Sunday, December 31, 2006

phoenix


phoenix, originally uploaded by emily999.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Quote of the Day:

Then indecision brings its own delays,
And days are lost lamenting over lost days.
Are you in earnest? Seize this very minute;
What you can do, or dream you can do, begin it;
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.

-Goethe

Inkspell inspired Mermaid


Inkspell inspired Mermaid, originally uploaded by emily999.

There is a scene in Inkspell where Dustfinger gathers invisibility powder from the sea. I guess I imagined the fairies to look like mermaids.

This is up for auction at :
http://search.ebay.com/_W0QQfgtpZ1QQfrppZ25QQsassZnutkinsQ2dnest

Friday, December 29, 2006

wee girls


wee girls, originally uploaded by emily999.

Peace



Illustration Friday: Peace

Feeling better

Well, I did a half hour on the bike downstairs...feeling a bit better. For some reason, I've been thinking about the bike and doing half hour workouts but just didn't. Honestly, the downstairs needs painted and is a bit gloomy. I have been working down there getting my studio area together, cleaning, throwing out stuff and freecycling...so the atmosphere is a bit more inviting but still needs light. Plus, it's dusty and I'd like to get the place vacuumed, etc. But I did my half hour and feel pretty good, actually. Also, I'm listening to Ink Spell on tape by Cornelia Funke. I love it. It's so good, really and listening I can bike or do artwork and not feel like I'm "all alone and lonely". Not that I have that problem very often (the cats follow me around or else it's everyone else in the house. I'm not complaining!).

Anyway, I'm enjoying this book quite a bit, actually. I might have to get the books someday but for now, tapes are so great! I highly recommend this...stimulates the brain and gives such great imagery/mental pictures.

I woke early today...7am. Not really that early as I'm used to but enough to start the day. Jon rolled over and went back to sleep...he takes his days off seriously. I hope we get a bit of painting done in Lydia's room. I'm sorry to say, I've neglected that room far too long. Christmas makes it hard to get the normal stuff done, I guess.

Well, I've got to send off a late gift and card. This year I have two New Year's resolution. 1. 3 workouts a week 2. Organize my to do lists per month. I think this is a good goal. If I organize per month, I'll know who's birthday's coming up, what's on the plan and not feel so scattered/last minute. This is a good plan and one that I feel is realistic for me.

************
I can't believe it's 2007. I hope this year will bring more peace, happiness to the world. I hope this year blessings will unfold for my family and extended families. I also hope that whatever path we are on, we don't bump into others but rather nod in kindness and patience. I know this is something I'm working on. I notice when I'm driving, if I'm stressed for time, I am not at my best. And when people aren't what I expected, I tend to take offence easily. So, I'm going to work on that and remember the phoenix. We are all burned by fire, but how will we emerge? Do we die with the ashes or do we become reborn into something more beautiful?

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Little tree made by me


Little tree made by me, originally uploaded by emily999.

Okay, I'm proud of this little tree I made...wrapped it in silver ribbon and stuck with metalic pins...came out rather nice, I think.



Entering this with the whiplash contest. I'm proud to say this really was whipped up in a short amount of time. It was rather sad to see a naked styrofoam cone and it needed dressing up. Thus, a little silver ribbon, some sparkle pins and sequins and here is a sparkle tree for the holidays! :)

whipup

Chocolate

It all started nearly a month ago. I bought an innocent bag of Hershey kisses...haven't done this in ages. One dropped on the floor in the wrapper and before I could grab it, Nelson had ran off with it. I never found the foil. As disturbing as this sounds, he was alive and well, seemingly unharmed. Things passed away, as the saying goes, without a bit of backup.

Anyway, we started to have more chocolate in the house for the holidays. I admit I gave Nelson a piece of chocolate chip cookie and I'm sure he's licked clean a few coco krispie cereal bowls. Yesterday there was gold foil chocolates around...he nearly broke into one but was deterred by me.

Today, apparently, he tried to snatch a piece of chocolate off the counter. This is quite a feat for a Bichon. He got as far as the wrapper and Jon stopped him. Now, he's sniffing out chocolate. I just looked up chocolate and dogs and apparently, it's theobromine in the chocolate that causes dogs with epilepsy to be more affected by death. Stil, I wouldn't allow any dog to have chocolate. This is scary as when you think about it, why wouldn't this effect people too? I think most things should be taken with moderation and perhaps most people with epilepsy know they aren't supposed to have chocolate. Still, it's a scary thought.

Little Red Riding Hood Dolls


Little Red Riding Hood Dolls, originally uploaded by emily999.

Gift of an apron


Gift of an apron, originally uploaded by emily999.

Thanks mom!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Prayer for Peace

Lead Me to Peace

A Prayer by Mother Teresa

Lead me from death to life,

from falsehood to truth.
Lead me from despair to hope,
from fear to trust.
Lead me from hate to love,
from war to peace.
Let peace fill our hearts,
our world, our universe,
Peace, Peace, Peace.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

two more to go

that's what I need to do to finish Christmas gifts. These are the made by me gifts. So, I'm pretty confident...plus, I can't believe it, but I finished wrapping gifts one whole day earlier. I regret, I didn't mail out my cards yet...I just finished making them all. But they came out beautifully, I have to say. I hope I remember to photograph them before they're sent out. I used a tip from Whipup.net and got them done and with lots of fun.

I'm working in my studio downstairs in the basement and it's going so well. I have more space, don't worry about spills, drips and just love my space. Plus, I feel like it's mine and not the families. There is room for the kids to play and I'm setting up a table for them to do crafts. But it's mostly for me. We only have one TV in the house and I'm aiming for it to be down there, evetually.

Also, all this being in the basement stuff is doing some good for my legs. I have to go up and down these steps and, let me just say, it's a workout. An unexpected perk. So, I'm happy about this.

The majority of my things are still spread about the house but I'm working on getting everything in one space and esp. out of the bedroom. I was starting to use it as storage. I don't know why, just started to do this. Anyway, I'm thrilled and bit by bit it's shaping up. My only question is this. Why didn't I do this sooner? It's funny because the space reminds me of my b-friends, Caroline's sister's studio. They live in Arizona and I remember visting their condo about 10 years ago and was in love with the space. She had at least 5 tables around, cluttered and overhead lighting but so cool! I guess I've always wanted something like that for me. Feels so good.

Well, I hope everyone is having a good holiday break. We've got relatives over and just found out they are expecting their #2! How exciting! I had a big relief that it wasn't me! I feel like I just got back to normal and am happy with my gals but so happy for them!

Have a Merry Christmas and Blessed Holiday time! I feel very blessed by all that is going on in my life. I'm also happy that my husband got me just what I wanted: Wood putty. Yes, I know that sounds odd but I use quite a bit of it in my art. I'm glad he knows me. :)

I hope everyone is blessed with people who know them well and if not, at least knowing yourself well. I also hope everyone has a peace filled new year. I'll probably write more between this...but I thought I'd say it early.

Friday, December 22, 2006

blue purple dream


blue purple dream, originally uploaded by emily999.

cutie guinea pig!

Mom and daughter ladybugs


Mom and daughter, originally uploaded by emily999.

Santa pig


Santa pig, originally uploaded by emily999.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Toe service...

Well, got my toe worked on and it feels a lot better. I need to go back and get the nail burned out as this time it was not healed enough. But it feels 1000 times better already.

I finished three paintings(to be revealed) and have to finish 3 more little works (again, to be revealed). I think I'm pretty good at keeping surprises...most of the time.

I'm so excited about using my basement as a studio. I've been moving things slowly down there. In fact, I've decided to make this my official Christmas wrapping center as it's actually roomy enough to do this now. I have a few more things to move out like baby chairs and what nots, I'll freecycle those away. An even easier way is putting stuff out front and it magically disappears. When we moved, I threw a lot out before coming to Altoona (who would have guessed!). We just left it out and during the night, things were taken that were wanted...oddly, about 5 plastic kitty litter boxes were the first to go. The next was an old office chair of Jon's, an old bird cage and such.

Well, now I'm off to the base-studio, studio basement, studio, basement, or laundry studio(?). I'm still deciding on what sounds best...

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Little things...


I'm working on lots of them.

I read a few books by Rumer Godden sometime last year and these books have become so dear to me. I love the doll books and I love the stories Godden wrote about children and feeling out of place in a new place. I can understand this feeling, even to this day. I guess some things never change in this regard. Anyway, I've always loved dolls and had to share a few of my newest creations. I'm in love with these wooden dolls. And I'm working on some wooden peg dolls as well.

my toe hurts

That's all I can think of right now. I don't remember if I took my Motrin but it sure feels like I didn't. I was supposed to have a toe procedure a month ago but because of some unforeseen events, I had to postpone it. And now I'm in pain. I'm feeling sorry for my self, so forgive my complaining.

Anyway...big breath...phew. I still have Christmas presents to finish up, I really am annoyed that my dear husband basically doesn't do squat to get presents for his folks/family and I have to do nearly everything in this regards. Everything from buying, making, wrapping, thinking about and remembering all this present stuff. I wish I had just gotten 10 $10 gift cards and said, there you go. I know, not much thought and all. Actually, what I'd like to do, love to do, is just make cards with beautiful paintings on them and that would be the gift/card. Geez, I didn't even send my aunts and uncles, cousins, etc. I feel a sudden tightness in my slightly dislocated shoulder. argh.

Well, maybe I should make a newsletter and recount the various things we did all year like some people do. I find that a tad annoying, so, I just write a blog instead. lol Never mind.

Another annoyance to me is, some people are very hard to buy anything/make anything for. Me, on the other hand, would like nearly anything and be content with most anything (except buttered jam, or some other rancid type thing in a jar or men's socks...which I actually got. I'm still bitter about this).

They say it's the thought that counts but when there is no thought and just trying to fill an empty space allotted for a person's name, stick with a gift card.

I know I sound unappreciative but, I guess I am. Or actually a little sad. I guess I'm being a tad emotional...again, it's the toe.

Well, today is clean the rat's cage and should be fun. Jon and I can clean it in under 20 minutes. We might be getting a new rat cage (two stories and a litter box on the bottom for easy clean up). I'm excited about it but I kind of like the one we have now but it does take time. It's two aquariums linked together with wire at the top of the wire mesh.

Other news, another friend is leaving...moving to Alaska! I still can't believe it. Seems everyone is moving these days. I hope she has lots of Northern Exposure adventures and lots of fun.

The ground is cold outside and crisp with white. Frost is appearing and we all wore our coats out. But it warmed up a bit by afternoon. Still, no snow and it's still cold. I put up some lights on the post the other day. So, I guess we're sort of festive. I'm getting the urge to pull my bike out of the garage. The one that's sat there for 3 years...nearing 4, now that I think about it. Probably needs new tires and a cleaning. If the snow doesn't show up soon, I'll take it for a spin at the trail.

Looks like Jon's back with subway sandwiches. So much for the casserole I planned or at least thought of, for dinner. I need to photograph some ornaments from my ornament swaps. They are so darling! I got them the other day and because of all the events, I haven't had time to ogle them appropriately. Plus, my gals were grabbing at them like rats before a cheese sandwich.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Expectations and last minute demands


Don't you hate it when, you've just gotten back from the market, put away your groceries and then you get a call from a relative to help out with dinner and get some sides? All of this, after you went to the market? Yes, it's happened to me and I'm feeling a bit vexed.

I just feel like some people just don't know how to plan things and when they do, they throw it all at everyone else and expect things to go smoothly by "magic". So, I'm here gritting my teeth and just trying to get through each day. I know I’m stressing my self out and really all will be well when the day is done. I’m also writing this at 3 am…my nose was so stuffed but I did my nasal flushing and feel so much better! 

When I think of all my vexations, I know I have it easy. A friend of ours, just broke her leg while getting decorations put up around her house. She's going on with her Christmas festivities and this major holiday party on Christmas Eve. I say, good for her! She's plugging on with what she likes to do.

If that isn’t the most to contend with, how about our poor cousins who recently lost their house to a fire! They were told while they were in the middle of a concert and dashed off. They pretty much lost everything...a few days later they pulled a few things out that weren't too smoke damaged but all was destroyed. They still went on with their choir singing the very next day. Maybe the shock hadn't hit them, yet but they seemed to be plugging on. I wonder how flexible I would have been.

It reminds me all so much of the story of "How the Grinch stole Christmas". Not so much about the Grinch but about how we respond to bad things happening. Do we melt down, dissolve into a puddle and live like this forever? Or do we rise above the mess, take stock in our being right here and now and go on and sing?

What would I do? I think I'd probably do a little of both...In some ways, getting rid of all the old stuff we cling to, can be very liberating. I'm reminded of a short story by Tove Jansson. It was about a Fillyjonk who worried about everything and impending doom. This doom was always approaching and everything she said to anyone was always tinged with the fear of this unknown darkness. Finally, the doom thing came. A hurricane swept up, blew out all her windows, destroyed all her precious things and swished them off to the sea which she lived by. She survived this and saw all the things were gone. She found a small little porcelain cat from her vast collection, a bit beaten and with a black smug on it. This new look made her see it in a different and more endearing way. For a bit she was sorrowful but when the winds came back and she had to run to a boulder lodged in the sea for protection, she emerges a new Fillyjonk. It's as if all her old ideas of self are swept away and new thoughts are allowed to flow. She suddenly has the ability to breath without tightness, expectation and literal and figurative baggage.

How would I respond to this? Would I be able to see past all the things lost? If we can say that only things were lost and count ourselves lucky to be here and have our family here, then we are blessed regardless of the possessions we have.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Tutti Perricone


tutti1, originally uploaded by emily999.

Great performance at the "Church in the Middle of the Block". The choice of songs was beautiful and the poem read by Perricone moved us to tears:



Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem
By Dr. Maya Angelou


Thunder rumbles in the mountain passes
And lightning rattles the eaves of our houses.
Flood waters await us in our avenues.

Snow falls upon snow, falls upon snow to avalanche
Over unprotected villages.
The sky slips low and grey and threatening.

We question ourselves.
What have we done to so affront nature?
We worry God.
Are you there? Are you there really?
Does the covenant you made with us still hold?

Into this climate of fear and apprehension, Christmas enters,
Streaming lights of joy, ringing bells of hope
And singing carols of forgiveness high up in the bright air.
The world is encouraged to come away from rancor,
Come the way of friendship.

It is the Glad Season.
Thunder ebbs to silence and lightning sleeps quietly in the corner.
Flood waters recede into memory.
Snow becomes a yielding cushion to aid us
As we make our way to higher ground.

Hope is born again in the faces of children
It rides on the shoulders of our aged as they walk into their sunsets.
Hope spreads around the earth. Brightening all things,
Even hate which crouches breeding in dark corridors.

In our joy, we think we hear a whisper.
At first it is too soft. Then only half heard.
We listen carefully as it gathers strength.
We hear a sweetness.
The word is Peace.
It is loud now. It is louder.
Louder than the explosion of bombs.

We tremble at the sound. We are thrilled by its presence.
It is what we have hungered for.
Not just the absence of war. But, true Peace.
A harmony of spirit, a comfort of courtesies.
Security for our beloveds and their beloveds.

We clap hands and welcome the Peace of Christmas.
We beckon this good season to wait a while with us.
We, Baptist and Buddhist, Methodist and Muslim, say come.
Peace.
Come and fill us and our world with your majesty.
We, the Jew and the Jainist, the Catholic and the Confucian,
Implore you, to stay a while with us.
So we may learn by your shimmering light
How to look beyond complexion and see community.

It is Christmas time, a halting of hate time.

On this platform of peace, we can create a language
To translate ourselves to ourselves and to each other.

At this Holy Instant, we celebrate the Birth of Jesus Christ
Into the great religions of the world.
We jubilate the precious advent of trust.
We shout with glorious tongues at the coming of hope.
All the earth's tribes loosen their voices
To celebrate the promise of Peace.

We, Angels and Mortal's, Believers and Non-Believers,
Look heavenward and speak the word aloud.
Peace. We look at our world and speak the word aloud.
Peace. We look at each other, then into ourselves
And we say without shyness or apology or hesitation.


Peace, My Brother.
Peace, My Sister.
Peace, My Soul.

I am tired.




Wasn't a too busy day in some way, but more in others. I wish I didn't have a headache...plus, my ear is starting to ache. Not a good sign and makes me think I'm getting another cold. I think this is a possibility as I was at my allergist for a good long while (an hour's wait!) and then there are the cold germs from various folks. Oh, well.

But there is a nice local concert we're going to go to in about a half hour. Jazz singing and such a nice change from all the church group stuff...at least I hoping it is. It's nice to have a balance.

I can't believe it's already Saturday night. Nelson is pestering me for something...most likely attention to play. Yes, he just ran off to look for a toy when I said "get your toy". Sometimes, he's actually aware of what I'm saying (usually if I have a piece of cheese or cracker in my hand). Oh, well.

We got the rats a big toy ball. This thing is huge. Norrie already cracked it by dropping it. But it's still usable. The rats seem to like it but I have to have Nelson tethered up somewhere or he'll go crazy. I think he needs a good half hour of playing and he'd be fine.

I stopped by the Albert Michaels Gallery and Gifts and went over some postcards with Karen. It was a nice time, actually. Lots of ideas are brewing.

Then, we went to the market and I think this is where I was tuckered out. We like to go to Giant Eagle as they have a nice spot for kids called the Eagle's Nest. I thought the girls would be apprehensive but they seem to really like it actually. I'm guessing adjusting to kindergarten won't be as traumatic as I thought it would be.

Oh, and we stopped at the pet shop too...so, I'm ready to relax to some music.



I'm listening to Barbara Streisand sing "Ave Maria"...she does an incredbily beautiful job.

Deer


Deer, originally uploaded by emily999.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

little squirrel and stocking


little squirrel and stocking, originally uploaded by emily999.

Found at a local flea market. One of my faves...seems I've solved the mystery of flickr & blogger.

Trying to post from flickr

Punching bag and future studio site









wood working materials and place to make a mess

Apparently, switching over to google (which is being enforced by this stupid merge) is creating problems with sending flickr images. So, I'm stressing about this, now.

However, posting pics is going good. So, that's one positive. Still, I'm vexed about the whole thing and yet, I'm happy to see I can load more than two pics!



Currect project of an abstract painting.
This is in it's wet stage...it dried over night but I plan on adding a few more details before applying the resin.

I don't like this Google/blogger merge

I feel like I was just comfortable with blogger when they had to go and merge with google and now I have to re-learn everything. It stinks. Plus, we downloaded the new internet explorer and this changed all the formats, files, etc...I do not like it. I am feeling reluctant about all this change and it's making me feel annoyed about using the computer/internet. Very frustrating.

Jon was ill and is feeling better and then I got something. We're doing fine...just taking it easy. Made the mistake of going to the park today and finding the bathrooms were all closed for the season. So, we had to make a pit stop. Ah, the joys of upset tummies.

But the girls are down, supposedly for naps. Norrie is very cranky and is testing our nerves. Lydia is napping but I think she just wants her pacifier. She would be using that thing all day but we make it firmly for sleeping or if she's sick. I guess everyone has they comforts...

The basement is looking livable though still needs to be cleaned out. I'm going to sort and freecycle things away some more. I'd like to get some shelves and organize things according to use/art supplies. I feel good about what's happening down there. Maybe we can scrub the floor this weekend and clean out the coal bin. I really can't believe things we're getting on top of this. Amazing.

My toe has re-infected itself and I have a doctors appointment for this soon. I can't believe how annoying this is becoming but it will soon be over, thankfully. I started the antibiotics I had to stop when I had my major cold. I can already see a difference. Amazing. Might have to have both my big toes worked on. Aren't I lucky?

Anyway, the weather is good here. No snow, warm and actually nice. The girls are being really annoying...basically, getting on each other's nerves and being attention getters. I guess they feel cranky. So much for the naps...

Maybe I should clean out the 3rd floor too and make that a nice space to hangout. It's just so cold in the Winter and hot in the Summer. We're going to be insulating that space too...eventually.

Anyway, I feel tired and my patience is wearing thin. At least, I did a little artwork last night and Jon's folks watched the kids for a bit. That was nice.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Working, working, working...

on various things soon to be mentioned but not too soon.

Anyway, I'm feeling so much better today. Partially it's the sun coming out and a warm day and the other part is just enjoying my family and realizing things are beyond me and it's Okay.

When I was younger I used to think I had to do everything and save everyone. I now know why I thought like this...part of it is being the eldest child and other parts of it have to do with great expectations of others and myself. I've since learned part of life is what is given to you and the other part (or parts) are what you do with it. I'm still learning this, actually. What can you do with what you have? It's a funny thing to think about life. As an artist, I think about this with my work. As a conservationist, this applies to recycling, reusing, and reducing.

Certainly, there are dark times in our lives but to see it for what it was from different perspectives rather than one's own and then saying do I still want to feel this way about that experience? Do I still want to hold on to those feelings? Does it take too much energy and precious time to hold on to these things? For me, it does and is a waste of my time. Sure I allow myself to feel sad and cry. But then it's time to clean the room, throw out the cardboard boxes and scrub the floor.

It's funny how much I hold on to and then realize, it's not really what I wanted. My daughters where looking in a box of bits and pieces. I didn't realize they had scissors and they cut up a little cross-stitched heart I had made. I was mad at them at first but then, for some reason, it seemed right. I decided I'd use it in a collage about my family home being taken away and lost to us. It makes me sad to think about this but at the same time, I feel sort of like it's a rebirth of new feelings and ways to look at what causes sorrow. When I finish this, I'll share it here.

The Sonnets to Orpheus: IV

O you tender ones, walk now and then
into the breath that blows coldly past,
Upon your cheeks let it tremble and part;
behind you it will tremble together again.

O you blessed ones, you who are whole,
you who seem the beginning of hearts,
bows for the arrows and arrows' targets-
tear-bright, your lips more eternally smile.

Don't be afraid to suffer; return
that heaviness to the earth's own weight;
heavy are the mountains, heavy the seas.

Even the small trees you planted as children
have long since become too heavy; you could not
carry them now. But the winds...But the spaces....

-Rainer Maria Rilke

Translated by Stephen Mitchell

sisters


sisters, originally uploaded by emily999.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Art wise...

Finishing up a larger painting and finished two other pieces. These will be my women nursing series. I love this series as it makes me feel hopeful when I work with these subjects.

Decided to finish up as many miniature ACEO's. This is taking longer than I thought and I feel a bit exhausted just sitting for a half hour. I feel a bit down, I guess. I think it's the darkness. Today was warmer and we went for a walk which was nice but I feel sort of wound tight...I really shouldn't listen to music that is sad. I found this artist called "Lijie". Sort of a Nora Jones/Sarah McLaughlin sound...not always a good thing if you're feeling the slightest bit blue.

I started to think about how a lot of people I've known have some sort of mental hang-up or other. Apparently, everyone has something. This is what I've learned after all these years. I've met a lot of people, and when I say a lot, I mean A LOT. And it seems to me, once we break down some of our defenses, open up or even let go of some of the polite nesses, there is always some funny thing that sets us off as unique and different and strange. Some people might say it's bad and horrible...sometimes they're right.

When I was about 13, my family rented a room to an elderly woman. Her name was Mary Znockers. She had Alzheimer’s and eventually moved back to Oklahoma to stay with her sister. She died a year later. At least that's what I remember. During her time with us, she would act in strange and bizarre ways...often somewhat humorous as well. I could never tell if the humorous was intentional being merely 13 but I admit to being very annoyed by her. Her room was right by mine and often I'd come home from school and find things missing. One time I found she had taken my medicated pimple pads and used them for her tissues. I was embarrassed, repulsed and very violated. She kept complaining they hurt her nose and I kept saying, "why'd you use them then?" I didn't really understand Alzheimer’s and was very impatient...I still am ashamed of this one thing I did out of revenge. She had this baby doll she carried around. It was my sister's but she adopted it. She also had this big jar of hard candy which she enjoyed eating and once it got to the bottom she began to accuse everyone of taking pieces of it. I told her it was her baby doll and picked it up and "walked" it to the jar. This freaked her out and she left the house and walked all over the neighborhood with me following, barefooted, trying to calm her down and bring her home. Finally, she came back and I felt horrible about this and told my mom she had left on her own. I felt so guilty about it...I guess I still do.

One of Mary's main interest was flushing the toilet and saying she was drowning as she watched the water swirl around and down. I always felt like this was somehow her way of communicating lost memories and how they were slipping from her. It was eerie to hear her say some things...talking about the dark, blackness and something about pain and everyone was gone. I know she had been in an accident when she was a young woman and I suppose this was strong in her mind. Poor dear.

I don't really know why Mary popped into my head...I don't know what she did before we met her, only that she was alone and needed aid. She could be very mean and physically violent and other times, gentle and act like a contented child. I wish there was a cure for Alzheimer’s, as well as many other diseases. It just seems so wrong to ignore such illnesses and just waste time/money/resources on stupid things like war.

Squirrel Campus report mentioned in AP!

Just had to mention that Jon's Squirrel Campus report was mentioned in the AP story
Scientist examines city squirrels' lives! Jon's working on a book as well on school listings as well as his and other's sightings of campus squirrels. :)

Quote of the day:

"The breathtakingly wonderful thing about this reaction is its truthfulness. Look at your work and it tells you how it is when you hold back or when you embrace. When you are lazy, your art is lazy; when you hold back, it holds back; when you hesitate, it stands there staring, hands in its pockets. But when you commit, it comes on like blazes.”

-art and fear, whip-up

Artistic Inspiration...

A while ago I wrote about a photographer I admire, Laurie Toby Edison. She is the photographer of "Women En Large: Images of Fat Nudes". When I first saw the images of this book, I was shocked and amazed to see women who would have never been photographed by today's main street media and certainly not photographed with dignity and beauty, her for .

Now, that I have seen the photographs, I am even more amazed by them. They are courageous both by opening up new views of women in all their shapes and sizes as well as exposing our own likes/dislikes of the human body. It stretches our concept of self.

And while looking around Edison's site, I found a co-written blog that was very interesting in it's analysis of commercialism and how toys are marketed to boys and girls. Their blog also introduced me to an interesting read called Shakespeare's Sister.

Lots of good stuff to check out and definitely my artistic pick for the week!

blazing trees


blazing trees, originally uploaded by emily999.

Sparkles!


Sparkles!, originally uploaded by emily999.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

partridge


partridge, originally uploaded by emily999.

Cleaning...

I'm having a mild form of Spring cleaning in the beginning of Winter. Finally, I started to clear out the mess in the basement. I couldn't stand it any longer and just kept throwing as much as I could out. For some reason, there was a lot of cardboard boxes. The breaking point was discovering that a box holding my vintage hat collection was being used to prop up an air condition and had gotten wet. It was moldy and I lost two hats and an old purse. Everything else was all right but I was very upset. So, I started throwing things around, pulled several muscles and strained my back but all in all things are starting to shape up. I have plans to make half a solid studio and the other a sort of den w/the TV & exercise bike, etc. We have to clean out the coal room area but I'll let Jon do that as it's too creepy and icky in there.

I feel so good about this and there is a lot more space. Another purge and I'll have room to paint the rest of the walls/floor and move some shelving around. I also have stuff too freecycle/donate away.

The weather is warmer and almost all the snow is melted except on our side of the hill. It was so nice I felt a bit silly wearing my snow coat... didn't realize it was that warm. Oh, well. Everything is covered with salt and looks like a giant salt lick for deer’s.

My toe is feeling a tad better after several days of pain/infection. I had to cancel my last appointment for a major ingrown toe but now I can get it fixed. I might have to do the other big toe too. All this walking around and stuff...oh, well.

I'm so excited about the basement. I feel like it has all this potential and I'm glad to get it started at last. Between all of this, am painting up Lydia's room and getting the perfect colors and making some new curtains. Norrie's room will be next. She wants pink too...hmm, I was hoping for yellow/orange but if she wants that, then I'll let her have rose room too.

I still don't know what I want for our room. Maybe just cream colored...I don't know yet.

I found my old white tree that is really quite pretty, actually. I can't find the stand but I think I'll mix some cement and pour it into a coffee can and sit it in there. Then it will always be upright and I can use it outside. It's bit fragile as it's rather old...hmmm, I'll have to think about this. Anyway, I was glad to find that. Then I found the rest of my Christmas ornaments, some old stuff of mine that is interesting and I might reuse some how and more stuff to toss. It really is a nice feeling to get rid of things you no longer need/want and have the space. I'm excited about having several tables where I can just leave things out(sort of...having a few cats, makes this challenging too).

I'm going to get more peg board down there and Jon and I will hang that up as well. Then I can have a spot to create stuff on and added reflective light. We picked up some more masonite board and cut it into thirds. This fits in the car perfectly and I have about six new canvases to work on. One, I plan on reshaping into an oval or an imperfect circle and creating a collage piece with this. I found that working with resin is wonderful. The stuff I use dries quickly (about eight hours) but needs about 3-5 days to air out. Then it looks great. So, I'm happy with this.

I'm also working on various Christmas presents, a few extra pieces of art when I have time and getting ready for Christmas. My biggest gift to my self and Jon were Yak traks. These are grips you put on your shoes and have instant snowshoes. I tested them and they seem to work pretty well. Of course, most of our snow melted...which isn't a bad thing (of course, it's a bit worrisome in regards to Global Warming). Still, I'll have plenty of chances to test these.

Friday, December 08, 2006

snowing...

The snow is falling for the first time this season. I know it's not officially Winter till somewhere on the 20th of something in December. Had to dig out the car but it was very light stuff and easy to move. I'm a bit nervous as Jon took my heavy black truck and I have a light model borrowed from his dad.

...

Well, I started the above at about 8:45 am and now it's 3:30 pm. Time flies. Made it to all my appointments and even had time to spare and get something called yaktraks. Basically, their snow tires for your shoes. They help you with not slipping on ice, which is one of my biggest complaints about winter. I hope they work. I tested them a bit but there will be plenty more chances as the Winter progresses. Hopefully, they work. I want to walk on the Trails to see the change of winter...so I'm hoping I'll be able to do that.

I've also discovered I've lost my phone book. Or it was misplaced by little hands or one pair of daddy hands in the attempt to keep little hands away. Either way, I'm stuck looking for it. As long as it's not in the Christmas storage boxes, I'll be glad. I found quite a few things that were "lost" but had been placed with the ornaments for a years storage. I'm glad these things were found, however, waiting a year for something to uncover itself, is a bit annoying.

I've been getting so many wonderful goodies from the ornament exchange! Apparently, I lucked out as most of my goodies came from across the seas! Only one was from the US. I love trading! So far, I've gotten goodies from Denmark, Germany, Portugal, Scotland, and Texas.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Hoping for the best...

Very sad news about the Kim family. I was really hoping there would be a happy reunion but it ended in sorrow. I feel angry and upset. They were such a beautiful, loving family.

Jon said something like, "It just seems like he should have good things happen..." I know Jon was upset too. I guess we all want people to be safe and it's so strange how just going down one wrong road can lead to such a bad thing.

Life is so precious and it needs to be valued so much more than it is. My thoughts and prayers are with the Kims.

Santa


Santa, originally uploaded by emily999.

This is as close to Santa that Lydia and Norrie got. They were really afraid of Santa. Lydia whisphered she wanted a "Hamster petshop" and I translated that to Santa.

A few days later, Norrie told me she didn't like Santa to come into the house. She said, "he's scary." I said, "all right. I'll met him outside for your presents." And she smiled and was much happier about Santa. Funny how kids get ideas into their heads...

Monday, December 04, 2006

Feeding the critters


Feeding the critters, originally uploaded by emily999.

Monday at 25 degrees

It's cold outside, folks! So cold the air feels like it has crystals forming. Eyes, nose and mouth feel like they could easily harden and freeze. I'm not at the point of wondering why we live here but I can imagine in about 2 months, I'll start saying that. Fortunately, there's only 3.5 more months till Spring. And really, it's not officially Winter yet. Mr. Nelson has taken to two minute bathroom outings. Wise dog.

We bummed around all this weekend. Did very little and I guess that's all right every now and then. Went to the new pet shop and Lydia decided we needed to adopt a little black kitten. We didn't and I explained she had to get permission from our four other cats. This helped reduce the tears but she was still a little sad. I could tell this reasoning made sense esp. after I told her how each cat responded to a new arrival. Basically, every one of them got into a fight.

The next day we slept in, missing UU church again and slowly got food to eat and lay around. I guess it's the cold or something. Maybe we're in mini-hibernation mode or something. It's kind of funny how we just do that. One of my favorite children's book writers, Tove Jansson, writes about Moomin's. They are trolls that are round, thoughtful and curious creatures. I sometimes feel like we're a bit like this at times. Sometimes we're like Hemulans or Filijonks and I guess I'm a bit like Little My. I love the way Jansson captures personalities and real human expression. There are some lines that strike me as right to the heart of how people behave and think. I'll have to look some up, I think.

Recently, I was rereading a book of short stories based on the Moomin's book. One was about Christmas titled "The Fir Tree" and how Christmas was coming. Some creatures like the Hemulan, are so anxious about it they wake up the Moomin's from their hibernation. The Moomin's get into a mild panic and think Christmas is a monster. They find they have to cut a tree for decorating, get presents and make their favorite foods. The touching thing about this is they are being watched by little woodies who are either too poor or small to create a Christmas.

After all is done, the Moomin’s wonder about Christmas and when it's coming. The woodies say it's already here and the Moomin's are surprised. My favorite part of this story is this:

"Merry Christmas," the woody whispered shyly.
"You're the first to say some such thing," Moominpapa said. "Aren't you at all afraid of what's going to happen when Christmas comes?"
"This is it," the woody mumbled and sat down in the snow with its relations. "May we look? You've got such a wonderful fir tree."
"And all the food," one of the relations said dreamingly.
"And real presents," said another.
"I've dreamed all my life of seeing this at close quarters," the woody said with a sigh.

There was a pause. The candles burned steadily in the quiet night. The woody and it's relations were sitting quite still. One could feel their admiration and longing, stronger and stronger and finally Moominmamma edged a little closer to Moominpapa and whispered: "Don't you think so, too?"
"Why, yes, but if..." Moominpappa objected.
"No matter," Moomintroll said. "If Christmas gets angry we can close the doors and perhaps we'll be safe inside."
Then he turned to the woody and said: "You can have it all."

The woody didn't believe its ears at first. It stepped cautiously nearer the fir tree, followed by all the relations and friends with devoutly quivering whiskers.

They had never had a Christmas of their own before. "

“The Fir Tree” -Tove Jansson

Friday, December 01, 2006

Green headaches

That's what I used to call my headaches a little kid. We didn't know I had allergies as a kid and every few months I'd get these overwhelming head pains I'd call "green headaches". I remember picking grass and plants (and sadly some bulbs of iris's). I'd play chef on the porch and cut these things up...I loved doing this and there was an old plant shelf with movable parts that was my counter. After an hour of this, I'd come down with some sort of headache and say everything was "too green". Now, I know why. The grass was probably really bothering my sinus'.

Well, I caught up to my grass mowing from the other day. I have a mild migraine (nothing as bad as before). I took some motrin, nasal flushed and hopefully, hopefully will feel better in a bit. There was a library day with the local homeschooling group and I had to miss this as I feel icky. I think the girls would have liked it too. Well, we'll just have to plan for next month.

Also, the weather is really strange...pouring rain one minute, sunny and warm the next. It's mostly muggy but is supposed to get cold tonight. I will sign up for the Santa workshop for tomorrow at a local church...I just feel so blah.

I got some goodies from an ornament exchange I'm part of! I'll have to photograph the goodies. I guess I'll have to get the tree out from the basement. I think, if I get a real tree, it will have to be potted. I would like to start planting fir trees around the house...I've seen some people do this and always thought it looked rather sweet. I'll mix it up with blue spruce (my favorite).

Of course, right now I don't want to think of anything green...I really, really hate being allergic to grass.

Sociable

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