Sunday, December 27, 2009

just an old softie








if you were a mouse in our house you'd figure out quite quickly that when it comes to puppies, my hubbie is just an old softie. it looks like i'm definitely going to have to be the disciplinarian. of course, i'm the only one who read cesar milan's book on how to raise a well-balanced, submissive dog. we'll just blame it on that. here are a few conversations to prove my point.

old softie hubbie: let's just leave their food down all the time and let them eat whenever they want.
mean old mama: no. they need a schedule and a routine.

old softie hubbie (at 3:00 am): now that they've gone potty just put them in bed with us for the rest of the night.
mean old mama: no. they need to sleep in their crate. once they sleep with us, they'll whine to sleep with us every night.

old softie hubby: i'm just walking her around in my arms so she'll go to sleep before i put her in her crate.
mean old mama: you're spoling her and treating her like a baby. she's a dog and we need to treat her like a dog. otherwise, she'll have an identity crisis.

old softie hubby: look how they're crawling all over me and biting my hair and ears.
mean old mama: you're letting them be dominant over you which is getting things off to a bad start.

old softie hubbie: let's just let them play for awhile before we take them out
mean old mama: they'll have an accident.

old softie hubby: you were right. they both just pooped on the carpet.
mean old mama (said with big sigh): read the book, please, read the book.

seriously, things are going wonderfully. they want to please, are very quick to learn, and are already begging at the door to go out. they go into their crate on their own when they want to nap and love our big back yard where they can run and leap, tumble and play. zoe is the lover, wanting to cuddle more than bella although bella is coming along. zoe is also the adventurer and the first to do just about everything. bella seems to be more of an observer and follower.

we couldn't be happier and are loving every minute of this experience.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

introducing bella and zoe

zoe & bella's first photoshoot


zoe isn't fond of the ribbon


zoe guards her toys


bella has the sweetest face


bella is the timid one (sometimes)


bella finds the scrapbook paper


zoe watches quietly


zoe wants bella's bow


they share my love of tissue paper!!

my heart overfloweth with love, love, love!!!! our first night was quiet and uneventful. they liked their crate and settled right down for the night. i got up at 1:00 and again at 4:30 to take them out to potty and they went right back in their crate and back to sleep.  no accidents in the house yet. they are such sweet girls! tonight we buy different color collars so we can tell them apart. so looking forward to introducing them to our kids and grandkids tomorrow!!

thanks to all of you for your sweet birthday wishes and congrats on my new little furbabies!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

a romp in the snow

first footprint




angel wings




that darn hat




rosy cheeks

warming up with a movie

almost 5-year-old jenna loves the snow! it was fun to see how delighted she was playing in it. i never liked the snow as a child (or as an adult either!). it was too much work getting ready for one thing. back when i was a child (in the olden days) we had to wear many layers to keep warm. we didn't have all the snow repelling fabrics kids have now. and our boots were always hard to get on. we placed bread sacks on our triple-socked feet before pushing them into the boots. it made it easier to get the boots on and off. our sledding place back then was an abandoned gravel pit way back across a big field behind our house. it seemed to take eons to walk back there, especially since you had to walk like a mummy with all the heavy clothing. i was usually cold by the time i sled down the hill a couple of times and would head back to the house. inevitably i was in tears by the time i was able to shed all the layers. not my idea of fun.

these days i do enjoy getting out in the snow to take photos but sledding, not so much.

my apologies to my daughter megan for letting jenna taste the snow. as soon as i had the photo i told her to stop. seriously, i did!

Sunday, December 20, 2009






we woke up to a gorgeous blanket of snow yesterday morning -- the kind that weighs heavy on the tops of tree branches, bird feeders, honeysuckle vines, etc. i so wanted to grab my nikon and head out for an hour or so of photography. but, alas, i had my extended farmer family coming to my house for our holiday get-together at noon. and, i had soooo much to do before their arrival. late in the day after we were all stuffed and sleepy, jenna and i headed outside to make snow angels and snap photos. these photos are the aftermath of a blanket of heavy snow -- large drops of light-reflecting water.

so the first holiday get-together is over and now we are preparing for #2, our annual chrismas eve fest with all our kids and grandkids. hubby is off to the grocery to do the shopping and i'm finishing up a few custom photo pendants that have to be delivered to co-workers tomorrow. plus an order for prints that will be shipped to england for an after-christmas treat for the buyer. you gotta love someone who buys a special treat just for themselves this time of year!!

my heart is overflowing today. joy for being able to have the majority of my family together here in my home yesterday. pride in my kids who are such wonderfully giving and thoughtful people. feelings of blessedness that i still have my mom and dad with us for christmas this year. wonderful thankfulness for the memories i continue to make with my siblings and their children. and, abundant joy for my grandchildren who let me experience the joy of christmas through a child's eyes once again. and for my hubbie, hugs hugs and thank yous for being such a wonderful host and doing all the clean-up so i could spend more time with my family.

next on the agenda is the wrapping of more presents. and a little eggnog. and a little christmas music. and maybe later on a warm, snuggly nap.

only two more days and then we pick up our puppies. tres sweet names have been selected, adorable collars purchased and images of photos to be taken are dancing in my head. introductions to my bloggy friends will be made on wednesday.

Monday, December 14, 2009

my birthday presents!!!!

yes, we did it!! not only did we buy one adorable miniature schnauzer puppy -- we bought two sisters!! ours are the two in the middle above. we will bring them home next tuesday, the 22nd, the day before my 57th birthday! we're excited! now off to make more lists, including possible names. did i mention i'm excited?

more photos and gushing and funny stories to come!

december happenings

i’m longing for snow so i can get out and take photos!! Although I’m not complaining about the glorious 54 degrees and sunshine out there right now.

list after list after list occupies my time and thoughts these days

my art cards, prints and pendants have been selling very well at my work and at my hubbie’s work

all my holiday decorating is done but i haven’t started the wrapping yet

work is slow which makes for long, boring days. i keep thinking about what i could be accomplishing at home!!

did you know i’ve started 2 new blogs? just click on the photos on the sidebar for my daily photo blog or my she blog – reflections of my life told in 3rd person (loving this exercise so much!!)

jenna spent the night with me saturday and we spent mega hours in the art room creating and giggling and getting chalk on our faces

i went to the post office at lunch to ship several etsy orders, including 2 small originals, some prints and some cards. it took 35 minutes to get thru the line but i so enjoyed my conversation with an older gentleman who was shipping a coffeemaker to his sister in arizona. the PO had an older holiday movie playing and he and i took turns saying the names of the actors – bing crosby, danny kaye and rosemary clooney i knew. a few others i did not. he seemed lonely and very grateful for a little attention. i hope someone will do the same for me when i’m old.

i’m hosting my extended farmer family christmas get-together at my house this saturday. i’m fixing chili soup, vegetable soup, cauliflower salad, 2 cheeseballs, a christmas cake, cookies, snacks and drinks. other family members will bring dishes as well. so much to do!

i watched julia and julie last night and really enjoyed it! how can you be a blogger and not love that movie?!!

the non-stop snacking at work is in full swing. i’m trying to pump the water to counteract the salt and sugar.

i’m almost done with stephen king’s under the dome and am already reading john irving’s latest titled last night in twisted river.  i would recommend both of them.

that’s it for today! have a merry, merry!!

Friday, December 11, 2009


mixed media collage
30" x 30" x 1.5"
gallery-wrapped canvas
(c) 2009 julie king

cherish life's little blessings
sweet babies wrapped in joy
the knowledge of our elders
golden sunset to enjoy
symphony of crickets
rainy evening walk
smell of fresh-brewed coffee
fishing off the dock
loyalty of girlfriends
a random stranger's smile
the blessedness of giving          
napping for awhile
magical glow of fireflies
a lonely frog's bassoon
scent of morning roses
calling of the loon

open your heart to blessings
a fuller life you'll live
the more you drink of blessings
the more you have to give


Saturday, December 5, 2009

carefree friends

"carefree friends"
mixed media collage
12" x 12" x 1.5"
gallery-wrapped canvas
(c) 2009 julie king

i created this piece at the request of a previous buyer. she wanted a little folk collage with an english bulldog in it. i wanted this one to be lighter and brighter than my previous little people pieces. so it has a little less of a vintage look and feel. the buyer is very happy with it and i'll be shipping it out on monday.

now i'm working on a 30" x 30" custom collage for a young mother in california. she saw a print in my etsy shop that she liked and asked if i would create her a custom piece similar to it. i haven't done too many large pieces lately and i'm really enjoying the process. i'm actually working on the floor of my art room. i hinted to hubby that i'd outgrown my small art room and he suggested i move to the dining room table. i suggested that we knock a doorway into the wall that separates my art room from his den so i could take over both rooms. funny how he just kept walking on down the hallway with no reply. lol

hoping you're all enjoying your weekend!


Sunday, November 29, 2009


i've been pondering . . .

. . . how thankful i am for turkey. it helps reduce the sugar headache from eating double helpings of pecan pie, sweet potato casserole and pumpkin pie with a huge dollop of whipped cream.

. . . how much i love the slant of sun into my east windows in the fall. it comes from a new southern angle that casts wonderful shadows and spots of glorious warmth.

. . . how much i still miss sweet presley.

. . . how blessed i am to be the grandma of 3 adorably wonderful grandchildren. they all visited yesterday, along with their parents and uncle matt, for a huge pan of lasagna. my cup runneth over with love!

. . . how wonderful technology is. i used photoshop to turn an ordinary photo of black eyed susans into the dreamy one above. love it!

. . . the eclectic tastes of our 4 kids. i turned them loose in my art room yesterday with the directive to each pick one of my original collages to keep. i would never have been able to guess which one each of them would select. it was fun to watch!

. . . where to go from here. i need new challenges, new goals, new heights to reach. the new year must be near.

. . . what a lucky, lucky girl i am. while i sit here typing, hubbie has filled and started the dishwasher, brewed our pot of coffee and started a load of wash. life is good, my friends, life is good.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

i am a lone tree

i am a lone tree
standing tall

i am a lone tree
branches furled

i am a lone tree
who will join me?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

be happy

good morning coffee cups
mixed media collage
20" x 20" x 1"
solid aspen wood
(c) 2009 julie king

this is my latest repurposed collage. i pulled this one out of the artwork graveyard in the corner of my art room and painted over the rather ugly landscape i created months ago.  i've so enjoyed reworking these pieces. i'm thinking about spending a couple of days applying random crumpled paper to boards and canvasses to have ready when i feel like creating. it is great to be able to get straight to the nitty gritty of the design without having to lay all the foundation, etc. the top layer of color on the cups is pastel chalk applied heavily in multiple layers. i like the look of chalk applied over textured paper. i've been doing some quick sketches in pastels on brown kraft paper and textured scrapbook paper. i'm trying to train myself to simply let go and let the design flow out my fingers in quick and minimal strokes. it is fun but i have a hard time letting go and not overworking it. it is fun and relaxing though.

a short day of work today. yeah!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

growing up

i've been thinking about how different it is to raise a child these days compared to when i was a child or even when i raised my kids. my mom never worried that someone was going to abduct one of her kids. she was not concerned about hormones in meat, what we were being exposed to on the internet or the side effects from a flu vaccine. i never felt pressure to dress my kids in name brand clothing or to sign them up for 14 after school activities so they could "compete" with other children. we had it easier than today's parents, for sure.

if you've read this blog for any time at all, you'll know that i write often about wanting to return to a simpler way of life. when i see parents embracing a simpler way of life for their families, i'm touched. i so respect a return to good family values and keeping children as children as long as possible, giving them time to play and be innocent.

so here's to all the young parents doing their best to raise their families in tough times. this is one mom/grandma who is thinking of you and knowing it can't be easy!


Monday, November 23, 2009

photoshop fun

more photoshop fun today. i did this one at work a while back and just stumbled upon it again. i think it looks like it has been printed on tissue paper or some kind of soft wrinkly paper that has absorbed most of the ink. i really like the effect.

work is slow this morning and i'm enjoying it. many of the marketing folks in my wing of the building are off all week so it should be fairly quiet and uneventful. i think my creative co-workers and i have earned this break. it has been a very hectic few months.

i'm about 1/3 of the way thru stephen king's newest novel under the dome. it is fast-paced and quite intriguing. it's a much tighter writing style than many of his books in that it is all action without all the long descriptive paragraphs. i love all that descriptive writing but the pace of this one has me hooked.

tomorrow i'll post photos of my newest collage, a coffee theme. i'll also be listing quite a few originals in my etsy shop over the next week or so. sales at the hotel gallery have been very slow so i've decided to pull all my work out for now. despite slow sales i refuse to stop creating art. things will turn around eventually. i have faith!

happy monday all!!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

she wakes

she wakes slowly and leisurely, savoring the warmth of the blankets and the reassuring sound of quiet. her eyes squint open just a hair to see the sunlight peeking thru the blinds. she hopes for a beautiful photo op day, maybe a stroll at the pond or a trip to the cemetery. thoughts of getting up and heading to the art room dance thru her mind but no, just a few more minutes of this cocooned bliss are needed. images of recent captures play like a staccato slide show in her mind's eye. she tries to remember which ones haven't yet been posted on her blog. blog post ideas swirl, as always, and she smiles, knowing one will rise to the surface to be plucked when the time is right.

finally, she rolls out of bed, carefully, quietly so as not to awaken hubby. she yearns for a solitary hour or two. despite the cold, she does her morning stretches, feeling the old muscles gradually loosen and a few bones crack their morning protest. a quick trip to the bathroom, the donning of her pink robe and she's headed to the kitchen to brew a small pot of classic folgers. her trusty homemade rice bag is placed in the microwave for 4 minutes. while it warms she opens blinds, relishing the bright angle of the early morning fall light.

she settles in her art room chair, warm rice bag on her lap and her favorite blue blanket wrapped snugly around her still half-asleep body. the first sip of coffee is ecstasy. she checks gmail, catches up on facebook and heads over to her blog. she pushes aside the twinge of guilt that she has not visited her favorite blog links at all this week. she remembers that she posted the bwo link on her blog; she really does want to live a blogging life without obligation. she refuses to apologize for living her life to the fullest, rather than living to blog. but still there is the twinge of guilt.

as she reads and travels from link to link, site to site, she marvels at all the talent she stumbles upon in bloggyland. she remembers how intimidated she was by all of that talent when she first started blogging. but she pushed thru those feelings and let her own personal creative wings take her to places she never dreamed possible. she is content and at peace with her place in the world. as she pulls inspiration and joy from her blog visits, she slowly wakes to new opportunities to grow and soar. she says a prayer of thanksgiving for all she is and all she has. and, she wakes to the glory of a new day!

p.s. this post was inspired by ruth at synch-ro-ni-zing. i fell in love with her recent blog post written in this same kind of third person voice. i knew i just had to give it a try and found the writing of this post deeply satisfying. thanks for the inspiration, ruth!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

i will play

sunny days
cloudy days
days of
sleet or snow
i will play

up a tree
under a rock
beside the
sparkling stream
i will play

dusty chalk
messy paints
with paper
stamps & ink
i will play

on the road
nikon in hand
in shadow
or in light
i will play

young at heart
slowing down
graying at
the temple
i will play

happy heart
full of hope
at peace
with who i am
i will play

Thursday, November 19, 2009

there she goes again!!

in a world of constant change i'm comforted by the fact that i never cease to be tickled pink by fun shots like this that i capture with my trusty friend, missy nikon!! even more fun is the look on hubby's face which says, "there she goes again"!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

a different light

believe it or not, both of these photos were taken on the same day within 2 or 3 minutes of each other. the difference? one is taken facing north and one is taken facing south. i absolutely love the contrast between these 2 photos. it was one of those delightful serendipitous moments when i shot them. the sunny side photo was taken first and as i walked past i looked to see what the back view revealed and liked it even better. isn't life a lot like that? doesn't time, maturity and perspective let us look back on events and see them in a completely different light?

take care, my friends!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

aged to perfection

"king's vinyard"
mixed media collage
solid aspen wood
12" x 18" x 1"
(c) 2009 julie king

a few weeks ago i was thinking about wine which i really don't know a lot about. i wondered if i was a bottle of wine what would i be. not knowing enough about white and red varieties to pick one, i decided i would simply be "aged to perfection". i've been through all the stages from fresh off the vine to early fermentation (full of youth and vigor) to mature, yet still aging to where i'm at today. i like being aged to perfection. truth be told, i'm full-bodied as well and i'm becoming more and more comfortable with that as well.

i created the above piece on sunday morning. it's another art graveyard resurrection -- i'm starting to think that these revisits are some of my favorite pieces of art. this one is definitely a keeper but i'd be willing to do these as custom pieces with a name of your choice if anyone has an interest.

what kind of wine are you?

Monday, November 16, 2009


mixed media collage
solid aspen wood
24" x 48" x 1"
(c) 2009 julie king

layoffs have come and gone at my work and i'm still standing. ten of my co-workers were let go last wednesday morning. my heart is heavy with sadness for each of them. more changes are underway with new leadership, responsibilities and moving of offices. i feel so grateful to still be employed.

the above piece titled "rejoice" was done on a piece of wood i rescued from my artwork graveyard. it started out to be a horizontal beach scene and i never liked anything about it. so saturday night i painted over the multi-colored and layered background to create this new piece. i love it and couldn't be happier with it.

thanks for your continued readership of my blog although the posts have been random lately. i've made a conscious decision to live a full life instead of living to blog. many of you know what i mean, i'm sure.

((hugs)) to all of you on this beautiful monday!