artaboutthoughtsjournalfun
Monday, November 30, 2009 7:10 AM

christmas present work in progress: Samus + Cindy

Wow, a month of posting every day went by pretty fast! I'm going to keep posting as much as I can, hopefully still every day.

Stick with me?





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Sunday, November 29, 2009 1:00 PM

christmas present work in progress: Samus



A painting of Samus from the video game Metroid for my oldest godson, Joey. Darn that body armor is complicated! I remember what a big deal it was in the original game to find out at the end that Samus - the character who had been kicking butt and defeating baddies - takes off her helmet and is revealed to be a woman.

So that's how I'm starting my holiday paintings... of a princess and a bounty hunter. Could it get any different than that?

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Saturday, November 28, 2009 3:27 PM

christmas present work in progress: cindy

Last year I didn't post anything I was working on for Christmas, but you know what, the recipients of these presents don't use the internet! So I think we're okay on the whole surprise thing.

Sketched in and waiting to get taped and painted: Cindy and some dancing mice.

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Friday, November 27, 2009 4:04 PM

mama.... mama? mama!

Taking a teeny break from drawing the Christmas paintings (Metroid is done, Cinderella partly so, will scan and post soon). In case you are not one of the many who've see this already and/or sent it to me, please enjoy... the Muppets doing Bohemian Rhapsody! There are over 70 Muppets, and I think each of them are used in precisely the right way (and you know I'm picky) It's especially delightful to hear good voices for Scooter and Dr. Teeth who were voiceless for so long. (Guide to which Muppet is where is here.)

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Thursday, November 26, 2009 7:30 AM

in thanksgiving



To print out and share. And for before the meal, how awesome is this mix from NPR: Songs for Stuffing? Please pass me some of that Frim Fram Sauce....

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009 6:00 AM

french toast girl holiday card extravaganza

Want to send some art? Now's your chance to have gorgeous cards to send out for the holidays and original artwork to keep for yourself, so you get to be both naughty and nice.

Choose 5 card sets and get an 8" x 10" print FREE!
Whether you're looking for something deep and thought-provoking, or artwork to just plain make you laugh, this special's for you! These two paintings are the ones I've gotten the most mail about: the thoughtful girl with a tree and two birds; and the one we like to just call "Fishies." Choose any combination of 5 card sets to send out and pick a print for yourself! Each print measures 8" x 10" and is printed on glossy stock with quality inks. Just let me know which print you want in the field marked "Additional Information."

All cards are professionally printed on glossy stock in full, luscious color. And each card shows one of my original watercolor and colored pencil paintings. Or if you just can't decide which to choose, there's an assorted multi-pack so you can have a little of everything.

Go see the cards and check out those prints right here at the French Toast Girl Shop.

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009 9:32 AM

leafy art

On the day I made my leafy hat illo, the kids were creating some leaf fairies of their own:



Note the copy of Faerie-ality open for inspiration.



Sophie's fairy.





Angela's fairy. There were two others, one with a flying "V" leaf guitar.



Peter's leafy friend.

Now, looking at these photos, would you even know that there was a two-and-a-half-hour complete off-the-wall temper tantrum going on before this? I was so upset from the aftermath that I couldn't even make dinner and we had to order out. This was an act of trying to make peace after the storm...

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Monday, November 23, 2009 4:30 PM

the list

Last year's Christmas paintings (Hanukkah and New Year's too!) were such a hit, we're doing them again. This year, the requests have gotten more complex. Last year, I got things like "squirrels dancing" or "a soccer ball". This year, I have much more detailed instructions from my painting recipients, who range in age from 1 to 12. My nephew Joe even had his mom send me reference material and tell me exactly where everything goes! So it looks like tonight I will be working on his painting from Metroid: "He wants the planet painted in the background, with Samus on the left hand side and her ship in the sky." I like a boy who knows what he wants! :)

Also on this year's list are requests for:
- Beethoven - not a portrait, or playing the piano, he has to be standing around, doing nothing, Very clear on that.
- Cars - Lightning McQueen (and friends? I'll have to check)
- Cinderella - I'm trying to work in some mice and the coach too.
- A princess with blonde hair, blue eyes, and a turquoise dress, riding a brown horse through the countryside.
- A formal portrait of the beloved-and-on-his-way-to-becoming-Real Lambey
- A drum kit
- A black and white electric guitar
- Bunnies - the mother should be white and the baby pink, with hazel eyes.
- Dogs doing something interesting (playing poker? Nah, been done... )


And the answer to yesterday's joke: How did black eyed peas get their name?

They were fighting over the chick peas!

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Sunday, November 22, 2009 1:26 PM

bad joke of the day....

How did black eyed peas get their name?

Leave your answers below in the comments, I'll tell you the answer tomorrow!

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Saturday, November 21, 2009 12:29 PM

Illustration Friday: Music



Four years ago, (and I can't believe it's been that long) I posted the companion piece to this CD cover as my Illustration Friday entry for "Cold". I like how they work together:



My husband is an amazing piano teacher, and I sing, so as you can imagine there are loads of opportunities for music and art to meet at our house. These are the covers of the music books we've done together... inside they're coloring books as well as having sheet music to play.



It's also occurred to me that for a girl who regularly posts about all different kinds of music and sometimes provides links to said music, I can't believe I've never had a label called "music" before! So this is the first. It's about time!

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Friday, November 20, 2009 8:41 AM

who....

paints on carboard t.p. tubes?



That would be me.

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Thursday, November 19, 2009 7:41 PM

Your apparent nonchalance belies the fact that you can only think of me

I just realized that I am more than halfway through the month, and I've really enjoyed it! I think I would like to keep this up as long as I can. This month has been especially nutty - most of the time I am drained from the all of the things that I do, caring for and giving my all to my family, and a certain small someone has demanded every second of my time. Which is now overflowing to the other two, who are totally picking up on the vibes and are of course affected by it and react in their own 5- and 6-year-old ways. This is what I'm getting from my youngest... something along these lines:



In any case, having to post each day is keeping me honest and letting me carve at least a little time for myself.

So, how are you?

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009 7:48 PM

does a body good



Check out this awesomeness. This is going on my fridge.

Then check out the newest from Mark Bittman, who is just so great. Very quick ones that caught my eye:
44. Autumn Rolls: Shred sweet potatoes or carrots and brussels sprouts or cabbage. Roll them up with fresh sage or mint and some sprouts in rice paper. (Add sliced shrimp if you like.) Make a dipping sauce of soy, garlic, grated or minced ginger and honey.

also 47.... has eggplant in it. :)

61. Cook a lot of chopped fennel in a skillet with butter until pretty much tender. Transfer to a baking pan and add milk, half-and-half or cream to about halfway up the fennel. Sprinkle with thyme and shaved pecorino, then bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes, until bubbly and thickened.

81. Tomato Pinwheels: Soak 1 cup dried tomatoes in hot water, drain and pulse in a food processor with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme (add water or oil if necessary). Combine 2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 3 teaspoons baking powder and 1 teaspoon baking soda with 4 tablespoons cold butter (use food processor or fingers). Stir in 3/4 cup yogurt or buttermilk and gather the dough into a ball. Roll into a large rectangle on a floured surface, spread the tomatoes all over the dough and roll it up lengthwise. Cut the log crosswise into 1-inch slices, put them on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees until puffed and golden, 7 to 10 minutes.

89. Vegetable Crackers: Slice beets, sweet potatoes, plantains or parsnips or all of the above into 1/8-inch disks (a mandoline is helpful) and toss lightly in olive oil. Spread the slices on baking sheets, sprinkle with salt, pepper and, if you like, other seasonings and bake at 400 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes. When browned, flip the chips over and bake for another 10 minutes or so.
Now I'm hungry...

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009 7:27 AM

what I wore

Yesterday's outfit. Some accessories not pictured: halo, superhero cape, jet pack.

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Monday, November 16, 2009 8:27 AM

Illustration Friday: Unbalanced



Some scoffed and called the group "unbalanced" for their preference of wearing silly hats. I say, who are we to judge?

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Sunday, November 15, 2009 7:45 PM

time flies, again

One week ago... I made myself get away from the children, the computer, and the kitchen, and go paint instead. Yay paint!

One year ago... I had my first spread in Craft: Magazine! I am so sad there isn't a print version anymore, but I visit the site all the time, don't you? So inspiring. I was also making and painting Christmas presents from scratch, and it was so fun we're doing it again this year.

Two years ago... I did a craft fair. Would I ever do it again? Not the way I did it, no.

Five years ago... I was pretty depressed. It got better.

Ten years ago... I was waiting with the rest of the country to see if all the power would go out on New Year's Eve while we partied like it was 1999.

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Saturday, November 14, 2009 1:02 PM

"Cookie Monster is the only one teaching how to consume like an American!"

This is freakin' hysterical! Sorry for another video post, but this is too good to keep to myself.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Grover the Hill
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorU.S. Speedskating

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Friday, November 13, 2009 8:26 AM

40 years of awesome music

Rolling Stone has a great article highlighting some of the fantastic guest stars that have performed on Sesame Street over the years. A standout performance from my fave, Stevie Wonder:



Check out that kid rocking out in the beginning!

A couple of my favorites that weren't on there: James Taylor serenading Oscar with "Whenever I See Your Grouchy Face" and Feist's "1-2-3-4". But they did include Johnny Trash, so that's all good.

Need some more Stevie on Sesame Street? Crank this up:

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Thursday, November 12, 2009 7:25 AM

leaf lady



I love Fairie-ality. I would so happily wear anything from that book. And sadly, I spend most of my days in jeans and a big soft grey sweater! This leaf lady clearly doesn't have to do anything as mundane as pick the kids up at school, though. There must be a happy medium...

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Monday, November 09, 2009 7:05 AM

Illustration Friday: Blur



Most of 2004 was a blur to me. I had a one-year old who had recently undergone surgery, and then had preemie twins who were born 10 weeks early and came home with heart/lung monitors. I had a day job. And, unsurprisingly, a large case of post-partum depression. I had days where the only way I got through them was the fact that I knew that later on, when the dishes were in the dishwasher and everyone was in bed for a while, that my paints were waiting for me. I seriously have huge dark patches in my memory about that time. But I remember the freedom in those paints.

"I learned, again and again, the lesson of creativity: the painting I make today, the drawing I do today, the poem I do today, is meant to save my life today."
~ Judy Collins, Singing Lessons

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Saturday, November 07, 2009 8:24 PM

napkin/art



Doodled while playing with the kids. Some faces from a "Famous Composers" workbook, because naturally, my kids know their Bach from their Beethoven and their Grieg from their Gershwin. I can't recall exactly, but I am pretty sure that lower right was Beethoven, I think bottom left is Clara Schumann, and big head guy in the middle might be Bach. All those wigs start to look the same after a while.

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Thursday, November 05, 2009 8:31 AM

google-y eyes

Yesterday, the always fantastic Google Doodle celebrated a special event: the 40th anniversary of Sesame Street. I was all set to post this morning about how yesterday's logo, featuring Big Bird's legs in place of the L, was lovely....



but should have been this instead (5 minute mockup by me):

But I should have known better! Google didn't let me down. Today's gorgeousness:



Okay, so if I can predict/design any others, I would work in Slimey as the L one day! Who would you want to see on the logo?

MUPPET NEWS FLASH: According to Muppet Central, there will be new logos every day through November 10th, with a "great surprise" at the end! Check out the thread here.

Even more awesomeness: different countries have their own Muppets from their casts of Sesame Street for their Google pages! Loving this! You can see them (so far) here.

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Wednesday, November 04, 2009 8:29 AM

prioritizing



On my calendar for today, courtesy of Angela. I love the motion to it, she's actively handing me a heart. And I'm especially proud of the way all the letters go the right way and none of them are upside down or backwards; something I've been worried about lately with her. Luckily, her teacher is not concerned because they haven't learned to write all the letters in class yet and apparently that's quite common among 5-year-olds. (If she's still making letters backwards at the end of the school year, then we can worry about it.)

Every time I look at my little datebook today I will be reminded of what to do today, first and foremost: spread some love.

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Tuesday, November 03, 2009 12:46 PM

the antidote for the overwhelming

I wrote recently about being overwhelmed, and thank you so much to the other mama/artists who wrote me. I've been considering hiring a (gulp, again, can't believe I'm saying this) Personal Assistant as a helper a few times a month to help me get out prints and do mailings. I am currently weighing the pros and cons of this, and part of it is the whole question of if I am important enough to require that kind of help, and if I am comfortable with asking for help in that way. Laundry help - easy! Filling orders, I'm not certain yet. I need to figure out how to have more time to do what I really love. Are any of you artists out there grappling with the same kind of thing? I would love to have more insight.

p.s. ~ about this time last year I started a Fan page on Facebook, which to me seems to be the height of egotism, but isn't a blog sometimes as well? :) My motivation for doing it was to keep in touch with people I only knew online and focusing on FTG news, rather than on Elena news, even though many times it's much the same... In any case, I've finally posted a "Fan me!" button over there on the right, and feel free to sign up if you'd like.

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Monday, November 02, 2009 7:04 AM

Illustration Friday: Skinny



A doodle for i-Fri's theme of the week, "Skinny." It's been a long time since I've had time - no, made time - to participate. It's good to stretch my brain and make something just because.

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Sunday, November 01, 2009 8:23 PM

if the stars were mine



Today begins what I hope will be a full month of daily posting. Hello, NaBloPoMo'ers!

I was driving with Petey today in the car and was listening to my fave WNYC show when Jonathan Schwartz set up a singer I'd never heard of, Melody Gardot. Her story is so inspiring; at age 19 she was hit by a car and spent almost a year in recovery in the hospital, using music as her therapy. She learned to play guitar and wrote her own songs, and now performs and teaches about the importance of music in healing. And then the song started: "If The Stars Were Mine."

And I was totally smitten.

I loved the song so much that I scrawled her name and the title on the back of a business card at the next red light, sang it the whole time we were shopping for Peter's new sneakers, looked it up as soon as I got home, and started an impromptu dance party in my dining room with the kiddos. I so wanted to call Rich and play it for him because he absolutely would have loved it, and it made me so sad that I couldn't. It's such a great song - deceptively simple, catchy as all get out, singable to your honey or your kids.

What follows below is not the video for the song, but it's the best I could find. I totally want to paint scenes from this song, or make my own video, but for now I've got some stars in a jar for you. Enjoy!

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008 7:13 AM

Don't forget the pumpkin pie



Words of wisdom (and warning) from Sophie.

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008 7:18 AM

grace



For the third year in a row... This one's for sharing: print this out and bring it to your table Thursday. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

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Monday, November 24, 2008 7:00 AM

Brand New: POSTERS!




The biggest prints EVER! For the first time, Tree/bird/heart (with Angela, top) and Storytime (with Peter, below) are now available in 16" x 20" size. Printed on thick, high-quality photographic stock. Enlargements show great detail of the creative process - see pencil lines, brush strokes, and coffee splashes close up! Perfect for children's rooms or just those young at heart.

♥ $30 (+$5 USPS). Email me for orders. :) ♥


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Sunday, November 23, 2008 9:03 PM

big announcement coming tomorrow

:)

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Saturday, November 22, 2008 8:25 AM

craft-y


Guess what's on newsstands now? :) See the full recipe here.

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Friday, November 21, 2008 8:41 AM

Take the Handmade Pledge

I Took The Handmade Pledge! BuyHandmade.org

If you didn’t see the “handmade pledge” button last holiday season, here’s your chance to be a part of it for this year. Instead of adding to the commercialism of the season and spending extra money, why not try to make your gifts, or purchase them from those who do?

Why buy handmade?

Buying handmade is better for the environment.

The accumulating environmental effects of mass production are a major cause of global warming and the poisoning of our air, water and soil. Every item you make or purchase from a small-scale independent artist or crafter strikes a small blow to the forces of mass production.

This year, I’ve already told friends and family that if they’d like, I’ll paint a picture of pretty much anything they want for Christmas this year, instead of buying a gift. So far I've had requests for the night sky, Kermit, koalas, soccer balls, and (this could only come from Sophie) "A lamb and a cat, both wearing boots." My kids know also that they will be getting homemade dolls and can pick out some of their clothes as well, and my husband already has asked for a painting with “lots and lots of trees.”

Buying from small businesses and crafters assures artists that they can keep doing the work they do so well. And if you’re lucky enough to be the one doing the creating, you’ll see the joy that comes from making – and giving – a present that’s one of a kind.

♥ Take the Handmade Pledge here.
♥ Check out Etsy for all sorts of simply gorgeous artwork, jewelry, and other homemade items.
♥ Have you taken the Pledge or are you an artist with things to sell? Leave a link in the comments and tell me about it!

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Thursday, November 20, 2008 8:27 PM

parts



Dolls in progress, about to get sewn together, with faces and hair and outfits... in a word, all dolled up.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008 7:44 PM

wallowing in the love

It's been emotionally draining around my house lately - a certain small someone is acting up to get more attention, and honey, I'm already giving 1000%. There's no more to give!

It's in times like this I try to keep in mind something I heard at church last week from a visiting priest. He said that the two most common prayers are "Gimme gimme" and "I'm not worthy." But that instead of beating ourselves up all the time, we should be wallowing in God's love, like a pig in the mud.

Isn't that the most fantastic visual? Imagine how a pig joyfully rolls around, getting just completely covered in layers of thick squishy mud. And that word, wallow. That's a marvelous word - it means you don't jump in and then jump out and have a shower, you linger in it for as long as you can. That's how completely covered I picture myself in God's love, and then I put myself in the mood to change every "please help" prayer to a "thank you" instead.

Please make them stop yelling at each other all the time turns into a reminder: Thank you that my children are healthy.

Why does everything have to happen right now turns into Thank you that we both have jobs we love.

Lord, help me get everything done for the holidays turns into Thank you for the talents you've given me and the energy to put them to work.

And in that vein, I'd better sign off and go work on the Christmas paintings... and wallow while I do.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008 8:19 PM

Holiday Mail for Heroes

My Uncle Dominick sent me this great email and I thought the idea was such a good one, it needed to be passed along! What a great project this would be for church groups, CCD class, scouts, a class, or a family to send.

When doing your holiday cards this year, take one card and send it to the address below. If we pass this on and everyone sends one card, think of how many cards these wonderful, special people who have sacrificed so much would get.

Holiday Mail for Heroes
PO Box 5456
Capitol Heights, MD
20791-5456


Please read the details and guidelines here - they need to be postmarked no later than December 10 to arrive on time.

Also note that if you've received an email about this and it gives the address as Walter Reed Hospital, they are no longer taking cards. Use the address above instead. They also give links to places that accept phone cards and care packages.

What a simple and loving way to make a difference!

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Monday, November 17, 2008 6:40 PM

PC to Mac : copying settings

So... after nearly 15 years of working at my day job solely on PCs, we've finally made the move to Macs. (And there was much rejoicing.) I have the same programs for both (and I should mention that I've done all my studio work on a Mac!) but the little things that make a program customized - the settings - were going to be time-consuming to duplicate. Most of this is applicable for copying settings between any two computers - I didn't know how to do this before today, but it works! This saved me so much time today.

PDF settings
I have special PDF settings that I've made myself for sending things to the printer with bleeds and cropmarks. Check this out: search on your own computer for files named "joboptions". Copy them to the other computer, then install them. Open Indesign, and then choose Adobe PDF Presets/Define. Then choose Load and load your job option file. Done!

Dreamweaver settings
All the instructions are here. If you're the only one using your computer, you want "Back up my settings"; it copies the passwords too. Then on the other computer, go to "Manage Sites" and choose "Import." Just note that each import has 2 parts, the first asks you to import the .ste file, and the second asks you where the local files are. I ♥ this tip.

Fonts
Guess what? True type fonts work on the Mac! Just copy them from your Windows/Fonts on your PC into Library/Fonts on the Mac. The only fonts I'm having a problem with are Postscript fonts; ones that I had to install through ATM aren't crossing over. But the amount of those fonts are very small compared to the fonts I do already have (and use more frequently).

Sorry if this is stuff you already knew, but it saved me a huge hunk of time this morning! Hope someone else can find it useful and spend less time on file management and more time creating!

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Sunday, November 16, 2008 7:45 PM

Beehive

I was going to write about patchy service and how we never got a new router, but you know what? I'm on a homemade- pumpkin-pie-and-cuppa-tea high, and I don't feel like getting negative right now and bringing down the mood. :)

(sip)

As idyllic as that sounds, our house has been a beehive of activity this weekend. Paul has upgraded all the computers in the house, from my Mac in the Tower studio to his Macs in his studio on the first floor, and everything in between. I've just switched to a Mac for my day job (finally!!!), and Paul was my tech all weekend as he's tried to move everything over from PC-land into its new home. I'm so grateful to him for taking it all over and setting me up, because if it were up to me I'd be working on both the PC and the Mac for months until I finally gave one of them up. (I'm the kind of girl who takes hours to get into the pool, because I'm getting in one toe at a time.) This way, I have a beautiful set up and while I might have a bit of a learning curve, after jumping in, I'll probably have no trouble with it at all after a week or two. (Note, Best Husband Ever is transferring files now, so I don't have to, and can be in my studio because it's Art Night. He rocks.)

And me, I've begun making Christmas presents - drunk with the success of the kid's Halloween costumes, I started the dolls that will look like each of the kids, using the Martha Stewart pattern. They're all cut out and stuffed, and now I have to attach the arms and legs and give them some faces and hair. (And clothes! And glasses!) If I don't run out of time, I want to give them little accessories that make them even more identifiable as each the kids, like some books and art supplies for Soph and art supplies and a matchbox car for Petey and a purple pony and art supplies for Angela. (Did I mention they like art supplies?) Mom and I made the IKEA pilgrimage today to get frames for the 10+ NEW paintings I'm doing for Christmas presents; painting begins tomorrow night. I find IKEA has incredibly affordable prices for frames, but is such a pain in the butt to get to so I only do it once or twice a year. The colors are so bright and luscious, I can't wait to get started! I also made homemade pizza with the kids and two pumpkin pies, took them on a nature walk, and did the usual assortment of cleaning and laundry. Seriously, this is a typical weekend for us, as I bet it is for most creative families with kids. Don't get me wrong; if I could spend the whole weekend in bed with a book, I probably would, but since I can't, I'd rather live it as fully as I can.

Time for the queen bee to get to bed.... :)

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Saturday, November 15, 2008 8:00 PM

Still out

If you're reading this, it means we still don't have a router, darnit! I don't mind taking a break from the internet, but I do mind not having a choice about it. :)

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Friday, November 14, 2008 12:06 PM

Lessons from a 4 year old

This morning, in a nutshell: CA-RAZY. I was working very early in the morning to get something done and then couldn't upload my files to the server. Our router just bit the dust. I packed everything up to go to the library, finally got there, was trying to figure out alternate ways to do the file transfer with a different setup, and Paul calls me on the cell to tell me the router has arisen from the dead. I race home, run up to the tower, upload everything I need to and send an email about it, unpack the laptop and all its accouterments, and get back to work... until the router dies again.

I was stomping around and muttering under my breath, and I said, "This is a wasted day. This day has just been wasted." Peter came over, looked up and said insistenty, "No, Mama, it's not."

And I thought, he's absolutely right! (and I told him so.) There is no way I could declare a day ruined at 10:30 in the morning. I have a whole day ahead of me that could be filled with all sorts of lovely surprises and great joys - it's too early to condemn it. (And I'm posting this now from the library, again.)

As Anne says, "Isn't it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?" Here's hoping tomorrow brings a router that works!

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Thursday, November 13, 2008 8:51 PM

facebook + fans

Some of you know that I'm on facebook now, and holy moley, is it addictive! I'm really enjoying getting back in touch with old friends, and keeping up-to-date with others. Right now I'm only linking up to people I know personally (as opposed to people I know online). But since I am an all-inclusive kind of girl, I was trying to think of a way around it...

So I made a fan page! Anyone (who's a member of facebook) can become a fan and get updates, news, and even read blog entries right there.

And yes, it seems mighty surreal to me to say "Fan Page" in conjunction with myself. :)

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008 2:03 PM

Are you a wasteroon?

I had to share this lovely picture of the scariest, angriest, don't-mess-with-me drop of water ever. Angela would like to make it clear that you really shouldn't waste water. EVER. When I asked her if that little red circle in the middle was its tongue, she looked up from her drawing to say, "No, that's a lung," and went right on coloring. Now that's passion for ecology!



(Inspired by this gem. )

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008 2:05 PM

cd swap

For a few summers, friends and I did a cd swap. It's sort of like doing a mix tape, except each of us got assigned a month, and when it was your turn, you'd made cds for all the participants and mail them out. It was kind of like a cd-of-the-month club and I loved knowing I was going to get to hear new music on a regular basis. I had a great time making my mixes to send out, as well as (of course!) making the cover art. Here was one of my summer ones (playlist follows the picture):



Here is the play list, in case you can't read sideways... I will link to the song if I can find it online. I would dare say that most of these songs are available on iTunes, but I don't know how to link there. :)

running on ice BiLLY JOEL
i love my shirt DONOVAN (song starts at :25)
what do all the people know? THE MONROES
somewhere only we know KEANE
lord of the reedy river MARY HOPKiN + DONOVAN (I can't find this anywhere online, I recorded it from my vinyl copy)
calico skies PAUL McCARTNEY
singing lessons JUDY COLLiNS
junk PAUL McCARTNEY
isn’t it a lovely day STACEY KENT
the girl from ipanema ASTRUD GiLBERTO
she loves you PETER SELLERS
this one PAUL McCARTNEY
blue for you MEN AT WORK
one thing leads to another THE FiXX
virtual insanity JAMiROQUAi
the dangling conversation SiMON + GARFUNKEL
fear from paradise BAR SCOTT (plays mp3 from my very very talented friend. She rocks, big time.)
stars BOBBY McFERRiN + YO-YO MA
love’s in need of love today STEViE WONDER

This one was supposed to have included the McCartney song "Somedays", hence the title. It never sounded right with the others, so Calico Skies took its place.

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Monday, November 10, 2008 6:27 PM

Morning's Here

I was never a huge Friends fan when it was on, but I caught this rerun the other night and it's totally stuck in my head (which is perfectly fine with me). I've been singing it around the house and now finally have the right lyrics - I was making up my own, not that that's a bad thing. I love it! Joey and the neighbor do a duet at the end.



I love the way the singing neighbor says "Aw, come on! Morning's here!" That's how I feel most mornings.

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Sunday, November 09, 2008 8:33 PM

Moonlight hayride



Tonight we attended Sophie's first function as a Daisy Scout - our whole family went on a hayride, did a craft that involved feathers and googly eyes, stood around a bonfire and toasted marshmallows, had hot apple cider and cocoa, and played games under the almost-full moon. And at the end of the night, she got her Hayride Badge (hers has a bunny on it too)! Seriously... how romantic do the words "moonlight hayride" sound?

While all of this is beyond cute, we're so excited to be in scouting again. Especially since the focus of Girl Scouts seems to have changed from when I was a girl to be more focused on "leadership, strong values, social conscience, and conviction about their own potential and self-worth." Amen to that!

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Saturday, November 08, 2008 3:34 PM

happy birthday, laughing boy

Today is my brother's birthday. When God made him, he broke the mold. We love you, 'Toine!

ps ~ For the origin of the term "laughing boy", click here. And to see what routine his nieces and nephew always request, click here.

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Friday, November 07, 2008 8:36 PM

large art, large living

The posters arrived... and holey moley, are they gorgeous! I have one little thing to change about the Storytime poster, but the Tree/Bird/Heart one looks amazing. Every stroke, drop, and sketchy pencil line is blown up and I think I like it even better than the original size. I'm very happy with it.

We just have to calculate shipping costs (and buy us some tubes!) and if you want one, you can have it! Yay!

Magical thinking for today...

I partied with my co-workers (I work from home and they are over an hour away, so I don't get to hang out with them as much as I would like.) We had italian food, ordered lots of dessert and shared it all. My boss ordered a dish ending in "dolce vita" purely for the name.

I took advantage of the unseasonably warm weather by wearing a little black sweater and a very full and fluffy skirt the color of a bright fall leaf. I wrapped a necklace of earth-toned rocks around my wrist as a very chunky bracelet.

Sang myself hoarse in the car by putting the iPod on alphabetical order, and singing whatever came next.

I've been planning out all my Christmas artwork presents... and I'm having so much fun doing it! For some reason, I don't find this overwhelming in the slightest bit. Tomorrow I start on the dolls for the kids.

Laughed myself silly watching YouTube videos with Paul and the kiddos.

How did you live out loud today?

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Thursday, November 06, 2008 11:20 AM

giving art

I will be taking the handmade pledge this year, which is worth its own post. Last year I was struck by the fact that I was getting ready to sell my work at a craft fair, showcasing my prints as a great Christmas present, when I had already bought all the presents we were giving out this year and wasn't giving any art. I wanted to remedy that.

So this Christmas, I asked everyone we usually gift if they would like an original painting instead, of their very own. As most of them are kids, we've gotten some really interesting replies! I'm so excited to be spending my time making something from my heart for the people I love best. I'll be painting everything from soccer balls to sheep wearing boots!

Meanwhile, if you would like to give artwork this year (or heck, just keep it for yourself), since I haven't set these up in the store yet, I wanted to post these paintings here. If you want one, email me with your info, and leave me a comment here claiming it as your own. One's gone already!

(I should also note, I should be getting in posters any day... here's hoping they turn out well, if they do, I'll post them!)

The sets: three matted prints in a white wooden frame with glass. Images measure 4.675" x 6.675". Entire piece measures 10" x 20". Each piece is $40 (+ $10 USPS Shipping: Priority Mail, Insurance, and Signature Confirmation. )



Framed and matted prints in black wooden frames with plexiglass. Images measure 5" x 7". Each is $15 (+ $5 USPS Shipping: Priority Mail.)



Framed prints in wooden frames with plexiglass. Image area is 5" x 7". Each is $10 + ($5 USPS Shipping: Priority Mail.)



Framed prints in hand-painted wooden frames with plexiglass. Image area is 4" x 6". Each is $8 + ($5 USPS Shipping: Priority Mail.)

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All artwork and content of this site copyright © Élena Nazzaro 1993-2010. Support your favorite artists and don't steal!

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