Thursday, July 23, 2009

Back from the Mountains!

Kayla & Cole being goofy
Mule deer we saw on one of our hikes

My son Cole (up on the tree trunk) ~ always adventurous!

Me & Craig on the River Walk

Cute little Marmot by our condo! Cole, Shelby & Kayla (Kayla had just found 40 dollars!)

Fall River behind our condo

Wish I were still here!

Mountain Majesty

Estes Park was wonderful! I was NOT ready to come home. We had the neatest condo on Fall River & our 360-degree view was gorgeous mountains! It was so relaxing sitting on our deck with the view & the sound of the river. The weather was perfect ~ nice & cool, even chilly in the evenings. There were cute little marmots (a mama & her little ones I believe) running around the grounds by the river behind our condo & we had fun watching them tumble & play! They reminded me of kittens.

Our first full day we took a drive up Old Fall River Road ~ a one way, 11 mile dirt road up to Fall River Pass. It was windy & full of switchbacks & terrifying at times! I don't know about you but I don't much like driving along the edge of a cliff with no guardrail! I had my eyes closed & cringed a good portion of the drive but I have to admit it was beautiful & at least we didn't have to worry about any oncoming traffic & you get to take the paved road on the way down. At the top you're above the treeline in the tundra up where the snow is! We did some serious hiking every day, drove into downtown Estes Park for dinner each night, took a 2-hour horseback ride early one morning & enjoyed family time at the condo playing cards & reading. The only disappointment was not seeing much wildlife. We saw tons of elk the last time we were there (years ago) but this time we only saw a few & that was way up at Fall River Pass. We did see several deer here & there but not a single big horn sheep. The locals told us it's been so warm this summer that they've all gone up higher in the mountains. Well, we were up high in the mountains & still didn't see much so I don't know where they were all hiding! We decided we just need to come back in the fall sometime when they're more sociable!

We did see a few scary things too. A man slipped on a rock by a big waterfall, got his foot stuck under a log & it took a while before his friends could free him. Why oh why do people do such dangerous, stupid things! He of course wasn't supposed to be off the trail next to a rushing waterfall! Ugh. The other thing we saw was a helicopter airlifting a man in a basket down from the mountains. We heard later that he'd had a heart attack & died while climbing up Longs Peak. Very sad.

It looks like it'll be next week before I get to any painting. We have friends visiting from Chicago arriving on Sunday & I'm trying to get some house projects finished before they get here. I've been jumping from one trip to another all month & now having guests. I'm going to be ready for things to calm down. I miss my art studio!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Off to Estes Park!

Hope we see lots of these!
Our condos on Fall River!

Just a quick post before I leave in the morning with my family for our vacation to Estes Park, CO. Can't wait to get back to the mountains! I'll be back next Thursday hopefully with all kinds of inspiration for paintings! Purrs ~ Jill (the Mountain Girl)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Rocky Mountain Fun!

These guys are awesome!!!
Sacred Heart Statue at Mother Cabrini Shrine

Mother Cabrini Chapel, Spring & Prayer Walk

Hi all! I had the BEST time in Colorado visiting my sis & her family! Perfect weather~nice & cool, no humidity & no bugs! Such a nice change from our hot, humid, mosquito-infested weather here! I was thoroughly spoiled & enjoyed every minute of it! I felt like I was at an all-inclusive resort- ha. My sister cooked, my niece made cookies, we shopped a little, ate out a few times, relaxed on the deck with coffee in the morning & drinks in the evening, took walks, girl talked & on top of all that ~

*Had Mass at the Mother Cabrini Shrine & walked the 400 steps to the Sacred Heart Statue.

*Went to the movie theatre & saw "The Taking of Pelham 123". (good but lots of bad language)

*Took the Light Rail Train downtown & had dinner at the Cheesecake Factory before taking in the Il Divo concert! They were AMAZING!

Now that I'm home from Colorado I'm packing to go back! Our family's taking a vacation to Estes Park & we leave Saturday. We're staying in a nice condo right on Fall River & plan to do lots of hiking, mountain driving, reading & just relaxing! Yes, I'm being very spoiled lately. We deserve it though don't we?
When I get home next Thursday I plan to buckle down & get some serious painting done!!! Hope you all are staying cool & having a great summer! xoxo

Friday, July 10, 2009

Bedroom Makeover Update & New Etsy Purchase!

Our bedroom makeover ~ in progress
My "Inspiration Room"!

Markie checking out my handmade pillow & shams!
My new Bird Tower I got from Carrie's SnipPets Etsy Shop!

Happy Friday everybody! I was so excited yesterday because I got my fabric in the mail that I ordered to make my new pillow shams & also got my package from Carrie at SnipPets with my beautiful birdy tower! You can see it in the picture above. I knew it would look great with the colors in my room. Carrie is an awesome artist, cat lover & spay/neuter advocate. Check out her blog here & read all about her art & cat adventures!
I stayed up late last night finishing my pillow shams & after making the bed this morning I just love how they look! Markie seems to approve too. I got some simple tab-top curtains at Target yesterday & was planning to sew accent panels on them from my leftover sham fabric but didn't have quite enough so that will have to wait. I still want to get new lamp shades, dark bamboo blinds & a green rug to finish off the room. One step at a time though. And some day I'm going to splurge & buy that fabulous bird pillow shown in my "Inspiration Room" photo! I think it just makes the whole room! I'd REALLY LOVE to have that carved bird headboard (I'll keep dreamin') or at least a different darker wood one but I'll settle for the pillow!
I'm off to Colorado tomorrow for a fun weekend with my sister ~ shopping, hiking, relaxing & the Il Divo concert Monday night! I'll be back Tuesday. Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

My Latest Painting!

Happy Tuesday everyone! I finished this painting last night. It's titled LOVING LAP. I did it in honor of the little kitten I rescued last week. This is my wish for him ~ that he's adopted by a kind loving purrson & gets to spend hours resting fat, happy & content on a warm lap! I haven't heard anything from the shelter about him yet but I'm taking that as a good sign. If he was showing signs of illness they would've let me know by now since he bit me & they were concerned. He has 3 more days of quarantine & then HOPEFULLY will be moved to the adoption building where I know he'll be irresistible to adopters! I pray that happens. LOVING LAP will be available on EBAY this evening if you would like to adopt this bright colorful kitty painting - ha.

Tomorrow is vet day for Zoolou & Markie's checkup & vaccs. I'm not looking forward to it as we all know how FUN that is - ugh! My stomach turns when I think of all the yeeowwwling I'm going to hear all the way there & all the way home. Oh well...Dr. Bill told me they are changing their vaccination schedules & after tomorrow they shouldn't have to come back for 2 years! Yay!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Premio Meme Award!

Hi all you wonderful blogger people! I came home from a fun 4th of July weekend in Kansas City (where we had a blast with all the family) to find my blog has been given the Premio Meme Award by the awesome Suzi at Art...With a Touch of Whimsy! THANK YOU SO MUCH Suzi! According to the rules I am to share 7 facts about myself & then pass the award on the 7 others. Here goes...

1. I adore cats & wish every single one in the world had a loving home!
2. I love antiques & would furnish my whole house with them if I could afford it!
3. I love everything Irish ~ the people, the music, dance, the land ~ & vow to visit someday! Maybe it's cuz I'm part Irish!
4. Those huge wind turbines on wind farms SCARE me!
5. I'm addicted to Starbucks nonfat lattes!
6. I absolutely LOVE thunderstorms!
7. Someday I want to live in a cozy cottage in the country where I have a big barn & lots of room to take care of all the stray kitties that seem to find me!

Ok, now to pass this on to these beautiful bloggers:

Join Janine
The Charming Place
Read Like Me
The SnipPets
Once Upon A Blue Crow
The Cat In The Clover
The Art & Life of the Ruby Nest

Have a wonderful week!!! xoxo ~ Jill

Friday, July 3, 2009

Not Too Shabby!

THEIRS (from my "Inspiration Room")


MY HANDSOME MARKIE! Don't you love his little goatee?

I finished my bed skirt yesterday & it actually turned out pretty good if I do say so myself! I can also safely say this will be the LAST bed skirt I ever make! Not that it was all that difficult, it was just wrestling with the mountains of fabric, miles of pinning & trying to keep everything in place while sewing it. It's actually sewed onto a fitted sheet & that was pretty tricky but I managed. I also learned 2 more sewing skills I hadn't done before ~ zigzag stitching over cording & sewing over gathers. I'm pretty proud of myself! I think I matched my "Inspiration Room" bed skirt really well. Now, it's on to pillow shams & curtains ~ they should be a cinch compared to that monster bed skirt!

Hope you all have a wonderful 4th of July holiday weekend! We're off to Kansas City for a family get-together at my brother's. Can't wait! xoxox

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Yesterday a Kitten ~ Today a Dog!

Sweet little doggie we rescued today!
It must be rescue week for me! This morning I was picking my son up from football practice & as we were leaving saw a cute little Shih Tzu running down the middle of the street. My son got her in the car & she had a rabies tag but with only a hotline no. to call. I got the first name of the owner & her contact no. from that so I called but only got static & then a busy signal. Ugh! These things are just never easy are they? We ended up taking the dog home with us & dogsat for 3 hours. She was just the cutest thing & so well behaved! After several more tries I finally got through & then was given yet another no. to call & spoke with the owner. I then drove the little dog home & the owner was very happy & thankful. I did another good deed for the day.

On a creative note ~ I'm almost finished with my bed skirt I'm making. In an earlier post I had a picture of my "Inspiration Room" that I'm modeling our bedroom after & I just had to have a striped bed skirt like the one in the picture so I looked up directions on the internet, found the perfect material & went to work. Talk about miles & miles of fabric! We have a king size bed & you have to double the length so you can imagine. I'm not a big sewer so this was pretty ambitious of me but once I have my mind set on something I just want to get it done! It helps having a crafty big sister too who is a big sewer & can answer all my questions. I plan to finish it tomorrow so I'll post a pic providing I don't completely screw it up - ha! Hope to have a new painting finished soon too. All these animals needing rescuing has taken away studio time. They are worth it though! Happy Hump Day!