Imagination, connection, and collaboration drive my teaching, art making, and life. This blog documents travel, food, art making, teaching, education, and the life of my Qatari cat and new Chinese pup. 🎉 Go. Make. Fun.
I am totally obsessed with 2 things in life: my nephews (because they are super-cute) and drawings made by children.
Drawing is very important for kids to do at any age because it can be a release for their sponge-like brains and a teaching tool about connecting to the world around them. Since my nephews (Oliver, 4 and Liam, 3) came along, my sister has been doing crafts and art projects with them--almost daily--since they were old enough to hold something on their own. She keeps a calendar marked with projects they will work on. It's really remarkable to watch. And, what they are learning from these projects shows in how they experience the world and interact with people.
So, for one of the boys' gifts, I decided to take a drawing of theirs and turn it into a stocking.
Here is Oliver's stocking, filled with goodies, from a drawing entitled "Liam and Oliver with Daddy in the Middle". (I think it's actually Daddy that made it on the stocking!!)
Both stockings had the boys' names on the back, with a little heart for "auntie love".
This is Liam's drawing entitled, "This Is a People".
The boys' drawings were recreated with the sewing maching. I traced the drawings with chalk onto a piece of felt, and re-drew the pieces with the sewing maching. This is actually quite a long process, but I think this gives the work the integrity and the unique line quality that the original drawings hold. I know my nephews will enjoy seeing their work emblazoned on their stockings, year after year. I just hope they keep up the drawing!! To continued success in the arts, boys!!
My sister, Kerry, and I decided that this year, instead of buying gifts, we would make each other ornaments. This is--actually--more appropriate, since my sister has a habit of opening all of her gifts before Christmas and rewrapping them to look as if they were never touched . . . If there is no surprise, then no surprise can be ruined, eh?
So my dad was shipping out the gift box to Kerry and the boys today, and of course I hadn't made any ornaments yet. I had spent most of my week focusing on the boys stockings and my gift for Josh. But, this morning in my daily email from Craftzine, came a tutorial for these little home ornaments. I loved them! I changed them up a bit, and only used felt. But, I think they turned out quite lovely!
Off they went to be enjoyed at a new home in Dallas!
Combine cracker crumbs and butter; press into a greased 13" x 9" x 2" baking pan.
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries (6 ounce package)
1 1/2 cups vanilla or white chocolate chips
one 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts, as we used here)
Combine above ingre dients in a bowl and mix well; gently spread over the crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 28 minutes, or until edges are golden brown. Cool on a rack. Place in the refrigerator to chill. Cut into bars and serve!
We met the Hansens at Cocina Poblana and I had the most amazing pork tamales. And, then we went outside to catch the hub bub surrounding the tree: of course Santa was there and people dressed in all sorts of crazy outfits that were all lit up. And, they piped snow out of the palm trees . . .
Then, Josh and I went over to the 25 galleries hosting first Friday openings. We caught up with work at Rock Paper Scissors, Hatch, Chandra Cerrito, and Johansson Projects. I gotta say, Oakland is quickly becoming one of my most favorite cities: I absolutely love it!!
I was walking Maggie on Thursday afternoon after work, when a neighbor came out of her house unexpectedly and asked me if I wanted to make a wreathe. Much to my surprise amidst my new-found hermited ways, I said yes. And, an hour later, I had a beautiful smelling 2 foot wreathe hanging in our den. I was amazed at how quickly it came together, and how satisfying it was to make. Glad tidings, y'all.
Okay, so I almost made it. My eyes are notoriously bigger than my stomach on Thanksgiving. I piled my plate high and just couldn't finish it . . . A for effort, I say. Check out more pictures from this fabulous holiday, here.
Hip-hip-hooray to the beginning of the holiday season!!
Dad and Dede came out to wine country for three weeks. So, Josh and I went to visit them for a day. We went to several wineries and checked out the scenery. The food was fantastic!! It was raining, but beautiful. It reminded me of Tuscany.
Before I left to retrieve my things in Baltimore, Josh and I did our annual pumpkin business. We decided that Maggie should play a part in the design. So, she became the mouth of this traditional Jack-O-Lantern face. Happy Halloween, peeps!
When Fall arrives for horse people, it can only mean one thing . . . the Opening Day celebration.
My dad's wife, Dede, is an avid horse rider. She works very hard training and riding her horse, Cracker Jack, almost daily. I was lucky to be on hand for this year's celebration.
Here is Dede body-clipping Cracker Jack. We spent about 4 hours out at the barn, me documenting and Dede grooming. A lady came by towards the end and helped braid his mane.
My dad and I drove out to the celebration the next morning. The drive was about 30 minutes from the house, and absolutely beautiful!
Here I am, out in the field, with Kali. Kali was not a welcome guest at Opening Day as she could have easily become dinner to the over 30 hounds with the hunt party. So, as the hounds were being released with the riders, she got to sit in the car.
Dede and Crack Jack excited to take off!
Out in the field . . . More pictures can be seen here.
One month and a few weeks after her 17th birthday, my cat Sam passed away.
She was suffering a bit, internally, battling old age and then mysteriously stopped eating--1 day before I was going to move her out to California. I took her to the vet and he told me that her kidneys were failing her very quickly and he wasn't quite sure how she had managed this long. At the most she had a couple of days to live.
My dad and I made the very hard decision to put her to sleep. The worst thing to ever have to do is to look into the face of your pet and try to make this decision. She was one of my best friends. We did everything together. She moved to all of the apartments that I have lived in since leaving home. She was around during all of my years of schooling: North Texas, UT, and MICA. She went to the studio with me in Tennessee and Wisconsin, where I taught classes for Blueraku Studios. And, she has met all of my friends and everyone I have ever dated.
However, Sam was not a nice cat. She hissed and spit at just about everyone or anything that moved within a mile radius of her. And, she went out scratching and biting as much as the day she came into my life.
She was a tough old broad and I will miss her greatly.
The picture above was taken the day before she died, outside, in my Dad's front yard.
On October 27th, I officially moved everything out of Baltimore. Only there for a short year, but had a great time nonetheless! Moving on . . .
Above, my car packed to practically bursting with studio supplies. Below, three separate vehicles carrying various wares of mine: 2 cars traveling on to Nashville, 1 car going back to Rob's house in Baltimore.
We went to Half Moon Bay on Saturday to meet the Hansens for lunch. The Art & Pumpkin Festival was taking place, so I wanted to check out some local costuming and pumpkin carving. There was a parade and lots of fun places to stop and eat. Sadly, it was a bit more crowded than we expected: we could barely move, let alone breathe! But, Half Moon Bay (and the drive we took to get there) was gorgeous--I look forward to visiting this spot again soon!