Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Some “Extras” for Leap Day!

Today is Leap Day – February 29th. Yesterday I realized that I managed to have my first two kids on Leap Years (Mikelle in 2000 and Christian in 2004), but the streak was broken with AleXander in 2010. I did, however, manage to have all of them on even years. AleXander made the cut by 9 days.

If it wasn’t a Leap Year in 2004, Christian wouldn’t have been born on St. Patricks Day! I remember using a last ditch excuse to try to convince my doctor to induce Christian a day early because it was Leap Year, so there was an extra day. Of course that extra day was already taken into account, but when you’re desperate to get the kid OUT, you’ll try anything.  My doctor laughed and said, “That’s funny. I haven’t heard that reason before.” I guess after that, he heard just about everything in an effort for someone to be induced sooner.

Turns out, I didn’t need the extra day. Christian came on his own the day before I was to be induced anyway! That was such a horrible pregnancy, I am so grateful for that little bone thrown by fate! 

Something also funny about Leap Year - My birthday is also on the 29th of a month, but not February. My birthday is April 29th. When I was in kindergarten, it was NOT a Leap Year, so there was no February 29th. I remember becoming very upset because my strange almost 5 year old self thought if there was no February 29th, there wouldn’t be a March 29th, or an April 29th, etc, so I was worried I wouldn’t have my birthday! It seemed like such a logical worry to me! I remember my kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Brown, assuring me that I would have my birthday on April 29th.

Now here I am, decades later. I kind of wish I wouldn’t have my birthday. But if I didn’t, I would also hope that mean my age wouldn't increase either. Oh, if only….

An End of An Era
Speaking of those early school days, this is the book that I checked out EVERY DAY in Pre-School. My mom was pretty annoyed by the fact, but I loved this book. (why didn’t she just get me a copy of it for my birthday or Christmas or something?)

Anyway, I loved Pre-School. I was a Mundall “Munchkin” Mrs. Mundall had a huge (well, it seemed huge to my 4 year old self…) classroom attached to her house. We would check out books every day and this was the one I always checked out. I share this because last week, Jan Berenstain passed away at the age of 88. She was the co-creator of the Berenstain Bears. Stan, her husband, passed away in 2005. Another end of an era. :-( 

I always loved the Berenstain Bears book. The PBS series was okay, but they had the two young bears named “Brother” and “Sister”. That was lame. They could have come up with a better system. It worked in the books, but not the cartoon.

I looked up “The Spooky Old Tree” on Amazon and it says copyright 1978, so it was relatively new when I became addicted. I need to buy it for sentimental reasons. Ironically, I’ve never owned that book!

"What I Really Do" Funnies...
Another “Extra” for this Leap Day are these funnies that are all over Facebook. At least that’s where I’ve seen them. Here is one for Engineers and I promptly e-mailed it to Chris. 

I was going to make one for Art Teachers, but I found this one that an art teacher already made. It’s rather spot-on, but the “what I really do” should also show the teacher buried in projects to grade, or in front of the computer doing another overblown PowerPoint presentation for the next lesson! 
And then I found this one (below), and it's just as accurate too! The cleaning part is rather spot-on! 
And the principal part strikes a chord, because the clueless administrator reviewing me at the high school mentioned the room was a "mess". I believe his exact words were "in dissarray". Um, if I was a math teacher, he had a point. But we were in the MIDDLE of a project that involved ART SUPPLIES! At that point, he didn't review me when we were going over the historical element of the lesson or the notetaking when the room was clean! I swear, if an administrator was a former PE teacher, he/she should NOT t be reviewing Art Teachers! ( a little angry there at the memory for a bit...back to 2012!)
 And here is one for ADHD kids! It’s too funny because – Squirrel!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

A Great 4-Letter Word: S-O-L-D!!!, Alexander at 14 Months, and First Flyer

I'm so happy to announce that this above triptych with the originals of the Paris- London-New York motifs SOLD at the Sundust Gallery! Thank you to an angel from Colorado! Colorado is the BOMB, by the's on my list of places I'd rather live. Colorado comes after the Pacific Northwest!  
I apologize that the triptych shown on it's side. I rotated it and saved it vertically, but blogger wants to show it on it's side. ???
This makes me want to share this photo in June 2006 of Mikelle and Christian, in Colorado. This is just south of Silverton. Isn't it adorable? Isn't the views breathtaking? This is way before they wanted to kill each other. However, yesterday I did hear Mikelle tell Christian she loved him.
14 Months 
This week Alexander turned 14 months! We finally have access to another camera (the good one is still in the shop...just haven't picked it up yet). He is still so little though! It's like a miniature ball of energy! He's about 23 pounds now.
Alexander is talking too...small words here and there. He can definitely let us know what he wants. He also points and is so adorable in his babble.

Words he says as of 2/22/12 (14 Months) are: Daddy, Doggie, No, Ow... and there is a hint of a maw..maw... but the first 4 words are definite. We've also experimented with some 1-minute time-outs, as he KNOWS what he's not supposed to do (such as hitting the bird cage to torment Zoey) and some other things that he's testing us with, so the time-outs can also be a punishment for Mom and Dad. Alexander has gone right back in the time-out over and over sometimes when he's determined to return to the same behavior! We also had another milestone this week: He slept a full night in his crib for the first time EVER. He's come close a few times, but it finally happened!!! 

Out in the back with big sister 

Temple Motif Flyer
Even though there will be different flyers with different "focuses", here is my first one! This one focuses on the LDS element of specif motifs. The flyer is two-sided which makes it a bit more complicated, but of course, leave it to me to turn simple things into something more difficult!

And once again...regarding the sale at the Gallery....YAY!!!!

Monday, February 20, 2012

A Stupid Post (In the grand scheme of things)

Some Superficial and Slightly Narcissistic Vents
Hey, I'm allowed to just whine a little. I'm acknowledging that in the "long run", these things don't matter. My cranky Dutch grandfather would put things in perspective nicely when he would say (in his cantankerous way), "Does this really matter to your eternal salvation?" When we think of all the daily things that annoy us or anger us, many of them do not matter in the eternal scheme of things. 

However, sometimes "in the moment", it helps to just air frustrations and get them off our chest.

The first one is stupid, I'll admit. It's also not as serious as the latter, but this one is easier to start with.

For those of you outside hell (I mean, Arizona), Arizona passed a kooky law (as they always do) that our licenses don't expire until we're 65 or something like that. Therefore, that is the reason photos need to be updated.

That aside, you may be thinking, "so?" Pay your $12.00 and go down there and get your new photo taken!

Well, I'll tell you why I have a problem with this. I had my license photo taken in August 1999 and it was actually a good picture. That's a rarity in itself. I should have bought a lottery ticket that day. This was also taken in the SUMMER when it's about 180 degrees and after I was working all day. That only added to the "miracle picture" factor.

Two, this was taken before I had KIDS. Therefore, we had a nice picture without the effects that bearing children does to our bodies, and in my case, my face. It wasn't evident in the 1999 Drivers License photo because I hadn't had these lovely babies yet! (Mikelle was born about a year after this photo was taken).

Also, in the last 12 years or so, some good photos were taken and some bad photos were taken.  However, THIS photo was always with me, and I wasn't embarrassed when I had to hand it to a cop (about 2 or 3 times I had to do that in the last 12 years) or when writing a check, or trying to get passed security at an airport, or every other reason we needed to show our ID. 

I also have issues with aging.  Some people are okay with it.  I'm not. 

I'd also like to know when I went from being called "just a pup" by a co-worker to realizing many of my fellow teacher co-workers (at both schools I taught at) were YOUNGER than me.

My issues with age aren't the only factor. My weight is as well. I'm down 30 pounds since last July, but I still have 15-17 to go. That may not seem like much, but I've been in the same 5-pound plateau since Christmas.  My weight is not cooperating with the downward direction. My weight also likes to hang out in my face. Therefore, getting rid of the last 15-17 is a BIG deal when it comes to a crappy license photo. The photo above in 1999 is definitely a good 15 pounds lighter to where I am today. 

There is also a hard dose of reality that will be thrown in my face (no pun intended) when I see the new picture and compare it to the one above. Over the last 12 years, the changes happened gradually. Some happened faster than others (like what pregnancy does to your body), but still not as shocking as what a 1999 picture will look like compared to a 2012 one.

So there you have it with my first "stupid vent".

Unless you're living under a rock, it's clear we're in such a bad recession that I'm sure many aspects of it would qualify for a Depression.  However, no one wants to call it that.  It would freak people out. 

We've been rather lucky.  Chris has kept his job and even received some raises and promotions. I don't work now, but I quit my job voluntarily. 

I have my fingers crossed because I'm hoping we've been blessed with some insulation from this recession's effects because we went through our own recession hell during the first half of the 00's. From 2000-2004, Chris was unemployed four different times.We lived off my student loans and some income from a good friend of ours who used Chris's tech expertise to work on a special project. Without those two factors, I don't know how we would have made it through. We were also blessed that despite the horrible economic downturn, Chris's industry was facing, I was still able to attend and finish my Bachelors degree. The second half of 2004, things turned around for us.

However, in the big crash of 2008 that killed the rest of the country's economy, our area of the country was hit hard by the recession along with Nevada, Florida, Michigan and some other key areas. Our house has gone down 100K in value. We still owe that amount in our mortgage (the amount before the 100K bit it!).

We just received 2012 and 2013 "Property Notice of Valuation" and our house is projected to go down another 6K in 2013.

I read a news story last week that indicated that Phoenix-Mesa was one of the areas recovering. I feel like the end of that promising article should have had a big "KIDDING!" at the end of it.  I'm not going to get my hopes up from any other news story that says the same BS, because going down 6K certainly doesn't indicate that.  So much for the little grain of hope!

When the big crash happened in 2008, I knew it was going to be a tough ride. However, now I'm starting to get angry. Chris's commute is killing him. We went to Wickenburg just last weekend. Yes, our land is still there. We attended Gold Rush Days, and we visited a co-worker of Chris who lives not far from our land. I am more impatient to move and settle in a location more favorable for Chris's commute. He's been doing this 180-mile commute (4 days a week) for 7 years now. His age is starting to be a factor. He's exhausted, and he knows he can do his job much better if he didn't have such a killer commute. 

Some bit of good news:  Our Wickenburg property is showing a 16K increase in value for 2013. That will be a good thing when it comes to being able to build our house. However, with the bad news of our current home being so dire, I really wonder how long down the road it's really going to be before we can get our house started out there.  We can't rent our home out here, because our mortgage payment is higher than what we could charge in rent.

Yes, I realize people have suffered and are suffering much worse than we are. I'm just frustrated and now I feel better for voicing it a little.

Friday, February 10, 2012

NEW at Sundust as of TODAY February 10, 2012

Moon Motif 2012 Copyright Jill Henrichsen
Well, these really aren't "new" as I've mentioned these before. However, the ORGINALS are now available at Sundust

Here is my Moon Motif. If it looks familiar, it's because it was the first 2012 completed motif and in this entry from last month. The matte was completed (it takes forever to get a circular matte cut!) and the moon has been placed with the black matte and in a black 16x20 frame. It is going in the basement outlet at Sundust (effective today), since it's smaller than the others and I don't want to charge the $250 minimum that the artwork in the main gallery requires. I plan to have prints of this Moon Motif available as well ($12-$28 depending on size) for the outlet as well.

Also, remember from the November festival when the wind brought down my London-New York-Paris Triptych? (if not, this entry will refreshen your memory) Well, the glass has been fixed for awhile, but I was kind of depressed and had low motivation to actually get it down the gallery. Well, effective today, this is there as well! I already have individual prints of this available along with prints of the Holland motif I have also mentioned previously.

I rotated it to be vertical, but Blogger wants it to be horizontal. As I've mentioned before, the clocks are adjusted to the time zone changes in each city. I'm weird and nerdy like that!

 If you're not local and heading to downtown Mesa doesn't exactly work for you (for originals or prints) and you just know that my artwork needs to beckon your walls or the walls of a loved one, you can comment here to contact me or "like" my Circle Motifs page on Facebook (see link on right-hand side) and message me through Facebook. 

I would love to do what I can to help spread the joy to you with my artwork! I can also do custom work if you're interested! I don't have prices listed for that, because it pretty much depends on the size and what is desired.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

So little...(cry)...

When Alexander was born, we took a couple brief little videos on our laptop (our laptop at the time). Then a few months ago, the laptop became damaged (don't even let me go there due to the circumstances behind that!).

Now we were able to finagle with it and retrieve these videos from there! I've been wanting to post this video for a long time! It is a pain trying to upload videos on Blogger, so I uploaded it on Facebook, but gave it a "Public" setting, so it could be viewed if you're not on Facebook or not my Facebook friend. I'll eventually give a "Friends only" setting, maybe when Blogger gets it together and I can upload videos on here!

In the video (only 30 seconds) when Chris says "he has eyeballs and everything", that means he's awake. "Eyeballs" has been a term in our household when a sleeping baby is all awake and alert. tAnd you don't really see me in this video (that would be gross. EUW!) 

WHEN: December 22, 2010 just after 9pm! (born at 8:57pm)

Click Here:
Just Minutes Old!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Seminar Doodles

Chris and I went to a seminar at a big Christian church in the area. One of my favorite psychology/Christian authors was speaking, Kevin Leman. He also brings in the Love Language philosophy coined by another psychology/Christian author, Gary Chapman. Therefore, seeing Kevin Leman brings so many important principles all together. Plus, Kevin, a last-born wise-cracker, makes all the self-improvement/marital/sex/religious talk hilarious.

Leman originally caught my attention with his Birth Order book. From there, hearing an interview on Pat McMahon's The God Show (a local radio show), I knew I had to take this opportunity to attend this seminar. This one was the Marriage Works seminar. Of course, when I doodle in meetings, church, seminars, etc etc, some may think I'm not paying attention. Not the case. I can focus much better with a pen in my hand. The above was yesterday morning's (Part II of the seminar) doodle. Friday night's doodles, Part I of the seminar, were given away to a nice guy sitting in front of us. :-)

I'm trying to figure out how to pursue the next couple Circle Motif projects. I have one I want to do for Sundust (a big one), one custom project, and finishing one I'm working on now that I'm frustrated with, but it has to be completed. I also have three new books (all signed!) by Kevin Leman I have to get cracking on too!

Abbreviated post this time.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

"Yellow Cow" Tribute

This is Marc Franz's s 1911 Oil on Canvas which is titled Yellow Cow.

Sometimes art speaks to us just because of the way it looks - not the message or meaning behind it. There is just something fun and expressive about Franz's Yellow Cow and the combination of Expressionism and using nature that I've always loved. I think I saw it for the first time in my 21st Century Art History class back in the Fall of 2001 (normally I don't remember exactly the year and semester I took a class, but 9/11 happened the morning I had this class scheduled, so it's a little hard to forget! But as usual, I digress).

This link from the Guggenheim in New York has a nice history behind Franz's Yellow Cow.

In 2011, a century had passed since Marc's Yellow Cow.  I decided to incorporate it in a 100 Year tribute piece. I completed this last September. Because moons show up everywhere in my Motif, I called the Tribute piece Yellow Cow Jumps Over the Moon.

I also created two other accent pieces to go with this in the event this was presented to the gallery as a triptych.  I am not sure if it'll be presented that way or by itself. I'm waiting for the right frame and the right sale!

My original Yellow Cow Jumped Over the Moon will eventually be at Sundust, whether alone or in a triptych.

Edited to Add (September 17, 2012):  

  •  My original Yellow Cow Tribute is currently available at Sundust (framed and matted!)
  • Prints of my Yellow Cow Tribute are available via my Shop on Etsy:  Link