"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

Thursday, June 30, 2011

More Australian Goodness

Those crochet hooks just keep on giving! (Although technically, some of these are knitted.) Check out these awesome ensembles and blanket courtesy of our good friend, and surrogate nana, Shirley:

The best thing about these pieces, aside from being handmade and so technically sound, is that they are different sizes, so Pepper will be able to fit into at least one of these items until she is probably three years old! We love Shirley and her hard-working fingers ever so much!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Watership Down

As I read the introduction to Watership Down, a novel by Richard Adams, I was somewhat disappointed to discover that the story wasn't written as an allegory. It's a disappointment because this story makes an excellent allegory, and I find it quite poignant. This is not a new read for me, and I must admit that the second time around, the novel's purpose of entertainment was much more apparent.

The on-going debate of author intention vs. reader interpretation is an issue each time a book is read. (The same debate exists for all forms of art, I would argue.) I do think, however, that regardless of author intention, this story can produce multiple levels of interpretation:

Themes of interest:
  • Explorations of lifestyles and societies: urban, militant, utopian, confined, and natural
  • Man's position in relation to nature
  • Consequences of being kind and neighborly
  • Purpose of legends

Friday, June 24, 2011


Our garden is well on its way, and we've heartily enjoyed the firstfruits of our labors:

...delicious spinach! (I'm beginning to feel buffer already, just like Popeye.)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


One event our family looks forward to every year is the annual Scottish Festival and Highland Games at Thanksgiving Point. There's nothing that strikes the core of my heart quite like the sound of a pipe band in the morning. It just calls to me. Imagine then, if you will, hundreds of marchers in a massive pipe band. It's pure love.

Kirk and I both pull from Scottish heritage (even our names prove it if Kirk's red beard doesn't) and have a deep love of bagpipes and kilts coursing through our veins. I know it makes us a little weird, and slightly "dungeons and dragons" dorky, but we've readily accepted our dorkiness. Say what you will.

We saw a world record broken, and my, what an athlete! Plus, it was Baby's first Scottish festival. She loved watching the swarthy men in kilts muscle heavy objects high into the air, or so she said. All three of us are super stoked for the other one coming up next month!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

More Pot, Anyone?

This is another pot that I threw:

Points of interest:
  • I used the same blue glaze on this pot as the last one I shared. I love, love, love the blue and rust color contrast. So tasty!
  • As the wet pot was turning, I made quick diagonal slashes along the side for a texture detail. It's interesting how such a small detail can make the biggest difference.
  • In order to give the piece enough lift to make it more visually interesting, I added these small feet to create a sharper shadow at the bottom. It's so much more aesthically pleasing to have a piece that feels like it's holding up its own weight than a piece that feels heavy and looks like it's sinking into the tabletop.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

What Do You Get When You Cross a Hooligan with a Scalawag?

...cousins! (Good luck, Grandma, keeping two rascals under control. Watch out: they're wild.)

Although these two are big trouble in little bodies, they are too entertaining to get rid of, so I guess we'll keep both of them around...at least for the time being.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

King Lear

I love this play. It has always been my favorite work by Shakespeare. I think Shakespeare's attention to human nature is so refreshing, and there's nothing like a good tragedy to put one's own life into perspective. As one of Shakespeare's greatest tragedies, King Lear holds many themes and avenues of discussion including:
  • sanity and madness: pretended, catalysts, cures, in relation to age
  • familial obligations: duty of parents to children, children to parents, spouses to each other
  • blindness: proverbial, literal
  • fools and kings: similarities and differences
  • male wrath vs. female wrath: level of destruction, mercy and honor in revenge, lasting effects
  • guilelessness and acceptance of certain characters in their roles
  • love: parent to child, child to parent, spouse to spouse

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Portable Hugs

A few weeks ago, Grandma Baxter, before she took on such a title, made a couple of quilts for the wee one.

G-ma even enlisted the help of all the Baxter family members to get them tied. In her infinite excitement, she also gifted the baby with a big old stack of fluffy hugs...that way, every time we swaddle the wee one, it will be like getting a warm hug from Grandma.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Red is Pretty Much the Best Color Invented

The only problem with red is that there are millions of different shades and variations, so it's super hard to match. We decorated our nursery with pops of red, and it's given me some artist OCD because not every red thing I wanted to include coordinates exactly. The answer to the problem in general: tie all the reds together with a single item that includes all the color variations. My answer to my specific problem: a little something we like to call The Chair of the Gods. Behold:

This humdinger was the result of about 8 months' worth of scouring furniture stores, second-hand stores, and online ads. I know you can't tell from this photo, but the fabric is mottled so it effortlessly ties together all the variations of red in the rest of the room. Hallelujah! Yes, it is indeed a throne fit for the Baxter Gods.

Friday, June 3, 2011


Introducing the oldest known English text:

If you want to read about testosterone-driven adventures, old kings, and warrior honor, this is a good book for you. (It's also considered a poem, so watch out: you might accidentally get exposed to the finer aspects of the literary world.) Themes to consider are:
  • Honor, valor, righteousness
  • The presence of Christian references in a  pre-Christian-dated text (curious, don't you think?)
  • Women's roles in the text
  • Traditions in the mead house, on the battlefield, while traveling and visiting, and following a death