Wednesday, July 30, 2014

My Perfect Day Imagined

In a perfect life, I would wake up each morning, having slept solidly (with good dreams) after at least eight hours, having only been disturbed by a gentle, loving kiss from my husband as he left for work earlier. I'd feel refreshed! Alive! I'd look forward to what the day held.

After dressing myself in clothes that were comfortable and made me look great, I'd do my makeup and hair with a minimum of fuss and I'd glow.

Breakfast would be a beautiful affair with simply-made food that looked beautiful in the morning light - artfully arranged and garnished with just the right amount of vibrantly-colored homemade sauce or syrup or compote.

My children and I would have conversations that lent themselves to deep philosophical insights by me or comedic misunderstandings by them that would then become viral Internet memes.

After breakfast, my kitchen would be easily cleaned with lemons and vinegar. It would be a perfect vignette of domesticity - gentle northern light coming through a large window, illuminating baskets of fruit or vegetables on butcher block counters. Handmade tiles on the walls. Burnished copper pots and pans hanging among dried herbs from the ceiling.

My house would already/always be clean or artfully cluttered. My children and I would spend the day in my art studio where I would always know exactly what I wanted to create. The supplies would always be within reach and available. My children would allow me to work, only interrupting me with sweet comments that I would later share on my social media. They would read or play games that fostered imagination and they would always share. Lunch would be another simply prepared meal - perhaps eaten outside amongst my flower and gardening containers. I would have beautiful artwork to show my husband when he came home from work.

He'd love it and ask to take pictures to show his friends what a fabulous wife he had. He'd then spend time talking about his day (he loved his job, he'd laughed with his co-workers, a promotion had been mentioned, etc.) and then go off to get undressed from work and talk/play with his children for a few minutes as I started dinner. After a short while, both husband and children would come in and help with dinner, knowing what to do without being asked. Dinner would be a heartier affair (manly food) with stimulating conversation between adults and educational opportunities to explain the meaning of Life, the Universe and Everything to the children. Much happiness and laughter would ensue.

After dinner, the kitchen would be cleaned in no time and next would be family time - a walk, a shared outside improvement project/activity or visiting with family/neighbors. Bath time would be greeted with cheers and the children would take turns playing happily in the tub while my husband and I strengthened our marriage by talking about goals, evaluating progress on current projects and reminiscing about past successes. We would be caught hugging/kissing in the kitchen by giggling, still-damp children.

Bedtime would be gentle. Stories would be read, drinks of water given and kisses bestowed on heads/cheeks/lips. The husband and I would spend quality time together. Bedtime would be an unhurried time for me - my husband and I'd read scriptures with understanding. I'd say my prayers with earnestness and gratitude. I'd lay down with a peaceful, satisfied feeling of a Day Well Done and go to sleep, looking forward to the next day.

After a description like this, the predictable thing would be to contrast it with my actual life. But I'd rather leave the beautiful images in my mind instead and focus on the Could Be...

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Little Reminders

Such a simple pattern, but when it's repeated over and over, the little shapes become a mass of something greater. I sure hope it's that way with my simple reminders to myself and my children. Over and over I remind them to be good. Over and over I remind myself that *I* am good. Hopefully those little reminders are building great people.

Saturday, July 26, 2014


This is one of my favorite older designs from when I first started folding. I love how the simplicity is so beautiful.

Sometimes when things are bleak in my life, I desperately seek for peace in art and words. The quiet things don't talk back...

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Butterflies are HERE!

Hurray! It's here! I'd like to introduce my Butterflies pattern set!

A big thank you to everyone on Facebook who suggested names for the four butterflies included in this pattern set. My literary heart was touched by Michelle's submission of names from the Bronte sisters (and mom), so I present to you Charlotte, Emily, Anne and Maria Butterfly for your folding pleasure!

As with most things, I was impatient for these to be finished, but they turned out well and I am happy. You'll find them in my blog shop now and (very soon), in my Etsy shop!(edited - they're HERE)

In addition to pattern directions, I also included a quick tips section on embellishing your finished butterflies. Happy folding!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Raindrops and Surprises!

I woke up to cloudy skies this morning and - best of all - a surprise rain shower! You can see the sprinkles on the concrete and rocks at the top of the picture. It was glorious, especially because I came across a journal entry of mine ONE YEAR AGO EXACTLY lamenting the desire for rain. Spooky...

In other news, the butterfly pattern set is nearly finished and I have a special surprise coming for everyone to celebrate its release... stay tuned!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

A Pop of Color in Bakersfield the Brown

Every Thursday we have Brian's kids for a few hours until we drop them off at their Mom's house at 8pm. The other week we were taking them home and the most beautiful clouds had formed over Bear Mountain. I think they're called pancake clouds, but I'm not totally sure. They stack up in layers and look very pretty and weird in the evening sky.

It's hard for me to love Bakersfield (IT'S SO HOT!!!) but I don't know that I would create as colorful of art if I didn't live in a place where it was so dull and brown and devoid of weather most of the time. I have to bring my own color into my life.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Crochet Break

 I am one of those people who needs to mix it up when it comes to creative endeavors. I'll paint feverishly for several days and then I'll fold books. After folding books, I'll crochet. Sprinkle a few recipes in there and you get a taste for how I work.

Front and back views of my latest little crocheted rock. It's going to go to a friend at work, the recipient of my first ever crocheted rock. It's a sad little sight compared to what I can do now...

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Books Burst Forth!

A while ago I started a board on Pinterest called Art to Steal From. It should really be called Art From Which to Steal but that's a bit much, so I'm keeping it simple-minded for now. AnyWAY, here was one of the pieces I really liked and decided to make my own of today. It turned out rather well if I do say so myself.

It's wilder than the original I used as inspiration. It reminds me of how my hair works - it doesn't stay put.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

A Day at the Getty

Yesterday my son made a fortunate recovery from his stomach flu and was able to go to Hurricane Harbor with his aunt. That left Brian and me child-free and able to go to an art museum for the first time in our married life. It will be nine years for us next Wednesday. Yay!

I was fortunate enough to go on a Study Abroad trip to London for six months when I was at BYU - it was nearly fully funded by scholarships for the needy, so it was a tough trip in that I was always struggling to make ends meet. Fortunately, most museums are free or donations-only entry, so I was able to visit anywhere my Tube pass could take me and I went everywhere!

Upon my return to the states (it's been 20 years now since I went! Oh my!), I've been to a couple of museums here and there (I lived near NYC for a year and near SF, too, for a year), but nothing for the past ten years. Even when I got married, none of my suggestions for trips ever panned out. I was getting the feeling that art simply wasn't Brian's interest. The idea grew on me that he would be one of Those People who, if he did go to a museum, would be bored out of his mind and make the trip miserable for me.

Ha! I was WRONG! We went to the Getty Museum yesterday (it's the first time in 17 years it's been open on the Fourth of July) and we had a GRAND TIME!

Here's the entrance. One of the things I love about museums is that it's a package deal - the building itself is often a work of art, too.

My main interest was to see the illuminated manuscripts, especially the ones by Hoefnagel. He figures in one of the books by Deborah Harkness I just finished reading and I wanted to see the beauty for myself. Unfortunately, the manuscripts were being prepared for an exhibition and I was a week early for that new show. Alas!

So I comforted myself by looking at all the other wonderful stuff, especially the Van Gogh.

I was able to get THIS close to the painting. I saw plain canvas peeking through the paint strokes. The strokes were so heavy with paint that I imagined it took years to fully dry (if it really is dry inside!). The irises themselves were a bit cartoony in a way being as they are outlined with a dark color and then filled in. I think that was the Japanese influence on his art. Anyway, it was beautiful and lovely and of good report and praiseworthy. I was filled up with inspiration.

It made me want to go again today. And tomorrow. And forever. :)

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Working Magic

And that's how you put the magic in Rhymes With Magic.

All the photographs have been taken (yay for an unexpected day at home with a sick kid) and edited. I put the embellishments on several of the butterflies after I photographed them in their plain paper state. The experiments were a mixed bag of success. The glitter turned out great, but the inking projects turned out a bit more iffy. I'll work on them more later. You can't ruin something worse is my motto!

Tomorrow is the Fourth of July so I'll either be in Los Angeles visiting The Getty museum or at home working on this again because of the kid still being sick. Either way, it's going to be a great day!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Fab Four (Butterflies)

I figure if I use a filter, you won't think my work table is as horrible as it really it. 

The butterflies are all folded and they turned out great! The ones I was worried about most ended up being the best. Isn't that just the way of life?

Now I need to take pictures, do some magic and draw the patterns. Easy peasy.

Oh - I can't wait to get back to painting. I miss color...