What a strange Saturday... one of those weekends that begins (after I've already been up and had some quiet and creative time and lots of email and ATC-exchange-administration time... before the whole house is awake)... begins with all of us in the living room, two of them eating a second piece of cinnamon toast (such a classic treat), and me saying something like "We really need to make a list today..." (because we've gotten out of the habit of the master weekend list that used to keep at least us adults on track and validated all those silly but things the kids expect to do). The immediate response... "Well, first we have to play Scrabble, Jr."

So, we did. And the list never happened.

But then so much else happened... including a full-family trip to FLAX (I am very clear I won't take the little dynamo in there, but he did okay with the other half of us and even came out with a super-cool bike bell with fish on it... and a pig keychain flashlight that oinks when you press the button...). I took the other by the hand... and we wandered and browsed... and then, evidently, someone saw and recognized me/M... but didn't say anything until later.

I picked up a Speed-ball carving set and a few bigger blocks. (Ryan told me the other day he'd ordered the set, too... and soft blocks.) I couldn't resist the carving set... partly, it's not expensive, so I didn't have to rationalize about whether I should or shouldn't (which I do about everything I buy for "me" anymore)... and partly because I was in the middle of an eraser... and I kept wondering if it would be "better" if I had the tools. So... I have them now... and I used them...

(The set is available at Dick Blick if you don't have a local art supply store that carries block/mono printing supplies.)

I got an amazing (and long) email from someone who started listening to the CMP recently but has (amazingly enough) already listened to the whole backlog... which I find staggering to contemplate. But, it was the most wonderful email... and full of great stories... and just what I needed to read yesterday.

I did a bit of contemplation of special (by request) oamyoamy pen pouches... but no actual sewing... while I waited for pizza to arrive... yum!

And then... much later... I painted on my series of ATCs for the July theme... which I sketched out in Oregon but which, after the first layer of paint on the first of 4 I ended up having a very strong reaction against... and in figuring out how to adapt what I'd envisioned, I stumbled over the right solution.... and then it all fell into place... and the second-go color range is so much better as well. I love them. This time, it's true. I love these. I ended up (again) not doing some of what I had envisioned doing on top of the paint... which involved words... I debated and debated yesterday as I painted... and I just can't go the final step. I am too attached to the simplicity of the painted space this time... so card #4 has changed and will bear the brunt of the text/wordage... Reactions at Flickr will, of course, as always vary or not appear at all.... But, these are staying close to home, so it's okay with me. I'm actually glad about that... and I didn't know that when I did the first sketches.

And then... I read the first two books shown below to the kids yesterday morning... both of them WITHOUT WORDS... and you know that I am a WORD person. I would NEVER, EVER have thought I'd recommend books that have no words... and yet these two fascinate me on many levels... but the first one is stunning in terms of the art as well... and the level of story.... I was going to talk about them more right now... but I think I'll wait... these I want to talk about on the show. I'll give you the covers though... (and if you've read them already with your kids, feel free to chime in):

Oh, and, of course, the new Harry Potter arrived.... in the very spiffy HP-printed/Amazon-branded mailer-box. Just having it in the house is exciting... almost unbearably so. (The oldest is a bit up in arms because we're saying he shouldn't read 7 yet because he doesn't know what happened in 5 or 6... This is the first release that has happened since he's been an independent reader....) So, it's here. But did I hole up in the bedroom with my nose in a book all day (as I'd threatened throughout the week, teasingly, to do - leaving them all to fend for themselves for the day...)? No.

I'm one of the crazy types... I'd like to do that... I could read it fast... but at the same time, I don't really want to. I'm always so sad when I'm finished. So... I looked at it for a while throughout the afternoon and then last night... sitting there... while I carved an eraser (during Pokemon) and later, after I finished painting my secret (in the house) ATCs for this month while I listened to the movie on in the other room (My Super-Ex Girlfriend, or something like that)... and then I went in and finished watching the movie (since I'd listened for about an hour...)... and when it was over... I grabbed the book, finally, and went in to start... and didn't get far before I crashed. (Such is the story of my "reading" this year.) But, I'm okay with that. I got a taste of the final book, which I plan to savor.

(Starting it does mean that once again, The Lobster Chronicles is started and unfinished... which happened last year, too. I am determined to finish it this time around!)

Oh, and at bedtime, the little one requested I AM I again - enthusiastically... quoting the notable lines... saying, before we started... "there are two I am I's, Mama!" ... which is, in fact, exactly part of the point and problem in the book. And, this time through, I liked it even more... I noticed things I had not noticed before... things I wonder if I'd been too tired the night before to pick up on... this is rapidly becoming one I love... and in a book with very few words, the emphasis on the power of words... is stunningly portrayed... especially the power of words to hurt and destroy and then... to heal and seed and grow. (When he saw it on my screen just now as I plucked the cover, he exclaimed excitedly... "I want to show Matthew" and climbed down from his stool to run and get the book from the floor in our bedroom. I assured him we'll read it with Matthew today - it's one he should see.)


i so enjoyed reading this post this morning. you pack such visual images into your writing.


My boys just love Flotsam! They are 10 and 8 and think is the coolest book ever! We had some pretty meaningful conversations after "reading" it!

We love the "Tuesday" book from Weisner. We picked it up somehow to be a Project Spectrum book and we just loved it. The frogs are so full of expression.

I'll have to check out that book... and good luck savoring the last HP.

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