Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Derby photos

(I'm not feeling very well today, so I'll keep this short.)

Ross's car was the Golden Dragon.

Golden Dragon derby car

Chris moved away from the boat theme this year, and instead made a fire engine.

The fire engine

On race day, the Cub Scouts were exuberant, and most of the adults, well-fortified with coffee, were in good spirits as well. I tried to get some good shots of Ross with his buddy Christopher, but they were not in the mood for posing.

In the audience

Ross was trying so hard to be a good sport, and to console his disappointed buddy.

Ross and Christopher (back)

At the end of the day, Ross placed third in the pack!

Ross gets third place

The boys behind his are brothers, and they won 1st and 2nd places. Do you think we can pry any secrets out of their dad for next year?

Christopher won an honorable mention for his car, which was really nice. Again, not in the mood for posing for photos, the boys did let me get a shot with their awards:

Ross and Christopher with their awards

The fire engine came in first in the open division (for parents and siblings). It was extremely fast -- I'm pretty sure Chris had the fastest car in the room on Saturday.

Congratulations to all!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Pinewood derby, comin' up

In a flurry of last-minute activity, Ross and Chris finished off their Pinewood Derby car entries, just before the official weigh-in. I don't have photos of them right now, but I promise I will post some after the race on Saturday.

I didn't make a car this year, because I've got so many other projects right now, including creating "driver's licenses" for the scouts to wear on Saturday. Here's Ross' mugshot:

Pinewood derby headshot

Chris is out of town (the trivia contest is early this year), and is disappointed that he won't be at the race. Ross is rarin' to go!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Let the sun shine in

Frosted trees on blue sky

Sunday was sunny for the first time in a long time. The frost, built up from several days of freezing fog, was dropping off the trees. Little bits of white pelted me as I walked in the park. The light shined through everything, including the smiles of many winter-weary Spokanites who were outside that afternoon.

Looking up, as frost is falling

Can you see the little streaks of white on the left? That's the tumbling frost.

As always, I followed the light, looking for the most miraculous moment of illumination, trying to coax my camera to catch a bit of magic. My methodology is: click the shutter often, and hope that I get lucky. Later, as I sort through the pictures on the computer, I know I have found something if my eyes open a little wider, if I sit forward in my seat to take a closer look. The photo below made me lean a little closer to the screen today.

I hope you enjoy it, too.

Sun on frosty pine needles

Inauguration Day

I was going to send Ross to school as usual this morning.

I really wanted to see Mr. Obama take the oath of office, and to hear his speech. But school starts at 9 am Pacific time, right as he'd be taking the oath (if it was on time). Was I going to drop him off early so that I could get in front of a television quickly?

Then it occurred to me: they may not show the inauguration to the kids at school. The start time might make it impossible. And, honestly? I had serious suspicions that the power-that-be in my son's school might not think it important enough to show history being made. This is a very white city, largely Republican, and I admit that I often feel on guard when it comes to things political.

So. I announced to Ross that he was staying home to watch the inauguration ceremony, and then I'd take him to school. Yesterday I sent email to his teacher and called the attendence (absence) hotline at his school, stating the same thing to them.

He was not nearly as excited as I was, and he did not listen and watch as closely as I did. But I do know that he got to see the moment, and he got to see how important it was to his mother. Good enough for me.

Inauguration Day

(Turns out that the kids did watch it in school. Thank goodness for that!)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

"Heartenings"

My first little artist book is finished. It's called Heartenings.

Heartenings -- front cover

Inside it reads:
You are
You are beautiful

Heartenings -- You are beautiful (page one)

always Beloved
Whole

Heartenings -- Peaceful (page 4)

Peaceful

Heartenings -- Growing (page 5)

Growing
Generous
Loving

Heartenings -- Aglow (page 8)

Aglow

You are welcome to take a closer look: all of the photos are posted on an album on my flickr account.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Hockey fans

We went with the Crowleys to a Spokane Chiefs hockey game this weekend. Lots of fun! Ross is learning to be a hockey fan like his parents. Here he is, enjoying the game with his buddy JD:

Hockey exuberance

At the hockey game

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

More self-portraits

Holding a latte for dear life

I'm back to the self-portraits. One month's worth, at least.

So far, they are pretty dull. (See above.) It's going to be a challenge to spice things up a bit, especially when the weather isn't going to permit a lot of shots outdoors. I guess it's an opportunity to work on my indoor lighting skills.

Feel free to check out my flickr account to see what I come up with.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Lovely blogs


Thanks to Suzee (my cousin!) at Chez LaFleur in Manhattan for presenting me with this award! She calls me a philosopher -- I don't know if I'd claim that moniker for myself, but I kinda like it. (I'm blushing a bit.)

To accept the award, I need to nominate 7 blogs for this award. I have some all-time favorite blogs, which I've listed here again and again, so this time, I'd like to spotlight some different folks:
  • Katie Kendrick at joyouslybecoming: a wonderful artist with fabric, paper, you name it, and a brave, open soul.
  • Joanne at Framed -- A Photographic Blog: Joanne just started this blog of her wonderful photos.
  • Noni at Peacock Blue: another great photographer, who posts on varied topics, with nary a dull moment.
  • The Lone Beader: This woman is serious about her bead art, and shares her amazing creative process step by step.
  • Inga at Cotton Picker: A fine doll maker and opera lover!
  • Jane at Janeville: A versatile artist, Jane shares her sketches, art quilts, and other doings on her blog.
  • And, back at you, Suzee! Chez LaFleur in Manhattan is a foodie's adventures in her kitchen as well as in NYC. I'm often drooling as I read. :-)

These awardees just need to follow these simple rules to receive this award and pass it on (except for Suzee, who's already done the heavy lifting):
Add the logo to your blog
Link to the person from whom you've received the award
Nominate seven blogs of your choice
Leave a message on the nominees' blogs

If you get a chance, check out these blogs!

Monday, January 5, 2009

The snow shovel is my friend . . .

The snow shovel is my friend

. . . but I wish it wasn't such a constant companion these days.

(And now it's going to warm up and rain -- possible flooding in the days ahead. Oy vey. It's been tough to find a bright side to all this.)

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Little books

After participating in the I Heart Zines swap, I have been thinking about making more little books. To create a multi-layered background for the covers, I improvised on Beryl Taylor's method for making fabric paper. (I think there was a recent article in Cloth Paper Scissors that showed something similar, but I can't seem to put my hands on it at the moment.) I cut open a small grocery bag and glued old book pages on it. Next I doodled with a Sharpie and water-soluble crayons, then used watered-down PVA glue to add a layer of tissue papers. Finally, I sprayed watered-down acrylic ink on top.

Blue and green covers

The paint samples will be book pages, and there will be other things in there, too. (Stay tuned. . . .)

I painted and inked an old denim pant leg, thinking that I'll need some sturdy fabric for constructing these books. I'm thinking this could be cute to use in making plushies, as well.

Painted denim

And lo and behold, look what came in the mail yesterday! My friend Deberah Morrow sent me a beautiful little book that she'd made. Isn't it grand? I love the big shiny yo-yo, and the beads, and that nifty sewing machine charm (top right).

Debbie's book