Monday, March 30, 2015


I was sketching Shibe last week.

She moves a lot.

That last sketch is her drinking out of the tire we have her tied to.  :D

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Pencil tree

I have been Occupied with Things this week.  But it's been good because things will be easier since I went to all that trouble.

Last week I did do some work in my sketchbook and I totally skipped out in taking pictures for it.  I finally did today.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Paper Mache

Last year, I had the excellent idea of making some things from the game Plants vs Zombies to put in my yard for Halloween.  Because of the timing, I only had a chance to make a few and I want to do a lot more for this year.  (I had intended to do it much quicker with styrofoam, but oh my word, styrofoam is insanely expensive!!  Seriously...go look up how expensive styrofoam balls are.  It's insane.)

I guess I had to recover a bit from my Christmas mache project....
 (yes, he really is over five feet tall)

 ...but I am finally working on mache again.  This is my squash.  I think he is ridiculously cute.  I wish you could see his expression better in the photos.  I had intended to take a picture pre-mache, where you could see it easier, but then I forgot.

I also have a *not-really-secret* mache, started way back in November, that I am working on... *whistling whistling* ...

My patience is a myth

When people hear that I homeschool, one of the most common comments I get is that I must have a lot of patience.

I assure you that this is not true.  I see why they would say this, but I just handle things differently is all.  I am blessed that I have been given ways to deal with what I need to deal with.

All parents must have *some* level of patience.  Unless they are candidates for the world's worst parent, that is.  So I do have this small reserve.  It's not enough to carry me through without special measures, however.

It is ironic that I started college intending to become an elementary teacher.  I am wholly unsuited to such an endeavor.  Shhh, but I honestly don't love other people's kids.  And, the politics and methods of school teaching would drive me bonkers.  Oh, it would.  I would be a candidate for the world's worst teacher.  Not that I can't teach or wouldn't have good ideas, but my patience is no where up to the task for the amount of love I would actually have for the career (which would be little).

It was my first choice in school because...I wanted something practical and I had no practical interests, lol.  (This is still almost true.)

Yet here I am, teaching my own children.  It's not the same, of course, thank goodness.  But I do have that patience issue.

One of the ways I cope is through selfishness.  I need time to myself and I need to pursue my own interests.  I have to take that time.  I have to.  So some days it might seem like I manage to do a lot, but it is just one of my coping methods.  I either do these things, or I will turn to...less productive means to deal.

Another way I cope is through organization.  Not that this works ideally, not by any means. But it helps.  I spend a lot of time in this, and I am lucky enough that I enjoy at least this aspect of keeping house...well, to a point.  And on those days I don't enjoy it, I can at least enjoy the product and I know it is necessary.  The more organized things are, the easier they are to clean, and this is my absolute life line.

It helps that I just love boxes and shelves and containers....

Another thing about my methods is that my children are expected to do much themselves.  I still get inundated with needs and arguments, but I must often shut down from them...parents are never as consistent as they think they are, anyway, so this does not harm them.

As for school work...I admit, I get bored.  I get reeeally bored with it.  Bored, bored, bored.  Much more than kids do, and kids can get really bored!  So in this, I cope by being eclectic.  We change methods, we change schedules, we change things around all the time.  I can't handle curriculums for long.  They are always the same thing.  The kids don't like it and I like the repetition even less.  We can use them, but not as they were intended.

It is difficult balancing this.  I need flexibility, but I also need to be sure that I am covering everything.  We've managed well so far, but this year I have needed to find some new ideas that I really hope can stick for longer because I am currently even less able than usual.  I am excited because I think I finally have, and I also feel a little dumb because it is so simple, lol.  But we are all in our little boxes and things are not always obvious to us; things need to be brought to us, and it helps when we are open, seeking.

So, I'm excited...New methods and I think I have finally adjusted our school room in such a way that it is finally ultimately workable for us.  (Fifth time reorganizing the room in the six months that we have been here!)  I still get mad when kids can't seem to manage the simplest things, but my role is not, in fact, control--it is guidance.  So I can let go of some things.  And there is much I need to release.

Monday, March 23, 2015


I don't really care why you're there.

Nor do I care about the Shibe hair on my ear.

I am beyond such things.

Paranoid Face

Why are you looking at me?
I don't know why you are looking at me.

And why is your hand moving?

What are you doing with your hand??

Want to save Zelda?

You gotta get past me first.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

This post is for Jessica's snow.

We went on a walk and my camera was out of batteries, so I had to make due with my phone.

 I met a new friend in Mr. Ultimate Friendly Kitty, as well.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015


I got my new tea pot!

I'm a little sad that it is not the same size...and I'm still grieving over my other...but it will still work well for our normal use and maybe I can find a larger later.

It will look strange to me for a while because it's so similar, even with the same shape...but seems so dwarfed by my warmer.  But it is a welcome addition to my tea addiction.

It is lovely, and I love that I have a pot to match my creamer and sugar bowl now.  <3 br="">

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Itchy Zebra

I realized I hadn't posted this; I did it back in January, when I played with Corel Painter for a little while.  As with everything else I do, I should do more, lol.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Donut Face

I got a box of donuts and pastries the other day.  Face thought they smelled really good.
 "I'm so nice, you want to give me some..."

Fear and Clarity

Life with kids is hard some days.  Any parent or person taking care of kids can tell you that, and it's obvious even without anyone telling you.

When I am fatigued in a certain way, I may or may not be all that physically tired, but I get psychological symptoms and sometimes I do not recognize it for what it is.  And this fatigue leaves me open to invisible assault, especially when it moves in without my conscious knowledge.

But, I still have to deal with children on these days, and that becomes rough.  The noise and the mess really get to me.  Much as we might pretend otherwise, children are uncontrollable, as it ought to be, really, because they are their own people with their own forces.  I accept fully that control is always an illusion, but it is at times an inescapable illusion, and when my illusion feels utterly shattered (not just non-existent, but shattered), I don't do well.  Though I know control is an illusion and not to be had here, I still desperately want it and am stubborn enough to cling to the idea.  I am not always able to successfully surrender my will, and this causes...issues.  Unreasonable issues, but we are an unreasonable species.

This, for instance...
...was not supposed to be happening.

She had asked me--a large number of times--for some paint, but I was too busy trying to deal with other things that I put her off, so she got it out herself.

It wasn't actually a problem, other than the fact that she was being disobedient in not waiting for me to get it for her.  It's perfectly safe paint and she was using it in a surprisingly reasonable and responsible manner.  And she had been patient with me for a time at least.  And she was being super cute.  And, this is *not at all* up to the standard of mess that I *often* have to deal with.  But the fact of it drove me, momentarily, nuts until I could regain perspective on this particular day.

My weird pregnancy dreams have started, mostly centered on losing my children in some way, which is the most frightening and disturbing thing, ever.  I can only suppose that some of these, at least, are triggered by the stress I feel when I am awake.  Maybe they are supposed to make me understand, but mostly they make me feel more miserable for being short of patience during the noise and mess.

I don't believe anyone who claims to be utterly without fear.  Well, maybe if they are psychotic, or have achieved some sort of sainthood.  Fear is something we use to deal with an imperfect world, though usually we use it in the wrong way, by giving into it or giving it power over us, or even believing that we can somehow tackle it ourselves and become masters over it.  No matter what it may seem, we can't even become masters of our own selves let alone anything else.

We are *meant* to use it to get closer to God.  As with everything in our lives, we are meant to give it to God.  My fears seem very reasonable to me.  But they are not.  My children are not, in fact, my own to cling to always and forever...they are a gift from God, and only He can ensure that I have them always and forever, which is not just this life and my earthly fears are centered here.  So in that way, the only reasonable fear would be to fear God.  However, while it is true that God can defeat any and all earthly ills, he is not merely some knight vanquishing earthly problems.  He is far beyond that.  So, in knowing something of the character of God, it is not reasonable to begin thinking "oh no, God will dangle this over my head to make me obedient", but I come to the realization that I cannot escape this fear and I must turn it towards God because He is the only one who can handle it, absorb it, and all around make it *go away*.  Except, I am human and I irrationally *cling* to my fears and stresses and worries...and desire to control, which is a type of fear.  Fear is a constant presence, and while we cannot ourselves control it, we can help to direct it.

For those moments when clarity comes, I can feel the peace that is always there.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Peep pose

I realized today that Pook looks an awful lot like a Peep, though I've never seen a gray and white Peep.

That is totally his chair and no one else's, though Kitty is welcome during those moments when he gets tired of his Box.

Philosophically Speaking

So I can't keep up with posting art every day, even if I go to putting old stuff up (which I think I will do because I do have a backlog that I never properly shared) and whatnot, but I *do* think it is such a good idea to keep up daily, or at least mostly-daily.  It's good for me and I love to be in contact with people in a way that I cannot otherwise be.

So, I'm going to turn to my other interests to share a bit.  Because, why not, and there are thoughts and ideas I would like to hash out just for my own sake.  And since this is my own blog, I can do whatever I want and you can feel free to ignore me.  :)

One of my interests is philosophy in general, and specific types in particular.  If (ahem, when?) I go back to school, this is what I would like to major in.  Until then, there is much I can gather and ponder on.  I get a little obsessed with my Japanese studies, so being able to semi-publicly share thoughts and ideas might be quite motivating to me.

I will ramble too much and maybe, but hopefully not, I might make someone uncomfortable or even offended.  But these are just my ramblings, so feel free to take them as you will.  I can't stop you anyway.  :p  There are things I obsess about, things I like to think about, and things I do have strong opinions over.  And sometimes I think people are just, well, dumb.  That extends to everyone, and I exclude not myself.

For a while now, I have chosen to limit my online presence, compared to what I used to do.  This is a good idea in many ways...there are lots of weirdos and I just get tired of being misunderstood so often.  I don't intend to go back to all of my old practices, but I do miss sharing with some people and since I get locked into kid interaction so much, and since I do have things I'd like to share in a limited way, and I do like to hear some opinions balanced with my own, this is perhaps the best format for it.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

I love the long evenings!

This time change is rough, but oh what lovely times it brings to the evening.  I thought our small stint of snow last week would have killed off our flowers, but apparently not!  My front yard smells glorious!

One year for the spring time change, I was able to do an experiment.  My husband was deployed and I was in Germany and I had zero need to adjust my time.  No one else aside from a toddler was around, even communicating with family didn't make a difference since there was such a big time difference to begin with.  I tried so hard to not adjust my time.  I really did.  No one else was affecting me at all.  I could only make it a month and my internal clock changed on its own.  It was an interesting experiment.

For a Rough Day

You know what...I am having a rough couple of days.

So I'm going to watch this over and over, because this couple is *so cute*.

I am in love with the Japanese version of the songs from Frozen...

(Why does the formatting for this post look so weird??  Or is it just me...?

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Oil Pastel Fox

My sister-in-law asked me to help her decorate her nursery with some creatures from a vintage poster she inherited from her grandmother. This is the first in the series; I am glad to note that Annie seemed to like it.  :)

This is done in oil pastel, 12x12 on Colourfix.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

In memoriam

It strikes me that I don't ever put any photography here.  Well, now I will.

It's been a rough week.  :(

Last night, my tea pot shattered.

I was holding it, turning to throw away some tea leaves, and it felt like it just *leaped* out of my hands.  I've no idea how it happened.  It was probably inevitable.  I think the only person in the world who can match my talent for breaking dishes is my two-year-old.  But even so, it was horrifying.

My tea pot was wonderful.  It was polish pottery which I had gotten from Germany.  It leaves behind a grieving tea warmer and some cousin polish pottery.

I *did* manage to find a replacement online (actually two replacements, but one will have to do for now), but my old tea pot will still be missed.  :(  I will be sad and altogether angry for some time.  Accidents happen, it's part of life, but they can still be so stupid.

(At least Harrison Ford wasn't seriously injured in that crash today....I was really worried for a moment; my week has had enough sorrow, I couldn't handle any more.)

Wednesday, March 4, 2015


Shamelessly copying Jessica shamelessly copying me.


Yesterday I made a pancake that looked like a cat.  (Jessica's cat, to be exact.  Mine do not have floofully tails.)  So then for dinner, Jessica made an even better pancake kitty.  So then I decided to use her pancake as a drawing template.  I have decided that shameless copying is not a bad thing.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Perfect Moments

So yesterday I learned of Leonard Nimoy's death.

I felt pretty crushed.

I am not really over DeForest Kelly's death, either, 
but this one...I knew this one would really get to me.

Sometimes you just know, even when you can't really know first hand, that a person is good and special.

He unquestionably made a huge difference in the world.

And he will be very sorely missed here.

When I read his last public words, I really lost it.
How amazing and astoundingly appropriate.

I've got plans for this, but I've really got to straighten out that lettering...

My Little Pony handmade sketchbook

So before I could start our sketchbook project...I had to finish making my sketchbook!
I have learned that I love love love book making.  <3 p="">
 I had done the text block this last summer with various types of paper.  The cover is done in paper collage with a touch of ink, and fabric on the spine. 
The characters on the front are Japanese.  It says "My Little Pony".
 It was clearly not complete til it had a sliding baby pony on the back!
 I must note that the headband matches the pony bows perfectly!
(Was very proud of this detail.)
 There is something about paper collage that I love on the covers.
Perhaps it is the slight dimensionality it gives.
Scarlett (my four-year-old) watched me intently through part of the process.
 Then she came back with this!  So precious.
 Note the attention to detail by using ink lines on the rainbow.
(I don't know why that picture is just refuses to cooperate.
Maybe it has been talking with my children...)

Here are the other books I have made, alternately using fabric and paper.

Hey, I'm gonna start posting!

 So I have a little motivation these days...and I need something to keep me sane.  Jessica and I have embarked on a sketchbook project to kick us into gear.  She suggested it at just the right moment it seems, when I really needed it and I finally managed to get a bit of energy.