Showing posts with label ART. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ART. Show all posts

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Duckling Artist

I love art time. I love it so much that I stock our cupboards with high quality art supplies right along side of the crayola versions and let my kids pick without freaking out about it. They each have table top easels they can use (2 of them are actually cast iron recipe book holders). The get a call from me now and then to come to the table and paint with me and sometimes they take the invitation. More likely it is them I find already working and messy.

This day it was Lily and Isaac. Holly was busy with her ballet exercises and would not be distracted. She is very dedicated but refuses to help me fill out her weekly form for class. She says she's not in it for the prize? Ha.

Lily was super patient with Isaac and got him all set up to go.

I also love the sunlight in this room, this time of day, and all the wonderful colours of our nest. Every now and then I contemplate painting the whole downstairs pale shades of grey because the orange and green paint job was done so sloppy and horrible. Only I notice that though, I guess! Still it bothers me when I get in a mood. I suppose I could sand down the roller lines and repaint the bright colours? That might work too.

I get so wrapped up in colour and art when we get these projects going. I just want to take it all in and be in the moment.... but then paint starts getting smeared on to the table, diapers need to be changed, and art work is set to dry.... suddenly I am alone at the table left only with a glorious mess and the distant sounds of children laughing and playing at some new game.

And that, friends, is my day.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Lily's Night Out

Lily is getting to be so much more muchier. She helps more, she talks more, she does more. Everything is so much more.

Every week she and I take an art class together. This one on one time has been great for us, so much so that we decided that one other night each week we should take a walk together or take the boat out at dusk. We have had lovely talks. This week she asked if I could help her create a vlog for her to narrate and demonstrate certain tasks for other kids. She wants to start with how to tie a hook on a line, choose a worm, and fish for catfish. Cool idea, eh? Look for that soon.

With responsibility comes privilege and slowly we are figuring this part out too.

I am so glad I get to spend my days with her. She is such a neat kid with big ideas and dreams and imagination! At art class we were asked to make dessert sculptures. Everyone made cupcakes, pies, cake slices, cookies......Lily made a bowl of pudding and added snails to it. That's my girl.

She's always thinking and doing her own thing. She's got that spark and does not see the need to conform to what the other kids at the table are doing. How do I preserve and protect that gift? Nurture it? That question keeps me up at night.

She also asked to take over washing lunch dishes. Yes! Score! However, she'll only do them on her terms. She has to sit on the counter and she wants to use the sink full of soapy water method, not the always running hot water method I use. She says that I am wasting water. True.

Lily is a complicated girl though, she feels so much more love and passion and so much more anger when she's mad. She is a five alarm fire, like this song goes.

Soon she will be nine. I have had her in my heart nearly all my life. She is my dream come true, my prayers answered. Lily is the child that taught me to be a mother and continues to teach me everyday.

I look forward to celebrating nine with her, baking her a peach pie and making soup for dinner. I look forward to reading books, making art, and singing loudly in the car. This year she wants to learn cartography and navigation. Easy enough!

 I still have not figured out the special gift from mama that I give her every year. Suggestions welcome!

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Art in the Farm House

I mentioned in my last post that I plan to keep home in a different way. Here's my plan.

I plan to choose things to fill my home that are natural, pretty, functional, and handmade when possible. I hope to make some of them myself, learn to use the sewing machine I got for Christmas two years ago. I hope to craft candles from beeswax. I hope Dearest makes furniture.

I looked around my current home today, at the walls. My walls are filled with department store art. Not a single family picture, no "wall of shame", mostly mass produced prints. Lovely, but not welcoming. My own art went to storgae durring staging because they lacked proper framing.

In our new home the walls will be filled slowly with art we make, art from artists we know personally, and photographs of our family that we take, not studio posed, but capturing the spirit of each of us. Welcome home.

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Art For Food


I wish sometimes that I had the time and energy to jump back into the local Historic Preservation movement. I did some good work for it, but the movement flows on without me just fine, whereas my family does not. I admire LB's efforts to do something for a cause she cares about in a neat way. I plan on sending her a photo (snail mail printed). For my 10,000 visitor celebration, I'd like to invite any readers who are artists to consider this very worthy cause.

Also, if anyone has a favorite photo of mine that you think I should enter, place your vote! Here are four I am considering:

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Another Baby Update

We had a scheduled Midwife appointment for the glucose test. She's in a new office with new staff and the staff scheduled it too early. I have to wait another 4 weeks. Fine. Lil'Bug wore her doctor coat and everything and was a cute little doll asking questions and ready to help. We did find out why I feel so different in the belly though, the baby is now head down instead of sideways. No wonder I feel so much lighter in the belly- different muscles are being strained. I also talked with the Midwife about my daily food log, she was impressed at my protein counts but reminded me to drink more water because that much protein (which is needed for the baby and placenta) can damage my kidneys. Yike, that's good to remember. Today I will stop and pick up a stainless steel canteen.

So that's what's kicking!

Also, we stopped by a freecycle unschooler open house and struck gold. Lil'Bug got a pair of ice skates and an ocean life book and I got enough new books to keep me reading for the next month! Very cool. We also got a make your own fancy paper kit. I can't wait to play with that one! I'll post a picture later of the loot.

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

New Process

I thought I'd preview the new process I've been using for painting. It is both new in medium and new in the way that I approach creating. Here is a picture of one, yes only one, of the boards that I started last month. I am using Gouache and Watercolor Pencils.

Monday, 20 August 2007

Artistic expression expression expression expression......

I think I may have stumbled on my stumbling block and finally saw what it is that keeps tripping me. I do things 210%. I know this, I embrace this, but it may be what is hindering my progress.

For example: last night I decided the time had come to paint. I had purchased all the necessary things (brushes, paint, canvas....) and so I began. But wait, here is where it gets complicated. I needed to prime them with color. So I prime all six canvases with the same color. Efficient production. While that is setting, I step outside to get a few photos of plant shapes and lines. Good as any place to start. THEN I come in and start painting (yes, ignoring the photos entirely) not one at a time mind you....all six at the same time.

After photo 2 I realized that none of the six would be very good if I continued like this. Also, what am I going to do with six canvases all with the same teal background?

Tonight, I will work on one of them. Just one. Deciding which one will probably stop the whole process and I'll end up doing dishes, cleaning cat box, or.......blogging. :)

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Talk to the Hands (the painting ones at least....)

My kid is all about feeling things, texture and all, it doesn't matter if its food, paint, mud, whatever. I thought, "yes, let's paint today WITH her..."

Um, well. She had a blast. Then I was the mean mommy with a dastardly plan! Lil'Bug gets to clean up the mess she made! Herself! Ha ha ha!

This plan totally backfired. While I stepped into the dining room to check on an email thread, she managed to "snail trail" very sudsy soap all over the kitchen floor (I had to clean water rinse 3 times to get the soap residue up- my fault, I added too much dish soap to her bucket). I then spent 36.2 minutes mopping up her cleaning attempt. I got no pictures of this because I stripped her paint clothes off of her and I will never post naked baby pictures here or anywhere, cute as I think she is. I wish I had left her clothed though, because her evil grin after the 2 minute rampage of soap bubbles certainly screamed, "I win!" Gaaaah. These pictures at least show the creative process.....
Oh, and when asked what her picture is of...
"Hands. Mama, what did you think I was painting?"

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

The Finger Paint of Inspiration

I used to paint. A while has passed and I've spent many years channeling all my creative energy into house and house thesis writing. All else fell wayside. An Internet blogger who is beginning her journey has inspired me to pick up my brush and begin teaching myself again. I am posting a picture of the last painting I did before moving to the "house"'s a finger painting of an iris that I did for the little girls I nannied to show them that finger painting is fun and not babyish.

I took an art class (as in one, ever) in high school my senior year, an AP class. It was the only session that fit my schedule and the teacher took a liking to my weird, disparate (not desperate) persona. Her words. She was the only teacher who ever hugged me. I really needed hugs that year. Also, she was the teacher that I encountered 5 years post high school who encouraged me to pursue teaching as a career......that led me to add two other disciplines to my MA and apply at the local community college to teach. I digress, what I learned from her was that art comes from practice and experience AND passion. Only so much of it is fine motor skills and the rest is chemistry and poetry. So, since I have both of the later right now I am picking up the "brush" again, dipping my fingers into the ink well of creativity.

Sunday, 12 August 2007

Sounds Like Fun: The Iowa State Fair

Sounds like fun, eh? Sure. When it's 105 degrees out and sunny, it sounds like fun to gather with 7,378+ people and eat deep fried whatever you can think of and walk around lost looking at animals in barns, people in barns, through the left overs of both and emerge into the gloriously, glaring, and overbearing Iowa sunshine only to think of all the other deep fried food you can ingest before you die of heatstroke on the Midway........

Oh, but we had fun! We did. The new Animal Learning Center is awesome (read: air conditioned), HARRY POTTER WAS IN BUTTER (I'm not kidding!), and I whole heartedly agree that next time we go we are doing so to view our own 1st place ribbons on our own food entries. My raspberry jam could so beat out this year's entry.

Also, I'm entering the Ugliest Cake contest; I have ideas bubbling right now, most of which are titled, "Muck and Goo For You".......
If they had a muddy hippos contest, I'd enter Lil'Bug. She went straight for the water fountains when we sat down to eat round 1 of greasy fair food. :) She says she liked the piglets best.....

Friday, 10 August 2007

One Buggy Night

The Creepy Crawly occurred to both Dear Husband and I at the same time how interesting it was that they chose to serve hot dogs. Yummmmmy.

Lil'Bug had a great time, mostly because she loves bugs and dear husband caught and jarred six specimens to be identified by the "expert" etymologists, and quite a bit because Mama B and her boys were there too.

I was not impressed by the undergraduate students (who were likely failing Bug 101 and needed extra credit) who identified 3 of our mystery spiders as.....spiders. Seriously. Our fly that looked like a bee....."I'm pretty sure that's a fly that looks like a bee," said the "expert" and our squash beetles, "Yes, that's definitely a bug." ???? Very disappointing. I am considering emailing their supervising TA (I asked and they provided me his contact information), on the other hand they were there, which is likely all they needed to be.

Sunday, 5 August 2007

Eggrollies.......the Experiement in Cabbage!

  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder OR 1 tsp of GP and 1 of sweet curry powder
  • 1 quart peanut oil for frying
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour + 2 tablespoons water OR 2 tbs of soy sauce
  • 3 cups shredded red cabbage
  • 4 ounces shredded carrots (like more carrots? we do. I used 5 carrots)
  • 20 (7 inch square) egg roll wrappers
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds or crushed cashews/peanuts (optional)
  1. Season pork with ginger and garlic powder (or curry or whatever seasoning) and mix thoroughly. Heat mixture in a medium skillet, stirring, until pork is cooked through and no longer pink. Set aside.
  2. In another large skillet heat oil to about 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) or medium high heat. While oil is heating, combine flour and water in a bowl until they form a paste (if you use that option). In a separate bowl combine the cabbage, carrots and reserved pork mixture. Mix all together.
  3. Lay out one egg roll skin with a corner pointed toward you. Place about a 1/4 to 1/3 cup of the cabbage, carrot and pork mixture on egg roll paper and fold corner up over the mixture. Fold left and right corners toward the center and continue to roll. Brush a bit of the flour paste on the final corner to help seal the egg roll.
  4. Place egg rolls into heated oil and fry, turning occasionally, until golden brown. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels or rack. Put on serving plate and top with sesame seeds if desired.

These are/were seriously yummy. We now have 40 eggrolls in the freezer. What an excellent way to use cabbage and save $$ on lunches. We froze 3-4 per bag, so a perfect individual serving. I was really worried about what to use the cabbage in and then I was worried about the deep fry part (made Dear Husband do it). Silly me. They were easy! Ok, they were only easy because I made him do all the hard parts. :)