Monday, February 28, 2011

Mornings with Asher

Asher: Points at my chest. "What are those elbows doin'?"

Me: "Those aren't elbows."
* I actually had hopes that the conversation would end with "those aren't elbows".

Asher: "What are they?"

Me: Sigh. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. "They're breasts."

Asher: "What are breass?"

Me: "Something that mommies have."

Asher: Lifts his shirt. "Buy me some breass."

Me: "Boys don't have breasts, honey."

Asher: "Where's Daddy's breass?"

Me: "Daddies don't have breasts either, honey."

Asher: "I want breass."

Me: Pause. Long pause in hopes that he'll just walk away. No luck. "Go play, Asher."

Friday, February 25, 2011

Five For Friday- Blogs

Here is a list of five blogs I truly look forward to each day:

1. Thy Hand Hath Provided I've learned lots form this lady! Not only does she blog faithfully but she also provides you with all sorts of information about: parenting, gardening, chickens, cooking, etc.

2. Testosterhome This blog is written by a mother of five boys who just had a daughter last fall. Both she and her boys crack me up. When you check this blog out go back a post or two to the one called "A plus, plus, plus, plus". Funny!

3. Clover Lane This is another mother of five; 4 boys and a girl. She writes about everything, mother-wise. And she calls it like she sees it. She gives great advise and tells funny story and takes beautiful pictures.

4. It's All About the Fabric This lovely lady loves fabric. If you love fabric like I love fabric, check out her blog. She posts some yummy pictures of fabric. But not just fabric- she also blogs about the beautiful things people make with fabric.

5. Hyperbole and a Half Do you need to laugh? Do you need to laugh 'til you cry? If so, check out this blog. She doesn't post very often but when she does her posts tend to be worth the wait! If you click on her link you'll go to the first post of hers that I read: The Four Levels of Social Entrapment. This thing had me laughing so hard I was crying. I could hardly read it after a while and my poor boys were very concerned. *Warning: watch the language. (P.S. Check out her post about the Party.)

I hope you take the time to take a look at the blogs. And, by the way, thank you for taking a look at mine!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Update- The Circus

First of all, as you can see, The Twins, April and May, are finished. Go here for more pics and their back story. Right now I am working on Serena the Snake Charmer and Her Snake, Sebastion V. I hope to have her finished in the next few days.

Next, scroll down and you will see that I have decided to add a new element to my portraits. Take a look and I'll see you at the bottom.

I have decided to add drawings to my portraits. I am quite excited about this new direction because I LOOOOOOVVVE to DRAW!!!!! Really! Wanna hear how I came up with this "idea"?

Well.... One of the circus portraits that I want to create is of the Tattooed Man. I originally/insanely intended to back stitch tattoos all over the guys arms, shoulders and chest. Knowing deep down that I would be a very old lady before I was finished, I decided to look for tattoo-like fabric to use as his flesh. I found some that I liked on-line but decided to mull it over a bit and see if I could come up with another idea. Because I know how to draw and could therefore create whatever tattoos I desired, I wanted to figure out some other way.

That's when inspiration struck (while driving home from a search for tattoo fabric)! I would draw the tattoos myself, on paper. I could do them just in black and white or I could do some watercolor washes if I decided on colored tattoos. And, most importantly, I had figured out a way to include my drawings!!!

I also thought that this circus series was the perfect way to introduce paper and pencil to my wool and cotton portraits. I was already set to begin work on the twins when I first decided to do this so, long story short, I decided to add a collection of anthropomorphic butterflies that were a tad mutilated. April and May seemed to love the idea and the rest, as they say is history!

I hope you like this new addition to my portraits. Let me know what you think!!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


In the book that I am reading, The Creative Call, the author gives little "assignments" for the reader to fulfill. The chapter I am reading is about inspiration and the current "assignment" is to write about where and when inspiration strikes.

Where does inspiration strike? When do creative ideas reveal themselves? Good question!

I started to remember some specific incidents of inspiration striking. (Yes, I can remember some, even from back when I was in college. Those are probably the really big "AHA!" moments and that's why I can recall them.) As I started to think about inspiration, past and present, I realized they have something in common...


I certainly don't lack for general ideas. The list of portraits I'd like to create this year is quite long. I know that there is no way I can get to all of the people on my list by the end of 2011. At some point, I'll need to sit down and prioritize. (My list of circus folk continues to grow long after I made the "final list".) So, for now at least, the ideas are a-flowin'!

The kind of inspiration that I look forward to, yet it seems to always catch me off guard, is more specific. It'll be about a specific portrait, how she will look, what she'll wear, what she'll "say" to those who look upon her. That kind of inspiration is a bit more taciturn. It can't be forced. And, at least in my case, it only comes at an inconvenient time.

While I'm driving. Taking a shower. Trying to fall asleep. In other words, whenever I am far from paper and pencil and, therefore, unable to record these sought after thoughts and visions.
I have finally noticed this pattern. Yea, me! Now, what to do about it.


The thing about getting inspired at inconvenient times is that I have to continue dwelling on these thoughts and visions until pencil and paper can be found. I can see that that extra time spent in the ol' noggin helps these little gems mature. By the time I can pull them out of my brain, I can see that they were worth the effort. I used to think it was annoying as all get out. But now... Well, I'll not begin to keep pad and pencil by my bed, in the shower(?) or in my car.

Where and when does your inspiration strike? Have you ever consciously thought about it? I recommend you do. It was interesting and helpful to me to "pin it down". The creative process can be mystical and magical. It can be wearisome and frustrating. It can be over-flowing and it can drag its feet. I think that the more we understand our own, unique, creative selves, the easier it is to deal with whatever comes our way (or not, as the case may be).

So, here is to inspiration- whatever form it takes, whenever it graces us with her presence and whenever it chooses to strike!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Nathanael's Eighth Birthday

Sunday, the 20th was Nathanael's eighth birthday.

We began the festivities, just the four of us, at this play area at the mall that is filled with bounce-houses. The boys had so much fun and were getting along so well. It did my heart good to see them together and so happy! It was quite fun to watch. And crazy, too. But worth it. After being there about an hour, Asher had this zombie look about him. He kept wandering around like he didn't know where to go or who he was with.

On Saturday, we had a fun party with some of Nathanael's friends from school. It was a bowling/pizza party and, although Nat. was the only one who had bowled before, it was a hit! And exhausting! And, if I ever hear 'poop', 'tinkle', 'toot', 'butt', 'diaper' or 'booger' again, I'll scream! Does anyone out there no when boys grow out of this stage??? Anyway, it was a success, we all had fun and everyone slept really good that night.

On to Sunday. Now, I know this first picture is not of the birthday boy but, Asher was beyond excited. The suspense was about to do him in! He eventually yelled out, "Mom! Take my picture!" So I did...

Now for the birthday boy. Does he look like he is about to burst, or what?

Gifts from Grandma and Grandpa. (That had already been partially opened by Asher.)

Now for the gifts from Mom and Dad.

You know who I really bought that for, right? Me! Ha! He'll be at school five days a week. Before you know it, I'll be the true Queen of Pac Man! Actually, we've been playing it most of the day and having more fun than I thought possible. Good choice!

Another Lego Star Wars star ship for Mom to put together. Which is fine with me! I love Legos and have fun putting them together. Soon, Asher will be old enough for Legos. Joy!

And, finally, the gift from Asher. More Legos. Egyptian/mummy themed Legos.

Back to Asher and his out-of-this-world excitement for someone, anyone's birthday! Yea!!!

As I write this we are being covered in steady-falling snow. I'm glad there's no school tomorrow.
I've been away from Pac Man long enough now. Wish me luck...

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Gifts and Hard, Hard Work

I've been thinking about creativity/artistic ability/whatever-you-want-to-call-it a lot lately. Probably because of the book I'm reading, The Creative Call by Janice Elsheimer. Also because of the direction my "creating" as taken recently.

I believe that my artistic talent is a gift from God. I believe that it will always be there, even after twenty years. I believe that whatever gift you've been given is yours to keep. And, I am very thankful for all of it.

I know that this gift is not magic. I know that I have to work on my skills constantly or they'll get rusty. I know that being creative, imaginative, artistic, whatever- is draining, exhausting and, sometimes, quiet.

When I was in college, I had a friend who was an incredible drawer. Everything he did was astounding- technically, creatively. I liked sitting a little behind him in class to watch how he executed whatever drawing he was working on. I learned a lot from him, just by watching and copying his techniques. Anyway, I remember his telling me how much he hated when people called him "gifted" or "talented". What upset him was that they weren't acknowledging how hard he worked. I didn't quite understand him at the time. He certainly made drawing look like an act of magic. But, as time passed, I understood.

I can draw. I can draw quite well. But it has been awhile since I have really sat down and put pencil to paper like I did way back when. What I do now is different from what I did then. But, I'm okay with that. What I did then was motivated by others. What I do now is all me.

And, you want to know what's cool? I was looking through my old portfolios, showing my boys what I used to do. -Don't get me started on the giggling during the life drawing portion of the show. Little boys squealing and yelling "Naked! Naked!" while I'm trying to explain that they aren't naked, they are nudes. There is a difference.- Anyway, I started to see a common thread between what I did then and what I am doing now. It was really exciting to see that. Like the inspiration has been patiently waiting for me to get back to it. I'm so glad I did!

To summarize: "talent" is a gift. It's like a special seed that is planted inside a person. You can let it sit there and be a seed, never growing and becoming something even more amazing. Or, you can feed it, care for it, watch it grow and grow right along with it. Do you ever wonder if there are any "seeds" inside you, waiting to sprout?

Monday, February 7, 2011

Now that I'm feeling better...

Remember how I started last Wednesdays post by informing you that my boys were both sick? Well, guess what? That's right! I got sick, too.

I don't know what this particular 'bug' was but, oh boy, did it kick our butts!

Monday evening, while I'm in the kitchen making dinner, Asher walks up to me and vomits all over the floor. It was so out of the blue and Asher gave no hint about what was going to happen that I just stood there for a moment, staring in horror at my floor. Thank goodness Dave was there. He wisked Asher away to clean him up and I cleaned up the floor. While gagging. A lot. It was so gross!!! And it didn't stop there. The poor kid kept throwing up until about nine o'clock that night.

Fast forward to Tuesday morning, about six o'clock. I hear from Nathanael, who has just stuck his head in my room, "My stomach hurts." This was followed by him running to the bathroom and throwing up. Over and over again. The poor baby was the palest shade of green and his freckles seemed to get bigger and 3-D. His eyes looked huge, like a sad puppy dog. I could hardly look at him with out wanting to cry.

So, there I was, snowed in with the vomitteers. Little wonder that, Wednesday night- blammo! It got me. It got me good! I was so upset that I was sick that, at one point, I started to cry. My loving husband woke to the sound of my tears and asked me what was wrong. When I uttered my whining, wimpering, "I'mmmm siiiick", I heard him inhale and say in a strangled voice, "Oh, honey..."

Why a strangled voice? 'Cause he was holding his breath! I'm surprised he didn't run out and purchase a haz-mat suit, you know, just in case. I remember, when we were dating, that no matter how sick I was or how contagious, he was there taking care of me. Not that he doesn't take care of me now when I get sick. It's just at a safe distance, while wearing gloves. And a face mask.

Well, I'm better now. Let's forget it all like a bad dream.

Now that I'm 'back', I can take a look at the war-zone that used to be my house. What a mess! I spent the morning giving the living room a thorough going over. It looks good and it sure is nice to be able to do more than lie there and watch the dust settle!

I've also been working on plans, etc. for Nathanael's birthday party which is rapidly approaching. More on that later.

I hear the thump, thump, thump of my Asher, up from his nap, so I'm off! Enjoy your day!!!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Tuesday's Thing- My Art Journal

***I know it's Wednesday but, because both boys were sick with a stomach bug yesterday, I didn't have time/energy to post. They are doing better today and, now that I find myself with a moment or two, here goes...

I've started reading a book called The Creative Call by Janice Elsheimer. I've only just started and, due to all of the drama involved with vomiting boys, I am not far into it and will give you a summary/review later. I have gotten far enough to find that the author stresses the importance of an art journal. Not a sketchbook but a journal. A place to put thoughts, ideas, inspiration, pictures, quotes and well, at least in my case, sketches.

So, during my spot of me time on Sunday, I bought a small, hardcover sketchbook. I've made it pretty and have promised to try really hard to write or sketch something in it every day. It's only been a few days but I am really enjoying the process.

I start out looking at my little book and finding nary a thought in my head. Then I make myself sit down and start to write something (today I wrote SNOW DAY!!!) and it kinda snowballs from there. I've had some recent bouts of inspiration lately and this little book helps me to both record and expand on those inspirations. I give it: two thumbs (cracked and bleeding) up!

Here are some pictures:

Now, back to watching cars/trucks/vans (currently a pretty little mustang) trying to drive up or down our un-plowed street. Entertaining, to say the least! Stay safe and warm wherever you may be!
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