Wednesday, February 24, 2010

check, check and check

One of the pluses of selling a house is that you have to get your stuff in order. And yes, we put plenty in storage, but for the most part, my art space has been completely sorted, shuffled and renewed!
The only thing I have left to sort is my flat files. Man I wish they were painted a cheery color. And look at that box on the that shouldn't be there!
My closet is dark, but it's organized. I donated a bunch of supplies to my kids' school sale to benefit Haiti. I'll have another giveaway here on this blog soon.
The space is renewed. The kids love it up here, and so do I! xo

ps - Did you notice the photograph in the first photo? That's my great grandma milking a cow in heels. One of my treasures!

Jeff Foxworthy is haunting me

Do you remember Jeff Foxworthy? When I was in college, he did this gig where he would say, "If you [fill in the blank], you might be a redneck!" I cannot get his voice out of my head.

It goes something like this:

"If yewwwwwww buy new soap, put it out and tell your kids, 'Now do not ever touch this soap!', you might have a house for sale..."

"If yewwwwwww pull the rugs off your bathroom floors as soon as you get home so those rugs look fresh for total strangers, but your family's toes are freezing every mornin', you might have a house for sale..."

(And the all-time low point...drumroll please...)

"If yewwwwwww say to your kids, 'If you leave this book out again, no reading time tomorrow!', you might have a house for sale..."

I need help.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Celebrate the [older] Boy, yeah...

So while the Percy Jackson phenomenon is certainly not boys-only, my oldest boy and all his friends (not exaggerating) are obsessed. A group of them waited in line for hours last summer to meet Rick Riordan at a neighborhood library...they didn't get in the line was so long.
So my contribution to "Celebrate the Boy" is this free pattern for a freezer paper stencil from the infamous Camp Half-Blood. Alas, the movie does not include the present-in-all-the-books orange t-shirts, but these have still been a hit in my house. And also alas, I haven't figured out how to post this pdf online...but I will in the next day or two. Promise.

Joey drew the symbols for the various gods - He's wearing his symbol for Hades. The stencil will also have symbols for Poseidon (shown), Zeus, Apollo and Athena (yes, 1 girl symbol).

And I'm ending with a few pics of Joey being silly, I mean, himself...because that's what we're celebrating, right? xo

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Common're welcome to pop in anytime!



A friend who also has her house on the market said to never make smelly or time-consuming meals, especially Thursdays through Sundays when there are more viewers. That was Tuesday. Today is Thursday and look what we had for dinner...onion soup from here! I had to carmelize the onions for 45 minutes - there was no quick escape had we gotten a call. (We didn't.)

My kids loved this recipe. I thought it was fine. Not nearly as tasty as the quick and easy recipe from here (will have to post that another day). I did use vegetarian stock, so that may have been part of the reason.

My Celebrate the Boy post is overdue, but coming soon! xo

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

All's tied on Tuesday!

We put it off as best we could. Our two oldest have been begging to read the last Harry Potter book. We just wanted to put it off as long as possible...we were in our 30s when we read the series and we loved it then...why do they have to read it now? But they were convincing and we succumbed.

But who would get the book? We only had one copy until today (when they can get it from the library). We offered a challenge - come up with a rap, song or poem and convince us that you deserve to get the book first.

Who would you vote for?

Contestant 1 came in costume, with a British accent:
Hello everybody, I'm Harry Potter
and I'm here to advocate for your favorite daughter
She's mature enough to read book seven
after all, she is 11
You should realize that she listens better
she deserves to read it first, so you should let her
An event coming up is her read-a-thon
her eyes need a book to feast upon
Percy Jackson's getting old
but Harry Potter's still good as gold
I hope you realize my point by now
So choose Faith! Ciao!

Contestant 2 [would like to add he has a "British" word as his final word!]

There once was a boy name Joe
books were his friends, not foe
He really loved books, he had lots of good looks
And he really loved to cook
Now Joey loved a certain text
and he had only one book next
The problem was his sis wanted it too
and that would not work, it would not do
His sister was already reading it's true
And quitting a book just will not do
As you can see
the book should go to me
My speech is done
this was made for thee...

It was too close to call. So on to round 2: Write out each letter of the alphabet and write a word that has to do with the Harry Potter series after each have 10 minutes.

Joey - who has spent possibly countless hours memorizing spells - was the victor, by a cool 4 points. xo!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Racism is gross

My dear friend, who owns a to-be-famous-someday bakery and vegetarian cafe here in St. Louis called me today to tell me that her husband was called the "n" word on his way into an art gallery where he had a showing (he's already pretty famous). Over the Mardi Gras weekend, three young caucasian men got out of their car and started yelling slurs at him.

I was just this very day basking in Presidents Day, and thinking so thankfully how so many millions (billions?) of people are celebrating today in a way they never thankful for our president and all he represents.

I committed months ago when I started this blog to talk about art and the glorious side of family life - not the challenging side (there so is one!) or the complicated issues of politics, religion, etc., so that's all I'll say.

May we all walk a little more gently in this world. And may hatred be silenced by the harmony of peace... xo

What took me so long?

I needed to cut some Artist Trading Cards for an event at my kids' school. It occurred to me yesterday that I should take a bunch of random cardstock to Kinkos and have them cut the cards for me.

Viola! More than a thousand ATCs, less than $10 spent and hours saved cutting them individually! The bonus is that they're so fun to look at!

Happy Holiday Monday! xo

P.S. The very little puffed felt hearts in the last post are what Kyle made for his class for Valentines Day. Now I can't stop making them!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Simple. Fun. 3.

Happy Valentines Day! xo

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Simple. Fun. 2.

My collage life is chaotic. My supplies are chaotic, my workspace is chaotic, my visions for artwork are often very very chaotic. Collage, however, does not need to be chaotic. Here's another sample from the past - fewer than 10 pieces of paper, a little tracing and a line-drawing for the door on the barn. Aside from my poor photography skills (I'm working on it! And I WILL learn to use a scanner sometime soon too...I think that may help), this card is bright, wholesome, happy...hope you can see that a bit.


On another topic, thank you to Meg for a lovely giveaway prize! More on that soon!

And back to the first topic, if you're wondering whose wedding this card saved the date for, visit this yummy site! xo

Monday, February 8, 2010


Just a Monday post with one of my favorite things - when artists draw with pen and ink and then only color in one or two parts of the drawing. Here's a card I designed long ago. This card was part of a stationery set that a family sailing the Galapagos asked me to do. The set had four animals, including the blue footed booby bird (in case you were wondering)!

I have a "Celebrate the Boy" post coming soon - just have to learn how to make a pdf file first! (make, do you "make" them?) Learning, learning, learning! xo

Thursday, February 4, 2010

A stroll down memory lane

In the interest of keeping some balance between the creative and the mundane (house selling), I thought I'd post some photos of three cards I designed when I had my card business, Cg designs...above is a birth announcement...
an invitation to a 30th birthday party...

and another birth announcement...

Happy Thursday! xo

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


My Joseph is 10 today. It's impossible not to say it: it feels like only yesterday...
We love you, don't grow up too fast....
...and know that you are so so treasured! xo

*Top photo taken by Peggy Gagner, Fairfield, Connecticut.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Toilet Talk

Well, I've been a bit absent, but only because we've been cleaning and painting. Two very important, but not very photo-worthy things to do. We did finish painting our basement floor, my youngest's room and our bathroom all this weekend - yippee and phew!

Here we are the first day of February so I need to "report" on how we did with our goal for the One Small Change project. Our goal for January was to use fewer 13-gallon plastic bags. I'd give us a solid B. We did use several plastic bags twice (we have dumpsters to load into) and I immediately bought biodegradable plastic bags, which I will continue to do for the rest of my life (that sounds like one very good small change). We didn't try to construct reusable, washable trash bags though, and I'm going to claim my usual excuse: we're too busy getting the house ready to sell. It's legitimate, it is.

So that goal is on my list for the future, and I won't forget. I did find several cloth laundry bagson etsy which I thought could be prototypes for what we'd like to do here in our home.

Now for February. Our goal for February is this - we will put plastic bottles in the remaining two toilet tanks that we have. Our daughter came home from school one day very excited that we could easily save water and help the earth. She learned in science that if you place an empty, capped plastic bottle in the tank of your toilet, a family of 5 can save 350 gallons of water per month.
We tried it about a year ago in one tank and I'm here to say, it works!

What you see here is a simple kefir bottle - works perfectly! Many websites will recommend a 1/2 gallon milk jug, but that didn't work in our tank, so don't give up if you want to try this and have to use a smaller bottle.

So our One Small Change for February is that I will find plastic bottles for our remaining two toilets. It's simple, it's small, it's change! xo