Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Christmas And The Upcoming 30 Day Challenge

Christmas was a little different this year inside our CiCi Blue. With our Norcold fridge dying then resurrecting, then dying again, only to resurrect, we bought a small floor fridge. It was perfect for our tiny tree.  Last season we carefully put away our inside decorations. Note to self, write down where you put things in the basement!! You would think we could have found everything but they chose to hide from us this year,so it became a simple Christmas holiday! We do have a string of lights on the front of the coach that change colors, so that it quite festive!

We had our Christmas dinner at the rec hall with our park friends, and our good friend Lou who came up for the occasion. Diane and Paul, our French Canadian friends actually at another campground further south now, came back for dinner with us.  Lots of conversation and laughter.  A perfect day!

On the art scene things are getting serious inside CiCi... I am finishing commissions and starting more, plus I have signed up for a 30 paintings in 30 days challenge. Yes, literally chaining myself to the chair! So, here's what I plan!!

                                              The Plan For The 30 Day Challenge

A few years ago I did two series. The eyes,(Soul) of the dog and the infamous nose!  I asked people to send their dogs nose,or eyes to me and I painted them.  If they wanted to purchase they could but there was no pressure to do so, I just needed models.

This time, I ask again. The face, the body, whatever someone fancies to see their pet become immortalized in oil.

I will be working on 8" x 10" stretched canvas and they will be selling for $100.00 and free shipping. (All proceeds go to the "Get CiCI Blue up and Running Again" campaign. ) If you are interested please email me HERE. I will start posting the paintings daily here and there will be a link to my etsy shop for purchase.

I CAN do this!!! :-)

The Studio (inside) Small but remember, no excuses! Just do it. 

Just look at this face, He's one of 4 Labs on the canvas. I sectioned him off in photoshop and since Santa brought us a new printer, yes, (the old one died. Must be something going around in the coach! ), I print the image larger so I can get good detail.

Working more on this precious face today along with the other three!

Another finished piece. Sassie was here at the campground last year. She's with my Muse Sophie now so of course I had to paint her.

And here is Lola's "love" interest for afar! Mr. Gus has that low, low woof like hers and when she hears it you can see hearts flying all around her head! 

"Lolaaaaa....I love you tooooo" Wooooof.

Where else but with RV'ers.  Love, fleeting but lasting friendships and tons of drama!!!

Have a great day, my brushes are beckoning!!


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

So Much To Do As Time Flies

A week til Christmas then the New Year. I need to find a slow it down button. The owners are arriving for the holidays so we have been cleaning this, painting that, plus doing Christmas decorations through out the park and the Rec hall.  As I look at the title of this blog, Living the Artists Dream, I hear myself say, really Sheila??  So, I just signed up to do a 30 day painting challenge! 30 paintings in 30 Days starting January 1st! Time to get back to my dream!!

Let's see, what has been happening. Our neighbors, Paul and Diane, from Canada, and our happy hour group decided to take a trip to the Brevard Zoo.  What a fun day!

There is an aviary and you can purchase nectar in cups and proceed into the "inner Sanctum" so to speak. There you are swarmed by these colorful birds, and sometimes they fight, to get the nectar. It's really a fun experience as long as you are not afraid of getting their toenails dug into you or wings in your face. Once was fine for me!

My granddaughter asked me if I would paint a small piece on copper as a gift from her to her friend for Christmas. They are both dancers so I was able to get this done and shipped. Whew. I painted a small square piece for Kelsey a few years ago as a gift for her first solo dance at her recital.

Now I could show you the pile of unfinished paintings I need to accomplish. (Can you hear my frustration today...sigh) Roger is being supportive by saying, " No excuses, just do it!!!" My little cheering squad.  So that's my afternoon plan!

So, RV news. Our fridge has been dying, reviving, dying, reviving...you get the picture. Our rv guys, yes a new group, came up the other day to put in new gaskets for our a/c.  They also checked our steps and are putting in to our warranty for a new motor. We were denied new steps because of rust but I'm sure they will allow for a motor. We asked about our refrigerator and he told us that the ammonia wasn't running through all the time because of age and debris.  Our option was to replace it with the same kind, a Norcold double door rv fridge, ($4000.00) or buy a residential refrigerator. Less money and no propane. All electric.  We are covered with our warranty, but with depreciation, we would never be able to swing for a new Norcold or want to. Our neighbors have the residential fridge with the freezer on the bottom. Oh yes, I was excited to think we may get that!!

I asked how they would do it and they told us they would either take out the front window and pull the old out and new in or through a side window. It should be quite a show. I then said that we were going to pull the rug up, oh, forgot to mention that, and put in plank vinyl boards. They said, oh...we do that too!!!! I am so doing the happy dance here right now. Our rug is beyond disgusting. Three dogs, rain, grass and mud, us. Beige rugs are crazy. So we went to Home Depot and looked at a heavier vinyl called, "Allure". Perfect for our "Allure" Country Coach. We were first thinking the tiles and doing it ourselves but after doing some research and seeing there was a possibility of tiles popping up here and there, (us doing it), we decided the heavier floating floor and Rons RV repair doing it. Color??? The lighter wood look or one to match our cabinets. I love that we don't have to go somewhere else and they can do it all right here in our space!!

So, a lot for the new year!!! I better be painting right?!! 

So, have a great day, signed up for a months worth of Internet service, so you'll be hearing from me more often now. I'll let you know in a few days about the 30 in 30 days paintings.!!


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Things To Be Grateful For..

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and even though I do daily Gratitude's,  I count once more.  First, Roger and my health. Yes, we have aches and pains and parts don't seem to work as well as say 20 years ago, but all over we are healthy. Our furkids and two legged kids are all healthy and we have a beautiful Coach to keep us safe.  Friends, old and new, and our ability to laugh still in tact!

We have been doing a daily 4 P.M. Happy Hour and it's been wonderful! Great conversations and laughter! So healing!

Of course I am grateful for my gift of painting and drawing! My art space has shrunk but I still can work. No excuses! So that brings me to what I am working on today.

I am using a photo of our Sammy as reference and sketched this in the other day. 

My plan is to use a technique I discovered a few years ago using black ink, watercolor and colored pencil.  After I sketch the image I paint in the ink where I want me darkest areas to be then go on from there.

This is a finished piece of my beautiful Muse, Sophie. It now hangs in our bedroom. So very grateful she was in my life.

Thanksgiving also reminds me of people that have now gone to Spirit. It's always a mixed feeling on Holidays isn't it. Well, one day we will all meet again at the Rainbow Bridge!! But Sheila? Isn't that where the animals go when they pass on? Yes it is, and that's where I'm heading. I know a lot of our friends and family will already be there or soon follow!!!

I also want to mention I am so grateful for YOU!!! Yes, you! , And we want to wish you a very warm and Happy Thanksgiving! 


Roger, Sammy, Ozzie and Lola

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

One Thing After Another

Taking a deep breath since it's all part of the adventure and believing that everything will work out.  Our friends from last year came back to the campground and since they love to work around the area, I was able to take a small breath.  Even got back to painting.

You see my work space. Haha.

This is a watercolor, colored pencil on watercolor paper. Matted and ready to go. Chocolate Napper

Last week I cut my gum and had a hell week of pain, swishing peroxide, salt water and Listerine. Happy to say all is well now and I'm back to my 'ol self. However, during the sad week, our a/c started to "rain" again. It definitely needs gaskets.  Rick said about $45.00. Not bad.

A few days later Roger opened the refrigerator and said, "Oh oh..we are loosing cold". Norcold has been noted for not being a cold fridge but we have been lucky. Even at times we have had frozen ice cream. ;-)
On to Google to see what we could do. Ok, shut it off for 24 hours and then turn it back on. And let me add on to that, eat all your frozen things quickly. Now what!!! The oil pressure, the stairs, the A/C and now the fridge? Off to Lowes and Roger bought a small refrigerator to keep milk and staples cold til we find out whats wrong.  24 hours and we turned it back on. Nothing. Ok, let's try the propane. Nothing. The electric was working but it just wouldn't get cold.  On the phone to Rick. He told me that I'd probably have to take it to a shop because if we need a new one they will have to take it out through the front windows.  Now I was back to being "homeless" in my mind.

Last September, when we were planning on going off and our slide wouldn't come in, we called a mobile unit in Cocoa.  On the phone again, I called Ron. He had a unit close by to us and over they came. My first question was if we needed a new system would we have to go to the shop? (hommmelessss) "No", he said, "We can do anything right at your site."  Happiness is.....!!!! He climbed on top of the rig and clicked a switch and said maybe that was the problem. Call us in the morning to let us know!  Last night, during our happy hour, I placed my hand into the freezer and it was..COLD!!!!

Now we plan on having Ron put in estimates for the a/c, the stairs and fix the clicky switch on the roof! Huge sigh of relief! It doesn't even phase me that our Propane gas detector died last night. Oh ya.  No worries, found a replacement on Amazon for $48.00.

Roger reassured me it's just like being in a sticks and bricks. Stuff breaks. I think since we have everything right around us in a much smaller space, it becomes more noticeable. I am glad it's happening while we are at the park rather than out in the middle of nowhere.  "We'll be all fixed before we travel come Spring", I said to Roger. He responded that for sure something else would go. Constant upkeep, but I'm loving living in our CiCi BLue.

I'll end by doing a show and tell of one of my latest commission pieces. 12" x 12" oil on canvas.  Please feel free to contact me if you'd like your pet painted. Always accept and love commission work.

Have a great night.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

It's The Little Things

Yes it is! I sold a painting last night and this morning I signed back up for a months worth of internet. Pure joy! The internet service is $30.00 a month. Roger is on his computers, yes, plural, most of the day if he's not working and I get frustrated waiting for a turn. So, I decided that when I sold work or got a commission, I would get my own service on my Chromebook.  Voila! (Plus I can now watch my netflix shows)

The other joy of a little thing is the temp going down last night so we could turn on our Fantastic Fan and have cool air streaming into the bedroom. Since our mobile repair guy cleaned out our A/C units we have had constant dripping. Yes, I called him yesterday.

My big joy, if one could call it that, (one does) is I finally have my rhythm back as I paint.  The brushes are flying and I now have a couple of projects going. Now, finding space to place all the projects as they dry!!

A few of my shells and the pendant I made from one of them.  I haven't wrapped anything in quite awhile,as you see, but it was this little thing that gave me joy that day.  I'll probably re wrap it at some point. 

The beginning stages of a 14" x 14" oil on canvas commission

Loved the eye but found it too large. Time to redo.

The redo. As I look at it it still seems too large so next I'll make the nose a bit smaller. His snout is long and skinny and I don't feel I've reached that spot as yet. No worries.

No, it's not the Blue Angels practicing overhead.  This was an actual cloud formation that we saw as we were driving down the road. I called it Stairway to Heaven for obvious reasons. This was a huge "little things" joy for me. I so expected to see my Heart dog Sophie at the top of the "stairs" wagging her tail at me.
Sometimes things like this just make you go, Hmm.  Affirmation of something else or just a cloud formation. I'll let you decide. 

This week has been the 16th anniversary of my parents passing. My Mum, the 26th and My Dad the 1st of November. Same year. Maybe they were peeking out from around that cloud the other day. I'm sure they were.

Have a great day!!


Friday, October 23, 2015

The Man In The Fishing Hat

Now there's a title for you. So Sheila, you met a man in a fishing hat? Nice! End of story. Oh no, it's a good one.!!

This morning the alarm went off at 6 A.M.. I hit the snooze button until 6:20. My lord, it was dark out there! Then I heard the "ding" of my incoming text message from Wendy asking if we were up.  The plan this morning was Roger, Wendy, Nicole (a younger person in the campground) and I were off to Cape Canaveral Seashore to collect shells. Nicole had made a beautiful small lamp from shells and we were intrigued. It may even be fun to have a class this winter for people so we were on a mission.

Roger collecting his shells. Gorgeous beach.

 Wendy collecting her shells. 

Thankfully I brought my walking stick with me. The two and a half miles we walked did a number on my hip and leg.  I was sitting here when I took this. So, what about the man with the fishing hat?

To get to this part of the beach we walked through Playalinda Beach. It's Brevard Countys nude beach and it was pretty crowded. Couples strolling and a lot of men standing and stretching.  When Roger and I traveled to St. Martin and went to the clothing optional beach there, that seemed to be something the men there like d to do. Stand and stretch, somewhat like we see the Sandhill Cranes do here when they are looking for a mate. 

So, as we stroll, what does one do in passing? My thought? The same as I would do if all were fully clothed.. say hello.  Enter the man with the fishing hat! He stood proud watching the ocean for that huge fish that would catch his line. Hi, I said, catch anything? "No", he replied, "Still waiting".  Then off I went.  I was able to get my share of shells, then found a spot and sat down, while Wendy, Nicole and Roger forged on up the beach.  I grabbed Roger's camera bag and found a soft spot to lay my head. Then for the next 30 minutes I found my new energy. The waves are larger than usual right now from storms going up or across the peninsula and the crashing started to put me to sleep. 

How could you not be renewed after laying here for awhile alone.

Now for our hike back to the car. I have to say that being the underdog of sorts, (clothed) , I felt like an outsider. Almost uncomfortable that I was dressed. There were a few moments that were comical, turning to look at scenery and seeing a quite large man bending over fighting his pants as he was putting them on. Not one of the Sandhill Cranes. 

The man with the fishing hat was standing higher on the rise of sand and I was going to pass him. The recognition. "So," I said staring solidly into his eyes, "Catch anything yet?". "It's small" he replied, then added the rain was going to hit the beach within a half hour and they'd all be clearing off the beach". "Well, have a great day", I said as I hobbled on.  

Definitely the great equalizer don't you think? A nice man and I have no idea what he does for a living, if his clothes say "well off" or poor man. Was he a lawyer, a doctor? He may have been a robber or even a murderer. (a little extreme) . He spoke well so I got the sense he was educated and..by his hat, liked to fish. 
An interesting day. I then got home, crawled onto our bed with ice and fell asleep for two hours.! 

Have a great night!!!


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Why Commissions And The Blog Are Behind

Huge sigh! No, not complaining, because without workamping we would be living under a bridge in a box.  Didn't you hear that huge groan the other day when the government said that Social Security people wouldn't be getting the annual cost of living raise? Something to do with the lower cost of gas this past summer. I heard one commentator say that he wasn't sure how that could be, since most of the senior citizens don't drive. We wondered too.

Like others who full time, we live on our Social Security. Out of that comes our RV payment, insurance for car and RV, health insurance, car payment, food, medical for dogs and their food and our electric here at the campground. Then repairs for the rig. Can you say "tight?" Would I go back? Not a chance!!!

The snowbirds will be flying back in in full force come November 1st. Roger and I are hard at work painting the bathroom shower stalls, window sills and door frames.  I try and work mornings so I can paint my work in the afternoon.

I've been calling it prison gray but I have to say it looks clean.  You can see over the windows the frame is a salmon color. That will go.

So, on another note, my favorite pj's! Fleece. Ozzie hates fleece. Last winter I bought a fuzzy purple blanket for the bed and he started biting holes in it. By the end of the season to keep warm I'd put my arm through the holes to keep the blanket around me.  I had been really careful of these pj's. The other day I took them out of the washer dryer, folded them and laid them on the bed. Put them on that night and felt a breeze! Can you say SAD!!!

Our little spot of heaven. I went inside for a moment and when I returned Sammy had my chair. He stresses when the other two kids bark so he will either climb up on me or if I'm not there, my chair. Such a goof.

Ok, now to paint. I'm grateful for our job here at the campground and grateful for my gift of art. Come November, the preparations for the winter months will be done.  People will love it!!

So my Etsy store is now open.  Sheila Wedegis Art  I'll be putting more and more up, hopefully daily, but soon it will be!!  If you have suggestions or would like to see your pet in paint please let me know. No purchase will be required. Just fun! Have a great night!!


Monday, October 12, 2015

The Perfect Shower

Nice shower!!

Since we have returned from vacation we have been trimming bushes and doing all kinds of work around the park. In the bathrooms there were two shower stalls that had major leaks. Today the plumbers came to knock out cement blocks to access the valves. They replaced those and were to put covers over the holes for easy availability if it's ever needed. (I dread going in the bathroom tomorrow. The last I saw it was a disaster and I'm the person who cleans the bathrooms.)

The water in the park was shut off from 9:00 A.M. til about 3:00 P.M. this afternoon and when it came on our water flow, in CiCi Blue, was just a trickle. On no. Roger had changed the house filter not too long ago and the outside water filter just before we left for Georgia.  Between the house filter and the outside filter, attached to our house, we have great water at all times.  It was just barely coming out the water. Could dirt and debris come through the line and plug it? Roger went out and took off the filter. I could see him doing his "hmm" face.  He came in and went back out with a new filter. (always good to buy more than one at a time.) 

I asked his if debris had plugged up the filter that was on and he replied, "It was red Georgia clay!" Holy cow. I know while camping it was everywhere. On our shoes, our clothes, our dogs and on our bodies.

A shower photo?? When we get a new filter on the water line it's a race to take the first shower and I got it!! The pressure is perfect and the spray beats down on your back. "Ahhhhhhhhhhhh" Heaven!! Clean and happy, what more could one ask for.!!!

When we lived in a sticks and bricks, and also having an art studio, I worked every day. I swore I would get back into that and build up a new inventory for my store on Etsy.  (Not opened as yet) So yesterday I drew and painted the beginnings of the sheep. A friend in Scotland took the photo and has given me permission to use it. When it's finished I'll tell you the story behind her. (The sheep) Dianne is taking a photo for me of the sheeps older brother. Loppy Lugs.  I so know you want to hear the whole story!! ;-)

I took this out our front slide window. Just a beautiful cloud and such a peaceful sight. 

Have a great evening and we will chat again soon!


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

A Little Bit Of This And A Bit Of That..

Thought I would just do a show and tell of our journey! We spent two nights at a truck stop and I have to say it was actually fun. Our CiCi Blue was transformed into a "sub" and we were just fine.  The trucks came and went. We did meet one trucker who felt bad we were broke down. I asked him how long truckers needed to stay at the stop and he said they can drive around 12 to 15 hours (if I remember correctly) but had to rest for 10. Some did and of course, some didn't. As they came in not an inch of space was wasted.  The rigs would back into their spaces and leave, seriously, inches of space between other trucks and us.  I could have reached out and touched the rig next to us. (Almost).

What we look like inside with our slides pulled in. Now, picture 3 large dogs and two large humans maneuvering about the coach! No humans or animals were injured during this time.

Every bit of space is used when on the move. The shower worked perfectly for laundry, art supplies and other odds and ends. I even see a garbage bag in there!!

I was excited about my time to drive but Roger fell in love with driving and I never got a chance on this trip.

Lola was a wreck every time we started to roll. The only place she was content was at my feet. Sammy, however, just snugged up on the blanket and slept. A boy after my own heart. Ozzie was asleep on the couch.

View from my seat. I had to get accustomed to seeing that white line. Looking out at the rear view mirror I could see were still inside the line but from where I was it looked like we were on top or over it.  I would wave my hand every so often to let Roger know to get to the left a bit. He was fine. (Loss of control on my part.) 

CiCi Blue drove beautifully coming home. We were holding our breath though. Even Sammy.

When the stress got to be too much...Lola is a great pillow.

And we made it back safe and sound. 

Our plan? We need to get the coach worked on that's for sure. We are making a list of "needed" things. This week we have been concentrating on getting the RV Park looking good for the returning people and I have been rearranging my art supplies getting ready to get back to working my art full time once again.  Once we are in the dry season I can set up a little area outside as a "studio". I'll keep you posted on that. 

Ok, have a great night. Roger put a new water filter in the coach and our water pressure is amazing.!!! Yes happiness is a great shower spray!!!