I don't really like bananas and pretty much avoid eating them. But for some reason I love them in my cereal. Especially rice krispies. Is that strange? Incidentally, I've been eating a lot of cereal during my pregnancy.:) Also, doesn't the word "krispies" look really strange?:)
I get really excited about the holidays.:) Even though I work in retail, I still love the Christmas season and all that it entails. This year I'm ahead of schedule with my shopping and I even have most things wrapped.:) We put up our tree last Friday and it makes things feel quite festive.:) We got a real tree for the first time since we've been married. Previous years we've had 3 and a half foot fake tree, so the 6+ foot tree in the living room seems pretty awesome.:) Now I need to see about getting Christmas cards out... may end up being more like New Years...:)
Hope everyone is having an enjoyable holiday season!
This Thanksgiving Luke and I reflected on the many things God has blessed us with this year. Our lives have changed significantly since last Thanksgiving. It's been a year of seeing Him provide for us and bring us through a difficult time. We are so thankful for a God who knows our needs and in whom we can trust for perfect timing.
Luke's job continues to be an incredible provision and we love where we are currently living. As we look forward to adding a baby to our family, we are excited to see where God leads us in the future. This year I had the opportunity to do some paying art projects and sold several pieces from my studio; it's been nice to make some money at what I truly enjoy doing and to realize that even though I don't have a lot of time to pursue art right now, God has given me this talent for a reason. These are just a few of the many things that I am thankful for this year.
We enjoyed being able to celebrate Thanksgiving with both of our families on various days. There's always lots of great food, love and laughter to go around.:) I love the holiday season (other than the fact that I work in retail:) and am so thankful for our loving families that enjoy spending time together and that are such a great encouragement and support.
We're in the midst of what has turned into an extremely busy month and half. Thus the failure to blog.:) Among other things, there have been more social events than average, an all too brief, but fun visit to South Bend to see Stephanie and Jeremy and deliver some furniture, a painting project on a barn of the three sisters gardening technique (still not sure how I got roped into that one:), framing for new and old paintings, a couple of open studio nights and Luke working overtime as his company moves to a different building. I'm starting to feel like I'm running on fumes.:) Even though it's been a bit tough, it has been a good month. I had an unusually successful open studio night last friday sales-wise. I almost didn't go because I've been feeling a little under the weather and it wasn't a required one, but I was very glad that I made the decision to open up. Our kiddo appears to still be healthy and is becoming active.:) We find out the gender December 1st. Other than that, I'm just trying to get through these next couple busy weeks and I'm greatly looking forward to the holidays!
As most of my small readership base has probably heard, Luke and I are expecting a kiddo mid-April. This weekend marks the end of my first trimester, which sounds pretty good to me.:) Aside from being extremely tired and obnoxiously hungry most of the time, I really can't complain too much about how I've been feeling. We're pretty pumped about this new phase of life and while right now I'm missing being able to take ibuprofen and my sleep supplement and being able to drink (let's face it, open-studio nights without wine and football without beer just aren't the same:) I know it's for the kid, so that makes it definitely worth it. Plus there have been a few perks like not having to lift boxes at work and being allowed to snack guilt free.:) Here's to the second trimester!:)
Sometimes I think it would be a lot quieter around here if we only had one cat. Now I love both of my cats very much, but when I wake up at 6:30 a.m. (before my alarms goes off) to them tumbling around up and down the stairs and occasionally screeching at each other and generally making a ruckus, I get irritated. Overall they get along very well, but Clio really knows how to push Ceasar's buttons and doesn't know when to stop. And they definitely seem to be the most at each other at night or in the early hours of the morning. Not cool. They basically have polar opposite personalities, so that's probably why they know how to irritate each other.:) Clio is pretty high strung/crazy and energetic while Ceasar is about as mellow and laid back as they come. For the record, Ceasar is about twice Clio's size. I don't know why Clio thinks she can take him on.:)
here's the crazy one (although here she looks quite calm:)
and here's my calm one:
And now you can see that they actually do get along sometimes. Nothing brings them together like the open screen door and a rogue chipmunk taunting them from the patio.:) I love these guys.:)
Our move may have been 6 months ago, but somehow we're still getting organized.:) We've made quite a bit of progress and after the purchase of some Dvd/Cd shelves from Ikea, our living room is really starting to shape up. We have even gone so far as to alphabetize our dvds and cds as well as our record collection. Considering the ridiculous amount of media we seem to have, this was no small task.:) But it looks really good and we should be able to find things pretty easily now. Incidentally, if you need a good foreign film look no further.:) Hopefully I'll get pics posted eventually...
Luke and I finally put ourselves through the arduous task of watching "Avatar". We'd had a copy of it in hand for awhile and finally forced ourselves to watch it (over a period of three days:). I figured if I wanted to be able to judge it, I'd better watch it.:) We were both very underwhelmed by the film. I can see where in the theater and IMAX 3D it would have been visually entertaining, but the story line was quite melodramatic and cheesy. It tried to be far too political and was extremely predictable. And calling the "element" that the military was after "unobtainium" has to be the weakest link. Are you kidding me? Unobtainium? Sounds like they should probably just give up on that one.:) At any rate, I've now seen "Avatar" and have the right to legitimately voice my opinion and distaste for it.
Just FYI if you're in the Indy area you should probably be attending IMAF (the Independent Music and Arts Fest) tomorrow from noon-8 p.m. at the Harrison Center. This is a pretty sweet event and encompasses many art forms. The Indie Handicraft Exchange will also be taking place in conjunction with the music fest. And my new favorite local brewery, Sun King, is sponsoring and will be sold at the event. Looks like a pretty sweet day.:) I have to work part of the day, but I will get down there sometime after 3 and will be opening up my studio and chilling in there when I'm not out shopping the handicraft exchange and listening to sweet tunes. Swing by if you're there! (I'm right next to the Underground). Also, this piece made it into the book arts show at the Harrison Center in August and there will be a gallery opening on the first Friday in August. Yay!
This morning when I left for work, our patio out back was as I had seen it last night-- lots of weeds around the concrete, maple tree "helicopters" all over the place and a generally unkempt appearance. Luke and I had discussed how we needed to work on it and make it more appealing and pleasant out there.:) When I got home from work, Luke had surpised me by weeding, sweeping the entire patio and laying mulch around the concrete. It was so sweet of him and now we can check it off of our long to-do list. With the warm weather we've been enjoying grilling out and eating outside and now the patio looks great and is a much more relaxing environment!
Craigslist is my new best friend.:) After the move we found that there were a few things we needed and craigslist has been a good go-to for some of those items. Granted, you don't hear back on about 50% of the emails you send, but when it actually works out, it's great.:) Since we got married most of our furniture has consisted of free items that we received to help get things started (a welcome blessing), so we decided it was time to replace a few of those items. One of the main things we wanted was a new couch and we were very pleased with the acquisition of this sectional. It's great for watching all those movies.:)
But my very favorite find has been our bikes. I had forgotten how much fun it is to ride a bike.:) And with the great walking/biking trail behind our complex we have a safe and pleasant place to ride. My brother helped us fix them up and we've been enjoying putting them to good use. We also got a brand new bookshelf and a sweet chair for my studio. It's great to be able to get things for a good deal and to be able to use things that others no longer want/need. We're still in the market for a few more items, but I'm very pleased with our success thus far.:)
I've taken an unintentional hiatus from blogging. I'm going to blame it on moving, unpacking, illness and... well a general lack of inspiration. Things are looking better around here, but there's still plenty of organizing to be done. Inadequate shelving is partially to blame for the time it's taking me to get unpacked.:) Between books, movies and records we need a ridiculous amount of shelving.
We are loving the Zionsville area and are very happy to have located here. My work commute is about half the time and is a much less stressful drive. I'm enjoying not having to get on the interstate at all.:)
We acquired a pair of old yellow his and her cruiser bikes from craigslist (I'll post pictures soon) and, after a few minor repairs, have been taking advantage of the nice weather and biking on the trail that goes behind the apartment complex. It's been a lot of fun!
With the move I haven't been to my studio as much as I would like, but I've still been able to get a few projects done and have a few larger paintings in the works. I recently finished this piece for submission to a show at the Harrison Center in August. We'll see what happens. The painting was done on book covers with ink & acrylic. The separate pieces are bound together with a leather like cord. This photo isn't the best, but it's extremely difficult to take an accurate photo of a painting. You get the idea though.:)
The move has been accopmlished and I now foresee several weeks/months of unpacking and organizing in my future.:) We had a lot of people pitch in and help with the whole process, which was a big blessing. I am extremely exhausted, but very glad to be in our new place and to be able to settle in.
Moving is just too much work, if you ask me.:) Saturday is moving day and I feel like I have way too much yet to accomplish. Probably because I do. I'm definitely looking forward to being at our new place though and to being more proximate to work etc. So I must keep plugging away...:)
I recently watched the HBO film "Grey Gardens" and I've been thinking about it ever since. In 1975 there was a documentary made by the same name directed by Albert and David Maysles that became something of a cult phenomenon. The documentary and more recent film are about Edith Bouvier Beale Sr. and Edith Bouvier Beale Jr. the aunt and first cousin of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis and their life in their East Hampton home Grey Gardens. At the time of the documentary their home was in a state of great decline and Big and Little Edie were living in squalor almost without even being aware of how bad it was.
The documentary basically went in and observed them as they were living at the time it was filmed. They had been living in an unsanitary and shocking environment. I have yet to see it, but it is next on my list. The HBO movie spans four decades and shows the decline of "the Edies" and why/how these women of wealth and class (not to mention relatives of Jackie O) became two eccentrics living in a decaying summer home in the East Hamptons.
I highly recommend this movie. It is definitely somewhat depressing, but is very worth seeing. Jessica Lange's and Drew Barrymore's performances are extremely impressive. It is interesting to see how the decisions the Edies made and the strange bond they formed created this world that they lived in.
If you haven't seen the original documentary you should watch the the special feature on the new film called "Grey Gardens then and now". It shows parts of the documentary and compares it to parts of the film. It's amazing what a great job they did of re-creating the sets (not to mention the women). Initially it might seem like Drew Barrymore was over acting, but once you see the real "little Edie" you'll be shocked at how great of a job she did in taking on the eccentric behaviors and speaking style of the young Edith.
At times it's almost hard to believe that this could be true- that these two women could live like this and that they could fall so far/hard from grace. But that's what makes it such a fascinating movie and story. You should watch this film!
This blog isn't proving very successful so far this year.:) I've been very slow about updating! Seems like we've been incredibly busy lately. The good news is we have found a townhouse at an apartment complex in Zionsville that we really like. We will be moving in just under 3 weeks! I'm not looking forward to the moving process, but I am looking forward to moving on and to being closer to our jobs etc. Now we've got to get packing!
Luke surprised me for our anniversary and brought me here:
This is where we stayed in Brown County 3 years ago for part of our honeymoon. The vacation house is out in the middle of nowhere and has a full kitchen, hot tub, pool table, tv/dvd player etc. On the way home we also stopped by the Brown County Winery and the exit 76 Antique Mall (always so much fun). We had a great weekend. It was very relaxing and it was fun to go back!
Today marks three years of marriage for Luke and me. It's hard to believe. It sort of feels like we've always been married, but it also seems like just yesterday.:) It's been the best three years of my life. It's had its ups and downs and its laughter and tears, but we've grown closer together and more in love through the various situations. I feel blessed to have Luke by my side and to be sharing my life with him.
We actually hardly saw each other today. He worked 8-5 and I worked 1-9, so the celebration is put on hold until the weekend. He's planned something which he refuses to give me any clues about.:) I'm looking forward to it!
This is the post I've hoping to write for the past year.:) Luke received a job offer from Charles Schwab today and will begin his new job a week from Monday. We are very excited and grateful to be able to move on with life. Luke's birthday is tomorrow, so this is probably the best birthday gift ever!:) Thanks for all the prayers and support over the past 15 months!
I enjoyed today. I only worked a half day, in which I was quite productive (if I do say so myself). After that I kicked it at my studio for a bit. I did some drawing and then worked on a few paintings and ideas. This was followed by an eye appointment, which I have been excited for due to my deteriorating night vision. As I suspected my eyes had worsened and while this is unfortunate, I'm glad to finally have an updated prescription. Plus I got contacts and I've got some purple plastic frames coming my way in a couple weeks here. The day ended with a pleasant evening at Mom and Dad's for dinner and then some amazing desserts (courtesy of Alaina:).
I wish cars would just miraculously not need gas during the winter. Pumping gas in the freezing cold is probably my least favorite pastime. And while I'm on the subject, I hate when you get the pumps that not only pump slow, but don't have the little lever so that you can prop the handle and not have to hold it the entire time. I also hate when I don't realize I need gas until I get off work at 9 p.m. Thankfully Luke had some warm mac 'n cheese waiting for me when I got home.:)
As I mentioned before, I recently switched studios within the Harrison Center. I'm very excited about my new space. It's cheaper and artsier and it's all mine.:) I still have quite a bit of organizing and hanging to do, but I already feel more inspired. Next open studio is the first Friday in March. You should be there!:)
I'm not much of a new year's resolution person, but I have a few goals for the year and I figured maybe if I put them in writing, for all to see I might be more likely to stick to them.:)
1. Put together and stick to a workable budget.
We've already started working on this, but we need to finalize it and the real key is sticking to it. An aspect of this will be working towards getting as debt free as possible as quickly as possible, but also saving some money for future goals. Seems like every time we get close to working all this out, something is missing or something changes etc. Enough of that. This time we're doing it.
2. Menu plan.
Marge and I have started collaborating on this. We figured two heads were better than one and this way we could share ideas, recipes etc. We still have some kinks to work out, but we're both excited about it and feel that it will help our busy lives (not to mention our pocketbooks:). Working full time makes it an extreme challenge to feel like cooking or being creative, so I'm hoping that planning ahead and having groceries in the fridge will spur me on to success in this area. I know everyone does menu planning differently, but our idea is to have 5 or 6 different week menus (complete with recipes, side dish options and a shopping list) that we can cycle through either at random or in order. This way we can plan meals in the same week that might use some of the same vegetables or other similar ingredients that would need used up. Each week will have 5 planned meals, which leaves room for leftovers or spontaneous ideas (or restaurant visits:). If we get bored with the weeks, we can make up some new ones!:)The accomplishment of this goal should go hand in hand with goal number 1.
3.Complete Jillian Michael's 30 day shred in 40 days or less.
Yes, I said 40 days. Unless you are an exercise maniac who loves this stuff, it would be hard to complete this in 30 days. It's quite challenging, not to mention exhausting, and I value a day of complete rest here and there.:) Even though it is an extremely intense workout, I like it because it only takes 30 minutes a day and after working on my feet for hours on end, that's about all I can handle.:) So my plan is to buckle down and complete it, just not in the 30 day time slot. After accomplishing this, i hope to do it a few times a week for maintenance purposes.:)
4.Get to my studio more frequently.
I've had a painting studio at the Harrison Center for a few years now and I love having that available. I have 24 hr. access to my studio, which is great especially since I feel more creative at night. However, I never feel like I'm getting there enough. Between my work schedule and trying to maintain things around the home, I often feel too worn out or don't have enough time to get there as often as I'd like. I've held onto the space as a way of holding on to my dream of being able to pursue art more fully in the future, and I'm very glad that I have even though it's been an added expense. I recently switched studios within the building and I love my new space. It's half the cost of what I was paying, I'm no longer sharing the space (although I loved my former studio mate), and it has a much more creative atmosphere to it. (I'll post pictures of it soon!) I've been feeling much more of an urge to be there, especially since I know I'll be able to work alone and in my own way. So hopefully this goal will accomplish itself with my excitement over my new studio.:)
Stephanie is always putting me to shame in this category.:) My list of books to read is endless, which is not helped by the fact that lately I've been a very slow reader. I especially would like to read some more classics as well as art related books. I've started reading more before bed at night, so maybe that will help me plow through them. I won't set any particular goals in this area (pretty sure those don't work for me), I'll just try to read more frequently. It's good for the mind.:)
6.Start a movie review blog.
I've already mentioned the possibility of doing this and I would really like to get this going sometime this year. We watch a lot of movies and it would be cool to share some of those with others. I love watching, thinking about and discussing film, so a film blog could be a fun extension of that. No promises as to when this will happen, but hopefully before too long.:)
7.Grow in my walk with God.
This is always a goal for me at the outset of each new year. Some years are definitely more successful than others, but I know that God rewards faithfulness and my meager efforts. I know that focusing on this goal will also help and encourage me to accomplish the goals that I have previously mentioned.
Our little beta fish that was part of a centerpiece at Elliot and Ashley's wedding bit the dust today. He lived for about a year and a half, which is longer than I ever expected.:) He survived much harassment from Clio and lived to tell about it. R.I.P Escher!
And let me tell you, I am glad to hear it.:) This past year has been one of the most challenging years of my(our) life. Dealing with Luke's unemployment and underemployment has been a difficult experience and one that is still ongoing. It's safe to say that we both hope this new year proves to be quite different, but given all that we have been through and the things we have learned, we know better than to have too high of expectations. That isn't to say that we don't still have a great deal of hope and faith in God (who has shown himself quite faithful through all of this) that our circumstances will change for the positive in the near future, but we have definitely become more cautious and reserved about our expectations.
I would never say that it has been a bad year. It was just much harder than we had anticipated and we have had to change our lifestyle and to put aside some goals for now. It has been a learning experience and we have been given the opportunity to see God provide for our needs in many very real ways. He has been faithful to us and blessed us, even when we have been discouraged and questioned Him. We've learned things that I'm sure we will carry with us for the rest of our lives. We've grown closer to each other and learned how to encourage each other through the challenges, which has been one of the biggest blessings.
So, needless to say, we'd like to put this year behind us, but not without taking the things we've learned from it. We've appreciated the love and support of our families, friends and church family; that is always a tremendous blessing. We hope 2010 will be a year where we can get a fresh start and begin working towards some of our hopes and dreams, but we also desire to continue being flexible to God's bigger plan and remain positive whatever the circumstances.
I am now the extremely pleased and proud owner of a Mikita miter saw. It may sound slightly odd, but Luke new just what to get me for my birthday.:) After spending many hours framing with me over the years and hearing me often pine for my own miter saw, he found one on craigslist for a good deal. I was quite surprised and am seriously ecstatic to have my own. I really enjoy making my own frames for my paintings and I've appreciated Luke's help and support in that. I am currently admiring the saw from across the room.:)
In other birthday news, I enjoyed lunch with my friend today and then a night out with Luke. We went and saw "the Road" (which was good, but depressing) and then we went to P.F. Chang's for dinner. I love that restaurant. If you haven't tried their shrimp dynamite, you should. Tomorrow.:)
i am an artist. you will find over time that this explains most things about me.:) i work at a used bookstore, which is a pretty sweet job. i'm happily married to and very much in love with my husband Luke. we have a calico cat named Clio who thinks she owns the world and a black cat named Ceasar who is much larger and more mellow than the crazy one.:) we are expecting our first baby in mid-april and are pretty pumped about moving into this new phase. life is pretty great, even though i tend to be somewhat cynical about it. our God is sovereign.