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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Have You Ever Blown Glass?

A Gift To Each Other

After watching a segment on WDRB, a Louisville TV station about Flame Run Glass Works in Louisville,
Jim and I decided we would like to go and do that as a gift to each other.
 
 

Brook was our "main man" at Flame Run.
He did ALL the heavy lifting,
we just did the heavy breathing.

Brook is retrieving the hot glass out of the 2000 degree furnace.
 
 You can see it on the end of the pole.
It is crazy hot but one of the most interesting things I've ever seen.
 
Brook is rolling the hot glass in little pieces of glass to give it the color we selected. 
He'll roll it on that stainless table in front of the trays of glass to shape it and cool it.
 
Next he put it in a "much" cooler furnace.
It's only about 1200 degrees.
This melts the little glass pieces onto the glass on the pole.
 
Told you it was HOT!

Brook rolls and shapes the hot glass with the ease of a master.
He adds every color we selected separately,
re-heats it in between each addition and continues rolling and shaping.
Here Brook takes a cherry wood cup that has been soaked in water for a decade or two, and put it around the hot glass while he rolls it to really give it a nearly flawless round shape.
(Told you Brook has skills)
 
And then after all that super perfect work,
Brook gets real brave and turns it over to me.
Are you Kidding ME!
 
 
Brook is still rolling and shaping and I'm blowing.
He guided me every step of the way. 
"Blow softly, blow harder, harder, more, more, STOP"
 
Brook is scoring my ornament so it can come off the pole easily.
 
 
Brook took the hot round Kentucky Blue and White ornament
off the pole and took it to another station where he put the loop on.
Wow!
 
Here Brook is, with a much better view,
putting the hook on Jim's red, green and white ornament.
 
In a matter of minutes, each of us had our very own ornament.
 
It was impressive.
 
 Now aren't this just beautiful!
We are SOOO proud!
 
If you'd like to give this a try,
and I hope you do,
click HERE to go to the Flame Run website. 
 
They also have a great gallery of all sorts of blown glass items.
It is beautiful and incredible to think of how it was all made.
 
Hey guys,
I didn't give away my November painting yet and now it's time to give away my December painting.
You really should hop on this right now and get signed up,
because I give away a small painting every single month.
Here's how to sign up.
Scroll up to the top and on the right hand side is a box that says,
Subscribe to my blog
(I know, I'm so original).
Put your email in there.
Then you'll receive an email from me asking you to confirm that you really did sign up.  Click on the link in that confirmation email and you'll be all set. 
 
You also should move my email into your primary box,
because I will notify you by email if you're a winner,
and you don't wanna miss it.
 
Want to learn how to paint using acrylic paint in 2017.
Click HERE to go to my website to see the beginning classes I offer.  More will be coming in 2017.
 
Happy 2017
 


 

Monday, December 5, 2016

Don't let those moments slip by.

 Enjoying the Moment.

What is "Living In The Moment"
or
"Be Present in the Moment"

Recently I've been listening to "visualizations"
and one of the things almost always said in them is
 "Be Present In The Moment".

I'm not sure what that means, but
I've been thinking about it a lot lately.

 Ya gotta admit,
This must have been a "Moment"

This is a young friend of mine, Larissa,
and she was serving at a recent Rotary Pancake Breakfast.

I had my halo headband on, and she had her antler headband on,
so of course we needed a pic of the moment.

The pancake breakfast is held twice a year in Carrollton,
and it is a fund raiser for scholarships given away in May.

Larissa is a young mother with 3 children and a full time job,
but here she was on a Saturday morning, serving the community as she helped raise funds for someone elses children.
She was smiling and laughing with all those she waited on.

She was in the moment.

How can you or I be in the moment?

To me, being in the moment means being aware of what is currently going on.
Not being in one place but thinking about another.

Have you ever read something and realized you had no idea what you read?  

I have done that a lot.

I always realize my eyes were actually reading the  words,
but my brain was thinking about something else.
I was not in the moment.
At that point I have to go back and force my brain to think about what I'm reading and concentrate on it and only it.
Then I am in the moment.

Learning to be in the moment takes practice I think.
Be aware of my surroundings.
What do I hear?
What do I see?
What do I feel?

Sometimes we aren't in the moment when we are having a conversation.  Someone says something to us and instead of thinking about what the person is saying, we start thinking about what we are going to say in return.
We are not in the moment. 

Sometimes we aren't even aware we aren't in the moment.

How much of life do we allow to go by
not being in the moment?

I want to be more in the moment so I can enjoy and sometimes savor the moment, which you can't do if your brain is somewhere else.

Be in the moment and get signed up to win my monthly painting.  Then be in the moment and email me back within 24 hours if I notify you that you won.
Look for an email that says "No Joke.  YOU Won" in the subject line. 
 

Thursday, December 1, 2016

WOW! A Gift That Is Enjoyed For YEARS!

Art Is THAT Gift!

Scouting
6" x 6" acrylic on a panel.
$50 FREE Shipping




One thing about owning original art is
The viewer looks at it differently than a print.

Original art is created with human hands and they can be seen in the art in brush strokes, in color selection and in style. The artist can be felt through the piece and the owner appreciates that a real person created it for years to come.

You might forget what you received last year,
but when you give the gift of original art,
THAT gift is cherished, enjoyed and remembered forever. 

Having said that,
let me show a few pieces of my original art in various price ranges.  I'll also give you some links to other places to buy my art.

Acrylic on Oval Stretched Canvas
$95 + $10 shipping. 


This is one of my all time favorite paintings for several reasons.
It was a struggle.  It is of my favorite antique vase and flowers picked from my yard, but I just couldn't seem to get it right.
One day I was having a magical painting day in the studio.  After I finished several other paintings, I thought maybe I could do something to this one to achieve the look I going for.  In less than five minutes I made the changes it needed.  I love it.

 Party of One
Painting 14" x 11" 
In its distressed frame it is 18" x 14" 
$150 + $20 shipping



Iris Garden
12" x 12" acrylic on a panel
$100 FREE Shipping 


Lavan Roses
20" x 16" Acrylic on a panel

$100 + shipping
Click HERE to see this in my Etsy shop.  
As a former florist, ( are we ever really former florists)
I loved working withing Lavan roses.  
 They had an intoxicating smell.
I say had because they don't have much of a smell any more.
But I still love them.

Click HERE to visit my Etsy shop where I have more original paintings, hand painted jewelry and home decor. 

Click HERE to see other available art.  

Click HERE to see small paintings under 8" x 8".

Click HERE to buy prints, pillows or phone cases of my art.

If the person you're shopping for wants to learn how to paint, I'm your girl for that too.  Click HERE to see my online art courses. 
There's a FREE class there also.

Don't forget, I give away a small painting every single month.
Enter to win by clicking the photo below.  Enter an email you check often, because I will notify you by email if you win, and you will have 24 hours to contact me.  After you enter you will receive an email asking you to confirm you did sign up.  If you don't confirm that email you won't really be entered.
 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

For That Guy Who Needs NOTHING!

Frustrating, I know!

We all have that guy on our list who needs NOTHING
and doesn't really want anything.

You search, and search,
and shop and think!

 Art is often something people would love and enjoy
but won't spend the money on themselves.

I have a suggestion and I'm pretty sure 
I can help you in any price range. 

Let me show you a few things he might like.
(We'll talk about women tomorrow)

I call this Man Cave Art
6" x 6" Acrylic on a panel.
Sits great on a shelf on an easel (not included)
$50 + shipping




8" x 8" Hog Wild
Unframed Acrylic on a panel
$95 + $6 shipping 


8" x 8" Unframed Acrylic on a panel
Red Case
$95 + $6 shipping


 11" x 14" Acrylic on stretched canvas
Framed (not shown) in a rustic barn wood frame.
$175 + $20 shipping

Augusta Ferry



Here are several other options for you if that's not enough.

Click HERE to go to my Etsy Shop.

Click HERE to view available art on this blog. 

Don't forget!
I give away a painting every single month,
but you have to subscribe to this blog to be entered.

Enter by signing up with your email below.
Then you'll receive an email asking you to confirm that you did sign up.  Click the confirmation link in that email.
While you're there, drag my email into your primary folder so you'll know if I contact you as a winner.

  

Monday, November 28, 2016

Courage gives way to Gratitude

Goals of 2016

Recently I pulled out my goal sheet for 2016
and re-read my plans, dreams and goals for the year.

There were a number of goals I stuck with
and things I accomplished I am proud of.

There were a number of things I didn't accomplish
 and I will refine them and make new plans,
better plans to accomplish the ones I still want to complete.

I also read my word for the year.
I've considered my 2016 word of the year many times.
Courage.

I am afraid of a lot of things,
so courage was a stretch for me.

I'm still afraid of many things,
dogs, being numero uno on the list.
I must confess,
I'm not afraid,
I'm terrified.

But I have had to summon up a lot of courage this year
as I have learned new things on the computer,
faced having no voice for five months,
had several skin cancers surgically removed,
having my husband be ill for all of the year.

It took courage for me to begin to paint figures.


It took courage to begin releasing single subject classes.

(More to come soon)
Click HERE to Learn More about my online classes.

It took courage to return to teaching
after not being able to talk for over five months.
Click HERE to learn more about hosting your own party.

2017 is right around the corner and I've been working on
 my word of the year. 
GRATITUDE!

I am grateful for so many things.
One of which is you!

I am grateful to everyone who reads my blog,
views my art,
paints with me in person or online,
and has offered me friendship in cyber space.

GR - ATTITUDE
requires having an attitude of gratitude.
How do you grow that gr-eat attitude?

It's a daily habit that requires some effort to achieve.

Becoming aware of all the great little things that happen in your life every single day,
and saying thank you.
Gratitude follows that.

Becoming aware of:
the light that changes just in time,
The fast food that got your order right,
Your child that puts their stuff away,
The check book balancing,
Evading that deer on the road,
Noticing the beauty in nature.
and the list goes on and on.

Once you've noticed the little miracles in your life,
then being thankful for them,
That is the attitude of gratitude. 

I look forward to becoming more and more grateful in 2017, just like I loved gaining more courage in 2016.

One last thing,
I'll need to keep that word in front of me
every single day to feel gratitude
and have it become a part of me.

Do you have a word for the year,
tell me about it in the comments if you do.

Here's to a wonderful 2017.

 
  
 


 

Monday, November 21, 2016

When Can I Expect To SEE Results?

Results!
You want results?

 What kind of results?
Direct results?
By-product results?
Earth changing results?

The real question here is, 
"What do YOU want to accomplish"?
Question -
Can you do a 120 second plank?

I mean TWO minutes!
Surely you can do something for TWO minutes.

Well, good luck with that.

I began 2016 with several very specific goals.
Some I continue to work on,
others, not so much.

One of my goals was to physically get in shape.
To eat better and exercise regularly.
You know I headed right over to Pinterest to find exercise routines for old girls like me right.
I set up a board, Exercising and Eating Healthy.
Click HERE to see my board.

I found lots of things to pin about exercising and I started trying them out hoping to find a few I liked and could stick with.

Cause that's the secret!
Stick With It!

I'm not looking for super model status, but I believed if I could get in better physical shape, I could improve my overall health.

So what was my goal?
Get in shape OR improve my health.
Which came first the chicken or the egg.

Back to the 120 second plank.
I found a post with a 30 day ab challenge.
Click HERE to see the plan.    

I didn't even look at day 30.
I only looked at what exercises were necessary
(only 4)
and on day one it started with a 15 second full plank,
9 second side planks,
and 8 crunches and 8 bicycle crunches.
I thought, Wow!, even I can do that!

The goal is to work up to a 120 second full plank,
76 second side planks
and 120 crunches and bicycle crunches.
(Glad I didn't look at that part of the challenge)

The point is, OK, there are several points here:
  1. Set a goal
  2. Make a plan
  3. Follow through
  4. Rinse and repeat!
It's going to take me longer than the 30 days to get to the end of the challenge, but I am about 2/3 of the way through!
Go ME!  
It doesn't really matter what the goal is.
It doesn't really matter what the plan is.
What really matters is 
the STICK WITH IT part.   

Learn to shoot free throws:
Shoot more free throws.

Learn to play a musical instrument:
Practice more and harder music.

Learn to write:
Get in front of the (I almost said typewriter) computer
and write, anything, everything.

Learn to paint:
Get the brush in your hand and paint.

I've painted in Leslie Saeta's 30 paintings in 30 days online challenge 4 or 5 times.
What do you learn painting 30 paintings in 30 days?
You learn to paint.
You learn to plan.
You make time for it.
and then,
You start to see some results.

Not thinking about painting.
Not planning to paint.
But the actual painting.

Back to my 120 second plank.

I did not see any results the first 10-12- or even 14 days.
I'm on day 21 and to be honest 
I'm not sure I'm seeing any physical results.
I mean, really,
I'm 64 years old, I have a chronic illness, and I've had 4 children, but my original goal was to improve my health.
But one of my points is: what if I'd given up on Day 12?

And the results I'm seeing are:
  • I am stronger
  • I have more stamina
  • I can do more
  • OK, my abs are not quite like the Pillsbury dough boy's anymore, so there's some physical improvement.
  • And, Here's an interesting part, I want to do more.
Learn all about what you want to learn about.
Read about it, watch it, listen to it, view it,
But then you have to actually do it
and do it,
and do it,
and do it some more,
if you want to get better at anything.

A few months ago I wrote a blog post about painting clouds.
Click HERE to view that post. 
It's what has to happen to get better at anything.



This is one of the cloud paintings I did in the 30 in 30 challenge.

I'm working on another painting right now with beautiful clouds in it.
You can visit my Etsy shop here to view all my available art.


Baking delicious bread or a pie does not come with reading recipes, all though that is a good place to start.
You actually have to learn how to bloom the yeast,
measure accurately,
get dough all over your hands as you learn to knead the bread,
Learn how your oven works,
Then you have to learn how to slice the bread.
Then and only then, do you get to enjoy the fruits of your labors and I'm real sure your first loaf of bread will not be delicious.  But make another one. And then make another one.  And pretty soon you'll have delicious, yummy, can't wait to eat it bread.
Bottom line:
I have the exercise thing down and I am getting stronger.
(Now I have to remove the ice cream thing to lose weight).

One of the perks to following this blog is, I give away a small painting every single month.  But you have to be a follower, or subscribe to get in on the action.
So, click on the painting below and fill out the form,
then when you get an email asking if you did fill out the form,
click the link and you'll be in my virtual hat.
Make sure you use an email address you check often because that's how I contact you if you are the lucky winner.
Finally, how about dragging my email into your primary account, so you don't miss out if and when I contact you.    

Thanks,
and have a great day
and Happy Thanksgiving! 

 




About Me

My photo
Ghent, Kentucky, United States
I'm a nature artist and I love to paint old barns, rivers and lakes, trees and fence rows and flowers. I work almost daily. You can purchase paintings by contacting me at slgraves6@gmail.com and there is also a tab across the top of my blog for available paintings and one for small paintings with buy now buttons. You can also purchase through my Etsy shop using the name of Fine Nature Art. . Thank you so much for stopping by.