12.29.2009

The Allure of Video Games

Turn off your mind, relax
and float down stream....

I thought I might return to the reality of daily life today. I am a little obsessed with Animal Crossing. I like to pick weeds, fish and pay off my mortgage. Just when I thought I might do something productive today, Maya popped her head out of the basement and said... "Daddy said 'Get the band together.'" Darrin hooked up the stereo to the Wii so we can really jam. I was still playing for about an hour after everyone else walked away. Ever since we heard that Rock Band was coming out with a Beatles version, the whole family was wishing for it. Maya was confident that Santa would bring it, because as she said "Santa likes when families do things together." Before I saw Rock Band, I thought it sounded quite ludicrous. Game controllers shaped like guitars? You press colored buttons and pretend you can play a musical instrument? It's actually quite a lot of fun! Singing and playing the drums aren't quite as feigned as guitar playing. I thought we would never own any video games. I have found that playing some games does take some mental focus and coordination. Still it's a little disturbing how many fill our house. And, of course we limit how much the kids play. I just need a little self-discipline. January is my time to start fresh. This week I am still indulging.

12.22.2009

Happy Holidays!

Last week was a marathon of holiday preparation and even though I was exhausted, I enjoyed every minute of it. Now I am on vacation and just tying up a few last minute little things. My fabulous hubby gave me the Mommy time I needed today. He took both girls to my parents house and cleared the snow from their driveway. Maya and Ellie made this adorable snowman outside the window that Grandpa looks out from his comfy chair. Our first snow this year, just in time for Christmas!

12.17.2009

Today

Estimated cookie count as of yet = 320.

Cookie Continuum


Ellie chose to make rolled butter cookie Christmas trees for her class treat. The gingerbread decorating for the student council party went well. JuJu Bees make great little gumdrop looking decorations for gingerbread, but I felt bad giving them to kids. I don't think there is anything worse for teeth than JuJu Bees.

Last night I mixed up the 4th batch of gingerbread dough. Plus, pecan tassies and a double batch of fudgy brownie cups along with the rolled butter cookies means that I am on my 8th round of cookies so far. Last night as I was cleaning up the mess at 10pm I felt that this is an obsession more than a tradition.





12.14.2009

Gingerbread Off and Running!


Here begins the cookie extravaganza. On Saturday we mixed up a double batch of gingerbread. Maya wanted to take a holiday treat to her class and all the teachers. I planned to make gingerbread for the Brownie Girl Scout party tonight. Decorating cookies doubles as a party project and a party treat! This is why I mixed up the third batch today before Girl Scouts for the Student Council Christmas party on Wednesday. Somewhere between Wednesday and Friday I will be baking ALL my favorite cookies to share with friends on Saturday night.




Snowglobe

Let's shake it up a bit.
Christmas is coming and the little ones
want to see some snow!

12.11.2009

12.05.2009

Nablopomo - Endnotes

Well, it was fun while it lasted. I didn't quite make it through 30 days of art blogging, but I enjoyed the experience. I am happy to say I didn't fizzle out because life was "oh so hectic". I was busy enjoying the holiday - eating, drinking, relaxing, visiting with family. And, we had a house guest. I didn't really want to try and disappear into some remote part of the house to draw or paint something. Instead, I just enjoyed a glass of wine with Grandpa Bob.

I had hoped to develop some sort of consistent style in my work, which I did not. I didn't have a whole lot of time to create something everyday and most often the topic dictated the style of illustration.

Here are a few of my thoughts in retrospect.

Nov. 1: I have an irrational fear of mice. I am puzzled to see how some people react when they see a spider, bee, bug or creepy crawly thing. The screaming, flailing, jumping, running? None of those things faze me. However, that would be my exact reaction to seeing a mouse. In fact, I don't wear sandals in movie theaters because I think one might crawl across my foot.

Nov. 7: Painting nature makes me very happy. I was thrilled to have a topic to apply to a new painting.

Nov. 8: Conspiracy Theory. I have a few. I try not to dwell on them. I couldn't think of one of my own to illustrate so I Googled "conspiracy theory." My goodness. That was interesting. Apparently some people believe that the mark of the beast is imbedded in bar codes. I struggled with the drawing of the 7 headed beast so I collaged a barcode with a work of Albrecht Durer. I am not comfortable with the idea of using bits and pieces of other images in collage even though I am not reproducing this or selling it for profit. On a separate note, there is a website that will generate a barcode and this one in particular says "conspiracy" in barcode language.

Nov. 10: I admire primitive drawing styles of other people. If I drew in this style everyday I would become more comfortable with the imperfections. Or perhaps there would just be fewer imperfections.

Nov. 11: The topic was "The most interesting thing that happened to me today." Again, happy to loosely apply the topic to a nature painting. I am very excited about this one and in January plan on beginning a series of these in a larger format.

Nov. 12: A mono-print I created while in high school. The first day I did not create art for the day. I struggled with the topic "How has your life turned out differently than you imagined it would when you were in high school?" Either mine is not that different or I didn't really have any expectations. I thought I would have an art related job. I do. I thought I would probably get married and have a couple of kids. I do.

Nov. 13: The second day that I posted an older piece of work. I donated this piece to an online auction for The Peace Fund a few years ago. (Protect, Educate and Aid Children Everywhere) At the time I was really believing that I could create peace though the painting of mandalas and I have donated a few. I was happy to donate a painting and solicit all my friends to bid.

Nov 14.: "Five ways to lose a fight." Not easy to fit into a small quick illustration. You may not have recognized them: 1. Hitting below the belt 2. Running 3. Cowering 4. Crying 5. Surrender

Nov. 15: Re-posted an older work. I was thrilled to have created a haiku for this day. The only topic worth breaking my word fast for. I have thought about attempting to write a haiku for years, but never have. The traditional haiku pertains to nature and I have given so much thought to my deciduous paintings that the poetry quickly spilled from my mind.

Nov. 16: The present. Painting nature makes me happy.

Nov. 17: For the record I would prefer getting a peg leg before a hook! What artist would be willing to give up their right hand? or their left? For the sake of illustration I chose the hook. If this girl looks a little familiar I digitally worked over an old Illustration Friday piece. So much fun - I could get used to this type of work, but too much else going on right now. I need to focus on painting.

Nov. 20: This was so much fun to draw! I was a little uncomfortable because I am a freak about plagiarism. Again, I am not reproducing this or creating it for profit. It is very much meant to pay homage, but it is too similar to the original. I have not adapted it in anyway to make it my own. Anyone want to share your opinion on this topic of the fine line between homage and plagiarism?

Nov. 24: Still struggling with paying homage and plagiarizing. Eric Carle has a lovely blog himself and I found the coloring page on his website.

I guess I have not avoided rambling - just put it off til the end.

I'll probably take a little break from blogging until January with the exception of a few photos of cookies. You might as well check them out from last year, because as I realized then, they will look exactly the same!

Happy Holidays!