Aspenglow By John Denver (Another Christmas favorite)

Here is another one of my favorite music pieces for Christmas.  We played this album to death in the 70’s.  I would sit on my couch and look out at the snow when I would play this song. So beautiful!  Now my kids love this song, too.  They should, they heard it enough!

I loved John Denver and felt so bad about his passing.  What a great  musical artist he was.  He seemed as if he could paint a picture with words.

Enjoy!

 

A Few Oldies, but Goodies

I am posting some of the first pictures I created for greeting cards back in the 70’s.  I remember taking the designs down to the printers with my mother and going over everything with the printer.  The artwork couldn’t contain many colors because of the expense, so to provide interest, I drew in black ink with a rapidograph pen and had it printed on cream-colored stock and colored in certain areas with a red marker.  That was it.  I was so excited when, in about a week, I would get the call from the printer that my cards were ready. Boy, have things changes since then or what???  It was so exciting back then, though.

So, here they are. The first designs I sent out into the world as greeting cards.  You know, I think I am going to cry.

 

Girl On The Beach

Girl On The Hill

Girl In The Rain

 

Penny Candy (A Trip Down Memory Lane)

Hi all!  I was just sitting here thinking, “What can I write about?”, when I thought of a conversation I had with my husband in the car the other day.  It was about going to the bakery as a kid (which would be 1950’s to 1960’s),  buying penny candy and filling up a small paper bag.  Then we both started naming all the candy we could remember.

Okay, here goes…the first that comes to mind is Squirrel Nuts, which were so chewy my teeth would stick together and  thought I would break my jaw as I tried to chew. They were too good, so I’d just keep placing them in my mouth.  Yes, yes…candy necklaces, which I wore (nerd) and candy dots on paper, which I think I ate my share of paper that stuck to the undersides.  Okay, Flying Saucers, you know, the candy that tastes like the church wafers, only slightly flavored with candy beads inside!  Still don’t know why they couldn’t give these out every Sunday at church instead.  Sorry .

Sky Bars were my favorite, 4 surprise creams in a bar. Yum!

Ok,  remember those wax bottles filled with sugary liquid???  I shudder now when I think of eating or swallowing that liquid and how sweet it was.  They were kind of like the energy shots of today!

There were Razzles, the candy that was also a gum…genius!  Pop rocks, rock candy, milk duds, caramel creams!  Oh yes, atomic fireballs!  They were so hot when you first put them in your mouth, it made your eyes water, until you got used to it.  Then they were just sweet and you had to bite them, take them out of your mouth and look at all the layers it had inside!!!  So cool!  When it was done, the experience was so cool, you had to do it all over again.

The coconut  3 striped candy, neopolitans.  Jelly Nougats, Chunkys, Ice Cubes,chuckles, necco wafers.  I could go on and on.

But the last is the absolute best…..W A X   L I P S!  Come on, there wasn’t a cooler candy around.  First you could wear them and make everyone laugh (just see photo below of my kids trying them out when they were younger).  Then after that you could place them in your mouth and chew it like a gum!  The flavor was irresistible!  Like a sweet vanilla or something.  Oh, take me back, I can’t stand it!  Why did everything seem more awesome when we were little!

Come to think of it, do you remember caps and cap guns.  You didn’t even need the gun really, just a big rock.  You slam the rock down on the cap and “Bang!”.  Then you pick up the red burnt paper and you did ,what????  Yes,  you’d smell it!  Oh, the sweet smell of sulfur!

And then the “Snakes”.  These were always available around the 4th of July. They were black tablets you lit a match to, and it grew an ash snake that looked like it was alive as it coiled around…Oh my God!  I guess this is going to have to be another post!!!  I keep remembering stuff, see what you made me do!

Oh well, I hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane, or Candy Lane, I should say.  Hey wait, that sounds sort of like Candy Land.  Remember the game Candy Land???  I loved that game …with all those yummy pictures and neat candy names!  And then there’s the Mystery Date game???

Wait!!!  Stop!  Stop!

I gotta go….Bye! 🙂

My Mick Jagger look alike kids with their wax lips

Memories Of Manila (not Vanilla) Paper

I just set up my new website (cherylmcnulty.com) that will feature all of my artwork.  I just had to chuckle because the line I used to start off my introduction is:

As long as I can remember, I had wanted to be an artist.  In my younger days, I would bring home large sheets of manila (I always thought this was “vanilla”) paper from school and draw pictures in crayon for every holiday. Then, being so proud, I would tape these pictures up in my kitchen for all to see.

That just brought back so many memories for me.  I distinctly remember when it was time for art class when I was in 4th and 5th grade.  They would pass out this large sheet of paper and put it in front of you and you had your own (hopefully sharpened) Crayola Crayons.  Like I said, I always thought it was “vanilla” because of the color, not manila.  Anyway, the teacher would say something like, “Okay, I want you to draw something with snowmen”,or “Draw something that represents Springtime to you”.

This was like heaven to me. I couldn’t wait.  I would stare at this large piece of paper and think, this could be anything.  It all begins with that first stroke. I would be so excited and had so many ideas in my head, I didn’t know where to begin!!  We had just one hour to complete it.  Of course the boys and jocks all moaned like they were in a living hell, which I could never  understand. Although, I was always the one that hated Gym class!  Go figure.

Do you know I would be so immersed in my drawing, that the hour went by like it was ten minutes for me.  I enjoyed it that much.  This could also explain why gym class felt like half a day for me, when it was only an hour. Yuck!

Anyway, I would always get alot of compliments on my drawings.  I would do the fancy shading thing with my crayons, not just plain orange, but shade it in a darker orange or red to give it that “oompf” factor.  My mother taught me that trick when she would color in my coloring books when I was small.  She would color in my Snow White coloring book and make Snow White look like she would jump off the page.  She had blushing, pink cheeks and shine in her hair.She looked beautiful!  And this was just crayon!

Well, now I’m really going to make myself blush by sharing with you some saved old crayon drawings from long ago.  Yes, I saved some.  What can I say…I was proud!  Now don’t laugh!  Here goes:

By The Sea (colored pencil,1979)

Spring (crayon, 1978)

Bedtime (crayon, about 1975)

Joy To The World (crayon, 1976)

My House At Christmas (crayon, about 1975)

A real photo of my house (I think I did pretty good)

Introducing…PED-HEDS©

Okay, this may seem a little unusual.  In the ’70’s, I came up with a series of characters called Ped-Heds.  I came up with the character while doodling in my high school class one day (go figure).  I came up with this goofy looking character that had just a head and a foot and made them into greeting cards, to hopefully sell to a greeting card company (as always).  I had the series sent in for copyright protection (officially) and then started sending them out to various card companies.  As I drew them more and more, they became what you see today.  They became cuter and had funny sayings, and it seemed perfect for it’s time.  Then one day, I received a contract in the mail from a large New York Company that dealt with alot of work overseas, as well as here in the U.S.  They were very interested, but the contract was not drawn up very well.  It looked a little shabby.  So I took this contract to a lawyer I knew, and had him review it just to be safe.  

Needless to say I was very excited.  Dreams of me finally reaching my goal in life and doing what I loved and getting paid for it, was unbelievable.  I couldn’t wait to sign on the dotted line, but wait…..

The lawyer made recommendations to the contract and things had to be reworded on the contract, or I would not be protected.  They could take everything and I would not get a penny if I signed it as is.  I was crushed.

The Lawyer sent the recommendations to the company and we waited.  They came back by saying the contract was fine the way it was and that there were too many recommendations. I called them hoping beyond hope this could still work.  This was all a mistake.  But no…

On the phone they told me they thought it over and that they couldn’t do, or wasn’t interested in, the idea any longer, and that was that.  Dreams dashed…again. 😦

I was miserable for a long while, but I had to think that if I had signed that contract, it could have been worse.  I tried after that to send them to other companies, but got rejected or was told they looked deformed.

Many years later, I was talking to someone about this whole episode in my life, and this person told me they thought they remembered seeing or hearing of Ped-Heds, but it was not “me” they saw on an interview, or where ever they heard about this.  It was someone else.  I was furious!

This was before computers were so popular and I never checked it out, but looked everywhere in shops to see if I saw them anywhere.  I never did. 

I google the word “Ped-Hed” now and don’t see anything.  But will anyone out there let me know if you do… and also tell me what you think of this character.  I tried putting arms and legs to the character, but I don’t know if it does it any justice.  Then I’ll have to change the name!!!

Anyway, world…this is a “Ped-Hed”©, and even though I am no longer Cheryl Riley, I am now Cheryl McNulty and I am the creator!!!!

The End

"Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" Ped-Hed

 

"I was just lying here thinking of you." Ped-Hed

 

"Friends are for sharing the best of times!"

Time In A Bottle/Jim Croce Music Video

I found this video and this song, which I love.    i just had to share it. It says so much.

I have been feeling a little down lately, and yes, it has to do with time. I just started this new job and it’s been tough trying to settle in with trying to figure out my schedule and fit everything else in as well. I will get there.  I can’t let my dream go of being an artist, that would kill me. I hope to have a post titled “The Dream” which I am writing, up soon.  It’s almost like a goodbye to the dream I’ve been working on for so long.  But I could never really say goodbye:(.

Anyway,I looked this song up and found this video of Jim Croce with his son and wife, and it’s so sad  that he died so young and left them behind.  He was a great artist.  Enjoy…and really listen to the words.

Summertime In The 1970’s

The Famous Hibachi Grill

Sitting out front on our porch (70’s)

Oh yes, I remember  summer in the 70’s like it was yesterday.  These times were the best.  I was just a teen experiencing love and everything was exciting.

Tank tops,bell bottom jeans and cut-off shorts.  Hanging out on the front porch with my sister and friends.  Tan and slim and acting goofy, waiting for it to turn dark, that’s all.

We always had potato salad and burgers on the grill…the hibachi.  Dad would use the charcoal briquettes and lighter fluid (I can still smell it to this day) and waited for the charcoal to turn to hot ash.  After dinner there would be toasted marshmallows, which always had there own unique taste. That was the smell of summer, along with the smell of Skin-So-Soft from Avon.  After a day at the beach, you would come home and have a warm bath to wash off all the sand and the coconut-smelling Coppertone suncream (hardly ever used a shower) and the oils would soften and smooth the skin to feel like velvet, and the smell…heavenly.

Some “Gee, Your Hair Smells Terrific”  or “Herbal Essence” (just one fragrance) shampoo and you smelled great!  Everyone had long hair…until Dorothy Hamill came on the scene.  That’s when I cut mine.

Anyway, when we would have cook outs, my dad would go down the street to get ice, not at Sunnybrook Farms  Milk store but the ice house, which just cut ice for you.  He would load the ice in metal garbage cans 3/4 full and then load every soda imaginable in there.  Every can was icy cold…and I’m sure, very sugary.  Who cared!  After dinner we always had Entenmanns Cakes, chocolate chip cookies or brownies, which were then, rather new.

I think of it now, when my sister and I would sit outside on the lounge chairs all day, starting as early as the spring just to get a tan, it was like even though we sat in the driveway, men were everywhere gawking.  From the pizzeria behind our house, where the guys constantly put out trash, especially when they saw us out there. To the milk man, bakery truck man,egg man, meter reading guy…everyone came to the house.  How did we ever get any privacy???  I can’t believe how you had all these people showing up at the house.

Do you remember the ice cream man…and then the lawn mower truck (they would also sharpen your blades).  They had a truck that sounded like the ice cream man, and it always fooled me!

My sister and I hung out on the porch most of the time blasting our stereo from the living room listening to tunes like “Na Na Hey Hey” and “OOh, OOh Child”.  If not that then we would listen to her toot-a-loop, does anyone remember this thing????  It was a radio shaped like an O and you could open it and sit it on a table in the shape of an “S”.  Look it up on google. So funny.

We had Prell shampoo and floating Ivory Soap, then there was also Irish Spring or Tone, and Colgate Toothpaste.  That’s the names I remember.  My Mom smoked “BelAirs” or “Salems” and Dad always smoked the filterless  “Lucky Strikes”.  You could also buy these at the gas station down the street in a vendor machine…anyone could buy them. Amazing.

Rocky Point Amusement Park was our destination in the summertime.  It wasn’t summer until we went their with our boyfriends or friends.  That was the best, besides long days at the beach.  Clamcakes and chowder…and still we were thin!

Yes, I remember it was like yesterday. and I would take all that stress- free time back in a minute, before they invented computers and cell phones and all  the interruptions that go along with them.

These were definitely good times…good times.  🙂

Here are some songs that epitomize the summertime of the ’70’s.  Perfect!