Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Merry Christmas Seth

Well I finished it and here it is. I killed two birds with one stone so to speak. I knew I wanted to paint a sweet nativity for Emily's challenge for week 29:Define perfection. Also I wanted to make Seth a painting for Christmas. We have a favorite Christmas book with the most lovely illustrations. I study it all season long trying to figure out the illustrator's techniques and then we put it back in a box not to be able to enjoy for 11 more months. In the book is a wonderful two page painting that we love and I decided that I would make a little miniature version of it to be able to practice some of the illustrators techniques but also so that Seth wouldn't have to wait till the end of November to enjoy the serene nativity scene again. I only wish I was as good as Jason Cockcroft. :) I found this really cool frame. It's intricately wood carved design reminds you of something a carpenter would make eh? I was so happy to see Seth love it so much. It is now displayed in his art studio on one of the shelves for the computer desk area beside a pirate head and under Jack Skellington. Very nice. :) Isn't Seth's annual beard just lobery? He grows this every year around this time. It began in college when he'd go home for winter break and the roommates would see who could grow the best beard by the time they got back. 10 years later he is still doing it, only now he's competing with my leg hairs. hahaha. Makenzie has decided that he grows it this time of year because he wants to be like Santa. She may be right.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Week 32: Quiet

Week 32's art journal challenge was "quiet". There's nothing like the morning after it has snowed through the night. It is the most beautiful quiet I can think of, well except the wonderful quiet that you have when babies are sleeping. Oh blessed moments! Although my girls are older and don't take naps, I can still remember the relief of when they were younger and were down for a nap. ahhhhhhHHHhhhh. I set up this snowman the way I did and used the colors and border and style for the same feel as my other two Christmas paintings I have made this year. Just for fun here they are all together. The Santa one is actually the same size as my other two, but to have it be the same height I enlarged it. All my paintings are on small little 4x6 inch water color post cards.

I'm about to get some quiet around here in just a minute. I'm stalling putting my little chiquitas to bed so I can post this, but after I get them down I'm starting a new little painting that's a surprise for my hubby for Christmas. I couldn't find a perfect gift for him for some reason. I found a few nice things that I got for him, but I also wanted something perfect and I refused to spend more money unless it was something great. Why spend money just to spend it because you feel like you are "suppose" to have a certain number of presents? I hope my painting turns out the way I want it to and that he will love it. I'm sure he'd love what his sister gave her hubby for Christmas more, but this is a little more economical and definitely from my heart.

Merry Christmas!

A Sweet Little Note...

"Mrs. Hippen,

You can still be funny because all the kids in our class will laugh. Because it's funny and kids like when stuff's funny. Everyone like you. All the kids like each other."

Is that not the cutest note? It was a Christmas present from one of my preschool students. I have it out in the open and have read it at least a dozen times since she gave it to me on Monday. It's true that I'm a complete lunatic with the kids and love to make them laugh. Her note basically meant to me that she has fun in class, that she feels loved and safe and has a class full of friends.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Week 31: No Regrets

Emily's week 31 challenge way back in August was titled "No Regrets" and I knew then what I wanted to make and began sketching it out, but got frustrated with it and erased it and didn't go back to it until yesterday morning. No regrets.... well, first of all I have no regrets about putting a halt on my career for beginning my family. I find a lot of joy and fulfilment in teaching, but even more in teaching as a mom. I have loved being home with my little kiddos and wouldn't have given it up for anything.

This year since my youngest is preschool age I have begun teaching at a very wonderful preschool (just not the same class that my little one is in) for a few hours 3 times a week. It was quite the adjustment having a strict schedule again and planning etc., but the rewards followed as well. So the other thing I have no regrets about is starting teaching again. Oh sometimes I gripe or it's hard to work things out if my kids are sick, but for the most part it's been so wonderful. Of my 12 students only one could sound out 3 letter words the first week of school, now 4 1/2 months later 11 of my 12 students are reading! More lovely than that, they follow direction, adore me (which is wonderful), and share with me the most delightful stories about their lives and their families which I'm sure would make their parents cringe some days.

I see so much potential in those sweet little stinkers. My biggest goal is that they will feel loved and feel what I see in them so that even if they have failures it wont sting. I hope they will believe deep down that if they keep trying, whatever it is that they are trying, than they will have success and I hope beyond hope that they will feel they can do anything and not be afraid to try. We outlawed the words, "I can't" at the beginning of the year. We had a funeral and everything for that nasty phrase. I have taught them to replace it with the words, "I'll try." When they remember to say, "I'll try" when they feel frustrated they almost start giggling because they know I will jump around the room cheering for them for trying. I expect a great deal of these little 4 and 5 year olds and they are accomplishing great things. What a blessing it has been to teach in a classroom again and see how much they've grown.

Yup, no regrets! (I just wish teachers were valued more monetarily) :)

Friday, December 07, 2007

Week 44: Home

Emily's challenge was "home" for week 44 and I have to say I was quite charmed by her sweet little bird picture she used and wanted to put a bird on mine too. So here it is....
I've been having so much fun day dreaming about what we'll do with this place. It's a slow process, but I'm glad that we have an art studio now. That is so fun for me. Since I was a kid I wanted my own room for art and now I have one and I get to share it with an amazing artist who inspires (and sometimes intimidates) me. Last week I left my mark in there and it makes me happy. Here's some pics of the mark I left. :)

I decided to hang all my little paintings from this year in the corner where the drafting table is. I had a bit of ribbon and some small little clothes pins, but had so many paintings I had to use old hair clips of the girls that are too small for their thicker big girl hair. I must admit it makes me quite happy to look at these paintings and remember what has happened this last year in the most unigue journal I've ever kept (and believe me, I've filled a lot of journals- around 20).

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Curly or Frizzy?

So.... I woke up this morning to my hair looking like this and I can't figure out if it's just frizzy or if it really looks curly. I went straight to bed after a bath and put a towel over my pillow and wrapped it up so it would dry. I guess I usually fall asleep way after my hair has dried, but anyway, this is what happened. I was very surprised to see curls. My hair has always been straight except when I tried a few unsightly perms back in the day. Maybe I'm just excited and hopeful they are curls when really it's just frizzy. That's why I need your help to tell me if I should leave the house looking like this. :) Thanks.
P.S. Sorry the pic is super geeky.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Week 46 and 47

woo woo. I'm naked! :0) My first nudie painting. hehe Week 46's theme to do an art challenge around was "Rejuvination" and Week 47's theme is "Happy Place". This is exactly how I give back to myself and fill up my little "mommy store" so I can have energy and patience to keep going. It is my happy place as well so I thought I'd combine the two since I was behind and they go hand in hand for me. (Other happy places are the beach, the temple, cozy by a fireplace with a good book... so if I have time after I'm all caught up more on these challenges than I'll do one of those, but for now this'll work.) Wanted to try a different sort of face shape and style, but feel I look a little Latina. It's fun, but just doesn't look too much like me. That's okay though, it's good to try new stuff.

I LOVE bubble baths! I could take them everyday. It is how I cope and move on. I grab a good book, sometimes light candles, fill it up with salts, bubbles, oil, whatever yummy smelling stuff I've got and soak and soak and soak. Sometimes I set up a small tv/vcr in there and watch movies. It's ridiculous how much I love baths. When we lived in our ity bity house in LA the bathroom was so small it couldn't fit a tub. I had no bath for 2 years and I thought I would go crazy some days. It's so fun to have a jetted tub in my new home. I get quite a lot of use out of it, as do my girls. :)

Week 28 and 39

Well I combined these into one post even though the weeks between were spread so far apart. I'm playing catch-up. I feel like I go in cycles of creativity. I've just got bit again by the painting bug when before that it was the decorating bug and before that the sewing bug. Okay so anyway, about the art challenges, that is what this post is suppose to be about anyway right?
Week 28 was "Goal of the Week". So I'm totally cheating, but I figure it's okay to if I admit it. The truth is that I really just wanted to paint a little Christmas tree and use glitter and get into my hubby's gold leafing. :) So I pretended that my goal of the week was to get my Christmas tree up. (It's embarrassing to admit, but we put our tree up two weeks before Thanksgiving- gasp! I know, poor Thanksgiving. ) So I guess my goal of the week was to pretend to need to put the Christmas tree up. There, that sounds legit.
Week 39: "Someone Spesh" Well since it's Christmasy time and I'm pretty sure that's why the painting bug bit me I painted a picture of Santa Claus. I'd certainly say he's special, wouldn't you? Since I had so much fun with Seth's gold leafing I used it again (on the star and bells on his hat and scarf). Don't you just like his beard? :) It makes me happy to look at it. I love those little swirls. Seth had the great idea to have the shape of the beard mimic his hat but go the opposite direction. I had made a slightly different shape to a beard and I'm so glad I changed it. I'm married to such a smarty pants. :)
Well I'm off to probably catch up some more while I'm in the mood. This is sure fun. Actually no, I just looked at the clock and realized I'm an idiot and I'm going to bed. Tomorrow (oops, I mean today, but when the sun comes up) I'll paint more I'm sure since I don't have to work, but first I better tidy up the house so I don't feel icky all day. It must be late because I'm writing down my thoughts. Ok, goodnight before I write something even more dumb. Like that.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Hickory Dickory Dock

Emily's challenge for week 30 was "Not Anymore". With my children being 4 and 7, I don't have any babies anymore. I cannot turn back the clock and have my growing big girls be so little again. It makes me realize how much I need to cherish my time with them at this age because that is slipping quickly just like the time of when they were babies. It seems to be slipping even faster. That's why I have so much fun keeping our family blog and my own family journals so I can record and remember the wonderful and stinkery things they do.
I've always LOVED LOVED LOVED grandfather clocks. When I was a little girl my dad and I would look up grandfather clocks in catalogs and day dream about making our own in his garage. I was sure we were going to, just as I am sure I will get to it eventually. :) For many years I've imagined making a little painting of the "Hickory Dickory Dock" nursery rhyme using a grandfather clock. I'm glad I've finally done it. It makes me want to paint some of the other nursery rhymes I've loved like, "Wynken, Blynken, and Nod" and "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star". I guess keep your eyes out for those. They may be coming (depending on how long I continue to be baby hungry) :). Don't be surprised if my next paintings are Christmasy though.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Last Installment of Thankfulness (for now)

V- Vacations- glorious vacations! Vacuums- although I love them more in the hands of my husband. Vampires- only the good kind like Edward and his "family" or else my family in our Halloween costumes. I'm thankful for VanDyke's too. :)
W- Wishing Wells, Wishing Stars, Wish Bones, Wishing on candles, Wishing on eye lashes, etc. I'm also thankful for the Weekend! I love playing and catching up on Saturdays and I love resting and going to church and eating Sunday dinner with Seth's family on Sundays!
X- Okay so it's going to sound obvious and dumb because it's the only X word in our language- well practically :) but I'm thankful for X-rays because we are going to the dentist this morning and so our girls will be getting x-rays of all their lovely Halloween candy cavities. I guess you would think I wouldn't be grateful for that, but you'd be wrong. I don't blame the X rays. I blame that darn capitalism-candy combo that I love so much.
Y- My YARD! Hooray, there are such things as yards in other places. It's amazing to realize after living in LA, but we have a yard. And not just one! It's true... we have 2! And you can run around in them and plant flowers and mow them.
Z- zzzzZZZZZzzzzz- I'm thankful when I can get some of those!

This has been fun for me. In all seriousness though, I feel so blessed and too often over look all the things to be thankful for. I have begun to realize that the past few months I have been spending too much time thinking of things that I want instead of things that I'm thankful for. It's interesting because we have been blessed to be able to buy a house. We have been saving and hoping for that for our entire marriage. We have lived in places smaller than my family/kitchen combined and been utterly happy with a bed that comes out of a wall into the middle of a family room or a bedroom so tiny and narrow we had to buy bunk beds to fit two kids in there. Now that we have a bigger space most of my thoughts have been how much I "need" to fill it with wonderful furniture, more toys, decorations, etc. My thoughts have turned from grateful to selfish. Isn't that interesting... that the more I've had the easier it has been for me to want more instead of realizing how blessed I've been? Well I'm glad I caught myself, so I can change things around. The blessings that I've always had no matter what I've had around me are still the same and that could make anyone happy if they would realize it and think upon it. We live in a beautiful world created by loving creator. We have a Father in Heaven who created us in His image and loves us and hears our prayers and answers them. We have His Son, who loves us, came to earth to show us the way, and gave his life for us. We have the Holy Ghost, our free agency, our talents, trials to humble us and help us, repentance, and an ultimate potential in each of us. We have scriptures, our families, the temple, the gospel, a prophet, beautiful sunsets, oceans, mountains, trees, pretty leaves and flowers, snow, and beautiful people who inspire beautiful things and reflect the goodness from whom they were created. These are all things we have no matter where we live or how we live. Maybe these are too tender of feelings for this type of forum and I have to admit that it's easier to be silly than sincere, but I feel I want to share my feelings of gratitude to any who would want to read it. Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Life.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Thankful List part 4

Q- My Queeny Tiaras. I love my little collection of tiaras that I wear around the house while I clean or cook or just because. I know it's super nerdy, but what can I say, I like sparkly things.
R- Rainbows and radio active spiders that bite and then the comic books and movies about that guy the spider bit.
S- Seth of course and my scriptures.
T- Temple Blessings- I stole that one from Heidi. Too good not to use. Although I'm very thankful for tax returns as well.
U- Ok so the only u word that's coming into my head is unleavened bread and I'm not exactly thankful enough for that to use so I don't know... Oh wait- The United States! Yes, I'm super thankful to live in the United States with all my wonderful freedoms that have been fought and preserved. Gracious- how in the world could I have forgotten that?

Well only V,W,X,Y,Z and I'll be ready for Thanksgiving dinner!

Monday, November 19, 2007

My Classroom Thanksgiving Decorations

I thought I'd post pictures of some of the things I made for my class for Thanksgiving since we went ahead and moved straight onto Christmas in my house. (sheepish giggle)

I have a section of wall that I change each month for the season or holiday that month and so here's a picture of the little veggies and leaves I drew and cut out and glued to create a little border which I am pleased to say only took about 20 minutes to make. I was surprised by that. :)

The turkey is something I created while the kids were doing seat work one day after reading my friend Kristen's idea of making a Thankful Turkey. I went around asking the kids their favorite color and what they were thankful for. I saved room on the other side of the turkey for the other teacher who teaches in my classroom on Tuesdays and Thursdays. My favorite thankfuls are "dinosaurs" and "turkey". I thought those were so cute. Of course being thankful for moms and dads are wonderful, I would want my kids to say that, but I loved the kids that were thankful for more random things. I put it on the front of my classroom door so when parents wait for class to get out they could read what their kids said.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Even More Thankfulness...

G- God. Of course. :)
H- "Herby the Home Wrecker", as my husband fondly refers to him. (My body pillow that I can't sleep without- where would I be without you sweet pillow?)
I- Imagination and Imaginary Friends.
J- "Jewels"- Kendyl's imaginary friend. I also love Jack-o-lanterns.
K- Kendyl and Kenzie :)
L- Lullabies, my Love machine hubby, and my Love machine hubbies lullabies.
M- The Moon. I love, love, love the moon. She has inspired many beautiful thoughts, stories, drawings, and songs in my life. Even more though, another M word is Mother. :)
N- No more being sick. Hooray. After 3 weeks I think I can safely say I'm on the upswing for good. I hate bobbing up and down out of getting sick and then feeling better to realize I wasn't completely better and feel awful again. This isn't a fun time of year with all the yucky germs going around (especially for a teacher).
O- Olive Garden- yum! One of my favorite restaurants. Feel free to take me out anytime to that place.
P- Painting. I'm so glad I rediscovered my love for painting again this year and stopped being such a chicken (hiding it under my bushel). And could I forget Pickle? NO, NEVER! I love pickles. I go through a jar way too quickly. I wish they had more good nutrients in them.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

More Thankfulness...

D- Diversity. I miss the rainbow of colors of faces that I would see in LA. Another D word is dancing. I'm thankful for silly, beautiful, uninhibited dancing. I get the biggest kick out of kids (or grown ups) that can just let loose. Whenever a really great song comes on, no matter where I am (home, watching a movie, in the grocery store) I can't help but start busting a move. There's nothing better to me than a terrible dancer who is just happy to be dancing (i.e. Elaine from Seinfeld).

E- Edward (yup- that Edward- sigh) Sorry if you are gagging right now Seth. Just know that you are my Edward. :)

F- Fall colors. I just love them. They are my favorite. That's why I decorate my Christmas tree with fall colors. Besides then I feel I have a good enough excuse to start decorating early for Christmas (yup- we already have begun- ekk). Other F words (NO! Not that one you stinker.) Food and Feast! Yum. I love food. Especially dessert. Ooo I forgot to say dessert in my D words. But the most important F word of all- my FAMILY! There would be no happiness without you!

Friday, November 09, 2007

The Pay It Forward Idea

Here's the Pay It Forward Idea:I will send a handmade gift to the first three (3) people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange. You may not receive it tomorrow or next week, but you will receive it within 365 days! The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog. (so, you must have a blog to participate.) I can't wait to see who I will be giving to. To join, just cut and paste this on your blog and comment away. So get posting.

My cute friend Amber has a really sweet list going and I thought it would be fun and good for me to think about all the stuff I'm thankful for- especially this time of year. Only I can't seem to be serious about any letter I try to think up. I'm going crazy here trying to be as sweet as Amber, so I guess I'll just put up the dumb stuff that's going through my head and maybe something sweet will come out every once in a while. I think I'll post a couple a day instead of just one so I can get it done by Thanksgiving. Join the fun, even if my 3 are taken of who I'll give something to and let me know if you're doing it so I can check out your blog too. :)
(Note: the pillow picture above is not what I'm making. I just found the picture googling and thought "why not?" I don't know what I'm making actually, but I will.)

A: Azcaban- I'm thankful there's a place for all those nut-job wizards and witches.

B: Brandy- Yah, I'm thankful for it. What? It makes me feel better at the end of the day. I'm just kidding. You know I don't drink the stuff.

C: Capitalism- Down with Communism! ooo ooo and candy. Nothing goes better with a little candy than Capitalism- YUM!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

I'm the luckiest girl in the world!

I am, I tell you.... because I have the best friends in the world! Last week I found this package on my porch sent to me all the way from some of my buddies in the fiery lands of southern California. I should have been sending them something because of the sad state of things going on there, but no, they were thinking of my silly birthday while smoke filled their lungs- bless their little hearts. So thank you Hannah, Kristen, Nanette, and Betsey. I sure love you guys and miss you more than you know. I was a wreck for at least a day because of your sweetness (more than my normal wreck-ness from missing you, that is). As soon as Seth got home from work and saw it all he said exactly what I thought he'd say. He looked at my presents, furrowed his brow, and said, "Well, let's move back" in his Eeyore sort of way. Of course we'll wait for the fires to be completely gone first. :) In all actuality, we are enjoying it here. We have the things we missed in CA- family close, our own home, less work hours, mountains, lots of roaming space... we just miss now the things in CA that we can't have here. Oh to have pumpkin cheesecake and eat it too. :) We'll just try to focus on the good things of each place that we live in and not dwell too much on the stuff we can't have- like you sweet friends a stroll away! Love you girls and all the rest of you still there!!!!
P.S. And thank you Jason for sending us post cards of Southern CA on our bdays too- so we could miss it more. :)

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Our Halloween Costumes!!!

Well I can't believe I finished these in time for Halloween. Even though I have been sewing them for many weeks I had to stay up till at least 2:30 in the morning several times this last week to finish and I was sewing Seth's jabot for his suit 20 minutes before our Halloween Trunk-or-Treat party. I don't really think of myself as a talented seamstress, so I hope it doesn't feel like I'm showing these to brag like it took me so little effort or something. It's actually quite the opposite. My costume took me about 6 weeks last year, Seth's took me about 3 weeks, and the girl's costumes took about 3 1/2 weeks altogether. Even though I don't think I'm super talented or that it comes naturally, I do think of myself as determined and I feel that's a talent. It takes me about 4 times longer to sew something than my friend Kristen and by the time you see a finished product you can know that I've sewn, unpicked and resewn almost every seamline about 3 times to make it right because I screw up so much (and maybe I'm a bit of a perfectionist- but lets not bring that up). I find that every project makes me that much better with less screw ups though. Just in case you can't tell we are 17th century vampires. I was going to make a different costume for myself this year, but when my girls both told me they wanted to be little vampires to match my dress from last year how could I refuse but to use the same dress. :) So here we are....

(She likes to be very creepy so she really hammed it up for any picture taken of her in her dress. Notice her little spiders in her hair- her idea I might add.)

(Here she is waiting to see Kenzie in her school parade and the other picture is of her marching in her own school parade)

(He likes to be creepy too. I suppose that's where Kenzie gets it. :) I overexposed the picture to the right on purpose so you could see the detail and textures of the different pieces of his suit.)

(Well I really didn't have any pictures of me taken by myself since I made this last year. So here's last year's pictures.)

The Whole Fam
Better hope you don't run into us on a dark night.

Hope you all had a very happy and spooky Halloween!

The details of parties, events, and such will are on our family blog here. I just wanted to post the sewing projects that I've been putting my heart and sleep into the last few weeks here on my projects/art blog.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Happy Halloween!

We made these for the outside of our house. just kidding. We may just have to though. Too funny. We'd probably get in trouble with our HOA.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A funny story

I just thought my friend told a really funny story on her blog of what happened to her at breakfast two days ago. I can't believe how out spoken some people are.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

A Witch's Birth

I made this little painting a few days ago thinking of Kendyl and how much she likes to throw spiders into so many of her drawings. They are usually dangling in the air all over her characters. Toon club's topic last week was "Witches" and even though I'm not in toon club it made me want to make a witch painting. It also goes along with week 43's challenge in the art journal that is "scary". Although it's not very scary, it was to Kendyl. :)

At night sometimes we will make up stories and take turns going around adding on to the story until the story finds its end. Well this little painting spured a new story a few nights ago. Tonight Makenzie refined and dictated the story to me, so I put it on our family blog here. The girls are downstairs making drawings to illustrate more parts in Kenzie's story.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Week 36: Life Is Beautiful

Awww. Finally I am out of my creative slump!!!! I'm so glad to be posting this and not have to look at my Jane Austen post anymore. I hate how I want to draw and paint and then I get in a slump because some picture doesn't turn out right and I freak out, throw it in a drawer, and vow to never paint again and tell myself I'm only fooling myself that I'm an artist. I have attempted several drawings and paintings and felt super annoyed. In fact my last post for the art journal I didn't like, but put up anyway because it had been so long.... but the family Halloween portrait I was working on made me so mad I didn't touch a pencil for two weeks. Finally this morning I was inspired by a fun children's Halloween book and wanted to make my own night time pumpkin patch.

So here it is: Week 36's Challenge was, "Life Is Beautiful" and although I'm behind this fits perfect with how I feel. I just love autumn time! Halloween, colorful fall leaves, pumpkins, whistling wind, crisp air, my birthday, my hubby's birthday, smells, pumpkin carving, walking through trails in the mountains, sewing costumes, picture taking, decorating, pumpkin pie milk shakes, parties, costume contests, making silly little crafts with my kids. Life is beautiful in the fall. It's my favorite!

P.S. A very happy 36th birthday to my biggest brother!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

What Jane Austen Character Are You?

Well this was fun. Try it out. I'm so happy I turned out to be my favorite character! When I think about it, I would probably have to admit that I am a bit of an Emma. I do just love Pride and Prejudice though. I know the book by heart in many places and definitely the A&E movie version is memorized. I always spurt out little lines that apply to life every once in a while. I go through my Jane Austen phase and try to reread her books every spring, but most of all Pride and Prejudice if I can't fit any other book in. I watch the 6 hour A&E version monthly and my girls groan, "Oh no, not Mr. Darcy again!" :) I like to watch it while I sew or catch up on backed up laundry. Believe me, it can take that long.

Anyway, try it out and tell me who you are.

I am Elizabeth Bennet!

Take the Quiz here!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Check this out!

This is just too funny. I have been looking for a good black top hat to go with Seth's vampire costume I'm making him this year for Halloween and this ebay listing was just too funny to me. Most people will show one, maybe two pictures of the item and this wonderful person posed with his top hat 11 times! Some with a gun, some with a pool stick, some with a beer, one with a girl. It's just too good. I think this one's my favorite!

A few minutes later: I just found the same guy in almost all the same poses with a white hat just like this one. He's so cool! Here's the link to the white top hat pictures too

Okay now this is getting ridiculous. I just found him again on a different one. It's a girl posed a bunch of times in a top at and one of her last pictures is of her sitting on his lap and him wearing a big sombrero. He must be the top hat pimp. Here's the link.

Week 35 and 33's Art Challenges

For Week 35's challenge it was strength. We were suppose to create something around what our strengths were. I know one of my strengths (and maybe weaknesses) is how easily I give my heart to others. I love loving people. I love to do things for others. In fact I live for it. :) I grew up always helping other people and loved being able to cheer them up or do some sort of secret little thing for them. Not to say I wasn't a stinker or that I was perfectly kind. I mean, we all have Emma moments right? (that's what I call them anyway- you know the scene in "Emma" where she says something horrible at the strawberry picking picnic and you just feel sick watching it and Mr. Knightly scolds her- "badly done Emma!" Oh how I hate those horrible moments) Anyway, my mom was a wonderful example of acceptance and my dad was an incredible example of service. I thought I'd make my painting into the Queen of Hearts card since everyone else is scrapbooking these and on a deck of cards. It made me feel like I was fitting in a little more with the rest of these amazing gals. For Week 33 the challenge was 10 minutes. Create anything and see what you come up with in 10 minutes. Although I forgot the 10 minute part and I remembered it as 15 minutes for some reason and then fudged for an extra 5. hehe I didn't have anything in particular in mind except to use a color that's in my head lately- cobalt. All because of a certain dress in my head right now. :) I just wanted to make a quick little painting of any sort of design that wanted to come out- so here it is. enjoy.

(My sister just asked me how I made it so I guess I'll describe what I did: I sketched out the lines of the borders and flowers, then put masking fluid over the flower vines and borders and went crazy with the blues and purple watercolor- painting over it. The masking fluid protected what I wanted to keep white so I could be as careless and dark with the blue as I wanted. Then I crinkled up saran wrap and stuck it on top of the blue to let it sit and dry. When I lifted the saran wrap it dried making that texture in the background. Then I took of the masking fluid with an erasure and outlined everything in black. I added touches of rusty orange when I was all done for a good compliment to cobalt blue. voile! So basically it's just watercolor and ink)

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Well folks, the results are in...

Stirring the papers.......

Drum Roll Please.....

And the winner is....


Of all the silly luck... Xena happens to be Seth's youngest sister (Hanna) and she was at Seth's parents' house when we did the drawing tonight!

This is a reenactment of Hanna hearing her name win.

This is her saying, "Nanny-nanny-boo-boo" to everyone in the contest.
For shame. :)

Thanks everyone for participating. It was super-fun. Now I don't want to hear any whiney-whinersons saying that the contest was fixed in any way. :) That includes you, John, who will now think that I have never liked you. hahaha

Friday, September 07, 2007

A Great Movie!

Alright everybody, why haven't you seen this movie yet? I'm so surprised at its box office sales right now. It was such a good fairy tale- adventure, action, romance! The actors (Claire Danes, Charlie Cox, Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer, Sienna Miller, Rupert Everett) were amazing. I loved Robert De Niro! And the "dead brothers"- hahaha. You just have to go see it. Seth and I went on a date last weekend (hooray- those are always great to have) and went to this movie. It was so fun, one of my favorites from the summer. I don't want to talk it up too much, but I really just want to encourage people to go see it. The official movie site is . Go to it and see clips of the movie or their photo gallery. Anyway, it's definitely going to be one that I buy and I don't say that often. In fact I think I need to go see it again for "research purposes". :) I fell in love with a certain dress of hers (Yvaine) in the movie. Actually both dresses she wears are FABULOUS! Although the silver one is amazing and is more true to her character of being a fallen star I can't help myself about her blue one! I mean come on!... it it must have at least 15-20 yards of my favorite cobalt blue colored taffeta and deep blue velvet. yummm. :)
So here are a two pictures showing her blue dress. Get ready to drool. I am going to make this dress for me for Halloween this year! (you can drool on me when I wear it :) I know I'm no size 2 like Claire Danes, but I think it could still look fabulous. I kept telling myself that I should use my vampire dress again since I spent so long on it, but again... I can't help it. :) Sorry Seth. I know I kept telling you that same thing too about wearing my vampire dress again. Did you really believe me? I think I might have for an few days.

My friend Kristen, is going to make the silver star dress (here and here) for herself for Halloween so we'll make a cute pair. (If only we were in the same state still- sob, sniff, sniff.) Maybe I'll have time to make Tristan's (Charlie Cox) costume for Seth (here). :)

Anyway, I'm so excited. I'm going to get right to work as soon as I finish Kendyl's mini vampire dress. :) She wants it gold though so it wont be too spooky. She said she wants to be able to wear it at Christmas too. silly girl. My fingers and just tingling here imagining sewing all that velvet and taffeta. ooo ooo Maybe I'll even dye my hair platinum like Claire Dane's in the movie! eek... Oh I am such a dork! :)

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Random Halloween Prize Give Away!

Well I started working on a painting to get back into Emily's challenges, but then this came out. I can't help it! So I guess it will just have to fit with Week 37's idea for "Draw Something". There's something that gets me going as soon as school starts. Even though it's in the upper 80's and 90's, not a leaf has changed color, and I haven't even seen one little ghoul or goblin I just get so excited for Halloween to come! I like to start planning costumes and begin sewing at the end of summer so I can have a few months to get the costumes made in time (here, here, here, here, and here). Today the Halloween bug bit me! To celebrate the approaching fall and ghoulish delights I made this little painting.

I want to try something fun too. I'm ready to go get some candy! I'm talking the good stuff! (Not what people usually pass out at Halloween). I'll pick up some extra and send it to one of you! I'll also make a copy of this little painting and send it along. It's my way of getting everyone else nerdy-excited with me so I'm not alone in this. Leave your name (or more) in the comments. On Sept. 8th I'll draw a name of who to send some treats and this painting to. I'll post the winner on the 9th! Go ahead, don't be shy. Good luck to the only 5 friends that look at this blog. :) hahaha Oh- and one entry per person. :)

P.S. Kendyl says the kitty's name is Cat-tail and the witch's name is Pretty Spidery Girl. Just thought you'd want to know.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Some projects from last year.

I've been meaning to post some of the projects that I did last year while we lived in L.A. all year long actually and just never got around to it. While organizing my photos on my computer today I saw these I thought I would put them up. :) Teacher Appreciation Week: I made this tree in the display case with Kendyl at Makenzie's elementary school. Every leaf has a different teacher or staff name on them. We just twisted up butcher paper and stapled it up. Angela got different kids to write thank you notes to the teachers and the PTA and she put them in there. I thought it was a great touch!

Here's a close up. :)

The Winter Luau: This first picture is of the volcano that we made for when you first walk in. I have a 5 light lamp that I put underneath. Then we put chairs around the lamp and covered the chairs and lamp in butcher paper. I taped different lava colored tissues to the top, put a fan underneath so it would be billowing the tissues, and draped orange lights around the volcano to look like lava pouring down.
This was how we decorated the front of the stage area where the dj was. Barb thought this one up! It looked so cool in the dark.

We drapped different colored blues and green crape paper ribbons twisting across the ceiling mixed with white twinkle lights so it would look like the ocean and light up the room. I made big palm trees for the front of the party and made huge 7 foot tiki god totum poles. Really I just drew tiki god faces on 4 foot wide butcher paper, cut out the eyes and mouths, put yellow and orange tissue paper behind it, and shone lights from behind to look like their eyes and mouths were glowing. I also hung these little asian parasols from the ceiling for fun. I hate to admit it, but I had a big stash of these because I found them for a $1.50 each in L.A. I always wanted them when I was a kid so that meant I needed to buy about 40! hahaha. I figure we'll find plenty of uses for them. Right now they are fun decorations in our girl's play room and I use them in my preschool class. :) In all it took way too long to decorate for this dance even with my committee of 10-12 people.

Halloween Dance: This was the entrance into the dance and inside we had a lights all over and a huge spider made from oversized garbage bags dangling from the ceiling. We used 50 feet long black table clothes cut into strips and attached to the spider draping out across the ceiling to the edges of the room to look like his long 8 legs.

Here's a picture of us cutting the rug at the dance. We had so much fun. We sure loved that school!

The Primary Bulletin Board At Church: Seth, Trista, and I made this for the Primary in our Los Angeles Ward. Trista found this great background paper and Seth and I sketched the people (mostly Seth). I outlined them, scanned them, colored them in photoshop, cut them out, laminated, and hung them up on the little brown path I made.
The theme this year is "I Will Follow Him In Faith" and so we pictured a bunch of kids on the path to Christ. :) At the end of the path is a painting of Christ and the Los Angeles Temple. It was so fun to work on. It was nice to not have to tear it down after a few hours like when the school parties were done and to see it every Sunday.

Running the Fall Fundraiser: This definitely took the longest time of any project. I ran the fall fundraiser and it was SUCH a headache I wont even go into details of how much work that was. Let's just say Seth was on 10-12 hour days and we worked about the same amount. :)

The reward was awesome though. Who ever sold at least 20 items won the limo ride lunch to Chuck E. Cheese. We raised over $37,000 total, which was about %40 more than any other year because of this incentive. There were 128 kids that sold over 20 items. One girl sold 144! I couldn't believe it. The kids were crazy! Because of school policy we could only fit 8-9 kids in a limo (depending on chaperones) so we did 16 limo trips! Of course Kenzie sold enough to go too. She picked out her own clothes so she could feel like a movie star. Her teacher kept teasing that she was going to Chuck E. Cheese that day to get married.

Kenzie's Classroom And Enchanted Eve: I spent every Monday playing the guitar for Kenzie's class and throughout a lot of the year I came in on Tuesdays and Thursdays to teach art. I loved these kids! (You can see me in the middle with the red hat on.)
For Enchanted Eve Heather Bradley and I pulled the kids a couple at a time and had them paint butterflies on a mail box and write letters about what they love about school. We put in a cd of Heathers that has the Cleo the Butterfly Song that she wrote and recorded.

Here is their little mailbox. We copied the letters and drawings and bound them and gave to their teacher Ms. Burns. It sold for quite a bit at the auction. It was so fun.

It's wonderful to be able to be involved in your kid's schools and lives. It doesn't have to be something huge. (You don't have to be quite as psycho as I am) :) You can spend an hour a week. Really that isn't much to sacrifice. Even if it's to help organize an event, grade papers in the classroom, serve on a site council, cut out pieces for an art project, be on a decorating committee, whatever. Just ask your child's teacher what you can help with. Let them know when you are available or join a PTA and actually go to the meetings and help in something. :) I know I'm on my soap box here, but I feel it so deeply! If more people were involved than 15 parents out of the whole school wouldn't be doing 100% if the work. I love being apart of my kids lives while they still want me apart of them and heaven knows the schools need us. :)