Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The day before MAY??????

Tomorrow is the First of May - May day, flowers, flowers, flowers!

Ehhh. Yeah.

This is what Bo thinks of that!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A Finished Project

After two weeks of being home, I finally finished this project over the weekend. I was a lot of fun, and I hope do to more of these, and maybe even teach the idea to a few people.

This is a project actually done on landscaping boarder made of cedar. I never would have thought to do that on my own. It was the brilliant idea of Jennifer Stewart, one of the teachers at the Inspired Artist Workshop event.
I used my side of the family living in Montana as my theme, because that was the right number for the length of fence I was given, and I had photos to make that work. I think it would be a great way to display photos of children, grandchildren, pets, a special group of friends, whatever.
It isn't hard either! Just collect things that are three dimensional and of a color scheme, and then start putting it together.
So, that's all for today. Maybe later a report on baseball practice. I didn't get to go, so no photos from that event, but I'm anxiously awaiting the boys return so I can hear all about it. It is very windy today, and I'm wondering if that impacted performance. We'll see.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Cleats and Catch

First baseball practice is tomorrow, so Jansse and Andy went out and got some cleats today. Size 3 Nikes just right for the job. But RED?

Its what Jansse wanted. No subtle about that boy. By the way, he wants me to refer to him not as Jansse, but as "Baseball Boy" for the rest of this blog post - and then hopefully I can go back to calling him Jansse.
He got this new glove a few weeks ago, and I am pleased to say he can catch pretty well - at least get his glove on the ball most of the time, and sometimes even do this:
And then, there are the times where catch can look a little like dancing.
But, isn't he supposed to be willing to move those feet? and with these red hot dancing shoes, Baseball Boy better move around a lot. Anything to keep getting these kind of results:
Our first season is underway, and I was afraid instead of Baseball Boy we'd have "I can't do it, discouraged boy" because he doesn't have any team experience. Now, seeing what he can do I'm feeling better. Remember, I think I posted a bit about the fact that he can bat too. He says he wants to be a pitcher. I'm hoping he can wait for that until he's grown more and his shoulder has more protective muscle. But then, I'm just a mom, as it has been pointed out to me when I voiced my opinion on 8 year old pitchers.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

A Prima Page

I decided to join a monthly challenge - at least for this month! They provide the sketch, and I put something together using that sketch. Lots of fun, and takes some of the hardest work out of putting a page together, but still allows for a lot of freedom of choice regarding style, embellishments, etc. I liked doing it, so maybe I'll do it again. Here is what I put together:

Beautiful spring like day here, although we're all a bit leery of calling it spring just yet based on the past few weeks. Still, I have a tad bit of hope that it may be real this time!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

A Day I missed!

I was working all day today at Keepsakes By Design - yesterday and today were my two days this month. I enjoyed myself, got a few things done on a couple of projects, but I missed being with my boys, who had a fun day!

They went into the town of Three Forks (where the Jefferson, Madison and Gallatin rivers meet to form the Missouri River - a somewhat significant place in the history of our country, if you know anything about big rivers!) Every year around this time a large herd (200 head or more)of horses is brought through the center of town as they go from winter pastures to summer pastures. Today was that day. We knew nothing about this tradition until last night, but Andy and Jansse decided to make a day of going there to see what it was all about. I begged Andy to take the camera with him, and he came through for me with some shots so I could understand a bit about their day.

This is an old building in Three Forks. I don't know anything more about it, but it is interesting to dream up stories for it!

Unexpectedly, they ran into people we know while there. Two of these girls are from church, and they were their with one of our pastors and his wife and two daughters. The other little girl is from Jansse's class, and she lives in Three Forks. As you can tell, if there are no boys around to play with, Jansse makes himself right at home hanging out with the girls!

There was a bit of a wait, but finally the horses came marching through town. I understand it only took a few minutes and all the commotion was over.

Then Andy and Jansse met our friend David for a hike at the Madison Buffalo Jump, which is a cliff area where the native Americans used to run the buffalo off the cliffs and then harvest the meat. A really cool place to visit, and it has a couple of nice hikes!

It was a beautiful day for getting outdoors! Wish I was able to be with them.

H0pefully tomorrow I'll be able to show you some of what I did indoors while my guys were outside enjoying the fun.

And, also hopefully, we are done with snow. It is almost all melted around our house once again, and the forecast is for a warm week - in the 50's, and maybe higher. I'm ready for rain, hail and thunder storms that are sure signs of spring. And I'm ready for long fast growing green grass, lilacs, lupine, and oh so many other blooms, which are still a good 6-8 weeks off. But if the grass is green and the snow is gone I might begin to believe that it will actually happen!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

A few more pictures and a thanks!

Thank you to wonderful people who have posted nice comments over the past couple of days about my photos. I humbly accept your praise and appreciate your encouragement. Taking photos is so fun for me, and lately I just can't seem to get enough of it. Being affirmed for that is special to me!

Here are a couple of photos I took yesterday afternoon. the first three are a hollyhock plant left from last fall. I was out in the garden beginning to clear the dead stuff from last growing season and I just couldn't resist the beauty in the patterns of the seed pods. How can we look at things like that and not see that God has a love for art and beauty. His beauty is there for us to see even in dead plants! Wow!

Then, as I was driving out to get Jansse from school I saw that the horses are down near the driveway. Not our horses, mind you. They belong to many people (there are close to 30 or 40 horses, just not all pictured here), and are wintered on our neighbor's land by lease. Usually the owners start to pick them up about the end of April and beginning of May and take them back to their summer homes in the high mountains. But, with the late snows this year (including 8 inches this morning) I suspect they will be here well into May. They add beauty to our surroundings, and I love that.
Last night as I climbed into bed, Andy was already there, and he whipped out a micro cassette player. I quickly accused him of bringing his work to our bed and was about to chastise him. Then, he turned it on, and there was this little familiar voice. It was a cassette he and Jansse had made five years ago, when Jansse was only 3. It was a week or so after Jansse got his tonsils out. It was amazing all the different feelings it spurred in me. I was so excited to hear him talking in his little barely three year old voice. I was so sad not to have that time to relive daily. I was so impressed with how much he has grown. I was so frightened by how fast I anticipate he will continue to grow. I was so humored by the cute things he did and said! Wow!

This parenting things is bitter sweet, even when things are going well. I'm excited about where he is now, I love him, and while I don't think he is perfect, I am pleased with his character development and his pursuit of godly things. But, boy do I miss the innocence, and the simplicity of his life back when he was three!
Enough sentimental stuff! On with the day!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Mish Mash

I've had a few things on my mind to share, so today is the day I do it. I'll try to keep it interesting for you, and pepper it with a few photos.

My friend Jennifer is still in Seattle getting cancer treatment, and is doing well, but it is a long battle with no guarantee at the end. Right now it looks like she'll be there a minimum of three more months, and maybe longer. Then, she'll stay another three months if they determine to do a bone marrow transplant. I miss her! But I know she is getting the best possible earthly care, and she is in the hands of a faithful God, so I'll put aside my missing her and be joyful that so many care for her.

Andy and I have been doing a bit of walking (I walk, he runs, then turns around and comes back to me, and we walk back to the car together). I've been taking my camera with me for these excursions, and have a couple of fun things to share as a result. This bird nest was in the tree all winter, right at the beginning of one of our walks, and I did not notice it until last week:

Finally the snow has melted from my flower garden, and the perennials are just barely starting to make a move at growth. These are Columbine, the first to appear. I'm waiting on the delphinium and lupine - I actually did see a lupine sprout the other day, but it wasn't in a place where it will survive. But still, I now know to keep my eye out for those little guys!

Jansse has continued with swim lessons, and this is a photo of him practicing the butterfly stroke. He plugs away at it, and I am proud of him for that. Last week it was nice enough for him to have his lesson in the outside pool at the hot springs. He was very excited about that, but I think his teacher was cold and really wanted to use the indoor pools.
Yesterday we had a herd of elk about 150 yards from our back deck. This photo is a bit distorted, but that's because I cropped it so much. Points out my need to get a telephoto lens - now I will have to start the saving up money process!
On our walk this morning I took this photo. Fences are often beautiful in their own way. Just liked the knots of barbed wire.
That's it for the photos. But not for my thoughts - you knew that, didn't you.

We are saddened here by the news that Andy's family's property in Big Sky is on the market. While we understand the need, the logic, and the purpose of this choice, it is sad to us because ultimately it will severely reduce our access to members of his family, particularly his parents. It will put Jansse in the position of having very little access to his grandparents, and that is just sad. Nothing more to say about it but that it is sad.

I am not going to take the bar exam this summer - yes, changed our minds on that! It is a relief not to have to study and try to pawn Jansse off on camps and friends in order to make that happen. Instead I will take the exam in Feb., so that my studying can be done while Jansse is in school. It allows me to continue with some art projects for now as well, and that is very satisfying to me!

The driving factor in deciding not to do the bar this summer is that Andy is going to aggressively pursue hip resurfacing this summer - he's been approved by the doctor to get the surgery, so now it is a matter of scheduling and insurance related issues. It did not make sense to try to squeeze these two major events into one summer. Hopefully by September Andy will be in significantly less daily pain, but still be allowed to run some. The surgery has to take place in L.A, so we will have some traveling to do for all this. The great news is that the recovery will not be devastating to his practice because really, he might only be gone from work for a week to 10 days. It is helpful that his office is in our home, so he can continue to do some work while he recovers. So, this is all a very good thing. In fact, it really is a God thing, so it must not be just good, but it must be great!

On the art front, I'm a little overwhelmed with all the ideas in my head. I'm trying not to get over committed for other people so I can just do stuff for me. That is not as easy as it sounds, as I am currently working on a little book for Jennifer, which records all the Bible verses people have sent to her. I'm also finishing up a circle journal (think round robin quilt type event with paper instead) and about to start another. Plus, I have five classes on the schedule at the scrapbooking store. So . . . finding time to do what I want is a little difficult, but I'm determined to get there soon!

Enough! Bye for now!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

April Bookclub

Last night was our monthly meeting, and we were a crowd again - what fun! However, we were short on members who had actually completed their projects - oh well. Fortunately for us, one member provided so much inspiration that the rest of us just know we'll do better next month!

You may remember that this month we were reading and working from "Designing with Recipes" and Autumn Leaves publication. Everyone agreed, it is a very nice book. In fact, one of our members actually purchased the book three times - that got us off to a start with a laugh as to how she could look at it, not recognize it, and like it enough to buy it three separate times.

Let's start with Rosie's project. It is based on one of the sketches in the "3 Photo Layout" section of our book.

These women in the photos are friends of hers from way back and were taken during a recent trip to the town where she grew up. Rosie used stamps to make the flowers and the flourish stems. Beautiful job Rosie!
Barb provided this wonderful "out of the box" example inspired by the canvas on page 27 of the book, but Barb went way over the top with her techniques. She used a gel medium transfer technique to transfer the photo to the canvas. The metal piece in the corner is a real sickle from the combine on her family's farm Very unique and wonderful project. Thank you Barb!

The rest of the projects were from Jennifer Claar, who found many items of inspiration in this book.

These photos are of a page she did inspired by the Star layout on page 12 of the book. The details are wonderful!

There are supposed to be three of these layouts using different papers and different title presentations, but the same sketch and photos. Jennifer has four children, and scrapbooks for all of them in separate books, so she painstakingly scraps many events three times. The reason I cannot present the other two layouts is I am having challenges with Blogger uploading, and I'm just out of time to keep fussing with it. So sorry Jennifer!

This is a page Jennifer did based on the layout on page 26 of the book. Lots of yummy details here!

The rest of these pages were inspired by the book, but I did not record where. They are all beautiful pages, don't you think! Time to get this book and enjoy how it can inspire you!

So, that is the report on book club for this month. Next month we are reading and being inspired by "Imperfect Lives" which is a big change in style for us, so it will be exciting to see what kind of projects result from this effort. Join us - the book is available on line from Amazon, but not at Keepsakes this time. The meeting is May 19th at 6 p.m. Hope to see you and your projects there!

Monday, April 21, 2008

A journal from Inspired.

Well, I started to make this post yesterday, and then into the draft folder it went while I was busy with umpteen other things - believe me, as to some of them, this would have been more fun!

Anyway, I finished one of the journals from Inspired Artist Workshop and wanted to share it. The theme is things I think are beautiful. In it you will find random things and people, some of whom you might not know. The beautiful close up of a woman is C.D. Muckosky, an extraordinary scrapbooker from Canada that I have met on a couple of occasions and I really admire her - she is kind, sweet, super talented, very practical, I believe a Christian (based on her blog), and I just like her! I copied the photo from her blog because I am mesmerized by its beauty! The beautiful blond woman with her child is my friend Kate, and I think I've shared photos of her before. She and her daughter were models for my first ever "photo" shoot last fall, and I love the photos we got from that event!

So, here is the project:

That is Kate and Annie! Aren't they beautiful?

Yep, that is C.D.!

Probably a post or two more today - I'm trying to catch up!