Monday, October 31, 2011

I finished reading Ella Minnow Pea! Honestly, in the middle of my reading I started suspecting that the phrase they were all looking for is going to be a phase that somebody accidentally said. I also found it very difficult to read the letters written in graphemes. I am not crazy about this book because the whole situation seems way to exaggerated and unrealistic. First of all, it seems to me that the author had so many real stories to use, that happened in the United States and describe the same craziness of the government's corruption and plain stupidity. Second, in the situation described there were so many other ways for people to avoid all the negative outcomes, and instead many of them chose the most illogical ways. However, I enjoyed reading the book just because, and I am looking forward to reading the new one.

Friday, October 28, 2011

I just realized that I will have to go to English class on the evening of our fourth wedding anniversary. I am not hinting at anything and I do not like to miss classes, but I hate when something like that happens. Well, I guess we will have to celebrate it before AND after the class! :-)
Every year when the time is coming to the celebration of our wedding anniversary, our families and we are a little confused when to actually celebrate. It is because we officially got married on the seventh of November, 2007, in Orlando, FL, but then we flew to LA and had a wedding ceremony and reception for our families on the seventeenth of November, 2007. For our relatives the last date seems to be more appropriate for congratulations, but we just usually congratulate each other twice. Another reason not to be sad about the Monday bad timing! :-)
I was writing the naturalism essay today, and while I was researching about this type of literature, I found out that a lot of artists and writers who I know and like were using this style in their art. It is very impressive and seems close to what I want to be doing in terms of art. It is interesting for me how people get affected by outside uncontrollable forces or even other people and how they take it. It might be my own very loose interpretation of naturalism mixed with romanticism, determinism and realism, but it works for me when I try to realize what my painting should be saying to viewers.
I have three days of art starting tonight, and I am planning to move quickly and effectively to do everything that I planned.
Oh, I also need to finish reading LMNOP, as I call it. I really thought it was called this way when you announced it for the first time! haha!
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

I keep fighting with myself for becoming a better person, but, as yesterday showed, I have a long way to go. It was such a little event that made me realize that.
I was walking with my dog on the front yard of our house in the evening. It was pretty dark. I have to say that we do not live in a very nice neighborhood, and I do not really feel very safe to be outside at night. Suddenly some guy ran out from the corner of our house. He seemed big and violent in his approaching me. But he tripped on the roots of the tree and fell. I was scarred and my dog started barking. I really thought that he was going to harm me or frighten me, and I said something like "What is that?!" He stood up and walked away really ashamed to the sound of my dog's growling. Only in a few seconds did I realize that it was just a boy running to his home in our neighborhood. I saw him entering the house not far from ours. I also realized that instead of asking him if he is hurt I was too egoistic to assume that he wants to harm me and was overprotective. I felt so bad about this situation. I am trying to get rid of this Russian habit of not-trusting strangers and being suspicious but after 4 years of living here I still have it. There is always a reason for self-improvement, I guess.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

GMO or GM foods

Before I came to the US, I heard a lot of Russians telling me that food in the U.S. does not taste the same as Russian food. They were even saying that they asked their family and friends to send them food from Russia, so they could enjoy the real taste for once. When I came to live here, I realized how right they were.
I read some articles about GMO, and as I understood, we are now exposed to it mostly if we are shopping in big supermarkets and go for processed food. I prefer shopping in Asian or Armenian stores, because there is a huge difference in the quality of vegetables and fruits they and other supermarkets sell. The food from these markets actually has taste! My husband and I often have big discussions concerning how the certain fruit should look and taste. He likes perfectly looking peaches and plums, that give him a crunch when he bites them. I like soft imperfect fruits that my husband calls spoilt. Mine taste like in childhood, they are juicy and smell good. His do not smell at all. This difference in our perceptions of food tells me one thing: our cultures are developed in completely different conditions, and one of them is the businesses' desire to increase the selling qualities of the products no matter what. I feel sad about this issue, because it makes me think that I am not enjoying my life to the fullest. The reason is that some guy wants his crops to be presentable and sellable even if he scarifies the flavor and the smell of his product. I am not even talking about the scientists' lack of clarity on the effects on health the GM food can cause. I am just talking about that bad bad quality stuff that we consume like pigs or cows not thinking about the respect that the GM food manufacturers do not give us. Another issue about the GMO is that it is getting harder and harder to find natural products in the stores. The Whole Foods store admits that they sell GMO too.
That is why I am growing my strawberries and herbs on the backyard and hope to expand my garden with time. Of course, I have a lot of pests that like to harvest my strawberries before I do, but it is worth growing vegetables and fruits yourself, if they taste good and definitely good for you.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Hello! I stayed at home today to keep working on the portraits, because my friend wanted me to correct the second one a little. I am very happy with them, and now she seems happy as well. I cannot wait to go to Russia and give the originals to her in person.
I am a little disappointed that I will probably not be taking any classes at winter while I am in Russia. Last year, when I went there, I took two online classes in LAVC, and, although it was very difficult to study and spend quality time with my family, I managed to enjoy my time in Russia and get two As in the end of that short semester. Now it seems that LAVC is spending money more on useless reconstruction of parking lots, new library and administrative buildings instead of actually educating its students, which is supposed to be its primary purpose. I do not even know anymore if I want to continue education just to get the degree. I see so many older people who attend the art classes with me, who have bachelors degrees in arts, and they are barely better than me right now. I would rather try to attend separate classes in different private and non-acredited schools to get really good. Instead of getting the degree and working in the art field as an employee for some gallery, design company, or I do not know what, I would rather be who I honestly want to be - the free artist who is able to support her living through the paintings she makes. I know that it sounds a little childish, but I am a dreamer, and I guess I feel much younger than I am, so it fits me and can work! The traditional way my family and the family of my husband earn money is pressing on me though. I know that they do not consider our business important or even real. When I told my parents last Saturday that I am making paintings for my friends, they were surprised to find out that I have actually charged them. Surgeons do not do surgeries for free, teachers do not usually teach for free, I hope, everybody wants to eat, even us, artists, who might as well, on most people's opinion, consume soul food.

Monday, October 24, 2011

I am rushing to finish my second portrait before it is officially Tuesday! I am pretty happy with the results but still have to finish the clothes on the second portrait. It is amazing that every time I come back to the old media, like pastel or charcoal, I feel that using other media helped me to improve my skills in using them as well. I would say that these new portraits are the best pastel portraits I have ever made. Well, I will update this post as soon as I am done with the portrait, and I will also put that caricature that I was supposed to put on Sunday.

Here are the products of my talent and skills. I really do not know what to add. I feel exhausted right now. But I promise that I will put here the step-by-step instruction on how to do portraits using pastel.

Friday, October 21, 2011

I am starting to draw a portrait of the first of my friend's nephews. I will try to photograph the process and put it out here. This blog was originally created for this purpose. I am a little excited, very nervous and tiny bit negative about painting with pastel again. I used to use pastel as one of the first color mediums for my artwork and never got absolutely amazing at it, but got very tired of it. I just hope that today is one of these days when everything is going to be easy and right from the start. I guess I just need some inspiring music. How about Danny Elfman and Hanz Zimmer? I love these two composers, and it might sound strange that I listen to soundtracks to movies, but I think their music is a real art, fine art that compliments other kind of art without being too obvious. I keep re-watching The Sherlock Holmes mostly because of Zimmer's soundtracks!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Yesterday all evening until about one in the morning and today for a little more I was cutting my dog's hair! She is a Cocker Spaniel, and her hair grows so fast. My husband and I decided not to take her to  a groomer this time, because it is usually pretty expensive, and most groomers we had shaved Zoey too close to her skin, and it bugged her a lot. So, I decided that I can do it myself and started. I used my hubby's hair cutting machine, but Zoey just hated every moment of it. In the end, I was exhausted, Zoey was half-dead, and we went to sleep to continue today. I just want to say - I respect groomers so much now! I do not know how they handle poor animals that probably try to run away from them, and I imagine that they might hurt pets a little, but so did I to my poor little puppy. I just think they know how to do it less and much faster. So, next time we are going to Petsmart for a full grooming service.
Here is the result of the torture:

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

OMG! I am waiting for my client to approve the last version (of maybe three of them) of the caricature I finished coloring today. It is always so nerve-racking to wait for a reply and not know whether the clint likes it or they would want some changes that I cannot make. I guess, working with people is always that way. But it just makes me feel that I do not want to do art according to the requests of clients. Instead, I want people to choose my art because of how it looks and not try to add their stuff in it. I have been working with people's requests from day one of my art career, when I started as a caricature artist in CityWalk, Orlando, FL. I met a lot of different kinds of people with crazy stuff to request. There were some really funny and nice people as well.
For example, one day a young lady came and said that she wants me to make her caricature for the invitations to the party her friends are throwing honoring her as a medical university graduate. She said they told her to make photos of herself, but she hates taking photos, so she decided to get a caricature instead. She seemed very nervous and asked if she could get a Margarita before I start drawing her. She did and became very happy and joyful! While I was drawing her, we were talking about her degree and other stuff. She told me that she has a Russian friend who introduced her to Russian cuisine, and now she is a big fan of it. I even promised to send her a recipe of the Russian dish we were talking about. Unfortunately, I lost her e-mail address. But it was very nice to have such an interesting client. She made my day!
Well, I got approved for the last version of the caricature!!! I will post it on Sunday just in case if my client's boyfriend searches the Internet for "Frank and Brittany."( period before quotation mark!) Now, I have to start the pastel portraits of my friend's two nephews. When am I going to continue my beautiful acrylic portrait again!?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Today I spent all day painting my watercolor experiment project and I want to say: it sucks!
I get too carried away with pretty much unlimited possibilities... and lose the essence of the artwork with its objects and shapes. Art has almost never been so hard for me. 
Yesterday I drew a caricature for our client for her and her boyfriend's anniversary. It came out very nice and now either my hubby or I will just need to color it. I noticed that many people try to get a caricature gift as a last idea before the event, that is why we have to work fast and efficient to give them a gift on time. I do not mind, in fact, I think it is better because it also keeps the client responding faster, and we get the job done quicker.
Well, it is time to go to the watercolor class and show my "masterpiece" to all my classmates and my professor. I just wish I did not have to.

Monday, October 17, 2011

What a day! I just got two more orders for a caricature and a portrait to make by the end of the month! How will I ever make time to spend on my big wonderful acrylic painting!? I love it and hate it so much! I hate that so far I could not make it as great as I imagined but I love it because I know that once I am done and when I am finally done, it will look amazing. New week starts as I am writing this... Time slowly moves forward while I am sitting in the place...
Shocked by the Sodium Laureth Sulfate's dangerous effects I decided to find the natural shampoo. First, as a true Russian, I found the folk Russian recipe of shampoo: egg yolk and a tablespoon of brandy. Of course, it did not foam, and the smell was first very strong because of the alcohol, then because of an egg. But the result was impressive: I now have shiny, healthy looking hair. The smell stayed though. So I went to Target and got Sulfate-free Loreal shampoo which does not have the dangerous ingredient but it has some other scary ingredients that contain sulfoacetate, sodium and lauryl and laureth words in them in different combinations. Well, I will try it and decide whether I should continue with the yolk or keep looking for a more civilized kind of a natural shampoo.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

While I am waiting for my parents in Skype, which is our every week's tradition for several years, I decided to write here something. I just want to say that I know myself perfectly in times of painting and being disappointed and discouraged but I also know that I just have to keep going. I spent all day painting the portrait and I slowly move towards its "ok" look so I could at least post the pictures here, but I guess it will not happen at least until tomorrow... Everything looks wrong right now and I am trying to push myself to keep going and not feel too bad because I know that at some point I will be satisfied and encouraged to put finishing details on it and make it look awesome, I really mean awesome. I need to make this portrait the best I have ever made and I will not come down until it looks gorgeous.
I am sitting at home all day alone and feel like an outcast. I think it is my husband's responsibility to take me out somewhere tomorrow, or I will be very mad!!! Hope you will read it before tomorrow ends, Victor! )))
To the rest of you, have a great Sunday!!!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Good evening! I am trying to paint today but so far I succeeded very little. I cannot build the structure of the faces easily yet and takes me forever to make them look right. The colors also look artificial. I noticed that when I just start a painting I use crazy nice colors thinking about the theme and emotional value of the  painting. But then.... When it comes to making the faces into something that has features and details I just tend to cover it all up with nasty, ugly, boring color... What should I do? How can I see what I am supposed to see? I don't know... I have a couple of days to make the portrait look nice so I could take it to my professor and ask her what else I have to add or change. I trust her.
My story with the travel company that charged me twice for my ticket still did not come to an end. I do not know why I cannot get my money back and whether it is the fault of the travel agent or my bank is taking to long to update the statement. But I know that for sure I am not ordering my tickets in the future from a little unknown company like
I cannot wait to go to Russia. I feel that this trip will change my understanding of life the way it is now. I need it. Besides I am looking forward to meeting my friends and family and spending holidays with them. Even watching TV on holidays there is a lot of fun!!! They show the same movies and programs every year each year like they do during holidays in the USA. But I grew up on Russian movies and I enjoy it much more there. One famous movie is called "The Irony of Destiny, or S Legkim Parom!", the second part is hard to translate because it does not really have an English equivalent. The say this phrase when you come out after taking a shower or a bath. It literally means "Congratulations on light steam!" - haha! Sounds weird, right? But I guess it came from the times when people in Russia did not have showers or bathtubs. They went to Russian sauna, banya. It is a building where they heat the water using fire, and if you saw the movies, spank each other with bunches of birch branches. If the temperature in banya is too high, you can start feeling bad, and when you come out you can pass out. That is why, I think, they wish you a "light steam" so it would not hit you when you are coming out after a bath. Later I will tell you the story of this movie because it is interesting and funny. But for now, have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Well, I feel much better today and ready to live again!
Today, on October, 13, we are going to Shakey's restaurant in Glendale to do the fundraiser of my husband's volleyball team and the boys' volleyball team from JMHS. My husband offers free caricatures for customers and the restaurant offers amazing pizza and potato mojo. I love going there because I get to eat and watch my hubby draw, and the atmosphere in the place is so warm and lovely.
I will post an update of how the fundraiser went in the evening. Good luck to us.
Update - as I promised. The fundraiser went very well. Even thought we did not make a lot of money this bonding trip the team made was very beneficial for everyone. Parents met the coach, team hung out together, it was a lot of fun. And, of course, the caricatures that Victor (my hubby) drew were the center of attention in the restaurant! Plus, the Hawaiian Delight pizza was as always amazingly delicious! We had a great time!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

What a horrible morning!!!!

I do not know whether the beer my husband and I drank yesterday affected me this way or the food I ate or it is my body that does not want to function today, but I feel bad, very bad. I was trying to revive myself with vitamins, lots of water and good food, but it just does not seem to work. So here I am without a single positive note of yesterday in myself trying to figure out how to spend the rest of this day.
Yesterday I figured out what kind of T-shirt design I want to make first. It is going to be a girl riding a painting brush like a broom with or without "I am an artist of my life" written under. I think it is all about execution and hope I will not lose interest in this before I am done with the design. I do not want it to be too "witchy": I am not into Halloween too much. I just want it to be joyful and bright! There is this wonderful Soviet times Russian cartoon that is called "The Rooster and the Paints" - I have always love this cartoon and I am so inspired by it. I just want the sweeps of color filling my design as the paint kids were coloring the rooster. I just need to recover first!
Have a good time whenever you read this.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

What an amazing day!

What a great evening! I went to Carter Sexton art store with my watercolor class today. The people at the store were so hospitable and nice to all of us. They had a watercolor art exhibition in the store, so we went there to see how other artists can paint and to enjoy some pizza :-) . The art really impressed me: miniature paintings were displayed. The details on them were so perfect and the techniques were new to me.
I also met a friend who works there now, Jeremy. We used to work together as caricature artists in Universal Studios Park in Hollywood. It was so nice to see him to be happy to work there and making his dream of becoming a freelance artist come true. I applied to work there as well because the place seems to have a special artistic atmosphere that can help me get into art even more. Hopefully I am good enough for them.
The day went so well and now I have to do some laundry and enjoy the beer that my friend stuck into my purse while we were in the store so we could drink it with my hubby at home later! Thank you Elaine!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Nice day it was!!! I enjoy going to English class, it makes me relaxed and happy especially after nasty thoughts about my financial situation. After I booked my flight ticket last week the company charged my credit card several times and now I have difficulty getting them to solve this problem. Well, there is not a good beginning to this journey, but I don't want to be superstitious.
I am reading the political science textbook and today I started a chapter on media coverage of politics. God, it feels like even though there is freedom of speech in this country, there is also always propaganda, agenda setting, etc. that both media and politicians are managing. That is very sad.
On a bright side of today, my husband's volleyball team finally won the games with Lincoln High School.  I am so proud of girls and my hubby! It was not easy for them, the other team was very strong, but they managed to do it, and I want to congratulate them. John Marshall High School volleyball girls rule!

Friday, October 7, 2011

I finally started painting the portrait for my friend because I decided it is cruel to make the girl wait for a month for the time when my muse will finally come. It kinda appeared yesterday and said "Common, Masha, you cannot be so lazy!!"... and I just made a first wash to give the canvas some color. I am waiting until it is dry to make a sketch to help me set up features.
A lot of my friends ask me to make them a T-shirt with my design on it when they find out that I am doing it now. So what design should I make? I love the "girls" theme. My favourite artist is Alphonse Maria Mucha who was one of the kind master. People consider him to be the Art Nouveau artist although he denied being connected with this movement during his life. His artwork is exceptional. It is just pure perfection. He showed women in his posters and paintings as goddesses, fragile and gentle creatures who are admired by everyone who looks at them. He used a lot of nature motives and ornaments in his art as well. I constantly get inspired by his artwork, every time I have to work on a new big project I look at his art and get in the mood. I would like to express the best features that a true woman would have both in my art and in my life. In the same time I feel that I am not finding the essence of these features but I am copying them visually. I have to get deeper in it. Music seems to help me a lot to feel the art through and feel what concept I want to put in the painting or drawing. I have a playlist of old and new songs that I put on random choice playing and with every song my mood changes. The last artist I discovered thanks to my friend is a French girl with nickname Zaz. I just love her song "Je Veux". It fills me up with love and joy! Just listen to it!!! I believe the place where she sings the song is Montmartre, the place that connects the artists I love!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

I am one of these people who tend to make plans, have a lot of dreams and change them as soon as the new event happens in my life. I am a dreamer, it is a big part of me, and I am doing it with professionalism. Let me tell you what dreams I have:
1. I want to become a great fine artist. I don't know in which direction I will go yet. There are so many kinds of art I tried and loved and so many that I haven't tried yet but I already love the way other people do it. I am in the middle of my studying and hopefully be improving for the rest of my life. I would really love to travel and learn from different masters all over the world, which is my second dream.
2. I want to travel a lot. I used to travel with my family and I gained so much knowledge about different cultures and so much experience that it seems to be one of the reasons why I respect myself the most. If my third dreams comes true I will be able to go to Europe to live there one day, if my husband doesn't mind, of course.
3. I want to make good money doing what I love. Since I left Russia this dream doesn't leave me. I want to be able to do art and sell it. So simple... That's why we are planning our new online business that will make us satisfied with our accomplishments and wealthy.
4. I want to have a baby someday. Well, I know how we will make this dream come true.... We just need to make all the pervious dreams come true first.
5. I want to feel and look the best I can without any plastic surgeries. I have a limit - I don't want to modify my body with the scalpel. But I want to be healthy, eat right, look sexy and strong, be able to do something like parkour if I want to, and always be in shape. I started eating less sugar and try to be more active when I can. I love movement and I want it to be a constant activity that I do independently from any circumstances.
It is time to talk about the Sodium Laureth Sulfate and its derivate Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. I found this very laconic and "refreshing" article about them It seems like we have a great risk of having all kinds of complications varying from skin irritation to dangerous poisoning if we keep using them. And the only reason for the companies to choose this ingredient is because it is cheap. Of course, we like when the shampoo gives us luscious foam that we can work into our beautiful hair, we like to have our dogs be free from fleas and ticks and wash the dishes till they have a pleasant squeaky sound. But it is worth the risk of having complications?
I started noticing this ingredient a while ago and keep making sure that my products have it ))) every time I buy them... What was the most irritating for me before I found out how harmful it could be is that:
See the "Dermatologist tested soap-free formula"? See the Sodium Laureth Sulfate as the second ingredient? I just don't understand what they mean by soap then! Yes, it does not have soap, it has SLES! Does it feel better? Who are they trying to fool? Us. And they are doing it perfectly. Behind those beautiful moisture beads and amazing fragrances there is a scary and undefinable chemistry that most of us don't understand or don't care about.
It also just feels bad to use the same ingredient to wash your body, your dishes and floors and to get rid of ticks and fleas on your dog, doesn't it? That is why we should all go to Trader Joe's and get the shampoo that doesn't produce foam and smells just ok but it will leave your hair in a better condition. We should look at what we buy and make sure it is good for us so later we wouldn't have some unknown kind of cancer and hormonal imbalance.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Just came back from game that my husband's volleyball team had with Eagle Rock High School. I am exhausted and so frustrated that we lost again! I just wish that referees would be fair and girls wouldn't give up so easily.
Tomorrow I need to start my homework for the week because I didn't have any time to do it earlier. Hopefully it will be easy and calm tomorrow.
My parents and friends found out that I am coming and are very happy! My mom said she grew wings and flies now and my dad is "frying chickens"as he says while waiting for me! I guess it is one of these phrases that came from a movie and stayed in our family for often use.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Today I feel a little anxious and my head is going around because I have just bought the tickets to Russia!
I felt the nostalgia for my country for a long time. It's strange that the more I live in the US the more often I feel the need to go to Russia. Last time my husband and I went there last winter and it turned out worse that I dreamed about it.
The very first misadventure happened on the day when we were supposed to fly from LAX to Moscow to  then catch a flight to my city called Chelyabinsk. Long story short, I had two Russian passports in the document drawer - one was expired and another one was new. It turned out that I took an expired one and we found out about it only when in the LAX at flight registration a lady asked if I had a new passport, which fist made me shocked, then made me desperate, then afraid of losing the tickets, etc. It was the worst mistake I did in my life. We ended up paying a few extra hundreds dollars to change the tickets to fly in two days. Another big failure was that it was all happening on Christmas Eve and we were supposed to be in Russian by then to celebrate my grandmother's birthday and we missed everything.
When we finally got to Russia, time went so fast. We spent there a month, but it flew by in an instant. In the middle of January I got poisoned and it was another horrible experience. 
I have never been so sick before, but this time I even passed out on the floor in the bathroom and amazing things started happening to me. I felt that everything is getting dark, my ears closed and I could barely hear anything, I couldn't keep my eyes opened, and I could only hear my mom yelling to my dad "Should we call the emergency?"
When I heard it, this phrase made me get all my consciousness together and wake up! My family were very frightened but I convinced them not to call for doctor because I felt much better. They gave me hot sweet tea which was the most delicious tea I have ever drunk. It gave me strength immediately. We never realized what caused poisoning.
The month passed by and we left at night after my other grandmother's birthday. I felt very sad and unsatisfied by our trip. That's why I hope that now that I go there for a little longer and by myself I will have more time with my family and friends and enjoy it to the fullest!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Good day to you all!!! My blog's statistics shows that I have visitors who find my blog interesting and read it from the countries all over the world! So follow me!

Last weekend was interesting. The biggest news is that I am officially looking for the flight tickets to go to Russia right after Christmas and right before the New Year Eve to visit my family and friends and get some fresh frozen fluffy snow all over me!!! If I can find a good deal and go for it, it will be the first time I travel away from my hubby who is staying here, hopefully to do his gorgeous coaching of two club teams. We didn't leave each other for four years and it will be very hard for me to go by myself. But I am sure that it is going be ok and we both will enjoy communicating through Skype and AOL messenger the way we did when we just met.

On Sunday we went to buy groceries to Alhambra and found this amazing huge Asian supermarket 168 where food is very fresh and cheap. We actually prefer going to shop in Asian markets - you can always be sure to get the best food. We got some sushi grade salmon and tuna and made some nigiri and sashimi for dinner. Not far from that place there is also a great Vietnamese restaurant where they have the best banh-mi sandwiches and a traditional soup called Pho! It is very cheap and very delicious! So we got some of that as well! ))) We might not seem like eating a lot, but we do love eating and cooking!! It is particularly my passion, because of which I sometimes get in trouble. My mother-in-law occasionally exploits me for making some food for her church or school where she works. Last week my hubby and I were making the traditional apple pie that none of us ever made before! It was a lot of nerves spent and a lot of frustration expressed but in the end it turned out unexpectedly delicious and very similar to the actual traditional apple pie! I know, I know, some day I will bring it to school.. maybe.. )))

Finally, I spent some time painting again. Here is the result. I feel I am getting there, I start to feel watercolor better and find the ways to handle it!

This is that painting I did when we went to the Forever cemetery last week. 

I painted this one from the photo. Big difference.