• Buddies,  Bug,  coffee!coffee!coffee!,  heavy on photos,  painting,  travel,  Washington D.C.

    Speed Tourism and Ladies’ Night at the Pottery Studio

    sugar cube sculpture

    After the Natural History Museum we walked briskly through the sculpture garden, which was pretty neat. There was a giant sugar cube sculpture and a silver tree and some chairs stacked up really high. There were a lot more sculptures too but we were on a schedule so we rushed by.

    chairs walking through the sculpture gallery

    silver tree

    Catching the Subway to Paris

    Of course I had to take a picture by the scale model of the Paris Metro sign that I have been to in real life.

    chomp! ice cream?

    By then we were starving so we stopped by a hot-dog cart for a quick lunch. Except Bug suddenly decided she doesn’t like hot dogs and was given an ice-cream sandwich instead. She’s getting away with all kinds of spoiled behavior during this vacation. But then again, so am I.

    kidlets at the Lincoln Memorial

    We crossed the street to the Lincoln Memorial and took lots of pictures of the Washington Monument and the Reflecting Pool. The funny thing about the Lincoln Memorial is that it’s really big and impressive. They have a sign up that says to be quiet and respectful. You sort of feel like you’ve entered a church with the cavernous stone walls rising up over your head. It’s cool and quiet and filled with whispering people. So when you yell out for your kid to stop running away from you and pose for a photo, you sort of feel like someone who farted really loud in church and it’s embarrassing.

    but I don't want to go tahdah!

    paper crane

    By then we were running pretty late for our scheduled events for the afternoon but I really really wanted to see the Vietnam Memorial since I remember when it was built. I remember reading long articles about the artist’s reasons and inspiration behind it’s design. It’s just as interesting and impressive in person and I’m really glad we took a moment to walk down and really experience it.

    Vietnam Memorial

    finding names

    Bug played her favorite game of finding all the H’s. The wall was actually hot to the touch since it sits in the sun so it was a tricky game for her to touch the wall but not “burn” her finger. It wasn’t really hot enough to burn you but you know how kids can be sensitive.

    B & B

    Then it was back to the Actuallys’ for an hour of unpacking and some more putting-together-of-furniture for Troy. Then Bethany and I headed out for a “Ladies’ Night” at her old favorite pottery painting studio. (The kids stayed home with Troy for a fun-filled movie night.) Of course we had to stop on our way there for Starbucks so we would be at our optimum creativity levels.

    Also, it’s 7 Days again so we snapped a few self-portraits. If you’ve been following my flickr feed, you’ve probably been wondering why there was a sudden explosion of pictures of my ugly mug. Now you know.

    Maryland Ladies Night

    painting girls

    egg art IS BREWING

    I finished up the ceramic egg I started the other day. I can’t wait to see what it looks like when it’s fired. It looks soft and pink now but if I remember right I think the banding stripes are orange and pink and the pink I mixed with something else so it might turn into this awful mauve. Who knows. That’s the fun of pottery painting, you just never know what you’re going to get in the end.

    And that’s that! Much more to come though!

  • artsy fartsy,  Bug,  Life Lessons,  painting

    Thank You Note Resolutions


    Now that I feel like life is going to slow down a little bit, I’ve been thinking about New Year’s Resolutions. Maybe I’ll call them February Resolutions. I’m not setting my goals too high. It’s just some thoughts I’ve had.

    My first resolution is to make thank you notes. Just like they say about the cobbler’s children having no shoes the same is true for me. I can make cards so I don’t buy cards. So does that mean I have lots and lots of cards at my disposal to send out thoughtfully for every occasion? NO! I have a box full of envelopes! Seriously. Come over to my house. I’ll show you. I’ve got envelopes in every color and size.

    I don’t know how many times people have emailed me to ask if a gift arrived and I’ve had to hang my head in shame and email back that yes, we got the gift, loved it and I’ve been meaning to write a note but somehow got steamrolled by five or six months of doing something else. It’s sad. Pathetic really.

    I could just go out and buy some cards. There are thousands and thousands of designs I love and drool over but I can’t! I just can’t make myself buy something that I know I could make myself. It’s madness.

    So I’ve resolved to kick myself in the butt and just make some. This will be the year of making cards I declare! I’d love to make some print-ables that you guys can download and play along. Help me stay on task and turn into that girl who sends cards. Really, if anyone should send kind thoughtful things in the mail, that should be me! The one who loves to design things on paper. Sheesh.

    As you’ve probably heard, we’ve been hit by some kind of epic storm. Tornado warnings and everything. We’re totally fine of course. I think the only people who have been in danger are people that live in lowlands that tend to flood. One of our neighbors had a tree blow down on their house but here in our second story apartment we’ve kept nice and dry.

    Being true Californians, we did not go out of the house. Ack! We might melt if we get wet! And forget about driving. Nobody drives around here if there is even the slightest threat of oil-slick roads. We stayed in the house and made thank you notes ALL DAY LONG. It was awesome.

    we work together

    I was supposed to design something with rainbows and seeds to go along with Bug’s birthday party since these notes were for gifts she received for her birthday…but I just wasn’t feeling it. I really wanted to draw and paint with water color. I knew if I waited until the rainbow and seed inspiration hit me again it could be months. Maybe even never! If I’ve learned anything about myself in these many years of pretending to be an artist, it is to go along with the flow of creativity. Don’t block it. Make it work.

    us us

    I’ve also learned that when you’re doing something crafty with a kid around you have to just let them go with the flow too. You can’t sit your kid down and say: Paint this. Use that color…etc etc. You’re better off just doing the craft by yourself and letting them flit in and out like a pretty butterfly. Sometimes they’ll knock over your water and smudge your ink but that’s life with kids. A good mother will (mutter a few choice words inside her head and then) mop up the water and look at the smudge as a way to commemorate that one day that you guys sat down and did something together. Maybe it’s not the masterpiece you set out to do but it’s a better one because now it’s a memory preserved forever in a piece of art. A messy piece of art. The best kind, right?

    new laptop and balloon Olivia

    I’m just glad that we made some thank you notes. And in a timely manner at that! Go us! Now if I can just keep this motivation going throughout the rest of the year.

    thank you notes

    You’ll help me right?