You May Take Me to the Fair….

I’m venturing to say that the phrase “There’s no place like home” was coined at 3 AM by a woman traveling alone with a 2 year old and a baby.

The boys and I went for a long weekend adventure to Greenville to attend The Indie Craft Parade with Aunt Lola. We left Daddy– who wasn’t thrilled to be left–with ties to match the shirts, and dinners covered in plastic wrap.

What happens when you try to stage a photo with a 2-year-old and a baby.

What happens when you try to stage a photo with a 2-year-old and a baby.

I stayed at my parents, who were out of town. READ: Oma who dotes on babies was gone and the toddler was sleeping in a “strange” bed in the same room as I. Let your imagination fill in the rest. Always one to let social-events win, I fudged on proper naps and bedtimes, lugging the boys about town and eateries. But what treats! We sampled the new-cool-place-to-be,Tandem (think smooth coffee and key-lime crepes), ate pizza at The Mellow Mushroom, sandwiched and souped at Panera. Celebrated a cousin’s birthday with brownies, ice cream and coffee, had my first #PSL of the season. Listened to Northanger Abbey, Pavarotti and Aloe Blacc. (It was a quick, last-minute library grab- what can I say?)

Tandem. Go there.

Tandem. Go there.

The Mediterranean Crepe: egg, fresh arugula, sun-dried tomato, feta cheese

The Mediterranean Crepe: egg, fresh arugula, sun-dried tomato, feta cheese

image

Mellow Mushroom

And then, the main attraction: the fair. Indie Craft Parade, 5 years old now, was started by people I was in school with. That’s how crazy-amazing my classmates are: changing the scene of the town. It’s a craft fair, but it could read as an art exhibit. In fact, I wish I could mosey along looking, touching, talking without that awkward “I’m not here to buy.” That, and the pressing crowds. (the downside of such a cool event)

image

Want.

image

As a mother of boys, getting a dinosaur bracelet would be like getting a tattoo. 🙂

image image image

My treasures: a new mug, a copper cuff, and leather earrings.

My treasures: a new mug, a copper cuff, and leather earrings.

Now, we’re home, and I’m back in the swing of things–which actually means, sometimes in the motion of accomplishment, and sometimes feeling overwhelmed by the simple act of getting out of bed and therefore putzing around with the tv on, make-up not on, and a mug of coffee taking regular trips to the microwave.

Just a boy and his tattoo and Starbucks. It's water, people, calm down.

Just a boy and his tattoo and Starbucks. It’s water, people, calm down.

Advertisements

On the Easel

I imagine the non-painters of the world envision painting as quite romantic. Like people do innkeeping (but that’s another story.) Sometimes (a lot of times) you paint when you don’t feel much like painting. Lately, I’ve been in a groove–painting consistently–and I’ve found it changes my feelings towards it in a positive way.

I suspect marathon runners have similar feelings about the pending 12-mile-morning-run. I wouldn’t know. I still dread my Friday morning 20-something minute jog. But that has more to do with getting up earlier than usual and organizing two children into the car. Boy that is not my favorite activity.

Back to art. Here’s recent projects I’ve finished and some in progress.

My second-cousin, or first cousin-once-removed. I'm not sure, actually.

My second-cousin, or first cousin-once-removed. I’m not sure, actually.

in oil...

in oil…

Corn in process...

Corn in process…

image

Got to pick what to do next.  These are from Germany... yep, even the Zebra...

Got to pick what to do next. These are from Germany… yep, even the Zebra…

imageimageimage

 


 

 

 

Coffee and Calvin

More on this subject later…one of the a-be-mazing (as Kingston says) about creating is becoming a favorite part of someone’s world. 

Dear Mr. Watterson, you have arrived. 

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset

You know those little exuberant thoughts that flash into your mind like when you’re–oh–sitting in your gray cubicle staring down the paperclip container–that thought of a porch in the late evening, of coffee in your favorite mug? I dream of coffee…and Calvin and Hobbes. 

I’ve loved cartoons for a long time–I used to browse the library section, bringing home Doonesbury, even though I wasn’t alive during Vietnam. I had a job when I was 13 or so and drew up cartoons. In college, I drew them up for the paper, failed the censorship test, printed some. Now they pop into my head now and again, and I’m determined to draw some up and put them here. On zee blog. I hope you enjoy. The others won’t always be printed with paragraphs of dialogue. Can you imagine. 

blog6

To begin again.

I think it’s pretty obvious when God created Day and Night and called it good, He did so because He knew humans would never get anything done if they didn’t have fresh starts. If life weren’t broken up in segments, we’d all be greasy, overweight lumps sitting on our couches watching the Kardashians in a loop. (“Aren’t we already?” you say. Hey, don’t mess with my word-picture.) 

So God created Mondays so people would diet, and years so people would read through the Bible.

If we didn’t believe in fresh starts, Buy Buy Baby and the Wedding Industry wouldn’t be so glam. People would stop voting. Or getting remarried. Or having more kids. 🙂 ha. 

No matter that my rate of failure is…ahhhhh…. probably 100% I still believe in lists. So I’ve made another one. But this one is cool. This one is being featured on a new blog. This one will work. I made a rendition of that retirement commercial–you know, follow the green line? I’ve drawn myself a map for my 30th year, as pertains to art. 

My art classmates at my university were not that huge in number, yet some of the accomplishments of my classmates are astounding! Bravo for them! They own shops, live off their artwork, change the art scene of their city. So why not me? People are quick to tell you “You’re so talented!” Say thank you, tuck it away, and write a to-do list. Talent won’t get you squat. You need (at least) a couple things to succeed in art– your work has to speak something that people want to listen to, and you have to work your fanny off. 

Failure and rejection doesn’t feel good. It’s a lot easier to live in the dreams in your head where success if plentiful. When you act on your dreams, they cease to be dreams. They turn into reality, which is oh-so-often disappointing. But I’m 30 now, and I don’t like it. Time to get moving.

“The difference between a goal and a dream is a plan,” says Dave Ramsey. 

 

So here’s my plan. Occasionally, I’ll post a picture of my progress. 

blog3

1.Have an art show 2.Blog-each little square is one entry 3.Get a healthy amount of prints for sale 4.Study one artist a month 5.Finish the GW kid’s book (to be introduced soon) 6.Enter a contest (or something like it) 7.Finish the hi jane book

#ikea2014

Sometimes ugly people have really wonderful personalities. My postman isn’t doing so fabulous in either direction. The thing is,  the situation has so much potential! My post office is within walking distance… I was raised in the suburbs so the idea of walking to the post office is inherently charming. Secondly, I’m mailing off artwork in mis-shapen brown packages. Thirdly, the building is old, there’s a pretty decent mural of some past war (complete with naked indian fannies) and there’s just one window with one postman. Imagine if he were a charming old gentleman, or a rosy laughing lady. I could bake them something. Bring them coffee. Or a balloon on their birthday. Maybe if I bring my postman a balloon, he won’t ask me if I want overnight after I tell him “Nothing special.” 

But what does this have to do with Lingonberry sauce? Nothing. But aren’t you glad you know about the Indian fannies? 

On Monday, my friend and I loaded the backseat of my car with small humans and set off for Ikea. It’s a bit of a hike–3 hours or so–from here, and near family. My parents drove up from SC to babysit some of the kids, and the sister and sister-in-laws rallied to join in the fun. It was fun,tiring, profitable… messed up on only 4 exits the whole trip (!). Two wailing babies in the back, trend-setting for each other. Had coffee 4 times. 

Today, my husband asked me if I bought the whole store. Blush. Yes. 

Want to see my loot? Here’s some of it. Blush. You may enjoy Ikea vicariously through me. And vicariously gain weight on the meatballs. 

We started our day with meatballs...

We started our day with meatballs…

Lingonberry. And of course, one must always buy candles. Soon, I will host a dinner party with homemade bread and this jar of goodness.

Lingonberry. And of course, one must always buy candles. Soon, I will host a dinner party with homemade bread and this jar of goodness.

Fake sheepskin for the teepee.

Fake sheepskin for the teepee.

Soup&salad bowls. And one can never leave Ikea without at least one basket with a couple Vs and an Umlaut in the name...

Soup&salad bowls. And one can never leave Ikea without at least one basket with a couple Vs and an Umlaut in the name…

Ikea, the savior of the stained, ugly cotton comforter...

Ikea, the savior of the stained, ugly cotton comforter… (our guest-room.)

And another pillow sham...

And another pillow sham…

We squeezed a grandfather clock in our tiny living- room. Who knew.

We squeezed a grandfather clock in our tiny living- room. Who knew.

Exhausted.

Exhausted.

 

The $43.55 Bucket of Blueberries, or the Pancake Recipe That Will Change Your Life

The boys are bathing. 

That means freedom for me–relative freedom. Sitting near the bathroom door, reading or pinning fattening things or watching Project Runway, and glancing over to make sure there are still two curly brown heads above the water. Check

blue3

Last Sunday, Sawaya was on call-meaning a ridiculous long day–so killing time felt like the thing to do, and blueberries were half-off. It was quite the rainy weekend, but I took a chance–little boys don’t melt anyway–and set out. It’s a bit of a hike, especially when you’re terribly bad at finding anyplace and take an unnecessary detour. Then, I was out in the boonies, on a curvy narrow road. Depth perception not being my finest quality, I went off the edge a bit… a rather jaggety edge…and bam. There went my tire. Not so bad–we were about to replace it anyways. I drove into the gravel drive of a quaint little farm. Judging by the pretty little white house and neat barn, Norman Bates was not a worry. I dug out the spare and the jack I didn’t know how to use… when Matthew Cuthbert in the form of a 2014 grease monkey pulled up in his magical truck. He quietly changed my tire, and filled it from a hose attached to his truck (I told you it was magical). Onward. 

blue2

blue4

Blueberry picking was lovely. The bushes were on a hillside above a little farm. It was peaceful and drippy, a black cow lending its square shape to the tall yellow grass.  Voices drifted out of the thick bushes, friendly, muffly conversations. The crickets sang in the wet grasses and a dog barked in the distance. Sadly, half-a-bucket in, the kids gave out, after being put off and even told a Baby Stegosaurus story (a current favorite). The blueberries were ridiculously cheap, $3.55, adding to my sadness of leaving.  

The $40? Oh. I ruined the rim too, not just the tire. 

That night, as any decent human being would do, I made blueberry pancakes. Only, I was (am) dieting, so I couldn’t have one. Not all stories have happy endings. 

blueberry1

You must try this recipe. It’s pancake heaven. It’s originally from Allrecipes–only I add vanilla. WHY would one leave out vanilla in a pancake? Beats me. 

Pancakes: 

*Note, I highly (highly highly) recommend King Arthur’s Flour. It’s high-gluten and so yummy. Wait. Did I just really recommend high-gluten when gluten-free is all the rage? Why yes, yes I did. 

1 Cup flour –if not using high-gluten, increase the flour by a little bit. 2-3 Tablespoons? Try that. Hey, I’m no chef. Just make       ’em fluffy.

2 TBS white sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 egg, slightly beaten

1 cup milk

2 TBS veg oil

1-2 tsp vanilla

Mix dry ingredients, make well in center, add wet ingredients. Wisk. Fry in bacon grease for best results. If no bacon grease… butter will do. Lay down butter each.time.no.skipping. 

Variations: 

1. Use King Arthur whole wheat flour and substitute apple butter for the veg oil. Autumn, meet your soul-mate. 

2. Melt 4 TBS (or so) butter, dump in some cinnamon and sugar, add 1/2 cup (or so) of pancake batter. Set aside. Pour regular pancake batter on griddle, and swirl in the cinnamon/sugar mix. Oh.Yum. (pssst. you can still use syrup. Just don’t tell your doctor.) 

now boarding…

So I’m starting another blog. If your response is, “I.can’t.take.any.more.words.from.her.” then please, don’t read it.
If your response is “Great! I’ll follow that one!” then please, read it.
If your response is “Oh, she’s too blunt, and sometimes a little irreverent. I find her a little offensive.” then definitely read it.

The King

The King

This isn’t my first blog, the other one I’ve posted some…and then less…and then none. So I’ve picked up my bag of stuff and squeezed again onto the packed train of bloggers. There’s the Political Bloggers, reading all the other Political Bloggers and vacillating between looking very grumpy and doing face palms. Then there’s the Cooking Bloggers, sardined into their seats with their pots and pans and EVOO and chocolate…so.much.chocolate. There’s the Fashion Bloggers, wearing prints that haven’t been put together since a scarf booth at a Turkish street fair. Over there are the Crafting Bloggers, waiting for the other Bloggers to throw away the sleeves from their coffee cups or perhaps lose a button–because it all has potential…so.much.potenitial. And there’s the Mommy Bloggers, on their way to the Farmer’s Market with their brood of beautifully dressed children, who have been told if they are naughty, their monthly ration of Netflix will go from 25 minutes to 15, and if they’re good, they will get an extra-big quinoa&kale smoothie when they get home. And me. With my Mary Poppins bag of Two Boys, Art, Book Reviews.. Movie Reviews…Food Reviews (oh How I love to eat!)…Travels…Cartoons…General Opinions on Everything… you get the idea.

Wildman

Wildman

We just moved to Virginia in the beginning of June, and I’m still working on my house (how many more months til I have to tackle my closet and quit claiming the just-moved-in-clause?). On my easel is a rotation of not-finished paintings. In my head is a new children’s book I’ll be painting & writing up. So hop along, or dash in and out. Leave comments, or don’t. Agree with me, or not. It’s up to you.

what I’ve said before…