Wednesday, December 31

2008 top 5

I was wondering what I should blog about on this last day of 2008, and then saw that I had been tagged! Thanks Tia--this was fun!

Here were the rules: Pick your top five pictures from the past year and explain why they are favorites. "Does it bring back a good memory? Do you look smokin' in it? Any pictures will do, you just have to tell why it is a favorite."

Only five? This was really hard!

1. This one was taken when we were on vacation in February. After being cooped up all winter this was the first time we felt warm weather in what seemed like forever. Plus, that face!!



2. This is one of the first pictures where I thought Max looked like a little boy instead of a baby. That pose is too much!


3. This one may seem like a random choice for a favorite, but I just love it. I am a sucker for pictures of open spaces--and this one happens to be what we see just at the end of our driveway. The sky looked particularly interesting this day, and I think Max and I were actually in a hurry to get somewhere when I stopped to look for a second. Glad I did.


4. Oh Max. This picture is the one we used for our Christmas cards, and it is so him. He was sitting at the table eating cookies, really making some good happy faces.


Drumroll please...

5. My top picture of 2008 has to be this one with the blue eyes. I took it in April. Max was so mobile now that it was hard for me to get good pictures of his little face. I sat him on the bench in our kitchen that is by the window and let him play with my lens cap. I got several good pictures that day, but this one by far is my favorite, hands down. I think Max looks so trusting and his eyes look so full of love. (He was probably thinking about Elmo or something, but I'd like to think he was just looking at me.)


Hope everyone enjoys the rest of '08!!

Monday, December 29

winding down


Our Christmas is beginning to wind down. Starting to think about taking down the decorations (it's not near as fun to take them down as it is to put them up!) and storing everything away. Our beautiful tree is starting to get a little crunchy. I was good about watering it this year, but I think they can only survive so long.

Santa brought Max a new kitchen, so he has been very busy cooking away. It is so funny to watch him play with all his little pans and pretend food. I asked him this morning if he would make me an egg sandwich. He gave me a blank stare, so I assume that is beyond his expertise just yet.

As much as I love Christmas, I also love the new year. Fresh starts and blank calendars. It is so easy to be optimistic as the year rolls over. This is the year I will finally be organized, eat healthy, etc. We'll see!

Friday, December 19

sugar cookies


I started some sugar cookies the day before yesterday. I have only baked part of them...the rest of the dough is in the refrigerator ready to go. The cookies are good, but they are a little hard. I am wondering if it is just the recipe. They turned out really pretty, but you have to watch that you don't chip a tooth. Really.

I think when I make the rest of them I may not bake them as long as the recipe suggests to see if that helps. Either that or I may have to hunt around for a new recipe.

Wednesday, December 17

"you're a terrible blogger!"

Andrew pointed out to me last night that I am a terrible blogger. He quickly stated that I do pretty good, but I don't post enough.

I know, I know. Every day I try to think of something interesting to blog about, but I wonder to myself if other people will find these things interesting too. Maybe.

So, in order to bring myself back to being a "good blogger" here is a little random list of thoughts/happenings/etc.:

1. I often wonder: why do baggies come already sealed? It would save people a step if they are open in the box. I will have to write a letter to Ziploc.

2. I started my Christmas shopping WAY early this year, but I am still scrambling to finish everything. Why is this?

3. Max has learned how to pick his nose.

4. My one and only adult art student is leaving today for New York, and will be there indefinitely. I will miss her terribly.

5. I need to go to the grocery!

6. We have a new niece! Andrew's sister's baby arrived on the 12th. Her name is Pepper, and we can't wait to meet her.

7. Max's new favorite food is clementines. (You know, those little baby oranges.) He eats them as fast as you can peel them.

8. I think our paper recycling multiplies in the bin. Soon I think it will take over the house.

9. I have a long list of desserts I want to make before Christmas: sugar and gingerbread cookies, caramels, Oreo pudding, white chocolate cupcakes, and Oreo balls (life is better with Oreos). I am wondering if this is too ambitious.

10. I think Andrew reads EVERY BIT OF INFORMATION in the newspaper. I just scan the front page and usually jump to the comics.

Hopefully this little list pulls me out of my terrible blogging slump. Maybe later I will have some baking/cooking photos and such to share!

Wednesday, December 10

kitchen painting


A while back I commissioned my friend Lindsay (who did the art show with me) to do a painting for my kitchen. I think it turned out beautiful. I just told her what colors I wanted and she went from there. I was so excited to get it home and hung up! It was in our art show so I had to wait a while.

The funny thing is that Lindsay hasn't been to my house in a while, so she didn't even know really what exact colors I had or anything. We've always joked that the two of us share a brain because we think alike. I guess that's how she made the perfect artwork for my kitchen without even seeing it!

Thanks Lindsay, I love it!

Note: Check out how Max has removed all the towels from the drawer in this picture. This is one of his favorite things to do!

Tuesday, December 9

messy painting day

Today is my studio day, and it was a very messy day. I usually work on small neat little watercolors, but today I was working on a couple big acrylic paintings. It is fun and challenging to switch gears once in a while, plus it is always fun to make a mess.

One of the paintings I was working on is for our church's outreach center. I like to do these paintings where you just smudge a bunch of colors together. "Smudgie paintings" is what I like to call them. I've done several small smudgie paintings before, but never one very large. I am happy with how this one turned out. (I would show you a picture, but I forgot my camera as usual.) I keep telling myself that I need to have a smudgie painting workshop because this kind of painting is very fun and freeing: like finger painting for adults. It takes longer to mix your colors than it does to actually paint!

Thursday, December 4

loving the tree


Every year after we get home from the tree farm I tell Andrew that "This is the prettiest tree we've ever had!" Even though I think that every year, I really think that this year's tree is the best. Plus I put TONS of lights on it, so that makes it even better. (Usually Andrew stands on one side of the tree and I stand on the other and we just pass the lights around. This year I went all Martha Stewart and wound the lights around the trunk and all the branches. It puts off as much light as a small lamp!)

Max loves the tree too. Whenever it gets really quiet, I know that I can find him with the tree examining all the ornaments. At first he just pointed at them and said: "Ball! Ball!" Now he likes to take them off and tries to put them back on. I'm just glad he's not trying to climb the tree or anything like that. I guess I shouldn't say that...it's still early in the season...

Sunday, November 30

not a fan...


Santa Claus came to a family event we had this weekend, and as you can tell, Max was not a fan at all. Poor thing. Andrew took him over to see Santa and Max screamed and literally started climbing up his arm. I don't think many kids like Santa at this age. I think they have to be able to make the connection between Santa and presents before they start to like him.

Right now I am busy getting things ready for "Farmland's Own Holiday Evening" on Tuesday. It is a night in town where merchants stay open late and there are lots of goodies and special events going on. It is usually lots of fun (if it isn't too cold). I always think that I am going to be really organized, but every year it sneaks up on me! That said I'd better get back to work!

Wednesday, November 26

Christmas caramels - round 1


It has become tradition that every Christmas season I make at least one batch of my grandpa Donnie's caramels. The actual recipe came from an old church cookbook, and I think that it was submitted by Grandpa's cousin. (I think that's the story.) Regardless of where the recipe originated, as far as I'm concerned it will always be my Grandpa's special thing.

I made my first batch tonight, and I think they turned out pretty good. You have to be patient and just keep stirring, then all the sudden they are done. Grandpa and I have scorched them a couple times because we get in a hurry and turn the heat up too much. We've also dropped the whole thermometer in the caramels (very sticky)!

The real test will be tomorrow when I cut them and wrap them all up. Hopefully they are chewy and a little bit gooey. Usually I wrap one, then eat one, then wrap one than eat one...

Friday, November 21

goodbye fall


It feels like fall is over: crisp days have been replaced by snow flurries, wind and cold. It feels like winter is getting longer and longer every year. (Don't I sound old when I say that?) I like to wear scarves, so that is a good thing about winter. People look at you funny if you have on a scarf when it is warm. I say that, but the stars in Hollywood wear scarves a lot. I think they are more for fashion rather than warmth. Where was I going with this....oh yes:

I took this photo of Max one one of our last fall days that we played outside. No coats, just sweatshirts. I'm sure we'll have to get bundled up even if it is cold to go out and play sometimes. If you have ever been in the house all day with a toddler you know that you HAVE TO GET OUT sometimes!

Monday, November 17

banana art

Max had a banana for his mid-morning snack today, and when he was finished this is what was left of it:



No joke...I didn't do anything to it! So funny. I think Max may have a future in banana art. Seriously, have you ever seen the challenges on Food Network where they make entire dragons (or something equally difficult) out of a watermelon? Crazy.

Friday, November 14

it's Christmas music time!


As soon as we threw out the jack-o-lantern, it was time to get out the Christmas music! I love Christmas music, so I try to get as much listen time in as possible. I have created a list of my favorites for you:

1. James Taylor at Christmas

I just got this cd a couple years ago, and I absolutely love it. This music is perfect for cozy Christmas activities. If I had a fireplace I would put this on and do some sort of hand quilting project or something like that.

2. Elf Soundtrack

This is the best Christmas movie--and the music is just as good. This cd is ideal for Christmas shopping or an equally "bustling" around type of thing.

3. Maria Carey - Merry Christmas

Oldie but a goody. I've had this cd forever. Some of the songs have too many runs in them for my taste. (You know when the song sounds totally different because the singer is all over the place making it sound fancy.) In spite of all the fancy "run" songs, I love it for the first song--All I Want for Christmas....love it! This song is would be especially good for dancing around and being "merry".

4. Vince Gill - Let There be Peace on Earth

My dad has always loved Vince Gill (and tried to sing like him--you know what I'm talking about Cale!) and I think his love of him has rubbed off on me. He really does have a nice voice. (Vince, not Dad). I think this is good music for tree decorating or wrapping.

5. Vince Guaraldi Trio - A Charlie Brown Christmas

This is my all time favorite Christmas cd. It is so festive and fun. It makes good baking music, or if you were doing some holiday "entertaining" it would be good for that too. I like to have it on in the studio at Christmas time.

There you have it, my top 5 Christmas cds! (Now that I have itunes and an ipod, it is fun to find more Christmas tunes that way too. Plus, you can just get one song at a time so you can create the ultimate Christmas soundtrack. Fun!)

I'd love to hear what other people are listening to this Christmas season!

Tuesday, November 11

blanket of leaves




I found out last year that ginkgo trees loose all their leaves at once. I never noticed it before, so this year I watched our tree to see if that was really true. Our tree took two days to loose all its leaves. Last week all the lower leaves fell on one day, then yesterday the rest came down. It was really neat to watch because they all fell pretty fast--like snow almost! Now the ground is covered in a thick blanket of ginkgo leaves. So pretty!

Wednesday, November 5

inspired

I've been thinking that I need to work in my sketchbook/journal more. I go through spurts where I'm really good at working in it often, and then other times (like now) where I don't touch it.

There is an artist who I am always inspired by. Her name is Geninne and she does beautiful mixed media watercolor pieces. I am LOVING her calendar/sketchbook/journal. Why not keep everything in the same place? It would free up some much needed space in my purse!

I love getting a new calendar every year, and I think I would be more excited about getting a new one if I look at it as my all in one creative idea storage space. The hunt is on for the perfect one! (Check out Geninne's calendar pages--she drew the lines and everything herself in a blank book. How cool!)

Sunday, November 2

one more


I just had to share one more picture of Max in his Halloween costume. He was so funny in it: he loved the tail and feet, and he actually left the little hat on the whole time. Fun.

Friday, October 31

happy halloween -or- the day the wild thing went to kindergarten




We have had lots of Halloween fun already today! This morning I got Max all dressed up in his "Wild Thing" costume and we went to my mom's kindergarten class. They read Where the Wild Things Are and the kids loved it. Max had fun playing in the kindergarten kitchen while he was at school too.

I also wanted to share a picture of my pumpkin! I did the one with the lino cut tools. It turned out pretty cute, but it was a little time consuming. Last night I tried it out with a candle and you couldn't see the light through the carved out part like I thought I would be able to. Bummer. Today I shaved out the inside a little bit more with a potter's loop tool (Man--these art supplies are coming in handy!) to make it a little thinner. We'll see if that helps.

Today I made some pumpkin cupcakes and roasted some pumpkin seeds for the grandparents to eat tonight. I am feeling so festive I can hardly stand it! (Plus this is my 200th post!)

Hope you have a fun Halloween!

Tuesday, October 28

walmart adventure

I always have to get myself all pumped up before we venture off to Walmart. It is not my most favorite place to shop, but it is the closest and I can get everything in one stop. (Which is important when you have a toddler that you are putting in and out of the car in the cold.) Max is not quite the shopper he once was, and after our grocery trips I think we both need naps. This is how our trip went yesterday:

Get to Walmart and realize that I left my list and coupons at home. Darn!

Drop all my re-usable bags on the ground when I get Max out of the car. Try to pick them all up before they blow away while holding Max. (I think I hurt my back.)

Try to walk past the toy section as quickly as possible while distracting Max.

Pick up some sippy cups in the baby section. Max is excited because they have the Disney characters from Cars on them.

Max is very mad because I will not open the cups for him. (Note to self: Toddlers do not understand the word "later.")

I get out our snacks to distract Max from the cups. Going good until we dump all of our supply of Captain Crunch in the toilet paper isle. Super. We haven't even made it to the food yet.

Max still focused on those cups! Yelling! I grab his little hands and calmly tell Max that there will be no yelling in the store. His eyes well up with tears, the bottom lip comes out and he looks absolutely broken hearted. He will not even look at me.

I feel horrible for about 3 more isles.

I tickle Max and he cheers up. I throw things in the cart as quickly as possible, hoping that I am remembering everything.

We get to the fruit and I put some bananas in the cart. Now Max wants a banana. At least he has forgotten about his new sippy cups.

To the checkout at last. Max wails when we have to put the cups on the belt. The cashier kindly scans them and gives them back.

Get back to the car and forget that I have the back all loaded with stuff to take to Goodwill. Shove groceries in every possible nook and cranny of the front of the car.

Max is relentless about those cups!!! I open them and pour water from his old cup into the new cup. I know they need washed first, but do what you gotta do.

Max is one happy camper. Mom is exhausted.

Monday, October 27

decisions, decisions


I'm getting ready for Halloween this week. Max is going to be "Max" from the book Where the Wild Things Are, and we are inviting all the grandparents over for dessert on Friday so they can all see him. (If you aren't familiar with Where the Wild Things Are, Max is the main character and he wears this white outfit that looks like a cross between pajamas and a wolf suit. Super cute. My mom--aka Seamstress Deluxe is sewing his costume.)

I have a pumpkin all ready to be carved, but I can't decide how I want to do it. I could just carve it old school style, or I could do one of the thousand pumpkin ideas I found on the Martha Stewart website. I never knew you could do so many things with pumpkins! I think I am leaning towards using my lino cut tools (sharp knife scoop things that you normally use in printmaking) to do carving where you don't carve all the way through the skin, but only go through the very top layer. It has been years since I've carved a pumpkin, so I am excited to do one this year!

Whatever I decide I will share pictures. I'll be sure to include pictures of Max all dressed up too.

Tuesday, October 21

picture as promised


Whoa...a week since I blogged! The weeks are flying so fast lately!

Above it the picture of my new little organizational/to do list set-up. Like I said before, it has really helped me keep track of all my little projects. I was thinking of setting up something similar to this at home for all my home projects. (I think I have more projects running around in my head than anyone I know!) I think they make smaller clipboards...I'll have to do some research on that. A set of smaller ones would be cute for home.

It feels so good to start something and then finish it. I think I have mentioned before that I am the Queen of Good Intentions & Good Starts. I have a little problem with follow through. I am pretty good if it is for someone else, but as far as projects just for me or our home I tend to forget about them and move on to the next thing. A visual to-do list is just what I needed.

Tuesday, October 14

progress

I've always struggled with keeping track of all my to do lists. I have several. I think I may have made progress with one particular to-do list:

I seem to always have a list of art projects that are running around in my head--things I want to try, gifts, commission work, etc. I always stress out (who, me?) and can't keep them all straight.

Well, I think I have found a solution that appeals to my visual side: I hung up six clipboards in my little work area here at the studio. (I would show you a picture, but I forgot my camera at home today. I can only make progress on one thing at a time it seems.) On each clipboard I use sticky notes to make notes about each project, then I can clip reference pictures on each one.

Now, since there are only six clipboards, I am only allowing myself to think about six projects at a time. If all the clipboards are full, then I can't take any more commissions or start anything new. It think this is key for me.

I am happy to say that this little visual to-do list system is really working for me. As I finish one project (call me Tia!), I take all the stuff off that clipboard and move them all up and move the empty one to the end. I can literally see all the stuff I am working on and all the stuff needed for each thing is right in front of me.

I wonder if I can devise a similar system for home...

Thursday, October 9

new picture


Loving this new picture of Max--he is very much a toddler now--not much of a baby look now. Crazy! I know that babies change so much in the first year, but I think that I notice more changes so far in this second year of Max's life. I think it is because every day there is something new: new words, abilities, expressions, etc.

Every day I am amazed.

Every day I am so happy that I get to be his mom.

Monday, October 6

art show



A big thanks to everyone who came out to our little show--I know that Lindsay and I both appreciated it very much! Here are a couple of my favorites from the show:
1. Getting the chance to see people I hadn't seen in a long time!
2. Fruit + chocolate dip (yum!)
3. Lots of my family in the same place!
4. Max doing belly slides all over the Cultural Center. (He was so funny...he was not a bit shy, just diving all over the place and getting his new shirt dirty.)
5. Seeing a goal finished!

Thanks again everyone!

Monday, September 29

"reclaimed"


Lindsay came in town yesterday afternoon, and we loaded all our art in the back of Andrew's truck--first sign that this is a country art show! (We only had a couple blocks to drive from my studio to the Cultural Center, so it was not too risky.) Everything is all hung and completely finished. We are both pleased with the final result, and more pleased that it is finished!

The title of our show is "reclaimed". After we were both well on our way with our artworks, Lindsay and I discovered that we were both using lots of recycled materials in our paintings. We thought this idea of reclaiming something old (old wood, paper, artwork, etc.) and turning it into something new was a theme we were both focusing on. This idea also goes along with our natural/botanical subject matter also. Nature is constantly "reclaiming": going through cycles of rest and renewal.

The opening of the show is this next Saturday, October 4th from 1-4 pm at the Farmland Cultural Center. Come early and check out Farmland's Chili Cookoff! Click here for more information. Please stop by and check everything out if you are in town!

Thursday, September 25

genius

I am currently way behind with Max's scrapbooks. I want to make a neat scrapbook for his first year (at least!) with pictures, notes, etc. Well, it is hard to find time to do that, plus I have such a perfectionist nature with projects like this that is it is hard to get much done. Every day he does something new and I think to myself: "I at least need to write this down so I don't forget this time/moment/day!" Then I have to dig in my purse (some of you are laughing because you know what my purse usually looks like!) and find my sketchbook/journal...

By the time I find my sketchbook I forgot what I was going to write!

Well, in the latest issue of Cookie magazine there was this idea:

Create an e-mail account for your child. E-mail this account with little memories, funny things, etc. that you want to remember, and want to keep for your child. The date is already on the note, and they are all held in cyberspace in an organized way. No messy sketchbook! It is really quick to do this because I am checking and writing e-mail at least a couple times a day. I think this is such an awesome idea!! Plus, not only can I send him notes and memories, but Andrew and other people can too. (Hint, hint grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles!!)

If the only thing I ever do is print off these little memories I think it will be a wonderful treasure for Max to have later.

Here's the address if anyone has little notes for Max:

memoriesformax@yahoo.com

Wednesday, September 24

that time again




Harvest time has officially arrived. This time of year has always been my favorite. I love the crisper temperatures (which we haven't seen yet, because it is still warm!) and changing leaves and all that good stuff. We don't get to see much of Andrew during this time of year, but instead of getting grumpy about it I have decided to look for the good things: I get to watch whatever I want on TV, I can start tackling my huge list of projects, etc.

Max seems to like going to the field--check out that picture from last year! So bald and little! It is something to see the whole process of collecting crops--even though I have been around it my whole life I find it interesting.

The last picture is from this spring, planting time. (Note the lack of crops in the ground.) I love this picture--the ground, the sky and my boys of course.

Switching gears:
On the art front I am almost all ready for the show! (I am ahead of schedule which is very rare and refreshing!) All the paintings are framed and ready to be hung on Sunday. Soon I will post more about the opening, so if you are interested you can swing by.

Thursday, September 18

right in the eye!

The laundry detergent I use has a handy little pump on it. It is super convenient--each load gets one pump. Love it. Today I was doing the laundry and I did the usual one pump of the soap and when the little pump came up it flung a drop of detergent right in my left eye. I couldn't see after that (because when something is flung in your eye it tends to shut very tightly) and I barely made it the bathroom to (unsuccessfully) rinse the soap out.

ON upon further inspection, the bottle of detergent said: CAUTION, EYE IRRITANT. FLUSH EYES WITH WATER. Super. I wasn't sure how to flush your eye. Remember in high school chemistry class how they have those things that look like double drinking fountains? Those were eye flushers. We don't have one at home. My mom suggested filling a little bowl with water and then sticking my eye in it and blinking a bunch. This seemed to help.

Why am I telling you this eye story? Not sure, really. I thought you might get a kick out of it. At least now you know how to flush your eye if you need to.

Thursday, September 11

a full mind


Do you every feel like your mind is so full of stuff you're working on, want to work on, need to remember, to do lists, that it physically wears you out? That's about where I am today.

I don't want to sound like I am complaining, because it is all good stuff: art shows, we're busy with auctions, etc, but there is a lot of things that need to fit in my brain and I feel like I am just barely getting it all done! It always gets done, (usually in the eleventh hour!) but it always does. I'm not sure how to combat this full mind feeling, but I'm sure that lots of Diet Coke helps.

The picture above is from Lindsay and I's little meeting last Saturday. Note: Her paintings are the ones that are beautifully finished, in their frames. Mine are the little pieces of paper that are laying around, some still attached to their little painting board. Like I said in the last post, it is very much "go time" for me!

The little paintings are coming along good, it's the big ones that are always a struggle for me. I tend to freeze up on the big ones, and make them much harder than they need to be. I have three big ones that are ready for the show, but I may try to squeeze out one more before the end of the month. I think that if I add one more then they will all work together more nicely.

To end this rambling post for the day I have a list of random things:

1. Last night Andrew and I watched 3:10 to Yuma. I think that it had the most gunshots I have ever seen in a single movie. When I made this comment Andrew looked at me and said: "It is a Western. Westerns are supposed to have tons of guns!" Should have known. Despite all the guns, I did think it was a good movie.

2. On Tuesday Max got his first haircut. He sat up in the chair all by himself like a big boy. No tears or anything!

3. Max's cute little self made another blog!

Monday, September 8

a new favorite, "go time"



A New Favorite:
I think this is my new favorite picture. We were out on the reservoir over Labor Day weekend and I got this shot of Max and Andrew. Love it.

"Go Time":
I like to have little phrases for things (because in general I think I am very dorky, and this is what dorky people do). When it is time to get down to business and get something done I like to say "Its go time!" I have also heard this phrase used when someone wants to fight someone else. This is not the case for me, it is just time to really get serious about the art show. We hang it on the 28th of this month, so everything needs to be finished, framed and otherwise ready to go by then. There is a lot more to getting an art show ready than one might think. Besides the actual art, you need to have prices, titles, artist statement, postcard design, mailing list, etc. Meeting with Lindsay on Saturday got me all inspired, (her paintings are beautiful!!) so I think I am ready to get this all finished up!

As I go I hope to share some more preview pictures of some of the artwork...

Tuesday, September 2

hydrangeas





This is a painting I've been working on lately. I really love hydrangeas. I think they are so simple and pretty.

This painting started on an old painting I had sitting around the studio forever. I covered up some of the old with the music pages, but left the blue around the outside. I love using up old ugly paintings! It is like recycling. (Plus you don't have to go buy any new paper!)

Lindsay (my partner for the upcoming October show) is coming up on Saturday for an artwork show and tell. She's going to bring up her pieces for the show so we can look at everything together and have a little meeting about everything. Yay!

Now I just need to paint like crazy so I have a bunch of stuff to show you, Lindsay!

Saturday, August 30

"sisterhood" moment


I admit it: I love teeny-bopper movies. Teeny-bopper as in movies that I am way to old to watch. Luckily my friend Carissa shares this same love. (Sorry I exposed you, Carissa!)

At one point in time we swore off them. We went to see Mean Girls and realized that we were the only people in the theater not in high school. Now I think we are just old enough not to care. Back to the movies we go!

Anyway, last night we went to see Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2. I loved it. Loved the first one, loved this one too. And, we were not the oldest people there: there was another pair of ladies there who were much older.

After the movie when I was in the restroom I remembered that the jeans I had on used to be Carissa's! (She very thoughtfully passes on clothes that she doesn't want anymore.) We could so be in the movie! (Except for the fact that we are about 10 years too old.) Oh well, that's beside the point. The point is that I had on pants that were not mine, they in fact belonged to one of my best friends, and we could so be in the movie.

Fun times. Thanks Carissa: for the popcorn, the laughs and the pants.

Friday, August 29

funny


Max is all about riding toys now. In this picture Aunt Laci showed him that if he put his feet up then he would get pushed around. Looks like he's loving that.

Hope everyone enjoys the long labor day weekend--the offical end to summer. I don't know if everyone else feels this way, but I am sitting here wondering where it went!! I had a list of projects to get finished and I don't think they are going to be finished by the end of summer! Oh well, I gave it a good try.

Friday, August 22

etsy update


I have my etsy shop somewhat updated. I think I am going to add some of my pieces from my show last year in the near future. I need to use the frames they are in for the new show, so it would be a good time to put them online. I also have a little stack of the polaroid paintings that I could add, but they have yet to be scanned, etc.

I seem to be having trouble with getting things accomplished after Max goes to bed because of all the Olympic stuff on tv! Isn't it funny how sports that you regularly have no interest in are suddenly interesting? Beach volleyball for example. I don't think that sport ever crosses my mind, but for some reason I was compelled to stay up until midnight chewing my fingernails and watching the gold medal match (is it even called a match or is it a game?) the other night.

Hopefully after all the Olympic goodness is over I can get back on track with getting some stuff done!

Monday, August 18

hello big boy


I've had a few signs lately that we are officially moving from the "baby world" to the scary and unknown "toddler world":

1. Max actually "toddles" now. Every day he is taking more and more steps...look out!

2. He threw his first fit in public today. Oh I've been dreading this. We were at the grocery store checkout, and he wanted to hold my wallet. (It was almost nap time, so that didn't help either.) Anyway, when I didn't let him have my wallet he screamed (LOUDLY) and cried (EVEN LOUDER) with big, awful, broken hearted tears. The cashier and the bag guy tried to cheer him up talking to him. No good. Finally the cashier asked if a cracker would help, and as soon as he saw it all was right with the world. Whew.

3. My baby who would try everything and eat everything now is becoming more selective. He's still a good eater, but is more reluctant to try new things. Take meat, for example. Not a fan. Not even the normal kid faves like hot dogs and chicken nuggets. Tonight I had the bright idea to make parmesan chicken tenders. I pounded them flat, coated them with parmesan, and baked them. When they were done I cut them up little and topped them off with tomato sauce. Yum, They looked like pizza. Max was on to me. He knew there was meat in there. Needless to say, my bright idea didn't work.

Even though I am a little bit terrified of what's to come, I'm sure we'll figure it out. (How about that picture--it doesn't get more "big boy" than that pose!)

Monday, August 11

fly update

Everyone must be dying to know how the flies are faring over here...

I am happy to say that their numbers appear to be dwindling. I didn't have to take any drastic measures, they just started dropping like, well you know.

I researched the subject online and found a helpful website all about the many types of flies and how to kill them. It was very serious and in depth. Reading it made me feel tired.

I really need to paint right now, but at the moment I am watching the Olympics. I have a hard time getting things accomplished during Olympic time--I love all the back stories, the underdogs, the pageantry, the hard work, and patriotism. The art may have to wait!

Thursday, August 7

the good, the bad, & the super cute

The Good:

On Monday we had new vinyl installed in our back bathroom and laundry room. Very nice and new and clean and all those good things.

The Bad:

The guys who installed the new beautiful floor had to leave the back door open all day while they were working. Therefore, our house is filled with huge black flies EVERYWHERE. Even before this I had some fly issues this year, and I noticed they were worse than usual. Just when our indoor housefly population was down, tons more were invited in. If anyone has any tips for catching flies in the house I would love to hear them. As gross as it would be to have a fly strip in here I am just about to do it!

The Super Cute:

Max has now discovered how to climb up on the couch. (Not much walking yet, but man he climbs everything!) This morning I was gathering things for his diaper bag and I walked back in the living room and he was up on the couch with the remote! Just when you think things are safely out of reach!!

Saturday, August 2

the beginnings of a leaf collection


So my "partner show" with my friend Lindsay is rapidly approaching. I am doing much better than I was at this point for last year's show, but there is still a lot to do. So, my goal is to have everything painted by the end of August, and then get everything framed and organized in September. We'll see how that goes!

The theme for our show is nature/botanicals. Lindsay and I both tend to gravitate toward this subject in our work, so we thought it would be a natural choice for us. (No pun intended.) I wanted to do a series of little paintings, so I decided to do a leaf collection of sorts. One of my most favorite things about our little house is all the great trees we have. Big, beautiful, been here forever type trees. These are the inspiration for my little collection.

So, the first two of this little series are the ginko tree and tulip tree. The ginko is on the east side of the house, and I can see it upstairs in Max's room, and downstairs in the bathroom. I love this tree...I love the little leaves that look like fans. The tulip tree is on the west side, and it is very very tall. This tree perplexes me because in the summer the leaves start turning yellow and brown and begin falling off. I don't know if this is what tulip trees do or if our tree has some sort of problem.

I have more trees to do: a couple types of maples, an elm and a few that have yet to be identified. I am enjoying these little mixed media paintings so far...which is good. I hate it when my painting seems forced, and so far the work for this show has been fun and relaxing.

A couple other things:

1. The other day Opie escaped from his pasture lot and wound up across the road at the animal shelter. Andrew swears that he shut all the gates, but I don't think our little horse is smart enough to figure them out. Anyway, a guy who works over there rode his lawn mower over (how funny is that!) and asked us we were missing our mini horse. Opie was living the good life in their chicken house eating hay and drinking lots of water. That horse has nine lives, I swear.

2. My mom helped me paint my kitchen the other day. Bye bye "Homestead Resort Pale Olive", hello "Potter's Wheel". It is the color of khaki pants. (I want to know how you get to be the person who names the paint colors. What a fun job!!) I feel like I am on a roll here with redecorating and organizing the house. After three years of living here I am finally getting on the ball.

Hope you are having a good weekend!

Monday, July 28

take me out to the ballgame



Yesterday we ventured to Indianapolis to take in an Indian's game with friends. It was a little hot, but once we were smart enough to move in the shade it was very enjoyable. You should have seen me in the sun trying to keep an umbrella over Max--I was feeling very overprotective and extremely nerdy until I saw that a few other people had the same idea.

I made a point at the game to have Andrew take a picture of Max and me together. I don't have very many pictures of me. Tons of Andrew and Max together, but hardly zilch of me. (We went to Florida in February, and there isn't a single picture of me. To look at the pictures is to assume that Andrew and Max went on vacation by themselves!)

Well, the picture that Andrew got of Max and me cracks me up. (Not in focus really, and Max is making his new mad face. Funny.) The one of the boys is much better. Hopefully we'll have better luck next time.

Wednesday, July 23

art, max pictures





Man, my blogging has been slow lately! It seems like I have been busy doing lots of other things other than writing.

I wanted to share a couple pictures from the art show--again everything looked so great all hung up, and it was a shame that it wasn't up longer. I think my studio looks so pretty with all the kids' art, much better than usual. I think part of that is because they use such wonderful, bright colors and I usually stick to a more muted scheme. I may have to abandon that for a more colorful one!

Now that art camps are officially finished for this summer, I can concentrate more on my upcoming show. I almost have two big paintings done already (I'm way ahead of last year's mark!), so now I need to work on a series of smaller things.

I also had to show this picture of Max. I think the hat/cuttie (cut off t-shirt) combo is too cute.

Thursday, July 17

young children + paint = lots of paper towels

Man, I forgot how many paper towels I need when I am painting with more than one child at a time! I hate to think how many trees we killed this week with all our spills and cleaning! I made the mistake of trying to be frugal and got the cheap paper towels. They pretty much dissolve as soon as any moisture touches them.

The studio is a giant mess, but it is a fun mess. I have kid art everywhere, and it is making me happy.

I have lots of pictures from this week of art camp...I hope to share them soon. I'll have more after our little show on Sunday. I am really happy with how the projects turned out this time.

Friday, July 11

yay!

This made my morning:

I was clicking through some of the blogs I like to read, and fellow artist and Etsy seller Michele selected one of my little paintings for a treasury that made it to the Etsy front page!

It was funny because I didn't see it at first, and I clicked on the pictures to see it larger, and I was like: "That little painting is cute--wait a minute--it's MINE!"

For Etsy people you know this is a huge fun deal! (For non-Etsy people: the treasury is what you first see when you go to the Etsy home page. Having one of your items on the front pages potentially means increased traffic to your shop. Plus it gives you that feeling that other people like your work, which is always good.)

This was just what I needed, because I have a show coming up in October, and the old familiar feelings of "what in the world am I doing" are starting to creep up.

A million thanks Michele!

Monday, July 7

"deceptively delicious" take three



Well, I'm a believer. I made the brownie recipe from "Deceptively Delicious" and they were so good! Had I not made them myself I would not believe that there was carrot and spinach in them. They have 3 grams of fiber per brownie too--crazy! Max seemed to really like them, so that was good too. I will definately keep trying recipes from this cookbook, I think that is worth the effort to take something that you like and add a little more nutrition to it.

I thought I would share a picture from a family picnic that we went to in Ohio yesterday. Every year Andrew's extended family gets together for a post 4th of July picnic. Max enjoyed swimming and playing in the sand. I love this picture because of the interesting juxtaposition of the beach/water with the farm equipment. Funny.