"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

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Merchant of Venice

I recently finished reading the heartbreaking Merchant of Venice by ole' Billy Shakespeare:

Oh, friends! This play is amazing! It is partly a comedy but also considered a tragedy when read with a modern perspective. Some points that stood out to me reading it this time around were:
  • The love of family, especially between father and daughter
  • The nature of parenthood vs. being a blood relative
  • Mercy vs. Justice, and the reciprocity of both
  • The nature of hatred, it's growth pattern and consequences
  • Religious fervor, and conversion as a punishment
  • The cost of being beholden, and paying interest
  • The relationship between risk and reward
  • True friendship and the characteristics of a real friend
A couple other specifics that I found poignant were the homosexual tones in Antonio and Bassanio's relationship. I had never noticed that or considered it before, but it changed many aspects of the play once I read it with that filter. Also, I couldn't help but empathize with Jessica, as she watched her Shylock's demise, knowing that her actions fanned the flames of hatred which left her father in ruin. She had to have known that leaving would devastate her father, and because her friends were the ones receiving the brunt of his wrath, she couldn't simply run away from her problems and start a new life. She was in a way forced to watch all the consequences play out in front of her. She made a brave decision to separate herself from a strong cultural gravity and assert her independence, but she must have felt a heavy responsibility for what happened to the other characters as a result.

Anyway, this gets a thumbs up, for sure! Have you read it or will you if you haven't yet? If you have read it already, what did you like about it?

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

A Nice Pink Party Hat

While having a serious discussion with a favorite three-year-old about birthdays, I mentioned that her sitter had a birthday coming up soon.

I asked her, "What do you think we should make to give her on her birthday?"
Without hesitation, she exclaimed, "Oh! I know! How about a party hat?!"
"That's a great idea!" I told her. "Let's go home and make one for her."
"Sounds great!" She said, "A nice, pink party hat. That's a great idea!"

So, go home we did, and a nice, pink party hat we made:

It was a pretty decent collaboration, and the pink turned out very nice indeed. It was well-received by our sitter with a heart of gold, and is proudly displayed on her mantel still. (Too sweet!) I love that the simplest things are often the most exciting and special to our daughter. It's charming and refreshing to have access to that perspective.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Kid Art- Monster Valentines

Because of the impending holiday, we spent an afternoon as a family constructing valentines for our daughter's classmates:

As with most of our mama-daughter art projects, this was a collaboration. I folded the card bases and wrote the inside phrase. She glued on the eyeballs, which she has a strange affinity for ("No, mom. We need three eyes on each valemtime, not two."), and left her John Hancock on the insides. Then she went through them all again and embellished her signatures just in case.

Each was laboriously glued and scribbled with love and attention to detail. They were personally assigned to individuals after much deliberation. P-dubs wanted to make sure that we included candy with each one mostly because that meant she had to taste test a few to make sure it passed her standards. Success!

Then, as if it weren't enough, we thought it would be funny to hold a huge extended family valentine exchange. So, we prolonged the art date beyond its natural limits and made a second set of valentines. Yet, we all survived, so it turned out to be worth it:

I recycled the idea but used a different set of scrap papers and silly monster embellishments instead of googly eyes. Pepper carefully placed the monster stickers on the card fronts, colored the heart in the sentiment, and wrote novels in every card. It was exhausting work for a tiny person, but she managed to power through and is so proud of her labors of love!

If you need a last-minute valentines idea and happen to have googly eyes laying around, the first set of cards could be a quick option (that is, if your child doesn't need to write a literary review on each card). Or, if you need a more grown-up version, you can see what I did here, for Feather & Fir.

Do you pass out valentines? If so, what were they this year?

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Change of Plans

Growing pains: in order to better separate my personal life from my business life, I'm going to continue posting on this blog as well as Feather and Fir. Sweet! Double prizes! This one will be more of a personal blog with random craft and art projects, recent reads, and family adventures. Or, if nature-inspired philosophies and fine art is more up your alley, then Feather and Fir is the place to find such treasures. Look for posts to start resuming on Thursday!

P.S. Yes, those are our tulips growing! They've been poking up since the first week of January because of the unusually warm weather. I like to think these tulips and I can empathize with the other's growing pains.