Friday, December 28, 2007
Saturday, December 22, 2007
And what a gift!
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Sunday, December 9, 2007
I found a vintage dressform at Midland Antiques. After I resized it to a more realistic size, I put it on an old coatrack and paper mached it with paper from an old hymnal. That's how she gets her name, Sambica (the word for hymn in Japaneese).
The gown is made entirely out of recyled/reused materials. The majority of the dress is made from bulk coffee bags (bullet bags) that I got from local coffee shops. They were painted and then sewn.
The bustle and bust are made from plastic netting bags (that often package fruit and vegatables) and cereal bags. The bustle is accented with magnetic audio tape that I found somewhere.
Friday, December 7, 2007
Although we don't know how, Stewart injured his neck on Wednesday. He was completely out of character, crying hysterically and refusing to move his head. He kept saying that his hair and neck hurt. Mr. Tough Guy had officially fallen apart. Our dear friend, Dr. Rachel looked at him and said he should be checked out at the ER just in case it was something bad.
Off we went.
And into the ER he walked like a little Jesus (without the healing and parables). Everyone who caught a glimpse of our Stewart couldn't help but smile. He was wearing his green turtleneck, red overalls, blue snow boots, and stripped bear hat. By that time he was pleasant and quite serious. It seemed like the nurses didn't want to leave our room. The lady we shared a room with for an hour kept saying, "Stewart, help me be brave.", and "He's so sweet."
When we left, the man who was with Stewart's roomate, gave him dollar (Stewart calls it his penny.) The nurses were sad. We were thankful that he was alright and VERY proud.
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Whenever I see a little sparrow flying about or fluffing up it's feathers in the cold I can't help but smile. These little birds are delightful to watch. Their shape is charming. Even the word "sparrow" feels like a perfect word. Maybe growing up with this name, and knowing who the Sparrow family is created this affinity for them.
Here is a foretaste of some art I'm finishing, complete with a few sparrows. The art show is this Friday at the Harrison Center for the Arts. Try to come, if you can.
P.S. Check out our family's newest work for the Advent season at www.thebabe.wordpress.com. (Boring Advent Blog Extra)
Monday, December 3, 2007
I have not enjoyed it... at all.
It has made me realize how much I rely on him to be home at a certain time. After dinner he and the boys usually wrestle or play chase and then he usually handles Stewart and Marshall's bedtime routine while I get Nigel ready for sleep. It's all on me these days. And then the weekends... I have missed having the freedom to work on my art or on other projects. I have missed having a substantial break from being alone with the kids. To have a partner in this endeavor is a huge gift, not to be underestimated.
I'm extremely frustrated that his work has taken precedence over mine, but, yes, his work pays the bills and he has to build up his professional experiences. Mike has been stressed by this trial but I've seen him excited about work for the first time in, well, forever. It's great but there's a tinge of jealousy when I see him leave excited. He gets to go out, do something he's enjoying, that he's good at AND get paid for it.
All the while, I'm wilting. Actually, I wilted after day one, and now, I feel more like I'm pulverized. My kids are upside down, and this mother's emotional life feels like a Jackson Pollock painting. I have to stay in, do something I thought I loved but now feel like I hate, that I don't feel like I'm good at AND NOT get paid.
I'm tired and I want to work.
Monday, November 26, 2007
Taking this picture was me procrastinating on working-out, and now I'm procrastinating on some art that is due to be in a show next week. I've been saying that I'm desperate to work, but now, when I have my hands free, I'm refusing to go open the door to my studio. Maybe if I ignore it a little bit longer...
It doesn't surprise me that I'm doing this. I've done this for as long as I can remember. It got worse in college. For me, work is either hot or cold. I'm either conscienciously preparing, way in advance or I'm pushing it back as far as possible. It's just me. It's just how I do things. Frustrating for sure, and something that I want to improve upon. But... good things come out of procrastinating. The stress doesn't feel good, but it nudges me into the "right" place that I need to be to make it happen.
And finally, I'll head that way....just after I get myself a cafe con leche.
Friday, November 23, 2007
What I love about kids art... simplicity with unusual places of detail.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Last night the idea struck me, to have our feast by firelight in our living room. I wanted it to be special and to remember in the coming year to live thankfully. I speak as if I am thankful, being polite with my words, but to really live thankfully, that doesn't come easy. It may come easier with the obvious things, but not in the monotonous, the challenging or the annoying.
I want to live in thankfulness.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Would THIS have been better than NOTHING?
Maybe it would help me shed those extra pounds, but I would HATE to get this as a gift. The message it would send is too horrible.
The story behind the box is this; we were at Marshall's gym class and they were unloading new exercise machines. So we asked for a box (one of the best kids toys ever). This morning we lit it up, and it's now our cow barn (complete with Hot Wheels cars for the "cows" to play with). Maybe we'll paint it so that I don't have to be reminded that I'm still not exercising.
Monday, November 19, 2007
a whinny boy awoke
i wondered, "could it be a joke?"
boys were dressed and going
i felt my mind slowing
i begged, "could i get washed?"
"happy birthday, mama!"
i may, i wanna
eyes wide, mad and sad
i sighed, "please let me have..."
talking across the sea
"i am happy."
sometimes they're so unpleasant
i opened my first present
the boys play, smile and cry
i voice, "why?"
children bring insight, joy too
i delight, no longer thirty two
Friday, November 16, 2007
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Monday, November 12, 2007
We stayed close to home for our nature walk today so that Nigel could nap as he seems to be fighting something. Marshall, Stewart and I walked down and plopped ourselves on his curb and drew what we saw. Marshall called his drawing, "Big Bully", and Stewart named his, "Orange One". We then dragged some branches home so we could light them up for our winter porch display. I was surprised that we enjoyed ourselves so much over something that's so annoying.
Marshall was perplexed about how the neighbor gets inside. I am too since his back yard looks grown over up to his back door. Mike and I are pretty sure that it's not an abandoned home. When we mentioned it to his next door neighbor, he seemed to say something to the affect that they weren't worried about it and that the resident just went in the back door anyway. We're not sure how someone can live with it being like that. We're wondering if the person or people who live there are simply not physically able to take care of it. We'll inquire when we figure out how to reach the front or back door.
This is living in Fountain Square. We'll take the good and the annoying!
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Friday, November 9, 2007
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Sunday, November 4, 2007
The idea was an easy one, one that I was excited about. Creating it was difficult though, with mistakes or accidents happening one right after the next, like using a new kind of acrylic sheeting, a saw that malfunctioned and paint not drying in the cold fall air. I ended up tired and frazzled and glad to be done. Seeing it hanging was disappointing.
There are lessons to be learned here.
(frazzled face created by Katherine Green)
Thursday, November 1, 2007
We also witnessed several adults (or really old-looking teenagers). "Hum, and what are you dressed up as?" I wanted to ask when they approached sans children and without costume (unless you count a halloween bag as a costume).
"Trick-or-Treat, and could I just get a cig or beer instead of candy?"
"Trick-or-Treat! Just let me scope out how many younguns you have running around."
"Trick-or-Treat, your house looks quite tasty to me."
How I've let my mind wander. I'm sure they just wanted a year's supply of candy for free!
As for Marshall and Stewart, they had as much candy as they wanted last night and this morning picked out 5 pieces. Each piece went into an envelope with their initial on it. They'll get to choose a mystery envelope for the next 5 days. The rest of their stash will be donated to the witch (not me).
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
A brief history... the Khmer Rouge was the ruling political party of Cambodia in the mid to late 70's. They are remembered for the deaths of around 1.5 MILLION people (by execution, starvation and forced labor). I read that it was one of the most lethal regimes of the 20th century (according to Wikepedia). They followed a man named, Pol Pot (who died in 1998 and was never tried for his crimes). What the Khmer Rouge did was force all the urban dwellers out to collective farms and labor camps. Beyond the deaths that these actions caused, they forced marriages, separatations of entire families, and all property was seized. The idea was to create a classless society, who's members would farm rice, which they could export for "collective" gain.
I remember watching an after school special one year when we were in the States (maybe I was in 5th grade). It was about a Cambodian refugee family and their transition to this country. The most vivid picture from that was the kids hiding their food under their beds because they were worried that they would run out or that everything would be taken away again. So, I was aware of the fact that there were people who had to flee Cambodia and who were starving, but beyond that I didn't know much else about this situation. I remember crying.
I chose to take a long nap. It was great. And on top of that, the coffee I had when I woke was the perfect cup.
What a gift, and even though I had about 20 other things that I would have loved to do or that I needed to do, the nap is what suited me. And to have that time resting and alone, well, it was time for it.
Thank you, Amy!
(She's my brother's girlfriend.)
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
It was super interesting to watch the entire process, feeling like a little bird, curious at the goings-on, and spying down at all the factory workers doing their different jobs. We went at our own pace and without a guide, which I think added to the feeling of intrigue about the work and workers. Marshall and I were really into it.
It would take some practice for me to get used to people watching me work. I surely wouldn't want everyone to be able to see my mothering work all the time. I've caught myself looking around sometimes when I've been really bitchy and impatient towards my kids, just to make sure that I wasn't completely offending someone (besides my kids) or embarassing myself.
Even in my corporate work life, I didn't like people hanging out over my shoulder (unless I was certain that I could impress them with my "skills"). And as for art, I like solitude. If I am working on something tedious on one of my peices like hand-stitching then I don't care but when I'm putting something together, thinking something out or playing with an idea, I sometimes talk to myself, dance, get side-tracked, doodle, you know... things I'm kinda self-conscious about how I appear while doing them. Of course I want to "save face" even though I'm the first to admit I'm weird and messed-up. I wish I was more uninhibited more of the time and that I didn't give this crap any importance.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Thursday, October 18, 2007
I finished a peice of art work that has been on my desk for what seems like months. Finishing catapulted me forward, allowing me to start two new projects (AND I cleaned up part of my work space).
Simply miraculous; miraculous to have Katherine hang out with the kids while I desperately cling to my idol... accomplishment.
Now, I will sleep. My mind will wander past the grey and layerd, sun-lit clouds. I will rest.
Tomorrow, there will be more to accomplish; the less fulfilling laundry, feeding, diapering, teaching and policing.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Stewart has taken to dressing up like Captain Jack Sparrow. He doesn't know what a pirate is. He growls and thinks he's a monster when he puts the patch over his eye. His growl is mighty, it's low and loud, and he puts his whole body into it, tensing every muscle.
We're going to be robots for Halloween. I wonder what kind of sound effects will come out of Stewart then.
On another note, Stewart has taken up singing lately. He sings low and loud, and puts his whole body into it, gliding about with a "mic" in his hands (if he can find one). Mostly he sings, "Super-Reader saves the day" and "abcdefglmnoprstuvyz" and "Have patience, have patience, such a hurry. Remember, Remember, too".
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Marshall and Stewart were demonstrating his strength. They know, because they did it to me too.
Vicious little paws. What will I do?
Monday, October 15, 2007
We stopped at a park and let the kids run around for a bit. Driving around later, we were so enthralled at seeing their pristine farms, their horse-drawn buggies, and their distinguishing clothes. I was so excited to "sneak" some pictures of them riding along, and so curious.
I remember riding through Ohio's Amish country many times when we were on furlough. My grandma, Nina Saunders, had her particular Amish stores that she visited to "stock-up" (she didn't need to). Their bulk goods and cheeses were her favorite things, and we always made our way to... was it Miller's restaurant? Something like that.
I've always been curious. It lead me to fantasize about living the life of the Amish. You know: big farms, big families, no electricity, cars or machines. I wanted to try it out. Maybe it was to see if I would like it, or if I fit in, or even if I could be strong enough to endure it.
Well, Mike and Marshall and I were talking about their lifestyle. We theorized that it may be easier to feel close to God if nature was that much a part of your life and if you didn't have the distractions of machines, cars, etc. Mike suggested that we stay at an Amish Bed & Breakfast sometime when the kids get older. All those feelings of curiosity came up again and I wanted to do it! I didn't even know that it was a possibility and so, I was pretty excited about the prospect (however far away). I'm still excited, like a girl.
I wonder how my kids will fare, in an Amish home, without cars and with Amish chores.
Friday, October 12, 2007
Are you going to change your blogsite to unclemutat34?
We miss you entirely, Matt. We're hoping your day was not as "typhoony" and that our phone conversation and these photos brightened your birthday. We talked about wanting to take you out for a special "bubble" tea at your favorite tea stand. Someday we'll make it to Taichung.
Mom and Dad got back from Spokane yesterday. They brought with them a rock from the place we hiked in Montana, the mountainous one across the river from the train line.
The boys are sporting new pajamas from "Lincoln's 10,000 Silver Dollars". They have moose and bears on them. Stewart refused to put his on for a long time, crying and carrying on. He was scared of the bears. Once he saw Marshall and Stewart with them on, he braved up.
We're off to Marshall's soccer game. He's proud to be wearing new cleats.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Gently, every so often, I was able to raise my gaze to study him. I began thinking of how amazing it feels to be "that" for your child, to be able to calm him just because you are the parent. And I thought ahead to when I won't be able to be "that". When he will need something else from me.
I wondered why God doesn't do that for us. I mean, he doesn't come over and cradle us the way we do our newborns. He doesn't hold our hand and tuck us into sleeptime. He doesn't actually gather us up into his huge embrace when we need him. Why doesn't he let me need him in that way? Is it that we are supposed to need something else, something more tempered and mature?
I am built to need those things. As a child, I need.
I thought about how maybe he could do "that" for me. Maybe he could harness all his might and power and love just to meet those needs precisely as I envision it.
And, maybe, he does all those things for me. Maybe he delivers those things through others. Beyond the muck of humanity, the reality of darkness- that he could place himself in us in such a way so we can meet eachother's needs. That there's a little of God in us all, simply enough to pass around? What do you think? (post comment now)