Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Anniversary and a great new book

Yesterday marked 7 happy years of marriage to my husband and best friend. He is completely supportive and sharing of everything I do -- my children, my career and my art -- and I would be lost without him.

Every year we've tried to give each other the "traditional" gifts -- just for fun -- like paper or leather or flowers. This year we declared a moratorium on that practice, living dangerously off the grid now.  I gave him an electric wine bottle opener. (Not a bit of the traditional copper or wool involved.)  He gave me a new iPhone cover, imprinted with a piece of my original artwork.  See what I mean? Very supportive of my endeavors.

And in other news, I made my first repurposed journal this week, in preparation for an upcoming trip to Costa Rica. My dear friend Shirley  patiently took me through all the steps. 

I never knew watercolor paper had a grain, or how to find it, or that the grain should run parallel to the spine of a book -- but I do now.  It took me 3 1/2 hours start to finish (most of that time was spent ripping large sheets of watercolor paper into the right size) and I enjoyed every bit of it, including the stitching and gluing.  

The original book cover wasn't very pretty, so I gessoed over it in black and decorated it with my version of a Costa Rican Dana de los Diabilitos mask.  This festival reinterprets the invasion of the territory by Europeans -- and their resistance to the newcomers.  The indigenous tribe Boruca is most well known for their masks.

There is a wonderful video on facebook that shows native Costa Rican animals and masks made using their likenesses.  I don't think it is on youtube, so I apologize to the non-facebookers who can't link to it.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Learning to Love Cats

I never much liked cats until recently. I'm a dog and horse person -- I get them and they get me.  But my husband likes cats and wanted one, so I've had on-the-job training with felines over the past couple of years.  (We adopted my dads after he passed away, then got another as a kitten.)  So many things about them are so very  different from dogs that it took me a while to even begin to figure them out.  

I may not be completely comfortable with all cats, even now, but I've come to love mine. They grow on you. (That's the "baby" of the family,  Roan the ragdoll, above.)

Monday, June 20, 2011

watercolor flowers

My friend Holli at 3 Wishes posted a photo of crepe myrtle this week. She posts one photo each week in a year-long photo journal project.  It inspired me to do my own interpretation of it, using the color-drop watercolor method I recently learned in a class with martha lever.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day

My dad's been gone three years now, but there's seldom a day that passes when I don't think of him.  He was a huge influence, not just on my life but on those of my children.  This photo shows everything he loved:  family, God and the U.S. Marine Corps. I'm glad he met my husband (a fellow Marine) before he passed away.  Happy Father's Day, daddy.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Fashion Backward

Last week my journal study group went to the Morgan Library to see an exhibit on fashion in medieval France.  The descriptions of the constantly changing styles reminded me of an episode of Project Runway; for example, the conical headpiece we often see on depictions of medieval women started out as two cones--one on either side of the head, with fabric draped between.  Over time, the cones moved closer and closer to the center of the headpiece until eventually the two became one.  Fashion seems to have been evolving for as long as humans have been wearing clothes.

See the two cones? mid 1400's

And then there was one. Early 1500s

This is from a tapestry called The History of Troy

We missed Shirley last week, but it was great seeing everyone else.  Ever seen an air hug? That's how you say goodbye when the temperature is almost 100 degrees in New York City.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Favorite Movie Lines

My friends over at Besprinkled are asking about our favorite movie lines in their 5 for Friday post (which I always enjoy).  I'm not sure if my favorite lines are as good out of context as they are as when you hear them in the movie, but here are some I really love:

From Notting Hill, because I delight in the pure, strained logic of it:

Martin: Did you know, and this is pretty amazing, but I once saw Ringo Starr.
William: Where was that?
Martin: Kensington High Street. At least I think it was Ringo, um, it could have been that guy from Fiddler on the Roof. You know, Toppy.
William: Topol.
William: Yes… yes that’s right, Topol.
William: Mmmhmmm. Actually, Ringo Starr doesn’t- doesn’t at all look like, uh, Topol.
Martin: Yes, but, he was- he was quite a long way away from me.
William: So it actually could’ve been neither of them.
Martin: Yes, I suppose, so.
William: It’s not really a classic, anecdote, is it?
Martin: Not a classic, no.


From Arthur (the original and ONLY one, in my opinion)

This line is one I quote often, mainly when friends tell me how HARD something is to do. Hobson (sir John Gielgud) visits Liza Minelli and delivers the line that won him the Oscar:

Hobson:  "This is not a tie you can steal."

And another Gielgud deadpan line that is just plain funny, delivered to her father:

Hobson: [to Ralph] If you and your undershirt will walk two paces backwards, I could enter this dwelling. 


This next line applies to so MANY things in life -- especially when we are deluded into thinking that an eccentric person is necessarily creative or talented:

Arthur: Everyone who drinks is not a poet. Maybe some of us drink because we're not poets. 


And rounding out my top 5 is a quote from The Three Amigos -- the silliest, goofiest movie I've ever enjoyed.  You have to watch it more than once to even begin appreciating it. But be careful, because it's addictive.

Jefe: I have put many beautiful pinatas in the storeroom, each of them filled with little suprises.
El Guapo: Many pinatas?
Jefe: Oh yes, many!
El Guapo: Would you say I have a plethora of pinatas?
Jefe: A what?
El Guapo: A *plethora*.
Jefe: Oh yes, you have a plethora.
El Guapo: Jefe, what is a plethora?
Jefe: Why, El Guapo?
El Guapo: Well, you told me I have a plethora. And I just would like to know if you know what a plethora is. I would not like to think that a person would tell someone he has a plethora, and then find out that that person has *no idea* what it means to have a plethora.
Jefe: Forgive me, El Guapo. I know that I, Jefe, do not have your superior intellect and education. But could it be that once again, you are angry at something else, and are looking to take it out on me? 

Ok. What's your favorite line?