Monday, July 30, 2007

Eight Things and a Spread for Noah

Well, I've been tagged again, this time by Tonia! Last time it was only six bizarre things about myself, but this time it's eight. I had to think real hard to come up with eight more weirdo facts about myself- not! In fact, my whole personality is made up of strange traits, as those who know me can attest, so it was actually quite easy once I started thinking about it. So here goes:

1. I hardly ever drink alcohol, not because I'm opposed to it, but because I absolutely cannot stand the taste. I actually like the feeling of a good buzz, but having to drink the alcohol in order to get it usually is just not worth it to me.

2. I have a phobia of throwing up or seeing/hearing people throw up (good thing I don't drink much alcohol!). I will go to every length to avoid vomiting myself, and I have to cover my ears and close my eyes if I know I'm going to witness it (such as on TV). Strangely enough though, I have absolutely no problem with my cats or my kids doing it!

3. When I was about eighteen, my hair changed from straight to curly/wavy. The same thing happened to one of my sisters.

4. I hate scary movies. I cannot even watch a commercial on TV for a scary movie, because most of those are even too scary. In fact, if I see a particularly scary commercial, I will give myself nightmares because I freak myself out so much.

5. I was painfully shy as a child, and would consider myself socially phobic as an adult. I've definitely improved over the years, but social situations are extremely stressful for me.

6. I wish I had had the courage to color my hair some wild color like pink or blue when I was younger. There's a side of me that still would like to do it. I considered it a few times when I lived in Seattle, and should have just done it then. It would have been mildly accepted there since that's a pretty artsy city, but in Florida? No way!

7. When I was young, I absolutely hated that my name was also a boy's name. Being shy, it was terrifying to have to constantly correct teacher's, etc. who assumed that I'd be a boy because of my name. So why in the world did I doom Riley to the same fate?

8. I'm a serial returner. I return probably a third of what I buy. I have such a hard time making decisions that I constantly change my mind once I've gotten home. So I've gotten really good at keeping receipts and tags!

There you have it, another peek into my bizarre mind!

So, onto art news, thanks for all your support for my "me" journal. Sounds like there are a lot of you out there who can empathize with the feelings from my first piece. I look forward to doing more in the book, as soon as I catch up with all the other backlogged art that's awaiting me...

Speaking of which, Noah's almost six months old, and I'd failed to document a couple of his fifth month milestones until now. So I went ahead and did a spread noting his two biggest accomplishments from his fifth month- growing teeth and eating cereal!

That's all for now. I'm actually working on some more frames for sale, which should be finished soon. I'll post them here first, so you can all get first pick, before I put them on Etsy. Oh, and for those who have been keeping tabs, Riley's clavicle is completely healed!

Monday, July 23, 2007

A Book for Me

Yesterday was a tough day. As much as I adore my kids, I sometimes just have days when it just becomes too much, you know what I mean? Before becoming a mother, I never realized how hard it would be to literally put your life at the mercy of someone else's schedule. It is so draining to me not to have control over my life, or at least the kind of control I was used to pre-kids. Want to watch a show on TV? Sit down, get 5 minutes into it, oops! the baby's crying! Want to eat lunch? Get halfway through making it, oops! Riley's dumping yogurt on the table, don't get back to finishing it until half an hour later. Sit down to eat the lunch that took half an hour to make, oops! baby's crying again! Try to do something on the computer, oops! Riley is climbing on the table....

Anyway, you get the picture. We all have those kinds of days, and any of you who are mothers yourselves know exactly what I'm talking about! But the purpose of this wasn't to turn into a self-pity-fest about the trials of motherhood. I just wanted to set the stage for what prompted this piece I did last night, at 11:00, after the kids were finally asleep! I've talked before about wanting to start a journal for myself. Lately, the only artwork I do is in the kids' books or for trades/sale/etc. Other than my birthday piece, I haven't done much "me-centered" art for a while. And while I don't think every piece I do needs to be about myself, the main reason I do art is to keep a "journal" and to document my life. This is therapeutic for me, and I think it will be a treasure for my family in the future.

So last night I decided to finally begin a "me" journal, and here's the first piece. It's sort of a visual of me bearing a lot of weight on my shoulders, the weight being comprised of "kid stuff", thus the images of the little animals piled atop of each other. It reads, "Sometimes it's just more than I can handle." It was freeing to do it, especially after a hard day. I know there will also be more positive pieces in the journal in the future, but this was reflective of my mood last night. If I were to do a piece today, it would be much different, since the kids are doing wonderfully today!

Thanks everyone for the continued well wishes about my grandmother, and also the concern for Riley's broken clavicle. We are all doing great, and we'll find out this week whether Riley's bone has grown back together or not!

Monday, July 16, 2007

A Journal Spread, a Fabulous Trade, and Lots of Photos!

To begin, thank you everyone for your warm thoughts and comments regarding my grandmother's death. It meant a lot to my family, especially my dad (who is her son). He even went to the effort to figure out how to leave a comment on the post (which is a feat for him!) thanking everyone. Her funeral is tomorrow in Minnesota, and although I'm not able to make it, my thoughts will be there.

And then, in art-related news, I received my trade from the talented Erika! We agreed to trade a few weeks ago, and I've been anxiously awaiting my piece. I requested that she make me something that represented my family, and here is what she did:

Isn't it gorgeous? I love, love, love it!! As she explains it, the trees are (left to right) Jason, Riley, Noah, and myself. Noah is still touching me since he's still so dependant on me. Then, I'm not sure if it's visible in the photos, but there are tiny raindrops throughout, signifying the ups and downs of family life. Both she and I lived in Seattle for long periods of time though, so we both feel that rain isn't always bad!

Right now, I've got it on a shelf in the kids' bathroom with another piece of hers which I got on Ebay. I purchased this piece last year after finding out I was pregnant with Noah, figuring that the two trees could represent the two kids. So my new piece fits perfectly with it!

Here is the piece that I sent to her. She didn't want any specific theme other than the shape to be tall and narrow, but I snuck some references to her family in there. She has three blonde little boys, so I included the image of a blond boy, and then also images of four red birds (her husband and three boys) and a brown bird (her). There is some text on the piece from a poem about a little girl who doesn't want to let the boys know about eggs in a nest, for fear that they'll steal them. I thought that with three boys running around, there's bound to be some mischief that Erika has to deal with!

And then, today, both my boys obliged me by taking simultaneous naps (amazing!), so I was able to do this spread in Noah's book. It is about how he is becoming so adept at using his hands and playing with his toys. I just can't believe that he is at this stage already! Aren't I the mother of a newborn??? Anyway, here is the spread. I couldn't get the best photos of it for some reason, so these will have to do!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

In Loving Memory...

Blanche Heimke
July 5, 1924 - July 10, 2007
Sadly, my grandmother passed away this evening. It really is a blessing, as she has had a difficult couple of years after suffering a major stroke in 2005. According to relatives, she died with a smile on her face, which is what we all would have expected from her. She was a beautiful woman who was never without a smile and a laugh and a wonderful positive outlook on life.
I'm not posting this in order to receive comments, etc. I simply wanted to pay tribute to her, in my own way. We love you, Grandma!

Monday, July 09, 2007

A Commission

First let me say thank you for all the well wishes for Riley. He's a tough little guy, but he can use all the sympathy/empathy he can get!!
Then, I wanted to show off a commission I finished recently. The client wanted a piece to commemorate her parents' anniversary, and supplied me with 3 photos to use. She also requested that I include the verse at the bottom. I'm very pleased with the way it came out-I hope her parents are as well!

Anyway, I just wanted to let you all know that I can do commissions. Give me a photo, a theme, a phrase, etc., and I will create a piece around it. And I "specialize" in baby photos- I've had a lot of practice there- haha! There are more details on my website if you're interested.
As I said last post, my mom's here this week, so I haven't had much art time, much less computer time. Hopefully next week I'll get back on a schedule, and may even be able to do a piece to sell, as well as some baby journal work. Until then, have a nice week!

Friday, July 06, 2007

Poor Riley!

Two weeks ago, Riley was standing atop the kitchen table, as he does probably 40 times a day, despite the 40 times a day that I take him down and tell him "no!" (welcome to the terrible two's, right?). Well, this time, before I could get over to him and take him down, he fell off, onto our tile floor. Ouch! Many tears later, I tried to assess whether anything was wrong, and saw that he was limping slightly. Well, to make a long story short, a few days and a few doctors visits later, it was determined that this little boy has a broken clavicle! Poor kid!

Strangely enough though, other than the initial first couple days of whining, you wouldn't even be able to tell that he's hurt! He is running and jumping and playing, and yes, still climbing up on that dang kitchen table! And according to the doctors, there's really no treatment for a broken clavicle. You just need to let it grow back together and keep him from falling on it again. Wow! It's just amazing to me when I look at the X-ray that someone could have a broken bone like that and be able to run around like a two-year-old, showing no pain! I guess that for his first major injury, this was a good one to get!

Anyway, of course I had to do a spread in his book about it. I used that paper that develops in the sun to try and duplicate the X-ray. It didn't come out quite as clearly as I'd hoped, but I think it still works. And I tried to place the words "broke collar bone" underneath the image of the break, to mimic the shape of the broken bone- I know, sort of morbid, but also sort of cool, right?

Hope you all have a great weekend! My mom's coming for a week, so I'm not sure what I'll be up to, but it's always nice to have her here!
Edited to add: Oops! Almost forgot! I wanted to let you all know that Tonia is offering some really cool plexi necklaces for trade over on her blog- check them out!