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Friday, August 27, 2010

Palettes and Inspiration

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With about 6 or so hours free every day now, I feel like I am finally able to live out my dream life. I didn't realize how difficult it would be to stay on track towards achieving that, but I have everything that is necessary to do so- I just have to be disciplined about it. I've been imagining this time in my life ever since I discovered that I was pregnant for the first time about 9 and a half years ago... of course, since then, I've been able to live a life I didn't even know I wanted, but now is the time to live the life I DID know I wanted.
I don't have any new art work to show, so I thought I would display some of my ever evolving paint palettes (above). Sometimes they end up looking better than the art itself. Sometimes I think the palette is like the life I didn't even know I wanted- random, unplanned, messy...but colorful and beautiful anyways- in its own way.
Ahhhh... I sure do love metaphors... :)

Even though I don't have any new art to post, I have been working hard, and have multiple pieces of art in progress. So they will probably come together all at about the same time. But here is a preview of some of the things that have been inspiring me and will definitely be creeping into some paintings soon:

We went to the aquarium earlier this month, and I discovered "mermaid's purses", which I had never heard of before- very very cool little things! Basically it is just a shark egg sac for a baby shark to grow in. But "mermaid's purse" sounds more magical, and this is definitely a magical, yet completely authentic, concept. At the aquarium, they had the egg sacs pinned to a translucent white light-up board, so that the inner part of the sac was illuminated and you could see the baby shark inside swimming around. The whitish colored ball is the yolk of the egg. The picture to the right is even more incredible. It is a man-made sac, out of transparent material, so you can see the little sharkie in detail- actually swimming around in there!! Cool, huh?? Will be on canvas soon (hence the mostly blue palette in the upper right corner of my palette picture)!!
My new friend, Heather, came over on Wednesday to paint with me. We discussed how maybe some day in the future, scientists will be able to make man made wombs and transfer babies into them, and we will be able to pin them up on the wall and observe them. Funny idea.

The other painting I am working on will combine elements of these two pictures of Roxanne. The expression on her face in the second picture reflects the fact that I had my camera out more than her actual feelings about the penny horse- that's the reason for the first picture. There will also be elements of the King Soopers logo (which I love!) and religious/spiritual connections (how can you possibly ponder the joy of the penny horse without bringing God into the equation?)... AND this will be a part of a dip-tic. I already have both of the canvases purchased (yay for selling jewelry!) The counterpart features a pretty crazy boy with a mullet named "Rocket".

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Mustache Night at Coors

Typically, only Matt and Rocket attend the baseball games at Coor's field. However, last night we were lucky enough to have 4 tickets (thanks to a really awesome friend with connections), so the whole family went. It was mustache night, and we all joined in on the mustache fun.
My mustache:

Rocket's mustache:

Roxanne's mustache:

Matt's mustache:

Matt spend quite a bit more time on his mustache than the kids and I did. I drew the kids mustache on them after they had finished dinner at Wahoo's Fish Tacos. Some ladies came along and were so impressed by my mustache drawing skills that they asked if I would draw a mustache on them too. So I did.

Then the kids got free cotton candy. You can't beat that!

Rocket told me that the best way to get on the jumbotron is to dance like crazy during the 7th inning stretch.... so, I did what any good mom would do- I danced like crazy with Rocket during the 7th inning stretch song. Sure enough, we made it onto the jumbotron for all of the thousands of fans to see our awesome dance moves! That made Rocket really love me a lot.

Rocket took this pic of Matt and I... I must have misplaced my stache by then.

And this is a tired little girl with a sticky face who can't wait for the 9th inning:
I tried my best to get her to be able to enjoy the game, but it was useless. This is a conversation we had at one point in the game:
Me: "The Rockie's are winning, so we should be happy!"
Roxanne: "But I don't know what that means, I can't be happy if I don't understand what that means!!"
Me: "It means that they are playing a game, and we want the Rockies to win the game and right now they have a higher score, so they are winning!"
Roxanne: "But you keeps saying rockie rockie rockie- I don't even have a clue what it means!!!"
Me: "The Rockies are the team we are rooting for"
Roxanne: "But which Rocky? You keep saying rockie, rockie, rockie!!! Rocky what? Which Rockie? What's the Rockie's name that you want to win?"
Me: "Rockies IS the name of the team"
Roxanne: "I know!! I know!! But all I hear is rockie, rockie, rockie and I don't know which rockie you are talking about. I don't know anybody here that is winning!!"
Me: "Ummm.... Ok.... wanna go get a funnel cake?"
Roxanne: "Yeah, now that's something I like!!!"
So then we walked around the vendor's deck and looked at all the little shops and views of the city. Then she said:
"I really like this place. All these lights and colors are so beautiful"
And I said I agreed. And she said "I especially like that big sign there with the bright lights"- it was the score board. Even if she can't get baseball, atleast she understands what's beautiful.

And as if the night couldn't get any better, the ball fell into and out of the right hands on the playing field, which meant Matt and Rocket were really really really happy- along with thousands of other "wooting" people piling out of Coor's stadium. I think and hope the kids will remember nights like these fondly.

Back In Business

This is proof that I am in the process of bringing my Etsy shop back to life. Cause I know you are all just dying to shop there... right? That's part of being a mom with kids in school. I've also had a list of store owners that want to restock their stores with my stuff and have been calling me, and I've been not answering. Hopefully all this will help fund the purchase of another canvas or two!!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Springtime in Baltimore

My morning of full of successes, and I'm please to announce that I have a third success to add to my day, this afternoon. The success here isn't so much in the painting itself, but in the fact that it actually got completed, finally. This painting (my second one of Jason) sat on my easel ALL summer. When I came back to finish it, I forgot what I was doing. That's why you don't let paintings sit for that long. The background and sky tripped me up, so when I got it back out, I just painted over the background and started over. Ofcourse, I can't compare it to what it looked like before, but it might look exactly the same.
Having stopped this painting in the middle of not being able to get the sky quite right, I was stuck thinking about the sky all summer long. That's not really a bad thing, because I've noticed a lot of things in the sky lately... a lot of clouds. When I was in college and taking a meteorology course, my roommate and I would sit on our front porch and talk endlessly about the clouds- putting our meteorology terminology to good use (what? Isn't that what you did in college?). There really is this whole other world up there in the sky- with gigantic otherworldly creatures called clouds. All summer, each time I would step outside, I would imagine that the sky was actually a 2 dimensional backdrop, like the kind they use at a photography place (or like the one in the movie The Truman Show). And then I would imagine that the clouds were alive- some are monstrous and some are cute. The closer the cloud is to the horizon, the smaller it is... that's an important thing to know when you want to paint them. And while just looking up at them is pretty fascinating, I think it would be even cooler to go on a hot air balloon ride through them. I don't have a bucket list, but if I DID, I would have going on a hot air balloon ride on my bucket list.
And when I look at the sky, this song always comes to my head. So, as you can imagine, this song has been coming to my head a lot- just about any time I'm outside during the day, this song is in my head:

Anyways... none of this talk has anything really to do with the painting... I mean except for the sky. But the painting is supposed to be about springtime in Baltimore- where Jason lives. You can tell it is springtime because of the color that comes alive in the spring. I may be remembering my time in Baltimore a little more colorfully than it actually was... that's what memories (and paintings of memories) are for.

Successful Morning...

You know why this "universal health care" plan could never work? Because there would be no way of telling who really has mental health problems and who doesn't. Anyone can SAY they have anxiety. But how can a doctors office know for certain that someone is about to go over the edge? Easy- with a 25 page printable questionnaire, due the morning of the appointment, that requires them to answer confusing questions about their history, their primary care something or another, and then requires them to perform detailed tasks involving calling their insurance company- who knows WHICH number on the card they are really supposed to call... it's all part of the trick though. And the insurance companies are in on the trick. Because when you call the "mental health services" number on the back of your card like I THINK you are supposed to, they give you a maze of options and numbers to press... "if you are a provider press one"... well, am I a provider? Yes, I think I am... wrong. Ofcourse it never says, "if all of these options are giving you a panic attack, please press 3"... After 25 pages of these sorts of confusing questions or tasks, the true mental health patients will be clearly separated from the fakers and drama queens. If I had calmly marched into the doctors office this morning on time with my 25 page packet completely filled out, and set it down in front of the receptionist, she would have smiled and said "thank you" and then proceeded to put a check inside the "faker" box that she would hand to the doctor. Then the doctor would prescribe me placebo and collect their money for their services. But, of course, I am legit, and I passed the test! Yaaaaay! I passed! I didn't have it all filled out! I got confused... I didn't call the right number and when the recording gave me the run around, I didn't remain calm! SO the receptionist knew I was for real, so she proceeded to RESCHEDULE my appointment for tomorrow. So then I left. This means things are going well.

BUT since I was in the area, I decided that I should try to be a nice loving wife- I had absolutely no time to be a good wife this summer with the kids out of school, but now with them in school, I am expected to do nice things for my husband. So I stopped by the grocery store and picked up a package of Matt's favorite cookies, and then drove over to his office. I called him from my cell phone in the parking lot and said "hey I was in the area, wanna come out for a quickie?"
And he said "UMM... NO!!"
And so then I was like "I said a COOKIE!!"
And then he was like "Oh, ok I'll be right out". So I waited by my van until I saw him come out the door, and then we started walking across the parking lot towards each other. But then suddenly he stopped and yelled "NO!"
And I was like "what?!"
And he calls out "NO! I don't want those cookies! They are disgusting!"
... and I was confused and said "but these are your favorite kind!"
And he called back, "no those are Safeway brand! I only like King Soopers brand!"
Well fine. Luckily, I had left my van door open, so I chucked them across the parking lot back into the van. And then I said "well this is the last time I bring you a treat at work."
And he said, "what?! You're so mean!!"
And I said, "Oh really? I'M so mean? Do you really think that's what people think of wives that bring their husbands cookies at work?"
So he said "I don't know... why don't you go BLOG about it!".
So I did.

This is how successful days begin. When your kids are in school, you have time for things like this. I successfully passed the mental health fakers test at the doctors office. And I successfully passed the "do you love your husband enough to bring him cookies at work even if they're the wrong kind, because it's the thought that counts" test. Onward to even more successes now!!

Disclaimer I am sure Matt will want me to make: I may have left some minor details out of the cookie story.

Monday, August 09, 2010


Recently, Maria asked me to take her senior pictures for her. We ventured out to "La Favorita Tortilla" Ranch, where we found a hot boy and a horse to pose as eye candy. I had so much fun because Maria is so cute and beautiful, so every picture of her turns out perfect. Here are some of my favorites:

I accidently didn't see Roxann'e creeping around behind the truck there. Maria pointed it out after I mailed them to her, so I still have to photoshop her out.

In reality, this guy could only have Maria in his dreams.

I hope Maria doesn't move too far away when she graduates, because she's our favorite babysitter!


This was the liturgy reading at church yesterday. If I prayed this everyday, I might have no unsatisfied desires, and no fears. Somebody took the picture above- I stole it from facebook.

O Jesus, meek and humble of heart, Hear me.

From the desire of being esteemed, Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being loved, Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being extolled, Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being honored, Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being praised, Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being preferred to others, Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being consulted, Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being approved, Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of being humiliated, Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of being despised, Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of suffering rebukes, Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of being calumniated, Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of being forgotten, Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of being ridiculed, Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of being wronged, Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of being suspected,
Deliver me, O Jesus.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010


Before the summer started, I read "Outliers" by Malcolm Gladwell- a book about success and what makes some people successful and some people not. One major factor in the success of adults, apparently and according to this book, is whether or not their parents were mean enough to make them do educational work during summer break of elementary school. The kids who have super mean parents grow up to be more successful than the ones who have nice parents who let them watch iCarly and Spongebob all summer. I tried to be a mean parent this summer by making my kids do tons of work. I can't say I was totally successful, because I think my kids might have memorized every single episode EVER of iCarly and Spongebob- not just memorized the plot lines, I mean, actually memorized them word for word.
But I had some small successes, including a lot of reading fun books from the library. I tried to require book reports of all the books Rocket read, which was like pulling teeth. However, he did enjoy writing a playground blog. I think he was motivated by the thought that his writing would actually be in public view and possibly useful to someone. I can understand that. He was very proud of his blog and was always very excited to hear feedback from people who read it. Here is a link to it for your play ground hunting needs:
His last entry was pretty funny and creative, although a little bit confusing. He would write out his playground review on paper and then I would type it into the blog format. I tried making him type it himself at the beginning of the summer, but that proved to be too difficult. School starts tomorrow, and I am hoping a little bit of my meanness will have payed off, making them more successful students. If not, hopefully they will be able to spout off Nickelodeon trivia better than any other kid at recess- which might be considered successful too.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Play Dough

We've done a lot of the same things over and over again this summer. One of those is making castles and villages out of play dough. Each time we use play dough, the creation is a little bit more extravagant. This is our latest creation and I think they spent most of yesterday working on it. Oh, except for the time they were working on another creation, that I can't tell you about right now because it's a surprise for someone who is having a birthday this weekend (but it's pretty cool!). And except for the time that they spent watching the SAME ICarly episode that we seem to have already watched 10 times this summer- the one where some guy named Mr. Galeeny dies and they're sad because he made really good pies...
Anyways, there are some details I am noticing in this picture that I didn't even notice in person- like the one eyed monster with one tooth between the two first buildings.

Here is a look back at some of our other play dough creations...

I don't ever worry too much about mixing colors. When a color gets too mixed up and looks ugly, we add it to the ugly play dough bag. We use the ugly play dough for parts that don't show too much- like the mound in the middle.
Some people have asked for my play dough recipe, but it's nothing special. I just look it up online and do the regular salt and water boiling thing. The only special thing is I color it with icing coloring gel. I have a bunch of that from making cakes.
If you want to come over and make something with us, we'd like it a lot!!

ALSO: Thanks to Jodi for the caps- we love them a hundred capfuls! Thanks to Lindsey for the freaky clown heads- we love freaky things that are clowns! Thanks to lots of cousins and aunts for help on the second to the bottom one. Becca who claimed to not be a crafty person suddenly became extremely crafty when the play dough came out!

Monday, August 02, 2010

Like a Butterfly

Recently I got back in touch with one of my most delightful high school classmates- Laura. There are so many wonderful people that I went to high school with that I lost touch with so quickly. Had I known at the time that these great people aren't that easy to come by out in the big world, I probably wouldn't have taken them for granted and would have made a greater effort to keep in touch. Of course, it wasn't so easy back then. Facebook and myspace were unheard of. Thankfully, I have reconnected with quite a few of them recently, and I was so happy to see that Laura hadn't lost her joyful, radiant spirit that I always loved about her. In fact, she is actually opening a whole store dedicated to that confidence and charm that makes her so much fun to be around. It's called "A Call to Life" and will be in Old Colorado City. So, if you're in the Colorado Springs area, be sure to visit it- it's grand opening is this next Friday- the 6th.
Also, if you go, you'll get to see my gigantic mural that she commissioned me to do. It's now hanging behind the checkout counter. It was so much fun to do, because I had been like a fish out of water all summer having not painted, and this was such a refreshing dip back into the waters that make me feel alive. Also, the subject matter was just the type of thing I needed to be focusing on right now- an unfettered spirit of embracing the blessings that are presented to us. Laura inhabits that spirit so well, and I want to too. Painting this was good for my soul.
This is Laura in her store as we were in the process of hanging the canvas:

As a side note, I purchased the canvas, at a highly reduced rate, from Jodi as she was moving. I still have quite a couple dozen YARDS left on the roll, and hope to put that to good use as well, as a way to commemorate the artistic and spiritual camaraderie that Jodi provided for me while she was here in Denver. I was also hoping that I could keep her vine and cactus alive, but the vine is fighting with all of its might to die. I have done absolutely everything I can, and it does not want to live. It misses Jodi, I suppose. Like, seriously, I've bought a ton of different colored products at Home Depot that promise to save plants, and it just keeps going down hill... I'm trying to not let my spirits follow.

Along the same lines (or maybe not... I don't know)... I decided to permanently imprint what symbolizes the same spirit as the mural does (but in not as much of a literal way) onto my arm. My forearm- which is my favorite part of my body. There really isn't anything I don't like about my forearm, and I don't think there is any other part of my body that I can say that about. And now, I think I will enjoy my forearm even more.
I really like monarch butterflies. When I was young, I used to have this thing called the "Animal Wildlife Fact File" and it was a notebook and each month or so I would get pamphlets in the mail about different animals to add to it- and they were all coded in certain orders. I read through every pamphlet very often. I remember noticing that the monarch butterfly existed on every single continent of the world, and I thought that was pretty cool- that God would choose to let every single kind of person have this same experience (kind of like the moon). BUT... I just looked them up on wikipedia which says something to the contrary. But I thought that I really really remembered that. SO I just went and got out my Animal Wildlife Face File (of course I still have it), and wiki was right... they're really only in the western hemisphere... but my false memory must have come from the fact that the facing page shows the lady bug's map- and THEY are the animal on every continent. Not the monarch. I must have gotten confused. Oh well.... I guess I still like monarchs.
I've had quite a few (3 to be exact) people in public places say "I like the sticker on your arm". So I guess it looks like a sticker.

Sooooo anyways. With this whole losing friends situation that I have vaguely brushed on... it's been difficult to stick with the whole church thing. The church culture... the christiany culture... it's just gotten so annoying to me and I've got a bitter and cynical attitude towards it. I feel bad saying that, I really do, but it's true. However, God, on the other hand, has still touched me over and over again and I can't blame anything on him. He remains so real to me. I'd give up on the whole church routine all together, except for the fact that I just don't think I can give up on church without giving up on God.... and Jesus- he specifically said that he intended a church.... right? Whether I can prove it to you or not, something inside of me was meant for that. Meant for a huge creator and controller and something heavenly. It's not scientific or logical, but it's just something inside me that I can't explain.
So, we've been going to Scum Of The Earth Church... I know that sounds so cheesey. But it's been so specifically blessing me at a deep place and specific place in my soul that I don't feel could be random or coincidental, and I feel as though God has provided it for me just at this necessary time. I am scared and hesitant to commit to it, or to let it define any part of my identity. But it is what it is for now. There's so many different little blessings that have come from it that seemed to be highly directed personally towards me, but why I brought this up, is because of last night's blessing. It specifically seemed to be related to everything else I STARTED out this blog saying (just wait... it's all coming together, I promise). As we sang "I come to your gates once more, my heart and my spirit soar, and I wish I could love you more".... I had such clear visions of the mural I had painted for the store, and how this girl, like me, is approaching God and feeling his warmth and blessing and how it just makes my heart and spirit soar- I was that girl in the mural. And, I was so aware of those blessings, which stood all around me there- my beautiful little girl in her glasses, and my pensive son with a furrowed brow trying to figure out all this spiritual stuff, and the people with messy hair, and the ones that are wearing really weird things. In light of all that, I wish I could love him more- without bitterness, and without the crappy feelings I have towards a lot of his children that have hurt me. And then I look down at my lovely forearm, and it reminds me that He was the inventor of the excellent thing known as a metaphor, and at the point, I am a butterfly, soaring despite everything else that makes me so unworthy of that experience. And that's where I am now... realizing that when I open up my arms and accept the blessings that He is giving me, I am a butterfly- beautiful and soaring and without worry or anxiety, just living the life that He intended for me to live. That's how all these things are connected- the mural, the tattoo, the church... do you get it? I hope so. If not, oh well, I am crazy and that's OK... OK with me at least.