Monday, October 25, 2010

Of Shoelaces and Clock Faces

Nathanael finally learned how to tie his own shoes yesterday. (Insert sound of villagers rejoicing here.) He is seven and a half. I think I was about five, at the most, when I learned how to tie my shoes. I was feeling pretty superior about that until I remembered that velcro shoes didn't exist in the early seventies. (We'd only just gotten ourselves on the moon, after all!) So, I realized I had to cut the kid some slack. I was the one buying him velcro shoes so that my life would be a teensy, weensy bit easier. Yeah, that back fired. Oh, well, he knows how to tie his shoes now and that's what's important!

And then I had this "physician, heal thyself" moment. I may be able to tie my shoelaces with my eyes closed but...

I'm not very good at telling time, not on a traditional clock face. In my day, instead of velcro, we had digital clocks. I relied on digital clocks more than I should and now I cannot just look at a clock and tell you the time. I have to pause and figure it out. I do better now. But, heaven help me if my life ever depends on my giving someone the time.

Then, there's that whole left and right thing. Left and right has always eluded me. Again, I do better now but not much! I always have to think a bit about which is which. I can't begin to tell you how envious I am of people who just KNOW their right from their left. Especially those who can answer the question, "Your right or my right?" (Just thinking about having to determine whether or not something is on my right or your right makes me break out into a cold sweat.) Thank goodness I got married. As long as I remember that my wedding band is on my left hand, I'm okay! If I ever have to diffuse a bomb and am told to cut the wire on the left, say your prayers!

I'm horrible with Roman Numerals. I apparently have the math level of a first grader. I can't parallel park. I pronounce ostrich oy-strich and almond owl-mond. I can't type very well and often get into a panic about one or another letter that has gone "missing". I can only hope that these have become endearing qualities. Old dogs and new tricks, ya know.

So.... Congrats, Nathanael! I'm so proud. Seven and a half is not to old learn how to tie your shoes.

Friday, October 22, 2010

5 Halloween Must-Sees

In no particular order...

5. "Thriller" video by Michael Jackson. I remember watching this with my little brother when it first aired. It was one time we were actually allowed to watch MTV, as a matter of fact. I had gotten the "Thriller" album (a big, round, black, vinyl thing called a record) for Christmas. We had the song memorized. I remember Christopher and I sitting in our dad's black, leather recliner that was aimed at our TV (the better to watch hokey games). The two of us clung to each other in anticipation- we were 11 and 8 when the video aired. It was so cool! Very worth the wait! Memories...

4. "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown". Need I say more? Charlie Brown's costume. Linus' faith. Sally's loyalty. Sally's scorn. Lucy's rare tenderness. The Great Pumpkin. And, this perfect quote from Linus, "There are three things I have learned never to discuss with people: religion, politics and the Great Pumpkin."

3. The Muppet Show with guest star Alice Cooper. I remember when this came on, too. Again , watching it with my little brother and our parents. I was 8 and Christopher was 4 so we had no clue as to who this Alice Cooper was. I do recall a certain amount of confusion concerning the name "Alice". We just thought it was about the most incredible thing we'd ever seen. On the Muppet Show!!!

2. "Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein". And Dracula! And the Wolfman! Bela Lugosi, Lon Chaney, Jr., Glenn Strange, Abbott and Costello!!! Come on!!! I love, love, love Abbott and Costello movies, no matter who they meet!

1. "Young Frankenstein". Mel Brooks. Gene Wilder. Madeline Kahn. Mel Brooks. Cloris Leachman. Marty Feldman. Mel Brooks. Ah, Mel Brooks. That man can spoof a genre like no one else. This movie is not only funny, but the way it pays tribute to the great horror films and actors... A masterpiece! I love everything about it. Every line and action. "Walk this way." "Roll, roll, roll in the hay." "What great knockers! -Thank you!" "Frau Blucher." "He was my Boyfriend!" "But the candle back!" I could go on but I've got stuff to do!

If you haven't experienced any of these, I'd like to suggest that you do. I plan on introducing my 7 year old to Abbott and Costello this year. What do you like to watch this time of year to help you get into the Halloween mood?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Christmas Carol in Portraits

Another Christmas project for me this year is "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens.

I love "A Christmas Carol". I love every movie version there is. Each different movie has something about it that makes it a favorite. I have lines memorized right down to the slightest inflection and tone. And, don't get me started on the musical! Come Christmas time, I will watch these movies over and over and over and... You get the point.

So, with the new direction that my art is taking, "A Christmas Carol" seems to have been written just for me! (Thank you, Charles!) However, as much as I love the story, it's characters, it's various interpretations- I have never read the book! Surprised? Me, too! 2010 is officially the year I finally read "A Christmas Carol". But not quite yet...(it's October, for Pete's sake!!!)

I will be creating portraits of characters from the book for this holiday season. Each will measure 14" x 18", finished size. And, each will be as true to Mr. Dickens representation of the character in his writings. I plan on releasing, if not creating, each character in the order that they are introduced.

So, here are some peeks at my sketches so far. On my selling blog, Mr. Scrooge (the first) has already been released. Check him out.

Jacob Marley, Door-Knocker

Ebenezer Scrooge on Christmas Eve

Ebenezer Scrooge When the clock Strikes One

I plan on making several Ebenezer's as his character's nature changes frequently throughout the tale. I'm looking forward to making the Ghost's. Well, except for the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. I'm not sure how to do his portrait. Thankfully, he doesn't come about until the end of the book!

Keep checking back for updates here. And check out my other blog and Etsy shop for the completed portraits. In the meantime...

Bah! Humbug! :)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Random Tuesday

Tuesday blogs are for , well, anything. A chance for me to share my thoughts with you or something new that I have discovered. Here's the thing... I'm desperate for a thought, folks. I mean a deep, interesting thought. It's not happening for me today. So here are some random, not particularly impressive thoughts...

:: Nathanael is really into Star Wars. I love that because I was his age when I was first introduced to Star Wars (read: Han Solo). However, he is into the Clone Wars and all of the Anakin stuff. Which is before my time, as far as the Star Wars (Han Solo) I'm interested in is concerned. Yet, that part of the series was developed in my adult years and, therefore, after my time? This has produced a "which came first" scenario that is absorbing me and, I believe, the greater majority of my brain cells.

:: Did you know that in Baltimore, in the mid-1800's, pigs were let loose in the streets to "dispose" trash, etc.? I did not know this. I am assuming this took place elsewhere in the world. One more thing that is preoccupying me today. Go figure.

:: Have you seen the candidates in the running governor of New York? ( Head slowly shaking in despair.)

:: Asher is in such a terrible-two stage! He is down-right schizophrenic! No wonder I'm incapable of deep-thinking lately. Ever see the movie "Gaslight"? I'm beginning to think there is more to his behavior than meets the eye. At the very least, he has turned me into a twitching, paranoid, Joan-Crawford-one-minute, June-Cleaver-the-next version of my former self. When he turns three I'm throwing a BIG party!

:: Here are some pictures of the boys helping with the yard work.

Look at them! So cute!!!

He kind of looks like Han Solo when he got frozen in that copper stuff by Boba Fett.

Look at how well Asher's hair blends with the leaves.

Alright. Enough. I think I'll go fold laundry and watch the "Masterpiece" I recorded. There's nothing like a little "Wallander" to pick you up and make you think that your life is a-okay!

Monday, October 18, 2010

It's Momma Monday! (Again)

***I'd like to dedicate this post to the memory of Barbara Billingsly and her role as June Cleaver (super-mom) in one of my all-time fav's- "Leave It To Beaver".

Monday. Finally. I've been looking forward to this Monday for the past three weeks.

I've been doing a lot of sewing and show-prepping and birthday celebrating. And through it all, I've had my eye on today, Monday. A brief and needed bit of respite from the sewing and show-prepping. Even if it is only for a few days.

And what will I be doing? Cleaning!!! I miss cleaning my house! The kind of deep-down, intense, loose-track-of-time kind of cleaning. The kind of cleaning that results in re-decorating because you tear your house apart.

It actually began yesterday. I spent about an hour cleaning my half bath. A half bath that is called a half bath because you can only fit a half person in it. It shouldn't take more than 15 minutes to clean that "room". Now, don't think I was scrubbing on hands and knees, Cinderella-like. I just took my own sweet time! Because I could! And then I rewarded myself by "shopping" my Halloween crafts and re-decorating that tiny space. Asher was very impressed.

Today it was the kitchen. I've been dreaming about giving this kitchen a once-over for a while now. And I did. I also rewarded myself by re-decorating for Halloween. Again, Asher was pretty impressed. We celebrated with a trip to buy some pumpkins and gourds to scatter artfully around the kitchen and dining room. I still have to dust the woodwork in the dining room and give both floors a super-cleaning, but other than that we're looking good.

That's pretty much what my week is going to look like; cleaning, catching-up and being just mom.

I'm off to the eye doctor and perhaps a stroll around Target. Have a lovely day!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Gone Stitchin'

****I will not be posting anything new this week as I have a BIG show to prepare for on Saturday. See you next Monday!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Summary Saturday

What a week!

It began with a lovely, surprise over-night trip with my husband. And I was surprised! I didn't have a clue. It was nice hanging out with my bestest bud, eating out, shopping and being treated like a princess. We were just supposed to spend the day away together to go to the Ghoultide Gathering- but he treated me to lots more!

Summary #1: I have been truly blessed with my husband.

And Ghoultide Gathering! You can't take pictures there so I have none to show you. However, go to Ghoultide's website and click on the various artists. A lot of them have posted pictures that they took of the show, their work and the other artists work. It was a fabulous show! I felt like a kid. I got to meet artists whose work and faces I've seen only in magazines. I was really inspired (and wet- boy, did it rain!). I think my work would fit in there. Someday. Soon. After a wee bit of honing and refining.

Summary #2: I want to be in the Ghoultide Gathering.

I also turned 40 this week. I remember when Oprah turned 40 (quite a while ago). I remember how she made turning 40 seem like a better thing than turning 21. I wouldn't go that far but I see no problems with being 40. Besides, if I feel a little concerned about my age, I can just look at my wonderful husband and think, "At least I'll always be 5 years younger than him!" See, he really is a wonderful man!

Summary #3: I'm 40. We'll leave it at that.

The rest of the week has been spent frantically stitching. I've got another big show a week from today- eek! I'm working strictly on Christmas now and loving it. If you looked in my window, you'd see me in my Happy Halloween T-shirt stitching up an ornery-lookin' Ebenezer Scrooge, while Asher, in his Halloween shirt, holds up the Santa I made and says "boo!" to it's face.

Summary #4: We are holiday-befuddled and happy!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Five T.V. Crushes*

*Current T.V. crushes. I could certainly wax poetic on the many attributes of Pierce Brosnan from Remington Steele and Bruce Willis from Moonlighting. That'll be another post.

In honor of the end of the summer T.V. season and the beginning of the fall T.V. season, today's list will be dedicated to five T.V. actors/characters who reside in a small part of my heart. Nos. 5-2 appear in no particular order. #1 is #1 and I, personally, don't see that ever changing!

5. Tom Selleck. Look at him. The smile. The twinkle in his eyes. The voice. The mustache. I'd have to fight my mom for him but I think I have a chance.

4. Adam Baldwin. More specifically, John Casey on Chuck. I think part of the crush stems from the fact that he looks a bit like my husband. I love his (Casey's) attitude on the show. And he grunts. He could grunt at me anytime.

3. Matt Bomer. My parents practically forced me to watch White Collar. I'm so glad they did! It is a great show, for one thing. Then there's Neil Caffrey played by Matt Bomer. Adorable!! I'd have to fight my mom for him, too. To hear her talk about him makes me think I don't have as good of a chance.

2. Matt Passmore. Jim Longworth from The Glades. If you didn't see The Glades this summer, I pity you. Fabulous show! One of my favorites. And that hunky man above is the main reason why. His character is a rather straight-talking, sarcastic, tact-free homicide detective. It was love at first sight.

1. And last, but not least. The man who holds a somewhat inexplicable spell over me. The man I find my self thinking about, wondering about- and he's not even real. The man who makes me have a better understanding of where stalkers come from. The man who makes me laugh and cringe at the same time. Doctor Martin Ellingham from Doc Martin. (I know I have asked this of you before and I am going to ask it of you again- If you have not seen Doc Martin, see it. Now! ) Since the first time I saw Doc Martin, I found myself thinking (read: obsessing) about him until the next episode. I own all 4 series, I watch them repeatedly and I am anxiously awaiting series 5. Should they ever cancel this show.... Well, I just don't know what I'll do!

Okay, enough about my delusions, I mean, crushes. How about you?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Art Update- Plans for Christmas 2010

A peek at Joyeux Noel.

I've got lots of plans for Christmas. Lots. I have to. I have three more shows to do before Christmas. So what am I planning?

For show purposes, I will be creating a series of 12 Christmas characters. Miss Noel above is the first. Each of the characters will have their portraits done on a gift box, a tissue box cover and an 8x10 portrait. It's been fun coming up with the different characters and their names. Anyway, I've got the first set complete and am working on the second set- Santa. Nothing like making Santa's in early October. ;)

But of course, those little ones will not be all. I'm really excited about beginning work on my bigger portraits. Where will I start? Mr. Scrooge, of course!

Check out the couple of pics below. (Yes, I know there is a Shit Tzu on the table. Don't ask.) And, stay tuned for more updates. Maybe I'll have some Scrooge goin' on for next Thursday...

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Binder Love

Remember shopping for school supplies- your school supplies? Remember getting a new Trapper Keeper? I do. I loved shopping for school supplies. I loved getting a new Trapper Keeper binder to organize and fill with paper. I still do!

This a rather blurry picture of (part) of my work table. It's where I sew and sketch and have deep thoughts. I do business related things here as well as family related things. 'Cause, let's face it , moms, running a house and family is A LOT of work. I, personally, have to be somewhat organized or all heck would break loose! What helps me stay organized are my binders. I have three binders that I turn to regularly. My gardening binder has, for the most part, been retired till next spring. My meal planning/grocery/recipe binder I touched on last week. The binder that keeps me sane is my Home & Business Binder.

I've been using this binder for close to four years now. It really helps me to keep my life in some kind of order. I'm not always faithful to it, but I try to be. The more I use it, make it a part of each day, the better off I am. I keep it simple. It is really just a series of lists. Because, if there's one thing I love more than binders, it's lists!

My binder is broken down like this:
1. Month-At-A-Glance Calender. I make my own, cheap and easy. I just use a sheet of lined paper, write the month at the top, number of days along the margin and a S,M,T,W,T,F,S so I know the day. I use this to write in must-know stuff; ie. doctor appts., no school or half days, craft shows, etc.

2. Daily "To-Do". Again, I make my own with lined paper. I write the day and date at the top of the page and I fill that section with each day of the current month. At the beginning of each week, I fill in meals (at the bottom), appts., etc. from my Month-At-A-Glance page, blog themes, laundry days, etc. Each morning, I sit down and make my list of things to do for that day. And each time I actually manage to accomplish something- I cross that baby off my list!

3-5. pertain to my art and business. I have a section for listing project ideas, finished product, goals, inventory. I can cross-off and add-to and make notes as I go. I have another section with show info. That's important to me for tax purposes and so I can compare notes with other shows. My last section has general business information in it. I keep everything from a mini-business plan to web-site and Etsy info. to names of suppliers and tax stuff.

I also have pockets for show apps. and info., receipts and pencils and business cards.

This binder helps me to keep my thoughts in order, keep track of important dates, ideas and information and helps me to see what I have accomplished and what I need to do. So, if you are looking for a way to better organize, run out to Target (any excuse to go to Target, eh, Danielle?) buy a binder, some dividers and some loose leaf paper. Make whatever sections make sense to you and your family or business needs. And try very hard to visit that binder regularly.

Now to cross "blog- Binder Love" off my list!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Happy Birthday, Momma!

That's right! It's my birthday!

My 40th birthday...

As in, I've been alive for forty years. (Really?!?)

Sorry about missing out on Saturday's post but my husband surprised me with an over-night trip to Livonia. You say, Livonia? What's in Livonia? Not too much but, what's near Livonia is Northville. And, what's in Northville was the Ghoultide Gathering. For a Halloween lover/artist like me, this was the perfect birthday weekend. Almost 24 hours just me and my man! I didn't have to cut up anyone's food. I didn't have to ask anyone if they had to go potty. I woke up all on my own. What a nice treat that was! Of course, we talked about the boys about 75% of the time. And we bought them gifts. And we talked to them on the phone. And we cut off our trip a little short so that we could have dinner with them. (I'll write more on the show another time.)

As for it being Momma Monday, I should be writing about Mom- things. Right? Like, how wonderful it is to hear your two year old say "Bert-date t'you, bert-date t'you". Or, how wonderful it is to get a birthday card from your seven year old with words of love written on it along-side a picture of you holding a gun watching father and son fight with lightsabers. I never got gifts like this before my boys. I know each year the gifts will change, mature, maybe make more sense and lighter on the violence. But I'll tell you what... I'll never forget these birthdays. And, I'll always be grateful to God for the best gifts ever- Nathanael and Asher.

(And that dream-boat of a husband is pretty awesome, too!)

Friday, October 1, 2010

Five for Friday

Fridays post will be a list of five... anything. Not necessarily in order. Just a list of five. Feel free to add your list of five... whatever in the comments below.

In honor of it being (finally) October 1st, today's list will be five reason why October is the best month of the year.

1. My birthday is in October. The 4th. Monday. I'll be forty. 40. So far, I'm okay with that. Any way, birthday= cake + presents. Woo! Hoo!

2. Halloween is in October. A chance to dress up. Candy. Spooky movies. Candy. Decorating for Halloween. Candy. FREE CANDY! Again, I say, Woo! Hoo!

3. Look at it outside- blue sky, gold, ruby and copper leaves, orange, white and pale-green pumpkins, crisp, white sunlight, ivory-pink moon- the colors of October are inspiring to say the least.

4. Cool air. I'm not a hot weather person. This is my time of year in the temperature department. The chilly breeze that you can feel as it passes through your lungs and keeps you cheeks pink. Bring on the sweaters!

5. Pumpkins. Not only their colors (as mentioned above) but also the way they feel- cold and hard, smooth and bumpy. I love their shape and the fact that you can make them into your own work of art. The seeds when roasted and salted are wonderful. And then there's pumpkin bread and pumpkin pie. I grew my own pumpkins this year and had the most fun watching them grow and change each day.

So there you have it. My ode to October. What is your favorite month?
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...