January 31, 2008

Still Breathing

E-gads! What a couple of weeks it’s been. Good news is; it's all good news. I have been busy busy busy with art projects. I some how think i will steal time away between Saturday and Sunday to make a great post update with pictures. Also, post my collaged page about coffee cups for Overlooked and take a picture of one of my collections for the second project.

Anywho, the newsiest news is that my brother and his wife have been in town this past week. Well, really my bro came in on Thursday and s.i.l came in on Sunday. Monday we all went ot the beach after it had snowed the night before. It was a little intense driving through the mountains but hubs did a great job. I did take some pictures of the snow covered trees* but i haven't had time to get them off my camera to check if they're too blurry.

*snow covered tress - what song has that as part of a lyric? "and the land slide will take you down, hmm mmm, what is love...." should google it.

The s.i.l is huge into thrift store shopping and thankfully i had figured out a few areas in Portland that had shops - i don't know if they were particularly good but she seemed pleased to have something to do yesterday while the guys gamed all day and I worked. On a side note i found a great find on Tuesday night when she and I were able to hit one store before closing. It's a stamp stand for old rubber stamps, you know the kind stuck to wooden handles. I'll post a picture. It was exciting for me because i'm not usually into thrifting. I can't stand digging through clothes that might fit and i don't really need any more trinkets in my house but it is fun to look and exciting to find something i can actually use. She usually picks up jewelry, old soda bottles (they have a large collection) and the occasional piece of clothing.

She also makes beaded jewelry and was in love that there are several here in Portland. Next time she comes she wants a complete day to go from store to store. I say, more power to ya but after the first few i might find a cafe to read in while you shop. Although, i'm pleased, we did go into this one store and i picked out a few beads that she's going to make into string book marks for me. She's taking the "main beads" i picked out and will accompany them with accent ones for the ends of the string. She is really good with colors.

Gaming is all the two guys did this entire week! I swear i'm going to make them buy headphones for the sound the next time they're in town. For 6 days straight nothing but gun sounds could be heard at night. I felt a little crazy by Monday night. Although Tuesday night i missed most of it and last night i was in bed by the time they got back from a movie to play. My s.i.l. and i watched "Because I Said So" at home while the guys went and watched "Rambo" at the theater.

Over all it was great seeing them and we had a few really good laughs together. Although, I've learned about my self is that i don't like having house guests with one bathroom and in an apartment. It's amazing how i never feel like i'm in a routine but as soon as other people stay there how quickly i don't feel like i can move smoothly in my own home. Plus I think our apartment is too small for 4 people and 2 dogs and only 1 common area that has a TV blaring gun fire.

Next up... All about art with pictures

January 14, 2008

Goals 2008

What, it's mid January?! Good thing one of my goals this year is not about being punctual.

The list of my goals is actually very long and detailed and probably boring in its entirety to anyone else. So, a quick list will appear here to give you an idea of what you might be reading about this year.

Top goals in board wording:
- Complete more personal art
- Loose the weight gained in 2007 & reach a healthy style of living
- Become a better wife (better communicator, less negative, more trusting)
- Finances - more in savings, less fear

Words for 2008:
- Fit
- Positive
- Prolific

The fun stuff about art:
  • I've joined Leah at Creative Every Day in her challenge to be creative in what ever way you want in all of 2008. I think this will be a great way to stay more "in the now" and recognize that i might not be completing art on paper daily but I can do something creative daily.
  • A monthly goal for art is to complete one block print a month. Now, i set this goal last year and i completed zero a month. This is changing this year. There has been a building pressure to get busy with my own art and I'm going to pay attention to that.
  • A new adventure will be collaging and making Artist Trading Cards. There is the ATCards and the Monday Artday ATC, these are social groups that trades and does swap for ATCs. Now, i just need to get busy creating.
  • Today I found Overlooked which is a blog about documenting the little things that are big in our lives. The first subject is coffee mugs - how could I resist?! I love mugs and coffee. I'll be posting in about a week after I scrap the page. I've read several blogs with inspirational challenges but this one got me the most excited immediately, sometimes it is all about the first impressions, lol.
  • I will continue to be part of a local art group. Attending Saturday mornings to get together and draw or paint. Although, if my husband's work schedule changes i'll only go the Saturdays he's working that way we can spend a little more time together. On a side note I'm still on the retreat committee for this group.
  • There is a second art group that has formed from the first one but it's all about getting out and seeing art. It'll schedule things like going to art galleries, the symphony, a performance dance and the like. I'm not getting to involved as far as commitments for this group. It's more of if i'm available then I'll go. Except, I did agree to design a simple calendar but really things have to be decided before a calendar can be made...
  • My final creative commitment is to work on a book illustration. The first Saturday of Jan was the first meeting on the goal/vision for the illustrations because it is a collaborative artist activity.
  • Oh yeah... and i'm still wrapping up that freelance logo that I've been complaining over the past couple of months... yeah... I've been offered more work but a part of me just wants to run away. I still have time to make my decision.

How I'm going to do all of this in one year among the mundane things like taking care of a house and working 40 hours a week, I have no clue.

scared my self - i had updated the post date because this one was a draft. It didn't show up on my blog, it didn't show up as the last post in my "edit post" section... realized i'd typed 7 not 8!

January 7, 2008

Photo Update For The Post Before This One

My Last Christmas Update:

We finally got our tree 4 days before leaving town. Each year we go to a U-cut farm and wonder around. This year we basically got out of the car in the Douglas Fur area and said "that one". Once home we put in Rudolf The Red Nose Raindeer (claymation classic version) and proceeded to only get the lights on the tree and a few ornaments out of the boxes before we got tired, lol. This year we'll be home and I play on decking out the house.

When I got married there were holiday traditions to be incorporated into what i understood the routine of them to be. Christmas my husband's family has the tradition of everyone picking out a new ornament - in a family of 7 that's a lot of ornaments - we continued the tradition. The skiing pine cone man is his and mine is the snowflake (i have a thing for them). This year we did add a new twist of purchased a joint ornament at the Dallas World Aquarium, the little turtle, which i'm happy about becuase i really like turtles and wouldn't mind owning one someday.

The penguins are cute but wow that area smells horrible! It is even outdoors and they do have heated water for the cooler temps.

My flamingo shots were at the beginning of the trip and i was having issues with low light and blurred photos. There was this tree that had the hot pink spiky flowers, i had to wait my turn to get close enough to shoot a few blooms. I'm proud of the bird shot because I was using the manual photos(new to me) and got the camera to focus on the birds and not the fence like it wanted.

It was exciting to see the river otters because they haven't been on display in about a year, not sure why. The turtles featured here live in the huge pond in the aquarium. The way its built there is a glass window a few feet from the surface on a lower level of the building. There are also two manatee in the pond but they were not at our end and we wanted to move on. I did notice on this trip (it being my 4th) that I payed attention to the smaller stuff.

The first two pictures (L to R) are baby crocodiles that will grow into the size of the croc featured in the last photo. That is actually their mom and I was able to get her picture from the walk way above her area. There is a male but he was hiding in a cave that is underneath this island thing in the middle of their pool.

If you're ever in Dallas I highly recommend going!

January 3, 2008


How I have missed my little blog! There are many things to write about and images to share. The downside is i caught a head cold and can't seem to focus long enough to get the writing cohesive and the images uploaded from the camera. Hopefully by Saturday everything will be clearer and I can write a post about all the grand things i have imagined to happen in 2008.

The ending of December and 2007 was great! Texas was wonderful. I miss my family so much even though I love Oregon. There is never enough time when I go and visit. Having to cram six-eight months worth of visiting time into about a day is not enough.

Highlight of the trip was going with my sister and her husband to their sonigram. I felt very honored to be part of a special moment in their first pregnancy. Never being present at one before I found it amazing to see the little baby on the screen with its tiny bones and little beating heart with four chambers! The biggest surprise was finding out they were having a little girl! They were convinced they were having a boy. My sister asked the nurse several times if she was sure it was a girl. The nurse said "I've been doing this a long time, this is a very clear picture of the baby, I'm 90% sure that it's a girl". My sister has some fears of being a mother of a girl but I believe she will do wonderful.

After the sonigram my sister had an appointment with her midwife and she was able to give me a tourer of the birthing center. It's so nice! Downtown Dallas has several old houses and this happens to be where the birthing center is, inside an old Victorian house! She showed me the birthing room that looked like they converted the dinning area into a bedroom with a lounge area and an adjoining bathroom. The kitchen of the house is around the corner from the room. Inside this huge Armour is all the technical equipment needed for the baby right after birth. I wish I had taken pictures but at the time it just didn't occur to me to do so. I'm very excited for them and I believe they will have a healthy baby and a smooth easy delivery.

The majority of the trip was consumed by spending time with other family members. Lots of visiting and eating and playing of games with more eating. I love love love my grandmother's cooking on both sides. We also went to The Dallas World Aquarium like we usually do on every trip. Normally my husband and I go alone to have a few hours to our selves to relax. On the last night we were there we went to the Trans Siberian Orchestra which was great. My husband wants to do it again the next Christmas we're in town. I enjoyed it and all but i'm not sure I want to do it all the time. From what I've heard their performance is basically the same every time.

New Years was low key. We visited my husband's aunt and played games the whole evening. It was really nice. I'm not one for a huge New Years Eve party. This is probably my least liked holiday ever since I got too old for staying up till midnight to be a novelty.

There was a downer in the whole ending of 2007. My husband's paternal grandfather passed away at 84. The man had been in poor health since a massive stroke in 2000. He had another stroke on I believe on the 23rd but did not pass until the 27th. Today was the funeral for him. It was a very nice service and at the cemetery he received a veterans burial with a gun solute and taps and the widow received the folded flag. I'm glad I could be there to support my husband through the service. He's not very close to his dad's side of the family and that was the first time for me to meet many of the members.

Tonight we're off to go see National Treasure: Book of Secrets with my husbands parents and siblings. It should be fun even if some say it's not as good as the first. Rarely sequels are better or equal. The same goes for books translated to movies.

Promise to be back soon with goals for '08 and some pictures.