Emilie Ruecker Wildlfe Refuge

For the next three months (or as long as my attention span can hold out!) I will be exploring landscapes.  I only briefly touched on them during my 365 and there is so much more to learn and explore.

This prompted me to take a hike with Jeanine the head of RI Families in Nature.  We set off yesterday to hike some trails in Tiverton, RI.  I’d never been to that neck of the woods which was plenty enough reason to go!

Thinking of painting compositions all along the trails, this was some of the beauty I took in.  I thought I’d share it:

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What a gorgeous day.  I received plenty of inspiration. Thank you Universe!

Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day

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All those pretty pots I threw last week, I sadly ruined this week!

I just hate when everything goes wrong!

I tried hand building on top of two vessels which completely collapsed.  In hindsight, I realize the slab clay was too thin.  Also I tried smoothing out the inside of the vessels with water which made them damp which made them fold in on themselves.

Grrrrrr…hours wasted!

But not all was lost.  Next time I now know what I need to do to succeed.

SLAB = THICKER + DRIER

I did create two pieces which turned out pretty well:

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This little dude totally needs a hat!

Ahh, I guess there’s always next week!

Where the Wild Things Are

 

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I’ve been playing with some of my artwork on Spoonflower.  I just received a swatch of this fabric and I love it!

This was the original painting:

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It wound up looking like a totally wild Damask print.  I titled it Rainforest.

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Here’s the swatch I just received.  It’s a little bit duller than the computer screen which is probably good for most people since my work is so darn bright!

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Check it out!

http://www.spoonflower.com/fabric/3400342

Getting it Done

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FINALLY!!!

I started this painting in June when my lilacs came out.  How did it take me all the way to now to finish it???

Oh yeah, my kids got out of school :)

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It feels good to finish something that I very well could have abandoned…Lord knows I thought about it!

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On another note, over 10,000 of us Rhode Islanders participated in the Coastal Cleanup this weekend. My kid’s school is responsible for a specific beach each year.

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It’s almost like a scavenger hunt to see who can find the weirdest and grossest garbage! They give you a clip board and you document every single item you find on the beach down to the last cigarette butt.  There’s always a few pairs of underwear, tons of booze bottles, way too many ice coffee cups and the weirdest for me are the constant findings of gun shell casings.

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You leave feeling good.

Our gift is living by the beach. Our duty is to be its custodians.  My daughter gets it.

My son on the other hand spends the entire morning angry.  He keeps saying “…but Mom, I don’t understand why I have to pick up other people’s litter.  If I don’t litter, why do these people get to get away with it?”

Yeah, I’ve got no good answer for you my boy. Nuttin’!

So I default back to what my parents would have told me.  You do it because it needs to get done.

PERIOD.

You can cut or you can stay in line, you can lie or you can tell the truth, you can coast or you can do your personal best, you can choose to help or you can ignore that which needs attention.

In our messed up society it must appear to children that the former is the way you succeed in life. That’s the message we see on the boob-tube daily, cutters, cheaters, liars & an inactive government. As a parent I can only share my own moral wisdom and who knows where the heck that came from. Maybe trial and error. There is freedom. You can simply do for you or you can do for the greater good of all. Is this something you or taught or something you are born with?

All I know is to the day I die I will try to instill the latter in my kids. I guess that’s what they call parenting and that’s why I will worry…does my boy get it???

Yeah, just go ahead and add a couple more silver hairs to my head buddy. What’s a few more!  :)

Upon Closer Inspection

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I take a few moments every day to wander. Sometimes mentally. Sometimes physically.

I picked all the Chinese lanterns from my garden.  I love them for their color of course.

But wow.  Look at how magnificent this little pod is.  It is so delicate and miraculous in its detail. It gives you a glimpse of the fruit inside and reminds us of perfection.  This plant is perfectly designed to dry its seed and spread it.  It has perfect protection only until it is no longer needed. At that precise moment its walls will wither and it will have done what it needed to do. Plant the seed.

Don’t we all have protective layers but do we shed them at the right time?   Hmm…deep thought for the day…

Man, there is just so much to learn about life, when we stop to pay attention.

If you don’t already have these in your garden, here’s a little more information:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physalis_alkekengi

Back to School

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My kids were not all that thrilled to go back to school, but I am!

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My pottery classes started up again. They are every Tuesday.  It feels awesome.  I’ve been taking pottery classes for two years now and I am finally feeling like I’m getting the ropes!

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I made 6 vessels.  I centered the clay on the wheel all by myself and I did not have any failures.

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Well sort of… This pot collapsed and I probably should have scrapped it, but I just loved the way it fell.  It’s like stripey-ribbons of clay. It reminded me of a bird bath, so I am going to work with it. I’m not all too fond of perfect anyways.

I’m not sure what I am going to turn the other pieces into yet, but stay tuned.  I definitely won’t leave them the way they are!

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It feels so great to be back!

Take a Hike!

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These are illustrations I have been working on for a Rhode Island family hiking guide. The book should be out within this year and will provide a wealth of knowledge about where to hike with your kids in the Ocean State.  The author Jeanine Silversmith, is a mother herself.  So, as well as trying most of the trails out with her own kids, she has enlisted many other families to try them out as well.  Her courses are tested and approved!  I marvel at the nature she has already exposed me to and look forward to finding more amazing journeys.

I’ll keep you posted when the book comes out!

The Home Coming

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This post goes out to my mother who wanted to see what I did with some of the artwork that didn’t sell.

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I picked up all my work by Labor Day weekend.  One perk from items not selling is that they came home to me.

Now my home is once again filled with color and life.

I’m currently illustrating a book…Images to follow…off to paint!

The Platypus Invasion!

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Wow, I checked my records and it’s was one year ago, September 3rd, that I posted my painted fabric designs of my child’s favorite thing in the world, her platypuses.

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I hate to admit that these were fabric designs for her bedroom we were going to re-do….since that was a year ago!

But now that the kids are back in school and I can focus and breathe a little slower, I finally got my butt onto SPOONFLOWER.com!

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Spoonflower is the website where you can load your own images and create your own fabrics.  It was so darn easy, I don’t know why I put it off for so long!  It helps if you have some knowledge of pattern making because you need to make sure that all four sides of your design correspond to each other to create a repeat when creating yardage.  Even if you don’t know how to do that, Spoonflower’s website can help you take any image and create the repeat. I don’t have any savvy computer software, just watercolors and a brain and it came out awesome!  Before you place your order for fabric, they require you to purchase fabric swatches to make sure everything worked out.  That’s what you are looking at, the swatches…I’m definitely thinking pillows!

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But the harder part will be coughing up the change to buy yards of these designs for curtains and a new bed spread…

Let’s hope we are not looking at another year!

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Here is a link to Spoonflower:  http://www.spoonflower.com/welcome

Here is a link to buy my Platypus fabrics (in case you know someone obsessed with platypuses –everyone right?):

http://www.spoonflower.com/designs?look=three&number=24&view=for_sale