Sunday, December 30, 2007

Playa del Carmen Art

I didn't do any drawing while we were in Mexico (see 12/16 post). I just didn't feel like it. I did alot of reading and swimming in the pool. Out on the hotel pool courtyard, there were two artisan carts. One was a woman who created beautiful wool rugs and table runners. She had her loom set up and worked on pieces right there. We looked through a big stack of rugs that she made and I fell in love with this one. I bought it to hang in our stairwell.

I love the fish and the bright colors. It's very heavy and tightly woven - and is made from the wool of Mexican sheep! I sewed a rod pocket on the back and hung it with a curtain rod and cord.

The second artist created pottery. His cart was filled with ceramic bisqueware and he drew Mexican designs on the pieces (or you could get a blank one to create your own design). He had umbrella tables set up with paints and brushes. We painted the background colors (two coats) and he did the distinctive embellishments and flourishes. The pieces were glazed and fired overnight, ready to pick up at 10 AM the next day! It was a great way to spend two afternoons.

I painted this platter and a blue bird/flower vase.


While painting I met some interesting folks: A woman from Canada whose friend won a free trip to Mexico and invited her along. A newlywed from Ireland who was there on her honeymoon. A couple from Wisconsin who are planning to start a winery on their farm. Two young women from Japan.

So, even though I didn't draw, I did do some art!

Emma Pod

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Playa del Carmen Trip, December 2007

We recently returned from a week in Playa del Carmen, on the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. We stayed at the Secrets Capri Resort, which is about five miles north of Playa (and about 25 miles south of Cancun). The hotel is away from the bustle and noise of the city and was very relaxing.

Here are a couple of shots from the hotel, pool, bar and beach. The ocean waves were high, so our beach was closed for a few days. There were storms farther east and we got some wind, rain and churned up water. The pool was OK, but we had hoped for that clear, turquoise Caribbean Sea to swim in.



Below is 5th Avenue, a marketplace in Playa del Carmen. There lots of activity and things were alot more expensive than I thought they'd be! You can't take five steps without someone crying, "Amiga! Amiga! Lady! Come look!!!"

On the left below is a Mayan bench on Mamitas Beach in Playa del Carmen. We wish we would have discovered this beach sooner because the water was beautiful! I didn't take a shot of the beach, but here's a beach pic I borrowed from Karen's Public Gallery found on Picasa Web Albums.


One day we took a snorkel trip from Aqua World in Cancun - we used Jet Skis to get to the reef. The snorkeling was not great because of the high waves and murky water, but at least we got into the water! Because of the choppy waves, it was hard to keep the jet ski level. One couple capsized and we almost did when our front end went under a wave.

Here are shots of ruins at Tulum:

Even though the weather was not the best, we had a nice time! The hotel was great! We relaxed! We got some sun and shopping! The people were friendly! The food was great! And we weren't at work! What's not to love?

Emma Pod

Monday, December 03, 2007

EDM #147: Draw Something Made of Wood

Here is my drawing for the Everyday Matters Challenge #147, to draw something made of wood. I bought this carved wooden monk a long time ago at a monastery - I can't remember which monastery or even in which state. It may be from New Melleray Abbey in Iowa, or Blue Cloud Abbey in South Dakota, or Mount Angel Abbey here in Oregon.

Emma Pod

PS - Snakebite writes...maybe it's from Abbey Normal. And I think, what the heck is Abbey Normal??? So I do a Google search.

Abbey Normal is:
Who knew???

Saturday, November 10, 2007

EDM Challenge #144 Draw Something Square

Here's my drawing for something square......OK, something square"ish". It's a new tote bag I got earlier this month. Tomorrow's my birthday and I bought this for an early present. The flash made it a bit paler than the drawing really is. One can never have too many bags.

Emma Pod

Monday, November 05, 2007

EDM #142 Draw Something Hot

The EDM Challenge #142 is to draw something hot. So, I decided to combine two of my favorite hot things: coffee and Hawaii.

It's been gray, foggy, and cold here in Portland, Oregon. It's no accident that folks in the Northwest are coffee addicts....we use it to self-medicate when the sun disappears for months at a time and the rain soaks through everything. And now that we had to change our clocks back, it gets dark sooooo early.

So, I turn to coffee and memories of Hawaii! This is one of my favorite mugs from Maui. It's tall and narrow.

When I use it, I think about having breakfast out on the lanai,

looking at the ocean.....

and the palm trees

and the clear blue sky

and the flowers

Emma Pod

Monday, October 29, 2007

EDM Challenge #140: Draw an Envelope

Here's my drawing of an envelope. I'm not crazy about it, but I finished it and decided to post it anyway. It's made of kraft paper.

I drew it while watching a PBS show on Charles Schultz, the artist who drew "Peanuts". Do you ever draw something and remember what TV program you were watching, or what music you were listening to, or what what was going on in your mind at the time, or how you were feeling? I find the associations amazing!

I'm still working too many hours and going in on the weekends. But, I'm trying to reclaim my inner space and outer life. I'll remember that and Charlie Brown when I look back on this drawing. At least the string is not tied shut and the flap is half open! I take that as a good sign that escape is imminent.

I guess art really is therapy!

Emma Pod

Sunday, October 28, 2007

EDM Challenge #141 - Draw Something With Bristles

This weekend I tried drawing several things with bristles. I started with my purple, battery powered toothbrush and drew it three times. It still looked lame. Then I tried drawing my old utility scrub brush that has lots of bent and curvy bristles. Bad. Then I settled on some of my hair painting bristles and these looked OK to post.

I have highlighted and dyed my hair since I was in high school. I also used to give myself perms. I can't begin to count the times that I've screwed it up - too light, too dark, too frizzy, too burnt, too orange, even too purple once! In college I highlighted my hair too light and then gave myself a too frizzy perm. I finally bought a hat to cover it up and a boy asked me out because of my cute hat!

I've learned the difference between ash tones and warm tones. I've learned to use drabber (that involved the purple hair in an attempt to correct the too orange). Over the years I've collected a number of hair implements. Here are three, with bristles. I have another one that I may add later...

I used to pay someone to do my hair, but they make mistakes about as often as I do. So, I just do it myself. I've learned through trial and error (and 10:00 PM trips to the drug store). By now I have a whole beauty supply shop in my bathroom and can fix just about anything!

Emma Pod

Saturday, October 20, 2007

EDM Challenge #139: Draw Something with a Handle

I've truly been a Pod Person for the last few months. Since May I've been working in interim management jobs that require way too much of my time. Over the summer I filled in for a woman who had a baby. I dealt with moving a department, packing up and storing stuff, planning an office remodel, and hiring some replacement folks. That job was campus based and it was great experience, but very busy.

Now I have a one year interim position and am again working with remodels, merged departments, hiring new staff, and overseeing various multi-campus office locations. It's a challenge and I'm learning alot of good stuff. But it has been overwhelming!

So, tonight I decided to start my drawing again. I even bought some new paints recently. These 10 hour days and Saturday office visits have got to stop!

I was thinking about how to get a handle on my life, my time, my work, my body, my mind....and tried to think of an image that would help. I started drawing a handle holding all of those elements in one piece. I was reminded of this old garden tool and went looking for it. It's at least 20 years old. I probably bought it in Iowa City, Iowa. It used to be shiny blue, but now it's worn, bent and rusty. But it still works!

So, I'm going to use this old thing as a metaphor to remind me to keep a handle on work, self, body. I think I'll take it to my office. I'm going to work less and stress less about it. I'm going to recapture my sense of self and creativity and home-life. I'm going to exercise more, eat better, and hopefully my face will quit breaking out.

Most of all, I will quit trying to be perfect!!

Emma Pod (and trying to stop)

Thursday, September 06, 2007

EDM #131: Draw a Spray Bottle

I am behind in my Everyday Matters drawing projects. Last night I drew #131, a spray bottle. I use it when I'm out in the sun and get too hot. I also sometimes use it when I'm ironing and need to dampen fabric in order to get wrinkles out.

Last weekend, we were talking with friends, remembering how our South Dakota Grandmothers ironed clothes. They used a glass pop bottle with a sprinkler cap attached. I remember my Grandmother used to dampen linens with her bottle and roll them up to get them evenly damp before she'd iron. Aren't we lucky to have steam irons?

Emma Pod

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Rockin' Girl Blogger

My blog friend Brenda at Amber Ridge Desert listed me as one of her "Rockin Girl Blogger" awardees! Isn't that nice of her?

I did a little Google search and discovered that Roberta Ferguson started the
"Rockin' Girl Blogger"
award on June 18th, 2007 to celebrate female bloggers. Here's the link to her post:
"I’m starting something today, right here, right now. You get to be in on it. It’ll be fun and it will build us a community of one sort: girl bloggers. Or, better yet, “Rockin’ Girl Bloggers”. How do you like that?
This one-time deal comes with a nifty badge as well... Let’s make a ginormous list of rockin’ girl bloggers. I am going to tag some of the rockin’ girl bloggers that I read regularly. From there, they can tag some more rockin’ girl bloggers, and so forth."
Brenda says we're to select four blogs and pass along the award. Here are mine:

Since my sister, The Old Bag, got me started with blogging last summer, I'm listing her as a Rockin' Girl Blogger. She started blogging a long time ago and has persevered through work, graduate school, moving, travels and cycling.

Laserone is a Rockin' Girl Blogger for sure. I first found her through her Everybody Loves Riley site, which is devoted to her adorable pug Riley. My friend Kathleen has a son named Riley and he always thinks it's funny that his name is so popular for pets.

Arty Velarde is another Rockin' Girl Blogger. She creates wonderful drawings of chickens and lawn bowlers. And we share a fascination with Roadside Attractions.

Marta is also a Rockin' Girl Blogger. She does some beautiful artwork and has a great blog. I've just gotten acquainted with her work recently.

There are so many more wonderful women bloggers! It's been great fun getting to know you.

Emma Pod

Monday, July 30, 2007

Sketchbook Drawings

I thought I'd post a couple of my sketchbook drawings from our Sunriver trip earlier in July.

The first is a tree right by the patio of the condo
we rented. I used Micron pen and colored pencils.

The second, below, is a sketch of Jack sleeping, in pen and watercolor.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

EDM# 129: People Doing Something (for Snakebite)

This is sort of a stretch - a fellow blogger named Snakebite asked me to draw a chainring. What's a chainring you ask?? It's a bicycle part.

Snakebite is a South Dakotan, like me. He is a bicycle fanatic who stumbled upon my blog through my sister The Old Bag. She is also a cyclist.

So, for this EDM Challenge, I drew a hand holding a chainring (I believe it's the big ring that holds the pedal). The chainrings are really quite pretty! I guess they are also called chainwheels or cottered cranks.

I was looking through the EDM list and realized this is also Challenge #35 - Draw a Bicycle or a part of one!

The original photo that I used is from this website:

So, Snakebite, this one's for you!

Emma Pod

Sunday, July 22, 2007

EDM #127: Draw a Skyscape

Here's my drawing for the #127 skyscape challenge. It's a view of the sky and the front entrance to the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel on the Big Island of Hawaii. I used a photo from our trip last December. I really love the Hawaiian sky and palm trees....I find it endlessly beautiful.

Emma Pod

Thursday, July 12, 2007

EDM #126: Draw a Sponge

I've been out of the Everyday Matters loop for a few weeks. Vacation and work have taken me away from sketching this summer.

Tonight I looked around the house to see if we had any sponges. I couldn't find any, so I bought a pack of 99 cent sponges at the store. Here they are on one of my antique plates. They kind of look like slices of sponge cake.

Emma Pod

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Sunriver, Oregon

We were in Sunriver, Oregon from June 30th - July 5th. Here are some shots of our stay.


Sunriver is a resort community located in the high desert of central Oregon. The sky is blue, the trees are tall, the air smells like pine, and it is hot. Sunriver is an outdoorsy, casual, active place with horses, river rafting, bike paths, swimming, tennis and golf (skiing in winter). We rent a condo on the edge of town where we can see horse pastures, the Deschutes River and Mt. Bachelor.

Below are pictures of the Deschutes River that winds through fields on the west side of town.


I loved this rustic fence with wire that surrounds the horse pasture.

The horse stables and pastures are right next to the river:


The house and path above are typical of Sunriver - there are no sidewalks. Houses are built into the trees with the forest as a yard.


Wildflowers and boulders:

We always stay at the Meadow House complex. The view on the right is from the front deck of our unit, right on the golf course.


The Village Mall of Sunriver has little shops and bike rentals.


Two more shots of the river and field next to it.


We had a restful, relaxing time. Jack especially enjoyed the trip. He got to see deer, horses, gophers and other dogs. He would sit on the deck and just sniff the air.

Emma Pod