Friday, March 31, 2006

Pastel Workshop

I went to an opening once and saw the artist Stan Sperlak. He is a pastel artist. I really admired his work. He does amazing things with pastels I think. I did get to speak with him and he told me he taught workshops but at the time they were all in Cape May, N.J. I use pastels in my watercolors but just a touch here and there. I really have no experience with them. My friend Maggie caught something in the paper recently that said he would be doing a one day workshop in our area. Finally. I couldn't pass up this opportunity. It is a plein air class and the supply list was quite extensive. I came home yesterday and had 3 boxes waiting for me and I am still expecting one more. I hope I do very well with pastels for all my investment.

Just SOME of my new supplies.

Being a MOTHER is Hard

I have again heard from my son Michael. He will not be coming home for Easter or before he leaves for Iraq. I have not seen him in a year. That's hard to believe. SAD. But he does have a 2 week leave and he and a friend will be visiting Spain. HAPPY. Who wouldn't choose Spain over their mother. Seriously. 20 or not. It will only cost him $300 to visit Spain and it will cost $900 to come home. I am very happy for him that he has this opportunity to travel. When he is stationed in Iraq he will get a leave and the Army will pay to send him home. (So he says.) So I will have to send him off w/o seeing him. HARD. He says he will send pictures of his trip. IF he does I will share them.

Monday, March 27, 2006

The Story of my Chairs

The other day Andie was over and took a picture of my kitchen dining area.

When she got home she said she didn't realize the chairs were all different while she was there. I think maybe she was mesmerized by the yellow walls. There is a lot going on in there. Maybe to much? Anyway here is the story of my chairs. Before I moved in this house I lived in a teeny, tiny house with my four children and my husband. I would sit and dream, and dream, and plan and plan exactly how my new house would be right down to the CHAIRS! I always would talk about these details. I always said that I wanted a long dining table with all different chairs. When the renovation of the farmhouse was nearly done my friends surprised me by having a chair painting party. Everyone bought a second-hand chair and we all painted them. One has a little sketch of the house on it. This is my husbands favorite.

This one was done by a friend who has since passed away. I am grateful to have this gift from her.

This one was done with my then troublesome teen Taylor in mind.

It depicts the two sides of her.

This one is collaged and says, " I am the Goddess, I am the Mother. All acts of love and pleasure are my ritual." On the back of it there is a Buddha that says, "Indulge".

I did this tiger chair for my youngest son because he has loved tigers all his life.

At each end of the table there are hand carved chairs from Mexico that I painted.

I think I want to redo them now. I have re-thought my paint job.

Finally there is the chair I like best and it is based on a favorite painting by Jean-Auguste Dominique Ingres called La Grande Odalisque.

Can you see the connection?

Saturday, March 25, 2006

I Gotta Kiln!!!!!!

Oh my goodness. I can hardly believe this day has come. My kiln was delivered today by Mike,"The Kiln Doctor". I am pretty damn happy right now. It's in my studio right now but John will be building me a separate little room for it. It's beautiful. That's Mike with my kiln sans it's lid. What a great day.

Andie, thankfully came by just in time to save me from more information than I am really ready for just now. We spent a couple lovely hours together. The girl is going to change this world. I know it. She is one intelligent human.

To make my day even more special I talked to my elusive son Michael twice today! Actually it was IM but same thing almost.

Here is the update: He is being sent to Iraq in June. Didn't think he would be able to visit home first because he had filled out a form wrong. He will , however go to talk to someone about it Tuesday. He just spent 7 weeks in the cold, freezing snow up to his knees at least, in tents but seems to be doing fine. He sent me this picture of his friend.

He thought it was funny and come on, it is. He sent another that was also "funny" but I didn't think I should include it on my blog. But they made me feel like everything was okay for now and Michael is having fun. It was 11pm in Germany and he was on his way out. That makes me glad. Have fun Michael. I do miss him terribly. He is a good kid. I hope he can get home. It seems like just yesterday Taylor and Michael were playing in the ocean...

Now they are all grown up and gone away from me. Time flys. But not fast enough 'cause there's still 2 at home! Ha! You thought I had gone soft on you for a minute there didn't ya?

Taylor, all grown up.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Boston Legal

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


I will start with my Tuesday night class. It was a hectic Tuesday. Had to get Johnny to lacrosse practice by 4pm, parent teacher conferences at 4:30 and then class at 6pm. It takes me 1/2 hour to get to class from where I live. I didn't sleep well the night before and I was very tired. When I got there I took out my camera to take pictures of some pieces that I made that were on the back shelf waiting to be bisque fired. Like these...

And then I saw my daughter who I am so proud of, trimming on the wheel and I took a picture of her...

(see her glowering at me?) and she said "Could you stop taking pictures of me!" Ummm...let me see? Wasn't that me making a birthday cake?

Yup! That's me. Didn't we take her and 2 friends out for a birthday dinner? Check. Didn't I then deliver the cake to her friends house where they were all hanging out?(Okay John delivered it but I bought two containers of icecream to go with it and I put candles in the bag.) Didn't I drive her 3 HOURS to a mall that had 2 floors like she requested???? So I just said the only thing I could think of..."Shutup." I am so over 16. Who made up SWEET 16. Sweet my ass. I can not live in teenage world anymore. Too many years of teenagers are aging me very quickly and I feel trapped. The walls are closing in. I keep counting. 16...17...18. OHMYGOD. And Johnny is only 12! And you know if she reads this blog I will be in grave danger. But okay, see this pitcher?

Lisa made it. Good thing I took a picture of it because it doesn't exist anymore. She dropped it before the end of class. So there!

On a brighter note...I met my friend Patti at Starbucks for coffee this morning. Patti has three daughters who are all teenagers. We talked about our lives...Laundry, driving, laundry, driving, laundry, laundry, laundry, LAUNDRY! and how much we love it. And also how we can't remember anyone's name. So if you see us and we don't know your name it's not because we don't know you, it's just that we don't at that moment know your name. It's always great to have coffee with Patti. Speaking of good things... when the mail arrived today my Paste magazine was in it. Yay!

Every issue comes with either a cd with songs or dvd w/short films, videos and film clips. Today's issue came w/BOTH! The CD this month is awesome. And the DVD has my favorite new artist KT Tunstall's video and 29 others! I just added her to my ipod a couple weeks ago.

I highly recommend this magazine. You can get it at that bookstore that has the Starbucks in it. I can't remember it's name....

Note: I take my spelling very seriously. I know how readers are ready to pounce on my every error. With that in mind I wasn't sure if shut-up was one word or two. Spell check thought it should be shutoff. I then checked in Websters (no entry) and the Garfield dictionary...shut-in, shutout, shut-out, shutter, SHUT UP! There it is. To cease or cause to cease talking. Good ole Garfield. Two words.

"The 1st Dictionary with Attitude!" Clearly the one for me. I highly recommend it.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Later that day...

After dropping Johnny and friends at lacrosse practice and carting her royal-birthdayness and entourage to the tanning salon followed by lunch at McDonald's (gag. I did offer to take them to the Southside Deli) then pick up another friend to add to the entourage, then drop off at another friends house (finally!) I at last got my chance to run to theWaterline Gallery to see Andie doing an al fresco demo. Yeah right! More like freezing her ass off!

Here is Andie warming her hands on the heater her man so thoughtfully brought for her. He also gave up his coat for her.

They had a very good turnout earlier and even though she was ready to pack it in she did one more demo...

Cute shoes Andie.

Mommy Dearest...

Going on 22 years as a mother and I am still knee deep in children. We took Lisa and 2 friends out to the Marlin Moon last night for dinner for Lisa's birthday which is today but she will be too busy partying with her friends today to hang with the family. I forgot the camera. (Idiot). They really enjoyed the shwanky dinner so John and I were happy. Johnny had a pool party to attend. It was for a girl. I was very concerned that he would act like... well, a jerk. But what are you gonna do. He's 12 going on 13. I can't fix that. Anyway he had fun. There were 20 girls and 4 boys at the party. He was happy.
I woke up this morning with 5 kids in the house and John long gone. Yeah. Go to work John. Leave me with the kids. Story of my life. I did my duty and got up, put on the coffee and got to work making waffles which if you read my entry "Dear Carla" , wasn't really much work at all. I decided to not even pour myself a cup-a-joe until I had all this waffle making behind me so I could really sit down and enjoy it. I asked Lisa to get Johnny and his friend and she yelled, "Johnny you fat lard, come and eat your breakfast!" (That's a line from Napoleon Dynamite which is constantly being quoted in this house. ) Then while the kids were chowing on the waffles I started making Lisa's requested birthday cake...Strawberry Shortcake (big cake style). As I searched for the Hot water sponge cake recipe echos of my own mother yelling "Where's my Hot Water Sponge Cake Recipe" went through my mind. Followed by another scary flashback my father yelling and I mean yelling "Who took my god-damn pen!" Remember how we used to scurry to find who did take it. Urging the culprit to just turn it over.

So anyway by 9 AM I had made waffles, fed the troops and made a cake. Finally a cup of coffee. With cup in hand and the house filled with the sound of rock, rap and TV, I sat down to read The Follow Spot which thankfully had a new entry. Hilarious. And I am now craving mac and cheese although I could do without the stewed tomatoes. After that I checked my horoscope for today. Here's what it says:

AquariusLong-distance friends and lovers will be on your mind and in your heart now -- constantly, in fact. You may even be moved to get packed and hit the road. That goes double if you've got something to celebrate, and you probably do. Just don't forget that there may be someone who'd like to join you -- someone who's just dying for an invitation. Call them, make some plans, and get ready to party.

I did dream last night that my son Michael called (which is seriously the only way I am gonna get a call from him. IN MY DREAMS!) and he wanted something about getting in touch w/Carla to get the news to cover something he had to tell us. I guess I really wasn't paying attention. I was trying to sleep. So that takes care of the long distance person right? I mean I am always waiting for him to f-ing call. I am definitely ready to pack and hit the road. That's two. Number 3? Hey , if you know me I am always ready to party soooo... who's dying for an invitation?

My sister Carla and my son Michael who need to get OUT of my head.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

For Rita...

I almost forgot but just in the nick of time I remembered to get a picture of my stuff. Well one piece. I should have taken a picture of the stuff on the shelf. Maybe next week. I had another great class. Everything is starting to come together for me. I am not so frustrated at the end of class anymore. Yes!

I have a couple nice pedestal bowls too. You can see how messy my hands are which makes it hard to be handling a camera. Lisa is in the background working on a pitcher she made.

Oh I just stole this pic from Andies blog. It's a good class photo. We were having a little photo fest last night between the two of us.

The ride home was not so satisfying. Lisa got her learners permit and drove all the way home from Salisbury. I seriously don't think I am capable of teaching people to drive. I still can't relax my neck and shoulders. I called John on the way home and when he heard Lisa was driving he made me get off the phone because he said I needed to pay attention. Lisa will be 16 on Saturday!


Monday, March 13, 2006

Please Remember to SET THE TIMER!

We went to La Ha again! Thursday nite 95 cent taco nite this time. I was at parent/teacher conferences at the high school until 7 so we met up at the restaurant. Johnny didn't come. He decided he wanted to stay home and have a frozen pizza. John visited his friend Barry in the kitchen...

who did not want his picture taken.

It's okay....John made another friend in the kitchen. As usual everyone was so good to us. We saw lots of people we knew. Lisa and I ordered our usual, 2 chicken tacos and John had his usual , 2 chicken 2 beef. Pretty cheap dinner. And good.

Johnny on the other hand didn't do so well.

Friday night we had plans to go to open mic night at the Waterline Gallery with Maggie and Jimmy. We got there and saw plenty of our other friends. Heres Maggie with Bill Rolig and one of Debbie Roligs paintings hanging behind them.

Bill and Deb are very talented. I love, love their art. I would love even more to have some of it but can't afford it. They have a big opening in April and I can't wait. It is always a joy to see their work. They are extremely fun to hang with too.

Saturday we made a quick stop at Camille's 27th bday party. She had all her young friends get together at Castaways.

John was tired from our previous nights out and not into the young crowd. I was having fun though. Here's how John looks when he's mad at me.

Whatever. When I wasn't going out and picking up and dropping off kids I cleaned up the studio.

I can't work if its a mess. You can see the new heater we just had installed on the wall. Everything was pulled apart and moved so it could be put in. Of course now that I have it it's 75 degrees out.

First project is to mosaic this piece of furniture. I am in the planning stages. When we get the kiln (any day now) I will be able to do more of the kind of mosaic I love. Like our bathroom.

Until then I am using plates and little bits of tile. It's frustrating when I want a certain color. But I enjoy this kind of mosaic too.
I will end (finally) with a painting by the ever talented Lisa.

Please understand...all my children are talented not just Lisa. I promise I will get you all on here.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Pottery Class

At last I remembered to take pictures in my pottery class. Last night was a very satisfying class. Andie Plamondon, our teacher, finally got through to me on several points and I was really starting to connect with the clay. It sounds stupid but its true. The clay and I were working together at ONE point. But I started to get it last session in the 4th class and then 2 more classes and it was over. There's just no way to learn unless you sit down and throw, throw, throw. So I will have to move Andie in. Andie is a great teacher, a talented artist, and we have a lot in common including a love of cosmos and music. Check out her site. Here is Lisa and Andie working together.

It's messy...

Go Lisa...


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