Oct 20, 2014

Science Kid

Ella opened her homework folder the other day and I heard her squeal with delight, she said

"Ooooooooooh!  Data compilation!"

That's my girl. She's amazing every day.

Oct 19, 2014

Two Birds with Gum-ball Machine Ring

Much like how sugar just seems to accumulate in our house from various well meaning bank-tellers and check-out-clerks we also have a good amount of small toys that just appear.  They come from prizes won at school, pridefully cherished right up until the moment my child gets off the afternoon bus and walks in the house at which time I find the "prize" next to the crumpled worn socks of the day in the front hallway.  They are hastily grabbed in a hard fought scrum of children scrambling for the innards of a pinata at a party. They are begged from the edges of parade floats and given after finishing one's nuggets and fries.  They spontaneously appear in the bottom of my purse and in the floor boards of my car, in the pockets of the children and underneath the couch; these hot wheels and whistles, tiny bottles of bubbles, Frisbees with insurance agents phone numbers on them, squirt guns, packs of just three crayons, maze books, necklaces, temporary tattoos, gum-ball machine rings, rubber lizards, inspirational wrist bands, plastic frogs, tops, fuzzy moustaches and various plastic eggs that crack open to reveal something gooey, sticky and guaranteed to dry into a giant crust of gross on your mother's carpet.

As I find these items I've been throwing them all in one place, along with the missing dice, legos, meeple, marbles and playing cards that will only be important when they are missed.  They go into one giant bowl in my dining room.  Twice this year it's overflowed and I dumped it into a grocery bag with the intention of handing it back to a teacher to give out as prizes again and then having it instead collect dust in the hall closet.  Upon walking past the overflowing bowl again today I realized the most incredible solution!  Halloween. If you get to my house to trick or treat this year, you could get a candy or you could get a little balsa wood plane, or Alvin the Chipmunk on a skateboard. I hope you don't get the goo filled egg.

Oct 14, 2014

Morning Alarm

This morning I woke up to PEEP....PEEP..... PEEP! I think the smoke alarm battery is going dead. And I get out of bed slightly and hear it coming from the left of the bed... there's no smoke alarm there, so I sit up wide awake thinking the neighbor's house alarm is going off. I go to the window and tilt my ear and look around furiously, then I hear it coming from the other window... it's really loud now PEEP....PEEP..... PEEP! Standing at the other window it sounds like maybe it could be driving around the neighborhood. I wonder if a small bulldozer is backing up somewhere... I can't really tell where it's coming from... I sit down on the bed and wonder if I should investigate further.  My young child rolls over, it is then I realize... it's his nose whistling while he sleeps.

Oct 13, 2014

That Natural Look

It's Halloween and of course I'm looking at a bazillion cool makeups that will end up melting into my contacts by the end of the night causing a dense fog no one should drive in.  I thought I'd try to test a couple out tonight and got the smoky greys and blacks out.  I gently traced the lids with a nice jet black and blended out into grey and then finally layered in a lovely blood red at the end in an attempt to match the red the derby team I'll line coach this weekend will be wearing.  It ended up looking like the coal miner's take your daughter to work day.  Ten minutes of soap in the eye later I started again with liquid liner, drawing the perfect cat eye, followed by another perfect cat eye on the left side.  I stood back and looked at two perfectly non-matching cat eyes. arg. Maybe people will only look at me via profile and nobody will notice. After more soap in the eye, I gave up.  I'm going for good lips.

Oct 2, 2014

Three new paintings for Fall Art Scene.

Three new paintings for Fall Art Scene. They started with "Riding Hood's Heart" which went on the window outside of Bennie's Cleaners for Art Attack. It's just temporary and I loved it so much, having just laid my dear dog to rest after seventeen years of companionship, I repainted it only much smaller this time.

A tiny excerpt of "Riding Hood's Heart"

I wanted to do more, using the same palate I am in love with from Riding Hood's Heart, the very same paints I scavenged from the bucket of left overs at 317, when I was worried about covering all that large glass.  The paints that the late Tom Littrell left behind and that we in the 317 Artist Collective utilize when an emergency of scarce color arises.  I wanted to keep using Tom's paints. It felt sacred to me.

I wanted to paint more strength, and in my search for strong characters I remembered Valkyries. The name Valkyrie translates to choosers of the slain. They ride into war and choose who will be whisked off to Valhalla.  They are feared and revered, they are the companions of heros, it felt right.  So  - I painted the "Ride of the Valkyrie"

A tiny excerpt of "Ride of the Valkyrie"

At this point, I didn't mean to be reusing the word "Ride" but then it seemed like I needed a third.  "Rider on the Storm" was the title that came before the painting. A lone captain in her boat, she's tiny among the landscape and steadfast in her resolve in her travels and adventures.

A tiny excerpt of "Rider on the Storm"
I love each of these paintings very much.  They ended up on the canvas exactly as they were in my head and I'm thrilled to show them this Fall at Art Scene.

If you'd like to come see (or BUY!) the whole of these paintings, not just a tiny excerpt come down to, 317 Studio & Gallery at 317 Market St. Rockford, IL, tomorrow or Saturday Night and then wander around the corner to see the temporary window mural that inspired the paintings.


FRESHWATER MERMAIDS of NORTH AMERICA (22"x28" framed print) will also be at 317 Studio & Gallery for Fall Art Scene.  There are only 3 unframed signed and numbered prints left ($40.00) and there will be 11 posters ($18.00) for sale of the same.  So if you need a thing for the wall of your ice fishing shack... come get your poster this weekend.  

Sep 25, 2014

I chewed 20 pieces of Gum and thought I was going to die

I chewed 20 pieces of Gum and thought I was going to die.  Dad always brings over these bags of gum he gets at the Amish store.  They are delicious.  I like to chew them until the flavor is gone and then spit it out and get a new one. I can do this because I'm a grown-up.  I could add this to the list of fun things grown ups can do, but really eating a ton of candy until your belly hurts, is something a kid does.  That's what I did, only this time no adult said to me (including myself) you'll hurt yourself eating all that candy.  So I chewed about twenty pieces, one right after another.  Then my belly hurt like that time my appendix burst and I couldn't even move.  Being crunched over hurt, straightening out hurt, every move sent stabby pains deep into my gut and all I could do was sweat and say "ow ow ow ow ow." I thought I was poisoned.  I may have been poisoned - it's not real clear what's in a gumball.  My companion suggested I had gas, but I didn't, I wished that were the case.  I started to work out how I was going to crawl down the porch stairs and into the car for a ride to the ER where I would totally admit I chewed twenty gum-balls in a row and poisoned myself with Amish gum.  I wasn't even worried about being embarrassed - that's how much pain I was in.  Then I drank a glass of milk and felt slightly better - so I drank more milk and said markedly less 'ow's and eventually I stopped hurting.  I still like to chew a bunch of gum-balls in a row.  The same brand even.  I just try to limit myself to five.... and definitely no more than seven.

Sep 23, 2014

We don't want a hand up, or a hand out, we just need to be paid a fair wage for this hole we've been digging for you.

You've read the story... struggling adult doesn't know how she's going to make it until random stranger tips her $1,000.00 / until football player pays for the kid's operation / until anonymous angel buys her groceries / until undercover boss pays her house off and sends all the kids to college and gives her the first vacation in her life. It's a story that's supposed to warm your heart and make you feel great about humanity and inspire you to maybe pay it forward.  Get out there and give, change a life by throwing a couple hundred dollars at a  poor person, save someone from the brink of ruin.

I can't help it every time I read one of these stories I get seriously pissed off.  What about the millions of people who didn't get that magic windfall?

People should be able to work hard and pay for their own.  A bartender should be able to afford a few appliances, a waitress should be able to buy Christmas presents, but we now live in a society where basic needs can't be met by people who work their asses off.  People we see every day, the cashier, the gardener, the lady wiping the snot of your kid's nose at preschool. I'm supposed to be all choked up at the sudden un-freezing of Scrooge's tiny cold heart at the end of Undercover Boss - instead I am pissed that we are in a place where folks can't afford to buy their own house any more or afford to pay for schooling.

The people on the top get to feel good for throwing a few scraps to the people at the bottom and the people at the bottom are supposed to thank them and be ever so grateful for that angel who paid for their coffee and we area all supposed to clap and cheer about this heart-warming scene when instead we should ALL be outraged that not every American can afford coffee.

Please understand, I'm not trying to discourage charity or paying it forward, or big tippers, I'm just saying we should all be ashamed that are so many opportunities in this country to rescue. We should stop feeling all warm and fuzzy on the inside when we read these stories and instead opt for frustration and outrage that the relief was needed at all.  A thousand dollars here, eighty thousand there... it's pennies barely missed falling from the top earners' wallets, into a vast bucket of need.  Working Americans need a bigger more permanent rescue than a nice tip or a tax credit, we need a living wage.