pitt pens. Okay I admit to being idea challenged today.

Cool photos Viv, I especially like the frost rimed leaf!

I'm off to journal and do my first sketch of the day.

12-29-2010, 06:11 PM
All those ideas sound like worthy challenges. Since I had an idea, I'm going to throw it out there with the rest. It's a theme challenge. How about babies? Could be human, animal or vegetable or any combination thereof. Don't quite know how to post those since it could just end up being a single page in someones sketch book. Hmm... maybe I need to think about it some more.

As it is, I'll be continuing my December 12 challenge into January. I really would like to finish it.

12-30-2010, 12:17 AM
Wow! Lots of news! Chris the photo cracked me up with the "road closed" sign nearly swamped itself! But not funny if you get damage. Stay safe!

Vivien your snow photos are wonderful!

Idea dumping contribution:
I like the New Year Old Artist idea of Chris's; copying the style or scenes of past masters. :cool:
I like the pick-a-medium idea too. A lot of new packages of pencils and paints out there begging to be used right away!
I also like "dead of winter/live art" but is that too much like scavenger hunt?
New Year is symbolized by a baby strutting in- the previous idea of DrDebby of baby things is cool- baby anything. Could be very creative and witty as well! Baby animals, baby peas, baby food...? :lol: Any number of entries for the month. Try for one a day in a new fave sketchbook??

12-30-2010, 09:56 PM
Hey Gang, have any of you ever tried the Hand Book watercolor book that looks like the Moleskine? I had one and before I could try it out had to put it in a Christmas present. Should I bother buying another one or are the Moleskines better. So dubious about Moleskine after my Cahier experience, tho I do like their watercolor book. Dither, dither.

12-31-2010, 11:21 AM
I have tried that one, Margo. . . check out my October sketch thread as that was all in a Handbook watercolor, the small size. I like the journal, it traveled with all the way from CA to PA and back by car! Next time I'd get one bigger than the one I had though.

As for next month's theme, well, I also like the idea suggested of #1) picking a medium to explore during the month and also #2) do a theme of some particular item. . . rather like John did a month of portraits and then of birds. But I tend to think maybe the person should pick their town theme since otherwise they might burn out to draw something they are not really into for a while month. Or maybe you could do weekly themes and have there be four items and folks draw one item for a week and move on to the next. . . that way not get burned out. Could be something like 1. Landscapes, 2. people, 3. animals, 4. things around the house. Or whatever four. . . just an example.

Anyway, sorry that I didn't finish this month's but will continue on that separate into the next month as a numbered item strikes me. I didn't yet find something I wanted to do for six yet.

anyway. . . my two cents!

12-31-2010, 03:52 PM
Thanks for you reply Rainy, it is nice that there is a larger variety of sizes in the Handbook series.

I did get rather burned out only using pens in the Sketchbook Project Book last month, so would rather not be so limited this month.

Wow Ca to Pa by car that was one epic roadtrip. We used to do epics like that but with a dog that ceases to eat after week two in boarding, not so doable any more. I'm going to go check out that thread Rainy. I was so busy in October I didn't keep up with anyones thread.

12-31-2010, 06:19 PM
Margo. . . two of my dogs went WITH me on that trip :)
They both had a blast.

12-31-2010, 07:25 PM
Happy New Year to the Art Journalists. See you in MMXI :) :) :)

I posted a new thread for the January discussions (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?p=12107952). And I posted a January challenge project thread. See you soon!

12-31-2010, 07:53 PM
Happy New Year to all! And prayers for our WC Aussie friends in the terrible weather down under! Chris, Jackie, Firehorse, hope you are all safe and dry, not in flood or fire zones!

12-31-2010, 10:31 PM
Thanks Candace, that is very thoughtful of you. I am in South Australia and only to have heat to contend with at present :crossfingers:

My thoughts go to the many Queenslanders affected by the floods though, I hope as many as possible get to return to their homes soon.

12-31-2010, 11:20 PM
Well Beatrice my beloved 4 legger is a barker, but maybe we should give a local roadtip a try, if she barks too much we can always check out and race back home. She is my best friend after all!

Hoping everyone is warm or dry whatever the case may be, I'm off to allow Leon Russell to sing in yet another New Year for me. God what a voice!:cool: