My daughter calls her six-year-old daughter, "The Accidental Artist". The reason? Meggie seems to have a real eye and bent for art, but most of what Meg creates she is too much the perfectionist to like. Who knew a child who hasn't even entered first grade could even be a perfectionist!
I want to show you some of our Accidental Artist's work. I don't know. Maybe it's because she's my granddaughter, but I think what she's doing is pretty awesome.
Painting and drawing:
Now, I like the first two a lot, but I love the last one, mostly because of the story that goes with it. My daughter, Melody, was enthusiastic in her appreciation of it, and praising it to Megan.
Megan said, "I don't like it. It's not my usual work."
I can almost see Melody's jaw dropping, but knowing her, she tried not to show too much surprise, just saying, "I didn't know you even had a 'usual work'".
Megan looked at her mom and sighed. "I didn't either. Until today."
I'm still shaking my head, and hoping Megan doesn't let that already strong inner critic have to much play in her head.
But now I'd like to show you what happened when this six-year-old was handed a camera for the first time:
Saturday, July 31, 2010
Friday, July 30, 2010
Three shots of one beautiful fence today, spotted as I drove through a familiar neighborhood. Isn't it amazing what we drive by day after day and never actually See?
My creative time this week has been spent largely in putting together my costume for Faerie Worlds this weekend. I'm way beyond thrilled to be going. My daughter and I have been exchanging little FaceBook messages--"Thursday, Friday, Saturday. That doesn't sound so long when you write it out like that. I can do it." "Two more sleeps!" "I'll see you tomorrow!"
I've wanted to go to Faerie Worlds for years, but the combination of fairly spendy tickets and the two hour drive to get to it has deterred me. This year, though, a friend gave me not one, not two, but THREE tickets, and my daughter lives where they're holding it. I'm so excited, I could strap on my new wings and fly there all by myself. There WILL be photos!
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Brownies first, right? These are my "Brownies for Grown-ups", but today I thought I'd top them off with something, and it turned out so yummy I decided to share what I'd done. Since it was spur-of-the-moment cooking, you get a photo of the finished product only, and approximate quantities on the ingredients, but here's what you do:
Bake your brownies as usual. Now get a small bowl and put about half a large package of butterscotch chips in it, with about a teaspoon and a half water. Put it in the microwave and nuke it until it melts. My microwave took about 45 seconds. When you take the bowl out, the chips will be melted, but the oil in them will have separated itself out. No worries. Add one or two teaspoons of chocolate syrup, and stir until the mixture is creamy.
Drizzle the melted mixture over the brownies, and top with chopped nuts. It is Gooooood!
Now the tip.
This is summer. You know, that season with the clothes that won't stay on hangers. Here's a simple way to make a non-slip hanger so your tank tops and scoop-necked tees won't slide right off every time you look at them.
Take two of those big rubber bands they wrap around produce at the grocery store. Wrap them once or twice around each end of your coat hanger.
Hang up your shirt or dress. The rubber bands will keep it in place.
Oh! Almost forgot! 52 Flea has an awesome give-away/give-back going to celebrate her 500th post, but you have to sign up before August 1st, so get yourself over there on the double-quick!
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Some days going to the mailbox is pure pleasure. Like today. I opened the door, and riffled through the pile of junk mail, giving all of it a silent "Pffft!", until I came to this:
What is that?! I wondered, and then I remembered the Decorative Envies (envelopes) swap. Oh! Oh, goodness. Sarah's decorated envelopes for me. Do you know what self-restraint I exercised? I turned the letter over, and the back was even better than the front:
And then...and then...sigh. I couldn't open it! I was on my way to pick up Ceili from the dog groomer. Opening the envelope might damage it and I didn't want to risk that before I took pictures. Dang. I put the letter on the front passenger seat, where it sat and lured and tantalized until Ceili and I got home.
And then...more delay. Find a nice background to lay it on... Get the camera... Free up the camera card so I could take it out of the laptop and put it back in the camera...Finally!
See? I get a fabulous envie I can send to someone else, too! I love the row of old cars. Which reminds me, the theme of this swap was Parade. Didn't Sarah do a wonderful job of conveying it?
Those old cars remind me of my childhood, county fairs, drive-in movies with my family, and yes, parades.
Can you tell I spent a good deal of my childhood out in the country? The picture on the back reminded me of all those things, too! (Well, except for the drive-in. Don't think I ever saw a tractor there. Maybe a flatbed truck, though.)
So, thank you, Sarah! My envies are delightful, and my mind is asking, "Who? Who is going to get a note or letter tucked inside?"
I hope Sarah likes the ones I sent her. I can tell I have a ways to go before I reach the level she's at, though!
And on that note, I think I'll go to bed. Smiling.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
I was thinking about this certain vegetable the other day, and it occurred to me it would be a great blog entry for a Sunday Favorites post. (Chari is hosting these; click on the button to the left that says Sunday Favorites if you'd like to join the party!)
Here it is, from September, 2008:
I had a lunch date with a salad yesterday, starring Mr Bell Pepper. Boy. Don't know what set him off, but when I took off the paper towel I'd wrapped him in after making Saturday's salad, this is what I saw. (I'm not kidding. He just about took my head off!)
I went ahead and sliced off some for my salad, thinking that would change the pepper's outrageous expression, but I was mistaken.
Haven't had a salad today. I'm kinda reluctant to see what's inside that paper towel now.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
I've been working on a small project that ended up taking WAY more time that I'd expected, but it's a first try at a new thing, so maybe that's to be expected.
You see, I joined a Yahoo! group, Decorative Envies, that's for people who like to send not just real, paper, mail, but real paper mail that's pretty. Hence, the "Envies" part of the name, short for "Envelopes".
Anyway, part of what they do is swap decorative envelopes, and I've just finished up my first set, ready to pop in the mail. That's what I'm showing you!
Okay, so the deal is you send a decorated envelope your swap partner can use inside a decorated envelope. Above is the larger, outside envelope, front and back, and below is the smaller, inside envelope:
That last picture is what you see when you lift the envelope flap.
I'm eagerly watching my mailbox, 'cuz my partner says she's already sent mine. I just hope she likes what I'm sending her way!
So how about you? What are you showing the world this Saturday (or any Saturday)? Leave a comment with a link, so I can come see!
Friday, July 23, 2010
Okay, so I've been without a car for nearly two weeks, and also been doing shows, busy, busy, blah blah blah, but the upshot is I'm posting my Friday Fence Post a day late, and post dating it.
There's just one photo, of the roses against the chain link fence in our yard, with the tall wooden fence in the background.
What is it about pink and gray?
Sunday, July 18, 2010
I'm not going to completely reproduce this favorite post, but just put up the photo, one of my all-time favorites.
Background first: I had taken the kids I was nannying at the time over to their best friend Margaret's house. Happily, Margaret's mom is also one of my best friends.
We were all enjoying a pleasant visit while the rain poured down outside, but the kids were getting a little stir-crazy from being cooped up inside, so when it let up, Lorna and I told the three they could go for a walk.
They were back in short order, with tales of water running deep at the street intersections. Water! There was a LOT of WATER! Lorna and I let them lead us outside, and across the street, and up one block.
It was deep all right:
But no, it wasn't that deep! One of the kids had walked into the intersection, Joel, I think, and the water was up to maybe his knees. I don't know if he knelt at that point, or if the idea just leapt full-formed into my brain, but I know I had all three kids walk out and sit on their heels, which brought the water to the level you see in the photo. I told them to act like they were trying to slog through waist-deep water while I took the picture.
Since they were basically kneeling, they were able to skooch forward in small increments. You should have seen the dropped jaws as people drove by on the cross street, NE Fremont. We had people actually stop and haul out their own cameras. The kids, Lorna, and I could barely contain ourselves, but we always managed to until the people drove away. Then we'd erupt in gales of laughter at the trick we'd pulled!
I wonder if the kids ever think of this...Hmmm. Think I'll put the photo on facebook and tag Joel and Margaret! (Don't think Jen has a FB, yet, but she'll see it, too.)
Saturday, July 17, 2010
I thought I knew what I was going to show the world today on this second excursion into Show Me Something Saturday land--the art I've been working on since I got home from Hood River on Monday.
I was out in the yard with my camera, setting up a shot, when art from a much more practiced and professional Hand grabbed my attention. Can't compete with the Divine, and ain't gonna try.
And I'm suddenly put in mind of an old, favorite, saying: "Earth laughs in flowers." My garden is fairly burbling with joy right now if that is the case!
The pink and white roses next to the yellow cottage grabbed me first:
And then the honeysuckle against the fence:
And the love-in-a-mist, which I think is also called Devil's claw, at the base of a birdbath:
By then, I was just wandering around, looking at all the beds. There's an enormous buddleia (butterfly bush), which I guess we aren't supposed to grow anymore, now that Oregon has declared them an invasive species. My husband hacks it to the ground every year, and every year it just comes back stronger. It's taller than the peach house now, but smells so deliciously of honey, and is draped so beautifully with purple spires that I can't resist it. Neither could this bee:
Then, as I took the path to the bed next to the porch of the peach cottage, this perfection in pink lit up the shade:
And last, the lavender and curry blooming together, one of my favorite combinations, and one I wait eagerly for every year:
So now, what have you got to show me this Saturday, or next? Leave a comment with a link, and let me know, so I can come see!
PS Clicking on the photos makes them bigger, and even more amazing. And here's one of my favorite computer tricks: After you've clicked on a photo, push the F11 key. Everything at the top and bottom of the screen will go away, and the picture will get even bigger! When you want your stuff back, just push F11 again. It's a wonderful way to see more screen on any page.
Monday, July 12, 2010
Hood River Lavender Daze is a favorite festival of mine, one I look forward to eagerly each year. A big part of the pleasure and joy of it is the location--smack in the middle of the Hood River Valley, with Mt Hood shining white to the south, and the snowy slopes of Mt Adams rising to the north. The orchard, the rows and rows of lavender, banks of red poppies and tall white shasta daisies, mounds of curry plant, lawns dotted with lawn chairs and tables, where you can sit and sip lavender lemonade and soak in the scent and beauty.
My booth, for the last two years, has had its back against a row of lavender, yarrow, and ...and...what is that? I asked Diane, who owns the farm along with her husband, and found she's a bit frustrated at not being able to remember! And I really, seriously, find that I need to have this plant in my own garden. But how can I get any if I don't know what it is?
I'm asking you. Can you identify this plant? It doesn't seem to have any scent to it, and stands roughly 18" tall. Help me out here. Please. Pretty please.
If you need a closer view, click on the photo, and it will enlarge. Oh, and the flowers are about an inch to an inch and a half across.
Thanks to anyone who know the name!
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Well, I actually posted this last night, but I put the video on YouTube, and something went wrong. All that would come up when you clicked the play button was an error message. So I put it on DropShots this morning, and am reposting now. Just toooooo tired for a second try last night.
This dog loves to climb trees! I got the video of it at the Vancouver Recycled Arts Festival weekend before last.
Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing
Friday, July 9, 2010
Two fences this week! As usual, clicking on the photos will enhance viewing; you get to see them larger, and with more detail.
This last photo has no discernible fences. It's where I am this weekend! Isn't it beautiful?
Tomorrow there will be people wandering down long rows of lavender, cutting bouquets. To the right of the shot, there is a small garden house sweetly packed with lavender oils, soaps, lotions, and balms. Its porch is a stage, and there will be live music all weekend.
To the right of the garden house, there is a double row of tents housing art (including mine), a lavender gelato stand, a barbecue, a hula hoop play station, alpacas for tasting, a wine tasting booth, tables where you can learn to make a lavender wand...
If you're anywhere near the Hood River Valley, in Oregon, come join me! This is an awesome way to spend a warm summer day! Directions: Hood River Lavender Daze
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
There's a new Coffee Pot Person on the block, and her name is Judy! I took her outside today fro a brief portrait session, but we couldn't stay long. They don't seem to bother Judy or our little dog Ceili, but the mosquitoes were absolutely eating me alive, so we retreated to the indoors, where I slathered my welts with that boon to humankind, melalueca oil, aka tea tree oil.
That's probably more information than necessary, but I get chatty when I'm thinking with my fingertips!
And now, without further ado, h-e-e-e-r-e's JUDY!
Judy hasn't told me anything about herself yet. Usually, it takes a few days for that, and some patience. My usual routine is to just stare at them for a day or two, talk to them now and then, let them get used to me, that sort of thing. Eventually, the Coffee Pot People get comfortable, and start talking, and I find out all sorts of things--their jobs and hobbies, personality traits, wardrobe preferences, etc. I must say, some are more talkative than others, and also, I have to tell you that they don't actually talk out loud!
And now I can hear you wondering: What has that first photo got to do with Judy?
Nothing! I was just going into the house, and noticed how the foxglove had wound itself around the handle of the umbrella, and thought it was cool!
Oh, and my little dog, Ceili, has taught herself a new trick. I'm tickled by it, but not sure how happy I'll be in the long run: She has taught herself how to open the sliding screen door to the enclosed deck! She is SO pleased with herself!