Tuesday, August 4, 2015

New Beginnings

"Mermaid In South Carolina"
Remember this post from last April, "Change Is In The Wind?" Well, the change is coming to pass. In two short days, I'll be taking up residency in North Charleston, South Carolina. This is a change that has been in the making for all that time. 

With this change is the desire to start fresh; start new. And in so doing, I'm discovering that what's old is new again, like my name. Two years after my divorce, I'm no longer feeling so "crabulous" and I have this urge to be the person I was born to be. So with that, I am returning to the name on my birth certificate, Kris Teena Morgan. A crabulous life has become a colorful life and crabulous fine art is being replaced with Pear Place Studio.

As someone pointed out, Kris Teena Morgan doesn't have quite the same ring as Kristeena Crabb, but it is my ring and it has the ring of truth. 

New city, new job, new car, new dog, new home and new name. What new adventures will come with all this?

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Blue Starfish

Sometimes I get a kick on things and I just can't stop. From blue crabs, I have ventured to blue starfish. Same idea. 

Products with this design can be found at "shop crabulous!"

Friday, May 29, 2015

Be Brilliant

Yesterday I was unenthusiastically making a list of "things to do" and feeling a little overwhelmed by the mundanities of life. Without thinking I added one last item to the list, "be brilliant." I'm not sure where that came from, but it picked me up throughout the day. I find that when I'm not being creative, I mentally curl up into a fetal position and life becomes less bearable. My subconscious was reminding me to put creativity on my list of things to do. I think everyone should do this; be just a little creative every day... one sketch, one poem, one song, one flower arrangement... creation is wonderful for the psyche.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Happy Birthday, Max!


Because of the unique position in which I was standing and because of the unique position in which he chose to enter this world, I was the first human to lay eyes upon my grandson, Maxwell Morgan Crabb. It is a moment which I will cherish forever. 

The nurses at the hospital made fun of me because I was wishing that Max would be born before midnight so that he could have the mathematical anomaly of a birthday that was an equation: 5-7-12. But it was not to be. Max was born on 5-8-12. The nurses; however, were the first to console me when Max arrived on the scene at 4:37 am.

Everyones initial shock was that Max was a redhead. It was apparent as soon as they cleaned him up. We were not expecting that, even though redheads run in my family. I had given up on redheads when both of my boys were born blond. I was immediately delighted.

I was lucky enough to share Max's first week of life with him, even if I haven't been as close in the aftermath. The biggest hurdle in my decision to move away was how in the world I would cope living so far away from my beautiful grandson. However, I knew that the sooner I did it, the better; before we had a chance to really bond. It has only been in the last couple of months that Max has called me by name during video chats, and when I visited recently he expressed sadness at my leaving. He is growing up knowing a long distance grandmother; it would have been much tougher if I'd left when he was the age he is now... 3 years old.

Because of the difficult circumstances, I've not ever been able to attend any of Max's birthday parties, but I'm always keenly aware of his birthday and I relive the moment of his entry into our lives. Since his arrival, none of our lives have ever been the same


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Miss Ruby

"Miss Ruby" enhanced digital photo
I had to act quickly to find a new vehicle; after all, the insurance company of the guy who hit me wasn't going to let me drive that rental car forever. I have to admit, though, that the rental company was a little surprised when I returned it as I'd had it for three weeks. In their business that almost IS forever!

If I had had the luxury to truly research a new car and to visit umpteen dealerships and test drive a couple dozen cars, that would have been one thing. But I didn't have that luxury. So based on a few extenuating circumstances, I settled pretty quickly on a Ford Focus. Before I test drove one, I had decided the color I wanted was ruby red. I was tired of silver. All of my cars have been either white or silver, with the exception of one blue Mercury which I always hated so it doesn't count. When I look out my apartment window at the parking lot, all I see is silver, silver, silver. So, ruby red was a must. 

I had had some previous experience with the Ford Focus via my son and was already impressed with the car, but when I test drove it, I was a little dubious about the shudder it makes in first gear. I looked at the salesman (who hails from Bulgaria) and said, I'd like this in a stick shift. Does it come that way? He looked at me dubiously (dubiousness reigns in this scenario) and he said of course, but I was the first woman who ever asked him that.

He was able to locate a ruby red, hatchback stick shift at a dealership less than 500 miles away, but he must have asked me 10 times if I was sure I wanted a stick shift. Oh, little man, don't trifle with me.

The day the car arrived, he got into the passenger seat while I drove us around the neighborhood. He was remarkably impressed. I love it when that happens.

Of course I had to name her Miss Ruby. It's more than just her color, though. One of the things I loved about my ex was his sense of play. Once, while vacationing in Bermuda with another couple, he decided we all needed redneck names and we should go around speaking in hillbilly accents. (I know that this is not politically correct, but suspend yourself for a bit, if you will.) The game was easy to play because all the guys were named Earl. Somehow, the wife of the other couple became Nadine and I was Ruby. That name stuck with me throughout all future redneck role playing scenarios. (I guess you had to be there.) For that reason, I have always related to that name. Well, always being since the year 2000.

Although Ruby and I will never make it to Bermuda (there's a moratorium on cars there) I know that we will have many adventures together.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Eulogy For A Jeep

Ah, we sustained one accident too many, Her Jeepness and I. Today I got the word that she has been declared a total loss and I went to see her one last time in order to remove my personal possessions and my tag. I almost didn't recognize her since she had been taken apart in order to determine her damages. Poor girl. Her death was not very dignified.

We've been together for 11 years and covered more than 158,000 miles together. And the experiences we had are numerous. We've been as far north as upstate New York, as far west as Ohio, as far east as Delaware and as far south as Florida. She has born the tags of three different states and transported 3 different family dogs. She also transported many Amish neighbors all over the southeastern Pennsylvania countryside and was my conveyance the night I hurriedly drove my Amish neighbor to the midwife just in time to deliver her baby, and we drove Papa, Mama and baby home again an hour later.

I was always meticulous with Her Jeepness' care. I religiously had her serviced every 3,000 miles and repaired whenever there was an incident. The first time was when an angry man in Baltimore keyed the back of her (while I was sitting in her with my son and his friends). Of course, there was the "big yellow taxi" incident and the time I rear ended that woman when she suddenly stopped in front of me and I had to replace the "bull bar."

I'll never forget the time my son was borrowing her and parked her on a bridge in one of the worst neighborhoods in Baltimore (in fact they filmed "The Wire" in this neighborhood) and someone unsuccessfully tried to steal her catalytic converter. She was a mess until we got her repaired.

I have filled her cargo area with everything from freshly picked cabbages straight from the field, art equipment for exhibits and boxes for numerous moves. And the sand she has carried has been plenty when my favorite place to visit was Cape Henlopen State Park.

Her Jeepness has served as the venue for many a moveable feast as I've consumed countless fast food meals, apples, ice cream cones and granola bars within her.

11 years is a long time and it's always hard to say good-bye to a good friend. But now it's time to move on. New automotive experiences await!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Just Call Me Crash

"The Rental Car" enhanced digital photo
Before I moved to Savannah, my last traffic accident was in 1996. Since moving here two years ago, I've had three. This last one may cause me to say good-bye to "her Jeepness." We've been together for 11 years and more than 158,000 miles. Because she's a Grand Cherokee and because I kept her in such great shape, she still looked good and drove well. However, a month ago, someone in a commercial van slammed into the back of me and shoved me into the vehicle in front of me. At first glance, only my front and rear bumpers appeared to be cracked; but, I noticed that the doors were not closing like they should. At second glance, it was discovered that my frame was bent. Ahhh. I don't like that at all. For the past 12 days, her Jeepness has been at the body shop, taken all apart and awaiting the insurance appraiser to come for another look. Preliminary repair estimates are in excess of $8,000. The book value of my vehicle? Well 11 years old and over 150,000 miles? I'm sure you're getting the picture.

Meanwhile, for the past 12 days, I've been driving this nifty little 2015 Hyundai Accent hatchback, courtesy of the insurance company of the man who hit me, and I've been enjoying it. It's very different for me since I've driven SUV's since 1990 (well with the exception of a mini-van for a few years). I'm enjoying the ease of parking and the good gas mileage. Even Wishes seems to like it. 

I don't know what my automotive future looks like, but right now I'm having fun imagining it.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Change Is In The Wind

Digitally altered pastel, "Little Elk Creek"

"My friends from high school
Married their high school boyfriends
Moved into houses in the same ZIP codes
Where their parents live
But I, I could never follow
No I, I could never follow"*

Those lyrics have never described me; ever. And it seems as though at the ripe old age of 58 I'm still trying to decide what I want to be when I grow up. Everything is exciting; everything presents an adventure. Once again, change is in the wind. It is too early now to reveal what, where or how, but it's a comin'!

*Lyrics from "The Long Way Around" by Dixie Chicks

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Another New T-Shirt For T-Shirt Season!

One new T-shirt just wasn't enough; I decided to design a second one. "Dreams Come True On the River" is a saying of personal significance to me and I thought my sailboat collage was the perfect illustration. So here is T-shirt #2!

T-shirt can be purchased at shop crabulous!
And here is an "up close" look at the image:

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Rainy Day People

So, my good friend and sister artist, Susan Amadio, presented me with the Facebook challenge of posting three pieces of artwork for five consecutive days on Facebook. Having been fairly prolific, it wasn't difficult for me to find enough artwork for the challenge. What was difficult was determining which were my best 15 pieces and I wanted to make it something of a retrospective so that it covered my entire career as an artist. 

I think it's good for every artist to go through their entire inventory list every once in awhile to see how they've evolved over time. I have copies of all the 700+ pieces I've created since I began painting in 1996. (Well, there may be a few I didn't save for posterity.)

One of the collage images I proffered for the challenge received such positive response that I decided to use it to create art prints and T-shirts. So, here it is. What was originally entitled Rainy Day, I've now re-titled as Rainy Day People. (Yes, a la Gordon Lightfoot, of whom I've always been a fan.)

"Rainy Day People" can be purchased as a print on archival paper or on canvas at Society 6.

Or it can be purchased as a T-shirt in a variety of styles (for women only) at "shop crabulous!"

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

This Is Where I Live

This is where I live. I have fountains and palm trees and ancient live oaks dripping with Spanish moss and warm night breezes even in March. I'm very fortunate. I'm very blessed.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Bringing Up Puppy

"Wishes" - Enhanced digital photo
I recently received an email from a good friend of mine who mentioned the fact that I hadn't posted anything in my blog lately. I was shocked to realize that she was right! I don't know how it happened that I stopped posting. I was also shocked to realize that people actually read my blog! :D

Well, as most of you know who follow me on FB, I'm busy raising a puppy and I may as well have wished a new baby upon myself! Well, OK, it's not quite THAT bad, but almost.

Wishes (short for Aloysius) takes a lot of my time and is quite a handful. At four months he's 24 pounds and full of curiosity and mayhem. He's also very vocal and makes his feelings known. He grumbles and curses and barks and scolds. He can be quite demanding. I've discovered that the only way I can eat my dinner in peace is to park the vacuum cleaner by my side at the table. I've begun to call her Vicki. Wishes becomes silent and skulks off to a corner whenever Vicki is present for dinner. 

Since the completion of all his puppy shots, we began puppy school yesterday. It's clear that he won't be the star of the class, but it's not for lack of intelligence. He's just overly curious and maybe has a little ADD, too. The instructor asked me, quite loudly, in the middle of class, why was my dog behind my chair and not in front of it like the rest of the dogs. Was he shy? Well, Wishes is far from shy, but I couldn't really answer her question. Turns out he noticed a bunch of dogs in crates behind a screen and was trying to check them out. None of the rest of the puppies had noticed them. 

So what am I supposed to be doing with my time??? Creating websites. I'm so thankful for my guinea pig, Susan Amadio, and excited about nearing the completion of her site so I can add it to my portfolio. Working on it keeps my skills fresh and because I love her artwork I find the project extremely rewarding. I'm also supposed to be soliciting new business. HELP!

I joined the local Chamber of Commerce and have participated in a couple of their events and I've been brainstorming about other ways to drum up business, but it's not easy. If any of you have any ideas, I'm all ears and feel free to post your ideas in the comments.

In the meantime, I'll be working at the Christmas shop two days a week. That's right! Back at the Christmas shop. And Wishes gets to come to work with me. Maybe he'll bark at the customers until they buy. 

So, that's some of the latest. Creating artwork is but a dream right now. Kind of sad. That's what I'd truly like to be doing for a living.

Anyway, I promise to post more regularly.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2015: The Year Of Living Dangerously

I declared 2014 the year of the dog, and two weeks ago I adopted the most adorable male apricot colored Double Doodle puppy named Aloysius, or Wishes, for short. 

2015; however, is the year I go out on my own for the first time. Ever. I have never lived on my own before. I am really looking forward to that part. I have found a lovely apartment to which Wishes and I will be moving next week. The part that scares me is that for the first time ever I'm responsible for solely supporting myself... and I'm terrified.

Since I was not successful in selling my artwork in a manner that would make me  financially independent, I have decided to put my artwork, as such, to one side and develop and design websites instead. Anything can happen. I have some savings to help me out, but it won't get me through a full year. I must. Make. This. Work! 

This year I'm taking a HUGE step outside the box and while it scares me, it also thrills me. This is the biggest New Year's resolution I've ever made and I'm determined to make it work.

Happy New Year, everyone, and resolve to live your dream this year!