Monday, February 27, 2012

Doggie Kisses

I love Teacher Work Days.
They usually mean that I get to see my sister and my nieces.

This past Teacher Work Day, Lydia, Miriam and Merpha came down to play.

Miriam and Corinne had a great time getting doggie kisses from the bookend dogs that Manley Yielding gave us for our wedding.

I wish there was some way I could tell him thanks all over again.

XOXOXO, y'all.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Acceptable, Unacceptable.

The other night I heard Brian telling Corinne that her behavior was UNACCEPTABLE.
At 16 months, I'm sure she understood. Because she is gifted.

But it got me thinking about what is acceptable and unacceptable in our house.
If I had to make a list, and idealism was okay, it would look like this:

  1. Mismatched shoes
  2. Mismatched socks
  3. Making messes
  4. Talking about any bodily function
  5. Texting to practice spelling
  6. Breaking things by accident
  7. Dropping a raw egg when trying to help cook
  8. Forgetting details
  9. Making mistakes
  10. Asking any question, even if you are scared of the answer

  1. Being intentionally unkind
  2. Laughing at others when nothing is funny and you are just being mean
  3. Being a bully
  4. Wasting food to win a power struggle with your parents
  5. Making fun of anyone
  6. Sarcasm
  7. Keeping tally of someone's fortunes and misfortunes
  8. Not contributing to the family
  9. Pure, debilitating selfishness
  10. Lying

It was so helpful, clarifying really, to make this list. If you make one for your home, let me know...

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Svea got Henry

This is a picture of Svea before church on Sunday:

She couldn't find her shoes before we left, but when she put on these lens-less glasses, she could see everything!!! Even her shoes!!!

Henry was FREAKING OUT that she could see better with no lenses. I thought he would fall out of his seat in the car he was so irritated with her. It totally reminded me of Zoe's pet rock, Rocco and how Elmo just can't take it.
Maybe I need a wider social circle.

In the meantime, I handed Svea my camera and asked her to please take a picture of herself and her awesome magic glasses.

Svea's Valentine's Day 2012

This year, Henry and Svea wanted to make the Valentine's for their class parties.
Corinne didn't care.

Henry methodically took each card and drew black ink ninjas for all the boys, and purple ink ninjas for the girls. Duh.
Each card had a generic message. And he completed them in 7.6 minutes.

Svea took another route.
She personalized each card with stamps and stickers and a message. It took her 16 days.
And she didn't let me see them before sealing them with star and heart stickers.

Conveniently, I ran into her room mom at a store and she asked if I could help with the Valentine's party.
So I went, armed with CapriSuns and a flexible attitude.

At her party, each child went around and put their Valentine's Day cards in the special basket on each desk. After much sugar was consumed and all Valentines were delivered, some of the kids started opening their cards. And they realized that Svea had written something different in each one.

So Raul saw his:

And then Noa opened hers and was confused why Svea said, "I thought about calling you Cupid."

Then Justin opened his and saw, "Justin, I just have one question for you." (then there were a bunch of weird squiggly lines) At the bottom it asked, "....will you be mine??"

Justin is her Math Station Partner. Heart, heart, heart...

Then on Nick's, she said, "Nick, I have one question for you..."
Then she never asked a question.

Then Guy. Sweet Guy who still tries to kiss her on the cheek.
I was standing by Guy's desk when he opened his Valentine. It read. "Dear Guy, Stop chewing on your shirt. Love, Svea"
So he turns to me and says, "Will you go tell Svea that NO I will not stop chewing on my shirt because it tastes good?"
I said, "No, I can't do that."
Probably because I was snorting with laughter and pride.

Happy belated Valentine's, y'all!!! Stop chewing on your shirts!!!

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

My SuperTool

Here's my SuperTool.

The assignment was to create a SuperTool from a minimum of 3 tools.

I wanted to use Words as a tool so I taped a piece of cardboard around a paint roller and cut out foam letters to make stamps

Then I inked the stamps and rolled the words on a piece of newsprint for practice. Then I drew that.

I replaced the handle of the paint roller with a pair of pliers that had screwdriver bits at the end and a joint that doubled as a socket wrench. I made the handles into a pencil and an end with an eraser. The wood grain before the eraser end is original to the paint roller handle.

I chose four phrases to repeat and then I read in a book that we make Art out of the things we most need to understand. I guess these phrases are really resonating with me right now.

Why do you stay in prison when the door is so wide open? -Rumi

Perhaps you were made...for such a time as this. -Esther 4:14

From here what you see you become. -Patanjali

If you can cease all restless activity, your integral nature will appear. -Lao Tzu

I'm not sure how many 18 year olds rolled their eyes at me that morning of the Critique.
Seven tools melded into one with a spiritual discipline bent is not what they like to think about at 8am. I'm not sure they were thinking at all.
I hesitate to write about the critique because I would never want to hurt any of my classmates' feelings. I will say that I was shocked and appalled into fits of giggles at who felt compelled to comment on whatever work was being presented. Joe structures these critiques by letting the artist offer an explanation, then he requires 3-4 comments more in depth than, "I like it," and then he chimes in.

One guy, Chazz who wears huge padded earphones all the time, felt the need to walk up to EVERY drawing and stand 4 inches from it (that is, so no one else could see it) and then offer a phrase like, "I get a sense of UNEASE from this composition." Or he would say, "I see a heavy reliance on line and not value."
Chazz was the last one to put up his drawing and HE DID NOT EVEN FINISH IT. I was speechless.

One woman (an adult student) forgot the rules of the critique and totally bashed one girl's (a young 18yo) drawing. Joe let her bash, and then let the artist retort, then let us all hold silence. Then he gently, kindly and knowledgeably argued both sides.
It was a beautiful act of true teaching.
I hope a few fellow classmates woke up to witness his diplomacy and stopped thinking about their hangover, their newest tattoo, or the fact that they remembered the cigarette but not the lighter.

Oh - that reminds me - one dude's tool was a combination of a lighter, a bottle opener and a corkscrew. The ultimate weekend companion.
Rock on, dude.

Days 5-8

Day 5: Henry's New "Office":

Day 6: Curried Carrots in Amber's dish:

Day 7: Henry's End-of-Season Basketball Party at Sno-Biz:

Day 8: I Made the Wall in the Art Building! (mine's the paint roller on the left)

Monday, February 06, 2012

The Nude In The Vase

My mom just finished the book the Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. She worked through the 12-week study with a group that met weekly, which can be a powerful experience, depending on the group and the facilitator. It is a LOT of work. That works.
So Mom decided to start a new oil painting the other day. She and her friend Mimi were having some Creative Time and Mom painted a vase with some flowers in it. Her words were, “That’s the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen.”
So she took her palette knife and scraped off everything she had done, wiping the knife on another blank canvas for a future painting project.
Then she took a deep breath, found her Artist’s Way Zen, disconnected her Mind from her Brush, and painted. She just painted.
She took off her glasses.
She took off her expectations, her criticisms, negativities, others’ needs, her own needs, the clock, the calendar, her friend's presence in the room, her iPhone, her iMac, her i-Whatever – she took it all off and just PAINTED.
In the end, a beautiful female nude appeared.
If you are not interested in art and giggle when you see a unclothed bum, then you are missing the point. And that’s okay. Just skip this blog post.
But if you can, if you will allow yourself to feel this, it is amazing and it is beautiful.
The painting is still in process, as many are, but it is a testament to the magical mystery in letting art and creativity and life flow through your Mind and Hand and Brush…or whatever medium you use to engage with life.
Maybe you write, or talk, or sing, or care for others, or enjoy looking at different fonts, or draw comics, or sharpie marker over images in magazines – whatever – it is beautiful.
Let it flow.
I’m so glad my mom did.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

This Yoga Joke Really Had Me ROTFL

Days 1-4...of February

The photo-a-day for 365 continues...and as February begins, I just want to say that you never know when your 7-year-old is going to get off the bus and immediately say, "I want to write a book about a real Mexican cat."

So he sits down at the typewriter and got this far:

It is only February and he DOES have his whole life to develop the plot. In the meantime, his youngest sister found the hand-me-down harem pants:

And she looks mighty fine.

Here is Day 3 (of Feb.)...our little sleepy head...hanging over the edge:

And Day 4: The Corner of The Waiting Room: