Thursday, May 27, 2010

New Lens! Happy Birthday to Me

So I turned 35 yesterday. What does one do on one's birthday when it's on a Wednesday? School is still in, you still have to get up early the next morning to go to work. I had a pretty good day, actually.

Today is my last day at WIM, so yesterday we had a staff lunch at The Gristmill in Gruene. Lanier came, and so did Cheri and Caleb. It was lovely.

Later that night, Lanier and Hannah gave me flowers and sang "Happy Birthday" while I blew out a candle stuck on a brownie that had broken, thus being left off the plate of brownies I'd made as a thank you gift to our neighbors. Then I opened my presents. A sewing machine! An 85mm 1.8 lens!! Riches! Treasures! I can't wait to get started.

Below are a couple of shots I took of Hannah in the backyard with the new lens. Nothing earth-shattering, but hey I love pix of my kid, ok?



Mom's coming to visit this weekend from Georgia and I am SO EXCITED. Hannah will return to Georgia with her on June 2. While she's gone, I plan on using this new machine to make her bedroom curtains and also get that room painted.

Oh! Oh! I forgot: I snapped a few quick shots of the living room before going to work! Here they are! We got it painted this past weekend. Love it! Love it!!


Lanier's ridiculously huge TV demanding attention of the entire room. Hate it.


My lovely flowers they got me for my birthday. I love how they match the colors of the room. :)


Saturday, May 08, 2010

Oh beautiful Saturday, thou art one of my favorite things! To sleep until one simply wakes, to sit with hot coffee on a wide veranda, feeling the Spring's teasing breeze, to enjoy the company of a family of friends, and eat gelato with one's husband made by a lady whose accent still smacks of Florence...this is One of Those Days to Remember.

I am refreshed! I am rested. WIM had its staff retreat in Comfort, Texas last night, and Lanier and I have just returned home. I confess I hadn't wanted to go, but in honor of my coworkers, whom I'll be leaving in 4 weeks, I went. And boy did we have fun!! I slept like a dead man last night after eating myself SICK. Blackened Yellow Fin Tuna, red potatoes, fried okra, chocolate meringue pie....oh, it was so good. Good thing I wore my elastic waist pants!

Above is an image from Design Sponge, a blog I've just discovered in my internet home decor idea surfing. It is an illustration done by Julia Rothman, a lady who obviously is a talented designer. Anyway, her drawing inspired me to suddenly want to create a whole line of posters that I'd frame and hang in my kitchen if my walls had the space. Unfortunately, I don't have any wallspace to speak of. Well, I'll make 'em anyway and figure something out later. Something about learning how to cook--REALLY cook--and bake has just gotten me really into pies and cakes. I love thinking about them, and I love drawing them. Some of my favorite art is by Wayne Thiebaud (pronounced "Teebow," like the former FL quarterback). He did the most luscious paintings of deli counters, pies, cakes and candied apples. I saw an exhibit at the Whitney Museum in 2001 and drooled over the thickness of the paint--it stood an INCH off the canvas in some places!

Really, how can you NOT like his work?! He painted everything in the same, thick, juicy fashion: sunglasses, bow ties, people, California cityscapes, it didn't matter. Amazing.

But I digress.

We met everyone last night at Guenther's Bier Garten Grill for dinner at 7:00. It looked like a dive in the middle of Small Town Nowhere, but wow, was it great. Straight out of a movie or something. Lanier learned they didn't want to pay taxes on a liquor license, so they conveniently installed a liquor store next door, where guests are encouraged to buy their beverage of choice, then bring it with them to sip along with their meal. How quaint!

There was a very rotund, mustached man there singing country songs, I think some maybe he'd written himself, and others well known. My personal favorite was one whose chorus was, "Bein' shot in the head ain't no day at the beach / But it's better than bein' dead." It was based on a true story. We sang that song on the way back to the B&B and it was STILL stuck in my head on the drive home this afternoon. When he learned we were a "church group," the singer quickly broke into a rousing rendition of "I Saw the Light," "This Little Light of Mine" and "I'll Fly Away." We all sang along at the top of our lungs. It was great fun. I asked if he knew any Don Walser, which he said he couldn't sing because he didn't know all of the words, but he did have a yodeling song, which he performed shockingly well. We clapped and cheered and I think he probably made a good bit of money in tips.

We fell into bed once we got back and I knew no more until morning light. It's been a great weekend, and in an hour we leave to meet Chris and Kelli for a double date to A-Tan sushi! Woohoo!

Happy Mother's Day all you out there!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Art on the Loop 5
Supporting KIDS' CLUB!!!

Greetings one and all! It's been a while since I've posted on my personal blog. Cheri and I have created a new blog devoted just to photography, so this one returns to just regular life stuff.

Art on the Loop 5 was this past Friday night. Sarah Joy, Mikie and I all worked together to pull this one off. Sarah Joy is the Director of Electives at Kids' Club, which is where I teach the Art Elective on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Sarah Joy teaches Art on Mondays and Wednesdays to another group of children. KC serves about 100 kids. We spent a LOT of time and effort to promote KC at this art event. Below, you see me and Sarah with Lourdes, Jude and Bryton (in the middle), three kids who go to KC. J & L are 6-year-old twins, whom I've taught, and Bryton is 8. Bryton's mom owns Megabryt, a boutique in the middle of downtown. He made necklaces to sell and give all the money to Kids' Club. I heard he raised about $150!!!

Here I am with Misty Johnson, the Director of Kids' Club. Misty is an artist herself, having taught art in years past. She is SO FUN!! These kids are truly blessed to have her and Sarah Joy loving on them twice a week. Behind us are Misty's paintings that she displayed at AOTL. She's amazing!!

I couldn't resist getting a picture of the three of us, in case this IS the last AOTL. I don't plan on running this event anymore because it's too stressful. We've tried to build up a body of volunteers but it just hasn't happened. So this AOTL was very special to me. The culmination of a year of teaching Art to these amazing kids, and also admiring what we have done bringing live music and local art to our community basically for free while raising awareness of local charities. It's been a memorable, wonderful season, and I'm thankful for it.

Misty with Joe and Sylvia, who pastor a bi-lingual church here in town. They also serve at KC and they ROCK! I really like these guys and hope to get to know them better. They love these kids so much. We had a LOT of KC volunteers come out to the event, and some even participated by showing art!

As it sometimes happens, we can't be at everything that's going on on a Friday night. Lourdes, Jude and Bryton were the only kids who made it to AOTL. Sarah Joy and I had worked so hard to promote AOTL at Kids' Club and have their artwork ready for viewing that I just couldn't bear the thought of the kids not seeing how their art looked that night.

So, Saturday morning Sarah Joy and I packed it all up, brought it back to Kids' Club and set it back up for all the kids to see! This is a group picture I took yesterday of the majority of kids who I taught this past school year.

I love these kids. Yes, the work is exhausting after you've worked all day elsewhere and then go home to be with your family at night, BUT it is so worth it. These guys will welcome you into their hearts so quickly. If you are interested in volunteering OR donating to KC (it is totally nonprofit and run on donations), contact me and I'll get you connected.

Their Carnival is this Thursday so I'll try and get some photos of that. After Thursday, I won't see them until the Fall. Happy Summer, everyone!

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