Friday, January 27, 2012

Illustration Friday: Twirl

Mikro and I did our sketches for this week's topic, but finished too late to post them on Illustration Friday. So I'll just show them here.

The topic is: Twirl. Mine is maple seedpods, Mikro's is a tornado with a car, cow, etc. getting blown about and a storm chase vehicle tracking the storm.

I love seeing what Mikro will come up with each week. It's fun to see how differently our minds work, as we rarely come up with the same subject matter despite the common theme. He's really getting into this and has already done his drawing for next week's topic, which is "Forward."

Things That Make Me Happy

Let's see... It's my second week of the happiness project. Art supplies have been bringing a big smile to my face. I used Derwent Inktense Blocks on the cover of one of my little journals in an abstract design, and covered it (OK, fingerpainted it, I'll admit that I was too lazy to go look for a brush) with Liquitex Iridescent Medium. I'm going to use it to record ideas for art projects. I started doing Illustration Friday again, and I'm going strong with the paper journals. I've only forgotten to write once, and I had used, so I had notes from which to reconstruct the day... I've been watching some how to mixed media videos on youtube, and getting really itchy to make something.

We got some snow this week, and I enjoyed watching Mikro and Kev play in it.

I got to use my camera, which is always fun...

And there were signs of spring, which can't come too soon for my gimpy, arthritic body.

There were good books, and good meals, phone calls from friends far away, and the coziness of home on a cold winter's day.

There was Jedi Academy at the Croton Free Library, where we laughed harder than I can remember lately. And Shel Silverstein poems, which had Mikro guffawing and begging for more. Yes, there was (and is) stress galore, but it really does seem to help to be consciously looking for the good things...

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Recently at the Croton Free Library: Art Making!

Our local library has had some wonderful art programs recently. Last Saturday, we had a kids' cartooning workshop, and an adult class on tissue paper collage. (This big never grew up kid was invited to draw with all the other (actual) kids when I raised my hand in response to instructor Jamie Ross' question, "Who likes to draw cartoons?", so I did!) First we looked at how to draw some popular cartoon characters, and then Mikro and I came up with characters of our own. He drew a robot boy, and I did some owlets.

Afterwards, Mikro was super cooperative and camped out reading a Mouse Guard graphic novel while I did the adult workshop. This is an easy, fun way of creating. I did a Hudson River sunset. It's hard to believe this is just scraps of tissue paper and some diluted glue!

Mikro is also participating in a weekly program at the library called Crafty Kids. He loves this and is so excited to go every week. Recently, they have done some clay work, painted canvas floor cloths, and learned some origami. They even made fortunetellers, just like I did as a kid. I wish I remembered how to fold those. I'll have to see if I can get Mikro to remind me...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

SOPA/PIPA: The Day The LOLcats Died - #SOPA #PIPA Protest Song

Things That Make Me Happy

Several online friends are doing a project where every week, they post the things that make them happy. Since it is way too easy to focus on the negative things in life, I love this idea, and I hope I can remember to make it a weekly practice.

So, anyway, here are some of the things that make me happy, in no particular order:
  • My river. I have this inexplicable soul deep connection to the Hudson River. That probably makes me sound pretty nutty, but it is a visceral truth. The crazier my life gets, the more I need to go sit by the river. It's almost like the tide carries the stress away.

  • Scribbling in notebooks and journals. Sometimes it's doodles or lists, sometimes it's pouring my heart out, but writing and drawing have always kept me sane. Right now I'm playing with a bunch of moleskine knockoffs for lists and notes; a 5 year Q&A journal that asks a question for each day of the year, and has space for you to answer for 5 years running; a red moleskine page a day diary; and a couple of sketchbooks. Fun. I'm also using this really nifty web site: IDoneThis, which lets your record what you did each day.

  • Bright colors. As many as possible, everywhere possible. That includes art supplies and tie dye. I collect rainbow stuff.

  • The internet, and my online friends. (My real life friends, too, of course!)

  • Heart shaped rocks.

  • My car, the Blue Beast, which has made such a huge difference in my life now that I've overcome my terror of driving (well, it's a work in progress, but I'm doing it, so that's what counts. The fact that I cuss like a sailor to handle my anxiety and have taught Mikro many creative new combinations of swear words (which he does not repeat) and spontaneously composed profane songs... we'll just ignore, shall we?)

  • Books. Libraries. My Kindle.

  • Art. Making it, viewing it, being surrounded by it.

  • My camera. It substitutes for my short term memory, and makes me take the time to really *see* rather than rushing through life.

  • Music. I sing all the time. I make up lyrics. I wish desperately to someday take piano and guitar lessons...

  • Caffeine. I am not a morning person. Without coffee, I would not even be an afternoon person. I'm also incredibly fond of tea. I'll take either hot or iced, and moderation is not in my vocabulary insofar as my happy wake me up beverages are concerned.

  • Homeschooling. I get to watch my son discover the world. All the milestones are not locked away in some building where I'm not welcome, to be witnessed by strangers. I'm there, seeing the magic moments when reading clicked, when numbers and quantities became linked, when moral outrage over some of the lousier bits of history have taken hold, when political interest and activism sparked. I'm here to see it all, to influence him to think and form his own opinions, to question, to explore. I'm here to encourage his passions, find the resources he needs to grow and provide them, and I am privileged to be learning right along with him and enjoying every minute of it.

  • Bird watching. It gets us outside, and is more fun than I ever dreamed.

  • Mikro. He gets me to look at the world with a child's sense of wonder. He gives the most amazing hugs. His laugh brightens the darkest day. I am so blessed to have this sweet boy in my life.

  • Kev. He's my best friend, my soul mate, the person who's known me longest (except my parents & brother) and who stuck with me through all the bad stuff, as well as the good. He can always make me laugh. That's not to say we have a perfect relationship-- we both have major communications issues, but we do have a solid conviction that we belong together, and that it's worth fighting for.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

(Post) Christmas Visit to Gramma and Grampa's House

We finally made it out to my parents' place for the holidays. Gramma, Grampa & Unca Bobby had fun spoiling the boy rotten.