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Hi all y’all!

It is November. Traditionally a time of extra gratefulness for all of our blessings. I think it is especially important to practice gratitude when life is difficult.

I have a super great assignment. A friend wants me to paint La Virgen De Guadalupe. I am currently painting the Madonna and feeling grateful with every stroke of my paint brush. I like knowing who will receive the Blessed Mother because I can ask for blessings for her family, business, happiness, etc. while I paint.

I don’t want to post in-progress pictures today. Instead I am going to post glimpses. I will post the finished painting in two weeks. I plan to be finished for December 12th.

Madonna sneak preview

A cool thing happened by accident when I was painting. I started out spraying Ranger Ink Spray, Dylusions in London Blue, all over the canvas. I painted with acrylic paints for a few hours, and when I came back the blue was coming to the top. This happened for a few days. I really like the effect. I would just leave the painting with a bluish tinge to her complexion, but I don’t want it  so blue because it is the Madonna.

Madonna sneak preview 2

It  worried me that the blue ink would re-surface indefinitely, so I painted her face and neck with clear gesso as a barrier. I am going to paint some more skin tone colors over the gesso, leaving just a touch of blue.

Last glimpse

This is her neck. You can see how blue, even after 5 coats of Golden Acrylic Paint.

I am happy for the assignment. I am happy for so much to be grateful for.

In gratitude for you,

Gator Girl

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Celebrating with Altars

Hi all y’all,

I love Halloween and I loved it a lot more before I found out that pretty much all the popular Halloween candy has been genetically modified. Really, I mean what the hell are we doing to the children?

I am wondering what would be a good alternative is for this candy. Any ideas? I know the very least we can do is vote for labeling.

What I love more than Halloween is Dia de los Muertos. It makes all kind of sense to me to remember and honor those who passed on. Good and bad, they gave us everything.

I am celebrating Thursday, November 1 through Friday, November 2, by cooking some food I think they will like and doing things they would enjoy. I will think about impermanence and what matters in this one wild and precious life.

So far this year, I have put up pictures of people I know. I will be adding more photos.

This is the picture I found where my mom and I were happy.

I put some buttons, beadwork and my mother’s thimble in front of the picture. I think the buttons are extra buttons from when she sewed 100 pearl buttons on my sister’s wedding dress. I put mom’s picture near a childhood picture of her mother. This is my mom’s first year on the altar.

My dad is easy, because I feel connected to him.

In front of dad is a cuban cigar, his ashtray, and matches from a local restaurant I think he would like. I have to refrain from putting out pastries and chocolate because for me it would be like putting crack on the altar.

This altar is always in my bedroom.

I dressed up the skeleton woman in a pink boa for Halloween. I keep her on my bedroom mantle for safety. Away from little hands.

Another intriguing part of this celebration is the idea that the veil between worlds thins at this time and makes communication easier with the departed. I’m just going to stay open to it.

My everyday altar to the Blessed Mother.

My son-in-law, Christian, built the shelves for this altar in the hallway for me. He was building a closet in the bedroom and left room for a painting and shelves in the hall. I love the location because I can give my respect all through the day. The altar doesn’t change a lot. I burn incense and keep it dust free. Mostly I practice gratitude.

I would love to know if you have similar rituals, pictures of your altar, whatever you want to share.

All the best and happy remembering,

With a loving heart,

Gator Girl

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Moving Forward

Hi all y’all,

My spiritual journey at the moment is working on trusting my intuition, listening to what is being said around me, including my dreams, and being grateful for everything. I have been cleaning, cleaning, cleaning in preparation for 2 weeks of fabulous company that starts arriving tomorrow morning. All the time being grateful for my furniture that I can dust, my floors that I can vacuum, and trying to be thankful for the toilets I can scrub. So far my spiritual plan is working like a charm.

Two new things are on the horizon. I donated The Heart of the Hurricane to the Easter Parade. They are raising money for music education in New Orleans. My sister met Miss Kitsy, who is in charge of the Easter Parade, on an airplane going to California. They hit it off and one thing led to another…

Heart of the Hurricane

My youngest daughter is going to start selling Gator Girl Art prints and cards on Etsy. It seems like a win-win situation. With Etsy I will be able to sell at a bargain price and Katy will handle the mailing and correspondence so I can paint. While I was listening, I heard “Etsy” from three different sources in one week. I am beyond excited about this.

If you want to check out another blog, I have been reading  Jeremiah is insightful and pairs his insights with stories. He is a freelance writer living in upstate New York.

Until next week,

With faithful, unreasonable love,

Gator Girl