Monday, March 25, 2013

Face Palm

We survived Spring Break, but I feel my brain has been fried. Plus, I did two stupid things and they occurred two days in a row. I forgot two events/appointments. It's one thing to have a lapse once in awhile, but twice in two days? 

I really beat myself up over these kinds of lapses because competence is really important to me. It drives me crazy when people say they'll do something and then not do it. And here I did it two days in a row. 

In fact, yesterday in Primary there was a fun "Time Machine" set up for Sharing Time. I said, "Oh good. Can I go back to Thursday? If I can re-do Friday and Saturday, that would be sweeeet!" 

On the subject of the Primary Time Machine, later I asked Christian about it. 

Me: So cool, they had a Time Machine in Primary today, huh?
Christian: It was fake.

(face palm)

And this basically sums up Mikelle's Spring Break. Well, Zoey's involvement doesn't, but the kitchen table location and Mikelle in front of the laptop certainly does. I call it MindCRACK.

 Sure, it's actually called Minecraft, but if you're the least bit familiar with the popularity of this game, you'll know why I give it the name I do. 

Could this intimidate her to stop playing Minecraft?
Ohhh....she's brave...
Or she is THAT addicted...
At least on Saturday Chris and Mikelle went on a Daddy/Daughter date to the Renaissance Festival. I was hoping Chris could talk her into having her hair braided all pretty at the Renaissance Festival, but instead, she came home with this:

And here are the completed collages. I am crossing my fingers that I can have one more finished by Friday (The Sugar Show). 

The Owl one turned out busier than I anticipated and the darker parts on the scan don't do it justice. Those areas are a dark pink/glittery area that doesn't "translate" well on a scan or photograph.   They just look like areas that are too dark. 

Therefore, I don't know how well the option of having "prints" of it available will turn out. 

"We Love the Nightlife" Mixed Media on Canvas: Patterned Paper, Drawings, Maps, Ribbon, Glitter, Watermedia

"You're Never Too Tall For Heels" Mixed Media on Canvas: Patterned Paper, Drawings, Maps, Ribbon, Glitter, Watermedia

 Until Next Time...

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

First Day of Spring

But Spring around here is basically the Summer Intro. 

So moving on...

The Sugar Show is less than 2 weeks away. Actually, it's only 9 days away. ACK! I'll be ready, but it's feeling really close.

I didn't want to trump Christian's birthday with these little additions.  

First of all, this was a custom order that I completed a while ago, but it was a present for a 12-year old girl whose birthday was yesterday. I didn't want to post it until her birthday had come and gone. 

Personal Details have been obscured for Privacy Reasons

The story behind this one below is sometime between July 2012 and the end of 2012 I drew this on a small notebook page. It was a cheap 5x7 flip notebook from Staples and each page has that purple border. I filled it in. I ran across the drawing and figured it would make a cute postcard design.  The postcard is small, less than 4x6 in. I'm selling it for $3 and no shipping/postage charge for domestic orders.  I'll even throw it in for free with other orders.

It's Vertical when I uploaded it. Why it flipped it, I don't know. Technology.....

And then there's my Collage experiments...I've been wanting to do this for a long time. I hope to have 3 or 4 for the Sugar Show. So far I'm on 1 1/2...

Preview of the completed one...

I use pieces of some of my own doodles as part of the collage. In this case, her skirt and some of the blue border.  And I love using maps for artwork! It all comes full circle considering I wanted a Double major with Geography, but had to settle for a Geography minor.

Next collages will feature Owls,  Moons and some fun Flower tricks! At least that's the plan for now!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Birthday Slideshow

 9 Years Ago earliest baby and only non-induction baby arrived at 10:17am. He was 37 weeks and 6 Days. He was also my largest at 8 pounds 1 ounce. Who would have guessed? 

He made me the LUCKIEST mom on a LUCKYday! 

I was at my wit's end because I was in so much pain from so many pregnancy complications. I was counting the days to 38 weeks when I would finally receive my "mercy induction". That would have been March 19th. However, earlier at an appointment on the 16th I learned that I wouldn't go in for the induction until late at night on the 19th. I was in tears. There was so much ripping and burning pain in my abdomen...just to the left of my belly button. I can't describe the pain accurately, only in that the worse it was as I sat up or walked. If I lied down or reclined, the pain subsided somewhat, but by the time the baby was fully developed, the pain was too much to endure. 

I couldn't take it anymore. 

And then the St. Patrick's Day miracle came!

Age 3 Weeks - Easter Sunday April 11, 2004. MIkelle was 3 1/2 years old.
And now, 9 years later...

Quest for the perfect Birthday/St.Patricks Picture...Take 1...
Take 2?
Take 3?
What were we trying to do?
Success! And with Irish dancing!
Big Dude and Little Dude (Inside Joke)
"I had a T-shirt on that said, It's  my Birthday! What happened to it? Great, mom is going to make me wear it for a picture tomorrow..."
Opening the fun...
Awesome! Light-up Legos!

"Yes! This is like my First Birthday, only it's not my birthday and I'm going to town here with this cupcake!"
Mmmm....Oreo Cupcake

Happy Birthday Christian! 
(and yes, that birthday T-shirt picture will be taken quickly!)

Edited 3/18/13 to add:

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Three Things in a Teacup

Yesterday, 3/15, was the designated "Family Celebration" day for Christian's birthday. He originally wanted to do some more outdoorsy things, such as the Goldfield Ghost Town near Lost Dutchman State park (beautiful!), and you'd think in MARCH, we would be able to do that!

However, being that the Devil paid his heating bill early (he must have gotten a nice Tax Refund), summer-like temps had already invaded here in Hell. Therefore, we went to Amazing Jake's in Mesa.  Amazing Jake's is basically a huge indoor over-stimulating cacophony of kid craziness.  

Therefore, the kids loved it. 

I was in the old person parent camp of "get me out of here".  I was also still sick, so that didn't help. And Amazing Jakes has a great deal with food.  Included with admission is an all you can eat buffet. If you have the metabolism of my offspring (like I did back when Arizona was only one area code) that kind of spread is heavenly. However, for me it's pure torture. Despite all the extra aerobic classes I've attended this week considering Mikelle can watch Alexander, I don't think it will help what the food situation at Amazing Jakes brought on.

Amazing Jake's is actually just a stone-throw away from the apartment Chris and I lived in for about a year and half   (and the first place we lived that had a full size washer and dryer! That is like the Holy Grail to me). I was sad to move out of that apartment in late 1997. However, Chris had to concentrate more on finishing school (we were both going to school and continued to do so, but he had to step it up a bit), so we had to make some interesting moves between then and late 1998 when we finally moved to the student housing at ASU East (now known as ASU Polytech). 

Anyway, that was another squirrel. Back to yesterday.

As I mentioned already, I was still sick so I forgot our good camera and when Alexander looked absolutely adorable riding the carousal with his Daddy, we also discovered Chris's phone was dead, so no camera abilities there. It's okay. There are so many adorable pictures of X-man, you'd think he was a first born. 

We finally commandeered Mikelle's I-pod camera for these shots on the teacups:

As I mentioned above, I'm still sick. I thought I was getting better a week ago, but it quickly all came back. I still pushed through all my Aerobic classes. However, my voice was shot and by the end of each day my throat would feel so swollen and I could barely speak at all.

I hadn't gone to the doctor because in the past, if I wasn't running a fever, I would be sent away with a "sorry...jut wait it out." Let me tell you, I was thrilled with that considering the $30 co-pay just to hear that by the end.

However, this time, maybe since I came in with this still going on for 10 days, he gave me a prescription for an antibiotic. Let's see how that pans out! It would be nice to stop coughing and popping cough/throat drops and Ibuprofen all the live long day. Last night after we arrived home from Amazing Jakes I fell asleep early. I never do that. I found Chris and Alexander on the couch around 3am. 

Back to the Saturday "omigosh...will someone please clean this up!" kind of fun.

Monday, March 11, 2013

A Squirrel Post

This is a Squirrel post in that I'm kind of all over the place in this entry.

I'm feeling better today, but my voice is shot and I did have to resort to more "low-impact" moves in my return to aerobics this morning (being that the illness made me miss two in a row! grrrr) 

Anyway, I knew I was feeling better yesterday because while my throat still hurt and I was all stuffy, tired and phlegm-like , I had energy to do something about the house. And at 7am! And yes, I was a little passive aggressive (a little passive aggressive? Me? Never!) in that I vacuumed the hall outside Mikelle's door while she was still asleep.  Hey, she had to be getting up anyway.

Anyway, I posted my Spring Blocks before, but here they are WITH the Easter examples. 

And seriously, can Alexander please STOP being so cute? It's really making things difficult when he's acting like a butthead. I don't want to create a monster here, but you can see why it's a challenge:

He insisted to wear Mikelle's Fedora to bed. He loves hats!

Wait for it...



I can never get tired of going to their concerts! I am so jazzed! The last one was August 2009. That was my 7th one. This October will be numero ocho

1998 Singles Tour...RAWR!
I think my favorite one so far was their December 1998 Singles Show (left). Still, their concerts do NOT disappoint. Christian is major DM fan, but I don't think he should go with us. He expressed interest, but I am concerned with some of their content. Not the lyrics per se, but more the stage "visuals". Some DM concerts would have been fine, but others? Not so much. I don't want to take a chance with him coming with us.  It'll most likely be Fall Break too, which makes bringing him with us more of a temptation. However, It would just be my luck that it's one of the more edgy and racy concerts compared to others. Oy.

But I do want to keep his "Devotion" to Depeche Mode alive!  They'll be on Letterman tonight. I'll watch it of course and make sure to DVR it for him. 

More to do for the Sugar show and the whole "Wife and Mom" thing. Toodles!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Too Sick to Think of a Title

We've had a lovely winter storm come through. This one is a love/hate thing for me because while I'm grateful we received the reprieve from the mean sun and heat, it's clear that winter is over after this system. The Devil is wasting no time paying his heating bill and sending the death rays down this way.

If that wasn't enough, I began to get sick on Thursday with a horrible sore throat and achy thing. This resulted in that I wasn't able to enjoy this weather like I had planned.  Instead, I was mostly inside. 

Today, as a matter of fact, was an annual zoo event for Chris's work and I was so happy it would be in the 50s and cloudy. However, I was so sick, Chris took the kids by himself. I am so sad I missed a family day at the zoo and with the perfect weather.  It was Alexander's first zoo outing too. :-(  For some reason, we missed it last year. I think it had something to do with Christian's birthday.

And last week, we had a picnic over in Glendale for Chris's work and it was way too warm (already over 80!) with limited shade. (By the way, I showed the kids where Alice Cooper went to High School - Cortez High on Dunlap. Then, going home, we drove over to Sunnyslope and I showed the kid where their Grammy went to High School - Sunnyslope High which is also on Dunlap. Maybe that's why my mom didn't like Alice Cooper. They went to rival high schools. Oh, and true story - I was driving by Cortez High School some 8 years ago or something and "School's Out" came on the radio. I kid you not...Okay, Squirrel!)

Anyway, back to the topic at hand....Of course I was well for that work outing last week, but not for this perfect weather and zoo outing today. I know I'm being whiny, but I'm sick and in pain each time I swallow or cough or breathe, so I'm not quite in the condition to be sitting here writing. However, I'm tired of laying around.

This illness triggers a strange combination of memories for me. About 6 years ago I had my tonsils taken out. It's not something you want to do in your adulthood, trust me. The recovery was crazy and it took about 2 weeks. I didn't really hit a corner until Day 9. However, after that, I wasn't bombarded with constant strep infections and high fevers like I was before then.  Once the hard part was over, it was worth it. 

However, this sore throat thing I'm dealing with now is reminiscent of the recovery process from that surgery. I don't have a fever, but all the other problems are there: intense throat pain, impossible swallowing, and ear pain. And reminiscent of the strep infections, I have the achiness and exhaustion. 

I don't know what this is, and I don't like it. 

Plus, I feel guilty being in bed or lying around. Chris is insisting that I stay down, but how can you stay down when you know the house is falling apart around you? I'm sorry, but you can't just switch the "Mom" part of us off. You can tell her to lie down, but it doesn't mean she's going to relax. 

This post was originally to show my Spring and Easter blocks, but there a few last minute details on the Easter ones. The Spring ones are posted on Etsy, however. 

Also, recently completed and posted on Etsy is my "Love" Piece. It's just a fun simple message of Love. It can apply to Valentines Day or all year long of course. This was a fun one to do because it was simple and I didn't have to worry about the details as much. 

LOVE - Detail

LOVE - Original in Frame
I was also able to get some matting picked up on the Four Seasons in order to get ready for the upcoming Sugar Show.

Four Seasons in Frame
Tune in soon, for the Spring and Easter Blocks.

And because I don't feel well, some goofy pictures. 

One of  my Favorites. I need to blast the song!

Hey, I didn't authorize that picture of me!

And to understand the full hilarity of the last picture below, check out the news story (click on it). Let's just say, if you insist you get what you ask for, don't be angry when you finally receive it!

U.K. Police Write Witness Statement in Character of Peach the Dog

Monday, March 4, 2013

Four Seasons and a few things in between...

Here is my latest - The Four Seasons! I had been wanting to do this one for awhile. I'm glad it is now a reality.

The description in my Etsy shop for this one includes: Being a Phoenix native and quite "overcooked", this depiction of the four seasons doesn't exactly hide my feelings about the summer in the desert and the unique angles they take. However, this work does contain both traditional and typical features of each season along with the desert point of view.  

I found a lot of fun quotes to use in this artwork. They didn't all make it in to the piece, but I'll include all my favorites.


Arizona Desert Specific Quotes:

"You know you're an Arizona native when a rainy day puts your in a good mood." ...Marshall Trimble 

Jill's soapbox: It should say "Sonoran desert native". That is more apropos. There are more mountainy/upper elevation cooler parts of the state that this doesn't exactly apply to. For example, it drives me crazy when people talk about how weird it is that it snows in Arizona. Um, it snows in quite a few places in Arizona. We have 3 ski resorts in this state. They should say it was weird that it snowed in "Phoenix", etc.

"In Arizona, shade trees are your best friends...and occasionally the basis of small civil wars over parking." ...Terri Guillemets.  

Yep, been there. But I imagine this is more of a problem here in the Phoenix and Tucson areas...not Flagstaff.

"Each season of adventure reality television gets more and more challenging. I'm waiting for them to come out with a Survivor: Phoenix in July edition." ...Linda Solegato

"You know you live in Phoenix when you've experienced condensation on your butt cheeks from the hot water evaporating in the toilet bowl." ...Unknown

"You know you live in Phoenix when you are willing to park 3 blocks away because actually found shade from a palm tree imported 300 miles from California and nurtured with water piped 250 miles from Nevada." ...Unknown

Winter in the Sonoran Desert is spring
Spring is summer
Autumn is our winter
And Summer is Hell 
...Cherishe Archer 

I did put that quote on the Summer Sun's forehead!


More General Seasonal Quotes:

"The Seasons are the Emotions of Time" ...EJ George

"But then the Fall comes, kicking summer out on its treacherous ass as it always does one day sometime after the midpoint of September, it stays awhile like an old friend you have missed. It settles in the way an old friend will settle into your favorite chair and take out his pipe and light it and then fill the afternoon with stories of places he has been and things he has done since the last he saw you."  ...Stephen King, 'Salem's Lot'

Stephen is so lucky. He lives in Maine.

"Listen! The wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves. We have had our summer evenings, now for October eves!" ...Humbert Wolfe

"And I'm lost behind
The words I'll never find
And I'm left behind 
As seasons roll on by." 
...Chris Cornell

Other Projects

2 More sets of Lucky blocks for customers:

And sometime between July 2012 and probably Fall 2012 I "doodled" this in a cheap notebook. The purple edges are part of the notebook. I decided to have postcards made of this design. It's now titled "Lunar Branches".
Lunar Branches, 2012
We are in the last week before Spring Break! (gulp!) That tells me Christian's 9th birthday is rapidly approaching. It also tells me the Sugar Show at the end of the month is coming just as fast. 

Back to work...

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss, from our Three Things! 

Thing 1 and Thing 2, October 2008 (Ages 4 and 8)

Thing 3, June 2012 (Age 18 Months)