Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Do you remember your very first friend?

I am very wealthy.  Not wealthy in terms of money, I am filthy rich when it comes to friends.  I consider myself unbelievably lucky to have the friends I do and always love making a brand new friend that seems like an old one.

A few weekends ago, my very first friend in the whole wide world, came to visit me with her daughter.  What a gift; our visit, our children, our friendship.  I love love love our visits as they are few and far between as we are two hours apart, (though it seems to be our crazy schedules rather than distance that limit our time together).  As much as I cherish our time together, it also makes me ever so sad as they are far too brief and then I must start missing her all over again.

Our children put on a show, just like we used to do as children!
We became friends at the age of three in nursery school.  At first, we were not neighbors but while we were learning our ABCs and how to share, her family moved into the house directly in front of my family.  And so our friendship was cemented and blossomed.  We were very different from the start...she preferring dresses, me my soccer shorts and tee shirts.  Her house was filled with three girls and a boy, mine swarmed with three boys teasing me, the only girl.  We went to different schools once we started kindergarten but that did not stop our footprints back and forth to each others houses.  Countless sleepovers, summers at the pool, day after day of dirty feet, shared dinners, tons of laughter and always a love of art and music...espcially our fav, U2.
I suppose everyone could go on and on about their childhood best friend.  I could continue and provide story after story of our adventures but I know they would not mean to you what they do to us.  This post is not about specific stories but about the love of a friend and the caring for a friendship that I cherish with an unmeasurable magnitude.

We have been friends now for 35 years.  We are godmothers to each others daughters.  We still share a love of music.  Our connection and love of art has matured and strengthened.  (check out her website:  Four Feathers Studio and her blog Four Feathers Studio Blog )
We also now share the joy and challenges of being mothers. 
I felt the need to write about my first friend...go tell one of your cherished friends how much they mean to you.

Monday, April 23, 2012

PicMonkey! oh my!

I love monkeys and I love photos so why wouldn't I love this new photo editing website:  www.picmonkey.com !  I've only played around with it a little tiny bit, but man, it's fun!!
Here's what I did to show off my new L is for Lemur print!

between pic monkey and instagram, i will never leave my technology alone!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Mr. Fly Jump is progressing

My children's book is progressing...I have such a clear vision for it!  I've done almost all of the carvings for the pages I've drawn.  
I have 3 left to carve. 
I am seriously loving this project.
Repeating myself I know, I don't know what the next step will be once I have it made but I guess that's for another day to worry about.  

i'm not sure who is my favorite character yet...I think it will reveal itself as I continue.
What do you think?  Do you have a favorite?

Stay tuned as the book progresses!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Vacation Week

I've been on vacation this week...the word "vacation" often insinuates somewhere glamorous, warm, fun, adventurous...well, that's all well and good for some but for this working mom, vacation simply means lazy mornings.

I am unable to report all of our discoveries or unique outings for we did not do much...and I'm okay with that.  What we have done is NOT wake up to alarms, not rushed out of the house at 7 a.m., snuggled on the couch (a lot!), stayed in jammies until 10 a.m. and done some errands.  More "vacation excitement":  laundry, napping (for mom), t.v., playing soccer (for mom!), backyard games, shipping out a few etsy orders, a fun playground where we fed ducks and fish and of course, visiting with friends.

Becky and myself at our table
The week started with me doing a show for monster in the closet...i worked my toosh off getting ready for it...i had lots of products produced, made need packaging and put it all together, designed and ordered a new banner, made an awesome paper banner and stressed a bit (okay a lot) about it all.  And how did it turn out you ask?  well, poopy!  it was in the lobby of a theater so i figured, people who support the arts, people who want to spend money on the arts, perhaps grandkids needing gifts....well, i was right on with thinking about people buying for grandkids but not much else.  the average age of a theater goer on a sunday afternoon is 63...see i said average?!  the best parts though were, i was able to spend the entire day with my good friend Becky whom I rarely get to see and I am ready for the next show in May.  and i guess, two sales and exposure are better than none.  Here's to the glass being half full.

This vacation though has put me in the summer mindset and man am I ready for it!  I know though, as soon as I am back at work it is going to be hit the ground running as the end of the school year approaches.  April to June in a school is like the downwards ride of the roller coaster  after slowly climbing to the apex; fast, exciting, crazy, scary and thrilling!

I've also discovered this vacation how much I love "instagram".  I can't get enough of taking pics and altering them!  I could do this all day long and my poor kids have to keep still long enough for me to snap the pic!  if you don't have instagram, download it now!

here are some pics from our wild week:
warm weather means bathing suits and sprinkers!

forts are fun!

I think the ice cream truck is slightly evil though the kids would say different!

Friday, April 6, 2012

A dentist and an Artist?

     The other day as I was carving I had this vision as I watched my hand hold the carver and maneuver around some intricate lines of the linoleum.  It was a sharp and clear vision of my father’s hands.  I recognized him in me.  It was an overpowering of emotion as I came to this realization.  My father and I were very close, enjoying each other’s company, playing golf, giggling, becoming diner connoisseurs, going to the movies and partaking on numerous "secret missions" of gift buying for my mom, his love.  My dad was an endodontist, the dentist who gives root canals.  While you just recoiled and winced at the same time, you must understand that his patients adored him.  He was kind, gentle and had a wonderful engaging smile.  You may be confused at this point not only how one would love their dentist but how I am connecting my art making with his dental prowess...well, read on and perhaps the following sketchbook/journal entry that I wrote upon envisioning the link, will help you to see the way in which my dad and I are still holding hands:

March 5, 2012
            Sometimes when I am carving linoleum, I'm reminded of my dad (whom I miss terribly) and his use of dental tools, in what I've been told, was unbelievable gentle for such a painful procedure.  The connection of lino tools to dental instruments may seem to some farfetched, and perhaps it is because I miss him so, but the careful precision and risk of faulty movements is slightly similar....minus the massive pain one would feel with the poke of a sharp dental tool to the gum or root.  The hand eye coordination coupled with the concentration along with the intensely gratifying end product is what I believe my dad had so passionately felt while being a dentist.  He loved his job and I never once heard him complain of going to work.  I love printing and carving and find it incredibly fun to teach how to create a print.  My father passed on his passion of dentistry for years, with grateful students then passing on his knowledge and skills.  My dad wanted me to become a dentist and perhaps it was to share his love of the field but maybe it was also because he saw I had the same skills and passion as he.  I like to think he is proud of me and too would see our connections.
            I noticed that when I carve, I hold the cutter and my hand on the lino the same way he would hold an instrument to a patient’s mouth.  For some reason, this vision came flooding back into my memory today.  I can still so vividly picture working in his office in high school, assisting him during procedures (which I’m pretty sure couldn’t happen today) and watching as he precisely worked in the delicate cave of a patients mouth.  He would speak kindly and tell the nervous patient exactly what he was going to do.  I can recall, as well, how he would draw out diagrams to illustrate to the worried recipient of the sharp poking dental tools, what was going to take place.  I would quietly watch and remember being amazed at his skills, knowledge and confidence which led to the patient’s comfort while facing an invasion of their dental sanity.  While I clearly did not become a dentist, it is now obvious how shaping and influential my time as his “dental assistant” was.  His lessons were far reaching for me, of course personally as his daughter but also, in my professional life, my passion for being an artist and teacher.  I still have many of his dental tools and gadgets and materials for his office in my studio.  It is amazing the way an artist and a dentist are alike on many levels…at least this artist and her dad.
One of my Dad's first office signs
This is one of the boxes my Dad used to carry his dental tools while in school at U.PennDental

            So, that was my thought stream that day.  And it was comforting.  It was like an extra hug from my sweet dad, something I so wish I had one more of.  Somehow now, I feel even more so, that he is still always with me.  Thank you for reading and thank you for learning about my dad.

Monday, February 20, 2012

I guess I "need" a project...

I've discovered this about myself...I like projects.  Long term projects.  Why it's taken me this long to figure out, well maybe that was a project in itself.  Some may call them obsessions, I'm partial to projects, it seems more productive and not so crazy, or odd, or weird.  (yes, i am all of those too and proud of it!).
As i was looking through my photos for this post, I came across various projects I've focused on:
I created this for my daughters room
Of course, there's my on-going project of
monster in the closet shirts

 I've loved making animals

I then decided I needed to make an alphabet:

Well, now I've decided that a children's book is in order.  I've been wanting to do this for a long time but didn't really have a concrete idea.  Then, one evening  I asked my son what his teddy bears name was, he replied, "Mr. Fly Jump."  We couldn't stop laughing.  I was trying to put it in my phone so I wouldn't forget it and I was using the voice to text feature.  It couldn't understand what I was saying and consistently messed up.  We thought these were just as funny and my idea was born...stay tuned for updates....here's a little preview of what I've been working on:

          so, if you're looking for me, this is what i'll be working on.  wish me luck!