Tag Archives: Of Interest

Getting Started With Watercolors

Aloha, I’m Kathy.  If you’re new to watercolor, it’s important to know that using the right tools is essential for good results. So, let’s jump right in.


A good watercolor brush’s job is to hold and release water (and of course, the paint).

There are so many different types of watercolor brushes (see links below), but for the beginner, I am making suggestions based on the easiest and quickest way to get started.


Again, there are many different shapes of watercolor brushes, the most common starter brushes are rounds and flats.

  • Rounds  Rounds are the most common shape used by watercolorists because they are very versatile. The round, pointed shape allows you to paint small details as well as broader strokes and washes.
  • Flats  Flat brushes are useful for painting washes and strong, straight strokes


You should know that there are two basic hair types. Natural hair and synthetic.

  • Natural  The hair in natural hair brushes comes from a variety of animals: sable, squirrel, ox, goat, etc. No animals are destroyed for the purpose of brush making.

Natural Hair brushes have superior paint-holding ability because of the tiny, microscopic “scales” along the shaft of the hair. Shorter-length hair is more readily available, making the longer lengths more expensive. Natural hair may be used alone (pure) or blended with other hairs or synthetic filaments to achieve a combination of performance and price.

  • Synthetic  Synthetic brushes are man-made of either nylon or polyester filaments. The advantages of synthetics include:
    • They are less prone to damage from solvents and paints
    • They are easier to keep clean than animal hair
    • They are less prone to breakage and are durable on many different surfaces

The key points are that natural brushes hold a lot more paint and water but tend to become worn with use. The synthetic brushes are usually less expensive, tend to hold their shape longer, but do not hold as much paint or distribute it as evenly as natural hairs.

My suggestion would be to start with a few round brushes for the detail work and a couple of flat brushes for the washes.

Rounds-8, 10, 12, 20

Flats-1/2 inch, 1 inch

Quality is important, and since the natural hair brushes are the most expensive you can look for some of the very good synthetic blends that are available.

Useful Brush Links



www.emptyeasel.com/2013/07/22/how-to-choose-good-mid-range-watercolor-brushes-and-where-to-buy-them-online/ Continue reading Getting Started With Watercolors

Puppy Love

In case you never met them, let me introduce you to Katie  and Teddi. They are the sun and the moon with distinct personalities and boundless spirits.

Katie_shades copy 2

Katie is  almost 14 years old, a pure bred Bichon Frise and has been with us since she was an 8 week old puppy.

Teddy copy

Teddi is a mixed breed, probably a Maltese and a Poodle. Teddi has been with us since September 2012, He is 8 years old.

Katie is determined. If she were a salesperson she would bug you until the close. She never quits and rarely complains. Her strength is amazing given her 20 lbs.

Teddi is a gentle soul who has had many homes. He was taken from a shelter, frightened and apparently abused. When his adopted owner could no longer care for him he ended up with my mother who nursed him back to health and happiness. He then came home with us.  He visited with my mother until the very end .

At first, Katie didn’t take too kindly to Teddi. But, they are now inseparable and do everything together. They have become fixtures in our little village development.

There are some lessons to be learned from our pets:

  • Don’t be too quick to judge but, still trust your instincts
  • Love and kindness can heal just about anything
  • Good food leads to good health
  • Never give up
  • Play as much as you can
  • You get as much love as you give
  • And remember,  it’s not how cute your pets are that counts but, how happy they make you


Visit us at: www.Etsy.com


Making Your Own Perfume

Getting Started

Do you like perfume? Have you ever thought about making your own blend? I have been making perfume for about three years now and have come up with some pretty good formulas. I have also made plenty of really awful scents. But, with this endeavor, you learn as you go.

There is some investment and a lot of time involved. You also need a good area to work in. For now, I am only posting one formula and not an entire list of formulas or equipment and techniques. I will say that the chemicals need to be mixed in a specific order. This is very important! 1. Alcohol  2. Base notes  3. Middle notes  4. Top notes  5. Fixative, Curing takes a minimum of two weeks. I will provide a set of links to very good websites to help you get started. The following formula is for a fragrance that I call “Ariel”. This formula makes 2oz of Eau de Parfum. It is inspired by the fragrance “Angel”.

If you’re already making your own fragrances, try this formula out.

Use the best chemicals you can afford and your product will be something special. We will be adding our own custom fragrances to the product line as time goes on

Books & Essential Oils


Supplies & Chemicals

www.creatingperfume.com  (This is a good place to start)



Bottles & Glass


Beakers and Measuring Equipment




Continue reading Making Your Own Perfume

Words To Live By

Now I know these little tidbits have been around forever. But, I think if it’s worth saying it’s worth saying more than once. And besides, I’m a big believer in karma.

Abbreviated Instructions For Living

Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.

Don’t believe all you hear, spend all you have or sleep all you want.

When you say, “I’m sorry”, look the person in the eye.

Never laugh at anyone’s dreams. People who don’t have dreams, don’t have much.

In disagreements, fight fairly.

Don’t judge people by their relatives.

Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risk.

When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.

Remember the three R’s:

·       Respect for self

·       Respect for others

·       Responsibility for all your actions

When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.

Smile when picking up the phone. The caller will hear it in your voice.

Spend some time alone.

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September 2015

Well, September has finally arrived and soon things will be cooling down here in Metro Phoenix. This has been a blazing hot three months with unusually high humidity. For whatever reason, the summers seem to be getting hotter.

Hope you all had a great summer wherever you live!

Blazing Sun
Hot Summer Sun

For those of you who never met our two dogs,  I will be introducing them in a brief article called Puppy Love.  A little bit about them and some things we learned from them.

You can also find a nice quick and delicious recipe for Caprese Salad that looks pretty and can stand alone as a main course.

And as always there are a few Jokes & Stories from readers and from around the web. Feel free to contribute by email at:


In This Month’s Issue

Happy Labor Day!

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Editors note

On Friday, September 11th, please take a moment to remember all those who were lost on September 11th 2001.

Memorial Ribbon


May 2015


This month’s blog is eclectic , to say the  least. We are covering everything from martinis to musical instruments, recipes and jokes.

Before heading over to Maui, we thought it would be fun to write on a few interesting things to do and see right here in Arizona. Namely, The Musical Instrument Museum and a sampling of the best Martinis in town. Yeah, I know, it’s a tough job but somebody’s ‘gotta do it.

In our new Pull My Finger post, we will be sharing jokes from around the web. If you have a joke or funny story to contribute, submit it to: puamele@puamele.com

In This Months Issue

We hope you enjoy our blog.

Coming in June!  Trippin’ Maui


Visit us at: www.Etsy.com