Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Two more things

Here's a pic of Anabelle's new red shoes:

And here's the latest on the chickens:

Maria cancelled on me today, and we are going to Chicago for a wedding on Friday, so I won't be able to get back to my artwork till next week. Also. Those black sun designs are all Marimekko. I thought they were so cool and was very inspired by them, but now that I'm actually posting my drawings online I probably shouldn't be "borrowing" anything like that anymore. oops. lesson learned thank you.

Get a load a this ladies and gents

We went to the Liberace Museum last weekend. How in the world it could have slipped my mind to share all this with you is beyond me. These are some of my favorite pics from the outing. Here is Liberace in a nutshell:

Wow! Those hot pants! Those socks! Those hairy legs!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

It's a lovely day to be an aunt!!

Here is what today looks like at the end of our street. Even Turtles Peak looks celebratory; Gael Navarro Berry has joined the world! Welcome Gael - we love you so much already! Today is a day to be happy, and I feel like calling everyone on my phone's contact list to share the news. Yup, I like being an aunt already. Congratulations to Mama Kristin and Papa Samuel. I wish I could blink my eyes and be there, but I'll see you soon.

Anabelle and I celebrated by going to Tip Toe Shoes. We found her a pair of red leather, T-strap shoes with real soles. Size 20. A wonderful German woman who'd worked there 18 years measured her foot and gave her a pink bouncy ball to keep. I'm not sure who had more fun, Anabelle or me.

All of this makes me think about having Anabelle...
that hazy cocoon of time in the hospital. shuffling down the hall to meet her for myself in the nicu, holding pat's hand and dragging my rolling iv alongside me. the world was new. i felt like a queen and a child all at the same time. i was emotionally tender and happy. i had nurses, both sets of parents, friends, my husband. our healthy baby. pain medication.

More of the pieces of life's puzzle seem to be falling into place for me as years pass. I have a deeper understanding now of why engagements are such cause for celebration. Why weddings call for a party. A wedding marks the Beginning. Only the older folks really know what is to come. What it feels like to fall in love, make commitments, make mistakes, make peace, make babies, fall in love...

For Gael:

On the night you were born,
The moon smiled with such wonder
That the stars peeked in to see you
And the night wind whispered,
“Life will never be the same.”
Because there had never been anyone like you…ever in the world.
So enchanted with you were the wind and the rain
That they whispered the sound of your wonderful name.
It sailed through the farmland
High on the breeze…
Over the ocean…
And through the trees…
Until everyone heard it
And everyone knew
Of the one and only ever you.
Not once had there been such eyes,
Such a nose,
Such silly, wiggly, wonderful toes.
When the polar bears heard,
They danced until dawn.
From faraway places,
The geese flew home.
The moon stayed up until
Morning next day.
And none of the ladybugs flew away.
So whenever you doubt just how special you are
And you wonder who loves you, how much and how far,
Listen for geese honking high in the sky.
(They’re singing a song to remember you by.)
Or notice the bears asleep at the zoo.
(It’s because they’ve been dancing all night for you!)
Or drift off to sleep to the sound of the wind.
(Listen closely…it’s whispering your name again!)
If the moon stays up until morning one day,
Or a ladybug lands and decides to stay,
Or a little bird sits at your window awhile,
It’s because they’re all hoping to see you smile…
For never before in story or rhyme
(not even once upon a time)
Has the world ever known a you, my friend,
And it never will, not ever again…
Heaven blew every trumpet
And played every horn
On the wonderful, marvelous
Night you were born.

Happy Birthday Gael!
Tia Kate

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Love it

The Quiet World


In an effort to get people to look
into each other’s eyes more,
and also to appease the mutes,
the government has decided
to allot each person exactly one hundred
and sixty-seven words, per day.

When the phone rings, I put it to my ear
without saying hello. In the restaurant
I point at chicken noodle soup.
I am adjusting well to the new way.

Late at night, I call my long distance lover,
proudly say I only used fifty-nine today.
I saved the rest for you.

When she doesn’t respond,
I know she’s used up all her words,
so I slowly whisper I love you
thirty-two and a third times.
After that, we just sit on the line
and listen to each other breathe.

Jeffrey McDaniel, “The Quiet World” from The Forgiveness Parade. Copyright © 1998 by Jeffrey McDaniel. Reprinted with the permission of Manic D Press.

Found here.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Look at that!

Anabelle's a natural! I showed her how to use the colored pencil, and she ran with it:

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Deep Thoughts of the Day

I am forging ahead with this one in all its strange messiness (click to enlarge):

And I also started this one:

I have such a heavy hand with colored pencil. I get such satisfaction from laying down that rich, saturated color that *poof* all chances of softly blending colors are gone. Maybe I should try watercolor. It would be easier to transport a small box of watercolors than a big bag of my acrylic tubes to the library if I really do want to paint.

I suppose what I am doing with my art is this: telling tidbits of my life. Weaving small stories, small moments together. I've struggled for a long time as an artist wondering if what I have to say is big enough, important enough. Maybe it's not about trying to shout really loudly. or saying something brand new and completely different. Maybe it's just about... going to the library every Wednesday and Friday. Maybe it IS about just showing up and doing what feels right.

So what I really want to know is this: if I enjoy the journey (and I do, I really really do), does that mean I'll have a successful show at the end of it?

There. Do you see my dilemma?

I'd like to focus on the journey, but I can't help wanting to know if the end result will be a good one. Will people like my art enough to actually buy it? And if I'm so hung up on that question... who am I making art for??????

Monday, September 21, 2009

Afternoon at Bonnie Springs

Here I am with my baby girl:

Early Sunday evening we drove into the desert with Navjit, Britt and Leo to visit Bonnie Springs. An odd, but very entertaining place.

Here we are in the "town square", waiting for the 5pm Hanging skit (strange and slightly unnerving, but in the end - harmless):

Then we wandered over to the petting zoo. This potbellied pig bears an uncanny resemblance to a dog we just happen to know (hint: his name rhymes with fuzz):

Here I am showing off my photography skills (ok, maybe it was luck), and you might see this guy show up in one of my drawings. He is fabulous looking:

This one still makes me laugh. The deer tried eating Navjit's skirt first, and when she walked away, he went after Britt. Check out Navjit's face (AND that skirt. the color was so yummy it took everything I had not to take a million pictures of it - esp with her pink shirt. I love her great color sense.)

And here's my little family:

I'm busy working on my secret felt project. Can't wait to show it off, but it won't be for awhile because I don't leave for Spain until mid-October, and I want it to be a surprise for my sister Kristin.


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Crafternoon Numero Duo - A Room of Her Own

I found a spot at the library yesterday in the Quiet Room. Where I can sharpen my pencils with my electric sharpener loudly! And spread out over the whole table. Then someone joined me in the Quiet Room, and my pencil sharpening was foiled. Here's what I worked on:

This is what I consider a problem area, but I'm showing it to you anyway. It's messy, and it's got no focus. But it's got its own little story... All those "B's" were inspired by my friend. She told me that when her dad was dying of cancer he lost the ability to speak, and he would write the same letter over and over in gradation from big to small. Things like this stick in my head you see.

The other morning when Pat brought Anabelle into our bed for our morning snuggle, her skin was so creamy and her cheeks were flushed so pink that they reminded me of strawberries:

In other news, Anabelle is back to her bad napping ways and only slept for 30 minutes total yesterday. (That makes having Maria even more valuable because it means I get a break no matter what.) We are trying to teach her "feet first" when getting off the bed or sofa - it seems to be a slow process. I'd also like to teach her how to Put Things Back so that there are no more meltdowns in music class when we have to give back the instruments.

Gotta run. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I did this and this and this with my Crafternoon

Yesterday at the library I turned the above into the below. It's a secret felt project that I'm working on for a certain niece or nephew coming any day now! And the best part is that this felt is made of 100% recycled pop cans. or bottles. I can't remember which.

And then those piles showed up here:

Here's another detail of the same drawing (which is NOT done):

Sort of strange. I have picked up this odd habit of working large (24" x 36"), starting in one corner, working small and going where the wind takes me - so to speak. So this is sort of a stream of consciousness piece. I find such satisfaction in not planning any composition. It's so luxurious in fact that I feel like I'm cheating. I do look at the whole puzzle often to see how it flows together, but without a plan... does it look like One Hot Mess? That is not a rhetorical question, so for those of you who'd like to leave a comment, please do.

Yesterday afternoon was my first Crafternoon, and overall I'd say it was nice. I was nervous because I definitely had to fight off feelings of "wow, I really should be using this time to go grocery shopping" and "eight hours a week? maybe I bit off more than I can chew" and "is my art even worth eight hours worth of babysitter money or am I being a spoiled housewife?" ew, that last one is really ugly when I say it out loud like that. But I'm stickin' with it kiddos, and I'll be eight hours closer to my dream of having a show and maybe an etsy store -- and even taking commissions. (Anybody, anybody?)

Have a lovely day!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I have Very Very exciting news

Good morning! So here it is...
I asked Maria to come every Wednesday and Friday to watch Anabelle from noon to 4pm so I can do. my. art. It feels absolutely overindulgent and wickedly wonderful all at the same time. Las Vegas and I have been at odds for a couple of months, and that has left me with a general feeling of malaise about being here. You chant "Vegas," I chant "Stuck!" Vegas! Stuck! Vegas! Stuck!
I love being a stay-at-home mama, and I wouldn't change it for the world. But I need a little time. Not being able to go outside because of the summer heat has left me feeling trapped, and I overflowed on Saturday. Read: I broke down and sobbed like a girl. which indeed I am - fancy that. This all led to a conversation with my dad and then a promise to him (thanks pops!) about taking that much-needed time, escaping to my own private carrel at the library, putting in my earphones to listen to craftsanity podcasts and drawing to my heart's content. For hours! I will tell you this: I made that phone call to Maria the very next day, and I know that if I didn't really really need this time I would NEVER have followed through. Everything about my mood has brightened knowing that I am going to get some time to do what I love. Yummy. I could eat up the whole idea! I could squeeze it like a pimple!
So there you have it folks. I now think I have everything a gal could ever want: a fabulous hubby, a beautiful baby girl, a chubby bulldog. And time to draw.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Our baby girl is officially 1.

Here is Anabelle helping Patrick put together her birthday gift from Grammie and Grandpa Don. She must have known it was her birthday because she woke up ready to party at 4:30am.

(I see I could really use a lesson in photography folks.)
Here is Buzz - our birthday boy - who turned 8 yesterday. If he looks grumpy, well, it's probably because he was. He hurt his leg on Wednesday and is now at the vet getting X-rays...

Last night our friends Britt, Navjit and their baby Leo came over for dinner and gingerbread.

I got a few minutes in the other day to do a little drawing. It is amazing to me just how rejuvenating it can be to sit down at my table and do art for even a teensy amount of time. I'm still listening to these podcasts when I can. I'll take what I can get, but I am craving a big chunk of time to do all of the above. Below is what I am working on. The kachina is a gift I bought myself in Flagstaff, AZ on the road trip out to Vegas. I chose it from a wall hung floor to ceiling with all kinds, but this one spoke to me because it's a flower kachina. I'd left my floral job, my friends and my family to start a new life Out West with my Main Man. I was embarking on such an adventure...

Also!! on a side note: you have to check out this colorful and fabulous project out. I love it, and I want to do it someday.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

My little cupcake

This is Anabelle's birthday week, so the celebrations started yesterday with an awesome cookout at Lorraine and Karl's. The above picture is of the hostess and the cupcake.

Here is the birthday gal post-swim and pre-cupcake dive...

I was surprised to find that she seemed more interested in licking the candle than eating her chocolate cupcake...

Here's a before...

and an after...

I honestly can not believe our baby is turning one on Thursday. She is growing and changing so fast that suddenly I foresee weeks, months, years speeding by. The only time I nurse her now is in the mornings, but on her birthday I plan on giving her her first bottle of good old fashioned organic cow's milk first thing in the a.m. Very bittersweet...

Friday, September 4, 2009

Another Day

Today is indeed another day. Which is a very good thing. And here is what is on my studio table (aka dining room table) now. A new sheet of paper and my lovely new colored pencils! I have had this pattern roaming around in my head for months and months now, and voila. Look what showed up when I sat down to draw today! Ever wonder why things happen when they do? I mean, why now did I finally draw those wheel patterns when they were always right there on the tip of my finger?
Anabelle is down for her second - count 'em - second nap. whewwwwwwwwwww. AND it's raining outside! whaa? Strange things are occurring today. Tonight Maria is coming over to watch Anabelle and then I am getting my hair cut, going out on a sushi date with my hubs and then meeting our friends at First Friday for a wee bit of art and culture.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

September calls for Pink Patent Leather Shoes

I am glued to my computer reading blog after blog. I am utterly amazed at the amount of creativity there is out there. It's so inspiring! and addicting too.
Everyone seems to be discussing the fact that it is "already" September. It does not feel like fall here in the desert, and in fact, it still feels awfully oven-y. All my nostalgic, back-to-school feelings normally triggered by a change in the sun's light, the shadows getting longer and the drone of cicadas are absent here for me in Las Vegas. I don't have the bittersweet feelings about saying goodbye to lazy summer days. It's more of a Thank-God-Summer-Might-Someday-Draw-To-A-Close sort of feeling. Anabelle's music class will be starting up again in a few weeks as well as mommy and me yoga, and of course there's always Oprah starting her new season. Yes, I like Oprah. All of my friends are flooding back into town again after escaping the heat, and so everyone is settling back into place. Ah.

Anabelle continues to put anything and everything up to her ear like a cell phone. She LOVES when I pretend someone is calling for her. "Oh, ok, You want to talk to Anabelle?" And she cracks a huge smile and holds out her hand.
Today she handed me her pink patent leather shoe and then looked at her foot. When I put that on, she smiled and handed me the other. Then she smiled again. And then she tapped her heels on the floor. Clearly she's in love.