Thursday, October 31, 2013

2013 Immediate Impact Walk - $125,000 goal achieved!!

We are small, but Mighty!

I'm a day late in making this announcement:

Yesterday, October 30,2013, we surpassed our event goal of $125,000!!
Thank you to ALL who have helped us make this possible!!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Starting a new oil painting: "Taxi"

I started a new oil painting today, and I'm pretty excited about it.

The original photo is one that Miguel took on Instagram. I asked him months ago if I could have permission to paint any of his photos, and he said that he would be happy to see any of his photos turned into paintings.

He took this photo several months ago, and I instantly loved it. I love the colors, and the perspective.

Miguel's original photograph

I decided to crop it a bit so that the taxi wasn't completely centered, and also applied another filter via instagram, which blurred the edges everywhere except for the taxi.

my instagram version of the same photo

I had an early painting session with Dean today. I toned the canvas, then drew the grid on it. It took me a while to sketch in the image, as there are so many important angles in there. I decided to try to get all of the key angles in first thing, rather than to start painting and try to guess at the angles later.

Dean helped me located the vanishing point (which is towards the right side of the interior of the cab), and we drew all of the angles from there. Vanishing point technique still astounds me. I'm certainly learning more about it, and understanding a bit more, but not quite to the point where I'd feel confidant about it yet.

Sketched in canvas

There's an important technique in painting where you paint in the darkest darks, and the lightest lights first. This helps to establish the dark shadows as well as the bright highlights. It also really helps to give a quick sense of composition and depth to the painting, and helps to keep those areas separate from the mid-tones that you'll be doing next. It's important to never mix in white to any of the darkest darks, and vise-versa (because then you'd have mid-tones, and no extremes to highlight).

Today's session was the most successful I've ever been with the darkest darks and lightest lights part. I usually start this way, but it has never been as bold of a start as this one is. There are so many dark, dark parts, and the many angles just emphasizes the boldness of the early start of this painting.

"Taxi", session One

It's certainly in the very early stages still, but I'm really pretty happy with how it's starting off.

BTW: there are only two colors in this painting so far, Titanium White, and a new color (to me) called "Torrit Grey". Dean introduced it to me, and I took a photo of the tube so I could try to find it. That was my intent, anyway, until he told me that it's not actually sold.

Here's some info from the Gamblin Paint site:

Every spring, Gamblin Artists Colors collects a wealth of pigments from our Torit® Air Filtration system. We filter the air around the areas where we handle dry pigments so that our workers are not exposed to pigment dust. Rather than sending any of our high quality, expensive pigments into the landfill, Gamblin paint makers recycle them into "Gamblin Torrit Grey"

Link to full page of information

This is really good to know, as the color that I borrowed from Dean today was just fantastic, and a great alternative to black, or mixing black with additional colors. I'll have to keep my eyes open for this. Apparently, you can't buy it, but it is usually given away with the purchase of other colors.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Kittens and Cupcakes?! Yes, please!!!

Just received this email from Uber. I love this idea: 15 minutes of Kitten cuddles and cupcakes in celebration of National Cat Day!! All $$ goes to our local SPCA. I just might have to do this!! :)


Trying to get through! Stay tuned!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Creep 'o Rama 2013: The Game of CLUE!

We held our annual Halloween Party Saturday night. I believe this was my 13th Creep 'o Rama with Dick, and his 15th. We've only missed two years in the last 15 years. Pretty good record. I think it's a tradition now!

This year, we mixed it up: We had a theme that we let our guests know about ahead of time, in case they wanted to participate, or to help give them costume ideas.

The theme: The Game of CLUE!

It was fairly elaborate, really, but didn't start off that way. Dick has a work colleague who told us that her family did a Clue themed party once, and I thought it was a great idea - everyone could come dressed as a clue character. I also tried to imagine a way that we could convert the floor plan of our house into the Clue game board. This is where Dick took over: he figured out that we should use painters tape to outline all of the rooms in our main level to recreate all 9 rooms in the Clue House: Kitchen, Ballroom, Conservatory, Dining Room, Billiard Room, Library, Lounge, Hall, and Study. He and Spencer did that job, while I spelled out the name of each room using blue painters tape. (what would we do without blue painters tape?!)

We also had each of the six weapons: Rope, Revolver, Candlestick, Lead Pipe, Dagger, and Wrench

And suggested to guests that the could come dress as their interpretation of any of the six characters: Miss Scarlet, Mrs. Peacock, Mrs. White, Colonel Mustard, Mr. Green, and Professor Plum

But wait, there's more:
Dick actually figured out how we could make a party game out of it.

He came up with these directions for the guests who came who were not dressed as a clue character:

Game Directions
Mr. Boddy has been murdered! It is your job to discover who killed him, where, and how.

You will receive exactly three official Suspicion Cards from Colonel Mustard. Each card specifies a Suspect, Room, and Weapon (see below). You will also receive a clue notebook to track clues.

To play the game, you fill out a Suspicion Card in ink. To use your suspicion card, you must first bring together the suspect and weapon into the room specified on your Card.

suspicion card

You then reveal your Suspicion Card to the Suspect (“I suspect Miss Scarlet, in the Billiard Room, with the Rope!”), and seek to have that suspect DISPROVE your suspicion by revealing an official Clue Card that matches one of the Suspect, Room, or Weapon on your Suspicion Card. Whether or not they disprove your suspicion, you may continue to reveal the same suspicion card to other characters in order to gain additional information.

At any point, you may fill out a new suspicion card, but you MAY NOT modify a suspicion card.

As your suspicions are disproved, you are gaining clues, which you may track in your clue notebook.

At 10:30 in the evening, you must write your name on any suspicion cards that have not been disproved, and submit them to the accusation box. The solution will be revealed, and any accusations that match the solution will be entered into a drawing for a fabulous Grand Prize.

Miss Scarlet, Mrs. Peacock, Mrs. White, Colonel Mustard, Mr. Green, and Professor Plum.
Rope, Revolver, Candlestick, Lead Pipe, Dagger, and Wrench
Kitchen, Ballroom, Conservatory, Dining Room, Billiard Room, Library, Lounge, Hall, and Study.




Character Directions

If you came dressed as a character, you received a sealed envelope with your character's name written on it, containing three clue cards. We made matching envelopes (the same characters had the same three clue cards inside) for up to three of each character.

Here were the directions written for each character:

IMPORTANT: You MUST NEVER reveal any of your three Clue Cards to anyone, with one exception:

As the game is played, player/guests will show you official Suspicion Cards, which will specify the Suspect, Room, and Weapon (“I suspect Miss Scarlet, in the Billiard Room, with the Rope!”).

If any of your three Clue Cards matches the Suspect, Room or Weapon on the Suspicion Card, then you MUST reveal that card, thereby DISPROVING the suspicion. You MUST NOT reveal more than one card, even if more than one card matches the Suspicion, and you MUST NOT reveal your card to anyone other than the player making the suspicion.

If you cannot disprove the suspicion, then you simply say “I cannot disprove that.”

The game worked out REALLY well! It took a while to get going, but once it did, it seemed that our guests really got into it.

We had lots of great costumes, including several people who came dressed as Clue characters (Professor Plum, Ms. Scarlet and Mrs. White were the popular ones) and even had additional weapons brought as props!

Here are some photos from the night:

The Library

Billiard Room

The Hall

The Conservatory

Dining Room

Your Hosts: Colonel Mustard and Mrs Peacock, in the Kitchen, with the....?

Mr. Green

We set up the "Bat Cam" again - a tradition we started a few years ago when we did a Batman theme. We set up a computer with a camera and remote so people can take fun candids. We added a screen this year to help separate from the background

Mr. Green, using the giant magnifying glass to figure out the mystery of whodoneit.

Keeping up the tradition: The Cake!

Here come the guests!!!

Around 10:00 or so, we decided to see who the winners of the game were. We collected any Suspicion Cards, then Colonel Mustard opened the Top Secret Envelope with the answers. We had about 5 or 6 correctly answered Suspicion Cards, then drew 3 names for three fabulous prizes!

Colonel Mustard opens the Confidential, Top Secret Envelope!

...and the winner is: Jack! He won a nice bottle of wine

In the end, it was Mr. Green, in the Conservatory, with the Lead Pipe!

The Professors Plum, in a heated discussion with Colonel Mustard about the outcome of the murder mystery

A fun time was had by all. Thanks to all who came to Creep 'o Rama 2013!!!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Making an Impact

One of my favorite new things that was incorporated into this year's Immediate Impact Walk was the Impact Board. Linda bought a white board, and put the words "Today I am making an Impact for" on it. Throughout the weekend, we took photos with the board, each of us putting different names or words on it to express our reasons for walking. Seeing all of the photos later, and seeing what each person wrote, is one of my favorite memories of the event.

The amazing Linda Imlay put together this video with all of the photos of the Impact board. It is so beautiful, and really helps convey the spirit and heart of each person in our event.

Making An Impact from In Our Lifetime on Vimeo.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Immediate Impact Walk: Day 3

Sunday's Route

It always takes me a few days to write the post about the final day of an event. It was a really fantastic day, which made for a great ending to an amazing event weekend.

We met at 7:15am, at the same location where we had finished Satuday afternoon. Each day, we were joined by additional walkers. Our event has the option of walking one, two, or all three days. On our last day, we would have 27 walkers, and 9 crew members.

In a circle, listening to announcements, and Linda's reading.

All of the walkers and crew (minus the photographer) Sunday morning.

Linda reading from an inspirational book.

Happy Birthday, Holly!!!

Sharla's family came from all across the country to support her and join us for the event. Her sister, Michelle, walked with us on Sunday.

Early on, I walked with my friend, Sharla. Sharla had an injury from Thursday night, and wasn't able to walk as fast as the rest of the group. I had a great time walking with her for a while. We ended up in the back if the pack, then further and further away. Eventually, we were picked up by the sweep vehicle (our motto is: "Sweeping is Sexy!") and driven about .3 miles to catch up with the rest of the pack. It was my first time sweeping during an event (and I did walk more than 15 miles anyway), and I was so glad to have spent that time with Sharla. :)

Sexy Sweeping with Sharla

We caught up on the Embarcadero where we ran into former Hottie Teammate, Laura!! Laura is getting married next weekend, so she was unable to join us this year. We are all so excited for her, and were happy to see her along our route!!

Congratulations, Laura!!

The walk along the Embarcadero was sunny and beautiful.

Holly and Catriona

We had our first bathroom break at the Ferry building, then took a cable car photo op on California Street!

Cable Car

We walked down California street, through the Financial district....

....and Up into Nob Hill...

And eventually to Alta Vista (?) park for our second break.

After our break, we made our way up and over into Russian Hill...

...where we walked down Macondray Lane. Macondray Lane was the inspiration for Barbary lane in the "Tales of the City" books. We took a group photo, which I sent to my friend (author of "Tales if the City"), Armistead Maupin. Here was his response on Facebook. :)

Facebook conversation with Armistead Maupin

Here I am at the entrance to Macondray Lane.

We made our way down towards Fisherman's Wharf, and walked along the Bay.

At Tge Cannery

You can see how Tge fog is sitting on the Bay. Starting to get chilly!!

Stephanie and Judy walking like a pedestrian. :)

Our lunch break was along the Marina Green! We had lots of friends and family meet us here! 

Cheering us into Lunch

The final walkers come into lunch

After lunch, we only had about 4-5 miles left. We walked along the Marina, into Crissy field, towards our beloved Warming Hut.

We had a quick break at the Warming Hut, took a final group photo, then headed out on our final leg through the Presidio.

One last stop at Tge Warming Hut. It was pretty chilly by this point, so it was fairly quiet there.

We had two green poles with ribbons tied to them that we carried along with us throughout the entire event. The green ribbons had the names of each of the participants and our beneficiaries. The white ribbons had names written by Tge participants, of each of the people in whose memory, or honor we are walking for.

As we neared the finish line, we gathered together so we could all walk together to the end.

The top of Immigrant Point, where are friends and family are cheering us on at Tge finish line. Such a moving, and amazing sight!

Walking up the final flight of stairs...

Sharla came down from the top to lead us all to the finish.

We reached the top, and the end of our 55-mile event, and were greeted by our family and friends.

Me with my Super Husband.

Yay, Family!!! Bro, Sis, Graham and Dick. Thank you ALL for braving the cold and coming out!!

Closing Ceremonies

Linda did a great job, addressing the crowd, and letting them know what this whole event meant to all of us.

Linda and Charisse speaking

The most emotional part if the event for me personally, was listening our friend, and fellow-walker, Sharla, deliver her amazing and heartfelt speech. Sharla has been walking with our group for six years, and had her own breast cancer diagnosis in July of this year. Her speech was incredible.


We presented each of our beneficiaries with a temporary check. The money is still coming in! Each day, we're getting closer and closer to our $125,000 goal!! Stay tuned!

Representatives from Friend to Friend, Breast Cancer Emergency Fund, and Charlotte Maxwell Clinic.

Linda finished Cliding Ceremonies with the unveiling of this banner, and the release if butterflies.

Tamara (moto crew) and a butterfly

Meg (sweep crew) and a butterfly

One of our event banners 

Sunday's Stats

Here are a few random favorite photos (taken by others) from Sunday

Today we are making an impact for Sharla. xo

Our crew, sending thanks to one of our event sponsors, Krave Jerky!! We love Krave!

One part of the group Thank You gift for Linda was the Warming Hut painting that I had painted earlier this year. We had it framed, and presented it to her at Closing Ceremonies. 

Final group Photo

The Immediate Impact Walk Full 55-mile Route