Mixed Media Journal

Dear Liza,

I have started an art challenge: To make a piece of art everyday for the whole month of October. My friend Ruth Inman posted a list of things to give us ideas, like ‘bread’, ‘sea creatures’, ‘salt water taffy’, and all sorts of things.

Auntie Bridgett, who is very sweet, gave me a big hardback, spiral bound notebook to use. It has nice heavy paper so I can draw, paint, or even glue things down to make a collage!

The cover of my Fall “Art Journal”

I started with decorating the cover in Fall colors. All our magazines are full of oranges and browns, so it was easy to put together. I even found a nice picture of Multnomah Falls to be right in the middle.

First page…

The first page came from my own need to make something seasonal and orange. Crayons, then watercolors, then some words, and taaa daaah!

The first of the challenges was ‘bread’. When I think of bread I go straight to a French baguette, eaten on the banks of the Seine at sunset. This piece is watercolor, colored pencils, and waterproof ink.

Bread…..

Ruth’s second challenge is “alcohol”, so I thought of wine enjoyed while looking out the window of a classic California winery… yummy.

Wine….

The one I did this morning was my favorite so far, because it was about YOU. The actual topic was sea creatures, but I painted them at the Aquarium, with you.

Liza at the Kelp Forest…

I am going to take a break for the evening and not look at the challenge for tomorrow…. until tomorrow.

Keep making art!

Love,

Grandma Judy

Unfocused Rage, Intentional Joy

Dear Liza,

Our country is a very nervous place these days. People are worried about the Corona Virus, people being out of work, and political upheaval in our cities. I have been upset, too, and am doing what I can to cope.

I have donated supplies to the braver souls in downtown Portland who are standing up to (President) Trump’s Federal goons. I have written my Senators and Representatives to encourage them to use the power of Congress to censure these illegal and unwanted actions.

But other people have other, less positive coping mechanisms. One unhappy soul has been wandering around our dear Lone Fir Cemetery, kicking over beautiful, historic headstones.

Yes, I am angry and wish he (Folks have see him and say it’s a man) hadn’t done it, but mostly I am sad for him. I mean, how bad does your life have to be that you take it out on the dead?

Is this who we are becoming?

But then I see acts of love, large and small, in evidence all over the neighborhood, and I find my faith in my species returning.

People are working in their gardens, writing encouraging words on sidewalks, making beautiful, positive murals, and donating time and money to good causes. People are learning to smile with their eyes over the masks to show folks they are loved and appreciated.

Life is good, it really is. Not always easy, but good.

Love,

Grandma Judy

Monopoly!

Dear Liza,

Since we are all inside together more, we have been playing more games. Auntie Bridgett and I play Bananagrams, and we three all play Scrabble.

Counting out the cash to begin…

I should have known it would, eventually, come to this. Last night we played Monopoly.

Auntie Bridgett spent a lot of time in Jail…

We tried playing it together years ago, but Grandpa Nelson’s tendency to just wipe us out, every time, sort of took the fun out of it. So, we put the game in the cupboard. The way, way, back of the cupboard.

I was the top hat, Auntie Bridgett the dog, and Grandpa Nelson, the race car

And last night, after Straight from New York pizza and a nice Beaujolais, we tried again. Determined to not repeat former mistakes, I went in with the strategy of buying everything I landed on, even if I had to mortgage properties to do it. I bought, I swapped, I built, and before the wine was gone, I won! It was weird, but true. I was a tycoon!

That’s a stack of 16 hundreds!

So now I know that the winning strategy is to overbuy, overextend, and overbuild. No wonder I never won before! I had been using good sense. Turns out, in Monopoly, greed is what works.

I’m glad real life isn’t like that.

Love,

Grandma Judy