Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I Know We are Beautful

I love this sweet glimpse of care and compassion. Jiang Xiaojuan, a police officer in China, is shown nursing hungry babies after the quake. It reminds me of Rose of Sharon. Do you remember her from John Steinbecks' Grapes of Wrath? Starving along with so many others in the dustbowl, Rose of Sharon's baby comes still born. And yet, through her pain, she offers her milk to a man so close to dying he could barely move.

Ma smiled. "I knowed you would. I knowed!"...

She moved slowly to the corner and stood looking down at the wasted face, into the wide, frightened eyes. Then slowly she lay down beside him. She shook his head slowly from side to side. Rose of Sharon loosened one side of the blanket and bared her breast. "You got to," she said. She squirmed closer and pulled his head close. "There!' she said. "There." Her hand moved behind his head and supported it. Her fingers moved gently in his hair. She looked up and across the barn, and her lips came together and smiled mysteriously.

What surprises me about this bit of news from China is that it is being made such a big deal of. Are we that out of touch with our caring that it is a massive news item when someone that is hungry and scared gets fed and comforted?

I'd like to live in a world where we are stunned and put it on the front page when people don't.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Me Quirky?

Cher Mere over at Catching Fireflies has tagged me for this quirky game of tag. Be sure to check below to see if you are tagged. If you are not tagged and would like to play along, make a comment and I'll include you right away.

Here are a the quirks I could think of:

-I spend a fair amount of time sculpting large scale works, in my imagination, or in my dreams, out of mashed potatoes.
(I've never shared this before or even clearly admitted it to myself.)

-I have a high need for economy and cannot bear much waste. It goes as far as wearing the same outfit, at times, for a few consecutive days even, until it actually needs washing. This strategy also saves me time each day coming up with a new outfit.

-I really love dogs, and have always had them. Couldn't imagine my life without them. Funny thing is though, I really don't like them to touch me very much. Once in a while, I will lavish some affection, but mostly I just love to look at them at a safe distance of about 3 feet away. Don't I sound horrible?!

-I usually wear the same earrings for about a decade until I tire of them and get something new. Preferably something simple and 18 karat gold.

-I really don't like the feeling/taste of wood in my mouth. Tongue depressors, toothpicks, or popsicle sticks. Funny though, chopsticks have never bothered me.

-If I need to get up at a certain time, I set a "clock" in my mind and it wakes me up. Maybe it's because an alarm clock is pure violence for me to wake up to.

I'm now tagging Mary Ann at Blue Sky Dreaming,
Zoe at Vale of Evening Fog,
Valerie at Project Pink Suitcase,
Kate in NJ Homeschooling in the Garden State,
CCM over at A Homegrown Life,
and Gwenivere at The Menagerie.
I liked Mariposa's quirky list. Check it out here.

Please, only play if it's something you'd enjoy!

Here are the rules. For some reason I chose to follow them which surprised me. I like to have a lot of choice, so feel free include them OR NOT!

* Link the person who tagged you
* Mention the rules in your blog
* Tell about six unspectacular quirks of yours
* Tag a new set of six following bloggers by linking them

Thursday, May 22, 2008

My Daughter, the Artist

Annie made this T Rex mask for Pop for his birthday. It is a whopping 8" across and 12" high. He loves it and so do I. She has made just a few pieces since joining as one of the artists-in-residence over at Kids 'n' Clay in Berkeley. What a fantastic program!. They are not formally "taught" but are allowed the freedom to explore all the materials, tools and machines with the support of a great staff.

I got a sneak peek at something she is making for me and I can't wait! I'll post something here when she's finished.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I Think We Might Have Just Bought a House

Let's just say that I always stop at an open house. Even if I know it's not for me or it's too expensive. I just love looking. And dreaming. I've probably looked in over 40 or more houses since moving to Alameda nine months ago. Most of the houses we have wanted (and would fit us and our menagerie) have been frankly, waaay out of our league. And I'm not even talking fancy houses! Most of the houses in our price range have been tear down's or so tiny that we might as well buy a small condo. I guess it's timing that brings us here. The market is allowing us to buy a house that we normally couldn't get.

So here we are. I thought I'd be a lot more excited, nervous, thankful and over-the-moon than I am. It's a little odd. I've wanted it so long.

The house is a circa 1906 Colonial Revival Cottage. Upstairs it has a foyer, living, dining, two bedrooms and a kitchen and bath that need help but that are livable. Downstairs it has two more bedrooms, a full bath, a laundry/storage room and a room that will be Annie's studio/playroom. The backyard has a tree (I really wanted to have a tree!) and we share a driveway and a common wall to the garage with a neighbor. We are "in contract" and escrow starts tomorrow, so now it's up to us. We need to go over the house with an inspector and if all checks out, we move. Soon.

*Blink* Blink*

Sunday, May 18, 2008

One Hour Dress

Annie loved my Two-Hour Dress and made a request for one just like it. So I made this for her. The fabric is the same as mine, but the style is a little different. I copied a unique (and twirly) dress of Annie's for the pattern. It included an asymetrical skirt and a few additional details, like a drop waist, and a gusseted section on the skirt with an exposed seam. I added the at the shoulder and one at the waist. We both wore the dresses yesterday to walk the span of the Golden Gate Bridge along with Grandma and Grandpa who were visiting. And who could guess with the extreme heat that we've been suffering with, that the bridge it would be totally blanketed in fog and extremely high winds? We couldn't see a thing, froze our fannies off, and I got a hot pink wind burn on my face and chest.
So today I've babied myself with a nap, a bath and home-improvement TV.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Heat Wave

Ugh! It's really really hot here in Alameda. Really really hot. It's 98* at this moment. And this old house has no screens or ceiling fans. So, we are baking! I tried opening windows and doors yesterday, but the house was filled with hot stagnant air, plus there were a ton of flies on top of it all. So today we are closed up and the drapes are drawn. Annie and I have taken a cold, green tea bath already, and we didn't drain it so we can jump in and have another one. Soon. Very soon. It's Bill's birthday today, (although we're not celebrating until tomorrow) so I'm decorating, and baking. (Ak!) Bill requested Chocolate Bread Pudding. I'm also cleaning, changing sheets and and getting ready for Bill's folks who get here tomorrow afternoon for the birthday celebration.
Enough about my workload, the photo above is a little singing mermaid I made for Lily around the corner. It was her 5th birthday recently and she had a mermaid party. It was a really great party and she loved the mermaid. Or at least her folks did! Makes me want to jump and swim in a cool body of water just looking at her. Ahhhh, that tea bath is calling my name. I'm sure I'll get much more crossed off my list if my temperature is more manageable.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

I See Her

"...Now I find joy and I see her
Now I accept my kindness and see her
my silliness, my stamina, my faith and I still see her..."

thank you mom
thank you my annie
happy mother's day, happy mothering dear friends

Link to Blue Sky Dreaming to read the rest of this poem. It knocked my socks off.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

French Toast with Frida

O.K. You can see from the picture above that Frida doesn't always love to have her picture taken. Especially before breakfast. But can you blame me? She woke up early, opened up the big Kahlo book and got started penciling in a unibrow and planning a hairdo. I think she looks great! She was Frida from early morning, through clay class (where none of the other homeschoolers even commented) and then to the Vivarum to purchase two live mice for her snake, where she was treated like a celebrity. Even with smudges of clay all over her arms and face.
Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Layers of Love

My dear friend Mary Ann has started a blog highlighting her most recent studio work. You can link to Blue Sky Dreaming here. Her studio is in Capitola California where she works and lives with her poet husband Pablo and the ocean breezes. The whole time I have known her, I guess about ten years, she has always had a series going. When it ends, another begins. I'm amazed at her drive. And inspired. And a little jealous.
I grabbed two pieces off her blog to show here. She works in many mediums from paint, paper, fiber to found object. When I look at her work I see her expert hand creating layers of stories and possibly some kind of map to her dreams. Maybe they are breadcrumb trails, left behind while out exploring so she can find her way back to an internal place of peace? I love thinking about it. I also love how the layers build up on her canvas or paper... colors, imagery, textures, paint strokes and threads, stacked up, one on top of the other holding secret prayers, desires, celebrations, and questions about the eternal. Oh yes. And about love!

I believe Mary Ann knows a bit about love.
I love you M A.