Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Pint-Sized Perfection!

You can see her calm demeaner from a distance. This tiny angel always seems to have one of two expressions going: either quiet contemplation or happy amusement. In terms of little cutie-pies, she's the very definition. It simply doesn't get any cuter than this. I was so excited when I saw her and her mom out walking their dog one day last week. I ran in and got my camera and patiently waited for their return. She is precious and, even with no preparation, and not knowing ahead of time that their pictures would make it to the digital "kodachrome" shall we say, she still took amazing pictures. Of course, if you met her mom, you'd totally get how that happens!

Parents dream about having children like this. In fact, her parents dreamed about having children like this. And their prayers were answered twice over...Her big sister was still at school but is just as perfect.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Starting Anew!

It's official! I am ripe for some major change. I'll spare you all the details because, for the most part, the details are just plain boring!!!. I think almost all of us have felt what I'm experiencing these days for our own reasons. How did I get to a point where I was no longer living by my own rules and was constantly scrambling to fit my time and life to the needs of others?? Sometimes even to the needs of others I don't know well or am not particularly fond of. I can promise it was/is NOT pretty.

For me, a new year always brings out thoughts of resolutions and fresh beginnings--basically a chance to make right anything that is bothering me. This year the need for change is not subtle and feels so all encompassing that I am genuinely struggling not to feel overwelmed with the amount of transforming I will need to do if I want to reach that sense of peace. Middle of the night... my thoughts go to things like: Should I sell my business that I have no time for or wait until I can garner a fair price for it? Should I completely re-do the house because I'm no longer who I once was when I accumulated so many things that, while still loved, are always in my way? Do I finally listen to my own strong internal urge for simplicity and clean every closet, cupboard, drawer and THAT peace-of-mind-blowing garage? Yes, THAT garage. Will I overcome the fact that I want simplicity but honestly don't know where to begin when it comes to my house? It will take such a commitment and I doubt my stick-to-it-iveness. I think I'm a fairly intelligent person but it bugs the daylights out of me that my "it's all got to get done mindset" is keeping me from really getting anything done. My best hope is rather than taking it as a whole, instead to try breaking it down to smaller more realistic tasks and learning to accept results that are not instant.

So that said, here's how I'm dealing with the post Christmas accumulations these days. Taking apart the holidays used to be such a job. So much undecorating. Alot of tedious work with no enjoyable end-result other than the satisfaction of finally having it done. The past few years, I've made a conscious effort to not make myself crazy getting it all done and that extends to choosing decorations and dressings that can stay in place a little longer once the holiday passes. I can go about the undecorating more lazily and that is an unexpected effect that I really like! Enter the pears above and the hydrangeas and white poinsettias. I really loved them (for awhile) but both have seen better days and even with a relaxed approach, at this point, they just have to go! One workable, realistic task down, tomorrow another. I am ready for some change. In my home. In my outlook. And in my life. So...Stand back.

I have always believed that people change things that aren't working for them ONLY when they are ready so I guess that means I finally am just that. It really is official; it's time to start anew!

Monday, December 21, 2009

It's Beginning to Look Alot Like Christmas

Every year, honestly every single year, I swear that the next Christmas will be less chaotic, more full of peace. Teaching myself to slow down enough to enjoy all the days of Christmas and not just the days when I finally finish my yearly 500 yard dash has not come easily. Keeping it simple has always worked best for me but there are just so many "important" things about this season. I let the cards go unsent last year after many years of creating my own cards annually and , you know what? ...It was fine! I did make cookies but not the number or variety of previous years and I slipped in a few made from ready-made dough. Again, no body cared--they gobbled up the store bought dough ready-mades as if I had toiled for hours! Even the tree is pared down to silver balls, lights and a little ribbon. The humble simplicity of these decorations seems to suit the rest of our decorating and we can decorate a tree in very little time leaving alot more time to just sit back and enjoy it. We love a well dressed tree but at Christmas, even an undecorated tree is lovely. Believe me I've been tempted to give the undecorated tree a try too.

I'm striving to find the perfect balance where I've done enough to make it special without driving myself crazy trying to make it perfect.

Away In A Manger

Every time Christmas rolls around, I find myself thinking wistfully of the days when my children were tiny. The magic of the season is so much more profound when witnessing how children experience it. So... Christmas shots of tiny people and their sweet tender expressions is one of my absolute favorite things. One precious little face (and hands) that I took pictures of for holiday cards was intended to look like a snow princess but when all was said and done, her delicate features and little face ended up looking like part of a nativity seen. I LOVE it!

And then these sweet chubby little fingers. They'll be gone by next year and they'll be replaced by true little girl fingers! I'm sure it's enough to make her parents water up but for now these fingers.... Oh my!

Wrapped in icy blue fabric, she almost looks cold but I promise... it was hot enough here for bathing suits. Within shot of an enticing playground and feeling the heat, this little princess was such a great sport.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Going to the Beauty Pah-lah!

Let me start by saying, I absolutely LUVVVVV this guy. He's funny, smart, and easy to talk to. Why, if he wasn't already involved with someone, I'd probably be tempted to stalk him. Just kidding, of course.

As far as appointments go, there are few (maybe less than that) appointments, no matter what they are for, that I ever look forward to. I hate having my time structured with "must-do" meetings. However, when it comes to the oh-so-revered trip to the stylist, I can hardly wait. If you enjoy having someone run their fingers through your hair, I feel in fairness, I ought to tell you that people line up for this man. He's just that great a stylist and that nice of a guy! Then there's his assistant, she's as fun as he is and she glows from the inside out. Honest, it's the truth! She doesn't even wear makeup. Isn't she pretty?

I have never had awesome hair. Never. But this man has definitely given it a fighting chance. And even better? While I'm captive in his chair, I laugh MORE than I have since the last time I was sitting before him with foil attenae sprouting from my head. My hair and I walk in withered from the world and all its complexities and he and "his PEEPS" go to work restoring spirits. I am not making this up either. You leave a happier person than you walked in and... with a better looking mane! Maybe he should hang a shingle but don't tell him that because I kinda like that it comes naturally and without an added cost. Levity is good for the soul and, apparently, it's been great for my tresses too. I mean, talk about fringe benefits (I honestly couldn't NOT throw in that pun).

Seems I've been talking to them for awhile about taking some pictures but we've never quite gotten around to it. Yesterday, I took the party to them! They weren't expecting it and they were way too busy to spend any time dealing with a photographer so I shot a few of them but, mostly, I got the details that make them and their place special. He loves religious medals (And he knows I do too). Since it had just been his birthday, he had a gift to show me (2 pics down). The rest are simple detail shots I caught while my hair was "curing." I tell you I just love this place and I love them!

Parting is such sweet sorrow!
Thankfully, I'll be back!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Old MacDonald Had A Cow...

In this exercise, I painted the same subject from the previous week (but from a different perspective). The deal this time was to use lots of colors--even some I would never pick myself. This week everyone in the class (25 people) picked a color that I had to include in my painting. It didn't matter if it was just a dot, the main thing was I had to use each color somewhere. Remember, it still needed to be done in 5 minutes! The second painting (Just Us Chickens) wasw also done quickly and is now the 4th painting in the farm series I have somehow, unintentinally, started. Ee-Ii-Ee-Ii-Oooo!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Cow Who Jumped Over The Moon

I painted my little bovine friend last week. I intended to paint a friendly cow and most likely a girl but I think she's just going to have to be a "he" because somehow "Bessie" isn't feeling like a good fit, namewise, for my hefty range rover.

Occasionally, the woman who conducts the art class I take gives us an assignment to paint with some kind of restriction-- whatever she can think of to mix things up-- it can be to use our fingers as brushes or to paint with your left hand if you're right-handed and vice versa OR to paint without a model, picture, or under drawing. Basically, using only the image as we have it in our heads. Last week, the challenge she gave me was to paint an image from my head using only three colors in, get this, less than five minutes. I was counting my lucky stars (no celestial pun intended) because I figured this challenge would get done, one way or another, without breaking too much of a sweat. So... that was last week. My boy cow was painted fast--in fact, I did make the less than five minute time requirement (with only seconds to spare)-- and then left to dry til the next class.

So fast forward a week... When I checked on him yesterday, he looked a little different than I remembered him and some of the colors had changed slightly after drying. I thought he resembled the moon's surface, texture and hue wise. My brain totally went with it. Before long I was mumbling childhood nursery rhymes and thinking about dishes running away with spoons. So whether it's his countenance that looks like the swiss cheese face on the moon, the colors that look sort of moon surfacey (is that even a word?) or simply his oh-so-implied lunar leap, this guy has earned his title... The Cow Who Jumped Over the Moon!