artsy fartsy,  Family Matters,  Tis the Season

Fourth of July was a bust.

um, mom... it's past my bedtime and I don't see anything worth staying up for

Since Toby was away, I decided NOT to drive to the dunes where we usually watch fireworks. It’s a parking nightmare and I had my mom with me. My mom is having health issues and she’s not really into walking the twelve blocks it takes to get to the prime fireworks watching vista point. Not to mention, I’d be keeping the baby up an hour past her bedtime and twelve blocks with a grumpy toddler who wants to be FREE from her stroller is not that fun. I decided we would just walk to the beach and watch something. Surely there will be something going on from the vista point over looking the ocean. You can see two piers from there and there were rumors going around that the best fireworks show ever would be going off from the Huntington pier.

I just wanna be FREEEEEEEEE!

Vista Point Schmista Point. We saw NOTHING from our beach vista point. Nothing but a bunch of people who were also watching nothing. Nice for people watching but not so nice for baby watching. Baby Bug just wanted to run around and get into trouble. If she wasn’t throwing herself off the ice plant cliff, then she wanted to play in the sandy mud puddles near the very tired and over-used drinking fountain or even better—play hide and seek around the trash cans reeking of beer and vomit! Ick. Americans are pigs, especially on holidays. I love my little beach town but when the tourists come in flocks, it’s just nasty.

We sat around and waited for dark. This is actually nice since my Dad made it home from his work-aholic job (yes, he worked on July 4th) and Toby’s mom was with us too. It was a schmorgasboard of Grandparents for Baby Bug. Eventually, it was obvious that the pow-pow-crack sounds were coming from the inland direction and all we could see were dark masses of trees. So we headed home and called it a day. Happy Birthday United States! Better luck next year!

I was kinda bummed since I wanted to show Baby Bug the neato-ness of exploding fireworks and had talked about it with her all day. Last year she slept through them. I guess we’ll just have to wait until she’s two. She’ll probably enjoy them more then anyway.

I was so proud of myself for finishing TWO paintings in one day

July 4th wasn’t just a bust in one way. It was also a bust in the “so-you-think-you’re-an-artist” painting department. I was soooooo proud of myself because I actually painted TWO paintings during Baby Bug’s three hour marathon nap. Three Hours! Isn’t it cool when they do that? I am loving the long naps lately. She’s really really been sleeping hard these days. I think she’s growing. I bet Toby won’t even recognize her when he gets home tonight. I bet she’s grown and inch in a week and a half. Too bad she hasn’t gained any weight. She probably wont’ be able to sit forward facing in her car seat until she’s five. Poor kid.

$#@!$%* painting that doesn't look like a dog AT ALL

Anyway, the paintings were coming along fine until I showed them off. Nobody can figure out what this one is. Is it a puff ball? A bunch of suds? A poodle? A round rolly polly sheep? Arg. What it is, is me trying to paint over top a picture of a big huge daisy and the center of the daisy had lots of texture. A big round patch of texture right in the middle of the canvass.

See, this is what I get for trying to cut corners. I tried to sand the canvass down but I have the attention span of a gnat and apparently I didn’t sand long enough. I thought I could wing it and just paint a round scruffy dog over top. Winging it is never a good idea. Too bad too because I wing things all the time. Now I’m screwed. I really like the brown wall paper but it just isn’t working. I think I’m going to put it into the “vault” and maybe the gallery show will go crazy well that people will be clamoring for more. Then I can say… well, I do have a couple of paintings “in the vault” I can pull out. (Ha ha ha.. I’m so funny.) I don’t know. Maybe I’ll use it as a white elephant gift if I ever have a friend who is a dog groomer or owns a vet or something.

milk carton piggy bank

The piggy bank that my sister-in-law and her girls made for Baby Bug out of paper mache and a milk carton turned out. She made them for all the girls and then gave us each one to paint. I had fun painting it. Sometimes it’s more fun to paint when you’re not under pressure.


  • comfortablycrazy

    I like the puffball look. I think the sleeping poodle is very cute. You could always use the texture as suds on top of a dogs head if you made one of a dog being bathed. You know a little chihuahua with a mountain of suds on top. It could work.

  • Stacy

    I think the puff-ball poodle is my favorite so far! He just looks so cozy and sweet. Art is subjective and artists are their own worst critics. Relax and have fun!

  • DeeJay

    I’m so loving the daisy pictures!

    Since rainy Oklahoma is like the mosquito coast these days we opted to hang out inside and skip the fire works this year.

    SAJ says: Yeah, too bad I didn’t paint the daisy pictures but instead am the one PAINTING OVER the daisy pictures with paintings of dogs done badly. The real daisy painting artist is probably rolling over in her Laura Ashley sheets under a puffy mauve bedspread in her beach house in Cape Cod or somewhere. Or maybe it was painted by a child slave in China for three cents, I don’t know. There was no artist signature on the paintings before I defaced them.

  • Jenifer

    We had no fireworks either. Ended up playing Wii all evening. Mario Party anyone?

    I instantly knew that was a poodle, since I happened to have owned one once in my life. I like it and the paper in the background. Put in the vault for me, along with coffee drinking dog. Thanks!

  • sizzle

    i would think doing just about anything is more fun to do when not under pressure. like those guys on those cooking shows? aack! i couldn’t deal.

    it looks like a blue dog taking a nap to me. :)

  • Bethany

    You are probably your own harshest critic, B. I knew immediately it was a fluffy dog taking a nap, and it’s cute, and I love the detail in the wallpaper!

    We didn’t see big fireworks this year, either. We have done the last two years, and Annalie likes them, but she does NOT like loud noises lately and we were tired last night. So we just hung out at our friends’ house and at twilight we did sparklers and a couple of little fountain-type fireworks and everyone was happy.

  • bluejaye

    B took the kids to Vancouver to buy fireworks that aren’t available (because of the law). So we had our own display, complete with oows and aahs.
    Personally I like the blue poodle. I think he should be a keeper.

  • Diana

    Those are great suds, actually ;-)

    Why can’t the doggie fluff look a little surreal/sudsy? I think it’s an adorable painting!

  • Kim

    It’s so nice to hear someone else’s child won’t be moved to forward-facing til she’s 5. These tiny kids…. geeze! She sure is so cute though. And I love the piggy bank – how adorable!

  • erin rae

    I’m just going to 7th the “I like the fluffy dog one.” It’s so unique and I love the background. And if you knew me in real life, you’d know I’m not a nice enough person to say something just to be nice, if I didn’t really mean it ;-)

    It reminds me of my uncle’s dog who is so furry that when she curls up, you never know if you are petting her head or her butt!

    Our 4th was also a bust – the highlight of which was realizing that benadryl calms dogs scared of fireworks quite well!

  • Kuky

    I love the background. And I really like the puffy parlor dog. And I could tell it was a dog. I think it’s my favorite too.

  • Alissa

    Just wanted to wish you a Happy Birthday! I hope you have a wonderful day. I think you said it was on Friday (6 July) but I also remember you wanting to do a 07/07/07 cool party. Anyway have a fantastic birthday and I hope Toby had a safe journey back.

  • Jen

    SAJ, I’m just going to join the compliments train re: the sleeping dog pic! I really like it! I love the texture of the dog’s fur, it looks really soft and puffy, it’s one of my favourites! And, is it your birthday? Three cheers for the birthday girl! Happy Birthday!!!

  • bluejaye

    Speaking of car seats. Mitchell is almost 13, he still doesn’t weigh enough to officially be out of a booster seat!! I don’t make him ride in one though. Can you imagine the humiliation when his friends rode with us?

    Happy birthday.

  • Heidi

    #1 Happy Birthday! #2 The puffy parlor dog is my favorite painting you’ve done so far. I seriously don’t think it warrants vault status. #3 I think you could do one hell of a business selling your paintings. Your internet following alone would probably scramble to get them.

  • Texas T-bone

    I could see fireworks through the trees across the street while I was cleaning up our flooded garage. It’s been raining forever, basically.

    Love the patio fence, too.

  • Margie

    Happy Birthday! :) I agree with the others that you’re your own worst critic (we all are, of ourselves). But then, I know little-to-nothing about art. :p

    Have a great party! :)

  • andrea

    I love the sleeping puffball dog, and the wallpaper detail behind it is great! Don’t be so harsh on yourself.

    Sorry the 4th was a bust, she’ll definitely enjoy them more next year. Ours slept through the whole event.

    Happy Birthday!

  • Pam

    the one painting you don’t like is my favorite yet, as you said the wallpaper is fab, well maybe that’s not exactly what you said, but i said it! and i like the fluffy dog sleepy, although i do think it looks like a fluffy poodle curled up asleep, is it not suppose to be a poodle? bc if it’s not i think you should change your mind and say it is, if you don’t want it, send it to meeeeeeeeee lol

  • Lexi

    Aww….I could tell instantly it was a puffy doggie…and it’s really cute. Looks really cozy. I wanna curl up like that and go to sleep.

  • Jen - Lance's Wife

    I love that painting – I thought it was a fluffy poodle. I asked my 14 year old what she saw and she replied a sheep and a poodle – it’s a shoodle! I think that is what you should title it – you know all those designer dogs are very popular right now! :0)

  • Dad

    Looks like I should have kept my mouth shut! Everyone else sees it immediately. You probably should have left the ears the way they were. Sorry.

    SAJ says: Not at all Dad! See, it looks way better: (click here)

  • BeachMama

    The dog is so cute!

    And sorry your 4th was a bust. I was on your other coast for the fireworks and it was probobly the best we have ever seen, and we live in the Capital of Canada!