Tuesday, September 30, 2008

BONNE FÊTE ULYSSE ! ! !

Toda is my son Ulysse's birthday and he is turning 12 years old.

Ulysse has to be the most altogether kid there is and the nicest too. He is gentle, not bothered about peer pressure, creative, inventive, nice, affectionate, strong-minded, fun, intelligent ... and much more.

I can not remember what life was before he entered it but from then on it has been the most joyful trip I have ever taken. . .

My heart is not big enough to contain all the love I have for him, he is the extension of my soul ...

Je t'aime, Ulysse, tu es le meilleur !!!

Bonne Fête mon ti-pou !!!

Monday, September 29, 2008

CANDY CORN AND CANDIED APPLE SHADES EVERYWHERE ...

The weekend has been pretty busy ...

Tomorrow is Ulysse 12th birthday, and around his anniversary, it seems everything is happening in a rush ...

the last bits of warmth at night ... the last bright red apples in the orchards around ... the last silence in the morning before the hunters arrive ... the last marigolds untouched by the ground-frost ... the last hot rays of sun on our back ... the last peeps of the frogs in the pond ... the last explosion of colors everywhere before all is blanketed in white ...

It was a big weekend for family and friends coming over for a day in the country, a wonderful gathering happening each year, celebrating my son and my husband getting old of a year and kinda mourning the summer already gone ...

There is not a day that I do not marvel at a hue in a sugar maple leaf, a certain kind of pink in a vinegar bush, the buttery yellow of the bare fields ...

People wonder if Indian summer has arrived yet but no, it only arrives after 5 days of above-normal temperature, previous ground frost and when the leaves have all fallen. So we should have another mild spell coming for one last time ...

Thanks so much to all of you guys for sending great comments, wishes and encouragements about my new Etsy shop. And thanks to you all for purchasing my prints! I am so happy, I can not believe how well I have done in just a few days of sale!

I have been working hard in my studio at two different commissioned pieces of which I can not talk to much about nor show pictures, since both will be gifts ...

I should be posting a few more original paintings in a day or two, I am just not working as fast as I would like to ...

Friday, September 26, 2008

SPECIAL OFFERS IN MY ETSY STORE ! ! !

SPECIAL OFFER !

Mesdames et Messieurs!

My Pink Turtle Etsy Store is finally open!

I am still stocking my shelves and will be adding more items in the coming days.

I am so happy about this that I had to find a way to celebrate this with you !

4 DAYS ONLY

September 27 to September 30

- Buy 1 print and get FREE SHIPPING

- Buy 2 prints and get 3RD PRINT FREE

If you do make a purchase, please wait till I invoice you before sending payment via PAYPAL or mail. This way I will be able to apply the rebates properly.

Thanks a bunch for your interest in my art and for visiting my store.

Enjoy !

LuLu

P.S. I promise I will write a long post tomorrow, got tons of new stuff to talk about !!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

OPENING OF MY NEW ETSY SHOP ! ! !

Mesdames et Messieurs

I am pleased to announce

the opening of

my
new Etsy shop

MY PINK TURTLE STUDIO

featuring art by

LuLu

At the moment, I am in the process of stocking up the shelves and organizing everything.

Please come over for a visit

and make sure to bring your family and friends with you !

And don't forget to add

My Pink Turtle Studio

to your list of

Favorite Sellers on Etsy

There will be Door Prizes

on Saturday, September 27 2008

so Stay Tuned for more details !

hugs and kisses

LuLu

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I WILL CAST A SPELL ON YOU ...

I finished this little Naughty Witch this afternoon and had so much fun working with this palette of colors that I started 2 other Halloween paintings. I think they will look great mounted together on a wall. I put a lot of details in this painting and I think the results are pretty good!

If you wish to adopt her, she is on eBay for 7 days ...

Ulysse stayed home yesterday and today due to a bad cold. As bad a parent as I might sound, I was happy to have him with me like in the good old days before he started kindergardenrather than send him for his usual classes. We spent a lot of time in the studio, worked on a papier-maché (I LOOOVE papier-maché) tunnel for his HO trains, made some miniature items for my doll house, he practiced yo-yo while I painted, we listened to some cheesy french oldies on the radio and took a nap outside on the pool deck while the sun was high and strong.

Paco the dawg felt quite sick too and needed to rest in bed under the blankets ...

We harvested the Cinderella pumpkins in the garden and gathered the begonia pots to take them inside ...

In moments like this, I wish I could stop time and make everything last forever ...

Monday, September 22, 2008

JUST ONE HOUR AT THE BEACH ...

Yesterday afternoon, the sun was getting hot. Not enough to take a dive in the pool but nice enough to make you feel like driving somewhere just for the heck of it. So, Ulysse, his friend Scott and I drove to the beach ...

We went down the mountain then took a turn at the village going east. Twenty minutes later, after zig-zaging on what must be one of the most snaky paths around, we came face to face with the big blue. We had arrived in Phillipsburg, a tiny village on the shores of Lake Champlain on the Canadian side. And here, it looks like the ocean ...

It is hard to believe, but this section of the lake is still very "country style", meaning no big houses with a yatch in front on the water, no big boats anywhere, no cafes nor restaurants nor bars of any kind, not even a decent food store. Only a narrow road squeezed between the Hosltein cows grazing in the field on one side and the immensity of the lake on the other side.

We discovered this little heaven a few years back and whenever we want to smell the almost-ocean scent, or hear the waves slush the rocks around or watch the sun set on the horizon, just like it would in Negril, Jamaica or Sanibel, Florida, we come here.

When Ulysse was small, we use to spend hours digging through what the tide and currents would bring back ashore and marveled at the exquisite diversity such an vast unsalty water hole would let us discover.

Once again, we came back home happy, with a light sunburn on our face and pockets full of rocks, fossils, shells, smooth glass, seeds, wood sticks and of course, a few dry bones ...

Oh! And for all of you wondering if we could get a glimpse of Champ, our local Loch Ness monster, the answer is ... No! But maybe we will have better luck next time ...

P.S. Hard at work in my studio all day today, finishing 2 assignements and a couple Halloween paintings. Just wanted to let you know that my Frida with Fruits and Skulls has been relisted on eBay for another 7 days. Some people had trouble viewing the image about an hour before the auction ended and could not place their bid, for a reason or another. So, if you want like this painting, there is still a chance to get it!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A GUARDIAN ANGEL FOR MY CAT MOOLI ...

Mooli was a fine cat. Mooli was a completely black cat that I adopted, together with his also totally black sister, Moogwai. I drove by a shabby pet shop in a little town out of Montreal and spotted both these cats on Halloween eve. They did not look too good, skinny, dirty eyed, very quiet and week ... I couldn't help myself, their sight haunted me for the entire day. When I talked to Francois and mentioned them, he simply said: "Why didn't you buy them?"

So, I ran back to the store and got them both for $10.00 !!! I was happy to carry my box of kittens back home but when I opened it, the cats were not doing good at all ...

We spent the night taking care of them, especially my dog Chili who adopted them and licked them to keep them clean. I took them to the vet in the morning and he told me they had Distemper. Not a good news ... He suggested that we put them to sleep since they did not have much hope of surviving. Well, they did survive, both of them and lived for 12 happy years! They were affectionate and beautiful identical cats which acted like dogs, sleeping with them and growling at strangers at the door...

Moogwai suddently disapeared last fall, at the same time as two of our other cats and she never came back home. There were weasels around that week and we supposed she got snatched by one of them. Well, that is what happens to cats who go outside in the countryside. They spend their day inside sleeping on the beds but love to go party at night. And everybody knows, there are monsters and other spooky creatures out there in the dark...

Mooli was not himself lately. Our little "pig" hardly ate and got quite skinny. I had an appointment scheduled with the vet a week ago but when I tried to find him, he had disapeared too ...

Yesterday night, I went for my usual walk with the dogs and we found him lying very quiet in the grass near the entrance to the tiny old cemetary. He was dead ...

I took him back home, wrapped him in his favorite blanket and buried him under the wild apple tree where all are departed animal companions were already waiting for him.

Mooli had a wonderful life and he left ours the same way he had entered it, in the wink of an eye ...

Today, I painted this little Cat Guardian Angel in honor of Mooli and it is available on eBay right now. It is bold and colorful and joyful and the hand-written inscription reads "tous les chats vont au paradis" which in French means "all cats go to paradise". The collaged letters read "toujours dans mon coeur" which translate to "always in my heart".

You will always be in our heart, Mooli. You were a mighty fine cat ...

Time to learn how to fly now ...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

PUNKY FAIRY WITH AN ATTITUDE ...

I had a wonderful time painting this little ready-for-anything fairy! She is scared of nothing and dresses outrageously. She loves leopard print. She got her black cat a turquoise spiked-collar just in case ... And she is waiting for you !

My little Punk Fairy is now available on eBay for just 99 cents !

SOLD ! THANK YOU !

Better grab her before she grabs you !!!

Just came back from a school parents' reunion that lasted 3 hours ... It is cold tonite, I could see the vapor of my breath walking back home, my frigid feet are resting on an empty plastic cranberry juice bottle filled with hot water (my home version of the old hot bottle, and it works!) and while I am typing this my hands feel like ice cubes. They are predicting some ground frost tonite ... I might have to sleep inside ... Maybe not if I wear a woolen cap ... No! I don't want to close my summer bedroom yet !

The Canada geese have been traveling non-stop the past few days. When Ulysse was a little boy, he thought they flew in arrow-shape formation so the other birds would know exactly, watching them, where South was without having to use a compass. These sky arrows are simply amazing ...

Sunday, September 14, 2008

JE ME SOUVIENS ...

Yesterday, the three of us drove to Quebec City. The trip took about 3 hours and Ulysse killed time by taking pictures. He snatched this shot of a restaurant, on the highway, that has never ceased to amaze me, every time I pass by it. I have no idea where they found these dinosaurs and why they parked them on the front lawn. And why it is named Hotel Madrid ... Just a good old-fashioned roadside attraction, I guess.

We spent the day with Francois' family to remember the passing away, 5 years ago, of my his mother. She was born in Quebec City where she is now resting in peace in a beautiful and very old cemetary. We had a glass of champagne in her company, surrounded by beautiful angels of all sorts. The weather was perfectly nice and warm and the light was wonderful. The children were all reunited for the occasion and I think she would have found this little ceremony lovely ...

We then walked through the old city and marveled once again at its beauty. Each tiny detail makes you realize the age of this settlement, like this wooden door, part of one of the ramparts that kept the ennemy from attacking it.

In 1608, when Samuel de Champlain, a French explorer, chose the location of his settlement he named «Kébec» (a word from an Amerindian language meaning «place where the river becomes narrow»), he did not suspect that he was establishing the roots of French civilization in the Americas. Quebec City is one of the oldest city in North America.

We had a private visit of La Citadelle (no, this is a picture of Chateau Frontenac, not La Citadelle), another old building near Les Plaines d'Abraham (where the English and the French fought). The Governor of Canada now resides there when she is in the city. It was very interesting to view the outstanding pieces of furniture, the art collection on the walls and the view from the balcony was extraordinaire.

After the visit, on a tiny narrow street nearby, I could not help but smile at this wonderful vehicle, bearing the colors of the province's flag, with its skull, fuzzy dice and miniature replica of a VW.

We had a delicious supper at a ritzy French restaurant, showered copiously with sublime red wine served in gigantic glasses, which I learned later are quite often requested by connaisseurs because the aroma can me breathed more easily and completely this way.

We drove back home late and slept outside to enjoy this unusually warm night. We had a beautiful day ...

La Ville de Quebec is celebrating its 400th Anniversary this year and she is more beautiful than ever. Come and visit her before winter gets here and the party is over. This way, you too will be able to say "Je me souviens" or "I remember" ...

Friday, September 12, 2008

FRUITS & SKULLS ...

... and Frida Kahlo are my favorite subjects to paint. And of course, angels and fairies and hearts and cats and flowers and so many others ...

Frutas y Calaveras is available on eBay right now at the low starting price of 99 cents !!!

This 8"x10" is full of cheery cherries, pink watermelon, plump plums, a big pinapple, juicy grapes, fuzzy peaches, and of course bright bananas.

A little Frida a la Carmen Miranda !!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

LES GIRLZ AND A SUNFLOWER ...

Today was beautiful !

Clear blue sky with puffy white clouds, tiny warm breeze and plenty of sunshine. I sat down on the grass behind the garden, during my morning break, and as I looked up, one of the giant sunflowers was watching me ... Head bent, bright and cheery, swaying on its long stem like if it was swimming underwater. Tournesol or girasol means in French or Spanish "turn toward the sun". Beautiful name, isn't it?

Les Girlz is composed of our 5 chickens and our rooster, who sometimes acts like an grumpy old lady. One of the white chicks was not feeling well lately...

There is such a big difference between a not-well avian and a health one. Normally they move non-stop, peck, peck, peck, scratch, scratch, scratch, scream and sing and laugh once in a while then lay an egg a day. But this one was quiet, slow, skinny, tired and dirty. So, I thought she must have eaten something that did not agree with her stomach. I tried different vitamins and remedies but nothing worked. I thought she would not survive ...

Then, yesterday, I had the brilliant idea of giving her a bit of an Immodium (diarrhea) pill. Well, it worked ! Today, when I opened the coop's door, she was the first out stepping down the ramp! Hurray! My Pretty is feeling better!

My new Frida painting is done but there was not enough light later this afternoon to snap a good picture of it. I will show it to you tomorrow and I think you will like it!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

PURPLE AND VIOLET AND MAUVE ...

... in the nature at this time of the year always surprise, astonish and delight me. Just as we are getting ready for the warm hues of autumn, pink apples, orange pumpkins, yellow giant sunflowers, these colors suddenly appear a certain day in September...

Lilac and grape New England wilds asters of all shades bloom freely in the fields and are among my favorite wild flowers.

And a blue-ish plum, crushed blackberry and beet juice bruised sky sunset like the one that showed off tonite leave me speechless...

Oh, oh.... I saw a flock of Canada Wild Geese heading south this morning, the first of the season. Hearing their so poignant sound has they fly reminds me that, if you believe old tales, snow will be here in 3 weeks ...

I worked hard again today in my studio and should have a new Frida painting done by the end of the day tomorrow ...

Then a few Halloween ones are on their way too ...

It will be a chilly night tonite with the moon getting almost round but 42 degrees Farenheight will not prevent us from sleeping outside again tonite ...

French-Canadian women are tough, hey?

Monday, September 8, 2008

HOW I MISSED PAINTING ...

This is serious folks, I am really, really back in my studio. No, no! Not doing magazine clipping, gourd decorating, pictures filing, hermit crab feeding, through my window, to the pond murmurs listening ... Oh no! I am actually pencil sketching, table messing, acrylic colors mixing, glue dripping, paper cutting. Or, if you will, simply canvas painting ...

Funny enough, as soon as I got back to work at 8 this morning, I had two orders for commissioned paintings, one for a deceased loved pet and another one for a huge 3' x 5" family tree project. Ohhh! How exciting! So, I gotta press on the gaz pedal, change gear and whizz through my days!

I am also preparing the opening of my new Etsy store but will talk more about it in the days to come ...

For no apparent reason, my last 2 or 3 posts did not appear on my blog till today. If you want to keep up to date with my daily novel and do not want to miss anything, please scroll down to the previous 2 or 3 posts. This way, you my life will hold no secrets from you ... ;-p

As you may have noticed, I have added a "great people who like to read my blog" follower widget to my side bar. You can click it and join this group as a follower of this blog. It makes it easy to follow a blog by telling you when it has been updated. It also shows you quickly who follows this blog. You can very easily add this little widget to your blog too (if you use blogspot) by clicking the option "add a gadget" to your layout page. I think it is a fun and friendly little tool that will add another positive side to blogging. Try it too! And ...

Come on and join this group! We'll have fun!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

GARGOYLE TREASURE ...

Little things in every day life are sometimes astonishing ...

I made this little gargoyle miniature garden a few years ago with an old hibachi BBQ stand, a few round rocks found in the stream, a little gargoyle I bought at a garage sale and a snip of very invasivie creeping Jennie. I placed it at the left side of the garden entrance, right under the big pergola growing grapes and hops.

Look what was waiting for me this morning when I walked to the chicken coop to feed the mademoiselles and their king ...

The girls had chosen to lay their eggs at a perfect spot !

Thursday, September 4, 2008

HIGHSCHOOL AND HAY BALES ...

Every year, since Ulysse was born, a few things repeating themselves have now become a ritual ...

We sit under the same tree in the same swings when we want to chat about this and that ...

When April arrives, we take the old hard foam mattress out in the grass and sleep outside as often as we can, sometimes on the balcony when it rains, right until Halloween, if weather permits ...

We drive each summer to the beach in Maine, where my son walked his first steps, and do the same activities we have been enjoying for years, like riding the waves, beachcombing, going mini-putting at the Pirate's Cove or eating fried clams at one of the shacks ...

Each day, I drive down the mountain to the village to pick him up after school so we can talk about the day's happenings, time that would be lost if he took the bus ride home ...

Yesterday, on the eve of the first day of highschool, we walked to one of the fields down the hill and played with the hay bales. Each year, it is an established fact that I must take a picture of Ulysse with hay bales, whether with his cousin, with one of our passed away dogs, with his dad or in the snow.

I love these round hay bales. They are so perfect and smooth and look like big rolls of wheat cereals. I love how they add a polka-dot effect to the shaved and bare fields. And I love how their shadows move around them as the sun shifts on the horizon ...

My son will be 12 at the end of this month and is now a teenager going to highschool. Primary school is now part of his past and filed in his mental memory drawer. No looking back, he is ready for what is ahead of him ...

And I am so proud of the person he has become.

Yes, rituals are good.

Rituals are reassuring.

Rituals are part of the big wheel turning ...

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

WHERE HAVE THOSE LAST AUGUST DAYS GONE ?

I have been such a lazy bum these past few weeks, I amaze myself !

I extended to the max the wonderful last days of summer vacations, full of heat and sun, finally... Nope! I did not spend ANY time in my studio but decided to go all the way and celebrate the end of the season in happiness, love and peace.

We swam, soaked, floated and dove in the pool as often as we could ...

One of Francois' sons, Gabriel, arrived from California to spend a week with us and the half-bros had a great time skating together ...

We marveled at the fuzzy sky in the cool morning ...

and admired the fiery sunsets walking down the path on the mountain ...

We lived part of our days in the garden, startled by the size and beauty of the giant dahlias ...

We smiled every time we got inside our house by the front door, so many plants growing there, it is hard to reach it ...

All of our family, cats and dogs included, slept outside on the balcony every single night and woke up with this wonderful view ...

Ulysse and his friend Julien sold beans and eggs and ojos de dios at a stand they built right on the road. They stayed until 9 p.m. waiting for customers, had their garlic and tuna pasta supper on location, lighted up by my favorite dragonfly lantern ...

We made tea from Monarda petals, Oswego tea and savored it in fine porcelaine cups ...

and found old abandoned farm tools and implements in a old dump in a field behind an old neighbor's place ...

We popped open the seed pods of the giant towering Himalayan poppies ...

And spied on weird bugs showing off their various shapes and colors ...

We watched string beans climb the tall bamboo pole tippee ...

And tripped on the incredible pattern created by rust and rain on our old Ram Charger van's door ...

Ulysse changed the pattern daily in the zen sand garden he built all by himself, including the twisted rusty wire fork ...

Yes, indeed, we managed to do quite a few interesting things at the end of August ...

But nope, no work done in my studio ... Almost there ... and so ready to have fun with paint, brushes, paper and canvas ...

Monday, September 1, 2008

EVEN SCHOOL BUSES GET THE BLUES ...

Ulysse and I went hiking around in the fields today and found this abandonned school bus hiding behind a bush, not ready at all to go back to school ...

A bit like we are feeling too ...

We do not want the summer to end but ...

We gotta go !