Friday, December 28, 2007

......... ahhhhhhhhhhhh.......

..... that was a sigh of contentment ... could you hear it? could you feel it? are you too content? 
.....ahhhhhhhhhhh ...... 
i like the holidays and the hustle and bustle and busy .... but just as good, or even better .... is the days of no school ... no work ...no big deal days ..... easy days AFTER the holidays ....
we five are, at this moment, are celebrating this post holiday calm with masses of family members .... my five.... one brother and his family of six ..... and my other brother   ... family of five ...... and my folks ....and another brother ..... 
didja do the math? 19 of us under one roof .... crazy or what? the nine of the ten cousins are like a gang ...or a swarm .... or a herd ..... the tenth cousin is like a grown up ... and he cracks me up ..... 

but .... i really got on quickly and secretly to update you on my art .... here are the three gifts i gave to my sweet children ..... 
they each got the clock that they asked for ... drew's and julia's i made specifically for them ... sophie's, i just clocked out a painting i already had .... 

so, i'm family-full and busy.....not arting ... my game journal is up to number 511, i think .... pretty good , huh? 

hope your christmas season is lovely, that your leftovers are almost eaten up ... but that you still have plenty of sweet treats to get you through the new year ... and that you are surrounded by the people that you MOST want to be with ..... 


Monday, December 24, 2007

a christmas story.... dec. 24th in the morning ....

my sophie came into my room this morning ....
the girl: mommy, i can't sleep anymore 
the mommy: snrgle snort ... what? 
the girl: i can't sleep anymore.... i'm ready
the daddy: did santa come?
the girl: WHAT?
the daddy: did santa come? 
the girl: daaaaaaaaaaddy.... santa comes THIS night, not last night
the daddy: what are you ready for
the girl: mommy is taking me on an emergency shopping trip .... i need another present for drew and julia and i thought of it ... we're going to cvs
the mommy: go get dressed
the girl: i am dressed
the mommy: brush your hair
the girl: it is brushed
the mommy: shoes on....
the girl: mommy, i'm ready .... i'll go pick out your clothes .... get up ..... 

an ancient rabbi was asked "who is a rich person?" ... the reply? ...the rich one is he who delights in his portion"  .... making the most of what you have... who you have .... appreciating your small things .... 

i am dressed in non matching clothes that my daughter got out for me ... many shades of blue that i wouldn't wear together.... and a pink hat ... and we went to cvs and debated the merits of tootsie rolls and dots (julia's favorites) as well as the enigma of jolly ranchers vs. nerds (drew's favorites) ..... we came home and let everyone know that we had a secret wrapping expedition in the basement .... we enjoyed our secrets and our time together .... sophie and i are rich, delighting in our portion.... even if our clothes don't match..... 

here's hoping for a meaningful, happy christmas time ....
with smiling faces....
surprise presents ....
delighting in your portion..... 
appreciating the small things .... 
pink boots..... 
and joy ..... 


Friday, December 21, 2007

72 hours and counting ....

in 72 hours my family will be sitting around the christmas tree exchanging gifts .... i think that means i should get on with wrapping .... but somehow i'm not feeling pressed at all .... instead, i'm watching my kids' new favorite show,  duel, and browsing blogs .... i just watched this video ...

heidi, aren't you collecting vintage bottle brush trees? 


my joy today was a chocolatey extravaganza this morning, a lovely lunch out,  some raucous bowling with pals, and dinner at the home of other pals .... it was  a great friend kind of day ....

how 'bout you? 

how are you spending your last days and evenings running up to christmas? 

4 days til christmas ....

yesterday was a two cupcake day....
today was a chocolate for breakfast day .... 

sophie came into my bed this morning and said, do you know why i come and get in your bed, mommy? ...... 
grrrrr, snort, snuffle, yawn, what honey? 
do you know why i come get in your bed? 
cause you're tired of being in your bed? 
no! i get in your bed cause i love you so much and can't wait to see you every morning .... 
THAT is why on alarm clock days i keep pushing snooze and am reluctant to get out of bed ...i'm waiting for sophie, right? ok, maybe not ... but that's what i'm saying from now on ..... 
yesterday was a two cupcake day....
today was a chocolate for breakfast day ..... 
i got to stay in bed until after 8..... with my sunshine chattering  away about things ..... and then we had to start our important day ....our first-day-of-no-school-at-all-so-you-better-do-something-christmasy day .... 
do you know i'm not a kitchen girl? for a variety of reasons, but particularly, i don't like to follow directions and i'm also inattentive .... that makes for poor recipe following and burned food ...... 
but.... i had a plan .... an even-kitchen-mishap-me-can- do-it plan .... in the microwave, we melted chocolate chips ... we added a titch of milk and a titch of sweet and condensed milk ..... and julia stirred and stirred and stirred til it was smooth .... then we dipped .... 
chocolate covered pretzels ....
chocolate covered ritz crackers ....
chocolate covered graham crackers .... 
all with generous coatings of christmas sprinkles ..... 
yesterday was a two cupcake day .... 
today is a chocolate for breakfast day ..... 
before we got going, i got sophie to get our of her froofy, fluffy night gown.... unles she wanted chocolate sleeves .... so she went up and got in her paint clothes ... ha .... she was expecting a big mess, huh? i did one, showed the kids how....and then i had breakfast ... they chocolated each other, the kitchen, the dog, and a few crackers and pretzels ...... and sprinkles....let's talk about sprinkles ... ha ... i had a jar of red, green and white balls.... tried to put them into a bowl for easy dipping application ... and EVERY one bounced out all over the counter ... like super balls .... half landed on the floor ... the dog ate them .... oops.... so they...um, we....  made a joyful christmas mess .... i ate breakfast then did the clean up .... 
we just packed up a tin for us and a tin for our pals, the strines, who we are going out to lunch with .....  
yesterday was a two cupcake day ...
today was a chocolate for breakfast day ..... 
can't wait to see what tomorrow brings .... 
hope your days leading up to christmas are yummy! 

what's the best holiday yumminess you've had so far? 

Thursday, December 20, 2007

5 days until christmas ....

but really ... 4 days until christmas eve ... and i have a big deal christmas eve ... church at 3 for the children's pageant ... home from that at about five to put the beef in the oven .... family and friends and dinner and dessert .... and then gift exchange ..... all on christmas eve.... 
this collage is one of my grand accomplishments today .... i actually did the art bit a while ago .... but today i made it into a clock ... all three kids asked for me to make them clocks for christmas .... so this one is for sophie .... it goes PERFECTLY with the art that i gave her last year for christmas ....   sophie celebrates ..... if you did the click, you can see that, true to form i had done a bunch of similar backgrounds .... and then waited to finish them ... this clock piece AND sophie celebrates are done on backgrounds done at the same time ... i think i did five or six of them at the time....and finished them out over the course of a year or so .... that's definitely one of my art quirks.... i have all manner of backgrounds just waiting for me ..... 

so.... even with all the christmas hubub, i spent some time in my studio today ... this does count as art AND something to tick off my christmas to do list .... 

AND .... i just finished writing, stuffing, licking and stamping my christmas cards .... all 100 and how many? ..... and i still need to gather a few more addresses too ... i hope to get them in the mail tomorrow .... hurrah! my deadline i gave myself was saturday ... so friday is a day ahead of schedule .... hooray for having my christmas cards done early ...early is in the eye of the beholder, i suppose.... i got about ten christmas cards the week of and after thanksgiving ... what are all those people going to think of me when mine get delivered on the 24th and 26th .... i'll tell you one thing.... emblazoned at the top of my christmas letter, i typed, procrastinators of the world unite ..... 

are you feeling joyful, being joyful, doing joyful? i  hope so!
my day was so joyful that i had two separate opportunities to eat cupcakes .... not a bad thing, having a two cupcake day .... 

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

6 days until christmas ....

ok ... let's just start the count down ... six days ....
if tomorrow was christmas eve, i'd be ok ... not that my gifts are wrapped or any of the other tasks on my long (imaginary) list are finished ... but i'd be ok .... 
today was all over the place ... fun and frivolous and busy and exhausting and .....
 
i went to a party this morning ... a brunch with my women's group at church ... that was the best part of the day .... great food and a gift exhchange .... 

then i did some shopping with my pal, ashley... my car was (is!) in the shop .... so instead of going home after the party, we went to some cute shops ... did i need to buy anything? no, not really... it was a bit of a joy ride... but that's ok ... isn't that what the season is all about? .... 

then, the interesting bit of the day: fedex delivered, not one, but two boxes .... i was expecting one .... my christmas cards arrived ...hooray! i opened the box and what is in the box?
 .... 100 adorable christmas cards .... wait for it .... 100 adorable christmas cards with the spillers on them .... the spillers? you ask ... who are they ... well ... a cute family with two boys.... witt is in a spanish immersion program and plays baseball ... the dad coaches.... and beckham plays the glockenspiel and soccer .... really! ..... 
my first thought was ...OH! the poor spillers .... which quickly turned into a POOR me ..... until i opened that other fedex box and there were my cards with my non glockenspiel playing children ..... whew!  i called kodak and they said just throw them away!!! they'll reprint and resend faster than it can get sorted out from here .... so what do i do with 100 spiller cards ... it just seems too wasteful to toss them ... but i don't know their address .... sigh .... the funny thing is that kodak gave me a good samaritan credit for TRYING to help ..... groovy, huh? 

and lastly, all that talk of procrastination yesterday? i finally buckled down and wrote my christmas letter ... my pal ashley told me that her daughter checks the mail EVERY day for my letter .... ack .... and has dibs on opening it and reading it first ... big pressure!! 
so i wrote it .... and andy came home from his trip exhausted and still proof read it for me .... so we're set .... we'll see how long it takes me to get all the envelopes done now!! 
so, are you doing the peace on earth thing? or dashing about frantically .... happy day!! 

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

my procrastination has reached new heights ......


did you watch the video? old faithful? the geyser in yellowstone park ....... go ahead ... watch it
.... i'll wait .....

so here you go ....
-i've hardly started wrapping gifts ..... oops
-i've not written my christmas letter ...oops.... i know, some people HATE those letters , but i've done it every year for 11 now ..... some people have come to expect it ....i'm gonna do it...
-i've not addressed a single christmas card envelope .... oops.... but i will ....
-i have a piece of art promised to a child ... and i haven't made it yet .... oops... but i will .... mostly cause i already did the other two kids' art...
-i haven't planned my menus for christmas eve dinner (11 people) or christmas morning (i like a good breakfast casserole ... but no one 
else does) ... or christmas day ... (i know i need a turkey, at least)
-i'm sure there are other things i need to do that i haven't even 
thought about ...oops!!!

i guess that's the bad news .... but the good news is i've gone ahead and started planning my summer vacation .....
i want to see old faithful at yellowstone ... with my kids .... and hike 
through the volcanic land and forests .....and see bears and wolves and groovy stuff ....
i want to raft on the snake river like lewis and clark did ... well maybe not LIKE they did ... but in a kinder, gentler, safer way .....
... so my children and i spent the afternoon perusing yellowstone 
sights .....
this one is links to yellowstone in depth .. in case you want to actually learn stuff .... or perhaps an easy overview of yellowstone on wiki.... .... or, a groovy one,  my favorite yellowstone website..... .... and one more: live webcam at old faithful .... .... who needs to get ready for christmas when there is so much planning and dreaming to do ..... 

and just so you don't think i'm a lightweight procrastinator ... i'll just tell you ... i'm a multi tasking procrastinator ..... i started to make andy a photo book online ...which meant editting my photos, uploading my photos, and then diddling around with my photos while i make the book .... then i realized, i was making a 2007 book .... for a 2007 christmas gift ... which is, well, just dumb .... cause then you miss out on the last two weeks of the year ... and they are big photo op days ......so.... i had that slooooow revelation that i can't  print the photo book until january 1 ..... which is ok .... cause his birthday is in january ... BUT ... what am i still doing ... working on the book ...yup ...i'm working on the birthday book but don't have his christmas gifts .... 

and one last method of procrastination .. my new year's resolution ...nope... i'm not planning ahead for my 2008, procrastinators don't do that ... rather, i'm working to fulfill the 2007 resolution .... what was it you ask? well .... that's the test .... who knows what my new years resolution was .... and ... if you know the resolution ... go ahead, guess my number ... and it isn't 500 ...... 

really, i am this pretty much put together kind of girl ... but somehow i've just lost it ..... i'm just deedling on in my own little world of procrastination and denial ..... when i suddenly stop blogging, you know what i'll be doing ... planning my yellowstone vacation ....or hiding from the ghost of christmas present ...... 

Monday, December 17, 2007

monday's early bloggage

good monday morning!!
just in case my day gets away from me, i'm getting the bloggage done early ...since i'm sitting here anyway ..... 
julia is home sick from school .... which changes the way my day might turn out! 
to respond to some blog comments: 
yes, jeannie, you are absolutely right ...i'll go on survivor first and then go on amazing race as a celebrity ...ha! me? a celebrity? 
then, to queen vallen ... she says she is behind because 
she hasn't groceried yet .... to that i say, we are out of the all important chocolate milk and bananas! and that's just what i need today .... i too need to plan my christmas menu ..... it will happen in due time ... but no time soon! ....one thing at a time .... 
i just cleaned up my dining room from a party we had ... rearranged the tables and chairs so that i can have a big christmas eve dinner ..... 
set out the napkins fresh from the laundry and put out the christmas crackers .... who else does that? poppers? wear a crown? ....any idea what i'm talking about? ha! it is one of my christmas traditions ....... another good one we have: on christmas eve, we put a gift on the table as your place card .... so you sit at the seat with your gift ....and open it before you eat ..... that way you get a little early gift to whet your appetite .... or, when i was a kid, to make you want to eat faster so that you could get to the other gifts ..... except for that one year when, as a teenager, i opened underwear at the table, it has always worked out and been grand ..... we do our gift exchange on christmas eve ..... gifts from each other after dinner .... and then christmas morning is just santa gifts and stockings ..... when i was a kid christmas eve was always the most exciting .....
what are your unique christmas traditions? 

Sunday, December 16, 2007

sunday night, still sunday, not monday yet, not saturday anymore ....

oh...sorry, no time for artsy post! 
i am simultaneously 
1.ordering my christmas cards (that might become new years cards)
2.making a photo book online for a christmas gift (that might become a birthday gift, jan. bday)
3.watching survivor ... i LOVE that show .... 

i'm pretty sure that i'm going to apply to be on survivor one day .... i hope it goes for a lot more years, cause i have to wait til my kids are big enough ...so, i'm middle aged at the moment ... i'll go on and be the old one ..... so, i'll just age a bit and then i'll be perfect ... and i'm certain they'll pick me ..... i'm an optimist like that .... oh wait, which should i do first, survivor or amazing race? hmmmm ...something to ponder ..... while i continue to procrastinate proper christmas time preparation ..... tra la la ..... in the mean while, i'm an artist who seems to do more laundry than art .... but i WILL do art tomorrow ... i have a plan ... 

ok .... if you read this post, please leave a comment ...... tell me which holiday thing you just haven't gotten to yet .... that'll make me feel less of a slacker for ordering my cards tonight ... who knows when they'll get here, but at least they are pretty cute ..... 

when is yesterday really today?

this is my saturday post and i'm certain blogger will tell you it is sunday, not saturday... but i beg to differ! .... i am still in my saturday....not done yet, not moving on to sunday at the stroke of midnight .... i refuse to concede that saturday could possibly be done ... so my today is still saturday, though saturday might technically be yesterday .... so, it is still yesterday, today.... ok
yesterday, meaning friday, since i'm saying today is saturday though technically i suppose you could argue that friday is double yesterdayed ..... where was i? ....oh yeah ... on friday morning i went to pottery and did raku and got two dear angels out of the flames ...one lost its halo ... so i won't show its picture until i do something to construct one for it .... a halo-less angel is ... well ..... what? maybe a fairy? definitely a rank below angel! .....
 but ..... i do have one glorious raku fired angel to show you today (yesterday) from yesterday (double yesterday) ...... 

so ... perhaps i am feeling a little overwrought by the yesterdayness of today because i stayed up so late last night ... and now i'm doing it again ... vicious cycle, this night owl thing!!! 

tomorrow, in my journaling class, we are working on the outside of the journal .... we painted them last week.... and this week we are working on the spine ... and adding fibers and what not .... should make for some interesting pieces ..... 

off to bed! it's nearly tomorrow ... but don't get me started on that! 

Friday, December 14, 2007

try again

...neither heidi nor allison could see the photos of my fifth graders' art ..... so here i am trying again ..... if you'd like to read about these two pieces, i think the post is two down from here ... hope this works!! not sure why they aren't showing up on the other post ... they do for me .... 


i had a FAB pottery outing this morning .... i'll show you pics tomorrow .... 

happy friday and a partridge in a pear tree

my sweet sister inlaw's blog  gets emailed to me any time she makes an entry .... and she usually posts LATE at night and i am usually up and read it within moments of her posting .... but this time, i got roberta's blog post in the morning .... she must have stayed up prettty late last night!!! ...but what fun it was this morning ... she had a link to a video .... that i watched twice i like it so much: 
...
 .... and then... i have a jerry's artarama coupon for you .... it is buy a brush, get a brush free... which is perfect for someone who is as hard on brushes as i am ..... plus it is 10 percent off of an 85 dollar order ..... that's a lot of brushes .... but there canvas prices are great, so maybe it is a good time for you to stock up ..... that's my favorite art supply place online .... 

.... this morning i am going to the grocery store for a christmas hoooooooha i am having tonight with my pal cindy ..... and if i can get through the grocery store quickly, i'm off to pottery to raku an angel ..... wish me luck on that .... 
happy friday! yippee! 

Thursday, December 13, 2007

you know you are an artist when ....

oh my goodness, i am SO irresponsible ... well, not really ... maybe i'm just a procrastinator! ... hmmmmm ..... i have 7 billion things i HAVE to do ... but instead i did art ... ha ... i'm feeling the joy ... and , luckily, i'm just carefree enough that i don't stress about things that have to get done .... and i do the things that feel right for me at the moment ..... and that meant bonding with my sharpies .... 

am i being vague? here are the facts ... well, sort of ... i'm sure i'm one of the least factual bloggers ever .... 

so, last night? had a grand party ... my book club was here for a dinner party and gift exchange ... it was grand ... i gave away  this little piece of art as my gift exchange  ... and i got a WAY groovy purse .... the last of my pals left after midnight ... i tidied til one-ish so that my kids would wake up to at least a normal breakfast table ... then.... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz ... until seven, when i woke up with two kids in my bed and the sound of the garage door going up .... andy got home safe and sound from an overnight trip home from brazil ... yippeeee..... 

i went to drew's fifth grade and we worked on this piece of art: 
it is three feet square... stretched canvas .... last week the kids glazed papers: their own school work and dictionary pages ..... i laid it all out and took it in today ... and the fifth graders used sharpies to define the bits with some texture ... they made the green bit grassy and the sky swirly and such ..... 

and then, because i was in the sharpie groove (i ADORE sharpies.... have i confessed that addiction here before? it'll be on the test!) ... so, i finished up the other fifth grade art work ... the kids had glazed papers in shades of blue ... and yesterday cut out and glued down birds .... 
the birds are each about two inches wide .... and i think the canvas is three feet long .... each child made a bird ....
 hopefully these two pieces will sell well at the school auction ..... 
 
and now, onto my next thing .....

i'm having a christmas hoooooha tomorrow night too ..... but, rather than really do anything to get ready for it, i just need to keep the kids from touching anything ...or from making messes actually! ..... i could have done some prep work today ... but art called!! .... so tomorrow will probably be more about the grocery store than art .... oh well ... maybe i'll be irresponsible again tomorrow .... oh wait! i think there's a special pottery class tomorrow .... should i do the irresponsible thing and go raku an angel? or get ready for a party .....hmmmmmmmmmm .....

any bets? 




Wednesday, December 12, 2007

ho ho ho .....

i have 12 girl friends coming over in about two hours ... for our book club dinner .... and yet, i feel compelled to blog my artsiness for the day ... even though i didn't take pics of it .... i went to jj's class and each child cut out a bird out of papers they had glazed ..... we glued them to a large canvas ... i think it is going to turn out GREAT .... 

here ......a  christmas trivia game just for you .... i got six presents and one lump of coal...... 

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

december 11th and i did NO christmas stuff today .... except be joyful ... i was joyful ....

i played tennis today with three pals ... and it was nearly 80 degrees! that's just crazy ... but, boy, did we make the most of the gorgeous weather .... who can think of christmas doings when it feels like summer? 

this afternoon i worked on this piece ... well, barely .... i just added on that line across it .... it is meant to be "wire" but is actually a piece of leather .... wire doesn't show up as starkly as i need it to .... tomorrow, julia's fifth grade will be putting birds on this wire ... wish me luck .... i need their birds to match my vision ... no easy task! 
and here is a picture of my studio at the moment .. this is the piece i'm working on for drew's fifth grade .... on golden pond ... that's just sky .... i'll show you more tomorrow ... i'm roughing out the big pictured and the kids are going to do the detail work .... i hope!! 
when you looked at that last photo did you notice the big white bucket in the center top? that is mat medium... a whole vat full!! i frequently buy it in this vast quantity and just slop it into squirt bottles, but today i was working straight from the bucket .... 

i'm having a dinner party for 12 here tomorrow night .. for my book club .... hopefully i'll blog in the afternoon!!  cause i know you'll be waiting to hear what i've done artistic with my day ....and if i wait til evening or night, it probably just won't happen ..... 

 tra la la .... go do something happy ..... 

Monday, December 10, 2007

here's my REAL monday blog

here's a happy bit of my home: 
it is my kitchen sink .... i took down the curtains for christmas and hung favorite ornaments up on ribbons .... i love how it looks ... and it actually makes the room much brighter with the sunshine streaming in ..... to get a better look, try happy christmas window with tags on flickr .....

here's a cropped version of the same window ....   on flickr it is a close up with lots of tags so you can go and see exactly what all the doodads are .... 

today is my dog's first birthday ..... we had her "party" on saturday .... she just had her usual day today ..... i love her very much .... is that weird to profess my unfailing dog love where everyone can read it?  her name is dixie .... we sometimes call her dixie doodle .... she sometimes doodles on the floor when she is VERY excited to see you .... it's almost an honor ... it means she loves you too ..... tmi? 

i spent some time in a fifth grade today doing some beading ... i think the project is turning out SUPER ..... 

i worked on a canvas that i did not take pictures of yet ... soon!!   ... i have so many art plans in my wee head .... and i just can't get them all done .... too many other things are getting in the way! ..... most of the time i am currently spending in my studio, i end up wrapping presents ... or helping the kids with their top secret christmas  projects .... 

and tonight, i did something i'd NEVER done before ... i coached a basketball team .... julia's team, in fact .... her coach is out of town .... so i said i'd do it for him ... funny thing is, my dear andy is her coach ....so....it was kind of an add insult to inury thing ... not ONLY is he out of town, but i have to do his stuff .... i have plenty of my own stuff!! ... but, it was actually very fun... so fun that it seemed SHORT ... i wanted more practice time than we actually had ..... and i don't know a thing about basketball! 

if your time isn't too overloaded, here's a christmas diversion: a happy christmas game...well...more weird than happy, maybe!

fa la la la la .... hope your week started out well .....

sunday blog on monday morning

wow!  the whole christmas whooooooha really cramps a blogger's style .... that is, actually assuming, that you think i have any style to begin with ..... i'm glad you can't see how i'm dressed!! yesterday was christmas prep FULL ... lots of gift wrapping with my kids ... and helping sophie make her family christmas gifts ... then a party last night ..... busy, busy, fun, fun! 

....so, sunday's blog, right here, monday morning .... and then we'll just hope i have a monday blog for later on in the day .....

sunday morning in my journaling class, we painted the covers of our journals with HEAVY acrylic to cove up the graphics on the front of what once was JUST a watercolor pad ...... we had two acrylic WHOOPS ... and i had to say, HURRY, it really does stain!!! clean up fast!!! i think the church clothes came clean though ..... next sunday we'll fill our bindings with fibers and fun .....our journals will be gorgeous shortly! 


happy monday.... do something artsy!! 

Saturday, December 8, 2007

a tree, a birthday and some art

we have our tree up ..... and it was the easiest tree EVER ..... 
usually we ALL go and have a big production over getting the tree ... but, more recently, andy and the kids go (not me!) ..... but yesterday, while so was at ballet, the big kids and i went and got a tree ..... we got there, we looked at three trees in three seconds .... drew pronounced one BEST .... and we got it .... they had been hanging by strings from the ceiling so they were easy to see and spin around to make sure it was lovely all the way about .... so .... in ten minutes we found a tree, bought a tree, loaded a tree and left .... SO fast .....we even snapped a pic on the phone and sent it to andy so that he'd know we'd done it .... 
tra la la .... last night we got it in the stand and standing straight FIRST try ... no lie ...not a bit of turning or twisting or jiggering or re-doing the stand ... just went up right the first time ..... 
andy and i got the lights on ... we took turn doing a string ... usually he does all the lights .... and this morning the five of us decorated it ... fastest, easiest tree ever ... and thereby the prettiest ever too!!!! just because it was easy going, it gets extra points ........ 

next in our day, we celebrated dixie's birthday .... dixie is the dog ... the light of our lives!!! she turns one on monday ... but today was the closet meal time that we were all easily available to celebrate her .... we took her for a LONG walk ... the kids on scooters, hence the helmets ... then we came home for lunch and the dog got turkey and edamame ... her two favorites ..... 
she also unwrapped her gift ...... this little dog was one of the nicest things to happen to our family ... we all really adore her .... 

and i also did art today!! this was a canvas i started a while ago .... it was too dark so i lightened it up with some tissue and some yellow glazing over the green-ness ..... and then did the heart and home ...the home is actually the bit of an envelope ... that's a stamp you see on the house ..... i'm quite happy with it and plan on it being a christmas gift ..... 
it's hard to give art as a present though .. you are running the risk the recipient(s) wont' like it ... and not liking your art feels worse than not liking the sweater or the book or the whatever ..... 

i also spent the morning learning about costa rica while proofreading a social studies paper ..... 
i also spent the afternoon/ evening on a date with my husband ... we got a sitter so we could shop and then went out to dinner too .... we got a TON of shopping done ..... andy was a HUGE impulse purchaser of some HUGE things .... which made the shopping VERY exciting .... i sure do love christmas time .....
what christmas prep have you done this weekend? 
what christmas prep do you adore? 
what christmas prep would you be fine to skip all together ? 
hope you are having a happy weekend ..... 

Thursday, December 6, 2007

it IS the thought that counts ....

i've been wrapping presents ...... 

ahhhhh ... i just love christmas time ... christmas preparation .... the grand whoooop deee dooo ...... i did some christmas shopping this morning ..... it was REALLY nice .... i was at a favorite store .... buying some favorite things .... for favorite people.... wait... why am i being so mysterious? .... i'll just tell you ... i was at border's .... with a good coupon! ..... and i went looking for one specific thing .... but got about everything BUT what i went for .... oh well ... it was still joyful .... and i feel like i'm getting there .... on my way to getting all the things i need to get! 

then i went to school... again ... to a fifth grade .... again .....and did art ... again .... but really, those again make me sound all drudgey... and that's not the case ....even though it was the third time this week, it was quite a nice time ..... i had the kids glaze papers ...
 we are going to use them to make a large collage for the school auction .....they used some of their own papers and some dictionary papers .....

then i did some studio cleaning .. FINALLY .... it entailed wrapping all our teacher gifts so that i could get it all off my studio table..... the home made items, the boxes, the ribbons, the tissue paper, the tags, the pens ..... 
whew ... each child did their teachers .... except for a couple shared
 teachers that just one child did, though some shared teachers will get more than one gift .... cause both wanted to make something for them..... i bet we wrapped 20 teacher gifts .... 

here's an issue ...... 
ack ... i just deleted what i'd written .... it was a bit ranty ... 
i'm starting again .... 
i want to teach my children the joy of giving ... the joy of making a gift .... the joy of hand delivering .... the joy of "it IS the thought that counts" ....... so we go through the efforts many years of making gifts ... sometimes we can't and i do the big donate money to a pool kind of thing ....or do store bought .... or only give to the most special few teachers ... or my kids pick from things i have made and then wrap them themselves for their teachers .... but really, ideally, all the kids make things for all their teachers .... even my sweet boy who is SO not the crafty type .... 
what do you do? how do you teach your kids about being a cheerful giver? the joy of being a cheerful giver? the joy and the truth to " it IS the thought that counts" .....

and then ... i did some art .... all of my children have asked for art for christmas .... this is for drew...
 .... he asked for a red clock .... he said chess or cards .... but conceded that really i could do anything i wanted .... so .... i mostly did what he wanted, the background isn't red, but those letters are ... even though here they look kinda orangey .... i love him and want him to be happy! especially after making me so happy by telling me he wanted a piece of art for christmas .... what a good boy! 

how are your christmas preparations going? happy, i hope! 

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

mary has male pattern baldness ....or, necessity is the mother of invention .....


i've made countless small nativities ... two, three inches tallish ...not big ..... then i went to an art show (oh, i was in it, that's right) .... and saw these GORGEOUS angels ..... big .... why do i do so small? ok .... i'll do bigger then .... so, i did a nativity with the biggest figures about six inches ...and their heads about golf ball size ..... and then i got fancy ... i got a garlic press and made everyone hair ....well, everyone but jesus ... he's a bald baby ..... i finished them out ... fired them ..... high fired them .... they came out a rich chocolate dark loveliness .... and mary's modest head covcring? gone .... lost in the firing process .... most likely due to artist error and i didn't secure it well enough .... and, worse, i hadn't given her a full head of hair under that covering ....i'd pretty much just given her bangs ..... male pattern baldness would have been more hair than she actually had .... so, do i throw her away? start over? nope.... no time, christmas is coming ... so i gave her a fabric head covering .... and once i'd done that, joseph needed some accessorizing .... and then jesus got some fluffy fibers for hay ... and then i put twinkley sparkles on the angel wings and hair .... and twinkles on the sheep too ..... and i am SOOOO happy .... i love this nativity so much .... i was going to give it as a gift ... but now it is mine forever ... i love it too much .... that's probably the grandest bit about being an artist .... first dibs on the grooviest things .... 

also, artsy stuff today also included another trip to another fifth grade ... this time i had a class glazing papers in blues .... they'll make them into birds next week ... and we did a sky background on a canvas ....so we have somewhere to put the birds ..... 
 
my studio? a certifiable disaster!!! i have to clean it tomorrow because allison is coming over friday for an art day ...... but as it is now, there isn't a clear surface anywhere ...it is full of half finished christmas projects and MESS .... oh my .... so, tomorrow .... i'm tackling that chore ... at least getting it under control if not getting it all together cleaned up ..... plus, i have one more fifth grade to do art with ...... more paper glazing .... 

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

this is yesterday's post AND today's ....ok?

i have no idea why i never got to blog yesterday .... it was a busy, full day.... but not so full that i couldn't blog ... so ... if you stopped by and were disappointed at the lack of freshness, so sorry! ....


anyway ... yesterday, i beaded with one of the fifth grades ... we are making the class art for the school auction now .... i think the beading went well .... next week we should finish and i'll snap a pic .... and, since yesterday was ...well... yesterday ... i don't know what else ... so ..... there's a reason to blog ... so you don't leave stuff out!! 


so, on to the blog for today .... i did artsy errands ... delivered a commissioned art to someone ... at her office .. she seemed happy and took them up to her office to show her friends ...instead of stashing them in her car .... 

and i stopped by lola's gallery and dropped off some prints .... cross your fingers some sell ..... and i stopped by binder's .... to buy a particular sized canvas for a project tomorrow with another fifth grade ..... 


so, no time in my studio ... but i groovied up my house .... here's a shot ... a POOR shot ... but i am posting it to show you that i took these at night ... this is my house at about 6 (which is why dinner ended up late, i was outside taking pics instead of putting chicken in the oven when the preheating ding happened so i never heard the ding and never put the chicken in ...well not never ... i did it eventually) ... this is my house at 6 ....  i went out to see if it looked right ... and it did! .... 

so ... here is the same shot, on night setting .... so it looks light out ... but is a bit on the fuzzy side because of the long exposure..... that's my house all bedecked for christmas ....  now here is my holiday secret for sanity .... don't do anything that doesn't give you joy .... i WANT lights on my house ... i think it would be pretty to line the roof with twinkliness .. but the notion of DOING it is horrid ... so i don't ... i do no outside lights .... i do candles in the window and wreaths on my window .... if there is a holiday tradition that you don't love, don't do it .... do the ones you love .... ok? that's my tip for the day .... it's not scroogey to skip something ... it is scroogey to do something and let it make you crabby .... before undergoing anything, calculate the joy factor and then act accordingly .... for me, that means spend as little time as possible in the kitchen!! ha .... 


i have one more house picture below here ... and it is to show you my white picket fence ..... just cause i like it .... just so i can say ... yes, my house with the white picket fence ... it just sounds so great to me .... don't look to closely, it needs a coat of paint! ... but i still love it ..... when my kids come home from school i can hear the clink of the gate ..... 


and one more photo .... this one of my dining room ..... starting to be fancy .... i am having a dinner party with my book club next week .... so i drag in a table from the library and make one HUMONGOUS long table ..... i just happen to have a looooooong table cloth for double banquet tables sized tables ... that i got when i was a teacher ..... my school didn't have anything like that and i wanted to do something or other fancy .... so i got this and have used it five million time since .... it makes a great huge tent for little kids .... i digress!! ..... 

 so.... this is what the double table is starting to look like .... banquet cloth ... lace cloth over part of it .... candles in my grandma's china ... mixy matchy .... lots of glass balls ..... i've been collecting those glass balls ever since i first got married ... i used to buy them cause they were all i felt like i could afford ... and you got a lot for not much money .... i'd buy them on sale every january .... now i have loads and love having them .... they make a big impact .... 

back to that , don't go in the kitchen thing ... for this dinner party i'm having? i'm not going in the kitchen ... ha! all my girlfriends will bring all the food .... i just get to set the table  .... how lucky am i ?

Sunday, December 2, 2007

on the second day of december .....


today, we took 28 photos for a possible christmas card BEFORE church (and we weren't even LATE to church)

...then i had my journaling class in the morning .....

then we took another 20 something photos for a possible christmas card .... but first i SHOWED the kids the 28 unsuccessful ones so they would know how NOT to look!!! 

then we did some christmas decorating ..... some book report editing ..... and i just got home from the first christmas part of the season ..... fa la la la la la la la la ..... 



here is the advent wreath we lit tonight at dinner time ..

just lit one purple candle for the first sunday in advent .... i used to do the traditional wreath with GREENS .... but after a few weeks of unwatered greens it is just flat out a fire hazard!!! here honey, let's light the candle in the middle of the brown wreath ..... so .... for the last couple years instead of tapers i've done votives... stability!!! ... much easier!! and some years i've put them in a plate of rocks or ornaments ... but for the last couple years i have used white buttons ..... i love the way it looks.... cute and whimsical, yet very functional .... 

have a happy week .... 

Saturday, December 1, 2007

dec. 1 .... more christmas than art today!


this is my mantle .... all of my art is put away .... and up go the 4 billion nutcrackers and the framed christmas tree that my grandmother, mormor, made .....

i'm afraid that december is going to be slow going for art ... so ... the question then is, do i still do a daily blog, even if i have nothing artsy to blog ... this is meant to be an ART blog .... so, no art = no blog? .....nah ......  i need to keep blogging cause i really love to do it .... and it is a real incentive for me to document my artistic endeavors .... so .... i never touched a paint brush today .... BUT, perhaps these are acceptable contributions: 
1. i used a glue gun .... one decapitated angel was recapitated (i love that i just made up that word!) .... sophie was VERY upset when our automated, rotating, singing nativity crashed to the ground .... MOOOOOMMMMMMMYYYYY .....i'm SOOOOOOOORRRRRRRRYYYYYYYY .... but, it all still works and once the teensy tinsy angel head was found, she was mended in short order ..... you all DO have plug in nativity sets, right? 
2. i told stories at the world storytelling celebration today ....one with drew, one with julia .... andy and sophie said we all did quite well ..... that was definitely an artistic endeavor ....
3. we decorated ... since it is FINALLY december 1, we pulled out all sorts of boxes and fabulousness from the basement ..... and it looks like the ghost of christmas thrift shop threw up all over our house .... but.... we're getting there ... give me another day or two ...or three ..... and we'll be all set and lovely .... we'll do the tree next week ..... 

ho ho ho .... hope you are all happy and artsy and having a happy weekend .... 

Friday, November 30, 2007

fa la la la la friday

..... i went to the post office today ... 
... i mailed darla, the prize winner, her christmas canvas ..... 
... i mailed some prints out to fill some orders ..... 
... i stopped by pottery to see if i had stuff to pick up .... i had LOTS actually .... but, in particular, this: 


... i was so happy with it that i glazed three more bisque pieces that i had waiting with the same transparent green glaze ..... i think i love this so much that i am going to keep it for myself ... i hardly ever keep my own pottery ... but this seems very useful .... and is dishwasher safe ... and has three more matches on the way ..... 
.... my nativities are a bit of a problem ... i was waiting on angels and quite a few of them lost their halos .... the donkeys were fine, but those pesky angels just couldn't keep it together for me ......
my excitement for tomorrow is going to the world story telling celebration .... last year i told two stories .... this year, even better, i'm telling two stories... but one is with drew and the other is with julia .... none by myself ... i'm proud of my kids for being brave enough to get up their and do public speaking at the ripe old age of ten ..... 
.... i think my house is nearing clean enough to start doing the christmas decorating .... i believe i'll start this weekend a bit ... especially since it will be december tomorrow ..... have you decorated yet? tell me your favorite bit of christmas joy in your house .... 
happy weekend ... 

Thursday, November 29, 2007

i've got my groove on ....

OH MY GOSH .... 
I AM SOOOO EXCITED
.... i have fonts
.....i've never had fonts on my blog before .....
....my blog has always been just what it was ....
....my mac and my blog didn't really get along .....
...and now they do.....yippee....yippee.....yippeeee....yipppeeeee .....yippeeee ...
OH MY GOODNESS ... you just don't even know how thrilled i am .... now i don't even know what i was about to blog about ....
...give me a moment ....
deep breaths ...hee hee whooooo...hee hee whooooo .... that lamaze breathing always comes in handy ...hee hee whoooooo .... 
ok .... i've regrouped, regathered, settled down to happy fontness ..... 
heee heee whooooo ..... 
ok ... 
i've got my groove on this week .... i have been a cleaning machine... what??? yes....i, e. beck, certified mess maker, have been on a cleaning binge ..... in preparation for christmas ... and laying a layer of christmas happiness all over my house (that's what decorating is, a layer of christmas happiness) .... but before you can lay that layer out you have to tidy up the place ... and i have been on a gung ho cleaning kick .. AND i have done art every day .... WOW...
oh wait ....WOW ....where did those time management skills come from .. who knows , but we'll take advantage while we can!!!! 
so, today, after cleaning out the library (that's what we call our living room becasue i think living rooms are archaic, anachonistic, and passe) .... after i cleaned our library, i went to allison's and i did ART ... oh wait ...i did art ... 
yippee zippy hooray ....
i did the backgrounds on these seven canvases ..... three longs, four squares .... one of the longs is four feet tall and just luscious ..... tomorrow, after my cleaning binge, i hope to do my stamping and stenciling on these so that they'll be ready for thinking .... ready for me to know what they are meant to be .... do any of them strike you as being something in particular .... does it look like it will be a mona? or a house? or a flower background ... time will tell .... 
in the meanwhile ....
let's celebrate blogger figuring out how to make blogging easier from this here mac .... 
YIPPEEEEEEEEEEEEE! 

 

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

203 will be about my muse ...... and then i'll announce a grand winner.....

one of the blogs that i visit with ALARMING frequency is michelle ward's ..... she, in all her artistic grooviness, leads crusades .... her current crusade is this:

michelle, i read your blog at the FIRST of the month .... and said to myself, YES, yes, i do have a muse ...i'm going to write about her the next time i don't have something specific to post of my own artsy day ..... and then i've had this artfully crammed life and never got to it ... so i'm going to tell you about my muse at the very last minute ... moments before your crusade ends .....so...... my muse..... my pretend friend ... i TALK to her when i am putting her in my art ..... yup .... and she is in LOTS of my art ......

mona lisa is my muse .... but if you know me at all, you probably knew that already ..... these above pictures are collages
-the first is " je voudrais aller a paris" .... and it is mona with some french sass and attitude ....and comfy orange shoes ... if you've been reading my blog ... you know that *i* am an orange shoe kind of girl too ......
-next is mona with such a fresh hair cut.... and just relaxing .... she's a jolt cola kind of girl trying to live more intentionally .... trying to slow her helter skelter life down by getting a pet turtle .... if that won't slow her down, what will?
-bottom left is mermaid mona ... check out that fab pink seaweed hair .....
-last is a crossover from my flower series ... in a mona vase ... titled "where ARE the keys" .... there's a glimmer of my alter ego in that title for sure......

here's another one:

this one is my flickr avatar ... one of my favorite monas ever ....the first one that i did on a three foot by three foot canvas .... that's a HUGE canvas ....way bigger than the real mona lisa ...... she is just so sassy with those pink highlights in her hair .... and comfy in her raggedy ann leggings and under shirt ...... mona has gotten quite sensible and never wears high heels to speak of .... it's all about comfy and just being comfortable being her own laid back self .......

the next one, my mona muse is with my sweet sophie sunshine ..... sophie BADLY wanted some of my art for christmas .... last year she'd picked out a four foot TALL dictionary poppy .... honey, that's way too big for a little girl room .... i didn't mention that i could SELL it for a lot of money too ! ..... so i made her this special piece .... called sophie celebrates ... and she's at a party with mona ..... i think sophie looks like the cutest paper doll in this .... and mona is her perfect party partner .... and again, a titch of that alter ego/imaginary friend thing .... i love that kind of sandal .... i do wear party hats whenever i have a chance .... and who better to give a balloon to than sophie?


this one, i was brave enough to let mona try out for a magazine ... and it worked! she was published in a magazine .... it takes a bit of brave to do that ..... but mona was brave and happy to be chosen ..... once this came back from cloth, paper, scissors, i started wearing the shoes .... how could i not? they are too cute, even if they are meant to be mona's .... a key element in the story written on the background .....the first time i wore the shoes, all my kids flipped out ...you can't wear those!!!! they're art!!!! ..... but i did ... and i do .... and now they all wear them sometimes too ... to walk the dog or get the mail or the paper .... cause they are just hanging right there in the family room ... and when you need shoes, might as well grab them .... you can come visit and i'll let you wear them too ... mona won't mind .... unless your feet are super big, that is .....


i have a flickr set full of mona's ..... go see the others ... rocky road mona is the first piece i sold in a gallery ..... map fairy mona is in my best pal al's house ... there are lots to look at .... some still available for sale even! .....

did you know i have another blog? i have my mona lisa entry in that other blog ..... it is my "serious and professional" artist's blog ... that i link to people who maybe want to know the real thinking behind my art ... not the minutia of my every day artsy grooviness .... can you believe there might be people who don't want to read blogs like this one ... harumph! serious people, i guess .... where's the fun in that .....

and speaking of fun ... tonight's the night that i am meant to announce the winner of my 200th blog post contest .... and the winner is .... drum rollllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll ..... darla .... darla, i need you to send me your shipping email ..... you have a christmas canvas coming your way ......one of these will be yours shortly ... congratulations ... thanks for playing .... thanks all of you are playing .... i had a nice turn out! .....

wow, that was some mighty bloggage ... did you make it til the end?
happy day .....
love, mona ....
i mean, elizabeth

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

i've now finished 12 christmas canvases ... just in time to give one away tomorrow .... i just have to pick a winner .... have you joined the contest?

i'm really quite pleased with myself ... i have finished 12 christmas canvases and it isn't even december yet ..... this one is my favorite now ......

.... it is my favorite because it has a purple donkey .... is that weird? gray just didn't seem right .... and purple is kind of like gray to me ..... so there ya go ..... a purple donkey .... i only did a donkey cause i accidentally got baby jesus too far over .... and had to fill in the edges to give it a bit better balance ..... so .... a lamb and a donkey did the trick for me ..... so it went from being "off" to be being my favorite ......

and here:

this is a mosaic of all 12 canvases .... 3 centered trees, 4 nativities, and five off center trees ..... and lots of buttons ....

tomorrow night i'll pick a winner at random ....if you didn't join the contest celebrating my 200th post, by all means, scroll down a few and sign up ..... you migh win ......

Monday, November 26, 2007

i don't have all 12 yet ... but here are three to show you.....

.....i've been working on small canvases ..... you do know, don't you, that i ADORE huge canvases ....like three and four feet? and that small is HARD for me ... but gosh, small is much faster, huh? .... i followed my usual process, with layers of papers, glazing and acrylics for the backgrounds .....





anyway .... these are some christmas gifts ...... and MOST importantly, one small canvas is my prize for my 200th blog post giveaway .... the drawing is on wednesday night .... so you still have time to sign up ..... it's a few posts below here ...... more tomorrow, i hope!! fa la la la la !!