Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Finals Time is a Quiet Time

I'm struggling right now trying to teach students how to cite references in perfect MLA style.

It's an uphill battle, but every so often there is a student who just gets it. And it makes it all worthwhile for those few minutes until I grade another paper which makes me cry.

I have been letting myself work on a few ornaments here and there and I'm posting a bit more often on Facebook. I've been finding the neatest paper ornaments that I am dying to try!

You can follow me on Instagram, too, under the username rhymeswithmagic.

In the meantime, here are two projects I've completed in the past week. Yes, it's a Dr. Who-fest!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Crystal Snowflake

You know what you get when you bead a snowflake and then dip it in Borax?


Snowflake forms here.

Instructions for dipping ornament here.

Happy Christmas preparations!!!

An Unexpected Journey - A Heather's Tale

It's been more than a month now since my sister, Meagan, died in her sleep. My little family and I packed up the car and wended our way to Utah the day after so that we could attend the funeral and be with family.

The scenery as we drove through desert and brush was surprisingly beautiful.

My husband's shirt was not beautiful! He has a love for pork rinds. Blech!

I was quiet for most of the trip except when taking fun pictures for posterity...

 Yes, he wore those teeth for much of the trip. And held the boxing glove. For a 7-year old, Kenneth was wonderful on this trip. He played and played and played in the back seat, mostly writing a story. You can see the paper sticking out of his backpack next to his seat.

I don't do many selfies, but here's one.

The Virgin Gorge is one of the prettiest things we see as we drive to Utah.

The stretch of road between St. George and Salt Lake City is very pastoral.

I'd heard that librarians like to visit other libraries when they travel. I felt like a spy. And a critic.

One of the best things about the trip (it was a funeral, after all) was seeing online friends in the flesh. This was Dana and when we met it was like we'd always known each other. Fun, huh?

She took me to a the library in her town - 5,000 people and it has the BIGGEST library I've seen in a town that size. It has a museum in the basement. That's where I learned about...

Bezoars... thank you Harry Potter!

I have a plethora of sisters, even with the one now gone. This is the youngest sister, Allyson. She's a hoot.

Here's my hottie brother, Ethan. I told him he looks like Bard from The Hobbit movie. Except he's bald.

After the funeral we drove home through beautiful Utah country. Brian and I decided that we'd like to move here in a few years... (fingers crossed!)

Click on the above picture to see the native Joshua Tree plants from our stomping grounds here in Kern County. Yeehaw!

So I came back from my trip, a little sadder for the reason, but happy to have seen so much family and beautiful scenery. I was strangely filled...

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

I'm Back, But a Little Quieter

Me and my sister a Long Time Ago
 For those of you who don't follow me on Facebook, you may not know that I got a surprise phone call on Friday, October 17th, telling me that one of my sisters had died unexpectedly in her sleep that morning.

To say the news was shocking was an understatement. (BTW, any of you having to tell a family member about a death should MAKE THAT PERSON GET SOMEONE ELSE IN THE ROOM WITH THEM SO THEY ARE NOT ALONE!)

I am the oldest sibling of six girls and a caboose of a boy. Meagan was #4 in our family and had been having health problems for years. It was mostly of the knee/foot/fibromyalgia type of illness. She was always in pain, on medication, having a medical procedure, etc. Unfortunately, it also made her not be able to take care of her family.

The Monday before her death, Meagan had knee replacement surgery. She was really looking forward to this as it would FINALLY allow her some mobility and the chance to actually be a mom to her kids. The night after she came home from the hospital she fell asleep on the couch and simply didn't wake up again. No one knows why, but we're thinking it might have been a blood clot since that is a common reason for complications after that surgery.

I was going through my pictures last night and found that I didn't have any of just the two of us (I cropped out one sister in the above photo - sorry, April!). I think that makes me the saddest of all. There are lots of us with other people in the family, but none of us by ourselves. Perhaps that's okay, though. We are a forever family...

Ethan, Allyson, April, Meagan, me and Melanie... Hajek kids!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014


I'm working on flowers.

I'm using wallpaper and maps and scrapbook paper.

I think I need a million of them. (Learn how to make these here!)

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Watercolors, ho!

I don't have a good camera right now because it is being persnickety (Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't), so I'm making do with my tablet's camera.

I nearly always have a big pile of paintings I'm working on. When I sit down to paint, I look through the pile and choose a few to work on. Tonight's assortment of paintings went through a shocking series of twists and turns. I painted on them for a while and then started laying down colored pencil. My favorite pencil is the white one - it blends everything together and it looks almost like oils in parts...

In other news, I'm making tons and tons of Folded flowers. Here's a sneak peek:

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Persnickety Cameras

My camera has to go in the shop. The trip we took to the beach last year proved too much sand for such a fastidious piece of equipment. It's been getting more and more temperamental until... it just won't work!

I'm busy making flowers. BIG ones, small ones, all colors and patterns. I have a project in mind that will set my house apart from everyone else's.

And I'll show you progress. After I get the camera back!

edit -- Click here to see how you make the flowers in the above picture.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Washington Watercolors

My trip to Washington draws to a close tomorrow morning as I start the flight home to Bakersfield. One of the things I've loved about Tacoma is that there is a ton of public art and art shops. My heart sinks a bit as I think about returning to my hometown where I don't feel that same art spirit, that sense of beauty of place. Hmm... I guess it's just up to me to make my home and my neighborhood and my workplace as much a place of beauty as I, by myself, can do.

I've only got my tablet with me, so the pictures are unedited and not rotated in the right directions, but you can still get the gist of what I'm doing.

Several artists I've admired over the years have a lot of details in the form of patterns in their work. I paint a lot of flat areas (Granted, they have layers and layers of paint in them) but I wanted to try out some pattern details in my houses. Here's an attempt (Blurry!).

I rather like this one. It's a piece I'm doing from memory of a painting I've seen inside the Los Angeles Temple of the tree of Good and Evil. It's kind of different than anything I've ever done before, but it makes me feel like I can really draw/paint like a "real" artist.