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May 7, 2007

In my head...

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What do you mean you didn't hear episode 46 of the Creative Mom Podcast? It didn't show up in your iTunes list last Tuesday or Wednesday or even Thursday (because some weeks are tougher than others)? But I recorded it...


over

and ov
errrrrrrrr

and over
again
and again and again and again
in the l a s t 1 0 d a y s.

And yet the show is still sitting ready to record. And it's driving me crazy. Every single minute I was trying to figure out how to get the show recorded even though I was having a good time visiting and doing other things. And yet part of me said, "hey, what difference does it make," and "this is not really a job," and "probably no one else even will notice a week went by with no show." And yet to me it is a job. And to me it does make a difference. And, to me, missing a week is a big deal. And, it's even worse, in my head, when the show is all ready to go. I wasn't behind in getting the lineup ready. I just didn't get it recorded. And, it is a business. It is something I treat professionally. Even if it does not pay. And there is the rub of it all.

Almost a year later, and I haven't solved that part. (And, yes, that part does matter because the same time I devote to the show probably really, at this point, needs to be directed at paying consulting work.) I have lots of ideas on how to solve it. But I haven't managed it. And, in part I haven't managed it because I spend so much time just "doing" the show that I don't have a lot of extra for marketing or selling or promoting it. And, in part, I haven't managed it because I'm big on ideas but very poor on red tape and on putting myself out there and on self-promotion. (If I wasn't so poor on that end, I'd certainly have converted ideas to books in the last few years.) And, yes, I listen to lots of other shows where it's clear donation buttons and bells are ringing all the time. And that is one way. But, there are others that maybe don't involve the listening audience shouldering the show. Other ways all require time.

And, in the last 10 days, my head has been just buzzing with irritation that I didn't get the show recorded. And, at the same time, the counter thread in my head is that "it's just a show." And then today, I've got a few seconds right now to post this, but a dentist appointment will blast my little precious block of Monday morning time to shreds, making recording impossible. I'm still hoping to squeeze it in today to get back on track. I've updated my little list of episodes I made a week or so back that takes me through the 1-year anniversary of the show. Reluctantly, I shifted all the episode numbers yesterday to account for a missed week. Agggggh. That hurt. And then I realize that I'm taking this all too seriously. Maybe. And yet, without it, without the show, I'm not sure where I'd be! And that's when it all begins to crumble again because as I face the reality that I need to be pursuing paid work, I face the reality that my show will change. And without the show... I may end up back where I was.

We worked in many things in 10 days - many of which I'm going to talk about not this week but next week. But, we did manage a quick trip to Flax before a trip to ImagiKnits. I talked myself out of the set of drawing inks (for now) and rationalized I should buy a single bottle or two to try them out - and then hemmed and hawed over colors, trying to pick something NOT in the set (since I figure I will buy the set). I ended up with Virdian and White. (Aren't the boxes GREAT!) The white struck me as an odd choice in the moment, but I kept envisioning being able to write over top of painted surfaces in white. Compelling. The gel medium is something I've needed to pick up forever. E V E R Y book references Golden's Gel Medium, it seems. And, a few of the little tins of fountain pen ink for my fountain pens or Rotring pens. Not much. But a happy little collection.

Keep checking. Episode 46 will appear. I promise. And after that, 47. And then 48. And so it will go.

May 8, 2007

ATC Strip

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So, enough of the "poor me" post from yesterday. Episode 46 is playing in my ear as I do final edits before pushing it out. And, too much attention to yesterday's post has left me feeling exposed and embarrassed. So, moving on... Probably you've already seen these at Flickr since I posted them individually before I mailed the one on the right out to my recipient at the end of April. I have to admit I have a favorite here. But, I won't say which. I like them all, and they do feel like a series to me even though the coloration on the final one is very different. All are on gessoed cardstock with a bit of phone book transfer adding a bit of texture and messy "underneath" text to the background of each.

As you can tell, I'm still doing my "own" thing with the ATCs. My approach (right now) is different than a lot of what I see out there in ATCland. But, I'm just following my own bent. As it should be.

May 9, 2007

FTG's Every Day in May

The start of May sort of passed me in a blur, and so I missed the start of French Toast Girl's Every Day in May event. I just caught sight of the pieces she's posted so far at Flickr (fabulous, as always - I'm a huge French Toast Girl fan), and then I realized she's also got it set up as a group. So cool! I wish I'd been paying more attention!!

May 10, 2007

All about lines

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Ahhh, what recent upload to post... But this one strikes my fancy at the moment. So, this one it is. And, this one in color. You'll see from my Flickr note that I intended to only upload the B/W version, but somehow even though I was seeing B/W on my screen in Picassa, I hadn't actually saved it. But, after I saw them both "up," I found myself drawn to the soft tones - greens and almost purple cast of some of the color photos bouncing off the B/W. So, here it is.

It's funny that this was for the third in the series of weekly CMP "grid" prompts and yet it's the first one I've posted. I took photos for the second, just haven't gridded them yet. I took photos for the first before I decided to make it a prompt and then decided to take them again post-pre-Mom-visit-cleaning, and still haven't. But, these photos I started taking before I realized I wanted it to be a continuation prompt. A 20-minute lapse at the park before we picked up the oldest left me monitoring a slippy slide while, at the same time, I was savoring shadows cast by the structures. You see several crops from larger photos from that day in this grid, and then we went to the tea garden, and a number of things caught my eye there, too, that fit right in. Actually, there is one photo, specifically, I meant to include here and didn't because it is all about line. Darn (finger snap). To replace or not. In fact, I might.

So, I waited until 7:06 a.m. this morning to start allowing myself to plan the small block of time I should have to myself on Thursday mornings. I was "last call" today, and I was holding my breath, hoping the phone didn't ring. My partner has pneumonia right now and is quite sick, which, following the trickle down law of the "way things work" means that I feel like I'm living in the middle of an avalanche. I am, however, thankful that:

  • both boys are in school for a few hours and there were no tears getting them that way
  • two days ago the fog rolled in crisp and cold and soupy after two days in the 80's (for which we are ill-prepared and ill-tempered about)
  • I managed to keep my hair appt over the weekend for a cut which I was not sure I wanted or needed (having let my hair go long again, I'm not big on buying into the need for a routine "trim"). I walked in unsure and out feeling stunned and stunning (at least in terms of my hair). It constantly amazes me that it took me more than 35 years to fall fatefully into the hands of the most wonderful hair person in the world. I always think it can't get better than the cut before, and it always does. And, I think he looks at me and sees that the hour he works on my hair is an something akin to an hour at a spa - and, I could be wrong, but I think he purposefully tries to ensure I walk out feeling confident and glamourous. I adore adore adore adore him.
  • we did not get called for last call
  • I wore my Must Have cardigan this morning and, ironically, similarlly colored handmade socks (which were the ones I grabbed in the dark of predawn) this morning, and the sweater, especially, makes me incredibly happy.

So, once I felt reasonably safe that the phone was not going to ring, I started jotting down my list, which goes something like this:

  • listen to "x's" audio clips for CMP
  • respond to "y"
  • respond to "z"
  • respond to "w"
  • check in on "s" (who I'm worried about)
  • check in at Flickr for group activity
  • scan at least one page and upload
  • check on "abc" for episode 48
  • blog entry
  • work on compilation music list from all shows
  • work on other compilation list I need for possible special CMP episode
  • download new batch of podsafe music for consideration
  • work on odd painted/collage piece in sketchbook (awaiting top-level text)

But then I ended up needing to do a bit of chauferring that I hadn't intended. In the space between the extra drop-off and pickup (at least I swung a Starbucks run on the pickup end), I got some of the above things done. Not all. Some. And, I checked on other things, poking around at sites that came through in listener emails this morning and feeling amazed at how much some people manage to get done. I've always thought of myself as efficient and disciplined and far from slow. But, at times, more and more, I end up feeling like I'm just not getting enough done!

A Grid of Grids

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May 12, 2007

Happy Mother's Day

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(Why this sketch? Not sure. I do have things to scan and photos to upload. But that will likely not happen for a few days. So, I thought I'd pull something from early in the Flickr gallery just because. And the colors struck me as "Mother's-Day-Ly" to some extent.)

So, tomorrow is Mother's Day. I hope it is a wonderful day for all of you who are moms - and a day of rememberance for your own moms. I was sitting waiting for a dental appointment last week and heard one of the staff behind the counter talking animatedly about a package that had just arrived for her mom - a knife sharpener. And she was raving because she'd bought something "really" nice because she wasn't going to be in town for Mother's Day, so the special knife sharpener was sure to elleviate the sting of not being able to "be there" on the day.

Umm, yeah. Okay.

A knife sharpener?

May 16, 2007

CMP Episode #47

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Just popping in to say that Episode 47 of the CMP just went live. It's a pretty mellow show - and a good bit of knitting.

Tiny (Calling) Cards

I was just squandering my last few minutes of morning time poking around Flickr (after spending a few minutes drawing a tiny little translucent penny racer. I started to gently move it out of the floor last night with my foot, envisioning myself stepping on it at 5:30 a.m. with my coffee in hand. And, as I pushed it aside, I insted bent and picked it up and put it on my little table... morning sketch object already in place! Yes, this goes along with the pick out your clothes the night before and throw them on the couch so you're ready in the morning approach to life... seems to work for creativity, too.)

So, I was poking around and admiring an artist I hadn't seen before and then saw she was showing off one of these that she'd received. It's a MOO card case made (and sold) by Splatgirl. It took me a minute to remember what MOO cards are (which is funny since creating a set of these is on my list to "do" at some point this year). The artist makes ATCs, so when I first saw the image, I was thinking ATC holder - or index card holder. But, once I hit the Etsy site, I knew that wasn't right. Then I was thinking gum stick holder. I am, after all, of the JuicyFruit/Big Red/Doublemint generation. Then the MOO clicked in. Soooooo cute! (Love the key fob version, especially!)

MOO cards were seriously on my original goals/projects list for the year. And then I sort of forgot about them. Plus, I was thinking that I wanted to wait until later in the year to have a good body of work to choose from. And, I'm not sure what I'm going to do with them anyway! But, now that they're resurfaced in front of me... I again find them so cool and compelling and just fun.

May 17, 2007

Another Thursday

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See, today is my little mini, ever-shrinking chunk of time. They're getting bigger. I blithely assumed back when I thought I was drowning (at various times) that as they got bigger things would even out and get easier. Somehow this is not the case. Maybe this is just a bad patch, a bit of forest. I'm definitely not seeing the trees though. Just the forest. And that is the crux of lost balance.

So, realizing that today was the little chunk of time. I thought this morning that, "oh yeah," I need a quick list since this little chunk is wholly allotted to work and catching up. But then I got one off to school and came back for the other, which I normally don't do. I normally take us all at once. But I took one, and then came back because today is pajama day. And I figured that an extra 45 minutes to let the world warm up was in order before pajamas outside. (Even then, I went with the sweatpants under the pj bottoms and a turtleneck under the shirt. Call me over-protective.) So, the other off to school. And I dropped off the 10 pounds of fruit salad and other requisite foods because I was "snack mom" even though I had no idea that I was snack mom until the director mentioned the snack requirements for pajama day to me earlier this week. I protested. She protested. I protested again (the blankest look on my face). She stepped back to the calendar on the fridge. I stood, assured that she would see she was wrong. That it was not me. She was not wrong. There it was. Our family name on the fridge on the 17th of May. So, I dropped off snack. I stopped and snapped a couple dozen photos - experimenting. Hoping for the perfect shot of my "Captain Heartbreaker" (or so his PJ's proclaim). I realized that because I'd done a double out-of-the-house routine, which is NOT the routine, I'd forgotten the lunchbox. So, I'm home again but only with the realization that I have to go BACK earlier than I should to take lunch - which won't get eaten because, did I mention, it's pajama day - which means special snack and pancakes at 10. So, do we really think lunch will get eaten at 12? Not a chance. But, I will not traumatize the little one by him not having a lunchbox when it is time to sit for lunch. So, back I will go. I'm thinking I'll take it in and then go for a photo walk around the block for the 25 minutes before I'd have to pick him up. To experiment. I know some tulips caught my eye the other day. And something else I can't identify. I am really awful when it comes to know what is what in a garden. Equally bad with birds.

For the moment, I'm scanning some random things. I learned an important lesson from Danny earlier this year. I don't have to show everything I'm doing/working on. And, I don't have to show it all in order. I sometimes show "timely" things. But I don't show it all. I don't have time to scan it all. I don't feel comfortable showing it all. I show more "raw" work than I should as it is - which often leads people to think I'm either not serious or not very skilled! But I continue to show raw work. That's because I believe in the "process" and in giving you confidence in the "process."

What I'd like is a young (but not as young as mine) office assistant that I could entrust with scanning. There is so much to scan. And half the time, I scan a bunch and the software crashes after I tell it I'm "done" scanning, so nothing I scanned actually gets held and saved. Which really sucks. There are many old pages from old sketchbooks I'd like scanned, too. It's just a matter of time.

I told SunnyNole that I really should stay off email completely for the next two weeks and just "sew" - since I'm hoping to have a crop of things to sell in celebration of the one-year anniversary of the CMP. But, here I am. At my computer. Scanning. Emailing. Surfing. Posting this entry.

(Brain buzzzing... Hey - I'm curious. I know only a few of you are reading this blog these days anyway... but leave me a comment. What kind of journal are you using right now? What size is it?)

(Brain buzzing... Too many times recently I've listened to podcasters talking about how much work goes into a show (I know too well). We're all trying to find a way to make it work - and to justify the non-paid work.

Back to this entry.

Here are a few sites and things to look at:

  • This "full of eggs" mosaic at Flickr by Vanessa is just unbelievable to me. It is so fabulous and so peaceful.
  • Babette Blanket - mentioned by Miss Violet. It's awesome.
  • Design Your Own Converse - which I heard about from Rachel's blog.
  • The Chevron Scarf pool - which I also looked at based on Miss Violet constantly talking "chevron scarf." I have to admit there are some pretty ones there!
  • The Bullseye Hobo, by Stitch Diva. I bought this pattern last year because I LOVE it. I totally plan/need to make one. I don't want it to look old-fashioned though. The photo doesn't. I'm hoping the one I make doesn't.
  • Seeking the Muse - a blog of a new listener (well, one I just heard from). Check out the April 30 post, too.
  • Swallowfield - a blog (not of a listener) of an artist whose work I just discovered. Just a peek at her banner gives you a sense of why I'm excited.
  • Wonderful macro work from Poppins - be sure and look at all of them. But I'll point you to this one, which I can't get out of my head (you'll see why).
  • Love this photo of yarn on the wheel. (Totally my colors.)
  • Soltrcy's photos of the eggs have caught my eye. I know she's tracking it on her blog. The photos are wonderful.
  • Wonderful pottery site.

Hmmmm. Seems like there was more "on my brain," but this is a good start. I need to edit/clean up my list of urls on the side again to add some of the people I've found and love.

Ohhh... hmmmm... a photo for the top. Let's see.... all right... went with one of the many rose shots this week. Enjoy. I will so hate to see them go. --- Ooh. No, I didn't. That's what I thought I was going to do, and didn't. A snippet of a fairy, instead!


While they are at it...

... that young assistant I'd like to have could... convert the CMP site to a 3-column layout for me (similar to this one), remove all the t-shirts from CafePress for now until I can take a look at the images again (not happy with the way the colors print), update the drop-down list of episodes on the CMP site (because the last one there is 35 and we're getting ready for #48), update the list of recent episodes that appears on this site (which is even farther behind), weed through all the voice clips I have for the show (catalogue them, name them appropriately, burn each to separate MP3s for easy insertion), back up my important files (business, financial, writing, designwork, art, etc) since I'm horribly behind in "backing up," and help me clear out my podsafe music folder and iPod (which is stuffed to the gills with podsafe music that I don't want or don't plan to play, but it's a pain to track it all back down and clear it out).... and that's just a start.

Done whining now. But, I am enjoying my vision of that young assistant who would, of course, be on an internship, so happy to help "for experience." My assistants-to-be may be close to the "clean out the pen jar" stage, but are a long ways from scanning, iTunes-ing, and HTML-ing.... although, who knows. I had planned to teach "tying shoes" this summer, but he picked it up right away after I showed him the other night.

I did take a walk around the block after dropping off the forgotten lunch and finding my pajama-duder in a rockin' karate-kid style headband that had his name on it (in Chinese characters?). A nice walk - chilly - but nice. Lots of fun things to play with in terms of photographs... even in a 12 minute jaunt. I'll upload over the weekend along with some photos I took this morning of art (the ATC kind) in progress.


May 18, 2007

Power of A List

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A list is a beautiful thing, even if it is buried amidst the strands of a whining blog post. Maybe it's more powerful then or in that context. After whining about what an assistant might do, I've actually done a bunch of those things - the less time-consuming ones and can cross a few things off, freeing up brain cells for more fun stuff.

And, in support of posting raw ongoing work that I am attached to (even if the work I am attached to is the work that always remains commentless at Flickr), see the above preliminary sketch of Everyday Angel (or Fairy) from a few weeks back. She's part of a loose series that keeps cropping up in my blanks... and that I'm toying with fleshing out, taking more seriously, serializing, and putting out there.

Have a great weekend everyone!

May 20, 2007

Birthday/Anniversary Messages for the Creative Mom Podcast

Those of you who have asked about leaving messages for the Creative Mom Podcast... either for the upcoming anniversary/birthday show or just in general.... I've still not been able to get resolution from Odeo (or to access messages left). So, I'm trying something new. If you have a mic and want to leave audio, you can try the big orange box that now sits on the right-hand column on the CMP site.

Mine are in Progress

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I got started (finally) and have been working in spurts and stages. After I decided what I was doing, I got on a roll and thought I'd do several progressive stages of the same concept. I'm liking it so far. No idea which one I'll send out.

These photos entertain me - as the counter mess is clear in all of them, but especially so in the vertical one! Also, you'll see in that one that I have a "box" of tube paints out. I haven't worked with liquid watercolor in a while, but I do have that box, which has a hodgepodge of some old (and I'm sure not very good) paint from some set or other as well as a number of tubes I bought back when I first started experimenting with watercolor. I tend (right now) to prefer cakes/pans (and I've been making a list of pans I want to buy separately [probably from Dick Blick so I don't have to bother with the behind-the-counter thing] to supplement my standby black and white Winsor and Newton set). As I contemplated color for this series, I thought I'd poke around in the box [partly because I thought I was going a pink route and might have something pinkish in there. I ended up going a different direction - but I did end up using a few tubes mixed with pans].

May 21, 2007

CMP 48 - "Hidden"

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A whimsical Satruday-morning before-they-awaken piece - but with a characteristic bit of an edge that is "me," I suppose. And, she's really not armless. They're behind her back.

Hope everyone had a good weekend! Episode 48 of the CMP is recorded - not live yet though. Episode 49 is ready to record. And, hopefully, that means I can carve out a bit of extra time to prepare for Episode 50, the Birthday (of the show) Episode. (My own "birthday" episode comes a few weeks after that - which is why it's confusing even to me to call the 1-yr show a birthday. But, it is!) The thought of culling through back episodes of the show (as an entity) to find little gems of sound here and there feels very much like the proverbial haystack scenario. I just opened up Episode 1 and almost fell over at the sound of my voice and the "uncertainty" and nervousness I can so clearly hear in my voice. Maybe I still sound that way. I don't know. As I've told Jessica before, I haven't ever gone back and listened to a show straight through once it's "out there." I don't know that I could bear it. So, this process of poking around in the old files could be interesting - or depressing! If they all sound the way that first one did, I may have to fight the strong urge to pull the old shows down. I really don't think I sound that way now. But, I'm not a good judge!

May 23, 2007

Have you ever...

Have you ever had one of those moments where you are out and about, walking, doing whatever you are supposed to be doing, and you can't shake the feeling that you "forgot" to do something important - and then you feel a breeze, and it feels unusual, and you suddenly panic thinking that maybe what you forgot to do was put on your pants? What a strange, strange, sensation. I did look down, just to make sure. And, indeed, I had my pants on (a good thing!). Finally, I decided the sensation had something to do with wearing sandals (albeit birks) for the first time in a while without socks and somehow the feeling of the breeze was really messing with me!

If you build it...

I just caught wind of this challenge after popping in to see what was new at the CMP Flickr group and seeing a page from cbec2003. You can find out more about the 1+1+1 challenge here. In essence, you are writing a letter that reflects where you hope to be in 1 year, 1 month, and 1 day. I'm not sure I can/will write a letter, but I love the idea.

A Tulip Dream

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Story for this is to come... depending on where I go as a next step. It already looks different, in my book. But it's still not what was in my head a few nights ago when I couldn't sleep. So, story is to come. Watercolor pencil. Not wet here in this scan. (And, I railed in the Flickr note about the scan which doesn't pick up all the lighter tones - and the yellows and greens in some of the lighter/whiter areas here.)

May 24, 2007

Tagged for Random 7

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(The roses are going. They have been great fun to photograph - a bit of an obsession for whatever reason. Something about their colors just put me in another place and time. These are, I think, the last photos of them, though.)

Okay - I've actually never done a meme before. I've been blogging for several years, but I don't think I've ever been tagged before. But I was tagged the other day by Cynthia of the GracefulJourney blog, and she indicated in her post that I might just be too busy to do it.... So, in a show of good spirit...

I'm supposed to list 7 random things/facts about me and then tag another 7 bloggers to do the same (being sure to leave them a comment to know they've been tagged). Wow, it's amazing how "viral" this all sounds. I see now why memes spread like wildfire through blogland.

So, seven random things... that seems easy... what to choose...

  1. I'm addicted to hoodies. Velour ones are my favorites for the sheer "touch" of it all. Tommy Hilfiger ones are next on my list of most-worn items. A combo TH/velour one... now that would be perfect.
  2. Pink and green is one of my favorite color combos.
  3. My "regular" drink is a Venti Sugar-Free Vanilla Non-fat Latte.
  4. I have a very large collection of cool Birkenstocks, but I started wearing them back when they still looked like Birkenstocks. Today, they're flowery, fun, and cool. I liked them even when they weren't.
  5. I played golf every day for years and years, but I haven't swung a club in over 10 years at this point, which shows how life changes.
  6. My favorite comfort food is homemade macaroni and cheese.
  7. If I could travel anywhere, Scotland would be my first choice.

Now, for the tricky part... tagging seven...

Jessica, Poppins, Lain, Kritty, Vicki, Carla, and Celeste.

(I feel a bit like I do when I get spam in email that asks me to send it on to a dozen people - I never do because I fear they'd hate getting it in their box and/or get mad at me. Hopefully, the bloggers I tag will also take this in good spirit - and with minor ranting!!!)


Mags to Track

I was poking around, and noticed a great magazine wrap-up at Tree Fall (a site that always excited me with fabulous fabric photos and sewing talk). Got to get my hands on the current issues of How, Adorn, and Quilts and More it seems.

Whack. Whack. Ouch.

Okay. It's Thursday. I didn't get to do what is becoming a standard "today is Thursday - here's my plan for the chunk o' time" list post. I considered it. But then I had to do the "Random 7" thing. And, while I've been working insanely on various aspects of the CMP 1-year show (including sewing bags - and, um, resewing them. my downfall is my perfectionism, always), I shifted a bit this a.m. when I should have been sketching (but I realized my current book was downstairs in the car) and started hunting for the photos for a web development (although gratis) project I'm doing (and I found the perfect, stunning, photo). After drop-off (which included a 30-minute stint at the dog park, which I mostly spent with all muscled tensed because I'm terrified of the dogs - and usually we are on the outside of the fence, but not today), I came back and worked more on the web dev thing. I've got another doc in my email to review for a group that needs web dev, too, and it's one I am really having trouble coping with - although my checking account keeps smacking me upside the head. I didn't review the doc though - yet. Instead, I settled in to work more on a "retrospective clips" thing I'm trying to do for the 1-year show. But, see, in the car yesterday, I was working on my notes for the show. And, I also promised Jessica that I wouldn't do my notes for the show until something arrives in the mail - and that something that will arrive in the mail might totally change the direction of my notes blows me away. And so, the fact that the show is just 10 days (or so) away keeps smacking me upside the head. And, the fact that even approaching it hit-and-miss fashion in terms of poking through the past episodes is incredibly time consuming. And did I really say "that" and "that" and "that." And so I've got this clips file started. I'm only at Episode 16. It's seeming daunting/huge/endless. And then there are those notes. I'm seriously afraid this could end up being the marathon episode of the CMP. And then there is a special prompts show I wanted to put out. And then there are those bags. And, it's all too much - and only 10 days away. And so why am I blogging? To clear my head a bit. Oh, and that yesterday means my real (versus podcast) birthday is coming puts me in a tailspin all of its own. And then, on top of that... we made plans maybe four months ago for our summer vacation... only to find out yesterday that school starts a week earlier than we thought - and, yes, while we are away. So, we're scrambling trying to figure out how to reschedule. Most things are booked. It's a mess. But, rescheduling may end up meaning moving things to June rather than August, which just compounds my feeling of stress and crowded brain. I'm getting seriously whacked upside the head. It's gotta stop. At least a coffee and a scone (which I don't do so much now) finally appeared at my side - which was good because my stomach was soooo rumbling. So, how's that for a super long paragraph that sends you tumbling through the chaos of my head. Okay, back to past episodes...

May 27, 2007

I Never Thought I'd Say...

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"I think that's enough books for today."

Never. As a mom, you never ever think you'll say that... especially to a 6 year old.

Over the last few weeks, he's read stacks and stacks of books off the shelves, kids books.... books we've read to him and his brother zillions of times in the last six years. And as he pulls them out, sometimes, I'm overwhelmed by the memory of how many times we read certain books, especially with him, the oldest.

And then, he went with M. to an open house at school where they could browse the other classrooms and see science projects on display in each room. He met all the first grade teachers, and one of them talked to him about reading, and when he said he likes Magic Treehouse, she showed him that they have the whole set in class.

We talked about those books that night, and reminded him that he could read those from his shelves instead of the storybooks he'd been reading. That at any time he could pick one of the Treehousebooks up and re-read it (for we read the entire series last fall and into the new year when the newest came out). And so Friday afternoon, after school, we went and ran an unexpected errand that ended up being a long errand and resulted in the purchase of a 10-12 week delivery new low-loft bunk and then dinner at Wendy's (we aren't the healthiest of eaters, but we rarely do fast food), and then home... and when we got home, he got out book #1 of the Treehouseseries (which doesn't surprise me, because he can be very orderly about such things) ... and read the entire book before he went to bed.

Then, he got up Saturday morning, and started on book #2. And read the entire book before he and I left with his brother for coffee, oceanside nap, and grocery store. And when we got back home, he got #4 (he sadly informed me that we don't "own" 3 - I'd checked it out at the library before I realized we'd have the whole set). And he read the whole book.

He reads out loud, so when he gets stumped by a word, he spells it out to me, or I help as he sounds it out.

We fear he'll have lost his voice by Monday.

As he finished that one, he immedately jumped up to get the next, and I had to say... "I think that's enough books for today."

He laughed, and in the cutest little-boy but big-boy way said, "I'm just really 'focused' on books right now!"

It's wonderful. It's amazing. I'm so proud. And yet, we've joked over the last few days at how sad his brother (who is ultra-energy-run-around-the-room-jump-off-the-furniture-drive-you-crazy-man must feel... "darn it, he used to be fun. Now all he does is read!"

Jessica suggested last month that I get photos of the new phase. And I did... a week or so ago on a Saturday morning when both boys sat in a poppy chair while the oldest read and "Cocoa" (stuffed giraffe) was carefully propped on one arm of the chair so he could see. The one I wanted to show here I decided I couldn't - ahhh, some of you have frightened me about what I post. But the one shown works okay for this story.


Art Tool/Pen Pouch Bags That Stay

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These are coming (and many more)! I was planning on not showing or releasing any of them for sale until the 1-year show. But, I think I'll start posting them for sale earlier than that. So, stay tuned.... Top-zip and front-zip styles available. Fully lined. Canvas exterior. Stitched with durability in mind. Elastic backstrap enables them to be slipped onto a Moleskine or similar hardcover sketchbook for ease, portability, and on-the-go creativity. Just grab your tools and book in one hand, and you are set to run out the door and sketch, create, write wherever you are. Plus, most are embellished with one-of-a-kind style. Find yours. Make it your own. Brighten up your creative load today!

And, you'll be helping support the Creative Mom Podcast, too!

In the Mail

I don't get a lot of mail that isn't junk mail. And we get more than our fair share of junk mail (two of most catalogs, for instance, which is crazy). But this week, the mail was overflowing with goodness.

Now, some of this goodness, I'm not going to talk too much about here yet - I need to wait and talk about this next week on the CMP Turns 1 show (EP 50). I really need to. I debated about it. But waiting seems right. Still, I can't let the arrival of this mail go by without at least showing you a glimpse (or two) to give you a hint that I received something very special - and something that blew me away - and something that was totally Jessica's doing. (That Jessica found the CMP last summer and wrote me back in July was a stroke of fate and luck and grace... for me.)

So... a sneak peek...

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And already I've said more than I planned. A week is just such a long time for me to wait!

But that wasn't all that found its way to me in the mail this week. This also arrived.

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This is a piece of pottery made by Opal's husband, and it's amazing. The color is amazing (it's much more goldenrod than it appears in this photo) with the most wonderful black flecking throughout that just adds texture and depth to it). The stamped impressions around the edge are beautiful. The three little feet are delicate and yet a perfect symbol of balance. And it's smooth. Just so smooth. It's perfect, and I treasure it and that they sent it to me.

Opal also started adding images of her quilted journal pieces to Flickr, which I'm really excited about. Check them out. They're awesome!

Thank you so much - to everyone involved in these two deliveries. I was touched beyond belief as I opened and read and looked at things this week. See, I can't help but say something.

May 29, 2007

Sailing into tomorrow...

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As noted at Flickr: "This one is very very rough. And I think I want to do a more formal/finished illustration of this one. (And I've chuckled to myself, a lot, over the corney sail on the boat [the facing page has a half dozen studies of more real-life and proportionate sails], but I've ended up "fond" of this whole rough thing for some reason. In color, you'll see that what she's holding is... a purple book. May 2007."

May 30, 2007

Rainbow Hair (Is Coming) and Seaweed

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I've got rainbow hair on the brain. This is not the first rainbow hair thing/sketch/piece - but her hair is now in color. It's a strange sketch. I know. My stuff isn't looking like me. I know. And yet. It sort of is at the same time. (I realized I can articulate where I am and what I'm doing right now. But I'll save it. It's probably show material down the road.) The sketch I started this morning of a bunch of LEGO people sprawled on the tabletop suffered some serious perspective issue on one of the little guys. These days, I tackle such disasters again. Last week, a perspective disaster with a favorite rainbow-laden cut crystal dish led me to really look closely not at the object but at what was wrong with my sketch of the object. I re-drew on the next page - and that time I was so much more on target and felt like running in and posting excitedly that I'd learned something. But, I didn't. I know you all are getting tired of seeing sketches and disasters and strangeness. I should focus on more reputable work so that if you're visiting my site because of the CMP, I seem to have at least a modicum of credibility. Sorry! At least I didn't post the admittedly odd page of "eyes" here from yesterday!

So, strangeness. The rainbow hair thing is a combination of a clip I re-discovered from Matthew about rainbow hair and the coming focus on self-portraits in June (personal focus - but probably show focus, too). But then I drew this strange little one (above) - and then she got rainbow hair, too.

And it all comes full circle. Because she, in and of herself, stems a bit from the fact that I've sketched dozens of mermaids in the last few days.... So, connect the dots...

Last week, at singalong, I was sitting in the front row (sans the youngest, for once). Next to me was a mother with her youngest, and she was also watching another mom's youngest. And then another youngest sat down right in front of us with his mom and sort of glommed onto this other mother - so, she's sort of watching and entertaining three of them. And I'm sitting there thinking, "earth mother type" - they all just gravitated to her.

In trying to keep them reasonably quiet for the singalong, she opened a very full backpack full of snacks for her youngest. She handed a piece of something to the one who was in the floor, and he immediately shoved it into his mouth - completely whole. It looked like a fruit roll-up (honestly). I laughed as I watched, feeling better that despite the fact that she appears to be earth mother and I'm "so not," she was giving out a piece of fruit roll-up (a healthy one, no doubt).

And then she asked the one sitting next to me, "Here, do you want some seaweed, too?"

(And then the smell hit me. Not fruit roll-up smell.)

As the kids continued sucking down strips of dried seaweed, I definitely was having one of those "I so totally live in San Francisco" moments!

Not that there's anything wrong with seaweed (other than maybe the smell). But, I have enough trouble getting the amount of green beans to equal their ages in years into the mouths of mine!

Seaweeds, mermaids, rainbow hair, San Francisco... the dots are there. Which is funny. A few stories to tell, and yet they all seemed connected at the moment of telling!

May 31, 2007

Books of Yore

mrs. mike christy poppins a to z rebecca of sunnybrook farm rebecca of sunnybrook farm set anne of green gables anne of green gables 1 anne of green gables / annotated secret garden

So, I asked SunnyNole a while back "why SunnyNole" - and she explained. And she, of course, had an explanation that makes total sense. I guess I should ask Poppins "why Poppins"? But that one seems a little clearer. It's funny how used to screen names and monikers we get - and how they help to create an image and sense of a person we know only virtually.

I originally asked SunnyNole about her name because I invariably think of Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm when I see it. Something about the concept of a "sunny knoll" (which isn't how she spells it, I know) comes to mind and for some reason that book then comes to mind. I don't totally remember that book other than as one that I loved as a girl.

I mentioned it to SunnyNole the other day, and she said she didn't "know" that book (although I think she decided later maybe she does know the story - but maybe from the movie, I'm guessing) - and gee, didn't I feel old. (I felt similarly old about an "All in the Family" reference the other day when I realized that other people I mention that show to probably have no idea what it is!) As I joked to her, she's young enough to not know it - and I'm old enough to have basically forgotten it other than as a fond burnished memory of something that was pure and sweet and innocent when I was younger.

Last summer, I got all excited and determined to re-read the Anne of Green Gables books "just because." I don't know why I got it in my head, but I really wanted to. And then, life got in the way. I've fallen asleep more times playing Pokemon this year than I have reading, to be honest. And then, in her Random 7, Poppins mentions reading the whole series as an important thing to do. And so, now, I must. And, I must re-read Rebecca, too. (Did I real the whole set? I am not sure.)

And, wow. I remember Mrs. Mike and Christy. Books. Not movies. I love a good movie, or series, and I'd love Tyne Dailey in just about anything. But, it's the burnished sense of those books that I hold so fondly in my head. And, I remember very little concrete about being young/little (which is an eternal source of sadness for me).

Thinking of these titles makes me think I'd then want to re-read the whole Little Women set. And then, when I look there, I see a reference to the The Secret Garden and next to Heidi. I really may have to follow this tour through books of my past. It sounds ... whimsical.

And then, in the connect the dots way of things right now... on the "New" books shelf where I manage to now grab lots of things (because I can see/hear Spencer stationed in front of the shelf of movies and becuase the oldest is behind me looking at chapter books), I picked up Mary Poppins from A to Z. Now, I don't have a strong memory of Mary Poppins. But, I couldn't resist picking this one up to take a look.

And, if you missed my notes on An Egg Is Quiet on my other site, please do check it out, too. The image of the birds' eggs brings up something tender and protective and innate and instinctive and "whole" in me - and I'm not really those kinds of things!

Lunch of Champions?

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... or just an approaching-middle-aged Mom.

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