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.