"A (wo)man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of (her)his life in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of beautiful God has implanted in the human soul."- Goethe

Friday, April 29, 2011

Getting Things Ready for the Outdoors

This is the stroller that we got:

This is the wheel that fits on the stroller that we got.
This is the tube that goes in the wheel that fits on the stroller that we got.
This is the hole that flattened the tube that goes in the wheel that fits on the stroller that we got.
This is the Kirk that fixed the hole that flattened the tube that goes in the wheel that fits on the stroller that we got...

I could go on and on, but I just wanted to share our excitement in getting ready to take our little meatball out into the great outdoors! Good thing I know some awesome guys that have mad bike repair skillz because it turns out that I hate spending money on brand-new things when I can get something used (with character--added bonus!) and fix it up for much cheaper. We can't wait to put this jalopy to use.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Mathsters of the Universe

For those who know my mother, you probably already know the kinds of good ideas she always has rolling around in her brain. For those who don't know my mother, know that she has all kinds of brilliant and fun ideas rolling around in her brain.  As an elementary teacher, she's always looking for exciting ways to help her students love learning.

Mathsters of the Universe is an idea she's wanted to execute for a while for a math unit, so I drew these anatomically-incorrect personifications of numbers  and math symbols to help her out. Because she's going to be making copies and will need to re-size the images, I kept the designs as simple outlines, which also allows her to pick and choose the colors she's going to use each time she whips these babies out. Artistically, these drawings aren't the greatest, but they work for her needs, and she loves them because she's my mom and she's supposed to.

This is a sampling of my mother's birthday present:

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Indoor Gardening: Take One

This is my first attempt at getting a head start on my garden indoors, and after the first week, this was the result:

I'm pretty happy about it, and I'm hoping these delicate starts can grow hearty enough to plant outside in the next few weeks. The only plants that have popped their heads up so far are the strawberries and Armenian cucumbers...but my hopes are high that the other seeds will make their debuts soon. Grow, my pretties, grow!

I have big fat hairy plans for vegetable gardening this year, and can't wait until I can plot out the gardening spaces. There is a lot of work ahead, and a lot that I've already done to prepare, but working in the yard doesn't really count as working, I don't think. Hooray for growing things! (And bonus points go to growing things that are also edible! Mmmm!)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The first spring I remember

This is the first real spring season I remember experiencing. I'm sure there were some real springs in my childhood, but it's all a bit fuzzy. It always seems like we mostly just had winter, then summer, and no easy segue from one season to another. This year, though, I have thoroughly enjoyed a real spring! Kirk and I recently went hiking and graveyard traipsing, and everywhere we went, there were so many gorgeous reminders of rebirth and renewal! (I'm sure these reminders are a lot more fragrant than real birth, too. As soon as I find out in the next couple of weeks, I'll let you know.)

I loved sharing in the secret spring-time moments that I'm certain God set up just for the two of us. I like sharing secrets with God. It makes me very happy!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Is There Such a Thing as Too Many Shelves?

I don't know about you, but I never seem to have enough shelf space. We get a new bookshelf, and it's filled before we can blink. We found this beauty at a thrift store, and after some intensive TLC, gave it a fresh life. This pretty touch of white is finding a new home in our nursery, and will soon be full of all sorts of good things like earplugs and diaper wipes. Maybe if these shelves are well-behaved they can get out early on good behavior and graduate to holding fine literature, which, I imagine, is the aspiration of any decent shelf.

Huge thanks goes out to Spencer who hefted the heavy shelves and measured and cut the bead board for the back! I think everyone needs a brother who knows his way around woodworking. He is most handy!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Graveyard Traipsing

Traipsing with Kirk through interesting graveyards is a favorite pastime, and we took advantage of the sunny spring break weather to find some graves of interesting people, or at least people we find interesting.

Kirk is big into history, which makes it more palatable to me because I'm a story kind of person. I love to discover the inter-relatedness of things in general, and Kirk satisfies that need by filling in the puzzle pieces that don't naturally appeal to me. Still...despite the groovy stories, I find myself drawn to the more artistic monuments and end up taking pictures of statues I like for their aesthetics and not their...contents, if there are any left.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

This book is a classic for a reason. If you're curious to find out what that reason is, you should read the book.

Themes to pay attention to when reading this awesome novel are as follows:
  • The sublime juxtaposed against the grotesque
  • The eternal ebb and flow of popular favor; the throne and pillory are one and the same
  • Mothers loving best the child that brings them the most pain
  • The Word: relating to architecture, architecture as the writing of mankind, stone writing replaced by paper writing, each generation recording their words through different media, books as buildings are more acceptable forms of written information, the printing press dethroned architecture, writers of stone books derived from artists, poets, and the people instead of based on caste and rank, the power of the Word/ magic word, a name as the Word
  • Spider and fly analogy; the fly is already fated to death
  • Phoebus; the sun; light/dark
  • A sanctuary as a prison in all but name
  • Compassion, mercy, pity vs. selfishness
  • Beauty: inside and outside
  • Marriage: as a prison, a convenience, or as completely pure love

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Happy Birthday, Mother!

My mother is celebrating her 29th-or-whatever birthday, and I have a surprise up my sleeve for her! (Hee hee!) I can't wait to give her the present I've been working on. I love feeling sneaky! As I was rummaging through my art stash, I found these cards and party banner that I think will fit her just right! Now I only need to decide which card to give her...

(All paper and products are from Close To My Heart)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wounded Fingers and Happy Girls

What does one do with six 15-yr-old girls and leftover polyester fabric? Aside from making some pretty groovy outfits, one could also create these super-trendy sew-free flower clips:

To make these, cut 2 circles each in three sizes (6 total circles), make several snips toward the center of each circle, hold the fabric edges near a flame to melt into pretty petal shapes (tea candles work great), then stack circles on top of each other with hot glue, glue a clip to the back, and embellish. Easy-peasy. Anyone can do it. Just be sure the fabric isn't a polyester/cotton mix or you may end up with a house fire.

Some fun ways to put these accessories to use are: place in hair or on a headband, on shoe toes, on a necklace chain, on a handbag, or on a cardigan.

I thoroughly enjoyed this evening chatting with our group of super-fun teenage girls as we laughed, furiously created beautiful things, and burned our fingers together. There's nothing quite as awesome as good company, fun activities, and of course, open flame.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Good News!

I recently received word that four of my poems are going to be published in an up-and-coming poetry anthology in June! (Heck yes! Happy dance!) When the publication comes out, I'll be sure to share the poems that were accepted.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Every Good Turn

Remember how Jeana G designed so many cool things for my party? It took a long time, and was a lot of work! In return, I drew this picture of her father and brother:

Out of curiosity, how do you usually pay people back who have done something incredibly nice for you?