Sunday, July 31, 2005

So Long George


Thanks to Amy K and her ingenious blog, I now have a new countdown clock on my blog too. Jody -- I know you want one! When I was practically inconsolable after the last election Richard spoke these words of comfort: There can only be 4 more years and then he is done for good; it's why we have term limits. And it does give me hope to see that trem expressed in days and hours and minutes. It won't be forever will it? With the state of our country I just don't think we can afford to have another presidency like this one. We need someone with a global perspective that does not include killing people for oil (despite one's hippocrytical stand on the value of life); someone who will see that global warming and the lack of health care in the country are far more dangerous than the threat of terrorism. Ok, that's enough for ranting for today. I like the hopful little clock on the sidebar.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Collage & the Muse

You know, sometimes a collage just jumps out of my head and I love how it looks. The Button Workers Saturday Night is one such piece. I must have finished this one in less than 3 hours. Highly unusual for me. I was inspired by 1.) James Taylor's song "Millworker" 2.) the Cafe Martin replica poster hanging in our bedroom and 3.) the dressmakers tissue on the background. And it came out just as perfectly as I had imagined it. So satisfying.

On the other hand, I can moodle and rummage and finally get a half-baked idea to work itself out, and, in the end, I am still not happy. Mermaid Encounter, specifically is what I refer to here. (I'll post a scan once I fing the digital camera cord!) How can this happen? It looks so amateurish and unfinished; is it really art? It certainly looks poor. Is it the ethereal photo I used? Is it the glitter? But I was so sure the glitter was going to be awesome. It worked on another collage really well. Maybe it's the frame -- I've been trying to find just the thing for that frame for months. Still nothing. Grrrr. I suppose it happens to the best, but it still frustrates me that I spent almost all day putting it together, trying this and that, and this is the end result. Damn that muse -- what is she doing when this happens? It must be cocktail hour somewhere.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Book Review: Blankets


OK, so I admit it: I can't put the books down this summer. I just finished reading my first graphic novel. I am not sure what to do with it really. I didn't love the story, but it resonated with me. I loved the graphic format. There was just no resolution, no purpose. Why was the story written, and further, why was is published? I suppose everyone has a story to tell, but I think this is feeding the memoir-mania of our country's reading public. It seemed like a mediocre story that would be better suited to a kitchen table or late night pseudo-philosophical discussion rather than honoring it with a book. Perhaps that's just my bibliophile snobbery emerging. So, I give this 3 of 5 starts. As my sister might say, it's a good one to have under my bibliophile belt, but I won't be re-reading it any time soon.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Book Review: Gotham Diaries


This book was written for a reader like me. I love the social-climbing opera. I love it when nice guys finish first and the bad guys get what's coming to them. I know, I know, typical and pulpy for fiction, but it was a great read! And as it was co-authored by Spike Lee's wife, Tonya Lewis Lee (and Crystal McCrary Anthony) it held an added attraction. It's not a new story, but it's a fabulous twist on a plot that works really well. It reminded me of Social Crimes, by Jane Stanton Hitchcock. I love a good intrigue. There is something wonderful, too, in this book about a woman finding her way in a culture that doesn't resonate in her. I loved it: 5 of 5 stars.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Reese Nicole

OOO Baby Posted by Picasa

She's adorable, isn't she? Born July 8th to Dawn (Richard's sister) and Bob. We can't wait to see her in person.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Book Review: Harry Potter 6


I freely admit it: I am an avid Harry Potter fan. From the day I heard TR Reed, London correspondant, on NPR raving about this new sensation of a book, I was hooked. I went to Barnes and Noble that day and requested this Harry Potter book. The attendant was not sure what I was wanting (imagine that!) and was wondering where I had heard about it, as several other people had been in that day with similar requests. I had to order the book. Once it was in my hot little hands, I devoured it. I loved it so much I read it to my 6th graders the next year -- Harry was the perfect age for them. At Christmas we finished the first year and they wanted more. We finished the second year by Summer and some of them had even asked for their own copies for Christmas. I found this remarkable as I knew most of them would only be getting one or two presents that year. Unfortunately, Harry Potter didn't go over quite as well in my next VERY CONSERVATIVE (might I add out-of-touch) Christian school.

Every time there is a new Harry Potter I have this tiny little fear that wells up: will it really still be good? Will JK Rowling still be able to carry the story, provide a twist I didn't see coming? The more the press promotes the book, the more cynical I become, yet there has not been a year in Harry's life that I haven't loved and been surprised by. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Price is no exception. I devoured the book in 48 hours (as is my habit) before which I turned an absolute deaf ear to the publicity surrounding the novel. I loved how there was almost no gap between the end of 5 and the beginning of 6. I was completely taken aback by the ending, although I did have the Half-Blood Prince figured out correctly. I have heard questions about the 7th book -- will it actually happen? I can only hope yes. I loved this book as Harry takes the final steps in growing into a man.

I give this book an "O" for Outstanding (see the scale for Ordinary Wizarding Levels or O.W.L.s)! Thanks for another fantastic summer read JK Rowling!

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Hotter Than ...

It really is one of my worst Up North fears -- 2 solid weeks of temps in the 80s and 90s with no end in sight. We usually come up to the lake to cool off, get out of the beastly hot Indiana weather and relax in the cool breezes by the lake. It is for this reason that we have no air conditioning at the Lakehouse. Last summer we spent the days in jeans and sweatshirts. Golfing was pleasant and the idea of having to put on a bathing suit was blissfully absent -- yes, even in July. No such luck this summer. And only a trace of rain in the last few weeks. In attempting to cool off, we took the kids to the sandy part of the lake and went swimming (as much as they would). Now, in addition to being hot, I have a scorching sunburn on my belly -- the arms and chest are tanning nicely now. Ah, summer. The melted collage was certainly an omen. Perhaps returning home will not feel so bad. They keep saying there will be rain here soon -- we can hope, at least.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Harrison's Index -- Apologies to Harper's

  • 200 - the number of minigolf holes played by Hayes since July 1
  • $185.00 - price for 2 to charter fish on Lake Michigan -- kudos to Mom and Dad
  • 64 - lbs. of salmon caught on aforementioned charter -- some grilled, some smoked!
  • 81 - golf holes played by Harrisons since July 1
  • 25 - minutes Josh and Richard played with fire in order to entertain the family with super fireworks display!
  • 60 - minutes waited for lousy local fireworks in Frankfort, MI
  • 1 - deer hit on the way to lousy fireworks display (sad, yes, but no damage to the people or the van thank heaven)
  • 16 - number of boats in the 4th annual Long Lake July 4th Boat Parade (a fun and tacky tradition I hope continues for some time)
  • 60 - number of guests at annual Long Lake Cookout following boat parade
  • 4 - lbs. of pasta salad consumed at cookout
  • 15 - minutes of rain experienced at said cookout
  • 5 - total number of canoe trips this summer on the lake
  • 8 - number of antique photographs purchase
  • 2 - number of new collages completed since July 1
  • 3 - number of books Amy has read since July 1
  • 2 - new baby announcements: Congrats to Julie and Chris; Baby Reese arrived July 8 -- Congrats to Dawn and Bob!
  • 1 - number of suitcases left by one funny sister upon departing the Lakehouse
  • 3 - number of art projects Amy & Eleanor have completed together
  • $2.50 - price per gallon of regular unleaded in Beulah, MI
  • 1 - number of time-share weeks Amy wants to purchase in Hilton Head
  • 2 - miles walked by Amy and Hayes to see beautiful Lake Michigan
  • 5 - number of Superman icecream cones consumed by Hayes
  • 24 - number of ice pops consumed by Hayes
  • 1 - average number of cellular phone indicator bars displayed on phones in Honor, MI
  • 1 - days of rain since July 1 (could you actually call it rain?)
  • 4 - number of wild turkey sightings since July 1
  • 230 - miles traveled locally
  • 7 - number of scrapbook pages completed since July 1
  • 0 - number of TV channels received at the Lakehouse
  • 0 - internet accessibility
  • 1 - NPR stations available in Honor, MI

Missing civilization and loving the seclusion!

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Lesson Learned

I have been exhibiting at fairs this summer feeling more and more confident: about my products, my experience, my preparation, my interaction with other artists and patrons. Today I had a first. I work in several media and have only recently fallen in love with beeswax. I've been showing "Frank & Helen" as several fairs and they always get a lot of attention. The temperature at today's fair neared 90. When I finally realized what was happening, it was too late. The entire collage had peeled away from the canvas! Buttons and leaves were on the table where it was propped up and the postcards and photo were hanging in a gooey mess. So "Frank & Helen" will be attending only indoor shows from now on. I do believe the damage is repairable, this is the joy of working with beeswax -- you can simply melt things off and reapply them if you don't like it. What an adventure. On the upside, my 2 most expensive pieces have found homes with people who absolutely adored them. Special thanks to Amy K who was the muse who helped my finish "Wounded Soldier."