Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Recent life in pictures

I'm taking a cue from my friend Andi and posting some life without much text just pics. Hey, don't they say that a picture is worth a thousand words? Just think how much time we're saving on reading it all this way. ;-)

4th of July

Swaps in Yahoo groups: first up, inchies.

Next we have charms for swaps, in process and done:

Summer field--the pic wasn't very good, so I goofed with it a bit.

Prepping for the 4-H dog show. Okay, the dog didn't go in the fitting and showing class this way! The spoils? My daughter won a blue and a red and we all lived throught it. Now I remember why I quit showing horses, though.

New art in progress. This piece was started last spring and is finally moving forward. A new palette of colors for me--I don't usually use greens and yellows without pink and I avoid orange like the plague. Well, unless it's with some pink...

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Good News!

If you read the bit below about our teacher trying to bring his family into our country legally, then you'll be pleased to know the updated story: he's found the sponsors!

Other good news--our powerful confuser is once again connecting with the e-world. I really like my space bar and am most appreciative of its normal sound and easy functionality.

I actually had an art day today. The family went into the mountains on a disappointing huckleberry run. Such a small amount for all their effort on a hot day. But I had fun at home. I worked on a piece that I started earlier in the spring and got a lot done on it. Of course the nice spring quote odesn't quite fit now, but I'll work something out. I'll share pics when done. I also painted some pages in an altered book that had been in my brain for a couple years now. It's a sort-of pop culture take on different Bible verses (not irreverent, though, by any means). I've been saving all kinds of bits and pieces and need to start piecing together and glueing. Just getting the little bits and pieces stuck in something so I can throw away the extra will be so nice. My sweet husband once referred to my office/studio space as a "mouse playground" but he was off a bit--it's a packrat's paradise!

Looking forward to more art time tomorrow. I'm trying to be more disciplined this week with mornings set aside for study and afternoons set aside for some play. We'll see how it goes.

Friday, July 20, 2007


Well, I've had lots of things in my brain to share lately, but our internet is down again, so I'll be away until the service provider can resume providing. I'm at the library right now on a computer with a space bar that either sticks or is inordinately loud. Or maybe they're all loud and I'm just the only one using the space bar. Stay cool wherever you are!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Need a sponsor to come to the U.S.

In my personal life I tend to be very opinionated when it comes to politics and such, but I try to keep it away from my blog for a variety of reasons. So I hope any readers will not be offended by the following small indulgence, along the way to a serious need. (Is that what is referred to as a disclaimer? ;-) )

Life is so interesting. While our country has a serious problem with control over its borders and is dealing with providing health and education services to vast numbers of people in this country having not come through the proper channels (which would technically be a breaking of the law), and while the politicos try to drum up support for allowing these people to stay regardless of proper procedures, one of our teachers is trying desperately to get his family into this country legally. The challenge? For each family member he must have a sponsor who will sign papers stating that they will provide financial support in case of catastrophe. The reason? So they will not become wards of the state and drain our government financially. Which makes me scratch my head in wonderment at the aforementioned politicos.

Why are so many of them endorsing breaking our own country's law in this immigration debate? I know, I know--I've heard the heart-appealing arguments about not wanting to break up families who already have one member here. Wait a moment, what about our teacher? His family is stuck in another country because of our law. Oh and then there's the other argument about needed labor. Well, here's a novel idea about putting to work some folk who aren't doing much right now. Obviously not appropriate in all cases, but certainly for some it could be and it would be job training to provide skills for after release (and I'm sure much more effectively than my feeble attempt to teach short story writing in this environment!). As for the cost of rounding up people who are here without proper paperwork--what if we quit providing government-funded services and put that savings toward finding them and returning them to their proper country. If they want to come back that's fine--just do it the right way. Just go through all the red tape and proverbial hoops, like our teacher is doing. Too hard to do all that? Well, I was always taught that anything worthwhile takes sacrifice.

I'm not trying to be heartless. My great-great-grandparents were all immigrants, as were many peoples' ancestors. Come--just follow the law. And on that note, if there is anyone who can help Mr. Phillips, here is the link to his blog again. He needs one to three people to step up as sponsors for his family to be allowed to come. He gives info on how to reach him, if you can help, or know someone who can. Or contact me and I can pass info on to him.

Thanks for indulging my little rant. Yes, I know it's a complex issue, and no, I'm not without a heart. But I do look at the situation of one family trying to do everything right and how difficult it is for them and then look at the state of this issue in our country and wonder what has happened to the sanity of our leadership. Oh, and yes, I called my Senatorial representative and let him know my thoughts also. ;-)

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming...

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Early Bird Award Goes to...

...this fellow. Can you imagine? I can't--coming from the clan of the perpetually late, the early bird award isn't one we're holding our breath over. But it does leave me wondering how this sort of thing gets to be one of the top mentioned stories on MSN? Nothing more important going on in the world?

Sorry, was that sarcasm?

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

So the days go by

There is always something to occupy my time lately. I just wish it wasn't so much work. Oh well, I guess I need to clean off the dining room table every now and then--hee hee. Yesterday I spent some time photographing some items and listing them on Etsy. Most of them are various supplies I've collected and won't be using, but there are also some new waxed stars and some sets of bookmarks. If you want to check them out, visit my Etsy shop. I hope to stay on track and add some more stuff later today, but since my library books are looming due (at a fairly local University and I've already extended the deadline once) I should probably finish at least a couple.

Aesthetics. That's the current topic. I think the academic brain is finally coming back (it only took 30 chapters so so!)--or maybe the topic just changed enough that my mom brain is now comprehending. Or maybe it's the quiet reading time from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. that is allowing me to focus better...

Who knows, but the contemplation of beauty and what it means has made me want to go out and water my flowers. But it's too hot so now I'm too tired and I haven't even gone outside yet. Perhaps laying on the couch will bring back my motivation, but what's that? Socks on the floor. Now whoever could have put those there? Ah, wait, these are my daughter's, so I'll just pop into her room and oh my! What a frightful disaster. What kind of mother lets her child live in a room like this. This will never do so I'd better march right downstairs and get her to come up and clean it. Well, how come this bowl never made it back upstairs? I guess I'd better take it upstairs before I forget. Drat! Look at all those dishes piled up-how do we use so many in a day--I mean I just did them yesterday. Which reminds me, I need to call the insurance to see if they've processed our claim yet. But there are messages on the phone--I wonder who called and how I missed them... And so on. Anyone else have a life that resembles this situation?

Wait--I have a solution (no, not fire! We already had a close call with that!). If I just leave out the punctuation I can pretend I'm living in a James Joyce stream-of-consciousness novel, right? No reality here. It will return tomorrow. But wait, tomorrow is one day before the library books are due and we're going to the beach, so I'd better read today. Oh Mr. Kant, where are you?

P.S. In the time it has taken blogger to attempt to post this message I've actually gone outside and deadheaded my flowers and watered while I read. Really, I did!

Monday, July 02, 2007

Art History Answers--The Ambassadors

Hmm, well it's been a while since I've had time to post some updated art history. I'll give some answers to my last post and retire the program for a while. The last image I posted was "The Ambassadors" by Hans Holbein the Younger (yes, there was an Older and he was an artist also). The items on the shelf between the two men represent many aspects of their lives. The globe is set to show the location of a town in France from whence one of the men came. The lute reflects their mutual interest in music and had one broken string as a reminder of the decay of the world (a vanitas reference found in many paintings; whenever you see skulls, decayed items or timepieces they are frequently references to mortality). One of the books is open to a hymn by Martin Luther. There are also several tools used by astronomers, reflecting again their common interest in science and the heavens. Off the top of my head those are the items I remember, but I'm sure there are more.

But what about that bizarre thing in the middle of the floor? It is the ultimate vanitas reference painted in anamorphic perspective. The object is a skull and it is easily visible if one observes the painting from the lower right side of the painting. Many historians/critics speculate that the painting hung on a staircase where the descending viewer would see the skull in correct perspective for a moment while passing. Sort of a nice way to remind you to make the day count because you'll soon be dead. Wondering what to do about the whole death question? Don't miss the small silver crucifix in the upper left corner of the painting. Don't leave earth without Him--at least that's my intention, if not the artist's also.

Want to learn even more about this fascinating painting? Visit here for a deeper discussion of the symbolic meaning of the items and here for more information on the history of anamorphic painting. That's all for art history for a while. I'm busy reading about aesthetics now, so maybe we'll return with philosophical questions in the fall... In the meantime I need to make some art!

And here is a skewed and cropped version of the skull. I tried to leave a bit of the image as a reference point.