Tuesday, January 31, 2006

ATC's by Lydia

Originally uploaded by emily999.
A series done by my 3.5 year old daughter called "Glitter and Gold". Love how these came out!

Wooden rabbit

Originally uploaded by emily999.
This is the wooden rabbit I made in High School...Oh, I'm glad I cleaned out the boxes and was able to dig around my studio. I found lots of art supplies I'd forgotten and my xacto saw with miter box! Yeah!

I'm rather proud of this rabbit sculpture...maybe I should try doing some more. I have been experimenting with wood (when it doesn't bother my allergies...which is rarely. But I'm getting better at protecting my face).

Now, if I can find that harp seal pendant, I'll share that too.

Happy Kiwi...

happy cat
Originally uploaded by emily999.
She waited patiently for the clean boxes...oh, the guilt!

Self Portrait Tuesday...

I wasn't going to do the self portrait thing. Not because I was ashamed or overwhelmed by what might come out or that I hate my life or something. Rather, I couldn't find my old album of pics of my past. I moved here nearly three years ago and I'm still unpacking. It's terrible. Plus, my studio on the third floor (attic), I hate to even say this, is filled with litter boxes that are full apparently. My one cat, Autumn, is very picky about this and has taken to leaving protest poops...all over the place. So, unless I get the courage to clean it up (which I will...or get Jon to do it) I can't go up there. Well, I did go up there but I got disgusted and ran back down.

Anyway, I have this picture that I love because it was just so me at the time. I'm slouching because I'm tall and I wanted to look shorter. It's taken in 9th grade for the year book. I have blonde bangs (sun-in...that dreadful fun stuff that creates bold highlights), braces and I'm wearing this sweatshirt with a very 80's style. I love that pic. I remember in art class we had to do a self portrait from our year book picture (if you had one) and this forced me to see myself. I started to like me, even with all my flaws. I think I had a very smart art teacher in junior high, wish I remembered her name...

I couldn't find the picture but I did one from memory. Here it is:

I also remember I was tormented by two kids in that art class. They teased me about my breathing (I had allergies but didn't know it at the time) and asked if I was retarded because of my lisp. I had to go to speech therapy for quite awhile. I did get my "revenge", however.

I think it was a week or so before the last day of class and I remember telling these kids they were like snails. I didn't know any swear words (my parents over protected me) and all I could think of that they were like snails. I said, "You are like snails..." they laughed. Then I said, " do you know why? Because you are slow and can be crushed with one foot." They looked at me and I could tell they were surprised. After that, they didn't bother me. I'd catch sight of them in the hall or library and they'd look away. At the time, I was surprised words could have such an effect...sometimes I still am.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Cafepress items!

Lots of goodies at Cafepress with my work on it! Check it out!

My cafestore

Also, new Valentines section...or if you're just into hearts!

Valentines and Hearts

I've marked the prices down a bit...so, take a look and help support the arts and me! : )

Oh, and don't forget to check out my eBay store...new paintings coming up!

Support the Arts!

Friday, January 27, 2006


New items at my cafepress store!


Lots of cute things with Valentines and more to come!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Illustration Friday: Cats

Well, this was a topic I can get into! I have always had a fondness for cats. Having four cats, you sort of have to like cats. I do have a new fondness for dogs but cats and I have a long history. An odd history at times. When I was a child my dad didn't allow us to have cats and dogs. He'd heard somewhere they had disease. However, we were not petless as I had lots of rabbits, guinea pigs, pigeons, countless fish and parakeets and even a pet crow over the years. It's one of the idiosyncrasies of my dad, I suppose.

Of course, my girls are surrounded by my pets; cats and dogs and even rats (which they love) are every where in the house. I like that my kids love to have animals around them.

The above illustration is actually something I did because an on-line friend told me there are no cards with boys and cats. Or rather very, very few cards and usually in somber colors or cutified (tough cat, etc). So, I thought I'd do something sweet and with a boy. Why does the publishing company think boys and girls have to be divided and made into a commodity? Well, obviously that's because they can sell it to us all the better. But we don't have to buy it. Boys and girls, we all have tenderness and thought. We all have the ability to be cruel and mean and harsh. One of my favorite posters is this one:

I remember once when my bestfriend's father read a poem to his wife and children. He does this every year for their anniversary and everyone was moved deeply. I think that needs to be expressed more in life. There is a mentality that somehow showing you care and are kind is not macho. Strange and so wrong. It's not balanced and makes people act cruel, regardless of their sex.

Anyway, my illo is titled "For a mama and her boys".

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Feeling blah...actually, feeling better...

I did quite a bit today...tutored Science, went home and made a special brew for my in-laws for their colds which was found at mompoet's, took the kids home, played with them and cleaned up their rooms a bit, straightened the something but I forgot what, took care of the kids again and entertained them with glitter and glue, Jon came home and Norrie passed out, and then I got a big headache. So big, it's a minor migraine...I'm like why? Why tonight when I'm supposed to go out with Jon at 7:30pm and see Cornel West at the campus? I took a nap and woke to oddly thunder and lightening. Now I know why I have a headache. The odd pressure of a thunderstorm is doing this. Now, it's snowing outside...

Thankfully, the kids are sleeping and I can complain for a bit. I hate having migraines and headaches. I hope, hope, hope it goes away soon so I can do a bit of painting and put some more work up on eBay. I've actually had some time between all the stuff I'm doing. I'm actually very fond of packed days...sometimes you need a break but if I can pack a bunch of stuff into one day, I'm happy.

Things to do:

I need to get several paintings framed for an art show at a local museum. I'm in charge of the homeschool art students and have promised to frame two of my students work as well as my daughters painting. This will be Lydia's first show! I'm so excited! I remember my first show. I was in high school and I had an excellent art teacher, Mrs. Wong. Fortunately for me, this was before they had cut the arts program from my high school and district. I got to try working in metal, wood, and learn various techniques, how to use charcoal and do a still life drawing. I am forever grateful for this. Years later, I went back to my high school to observe for some of my teaching credential. It was SO horrible. Not only had they made the high school into year round, but over crowding in the worst sense was happening. 45-55 kids in one small room. One of the four teachers I observed had apparently, gone mad as she would punish the entire class if someone would act out by having half the class face the wall and write standards (in a 10/11th grade class!) and do absolutely no art (I watched this for a week...strange, strange person). She was mostly concerned with buying a house and acted like a warden in a jail. The other teachers were much better though one decided she was going to just leave in the middle of the school year now that she had just gotten married and the school had to call in a sub. Another teacher was very pro-Nadar and was trying to convince one of his art students (an 18 year old) to vote or at least vote for Nadar. He was also very pessimistic and said no one knew how to draw as they had cut art programs from the schools and now the kids didn't even know how to achieve perspective (again, it was a hugely over crowded class). The fourth art teacher had had a stroke but was the most ambitious and had the kids constantly working and doing art. I'd say she was the most inspired...though she looked like she was a bubbling over kettle, poor thing. There was an elite fifth class of six students...they talked about art and history and discussed doing joint art projects. You had to be a straight A student to be there...very strange.

So, I was fortunate I had the classes I had but I felt very, very sorry for the students that came after me. I imagine only a few, very few got to be in an art show and I hope some didn't totally get turned off of art. Mrs. Wong got us to show our work at a bank in downtown Los Angeles in 1989. I showed two pieces, a harp seal pendent I made from brass and copper and a rabbit I carved from wood. I still have both. I was offered $25 for the harp seal pendant but refused to sell it. I'm glad I didn't.

Jon just came back. The lecture has been cancelled! I can't believe it. Wow. Must have been the storm...I hope they use the same tickets we have so we have definite seats. I still can't believe they cancelled the lecture...is it luck? It will be luck if I can still use those tickets!

I do feel a bit better...maybe I was just tired and the thunderstorm made me do a spiral down. But I'm balancing off and feeling better. I must be feeling better because I just told Jon that the stainless steel cup with Marci Ellen engraved in it was made for a favorite doll of mine (this is actually not true. I like to do that every now and then...play the trickster. Jon and I often do that to each other). So, he is now plotting (I told him the truth) his revenge on me...I can tell because he's pacing back and forth. He said, "when you least expect it...when you least expect it!" lol...: )

~~~Am now listening to William Shatner's "Tambourine Man". Groovy and odd.~~~

Well, I saw the film "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory". I gave it one star on netflix as that was the lowest one I could do. Boy, that film was not good. I'm a fan of Tim Burton but this really stunk. Plus, Johnny Depp...what the heck happened? He's grayish green! Just wrong...like a rotten tooth color. The only good thing was the special effects but usually Burton makes such good stories for his films. This was not the case, unfortunately.

~~~Now listening to Hall and Oates, Jon's request~~~

An interesting story: Jon has been searching for a tune he first heard as part of the opening news cast theme song in the early 80's. That's nearly 20 years ago. Then he'd catch bits of it on the radio and I got to hear it on the last show of Frasier. He even asked our know-it-all music relation about this melody and he couldn't identify it from Jon's humming. Imagine that!

Anyway, there I was a few days ago listening to the local radio station for once and what should I catch but that song. I immediately write down the time and the song afterwards (one by The Mama's and the Papa's). I then hunt around and find the radio station on-line and write to the webmaster, Bill Kurtis of WALY 103 explaining the situation and if he could help. And by the stars, he did! A day or so later we get an email and at long last we have found out what that melody is! "CLASSICAL GAS" by Mason Williams - It was #2 in the summer of 1968. I just feel so much like a detective. One less mystery in this mysterious world!

Now I can rest easy.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Self Portrait Tuesday

That's me...sitting in a pile of Ginkgo leaves at about two years old. The Ginkgo tree has become a favorite of mine. It's such a beautiful tree with green leaves in the Spring and golden leaves falling in Autumn. Last year we planted my very own Ginkgo tree and I am anxious to see Spring leaves. Ginkgo or Maidenhair Tree is apparently 150 million years old according to fossil records. Amazing. It's related to firs and is hearty in cold climates, fortunately. This was actually one of my concerns before moving to PA. I knew I had to have a Ginkgo planted in my yard. Thankfully, I got my wish when my parents and sis-in law got me one for my birthday last year.

And now a poem by John Ashbery:

Some Trees

These are amazing: each
Joining a neighbor, as though speech
Were a still performance.
Arranging by chance
To meet as far this morning
From the world as agreeing
With it, you and I
Are suddenly what the trees try
To tell us we are:
That their merely being there
Means something; that soon
We may touch, love, explain.
And glad not to have invented
Some comeliness, we are surrounded:
A silence already filled with noises,
A canvas on which emerges
A chorus of smiles, a winter morning.
Place in a puzzling light, and moving,
Our days put on such reticence
These accents seem their own defense.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

It's 5:49am...and feeling Pink

Why am I up at 5:49 am? I feel very up and awake from putting up EBay auctions.
Aceo/mini paintings

I took a little break and did not have anything listed for three weeks. This was quite a long stretch for me. I just didn't feel like sitting there scanning everything in and all that stuff. I've been constantly drawing and painting, yet felt I needed a break. But tonight, in record time too with two kids right next to me (Jon's feeling sick), I listed 12 paintings and more to come! I'm feeling a bit energetic. I don't have a cold or allergies migraines hitting me and I feel oddly good, knock on wood. I feel very "up" as my dad-in-law likes to say when people are feeling pink and happy. Said dad-in-law and mom-in-law are both sick with a bad cold. Poor dears. But at the moment, I'm feeling pink.

Did you ever do that? Feel pink? Or feel bluish gray? I've always felt a color and I dream in color too. Sometimes I dream in sepia tones or shades of blues. Sometimes I have intense vivid color dreams...where the grass is bright green and the whole dream world looks like something from the Wizard of Oz. Very odd. Plus, I remember a lot of details. I usually enjoy my dreams and have a sense of contentment when remembering them. But, if I get a nightmare it can be the most awful feeling and I will just be crying or so upset because of it. I'll wake up Jon and he'll be in his groggy sleep state listening (or falling back asleep) to my panic dream.

I'm a dream interpreter. I like to know what my dreams mean and I've written many down to understand them later. Usually my handwriting is so messy (because I've written it half asleep) it looks like a drunk wrote it. But I think it helps to do this...even to comfort my self if I've had an esp. bad one.

It's amazing that people dream. I remember seeing this movie about this bear cub (I think it was called "The Bear") and there was one scene where the little cub falls asleep and they interpret what he's dreaming. For me, that is the sweetest and funniest thing...seeing a bear cubs dream. I believe it was done in claymation and had this jittery look. Very funny...I wonder how I'd feel now. I saw that movie 12 or so years ago? At the time, I felt it was ridiculous because it was done in a realistic filming manner and the dream sequence didn't feel natural. Also, the bear grunts/squeals were disturbing after awhile. Maybe I don't need to rent this...I wonder if my kids would get a kick out of it. At least it doesn't have the voice over narrations...though that can be fun (or funny) too.

(This is what happens when you wake up from eBay jitters at 6 am in the morning. You ramble. Sorry to all the patient folk that read this. )

Benji. I am a Benji fan. I don't really collect any stuff of Benji but I do have a Benji video (out on loan at the moment), an old Benji coloring book I like to look at now and then and if I see a children’s book with Benji, I might get it for the kids. I have the Benji movie where the kids get kidnapped and Aunt Bea (from the Andy Griffith show) is in it. What gets me every time to cry is the song. Something about love and by the time the guy starts to sing the second verse I have to leave the room or I will be crying all over the place. I'm strange that way.

Here is a fantastic quote I found the other day. For me, this is what it is:

Forgive us that often we forgive ourselves so easily and others so hardly;

Forgive us that we expect perfection from those to whom we show none;

Forgive us for repelling people by the way we set a good example;

Forgive us the folly of trying to improve a friend;

Forbid that we should use our little idea of goodness as a spear to wound those who are different;

Forbid that we should feel superior to others when we are only more shielded;

And may we encourage the secret struggle of every person.

-Vivian Pomeroy

I like this very much when I found it at Buffy the Unitarian Slayer (excellent website, by the way).


Yesterday was funny and odd. I got some Janis Joplin CD's from free cycling(!) that were left at the person's daughter place of employment (a dog grooming place). Jon got them for me and had to work a mean 12-8pm schedule on Saturday. I put Janis on and Lydia, Norrie and I rocked out. Then we got ready for tea with some kids from the Homeschooling group we met. They were a bit late and let's just say the kids started to feel very impatient; tea was served and my sanity restored.

The kids arrived and they brought along three baby bunnies and the mama. I'm going to have to go to their house and take pics and do some paintings. They were the cutest things in the world. I would have snatched them up but I think Jon would have had a heart attack. Tempting, very tempting!

The kids ran in a parade playing recorders, harmonica's and beating impromptu drums. Norrie started passing out from the sheer exhaustion and was in peaceful sleep half way thru the play date. My goodness! Everyone left and both my girls were a sleep by 4pm. Amazing.

I did some outside house clean up as we've had NO SNOW. This is not a bad thing. It was cold out but as long as there isn't 3 feet of snow and ice, I'm happy. My sis-in-law is freaking out with thoughts of Global warming...and probably rightfully so. But I may as well get some yard work done, if I can. So, I trimmed the rose bush in front, swept some spots. I felt so home-body-ish. And I played with Mr. Nelson who seriously needs a bath. His feet are black with mud and probably covered with rotten pumpkin juice (I finally shoveled that off the porch too...that was pretty gross...interesting but gross).

I made a basic compost by the garage. Basically, a big old bag of leaves and grass clippings was left there for quite a while and just broke away and I started adding leaves and the pumpkin. Now the compost is getting bigger. I guess I should mix it around or something and see what happens. I hope I get a few pumpkins but I have a feeling the squirrels will take care of the seeds for me. They did that last year too. I left a bunch of pumpkins out on the side and thought I'd get a huge field. Not so. Chippy's and squirrels feasted on the pumpkin guts. Ah, well.

When Jon was little

I hope I have this must energy when Spring does actual come. I even cut branches to force indoors. I am crazy. : ) But happily crazy.

An observation:

I've noticed that sometimes people, whether it's on-line or in person, can be rather off putting at first. In other words, they (also we and me) have this way of either sounding or looking hard to get to know. But I've realized now it's totally first impressions. Thank the stars, people give me a second chance, now that I think about it! What I've come to realize is people are people and not to be too hasty to judge. Yes, certainly there are people who just are better left avoided but some are like the best books you didn't realize were good because the cover is so different or you were afraid to open because you weren't sure what you'd find. But you've got to read a few pages and maybe skip around and you find, yes, this will be a good book.

Homage to Jannson, Moomin

And speaking of books, I'm reading a collection of children's books by Tove Jannson. This is the wonderful, wonderful world of Moomin's. Let's just say, I dearly love this world of unusual critters. There is a quiet thoughtfulness these little characters portray that make you wish you'd acted better when you scared and upset. In one book there is a flood that destroys all of Moominmama's house items and home. She's, of course, upset and they try to salvage her things. But only a few bits are rescued. They have to leave and they are all sad but they go on with their lives and see what's next. The water does recede and they do return to their home and plan to redecorate. Certainly, it's much, much harder in life but there is this sense that even floods can't steal their humor and inner strength. Anyway, that's what I'm reading right now.

Well, it's now nearly an hour since I sat to write...6:38am. I think I will make some tea, put my glasses on (as I didn't bring them with me...silly me) and read some Jannson till I fall asleep. Good morning and have a happy Sunday!

I just realized I can highlight a word, click link and and it will automatically put the link/word together. Well, that is a nice surprise!

I just looked outside, there is a light covering of snow, of course!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

IF: E is for....

The word(s) of the week for Illustration Friday is E. Besides things like Emily the Enchanting, Elegant Emily, etc, I decided to go with Expecting...well, not in the usually sense! In this case, it's expecting a treat:

I'm glad to have some time to post. Been rather busy and rushing around. The weather makes me slow down so this is nice. In fact, I was pleased to see that the little duck pond that is on my route to tutoring had a few white ducks. So nice to see.

It's funny I was just typing along here and a memory came to me. I remember I was talking to the mom of a friend who just past away. We were talking about ducks. And I just remembered that I won't be seeing him again. Strange how for a moment you can feel so sad.

A poem comes to mind...one a friend of mine translated in an English class many years ago. It's called La Muerta (The Dead Woman) by Pablo Neruda.

La Muerta

Si de pronto no existes,
si de pronto no vives,
yo seguiré viviendo.

No me atrevo,
no me atrevo a escribirlo,
si te mueres.

Yo seguiré viviendo.

Porque donde no tiene voz un hombre
allí, mi voz.

Donde los negros sean apaleados,
yo no puedo estar muerto.
Cuando entren en la cárcel mis hermanos
entraré yo con ellos.

Cuando la victoria,
no mi victoria,
sino la gran Victoria llegue,
aunque esté mudo debo hablar:
yo la veré llegar aunque esté ciego.

No, perdóname.
Si tú no vives,
si tú, querida, amor mío, si tú
te has muerto,
todas las hojas caerán en mi pecho,
lloverá sobre mi alma noche y día,
la nieve quemará mi corazón,
andaré con frío y fuego y muerte y nieve,
mis pies querrán marchar hacia donde tú duermes, pero seguiré vivo,
porque tú me quisiste sobre todas las cosas indomable,
y, amor, porque tú sabes que soy no sólo un hombre
sino todos los hombres.

Dead Woman

If suddenly you do not exist,

if suddenly you no longer live,

I shall live on.

I do not dare,

I do not dare to write it,

if you die.

I shall live on.

For where a man has no voice,

there, my voice.

Where blacks are beaten,

I cannot be dead.

When my brothers go to prison

I shall go with them.

When victory,

not my victory,

but the great victory comes,

even though I am mute I must speak;

I shall see it come even
though I am blind.

No, forgive me.

If you no longer live,

if you, beloved, my love,

if you have died,

all the leaves will fall in my breast,

it will rain on my soul night and day,

the snow will burn my heart,

I shall walk with frost and fire and death and snow,

my feet will want to walk to where you are sleeping, but

I shall stay alive,

because above all things
you wanted me indomitable,

and, my love, because you know that I am not only a man

but all mankind.

I wasn't sure if I felt like this poem would capture my feelings accurately. Or that it would have a different meaning. But as I read this poem in depth (I only remember excerpts of it from the translation and from one of my favorite movies "Truly, Madly, Deeply") I realize how very true it is. We must give voice in the silence and to those who are in need and with that the memory of the dead will not be in vain or forgotten.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Monday, January 16, 2006

SPT: Personal history (Spring memories and found photos)

Missed last weeks SPT...but was inspired to try something this week. This is part two of my Personal history/Spring reflections. This is a collaged image of my self in present day and my self and sister at around four and two years old.

I've always liked this photograph of my sister and I. I found it about seven years ago on some old negatives and was fortunate to get it developed. I remember the person who developed the negatives actually wrote, "Really old negatives!" I guess they wanted to let me know they were hard to work with. I'm really glad they tried and I have these photos.

I wanted the collage to have an aged effect and did this through photoshop. I was aiming to give the feel of memories/reflections.

A poem that comes to mind is "A Child of Spring" by Ellen Robena Field.

A Child of Spring

by Ellen Robena Field

I know a little maiden,
She is very fair and sweet,
As she trips among the grasses
That kiss her dainty feet;
Her arms are full of flowers,
The snow-drops, pure and white,
Timid blue-eyed violets,
And daffodillies bright.

She loves dear Mother Nature,
And wanders by her side;
She beckons to the birdlings
That flock from far and wide.
She wakes the baby brooklets,
Soft breezes hear her call;
She tells the little children
The sweetest tales of all.

Her brow is sometimes clouded,
And she sighs with gentle grace,
Till the sunbeams, daring lovers,
Kiss the teardrops from her face.
Well we know this dainty maiden,
For April is her name;
And we welcome her with gladness,
As the springtime comes again.
Spring is just around the corner...what a lovely thought!

Friday, January 13, 2006


Got a sinus headache from working with power tools. I was cutting up thin plywood to make a dozen or more canvas' and I had all my protection gear on, ear plugs and mask. But I forgot the goggles. I felt the tiniest fibers go in my eyes and sure enough about 24 hours, I got a terrible allergy headache. Darn. I tried this new thing of nasal flushing and it actually helped. I still feel pretty lousy...mostly because I should have taken a nap with the girls but didn't...I was zoning out, I think because I can't really remember what I was doing.

Anyway, Jon came home and I was out of sorts, and his work left this vague message about going to work on the weekend but not sure. Irritating. We're thinking of going to Pitts and try a different restaurant. I wish they had a Trader Joes...not likely. They do have an Ikea. So, we might got there. How I miss Trader Joes. They had a lot of good, quality foods and they were reasonably priced. Plus, they treat their employees really well. Wish someone would open one in downtown Altoona. Now this would be the revitalization of downtown on many levels, would have total employee loyalty and lots of customers. On this side of town, there are few shopping areas and you have to drive across town to get to most groceries. Anyway, that's my rant of the day.

We had a puppet meeting...planning/designing a two shows with homeschoolers. Should be fun...just wish I had felt better and didn't have a clogged head.

I'm going to complain about my aches now...so go ahead a skip this part...my left ear hurts. My ENT says it's TMJ. I don't think TMJ hurts the inner ear part! So annoying. I need to find another ENT possible in Pittsburgh. I'm still going to go through the deviated septum surgery because I feel so bad when I get a headache. It's one of the worst pains I've had (besides induced labor).

The day was beautiful...I mean, really beautiful. Slight chill but nothing a little sun wouldn't cure. And the sun was out! I just feel great when there is sun even with an sinus headache.

Next week should be interesting...I have to drop off submissions for the art show and do some puppet making. I hope I can do it.

On the 24th, Jon and I are going to the Corneil West lecture at the campus. I can hardly wait. Corneil West! Wow. Jon's thinking of questions to ask him...Maybe I'll try to do that too.

Lydia and Norrie had a good time with the kids when they came over. They are so funny for being 3.5 and 2. One little kid tried to have the rats sniff her finger and Lydia thought she was poking the rats and moved this kids hand away. She gave her this stern "Don't mess with my rats" look. Norrie was doing well until she got hungry and tired. Ah, well.

I feel tired from the pain medication but am getting better. I'll feel better tomorrow but it really is annoying to loose so much time from feeling bad.

Otherwise, a fun Friday...wish I felt like doing Illustration Friday or posting some pics but I just don't have the energy. Perhaps, as Scarlett would say, "Tomorrow is another day."

One last note, I wish it was Spring. I took the tree down and Lydia cried. For some reason she thought I was giving it away. I've never seen her so upset in awhile. I may buy a real tree (if the cats don't get to it) and put it on the table, instead. To freshen up the room. Good night to you all!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

He eats carrots

He eats carrots
Originally uploaded by emily999.
Mr. Nelson eating a snack...yes, he likes to eat carrots on occasion. Maybe he's part rabbit.

Monday, January 09, 2006

January 2006 temp: 52 degrees!

Yes, it's Winter in the East but we've hit an official warm spot...hope it lasts till March! Ha! Yeah, right but I can dream.

For some reason, this warm patch made me a bit depressed. I guess because it's such a short warm patch (I'm not sure if it's supposed to get cold again in a few days) and I didn't do anything but chores today. I was out and about with the girls but when you're going to the market and later to the post, it's not the same. So, I feel like I wasted a day.

Lots happening this week...besides, tutoring and art lessons, I have a puppet meeting on Wednesday, and Knitting on Thursday evening. Actually, that's not too overwhelming. At least no doctors appoints or what not. I do have to schedule in my allergy shots but I'm dreading that. I'll aim for February.

Everyone is tearing down their Christmas stuff and either replacing it with Valentines day stuff or the old stuff that was there. I think I'm going to leave the artificial tree up and make it a valentines day tree. What's after Valentines day? Oh, yeah St. Patrick’s day. Maybe I'll take it down then. I like the idea of heart lights but they just remind me of a brothel or some other such place and really, I don't know if I care for that feel.


One of my dreams is to have our Christmas tree decked out in birds. Make it full of birds...they need to be made by hands (mainly mine) and I think that will be so pretty. I've started making a few but need to keep on it. I'm also going to try and sell them too...maybe.

I have been making softie cats...these are after the 12 I did for holiday presents. They are in all shapes and sizes and mostly bright colors. Once I get the features on, they will be available for sale.

Working on more paintings...just need to color them and such. I think I'm tired that's why I'm feeling down.

I finished this really, really good book called "The Secret life of bees" by Sue Monk Kidd. My mom (thanks, mom!) sent this to me and it's a keeper. Last week, when the weather was 15 or so degrees there was snow blowing and frozen sheets of ice in the alley. I looked out in surprise to see all of this. I felt like I had been in another world...summer, humid, bees, sticky hot weather, and the scent of rain about to come in with thunder announcing her arrival. This is what I was immersed in and only looking away from my book and staring out the window brought me back to Winter. If you ever have feel like you need to escape the frozen blue and white, this is the book. I'll have to read this every winter, I think. But not only is it well written, it's a beautiful story too.

Anyway, I have a stack of winter readings that give me the jolt I need esp. in this time of year. Jon got me the latest Harry Potter for my collection. I have not started this because once I start, there's no holding back. I will not stop reading it until my eye lids plead for mercy. I have to wait for a cold or maybe a weekend. My mom also remembered the name of one book I really love, "Scent of Water" by Elizabeth Goudge. It is a quiet book and full of lovely descriptions of a small village life as well as the thoughtful nature of people. I'm so glad to have this name back and will have to find a copy from half.com or some place.

Speaking of sites, I just started an account with netflex.com. For 9.99 a month they send you DVD's that you select. I've selected nearly all of Cary Grants films, lots of independents and even some up-to-date stuff. Also, stuff for the kids, too. I'm excited about this...I checked out 88 films...all of which I'm sure will last me for two years. lol. My first one is Robots...because it's for kids. Hopefully, it's kind of good.


I've identified several different groups for post office drop offs. Apparently, at about 1 pm to 2:45 pm this is heavy traffic time for the older crowd and single men. I am not kidding. I went to the post office at about 2:30 pm and there were at least 20 or so elderly people (mostly men) and then all these young guys. I felt like I was a bit behind my schedule as the morning time (9 am-ish) is the typical time for mom's/little kids and single women to be at the post. Noon is the lunch hour insanity time as bustling young to middle aged people (regardless of gender) are dropping off office stuff. Funny how that works.

My cat, Kiwi, blessed sweet kitty that she is and MANY people who have visited my house will vouch for her kind and friendly behavior, scratched my hand. It really wasn't her fault as I picked her up one handed from underneath and she twisted fell and scratched my hand in 2 places. It hurts but is feeling better. I won't tell Jon, yet, because he just had to clean up cat vomit. Having four cats, you need to do lots of clean up and patch up work. ugh.

The rats nibbled a hole in their water bottle for some insane, self loathing reason. So, I had to get a new one as the bowl of water I put in there was disgusting after an hour. I made a makeshift water bottle out of a "trendy" looking vial of vanilla flavored sugar (not bad, actually). Apparently, the rats thought so too as there may have been a little left in the vial and they drank more than have the water in a few hours. When I put up the new water bottle they acted confused and annoyed that the sugar tainted water was gone. Little addicts.

I might be getting a free African Grey parrot. I don't know for sure. I'm not sure how I feel about this. Apparently, someone at my husbands work inherited it from their relative and now they have it. They say it's mostly nice and except for screaming hello, hello when someone calls on the phone, it's s pleasant bird. I actually do have a fondness for birds. I had cockatiels but Jon made me give them up before Lydia was born in a fit of paranoia (he thought the bird dander would be bad). So, I do like birds. I hope this does not come to pass in some ways. Plus, parrots live for something like 50 years. FIFTY YEARS. That is something to consider as I would be in my late seventies by the time he/she left. Plus, Mr. Nelson's high pitched barking and a bird screaming hello, might drive me crazy. I may have to pass on this one.

I'm thinking about gardening and bee hives. That is what "The Secret life of Bees" does to you. My dad had a couple of bee hives when I was a kid. I could put them right next to my neighbors with the German Shepard’s... who now appear to have three. I don't want to be unfriendly but THREE German Shepard’s? And the two they have bark at US...not prowlers...US, their neighbors. Okay...deep breath. Twitching eye, calm down. Visions of a 6 or so foot fence and lots of ivy are the only solutions, I can think of. The annoying thing is they never trained their two "guard dogs" in the first place. I don't understand them. I really, really don't. I know why the neighbors on the other side of them have a fence and are moving. It is that bad. If I had ONE German Shepard, I'd send it to school. I am with Mr. Nelson all day and we are actually doing a bit better. We have our bad days but mostly we are doing good. I think he does have a lot of emotional hang ups from his previous owner but we're working on it. Plus, I'd like to look into valium... not for me, though. For Mr. Nelson...he's very high strung. Poor guy.

Anyway, that's the news from the Squirrels nest, so far. Pictures to come soon. Again, a moment of woe because I didn't bring my camera out and I just looked at some fantastic flickr photos that make me burn with jealousy. Just my little envies...

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Quote of the day

"Outside is pure energy and colorless substance...All of the rest happens through the mechanism of our senses. Our eyes see just a small fraction of the light in the world. It is a trick to make a colored world, which does not exist outside of human beings."
~Albert Hofmann, scientist

Thursday, January 05, 2006

I think I have an early form of Spring Fever...

All this "warm" weather (40 degrees) has given me a supposed jump start on Spring cleaning. Yes, looking at my house, you wouldn't think so...but it's there in small bits and pieces. And I've got plans to paint the walls/floor in the dining room, fix up the kitchen (actually, that's Jon's plan) and work on the bathroom bit by bit. Once the new windows are in, I can focus getting my studio in shape as well...maybe even get the basement cleared up/organized. It's nice having a house you can do stuff to but it's a huge responsibility too. It’s kind of like tending a big baby…or an aged baby (depending on the house age). Reminds me of Jonathan Winters…do you remember him from the “Mork and Mindy” show? The aged baby, Jonathan Winters? Okay, the Spring Fever feeling is starting to wane...or I'm just tired. lol.

Started new projects with my art students… robots; GIANT Robots (6' tall). I'm even doing one. We're using cardboard (recycled) as the structure and will be painting the surface and exploring texture. It is actually really fun and good use of materials that are lying around. Love that. This is a great way to recycle boxes, paper, etc.

~Thinking of Romare Bearden, the American artist, and his collage work. What would a collage of today be about? What reflections and insights would we gather from magazines, or "trash", or things we normally recycle? How could we incorporate those things into a piece of work and express ourselves in a collage? Is the very use of these items an expression on today's current evnironmental crisis?

In thinking about all the information and misinformation that is around us in this day and age, how would we interpret this in our art? A quote from George Orwell's "1984" comes to mind, "Don't you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought?…"

For my self, I believe there is not enough thought in this world of ours. However, thoughtfulness is there, if people give it time. And I think this is the most important part...to make time and not scurry around madly for whatever reason, to make time and think. And in that thinking, the act of thoughtfulness is born. This is one of the keys, I believe, to self realization and action.

And this leads me back to my student’s art. The very act of reusing that which would have normally been thrown out (cardboard boxes), that is a avant garde action. It's better than recycling because you are putting it to a different use and not expending outside energy (like electricity, gas) to manipulate it into more paper, etc. You are creating value in something that would normally have been thrown out and you have created thought (art piece) by your actions. I love it!

Romare Bearden

Monday, January 02, 2006


Titled "Memories of Summer"


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