Thursday, January 29, 2009


I got this in an email. I thought it might interest others.

After Reading this, you will NEVER look at a banana in the same way again!

Bananas Contain three natural sugars - sucrose, fructose and glucose combined with fiber, a banana gives an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy. Research has proven that just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout. No wonder the banana is the number one fruit with the world's leading athletes. But energy isn't the only way a banana can help us keep fit. It can also help overcome or prevent a substantial number of illnesses and conditions, making it a must to add to our daily diet.

According to a recent survey undertaken by MIND amongst people suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating a banana. This is because bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel better.

Forget the pills -- eat a banana. The vitamin B6 it contains regulates blood glucose levels, which can affect your mood.

High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anemia.

Blood Pressure:
This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt, making it the perfect way to beat blood pressure. So much so, the US Food and Drug Administration has just allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit's ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke.

Brain Power:
200 students at a Twickenham (Middlesex England ) school were helped through their exams this year by eating bananas at breakfast, break, and lunch in a bid to boost their brain power Research has shown that the potassium-packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert.

High in fiber, including bananas in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to laxatives.

One of the quickest ways of curing a hangover is to make a banana milkshake, sweetened with honey. The banana calms the stomach and, with the help of the honey, builds up depleted blood sugar levels, while the milk soothes and re-hydrates your system.

Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body, so if you suffer from heartburn, try eating a banana for soothing relief.

Morning Sickness:
Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness

Mosquito bites:
Before reaching for the insect bite cream, try rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin. Many people find it amazingly successful at reducing swelling and irritation.

Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous system.

Overweight and at work?
Studies at the Institute of Psychology in Austria found pressure at work leads to gorging on comfort food like chocolate and chips. Looking at 5,000 hospital patients, researchers found the most obese were more likely to be in high-pressure jobs. The report concluded that, to avoid panic-induced food cravings, we need to control our blood sugar levels by snacking on high carbohydrate foods every two hours to keep levels steady.

The banana is used as the dietary food against intestinal disorders because of its soft texture and smoothness. It is the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress in over-chronicler cases. It also neutralizes over-acidity and reduces irritation by coating the lining of the stomach.

Temperature control:
Many other cultures see bananas as a "cooling" fruit that can lower both the physical and emotional temperature of expectant mothers. In Thailand , for example, pregnant women eat bananas to ensure their baby is born with a cool temperature.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD):
Bananas can help SAD sufferers because they contain the natural mood enhancer tryptophan.

Bananas can also help people trying to give up smoking. The B-6 and B-12 they contain, as well as the potassium and magnesium found in them, help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal.

Potassium is a vital mineral which helps normalize the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates your body's water balance. When we are stressed, our metabolic rate rises, thereby reducing our potassium levels. These can be re-balanced with the help of a high-potassium banana snack.

According to research in "The New England Journal of Medicine," eating bananas as part of a regular diet can cut the risk of death from strokes by as much as 40%!

So, a banana really is a natural remedy for many ills. When you compare it to an apple, it has four times the protein, twice the carbohydrates, three times the phosphorus, five times the vitamin A and iron, and twice the other vitamins and minerals. It is also rich in potassium and is one of the best value foods around. So maybe its time to change that well-known phrase so that we say, "A banana a day keeps the doctor away!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


I just finished another page in the Moley. This one was my baby Ditto. I will fill the other side with a few other things and make it a tribute page. I just have to look up when she was born. She was such a sweet little thing and we sure miss her.

I think that puts all my animals in the book. I will probably do a couple more, at least of Penny. I would love to do her eyes in color. They are the most beautiful goldish color.

I now have 7 1/2 full pages to do. Getting there slow but sure. I have been neglecting all my other projects tho. I haven't done anything for the scavenger hunt this time so will have to manage a few later today. The last day for it is the 29th so I will hopefully slide by just at the last minute.

We will be getting the addresses for the new project...24 of something... I still have a few left to finish for the Out of Africa. And I owe two ATCs to Toad Hollow Drawing Club. One a valentine. The one for Scribble Talk I have ready and waiting for a name and address of whom to send to. And last but not least for Drawspace. Those are all sent and most have arrived. I mailed a last add on one today to Ohio.

I suppose I am not too far behind but I felt a little pressure for a bit from the Moleskine. When I get that mailed off, I feel I can breathe again. Of course then I will worry that it makes it safely. When you are a worrier, you always find something to worry about.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

January VSD

I almost forgot to do the VSD this month. I have missed the last couple of months and wanted to do this one. I need to get back into the swing of doing it. So I hurriedly did a partial of the peeled orange. About 15-20 minutes work in my Moleskine Sketchbook with colored pencils.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Boles Nursery en plein air

Here are some photos I took at the weekly outing. We went to a local plant nursery where we had been during the summer heat. It was a lot nicer with a touch of cold weather.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

24 Of Something

Goody a new project is starting at Wetcanvas. You pick a theme and do 24 things of the theme. I already know what my theme will be. I have had it as an idea I've been kicking around for quite some time. It is memories from my childhood. Probably toys. I have gathered quite a few props. I was going to make a still life with all the things I used to play with when I was young.

Of course as a girl, I always had a lot of dolls. In fact I think I had a collection of about 20 different dolls at one time. My aunt and my mom loved buying them for me. They bought them until I was in 8th grade I think, and that last year I ended up with 4 dolls for Christmas. A bride doll, a 3 year old 3 ft doll, a rag doll my mom made, and a different brand and type adult doll like Barbie.

Other memories I have are playing with modeling clay. My two brothers and I each got a packet of 4 colors at least once a year at Christmas. We would play with that stuff for hours. At first we kept it separated into the colors but eventually it would get all mixed up and end up gray.

I would make little people, furniture, animals, and play house with them. I don't remember what my brothers made with theirs, but they had just as much fun with the clay as I did. Such an inexpensive toy and one that kept us busy for hours and hours and kept our imagination on fire.

I also played jacks and pickup sticks. Since I had no sisters, mom got stuck playing with me. We would play so many different games of jacks. Back then the balls were more rubbery; not like the plastic ones that come with jacks now. The new ones have a seam around them that makes the balls bounce way out of control. I'm sure I learned hand eye coordination and many other useful things from these two toys.

Then there were paper dolls. I would play with them and imagine all kinds of scenarios that they were in. At least as many scenarios as I had in my rather naive head at that time. Times were much more simple and my parents didn't have the money to expose us to the pleasures of dining out, Disneyland, or other "kid" things. Even our vacations were a time for my parents to get their yearly visit with their own parents. No nonsense trips there and back in a week with my dad driving straight thru (one trip a year was to Oklahoma).

Dad would stop along the road and catch a couple hours sleep and my brothers and I slept in the back seat. Mom dozed in the passenger seat. We stopped only long enough to get a loaf of bread, bologna, and something to drink. The Oklahoma trips were 2 days and 2 nights in the car going both ways. Thankfully mom's parents lived in Gridley, CA so that trip was much shorter. We had no idea that this was a normal vacation for everyone else.

Other things I remember from that simple life were penny candy, candy bars were 5 cents, marbles, little boxes that opened to secret openings, Mexican jumping beans, candy cigarettes, The Walt Disney show and Bonanza on Sunday evenings, running thru sprinklers to get cool, homemade "spoon" candy (fudge that didn't set up), homemade cinnamon rolls, homemade dinner rolls (and the wonderful smell), hopscotch, tetherball, a pot of beans cooking all day on the stove, and hurrying to be first to take my bath Sunday night so I would be ready to watch Disney. (Another thing I was unaware of until I was in junior high...that people took baths more than once a week)

It's funny when you grow up you only have your own life as a marker. We were very sheltered. Unlike most kids today, we did not go on sleepovers. My mom controlled when or if we had friends over and very rare that we got to go to someone else's house. My mom was scared to death something would happen to one of us. So we were not privy to what other people's daily life was like. I didn't know we were poor or that other families didn't live just like we did.

What an awakening when I got out in the world. Many embarrassing moments happened because of what I didn't know. In many ways I think that more simple way of life was much better. We depended on each other, we ate what we were given, and were able to occupy our time without all the electronics or always having to have a friend over. But I sure would miss my computer, my dishwasher, and my cell phone.

Thanks for taking my walk down memory lane with me.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Tribute to KC

KC was our beautiful, special Golden Retriever. She passed away at the age of 14 in Aug of 2004.
I planned to include some drawings of herin the Moleskine Project book so got busy tonight and made a page for her.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Page from the Moleskin Project

Here is a peek inside my Moleskine Project book. This is our Yellow Lab Penny. She came to us when she was 9 months. She had separation anxiety. She had been turned over to a shelter, taken out as soon as she was ready, and then for the next week or so shuffled around to 3 different households.

After hearing her story and seeing her, we couldn't stand the thought of her being shuffled any longer. Once here, you stay. For animals at least.

When we brought her home, hubby left the next day for out of town work. The poor dog thought she lost another one. So when I went to do errands, my house suffered a Penny tornado. I even posted photos back then of the house when I got home.

After much love and working with her by taking short trips away from home and coming right back (many times in a day), she finally learned to trust that we would be returning. She still gets nervous if she can't find me, but she now knows she is home. She will be 3 this year and a joy for both of us.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Moleskine Project

Well I finally am putting something in my Moleskine. I sealed all the pages already filled as I found they were getting smeared. But...HORRORS...a couple of the colored pages bled thru the paper to the other side. Seems this one blue violet I used to add to black was the culprit.

Nothing can be done to fix it. It will now just have to go that way. I will now back graphite to graphite and colored pencil to colored pencil. It's a shame as I did a picture of the baby across the street and her two teen parents. The baby has a blue mark on her face. And my hubby has the same marks.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

More floral pictures from the trade

I finished the flower/plant cards for the trade on Drawspace. In fact they went out in the mail yesterday. Fourteen little cards out in the world traveling to their new homes. The ones in the US could start arriving tomorrow.

What a great bunch of people on this trade. We usually have one male. This time 4 males joined (their luck that it was the floral one). But they have kept us entertained by posting about their macho deprivation time. In fact one said after doing a flower card, he was going to go watch hockey, eat peanuts, drink whiskey, and spit on the floor to regain his masculine self. We are having a grand time laughing thru it all. I did take pity on the guys and didn't give them frilly flowers.

Well it is that time of the month that my hair gets a makeover. Time to wash away the gray. Then a couple errands. I have never liked getting my hair messed with. It's now a necessity as I hate dealing with coloring and dyes at home. The one thing I have no patience with is coloring my hair or hair appointments in general. So I take a blank card and sit and draw.

I can't see to read without my glasses and who wants the stems of their glasses all messed up with yukky color. So I was just sitting with a glazed face while others around me were reading "glamor" magazines or tabloid stuff. Not that I wouldn't want to read the tabloid stuff, but not trying to squint my way thru which in turn would bring on a headache. So I draw instead.

Have you ever tried to draw in a hair salon? It's not easy. Too much activity. Not a good view. And not too interesting subjects. It would be ok to draw people but they are not at their best. Aluminum foil squares all over their heads folded into these little hair pockes with colored stuff oozing. Hair rollers. Spikes of hair going every which way with nastly looking, unappetizing color (sometimes even purple yuk) all over. If men had to see women in this situation, I'm not sure they would ever marry. And what's really funny...women don't seem at all embarrassed for other women to see them like this.

Well back to flowers. Here are my finished florat ATC cards. Now I can get down to business on my little Moleskine Project book. The time for it to fly away is fast approaching, and I have not even put a dent in filling it.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

My Sketchcrawl Day

The weather here was really foggy today and better to stay off the roads. So I decided to do my sketching at home. I had a very good time except now my right shoulder is killing me from all the circles I made with the colored pencil. Ouch!

You can click each picture to see it full sized.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Drawspace Trading Cards

I have 9 ATCs finished for the Drawspace flower/plant trade. I haven't mailed them yet but I have posted in the forum that I would be posting them here. If they want to see and try to guess which one they will get, they can. If they want it to be a surprise, they just can't visit my blog.

These are the 6 that I have scanned so far.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

21st Worldwide Sketchcrawl

The next sketchcrawl is #21. It is January 16 which is this next Saturday. I think hubby is off that weekend. He has plans for us to go to Costco. But I will be participating. Even if I have to find a chair in Costco to sit down and sketch. Maybe we will go for breakfast before and I can get one there too. It should be interesting. I do love people watching at Costco. Such a variety of things and people. But they don't really stand still for long. Even when they are sampling the tidbits they hand out for samples.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Moleskine Project

Here is the front and back covers of my Moleskine Project Book.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

My Goals for 2009

I haven't thought too much about this but I guess that I should. Especially as the year seems to fly by so fast. I do have several things I want to work on during the coming year.

1. I want to continue to improve my colored pencil art. I have been doing it about a year now and even though I still consider graphite my medium of choice, colored pencil is slowly working it's way to the top. The main thing I would like to work on this year with colored pencil is portraits.

I can do portraits of animals and get the shading and contours of faces, but when I try to do the same with people faces with color, I seem to have a hard time. The faces seem to look dirty to me. And as I've admitted many times, I just don't "see" the different colors in faces.

I see many beautiful portraits that have blues, greens, purples and many other colors. But when I look at a face, I just can't seem to see those colors. I think maybe I should just start with one color and try with it. Since I can do portraits in the Derwent Drawing pencils using only 3 colors, there should not be this much problem for me. But....

2. I have been very lax at drawing every day (which I preach to people all the time). I was drawing every day for over a year or so. Lately I go days without doing anything at all. I have even stopped doing much in the Scavenger Hunts. I plan to participate more in the hunts and draw something daily. I'd better hurry for today as I haven't done anything yet today.

3. I need to spend less time on the computer. When I am home, I spend off and on all day on the computer. I will check email and the threads at Wetcanvas and that will lead to something else and on and on. When you do that several times a day (and quite late in the night), you don't get much of anything else done.

4. I want to spend more time reading some of the art books I have. I like to read but since I found art, I very rarely read a book. Plus I fall asleep reading (and with the late nights, I fall asleep sitting up in front of the computer).

5. I need to eat healthier. I have gained so much weight since last January. I had lost weight from my Knee surgery but made up for that and then some. I don't eat right and I like Dr. Pepper and sweets. Not a good combination.

6. I want to spend more time on my Bible studies and going to church. I have let that become a once in awhile thing and that is not good enough. I need to feed my spiritual side more and show my appreciation for the life I have been given.

7. Back to art. I want to spend some time doing some artwork that gets framed and can be used for hanging in the local art association gallery. Most of what I do never gets framed unless I am doing it for a competition/show at the gallery.

8. I will continue to enter the open shows at the gallery where my artwork hangs for a month during each competition. And I will continue to go with my plein air group on Wednesday mornings.

9. I plan to get more sleep. My days and nights have been turned around. I don't feel as good lately because I don't get enough sleep. With a truck driver for a spouse, my sleep gets disturbed at different times each day. His schedule changes every day. He sometimes leaves in the wee hours. Even though I don't get up with him, I am half awake while he is getting ready for work. Then can't get back to sleep.

Other times I will be up late, help him get off to work, then go to bed. Even when I go to bed at a decent time, I tend to lie awake until the wee hours. And by wee, I mean 4 or 5 am. Then I sleep till 10 unless the dogs wake me to go out. Those times leave me with a headache (and the falling asleep sitting up at the computer).

10. I will try to at least keep my house a little more orderly. (and that doesn't mean ironing sheets Katherine-can't believe anyone irons sheets) I don't even iron shirts. When I put something in the dryer, it had better come out ready to wear.

There are quite a few more things I could list but I will stop at 10. These 10 will be a hard enough road for me to follow. If I am getting more sleep, when will I spend more time on housework, art, Bible study, etc, etc, etc. So you see my problem. Anyone know how to stretch more hours out of a day?

Happy New Year to all.