Sunday, August 31, 2008

IF - Memories

I keep all my precious childhood memories in a blond wooden box, tied securely with chocolate grosgrain ribbon. Every few years I open the lid and let them fly freely.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

It's a Goat Tower, of course.

A while ago, I saw this picture on Neatorama (one of my daily excursion sites), and I saw THIS in South Africa:

How awesome is THAT! Well, of course, I just had to have one of my own. For my imaginary goats, of course. Anyone care to join me for a party in the Goat Tower?

Friday, August 22, 2008

IF - Routine

Next week, it's back to the old routine -- waking extra early to walk the dog, getting the kids to school, music lessons, homework....sigh. I shouldn't complain, though. We live a pretty privileged life compared to the kids in one Colombian village. They live in an area so remote that the children have to travel to school on a zip line over a deep chasm. It's a harrowing routine, but even the young children are accustomed to it.

That is only one remote jungle village, however. Much of Colombia is breathtakingly gorgeous and full of history, festivities, and culture. Thanks, Edrian, for the following video:

Have a wonderful week!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Tears of Joy

I've been incredibly blessed this week. I think my heart has grown ten sizes. I received a wonderful award from four people whose blogs I absolutely adore and whose art I constantly ooooh and aaaaah over: Edrian Thomidis, Kathy Hare, Linda Sarah, and Erin. Thank you, from the bottom of my now overgrown heart. I honestly just feel like a girl with a pencil and a lot to learn, but you've made me feel extra special and inspired. I'm deeply honored.

I also have a special update. I told my friend Arlene about the picture I drew of her and all the wonderfully thoughtful wishes she has received from around the world. My voice was shaking with emotion as I told her, and she was so touched by the response that she shed a few tears. She would like me to thank everyone who has offered words of encouragement and support. So, Thank You!

* * * * *

Quick sketch: We're still in Arizona for a few more days, enjoying the dry heat. We've been frequently visited by large yellow paper wasps that come down to take a sip from the pool. They're perfectly harmless, but my girls get a little freaked out. Man, they're big! This is a wonderful photo of a paper wasp taken from this site.

Have a wonderful day, and thank you for visiting!

Friday, August 15, 2008

IF - Detach

This is my wish for my beautiful friend Arlene.

Arlene is an amazing and generous person. She put herself through college while raising a young child as a single parent. Later, she remarried and had two more children. Several years ago, Arlene was diagnosed with scleroderma, a chronic autoimmune disease of the connective tissue. Although disheartened to learn that she would eventually be disfigured and in constant pain, she was grateful that she would at least live long enough to see her two youngest children grow up.

Two years ago, Arlene's mother was diagnosed with an acute case of leukemia. Within three months, she passed away, and Arlene was there at her side.

Last year, Arlene decided to run a marathon for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. But during training, she fractured both her shins and experienced extreme fatigue. So she went to the doctor. As it turns out, she has pre-leukemia, which may eventually develop into acute leukemia. We pray that it doesn't.

So. My wish for my dear friend Arlene is that one day, she will be able to detach herself from the fatigue, from the pain, from the worry, and play and laugh and love with her family.

Cherish the time you have with the ones you love.

pencil and paper, then poorly photographed and futzed with on Illustrator

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I don't deserve it, but I'll take it!

The wonderfully gifted and kind Edrian Thomidis and the incredibly talented Kathy Hare have just given me a fantastic and touching surprise! They have nominated me for this incredibly sweet "I heart your blog" award. Oh, Edrian and Kathy, you are much too kind!

Now, according to the rules, I am to nominate seven other blogs for this award. My mind is spinning with all the new wonderful blogging friends I have made over the past several months and all their truly inspirational blogs. So many I wish I could nominate, some I have nominated before. This time, I'd like to nominate seven more remarkable people who always seem to have something witty or crafty or inspirational to say. I heart you all!

1. Luci at Everything & Nothing
2. Donna at The Cookie Sheet
3. Krisztina at SketchPause
4. Cata at Cata's Craft
5. Aimee at Artsyville
6. Vanessa at Ooh La La Design Studio
7. Esque at Inkihandmade

The rules are:

1. The winner can put the logo on their blog
2. Link the person you received your award from
3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs.
4. Put links of those blogs on yours.
5. Leave a message on the blogs of the girls or boys you’ve nominated

Spread the love, baby. Spread the love!

What in the world is this kid drawing?


Friday, August 8, 2008

IF - Sail & A Gift From Luci

The beautiful and very non-platitudinal Luci generously shared with me the secret to getting my very own Answer Tree (a tree that inspires and answers all questions). Oh, joy of all joys! After seriously studying her directives, I set out on my quest.

On Wacky Wednesday, I went for a very long walk along a path I'd never been before. I stuffed my hat with all the nursery rhymes and songs that I had sung to my children when they were younger. I would use these as currency later at the Faerie Mart.

The butterfly garden along this path and its inhabitants are dedicated to talented Gillian, who noticed that these delicates creatures are sadly disappearing in her homeland.

To my great delight, I happened upon Ling and Lang, who were lazily sailing in a swan-shaped paddle boat. Neither was interested in doing any paddling, so they simply floated along with the warm summer breeze, sipping their green tea. Oh, Luci, you would have been so proud of me. I memorized the answer to their quiz and shouted it out quickly: Tikki Tikki Tembo No Sa Rembo Chari Bari Ruchi Pip Peri Pembo!

And behold, they gave me entry to Faerie Mart. I sought out the kind fairy and purchased from her for a few simple songs (and a jig for good measure) my very own Answer Tree! I've already put it to good use, as you can see, for it is growing at a rapid rate. I hung a double swing on it, see Luci? So one day, when it is tall and strong, you can swing with me and we can share poems and songs together!

Please forgive me for these poor quality pictures. I am on holiday (in Arizona, hooray!) and am without a scanner.

Friday, August 1, 2008

IF - Poof!

This week, the kids and I went to Sanrio Puroland (aka Hello Kitty Land). The world's capital for CUTE. It's an indoor themepark, created to look like a magical nighttime forest. As we were navigating through the crowd, I suddenly noticed that Emma was no longer with us. Poof! Just like that, she had disappeared. I ran frantically back and forth, but with so many little kids running around, I began to panic. Then I saw her, pacing madly in circles, tears streaming down her face. Needless to say, she clung to my side for the rest of the day.

I started drawing a picture of me running wildly through a sea of Hello Kitties, but it just ended up looking like a bad B movie. A really bad B movie.