Friday, July 27, 2007

Star of Panama window, revisited

I was commissioned by a friend to make a mosaiced window, for her mother, of the view from their family home in Ecquador. They had a Poinsettia/Star of Panama tree in their yard, and beyond it a view of Mount Chimborazo. Her mother, who lives in the US now, is slowly losing her eyesight and my friend thought a stained-glass window, with its bright colors and simplified forms, would be perfect for her mom.

The first image here, is the first sketch I did of a Poinsettia plant. They're lovely plants - each leaf, with its mix of colors, is like a stained glass window in itself.

The second image is a mock-up of the window. The mountains look like a heap of mashed potatoes, but I knew what I meant. I started out making the window this more distant view of the tree, but the leaves were all tiny and uniform and it drove me crazy. So I tightened the focus in to make it look as if you're standing right by the tree. Better for her mom, more fun for me.

The third is my now glued-on window. It hasn't been grouted yet, so it's far lighter and less unified than it will be, and the colors don't pop out the way they will when they're all surrounde by black grout.

I'll be out of town for ten days. Hope to post the completed window when I get back and am happily freckled and sun washed from the beach.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

OK, this is stupid but.....

How annoying is Bjork? I admit she was weirdly wonderful in her swan dress at the academy awards. But seriously, do any of you actually sit and listen to her music? Me (philistine that I am), every time she comes on my radio I try to listen for about 20 seconds, because I feel like I should like her. But inevitably I start to feel like I need to jam a sharp stick in my ear just to get some relief from the sonic torture, and turn the girl off.

Am I the only one who feels this way? Please weigh in.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Book slut

I freely and openly admit that I am a book slut. Tell me a good story and I'll do almost anything,***** e.g. dress in costume, wait in long lines, stay up all night reading just so no one can ruin the story for me (I had to avert my eyes from Michiko Kakutani's review of Deathly Hallows in the NY Times this morning).

(****Those of you who knew me in college and watched the torturous end of my relationship with a certain green-eyed, lying scum-bag writer, can attest to the truth of this statement.)

In any case, let me make my contribution to the all-Potter-all-the-time media mania.

The mysterious ticking noise

Monday, July 16, 2007

NEW KITCHEN!!!!! (well part of it anyway)

This is the part of the kitchen that looks like someone else's kitchen, even though parts of it are missing (e.g. knobs on cabinets, paint on walls and trim, other stuff). Please note the floor. Because most of the kitchen is still in the same configuration it was 100 years ago (with the original 100 year old built in) I was going for a subtly retro feel, with the checkerboard pattern in the middle and the alternating blue and white border. But I wanted it to be more of a nod toward the past, rather than an imitation of it. Note, also, the two different colors of blue on the floor, darker and lighter. Oooh, I had fun playing! So I'm really happy. Still lots to do, but having the new floor, cabinets, and counter is amazing to me. Does this mean I'm a grown up?

Now that is one seriously cool guy

Miles Davis said, "Do not fear mistakes. There are none."

I'm assuming he was talking about playing the trumpet and/or art in general and not talking about things like driving drunk or beating your kids. Still, even with art that's a hard and heady place to get to, at least for me.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Herding cats, part 1

Having started with twins, I don't know what raising one child is like, but managing more than one is like, well, you know; each of them moving off in their own direction and not caring if anyone else might need to stop and use the kitty litter, metaphorically speaking.

It's just been that kind of a day.

OK, so I took all four kids to the new Harry Potter movie by myself to give the husband time to write. I can't tell you much about the movie because Charlotte, who it appears didn't care for it, kept asking to use the bathroom (the only request that would make me take her out of the movie. She might be special but she's not stupid). Eliza kept telling me she was going to throw up because the movie was making her motion sick. Seriously. So I held her just to comfort her all the while telling Charlotte that we weren't going to go to the bathroom again until the movie was over. Because, of course, Rose and Sara were riveted and weren't about to leave.

Quote of the day: "Excuse me Mommy, could you please stop hugging me. I afraid I might throw up on you."

Check out the video below. "It ain't an easy job. But when you bring a herd of 'em into town and you ain't lost a one of 'em....ain't a feeling like it in the world." That's how I felt today when I finally pulled up in front of the house, opened the door of the minivan, and they all piled out. I was proud, because I hadn't killed a one of 'em.

Herding Cats

This is my life......

Monday, July 9, 2007

A woman's work....

The other day I was having a disagreement with someone - a female someone, oddly enough - and she said to me, "Well what's the problem with changing your schedule? You're home all day anyway. It's not like you have a job to go to...."

Obviously, that's stupid in so many ways, and I told her right then and there that I knew she didn't really mean it (translation: You'd better not really mean that, or else there will be a bloodbath - right here, right now). But the exchange got me thinking about the job of motherhood, for me at least, and here's what I thought:

- No matter how much I do (and I do a lot), it will never be sufficient. There will always be part of me that wonders if there's something more or better I could have done. Other people (or magazines or TV shows or books or therapists) are always telling us there's something more or better we should do and, like anyone doing a job she takes seriously, I try to learn ways to do it better. So there's good and bad to it, but at the end of the day I never sit down, having put that last kid to bed, and think, 'Damn I did a great job today! I really am the shit!" That's just not how this job goes, ever.

- The things we do manage to do successfully are the least apparent things. By which I mean, if you have a tidy house, a good kid or kids, and a decent marriage that is seen as "normal." That's the baseline everyone measures by. The fact that my kids have clean underwear every day isn't going to get me any awards. Most of the time, really, it's only when things go wrong - kids acting out, garbage dump on the front lawn, etc - that what we've done or not done gets noticed.

The thing is, I know I'm a really good mom, and I sincerely love being one. It's the greatest happiness of my life. But it's also just a really weird job (and that's not even going into the no pay part!). Not a deep realization, I know, but hey, I've got four kids, I don't have time for deep.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

I made it

The husband came home last night. This morning I slept late and woke to a tidied-up kitchen. Now he's taken two of the four girls and the dog out on a walk. Ahhh.